Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Snubbing the Stubble!

Let's face it - hair is always omnipresent in unwanted areas. People who are desirous of having healthy hair probably go overboard with their prayers because they end up with every other part of their body being hairy, except the head! 

And speaking of unwanted hair, the next stop is getting rid of it and heck, staying well groomed. Which means, no stubble. Yes. Not only does it look icky, it speaks of gross neglect. Whether it's the hands, or legs or wherever, I hate that unclean stubble that some people just love to flaunt. 

By the way, there's a difference between stubble that's outright sexy and one that makes a man look like a roadside swarthy thug. Leave it on a day longer than it should be, and even a decent man would look like a potential rapist or molester. So men who are reading this post - keep that in mind!! ;)

Men who sport a ghastly, unclean stubbly face also look ill, according to me. Even if the man in question is a perfectly healthy individual, he still looks sick and depressed, I feel. I wouldn't trust a man looking like that with anything important and neither would I hire someone like that for an important post if I were in Human Resources. 

On a different note,

I am constantly reminded of a string of incidents from many years ago. Fellow students in my Grade 10 classroom in India, the typical breaking-into-the-mid-teenage-years boys who used to giggle at the mere mention of a boy in their midst needing to shave. It was a big macho thing for them and they saw it as a initiation into manhood.

Mooch Nahi toh Kooch Nahi...? ;-)

(This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.)
I have picked up a tag from Richa who blogs at Clouds, Rain and Sunshine. I would like to tag Subha, Pallavi and Rosemary to write a post with a minimum of 200 words and maximum of 300 words using either “I hate that unclean stubble” or “His(My) clean shaven look bowled me(her) over” and weave a creative story around it. You never know your post could even win. Also if you are writing a post in response to my tag, PLEASE mention the same at the end of your post. 

To know more on it see -Protest Against Unclean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Appa : Dad : Father Figure || Happy Birthday || :)

Very recently I had the opportunity to handcraft and paint two beautiful cards for the two dads in my life, my father and my father-in-law. One I have known since birth and the other I have known since the day I became his daughter in law 10 years ago.

My father has always been a huge inspiration in my life. He has been the one to shake me up on the days I have felt too complacent and snuggled inside my comfort zone. He has taught me the value of time and that how time waits for noone. He has inspired me to shrug off my lazy blanket and get moving. In the literal sense he tried to push me into joining the gym with him but me being me, I just couldn't keep up to his enthusiasm and commitment.

But in other arenas, I am just glad I have been able to steer my life in a direction that he is now proud of. He has always instilled in me the love for education and has supported me and motivated me towards gaining more knowledge and for that I will be eternally grateful to him. From him I have learned how important it is to stay positive and look ahead instead of moping around wondering about 'what if' and how not to keep crying over spilt milk. Yes, the milk was spilt due to carelessness or lack of focus or just bad luck but hey, wipe it and either fix another glass of milk for oneself or just drink something else or walk away : But Do Something about it :) Is what my dad taught me and I follow it till date.

On the other hand, there's my quiet and unassuming father in law. I have only known him in the last decade, much lesser than I have known my own father but trust me, he is so inspiring in ways that he truly does not realize himself. His spirit of kindness and his compassionate nature are known by all who know him personally over the many many years. If there's a person who can help in any situation, it is him. Whether it is direct or indirect, it does not matter but He Will Help. Like my own father, my father in law is also deep in the quest for knowledge  and he enjoys reading and discussions. We enjoy our own chats and we also enjoy analyzing people and their personalities. He has inspired me to change my attitude and always keep smiling no matter what, just like him. I enjoy that he is only able to look ahead and see the positivity in every situation, regardless of how bleak it is.

My father is turning 60 in December and my father in law just turned 70 in November but both of them are ageless, according to me. Age is all in the mind, the numbers don't matter. What matters is our thirst for life's many surprises and how many of those gift boxes we want to open and let reveal to us so that we can enjoy them - these are life's lessons taught by these two wonderful men I have known.

Happy birthday to both Appas and may you both live strong and healthy for many many more years :) :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

|| Shubh Deepavali ||

Yet another Diwali passes by. You know Diwali is around the corner when the air gets a festive tinge. Women in households are busy looking up new recipes for sweet concoctions, shopping for new clothes, rangoli powder, making and painting new diyas - it's ALL happening!

As every year, my inlaws visit us during this time of the year and the children literally bask in the warmth of having their grandparents around. This year MIL and I made cashewnut barfi and wheat-cocoa laddoos alongside the traditional thenkuzhal and ribbon pokodam. 

And of course my gorgeous shiny rangoli this year, a design put together using traditional motifs :) We also got together with a friend after a really long time and spent the evening embracing some old memories and enjoying some warm laughter together. A forgotten story, a shared laugh - that was our Diwali this year!

How was yours? Do share, I'm waiting to hear your stories! :) Better still, write a post and let me know, I'll hop over to read!! :)

From our home to yours.... here's a glimpse of our Diwali this year :)

A mehndi design that I came up with to decorate my palm and feet this year :)

....And some home decoration to add to the festive spirit :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's been a long time..

I can't believe I haven't blogged in a month! Well, that's testimony enough for how busy my life has been since we got back from our super extended India trip!!

Sumedh, who was an innocent little 10 month old before I took him to India, crawling around here and there - is now...a 13 month old curious cruiser of a toddler who will stop at nothing. His only agenda is pulling stuff out, yanking wires, opening cabinets, banging stuff on the floor etc. Well, good exercise for me I guess!

I have a big list of pending to-do tasks. To begin with I haven't updated Sumedh's baby book in a long time!! I have just printed the photos today and hope to write down some text and add some important dates to catch up on the lost months - pls forgive me Sumedh!We also don't have the cook who was with us in June - so it's me back  in the kitchen and whipping out basic meals for the fam. All in all, it's been exhausting but worth it even on the worst days when both kids are screaming together and I feel like I'll just disappear into the ground ;-)

What's mommyhood without its challenges? Moms are supposed to be able to do everything. We are expected to solve the mysteries of missing clothes, missing books and bring back some missing smiles too even on the days we don't feel like smiling ourselves. Life is tough for a mom :)

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I find some time to do some craft or just draw. I think it keeps me sane! I also read when I can to keep me connected :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

...and a year flew past! + a trip to Chennai and Pondicherry

SO much has happened in the last few weeks. To begin with, lil Sumedh turned 1 ! My lil bundle of joy is officially a toddler :) He babbles....says thatha, akka, kaa kaa (for crow), adhaaa (to exclaim 'there!!') and a series of sounds.

In true tradition of our music-loving family, Sumedh also sings and puts a thaalam if anyone says 'sa ri ga ma'. The best part is he flips his palm for 'pa dha ni sa' in the manner that it is officially done. He sets into putting the thaalam as soon as anyone begins singing the Carnatic notes :-) Makes me soooo proud!

I travelled to Chennai for just 5 days to meet family, and also to Pondicherry for just one night. There was much to do there but on such a short trip the last thing one expects is to encounter a bandh. That sadly happened to us. So we couldn't shop but we chilled out. Trip to Auroville was a big waste of time though. Firstly, the scorching heat, and secondly there wasn't much to see there and children below 10 years are not allowed in prominent places there. Even if we had booked to enter the Matri Mandir, we still wouldn't have been able to get in with Sumedh. Sigh! The design of the Matri Mandir and the planning that has gone into it is very interesting!!

Samarth surprised us with his streaks of independence. He was on his own in bits and pieces of time with grandparents, and had a great time. The lad is sure growing up!! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

My India best-est :)

I arrived in Mumbai sometime mid-July for Jr # 1's summer vacations so it'll soon be a month now. A month gone and another month to go for our return back to the searing Middle East heat.

Officially the first time that Jr # 2 is visiting Mumbai and he's amazed by the crowds and groups of relatives and friends who treat him like the chief guest and coo around him :) He's enjoying all the pampering and attention! Oh and he is soon going to be a very grand 1 year old toddler, so preparations are on in full swing for his birthday :)

In all my visits to Mumbai so far, one thing has not changed and that is the city itself. The economic imbalance is so evident! It's so ironic that on one side there are all these malls that dot the suburbs and on the exact opposite side of the road there are shanties where you can see kids peeing and pooping everywhere whilst running around naked.

There are high rise buildings springing up everywhere and there are people who can afford to give out a pricey 2 crores to buy an apartment - Yet there are people who survive on a few rupees a day. And the latter even manage to feed themselves and a family in those few rupees.

One thing is for sure. In India, the common man's struggles never end. A swanky car sped past on the Mumbai-Pune highway, and nearby I could see a shabbily dressed man racing up the dusty, grimy roads trying to jump into an equally grimy public bus that wouldn't even stop for him.

Oh dear reader, before you jump at me for commenting because I don't live in the country any more - let me clear it out that I was living here before we went to live abroad. I have been a part of the daily rush. I have jumped in and out of trains and sped past stampeding crowds on railway platforms ;) I have been a part of the madness.

All in all this has me wondering if India would do well with a dictator at the helm. Or maybe even he would fail. There's a lot of money in the country but nothing for the common man. The population is now totally out of control so maybe that is yet another reason why any systems that are implemented fail every time?


I was walking down a galli in the neighbourhood, in pouring rain. I tried to flag down a rickshaw but failed. As I trudged back home, I felt a strange sense of calm pervading my mind.

It felt like home :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My first attempt at embroidery - Part 1

I had a really plain dupatta in cotton which I thought of giving it to the tailor to get some embellishments embroidered on to it. Then it struck me, that why don't I decorate it myself. I have never done any embroidery before so I was kind of nervous, but hey it turned out well !

Here are some images :)

I still have a long way to go as the duppatta's pretty big. Will keep posting pics as and when I complete it :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

A sappy mom's memoirs :)

I found myself holding Samarth and sobbing, last night as he slept. 

I think something he said yesterday evening snapped a cord in my heart and I felt like I needed to hold on to every fragment of his childhood which was slipping away. Aww well I am a sappy mom :)
I have always felt like he is growing up so soon. One minute he was a little baby crawling everywhere and so tiny, and now he is like a 4 foot something nearly 7 year old :)

I am sure most of us moms feel like that. On one hand we are so happy that our little ones are getting all independent and can do so much on their own. On the other hand we feel like their childhood will soon end and then what? 
There are days when I want to tear my hair out. Days when I would wish he would sit quiet in one place and listen to me rather than rambling continuously. And then the days when I wish he wasn't sitting quietly at his table and colouring. 

Those days when the poor guy is ill, I wish he would wake up and shout and scream. The silences then are unbearable. 

I sobbed last night just thinking of everything I would miss when his age was no longer in single digits. He'd then be a pre-adolescent, a teenager and then yeah an adult! Crawling right behind him would be little Sumedh who also seems to be growing at a rapid pace. Can't believe just 2 months more for his birthday!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Being humble and grateful is a virtue in today's world

I wonder why some people get all arrogant and smug when everything is going the way they have desired. I mean, it is always nice when we get all that we have ever wished for but what is the point of looking down on others?

Be it someone who has suddenly turned into an entrepreneur, or someone who has taken up a new hobby or someone who is suddenly minting money by a miraculous twist of fate.

Wow, I mean, wow!

A change of fortunes caused by one's hard work is always nice and brings a nice refreshing boost to a fading self esteem. What about when you start to look at others who were also once where you were but are still there. Do you have nothing to talk about to them - sorry they are still busy talking about housework, cooking, kids, babies, nappies and feeding intervals.

Don't ever get me wrong. I am doing enough in my life now to keep me ticking every single moment. But I've noticed that I don't treat people differently - but I get treated differently all of a sudden. I don't currently work full time but I don't judge anyone who either does or doesn't. Everyone does what they can in the time that they have. Only they will know what they can do and can't do.

Even if one day I were to earn the mega bucks, I would still cherish the little friendships I have now - moms like me right now. I can never forget who I was and what has helped me to be the way I am now.

Bottom line - I guess it is very important to be grateful. Show gratitude and humility at every stage in your life. I have learned that it is important to be modest about your achievements and you will receive multifold levels of happiness.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My son, a reflection of me!

I'm sure we all see ourselves in our child in some way or the other, isn't it? It's the same nowadays with me and Samarth. He is 6.5 years old and in every way, he shares a lot of my interests. I used to be like him at that age.

Samarth loves art, dance, music, craft and he can always be seen with a book trailing near him. He also enjoys writing! It makes me so wistful to see him growing up because I see a reflection of my little self in him. As a child, I was exactly like him. And yes he has the same quirks like I did. Random absent-mindedness and a slight math-o-phobia :-D :-D

I am amazed each day by his show of affection towards everyone around him. Samarth can never play favourites and in that way he is nothing like me - I can be very partial to the people I love and I can totally ignore people who annoy me. Samarth loves everyone equally and cannot bear to see anyone sad or upset. He would be the first one to cheer them up! He is unlike me in such aspects, I wasn't that way as a kid though. I used to always be in my own world and I was the 'live and let live' types - in a way I am still like that.

Each day is a different day! Sometimes I feel I can tear all my hair out because he shuts off and will completely ignore every word I say (but of course, he's in his own world :-) ) And sometimes I find myself all teary-eyed at something he says or does - yeah I'm a sappy mom and I wouldn't trade my kids for anything in this world!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Peacock lampshade - with full detailing!

Ok, it's official, I love peacocks! I had created a really beautiful peacock themed lampshade long ago in 2011, for our bedroom. The sketch was easy to do but it was tough to find time to fill in the colours into this beautiful little art project.

Here are some of the images:

I painted it and did another post on Colours Dekor, here are some images:

I finally decided it would look much better with a black border and I completed it today. Better late than never! Here are some beautiful photos for you to enjoy! I love it and am sure you will too!

Peacocks are my other obsession apart from paisleys and flowers. Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New curtains, new look!

When we moved into this house in 2008, we had very few options to furnish the house and we had to do it soon as we also had a 1.5 year old toddler hanging around us whenever we went out shopping :-) So we had picked up some really nice curtains but a little on the heavier side fabric wise. 

As the years passed we realized that it was getting more and more difficult to maintain them so we decided to get rid of it and switch to a natural material like cotton. And what better than Fab India? We had gone on a week long trip to India in the month of February and my sister bought these for me from Fab India in Bangalore. 

They are in really pleasing colours and the best part is they are suited for the desert climate that we exist in Abu Dhabi. Dense enough not to let the heat through but light enough so that the room looks cool and airy. I'm in love with them!! 

I am all for cottons! I love the light texture and feel of it. Though it is difficult to maintain the look, it is worth every effort. I know I will have to get them drycleaned instead of machine washing them to ensure they look just the same over the years.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Vishu to all my dear blog followers!

We had an enjoyable Vishu this year! It was my little Sumedh's first Vishu and every festival that is a first for a baby is extra special. I let him sip on the payasam a little and he loved it! Since Sumedh is still a little baby and I didn't want to take on the load of cooking a full saddhi meal, I made a limited menu. Just sambar, podimas, cucumber-tomato pachadi and payasam. We even managed to get some nice green elais to eat on, to complete the experience!

Samarth enjoyed the meal so much that he has insisted that I should go to Masterchef India because I'll definitely win. Thanks baby! :-)

A few glimpses of our Vishu!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Laundry woes!

Ok I hate doing laundry. I am not cut out for domestic tasks but this one is the worst. I can put away folding away clothes till eternity or till I get irritated of the growing mounds of clothes :-(

It takes like what seem like ages for my laundry pile to go from this..

to this....

No other domestic chore irritates me as much as folding clothes. I can cook, wash dishes, wipe dust.....anything but fold clothes in happiness. I have tried moving the pile to the living room so that I can watch TV whilst I go through the mundanities, but no it does not make the task any pleasant.

So my dear friends, do you enjoy doing laundry? Share some tips!! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Celebrating 100 days of numeracy!!

Samarth's school does all sort of interesting activities with the kids. The latest one was this. They had to stick 100 objects of their choice onto a t-shirt to celebrate 100 days of numeracy (maths).

We decided on making a tree using cereal box cardboard and then sticking 100 pieces of thread on to it. 

The tree denotes the school and the threads denote the children who come together there to study. Interesting, isn't it?

........and the final t-shirt! :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

My little helper!

On the first weekend of March 2013, dearest hubby had gone on a team building official trip... and I was left to myself, to manage the 2 tykes :-) Samarth is 6.5 years old and Sumedh is 6.5 months old - just in case you didn't know :-)

Though I was all confident that I'll do a good job, intrinsically I was hoping that all would go well as planned and we would not have any nasty surprises to deal with : : (such as tantrums, insomnia etc).

We actually managed so well and let me tell you who was the surprise package for the weekend - yes you guessed right, it was Samarth

My 'all-grown-up' sweetheart Samarth did everything he could with his little hands and he was in all certainty my lil Man Friday - right from entertaining his brother, to bringing me nappies during when they needed changing, to being such a sweetheart and maturely taking care of himself too in the process! I will always remember that weekend as a time when I bonded the most with my kids :-)

I find it so hard to believe that Samarth is already growing up so soon. In this very blog, I have written in the past about a lot of cute stuff he's said and done - can't believe those days are gone and all I have is just the memories that are etched in my mind and heart.

Where does the time fly? - is a question I often ask myself. I don't know if I want to confront the answer just as yet. I wish I could freeze time right now. I wish I could pour some of the kiddie fragrances and love into a bottle and seal it forever as mine alone. Sigh! :-)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shoebox Jungle

Samarth had to create a shoebox jungle as part of his extended homework task in school. We decided to use as much recycled material as possible. Here are some photos :-)