Monday, October 31, 2005

Diwali lights!!

I am again back to my efforts with the camera. I love this season. The twinkling little lights, the shopping, the sound of music and laughter from every house. I hate the crackers though. But I guess you can't have everything.

The first pic is from my bedroom window, the second from the front balcony. The lights look so pretty and everything has a festive feel to it.

The third pic is my bedroom balcony. I plan to put up some more lights tonight. The fourth picture is the building entrace seen from high up, all lit up. I spent a lot of time hanging over the balcony and watching the lights.

The last pic is from my kitchen window. The lights outside are not too clear but I liked the pic.

Happy Diwali to all. Have fun, guys.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

the turning on memory's road

The house is empty, the mood is melancholic. My ears ache to hear the familiar voices when the living room was rocking with loud music and louder laughter. Two weeks of doing things together. The whole family eating pizza and watching telly like 2 nights back, like almost 20 years back, except then there was no smoking joe's and we ate home made pizza. But silence stares back from every corner. I called them at home. Mom and dad. They must be missing us all too. I think of old times, of childhood, and my heart feels heavy with memories.

My leg hurts a wee bit more than my heart. A few days back it took a good fall to remind me, I was no longer nimble footed like the days of yore. My foot had slipped through floor railings outside my balcony and for once I was glad for my fat thigh, which got stuck and prevented me from crashing down to the 7th floor. I had been not-so-gently informed by all, that next time I try such a stunt, the leg might just break into two pieces. But for now, the bruises have turned a facinating purple with tinges of green and a fading yellow. As I pressed them gently and winced in turn, it gave me more reason to put up my legs and reach for comfort food.

But bruises are not new to me. All through school I sported them. At 10 or 11, after some consistent display of tolerable behaviour, I was rewarded with a shining new bicycle. After that began the pleas and tantrums to be allowed to ride it to school as did so many of my friends. Finally after a year or so, the parents relented. But I was to take the little road through tea gardens and people's cottages. The road where you saw a car, or anything with wheels, if you stood at the same spot for 20 minutes. It was so safe you could ride blindfolded, and you knew every person you met on the way, if you met someone, that is.

I sang lustily as I cycled along every morning. The early morning sun filtered through the trees and I played my own little game. I pedalled fully when I hit a sunny spot and pedalled half in the shade. Until. Until that turning that winded like an "S". Every time I turned I would unfailingly hit a deep ditch and land, cycle and all, on crackling dry leaves. It became a regular ritual and one reason I hated going with anyone else. I rode and fell alone in shame. Then I would get up, look around to make sure nobody saw and push the cycle till I hit straighter roads. And it was my little secret. Nobody knew I couldn't make that turning on my way to school. Strangely, I managed it on my way back.

I have often tried to remember but I have no memory of ever managing that turning without falling and one thing that nags me often is whether I will be able to get through it now. What I dream of doing is, take the same road again and give the S turning a last shot on my old bicycle (which is no longer with me). The lane is undoubtedly more crowded and may even have traffic signals. And the S turning may have become a straight concrete road. But still.

Anyway, so I had a permanent bruise that stopped hurting over a period of time. After the initial apprehension, the parents too developed an undeserving sense of confidence in my riding skills. My secret was safe. I was happy. My parents were happy. No reason not to be. Except, mom till today is still clueless that an innocent S turning every morning was responsible for the colourful display on my legs all through the ride-to-school days.

Friday, October 14, 2005

straight to my hips...

I am exhausted. It was truly a festive week.

The festivities started with colourful little lights hanging from trees all over the city. The music was finally allowed to be blasted well past the earlier deadline. And little children looked cute and funny in traditional garba wear.

Navratri was on. So was Durga Puja. And the parents are in town. And that sums up to shameless amounts of food being eaten every day. Lunches, dinners, outings. The celebrations are getting bigger and bigger. The goddess looked grander. And. the. food. was. amazing. and sinful. I digress but one afternoon, after overstuffing myself on bro's delicious chicken, I was told it was the dollop of butter on top that made it so divine. Help! How do I turn bulimic? Or whatever it is that has one retching out all the happily devoured food?

Anita was in town on her way to holidaying in various countries in Europe. We did try to get her knocked out so one of us could fly off in her place. So dinner was had with cocktails and plenty of tequila shots. It seemed the right thing to do since Jaygee mentioned on her blog, that tequilas helped to lose weight. Late in the night, there was a vodka party to finish the vodka bought from Russia. Too smooth. The only way to know what it tasted like was to have it neat.

Now all that will be laboriously sweated out of the body to gear it up for Diwali. But let me not talk too soon. Cause the parents are still here and it doesn't take much to forget diet resolutions when mom gets down to cooking.

Monday, October 10, 2005

weight watchers!

The whole bunch of us, the kids along with the respective other halves went to pick up mom and dad at the airport. I and my half were late, as usual. The plane was late too, thankfully.

I wore low waist tight jeans and a little top to show off the 4 kilos I shed. Nobody mentioned a thing. All hands sprung to pick up bags welcomingly heavy with food. Later at dinner, bro-in-law, who sees me often mentioned that I have put on a little weight "too much relaxing, huh?" I protested and turned to hubby for support. Dear hubs didn't disappoint me.

"No, no, she's knocked off a few kilos. Check her arms. They are slimmer. The gym is doing her good."

Everybody turns to look at me. Nobody says anything. Bro-in-law tries to prove himself right. "Okay, maybe the body is slimmer. But the cheeks look puffier. They are hanging."

I am not deterred. I pick up my share of goodies. Mom's delicious chocolate cake, laddoos, roasted cashewnuts, dried wild berries from my childhood, and loads of pickles. Hubby lends an assuring hand. At home, he decides the top I wore was wrong. It stiffly stood out and made me look a little 'wide'.

Yesterday, we had one of those mega family lunches at sis's place. I arrived cleverly dressed and remembered to suck in my tummy most of the time. After lunch, I sprawled on the sofa, just in time for dad to comment, "you are getting fat."

"Et tu, dad?"

Sis giggled her guts out and quipped "she's going to the gym regularly, you see!"

"Aah, then you must work a little harder." concluded dad. I made a 10 year old face and just stopped short of sticking out my tongue.

That's it. I decided, the members of the treacherous family are not worth my sweat. Okay, I will still sweat. But will wear a bedsheet or a burkha when I meet them next, to show my indifference. What do they know of triceps and the proteins contained in soy milk? What do they know of burning 300 calories after breathlessly pounding the treadmill for 30 agonizing minutes?

Anyway, Dad doesn't even understand why girls remove paint from their nails just to paint them again.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bombay dreams

A very close friend (who has left Bombay for greener pastures) asked me why do I paint such a pretty picture of Bombay. I never realised I did that.

I went back to reading my old posts and nothing seemed like it had been fixed for Bombay, nothing unreal.

Firstly there isn't much written about this city I live in. A few references in a few posts. And then I realised it's probably what has come through. A love for this city where dreams are made, where the stars shine the brightest. A city where the traffic never stops, a city that never sleeps.

Nothing unreal.

It's the way we live. It's the way we think. It's the way we feel. Honest.