Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hello 36 :-)

On the eve of my 24th Bday- I had written @24     .12 Years on, recreating on similar lines Hello 36!

@24 Travelled substantially. Goa,Mangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Singapore. The year marked my first visit abroad.

@36 Travel scene changed. But before lockdowns & restrictions  -Kolkata Happened! When I read Jhumpa Lahri's The Namesake - visiting Calcutta became a wish list. Sankar's Chowringhee just elevated my yearning to make it. And in Nov 2019-  Dum Dum airport unfurled City of Trams for me! 

@24 says watched Mumbai Meri Jaan- the movie to remain in all time fav.

That was the Pre OTT phase when movies came in DVD/ CD or channel broadcast. 

@36 i wont list any favourite. Movie menu now includes a rich language diversity. Content variety in the form of Web series. Short films -adds up entertainment value.


@24Active on blogging platforms, consciously did Blog promotions, attended Blog Meets.

@36- Haven't done any of this for a very long time. But made a 1st and very naive attempt at StoryWeaver .After months of deliberation submitted my 1st kids story with my own illustrations here.The Language Man Story

Developing a story -presenting it in a language that kids can relate to- was a challenge in itself.Even difficult was to draw up illustrations matching my story. Made me realize- how much more I need to work on my drawing skills


@24-Learnt to recite “Hanuman Chalisa” without referring to the book.

@36-Attempting to learn Bhagvat Gita with my 4 year old. To make this learning interesting- re-reading the relevant stories of Mahabharat, doodling sketches of blind folded Gandhari/ Bhishma on Bed of arrows to give a visual impact.

A few points on continuity now... @36 continues what @24 started..

@24 Captured some wonderful Kodak moments, & treasured them with Picassa.......@36- Mobile Gallery is brimming with pics. Sorting- assorting they make their way to Zoomin albums. 

@24Exercised my right: both at Assembly and State elections. @36 Yes!!. Infant at home - was not an excuse!!

@24 Made it a point to thank Rickshaw & Cab Drivers, every time I hired their service. @36- Dependence on home deliverables increased. So a conscious effort to thank Courier/ Food/Grocery delivery guys!  

I am not active on Twitter these days.  Had I been,hashtags would look like this.....  #Infant #Toddler #Workfromhome #Onlineschool#36

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Kingmaker's Tale

A handwritten note was delivered to the control room. It read "The dawn broke early".  The note had no address, but signed with initials P.O.  These initials had a compelling past,  it sent shudders! 

Control room watched every move carefully. After being underground , Mr Aluwalia now surfaced to harvest his unfinished dreams. Initials P.O. tattooed on his right arm. Decoding the initials would definitely make their job easier.

Meanwhile, the usual bouquet arrived Aluwalia's residence. It had become a routine now . He kept calling flowers and they continued coming. Today, he made a call. In chaste Marathi he said "Ani Yen yeu deh".  The mention of International currency. Control  Room did not see this coming. A team was readied & they headed to Aluwalia's residence. Meanwhile, stationed on the bridge was a guard whom Aluwalia gestued to come in. 4 sacrifial knives were broght out & laid on the feast table. Control room made frantic calls, urging the team to head fast. The team was still 3 mins away.....

The guard entered......

  • 1 Down with the  1st knife. He became the 1st casualty.
  • Out of the blue-the 2nd one was tracked - 2 Down.
  • The 3rd & 4th were the knife's delight.

What the control room failed to see, was now becoming clear. The handwritten note, flowers, the guard, international currency  -they missed seeing the VICTIM in them

  • The note "The dawn BROCOLLI (broke early) ( Victim 3 identified)
  • He kept CAULIFLOWERS (calling flowers) & they kept coming in (Victim 2 recognized )
  • International currency ??? -  ONION (Ani Yen)  ( Victim 4)  -
  • Stationed on the bRIDGE was a GOURD- how could they not decode this????

And the final blow. .......He was Mr AALOOwalia- The Kingmaker,with intials POtato-oed on him.  

This narration ends here. This is the Control Room's point of view. The Team reached the spot & THE KINGMAKER WAS "HUNTED DOWN". But on the walls of the Potato Community, reads a Saying " Until the Lion learns to write, every story will glorify "the hunter"   

This post written for INDISPIRE- Edition 373. Theme- #Potato must be the Hero

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Fancy Chandeliers to Fathomable Storage

I have been a silent admirer of Home Decor for decades.
Dad acquainted me
with words like Architect and Interior Designers, very early . He had a collection of magazines on Interiors. It showcased
  Long drawn curtains, Winding staircase, magnificent chandeliers and Sunlit rooms. This was my first brush with Home Decor as a school kid.

Gradually I started connecting Home Decors shown in magazines with those we see around. There was enormous difference.  What many people implement at home is more "need based". Half Curtains on windows to allow ventilation,  Cloth screens on mirrors, to protect them from scratches. Even if done unintentionally, these small acts add up to how your home looks.

Then a time came to organize my home. To my surprise, the real challenges were totally different. Arranging (forget decor) a home , is more about handling dicardables. Today, when  I look a pile of disposable clothes- I yearn for that "Barter Man" who traded  Old Clothes for New Utensils. This man, has vanished from our neighborhoods.

Real day confrontations include- handling Plastic Containers without lids, Carton boxes, outgrown apparels.....So, to tackle them with peace, I moved to what school taught us - "Best out of Waste". Today they call it ". Upcycling". 

The random pics that you see along  this post, are a few Upcyclings I have done, in the last 1 year...

 PIC 1- Lid Less Plastic Container, covered with Outgrown Toddler Dress + Broken fancy Hair clip.
PIC 2-  Mini Stationery stand- with a top portion of Plastic Bottle.
PIC 3- Makeover of a mundane plastic container with a unused piece of cloth.

Home  Decor was just a shout away. I decided to take it up on piecemeal basis- Corner by corner.  From fancy chandeliers to fathomable storage- my outlook towards Home Decor just widened bit.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Z's of City Connect

A to Z Challenge - My Theme-  City Connect - my connect with....
Aurangabad-Schooling & Junior College / Bombay- Graduation & First job/ Chennai - Marriage & Motherhood


ZEE TV-  Color TV came home; so did the Cable Connection. Zee was our prime channel of entertainment after DD.  Hum Paanch entertained the noon with its Anand Mathur & family. Wednesday night 8 PM Slots reserved for Hip Hip Hurray.
Mrs Madhuri Dixit ; Doh aur Doh Paanch & Chota Mooh Aur Bati Baath -are some memorabilia in my list. Episodes ended showing "It's a Zee TV presentation". And that meant we wait for a whole week to catch up with the next one! Weekly Tele series they were, unlike the Daily soap operas of today.

ZEAL - Our Management College Fest. A relatively new college back then - ours was the 1st batch to have a College Fest. From finalizing Fest name to organizing events - had to plan everything from scratch. Committees were formed ; duties assigned; timelines set. As expected differences cropped up- arguments happened. When we realized we are nearing Fest Day- it was preparations in full swing. There was celebration in the canteen when our very 1st Fest poster was out - it read " ZEAL" .

ZEERAGAM - So; if news updates helped me catch up with Tamil Nadu geography - cookery shows enhanced my tamil food vocabulary. Irrespective of what is being cooked- more often than not, there is a mention of Zeeragam/ Manjal thool (turmeric powder) / Peringaya thool (asafoetida). Best part of a cookery shows is - they show you what they are referring to. This pictorial representation helps and sometimes inter-lingo connectivity works,  .Jeera in hindi becomes Zeeragam in Tamil [ cumin seeds].

Thanks for being a part of my A to Z series
This City Tour comes to a halt
Your destination has arrived
Please alight on your "WRITE" 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Y's of City Connect

A to Z Challenge - My Theme-  City Connect - my connect with....
Aurangabad-Schooling & Junior College / Bombay- Graduation & First job/ Chennai - Marriage & Motherhood

YOGANANDA & THE GOLDEN AMULET- I don't recall now if it was Amar Chitra Katha or any other publication but we had this book at home. The story spoke about how a simpleton Mukunda becomes the great saint Yogananda. If we as, kids owned this book- Dad in his precious collection owned Autobiography of a Yogi - by Paramahansa Yogananda

YAZHINI A friend from graduation college Bombay. My family use to prompt me to check if I can pronounce her name correctly. Yazhini is etymologically a tamil name and there is hardly any English equivalent to the "ZH part" of it. This name gets pronounced as Yaalini/ Yaazini/  Yayini -but they differ from how the exact pronunciation in Tamil goes.  
Maazhai (Rain)/ Vaazhaipazham (Banana) are 2 other words, I can think of facing similar challenge as Yazhini

YOU HEAR THEM SAY -When new to Chennai ; to me ; getting hold of state geography was of high interest. It still is! Apart from going around the city ; I use to be all ears; to Tamil news updates my mother in law use to watch.  Right from the headlines & all though the news- You Hear them Say - district & city names like "Krishnagiri Maavatnam", "Madurai Maanakaram", Erode- on. In the next available opportunity -I would fetch a map & check how these places spread across Tamil Nadu.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The X's of City Connect

A to Z Challenge - My Theme-  City Connect - my connect with....
Aurangabad-Schooling & Junior College / Bombay- Graduation & First job/ Chennai - Marriage & Motherhood

XMAS CELEBRATION AT SCHOOL - Attending a Christian school meant robust Christmas celebrations. Onset of December - our school entrance would have a trinity.  As we enter the premises- a large Christmas tree to welcome. The tradition of the Santa Claus delivering chocolates was eagerly anticipated in every classroom. Christmas Celebrations at school was always pre-dated -that is before a couple of days before Christmas arrived. It was followed by a Christmas Vacation -with the school reopening in New year.

XAVIERS COLLEGE MUMBAI- Introduction to Bombay in movies has some typical structural references. It is either Victoria Terminus or Xaviers College. To show the crowd of Bombay, for years,  camera lens have been zooming in on Dabbawalas or moving Locals. Bombay typical as I call them - a visual treat that connects viewers to Bombay instantly.

XYLOPHONE - Not just rhymes-I end up playing toddler games as well. Its amusing to watch myself descend from playing vocabulary enthusiastic Scrabble, mind bending Brainvita; to a sound emanating Xylophone.  From  tackling the colorful marbles of Chinese Checkers- to being a co-participant in identifying colours on Xylophone pad- I am playing underage games these days.

Monday, April 27, 2020

The W's of City Connect

A to Z Challenge - My Theme-  City Connect - my connect with....
Aurangabad-Schooling & Junior College / Bombay- Graduation & First job/ Chennai - Marriage & Motherhood

WINDSOR CASTLE - At some restaurants we eat less though we see & hear of it regularly. Windsor Castle was on such place. Our choice for family dinner was always Angeethi   - as mentioned in Prompt A. Windsor Castle, like Angeethi offered Moghulai food- similar fine dining experience. Yet our visit to this place was restricted to get-togethers or send off parties hosted by others. But I always had a liking to the anglicized name of this restaurant

WHILE IT RAINS -  When RJ Malishka on Radio says "Ek Garam Chai ke saath yeh gaana toh banta hai." a lot of Mumbaikars are waiting to hear which Rain song is coming up next. Monsoon in Bombay use to bring out some aimless talent at home. On rainy mornings- we have written our names on window panes. This blog has also reminisced some poetic pondering on rains. Office corridors will welcome us with open umbrellas - followed by rain story that each colleague happily narrates.

WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ..... Yes I have been humming a lot of rhymes - thanks to my toddler. Earlier the spontaneous songs that I use to hum while cooking/ cleaning would be Hindi songs. These days inadvertently I sing a lot of rhymes. And many of these rhymes, though popular I havent learnt them in school. These learnings are recent..... .....Incy Wincy Spider....