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The curious case of

Our upar wale neighbors: I don’t know what’s with them or with this building. The wall to wall – wall to door soundproofing is so foolproof that you can shout your lungs out but if the door is closed no one will hear your shouts. But the floor to ceiling sound system fails miserably.  We are aware of every move our upar wale makes, every step they take, every sound they create. In day time it is still okay as there are numerous sounds around – calls/talks/construction/traffic/music/tv etc. But night time it’s horrible. No not that kind of sound you dirty mind, but very strange sounds. Like someone walking in high heels, somebody skipping, and someone gymming, sometimes it’s like someone has dropped a string of pearls etc. Bizarre I know! And I am talking about way past midnight.  It has made us conscious of our own movements. Though now I want to but with the intensity of the sound that we hear, I am embarrassed to ask our neeche wale if any sound we make during night bothers them :P.

My sister and her over worked brain: She is a wonderful human being, though too opinioned, strong minded and slightly into herself, but her honesty and openness subsides everything else. But she just thinks too much. I want her to give her brain a break, she will think about smiling at someone, serving water to guests, or massaging mamma after a tired day or asking dad for a tea. Though she wants to do all this for others but she thinks that makes her someone else, someone she is naturally not. It’s like when asked she will do that but she can’t do it herself. And I say these are too small things to spare your mind cells at, just go with the flow and be you. Sometimes it’s no harm doing things for others specially your own people.

The DINK category couples: The double income no kids couples.  I am totally fine with couples taking a conscious decision of not having kids. In fact I feel amazed with their clarity of thought and clarity about the kind of life they want to lead. As this isn’t a short term decision. This is a decision for a lifetime. I fully understand their situation especially in a country like ours where everything is everybody else’s business. How they must be tormented by the family to take the family way; how the females must be listening to unsolicited gyan about the so called biological clock, how they have learnt to dodge it/face it/feign it. But then they go about justifying their thinking/their decision out in the open; ranting out their frustration; stating how this isn’t anyone else’s business; how they can adopt a baby or better a pet when they feel so; how they can’t procreate for personal motives of sheer joy, or to shut others up or because it’s time now and alike. But ironically in the process of venting out they go about blaming and accusing a lot of couples from their circle who have gone the parenthood way. People who have decided to have children but according to them aren’t great at raising them. It is such a paradox they being judgmental when the core of their problem is others’ judging them.

Increasing count of four wheelers in our society: Ours is a new society with four building blocks and around 120 flats. When we shifted last year there were only about 32 flats occupied. Now that number hasn’t changed much in past year may be around 15 more families have shifted. But the sheer number of cars surprises me. It was around 114 on my last count. For Delhi people it’s definitely car nahi caaaaaar. They have big jigra and no doubt bigger cars. A round in our parking lot and you will see all luxury car brands shining in their glory. And every now and then I see a new car being parked. What amazes me is, new cars but no new people in sight. That’s boring life in a metro for you.

My missing pair of sandals: I love foot wears. So much so that I notice footwear first and faces later. When people with me are checking out dresses/makeup/hairstyles and alike, I check out the chappals others are wearing.  I myself own what I call not so modest number of pairs. And I love and cherish them all like treasured pieces of jewelry. During some phases when I decide to control myself and not to buy anymore, I make others gift them to me. That’s another reason I miss regular workplace so much, that’s the place where you can wear new sandals every day and get noticed. Elevators are the best places to notice and talk chappals. So when one of my sandals got missing, I just couldn’t take it. I tried to find it everywhere but to no avail, I even started getting dreams about that missing pair. I organized search committee in all three homes where I usually stay (Parents – Inlaws – Bhabhi) and knowing my love they obliged my request but no luck there as well. Now I have no clue where they are gone. I am very sure I haven’t left them at any place I have recently travelled. And unless I buy similar pair or look for them myself in all three homes I don’t think my anxiety would end.

My mad maid: She is punctual, does okay work, reachable by phone, always informs before taking an off, comes at a moment’s notice when guests are around, brings veggies while her way to work if I am in no mood to go and buy, has been honest in 1+year of working for us. You would think what else one’s need and why the rant. Rant is her responses. As long as you don’t utter a word it’s alright. But anything you to say to her, she has an answer prepared. And that irritates me to no bound. By all standards she must be aware that her work level is just okay but due to all the other reasons I am reluctant to change her. But words like Ha, okay, alright or simply nodding her head in affirmative doesn’t exist for her.  Look at this:

Me: Waha kachra reh gaya.

She: Roz lagagti hu kabhi reh jata hai.

Me: Palang ke peeche se le lena. (When it’s visible that dust is lying there for days)

She: Kal he toh liya tha.

Me: Ye khidki ki dhool saaf kar dena. (Because the house has been locked for days)

She: Apke bolne ke pehle kar deti hu.

Me: Aajkal pouchha acche se nahi lagta, aaj acchese lagana.

She: Arey itna toh maine chamka diya, pehle se kitni saf ho gyi hai zammen. Ab isse zyada nahi hogi.

You get the drift right?

She irritates the hell out of me. Best is keeping mum when she is around.

Crazy Candy Crush Saga: I have played games in the past, I have been really into them for random phases, I have liked them to play it for longer durations but I have never been this crazy for any other game. It’s super addictive, in recent few weeks I have spent days together playing this one. TBH is not far behind, we fight over to play it on the IPad in turns. For the first time in life I feel competitive about crossing a level, for the first time I have skipped sleeping or delayed it to cross certain difficult levels. For the first time I dream about gaming and this particular game like crazy. For the first time I have opened my eyes and reached for the tablet first thing in the morning. I won’t suggest to try it out if you haven’t already.

Zero TV time:  That’s another new for me. I have been a lover of the idiot box as long as I can remember. Earlier it used be mickey mouse and duck tales, then came the golden period on Sony entertainment from 5 pm to 7.30 pm – Dennis the Menace; The three Stooges; Different Strokes; I dream of Genie and Bewitched. Small wonder was also a part of this golden era on a different channel. Then the weekly shows; Bournvita quiz contests; travel shows; the real music/dance shows; the sensible serials in early cable days; the craze of music channels; the senseless Ekta Kapoor Era; the not so real reality shows; the Food shows; the English sitcoms and the list is unending. I have always boasted about managing my TV time; being abreast with the latest entertainment industry happenings; being a loyal TV watcher; the early birds in buying Tata sky plus first then with HD, using the recording feature like we own the brand. But recently it’s like TV no more exist for me. TV time has reduced not just drastically but has come down to zero. The candy crush is one reason, constant internet connectivity is another; getting back to vigorous reading also counts and then lack of sensible shows on air these days is the major one I guess.

The movie: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button from where the title is inspired. I watched it few months back and have been amazed with how people think such unique concepts. The concept, treatment, make up, visualization, acting everything is commendable. Do watch it if you haven’t.

The post hast turned out to be longer than expected. I might have few more things to add for which I will do a Part two may be. Thanks for bearing with me.

Another Letter from the sister !!!

Just when I was getting back to regular blogging and had numerous topics churning in my head I took an unplanned break from blogging. Reasons many yet none. It just happened. I know it should have been a new year’s/retrospect kind of post for being the first one of this year but I am skipping that and posting yet another heartfelt letter from the sister. 

Our 2nd anniversary was last month and the sister surprised us with a photo book on our story along with some beautiful words to go with it. The book ended with this letter, I just reread it and decided to post it. Here you go. And before I forget Happy New Year Fellas. And all of you who are participating in the January Blogathon, I am reading you religiously. You guys are doing an awesome job. 

2nd Anniversary Didi – Jiju

Aaahaa! What a beautiful collection of pictures! With full modesty I accept all the compliments, thank you- thank you! Haha! Jokes apart, Didi and Jiju, you both know how much we all love you; You are the reason the two most amazing families met and became one; Thank you to the two sets of mummyjis and papajis to look up your names in the patrika and calling their respective panditjis. And bless you panditjis and whoever behind the making of this beautiful couple, you did a wonderful job!

Cheers to your two years of togetherness! Your frequent visits to us have always been such a delight. After all they add the no. of food stations to my life and fill my cupboard with a pile of clothes from janpat and sarojini. Haha! I am such a lucky sister and a luckier saali. The glow on moms face each time you guys come is not hidden from any of us. Also my emotional dad sometimes shed a tear or two out of extreme happiness at seeing you both. You guys have made me believe in arrange marriages, not that I was ever against; only it’s a common topic of debate and I have the best example in front of me to speak in for the motion.

I wish you both from each member of the family a very happy married life; a lil chiggu whose pictures would be clicked monthly and who would be all pampered by her/his maasi! Space limits me otherwise I could have gone on and on…

Loads and loads of  love,


Memories in Pictures

I just spent around past one hour reviewing some old albums on my fb profile, I do that often. I am a photo stalker; I would randomly go to any of my friend’s profile and view their pictures with keen interest. Sometimes I would reopen my photo folder in my hard drive and relive all the past moments with TBH, during my job, in college, while growing up, school madness, on family vacations and more. I own a vast collection of photographs and it is one of my most prized possessions. TBH is totally different in this regard or used to be, and during early days of our relationship I used to feel guilty being so photo crazy when he considers it as a totally useless exercise. But few months back I read an article in the newspaper about capturing moments and how it is associated with making people happy. How re- watching some old memories triggers happy hormones in the human body. Since then my guilt has suppressed big time, probably also because TBH has started taking some interest too.

With the digitization of this technology along with instant connectivity to share your details with the world, it’s getting very big. It has become a very integral part of our lives. Now we click around 300 pictures for each occasion when it used to be 32 selected and proper frames.

And I don’t mind it at all. In fact I love it. I love every moment being captured, the irony is I am not at all photogenic nor is TBH. But that doesn’t deter my enthusiasm. Coming to think of it, this runs in the family.

My Nanajee was very fond of photography; he would click numerous pictures of his children and wife. And he even got a small lab to develop them in home, not only that he used to color some of them too.  He also owned that Polaroid camera at one point of time. I have never seen that many pictures of people of my parent’s generation. I remember every time I used to visit my nani-ghar, he arranged for an exclusive photo session for all the kids; capturing our growing up years beautifully.

And then dad. He has clicked thousands of pictures of us as a family, of mamma (probably because she is so pretty J ) and he himself is a not only a very sensible photographer but looks amazing in front of camera too. My sister too, she is just extremely photogenic.

For a brief period of time I picked up photography during college and was pretty okay with compositions if only my hands were more stable, I could never actually handle the camera properly. My very new and very high end camera became kind of my group’s property. They would practice their hand on my device which at the end proved to be quite fruitful for me as I landed with the largest collection of college memories. The golden years. The craziness. The Fun.

Now the sister, she is going to make a career in this field, she is great with kids and so with kids photography where she is planning to specialize. Her drive, her passion, parent’s support, her learning makes me super happy. I think from the time she has picked up this skill I have taken a back seat. I mean I don’t care too much about good photographs, I just believe in capturing the memory, the moment.

I have no idea why this post came up and why it is ending so abruptly. It’s probably because TBH is not around and I am missing him a bit more this time and have seen our some memorable photographs like multiple times since morning. 

I will sort some of my favorite snaps and do a photo post sometime soon, the thing is it’s so difficult to share stuff maintaining anonymity.

Good night folks!!! So tell me about your most memorable pic?

Making Career Choices – Specially for younger people

A while back I read this post on Deboshree‘s blog, where she discusses the various woes of MBA driven society. In our country these days everybody wants to or is being forced to pursue MBA as if it is the only thing which can get you a job. And job, don’t even let me start on that. The whole college education system has come down to one work ‘Placement’. It is so disturbing if you get into it in detail.

Career counselling

I firmly believe in pursuing career where your heart lies or at least having a life where you can inculcate and nourish your hobbies. I take up intermittent batches of college students and have live interactions with them fromtime to time but its so disheartening to see how clueless they are. It is not their fault completely, its more to do with our education system and the mindset of society. I will be sharing my view points and observations on this topic regularly as this is something very close to my heart and I always have a lot to say about this.

But for now I am sharing a letter I wrote to the Sister a year and half back when she was going through similar dilemma. Pursuing engineering while having a feeling that her heart lies else where.


(Originally dated 28.8.12)

Dear P,

The long chat session yesterday left me thinking about your situation and how it feels to be in there. Not long before I was there too, and my friends, and our cousins and thousands other students who are the product of Indian education system; directionless, lost, ambiguous, surrounded by uncertainties and confused to no bounds.

No one can give you the perfect advice on how you should go about making a career choice and which path you should take. I can only share my experience and my observations over the years.

First there is no shortcut to success, none at all. And success here does not mean materialistic success or the pay check at the end of the month, neither it means making your parents/family  proud temporarily with a great offer in hand, which is good enough to boast but not good enough to sustain long term.

Success here means a point where you are satisfied with the way you are leading your life, you are happy with the choices you made during your decision making phases, you are ready to move forward on the way you find yourself in irrespective of the consequences. I am not saying all your choices would be right or cent percent approved by others, in fact it would always be the opposite but what is important is you are not left with regrets.

It can be a life of working professional in so called happening cities, it can be learning phase in college of your choice for your post-graduation, it can be pursuing your hobby professionally, or it can be determination to make it big in the administration services no matter what.

Every single choice, even when it would seem to be the easiest one, it would take a lot of determination from your part. More choices, more confused you would be, but the beauty of this is, these are learning phases. This is a very important term….Learning Phases. No matter what you do or how so ever confused you are, you would end up learning life lessons which would make you a better, a stronger person. And at the end do remember these are mere phases, which shall pass in couple of years and everything would settle down for good. All is well as Rancho would put it.

I will never ask you to make the decision what I or our parents want you to be, or what you think others expect out of you, no doubt we want to see you successful but not at the cost of your happiness. My first job example is the best case and the way mummy papa supported me post that should never be forgotten.

(as a background I left my high paying first ever campus job because I did not like the work and the company atmosphere and realized money is not a factor for me unless I get work of my liking and good people around)

Now coming down to them, for them we should be independent, in a position to take care of ourselves when required, we should be able to stand on our feet if need be. I don’t think they are against the idea of you pursuing your photography commercially, if that would have been the case they would have never supported you the way they do. If for Papa you engineering was everything he would have left you with no choice but to make it good in college and get good offers at the end. In fact they want us to choose, i know at times it feels it would have been a lot easier if we were just asked to do certain things but its not like that. The liberty to make our choices is always better and you would be thankful to them in few years.

Few things that should be kept in mind while weighing options:

  • First sincerely give a thought on how you would like to see yourself few years down the line, write it down. Eg. Working professional, a part of government, a professional photographer, a married woman, or the permutations and combinations of all.
  • Think about what kind of life you are looking for. Eg. A socially very active life, a life of an artist with ‘me time’ being very imp; the life of slogging long hours in a posh corporate office with balancing personal and professional space, a life where you are in power, in command etc.
  • Analyse your current situation and what makes you most happy, what interests you and in which activity you lose the count of hours.
  • Are you someone who can stay devoid of people, of family, friends and devote few unadulterated years for preparations without getting yourself affected by the end result?
  • How many years you have to become stable in your career before other things becomes more important in life.
  • What is your current family situation and how it affects you? Are you required to earn? Are you left with no time to pursue what ever you want to?
  • If you think of pursuing your hobby what are the side effects of it, is it even commercially viable. Read, talk, take guidance. Have open hearted discussions with family.
  • Don’t let anything get bottled up in you.

If at any point of time you regret not making it to one of the top engineering college, DO not. If you would have been there, you were never in this situation where you can opt to do what you wanted to. You would have been in auto mode not even realizing how your 4 years flew by, only good thing you get there is talk to like minded people and be a better you, which you are doing here also. Very few of us knows our paths from the beginning and as far as i know you ain’t one of them, so girl no regrets what so ever.

No doubt those institutes look good on the CV, bring better job offers and even better pay checks but for an average student happy story ends there. He has to slog for more hours to prove his ivy league education, he is always in more pressure to justify his great college education, his learning time is shortened as he must know that because of his college.  For them there is no room to make mistakes, no time to explore. I have seen the other side too and believe me girl once you are out there working, it just doesn’t matter.

In fact you are lucky,

You are a lucky girl who have choices to make, you should talk to people who were forced to take certain paths and see how they feel.

You are lucky to have people to talk to, parents who listen….i know despite the big emotional dialogues and the jhallau nature but they are the best parents with the biggest heart.

You have two options….you can be sad and irritable and torture yourself to make the best decision. Or you can be the happy – witty Girl we all love to see, who silently keep analyzing and gives herself sometime to think and take the best possible decision.

After such a long letter all I have to say is P give your cent percent to whatever is in front of you. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE and IT IS NEVER TOO LATE. Do a bit of photography to be happy, give you cent percent to your engineering, don’t even refrain yourself from learning from news papers, may be IAS thing came up just to fill this gap of learning? or may be you find altogether new way to make it BIG. And making it BIG is not everything being HAPPY is.

And its all going to be just fine, just go with the flow and give your best to whatever comes in front of you.



Loads and loads of wishes,



Current Situation

She is doing okay in her engineering and directing her energies and time towards photography; which is where she has realized her dreams lie. She will be taking up that as a career after being done with her college. The best part is all of us are okay with it as long as she is happy and understands how her life will be going forward. We are actually very lucky to have supportive parents. She is back to her normal – chirpy – witty self with a direction and drive in life.

In my later posts I will be sharing how I have seen lives getting spoiled in the ‘bhedchal’ of our education system.

(Image Source: http://www.lifecareeroptions.com.au/coaching-and-counselling.html)


At my parents place

Some of you are aware that my last blog post was from my parent’s place. Some of you are kind enough to drop me an email or a comment asking my whereabouts, thanks a ton guys. It’s in time like these that we realize how special our blog world is. Let me start it from where I left.  For the first time since my marriage I was at my parent’s place for a month, minus a week when I stayed at my SIL’s place in between. Penning down some highlights from the trip.

Fasting – Feasting

Our annual fasts were about to start the next day I landed there. For the first time in around 15+ years of observing them, I was having a hard time managing my control. It has to do something with the heat and something with being at home. During all the past years I was either studying or working owing to which fasting was much easier but this time I was in home and also with my in laws for a week where I had to cook partially.  I realized that in the name of control some people go over the board and get ten different items made because there are few we can’t have. Eating once during the day has to be the most unscientific way of eating. We end up consuming more oily/heavy food in those ten days. People get over finicky and hurt others behind the fasting veal. Because of hunger or mood swings or the compulsion to do certain poojas the temples become the most restless place during those ten days. Our religious gurus, well most of them, live in some earlier times and preach things which are not possible or even practical in today’s world. All in all not a good experience. And I am not sure if I am gonna observe them from next year, and even if I do not anywhere else than my place.

The Parents

It’s overwhelming to see both of them getting old (no not that much) and managing their lives without you. Their small fights, their arguments, their discussions, their hard time managing the younger sibling, endless guests, their difference of opinions, their sharing their heart all touch you more. During one conversation I told this to mama, and she heard me. She totally got me, she said we lead a wonderful – busy lives. We have a beautiful family, we share a lovely relationship and still when the married daughter comes home, because of the love, relationship with the elder sibling, tuning we share; they end up sharing more issues with them and leave an impression that this is what their life is. In fact, it is far from that. She said it was the same case when she used to visit her parents and after that both of them really tried to change this.

The Sister

She is my biggest weakness and I have never hidden that fact. Her each and every action has a ripple effect in my life. I lose my control, calmness and everything else when it comes to her. I am also guilty of over interfering in her life and somehow I can’t control that either. I am genuinely working on that problem. I know for sure she needs to learn few social behavior traits. She needs to be more available to her own family and learn to priorities better. She is always running out of time, misses a lot of family related activities, keeps on procrastinating simple tasks that dad asks her to do still almost every other day she spends some couple of hours watching her favorite shows. And most importantly I think she is required to add ‘Gratitude’ in her dictionary.

On a positive note, she has turned into such a beautiful, opinioned young woman. Her personal venture is going steady and the future looks promising.  She has found a field where her heart lies and doing some great work there. For those who are interested she is a freelance photographer specializing in Kids Photography. She has the talent and the will, getting good response and is quite popular on Facebook. And it’s difficult to express how happy that makes me feel.

Work related

The reason I stayed there for so long was majorly because TBH had to travel for work, for longer duration this time. So I planned my classes, I took up 3 weeks training assignment at one of the institutes in my hometown.  The response was good, students do get inspired by me and work accordingly but it’s them who have to make it going after that. The way they waste their precious student years learning nothing, yet dream about a job makes me go all red.

For everything else I need to learn to manage, there is a lot in my plate and constant travel and other engagements hampers my time management.

Meeting my People, Shopping and eating out

I made a big list of people I was looking forward to meet during this visit. Friends. Faculties. Alumni. Work Acquaintances. Few relatives. But all went on a toss first because of fasting, second in-laws extended stay, third undue rains, timing of my classes and lastly my constant mood swings for some reason or the other. I tried to compose myself during the last leg of my stay but it was getting difficult for me without TBH by my side. TBH is my stress buster. He keeps me grounded. He is my mood swing manager. He is the reason for my constant smile.

Shopping was also not to my heart’s content but I ended by buying few suits for Diwali time festivities. Eating out was also restricted. Could manage to explore only a couple of new places this time.

The end – Beautiful and Unexpected

TBH was due to come to my hometown during the last phase of his travel for some bank related formalities and we planned to travel together to Delhi. But his travel kept on getting extended, his arrival kept on getting delayed and when we could bear no more, we decided that I would join him in Chennai and planned a ten days work-leisure trip. My trip ended midway and I ended up buying one of the most expensive domestic travel ticket of my life.

Our trip looked something like this – Chennai – Pondicherry – Tutikorin – Munnar – Mangalore – Bangalore – Delhi. We covered Pondicherry and Munnar, both different style beautiful places. But Munnar – must visit, and a place I immediately fell in love with. I planned a candle light dinner for TBH with the hotel management in Munnar as an advance birthday treat, amidst valleys and soothing waterfall sound. It was one of the most beautiful time we spent together.

Finally Home

We reached home after a month and half on TBH’s birthday morning. Look who welcomed us in our bedrooms’ bathroom.


We managed to shift them without breaking in a shady area on our apartment roof, where they keep some water and food for birds.

One friend said – Tum nahi toh koi toh reh raha tha tumhare ghar par.

And 2-3 relatives said – it’s a very good sign. Now we don’t know about that. What do you think?

P.S – I have been reading all of your blogs, will resume regular blogging – commenting only post Diwali. We don’t even get to stay for a whole week at our home before we travelling again to TBH’s hometown for Diwali.  

Birthday letter from the Sister

( I am going to do a cheat post today to continue the self appointed July Blogging challenge. Surprising fact is that it’s not dearth of topics that is stopping me from posting something original in fact it is just the opposite. There are so many things going in my head simultaneously that it is getting difficult to pick one and write)

So I am posting this letter which the sister wrote for my birthday.


I don’t want to sound cheesy but I do want to say how much I love you and miss you. I can’t ‘awww’ much or send the e-kiss in form of ‘muaaaaah’ but I do want to wish a very cheerful and dramatic (in a good way) HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  

I really love to have you as my elder sister, a friend, a guide and a big support. I do get irritated and may shout at times when you act like mummy but at the end I realize although you don’t stop me and even ask mom dad not to but you always sow in my heart a tiny little seed of wisdom to choose between right and wrong. And probably that is the reason my life has been an easy go most of the times.
I feel so happy to see you happy. Big thanks to jiju for that.  I have seen your crying days; and I love you so much that although I wouldn’t talk to you face to face, but I would cry alone and wanted to beat all those who made you feel so sick. You have been there for me always. Sometimes more than I have been for myself.  Times I lost all hope in me; you were there to show me the doors.  That’s more than being just didi. The sweetest part was and is, you cry for mistakes that are not even yours. You cry for us.
You are a wonderful person. A little over sensitive but we also need your kinds to make us feel so good. Otherwise one would die of the extreme practical nature of today’s world. May the almighty keep you happy and safe. May he doesn’t do any more mistakes like he did when he forced an year old child to wear specs.  
Love you cutie pie 😛
Yours only
(ya that’s what I called her lovingly and I am very sure the last line came after she read this post)