Last week, a whole bunch of my school friends met for a reunion.
I couldn't make it thanks to work, *sighs* but all hail the wonder that is Facebook - the rest of us all over the world who couldn't make it, got to see pictures and be a part of the email planning etc that led to the big meet.
My girls, some married with adorable babies, some single hotties, some recently married - it was so great to see them all again and re-live the memories of school days gone by.
Bunking class with N&N only because we were involved in annual school celebrations, Nitz & I having a laugh over prefect-ly duties, worrying Prez as she sat behind us in class and refusing to let her keep her head on the table for more than 5 seconds!
I remember us laughing over Kir-mal's antics and Lampy! Oh Nitz and I never let you have your lunch did we? Thank your mum for us *grin*
I wish I had been able to make it, but all the same it was absolutely fabulous to see you guys again, even if it was just on photographs.
Thank you God, for Facebook.
Day 3 - Pic 1
- The School steps -
- IbnSeena English High School, 2009 -
My first school, IbnSeena English High School. Almost 20 years ago, I made some lifelong friends there, the forever kind.
My now pregnant Crazy Momma Sheetz and Bindi, our little princess whom we watched get married 3 years ago. How Crazy Momma & I cried!
After the 7th grade, I moved to another school and missed IbnSeena dreadfully.
But I made new friends. The forever kind again. Especially Nitz.
Dude and some of his colleagues get together to play cricket on some weekends. The world is so small, we realised that one of his colleagues Faz and I, were actually old school mates from IbnSeena and he was organising these games at the IbnSeena cricket ground.
I tagged along that first time and took dude all around my old school.
He saw the spot where I would sit and study, where I first sat on a swing, my 3rd grade classroom, the steps where the whole school would gather for our morning assembly - I shared some really old memories with him.
As we walked along the assembly steps, I saw some books that had been forgotten there by some child, probably too excited to be heading home for the weekend. This is an image of that moment and each time I look at this picture, the warm old school memories come floating back.
Chili and Einstein just got back from their beautiful honeymoon in Paris. They went all over the city - taking in the sights, the sounds and savoring the croissants, pastries, french shawarmas and the like.
One of the days there, they visited Notre Dame & Chili lit a candle for each person in her inner circle.
Ours was for dude and me to be deliriously happy for the rest of our lives.
Bless : )
I love you Chili girl. Congratulations again.
Day 2 - Pic 1
- Candles -
- Our 1st Anniversary, July 2009 -
For our first anniversary, we wondered and wondered what to do. We both couldn't take time off for a short holiday, so instead, we planned a weekend getaway.
It was lovely to have that weekend together & only dude and I know how much we had to do, just to get that time off.
After a sumptuous dinner, we went for a walk by the beach and then wandered around the hotel. We came to a lovely lobby area that had the most exquisite candle arrangement right in the centre. This image is of that arrangement.
The candles, the warmth, the occasion, dude and me together in that moment - it was all so beautiful.
It was a good week work wise, but I'm beyond tired and it's taking me some time to get back to normal. It was fab to see dude at the airport though. The angels sang and hearts popped all round.*grin*
I'm thoughtful today. So make of this what you will.
Life is like a little town in Italy.
Some times, you're walking through narrow, cobbled streets where you stop every now and then to peep into quaint little shops or fish out your camera to capture a moment that makes you stop in your tracks. Other times, you wander into a piazza peppered with flower and pizza stalls, fountains and street lamps.
Both equally breath-taking, both equally beautiful.
We've got many friends, Dude and I. And I've come to realise that some may need us more than others. I've also come to realize that some may value this friendship, more than others.
Yes, these are lessons you learn in life - blah blah blah. But today was different.
What brought it on? I'm not sure really.
Perhaps something that suddenly placed itself gently on my peaceful pile of tolerance...kinda like a cherry on 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream, floating in chocolate sauce. Yeah, I've made my peace with it..but I do intend on being a bit more careful.
You're my friend and you are important to me. I will find you when you don't need me, in your piazza, surrounded by your 100 friends. I will smile and hug you, even when I know you're only being cordial and you're eager to get back to the momentary 'in' crowd.
I will also find you, when the chips are down. When you worry and are not sure of yourself...and you choose to sit alone, in a narrow street somewhere.
We're always here if you need us. But friendship, is to be valued. And I think we've all watched enough movies on the subject, to know that by now, si?
You'd think being an only child, I'd be used to being alone.
I'm going to be on a week long business trip. *sigh*
There is a bit of me that's looking forward to it though. The girly bit is looking forward to the hotel rooms and the prettiness and the hot chocolate by the bed. And oooh, not to mention the ginormous bathrooms with great prospects for soaking in hot, scented, blissful baths. (Pats, you've sold me on this idea!!) I shall enjoy the packing - choosing outfits, jewellery and matching shoes. Yes, girls are like that.
The adventurous bit of me is looking forward to meeting new people, seeing the new office set up, giving my first set of trainings. Catching a quick cuppa with friends at famed local coffee shops, walking the streets for the hidden cheap shoppers paradise, visiting the restaurants, well known for their curries, tikkas and samosas.
I'm waiting to get on the back of a bike, driven by a girl I've never met before, but have known for 2 years. Oddly enough, I trust her.
The silent bit of me is looking forward to some alone time. Reading, soaking in previously mentioned glorious tub- just chilling. Luckily, the silent bit of me is amongst the smallest.
The friend in me though, is waiting to get back and plan Chili's Hen Night. Hear about the outfits, see the invitations and calm the stray and frazzled 'bride to be'nerves.
I shall not see Pats before she leaves for her trip and I shall only meet her after 2 solid weeks. I shall miss her.
I shall miss morning coffee in the office with Zee.
I shall miss e-mails chats with Pooh girl and bursting into brief giggling fits.
But most of all, the Rose in me will miss dude. It's not going to be easy to fall asleep without that familiar shoulder under my head. I shall miss the morning coffee and drive, the peace I feel when I see him at the end of the day. I shall even miss playing Gears of War with him. (yes, this is recent. It is, but a bloody game.) I shall miss the dinners, the sofa, the hugs and the kisses.
Yes, I know it's only a week, but I'm thankful for all the things I'm going to miss.
We had a glorious break - 5 days off! It gave everyone much needed friend and family time.
Dude and I spent time with Pats & family, doing nothing in particular - talked a lot, drove all the way to Umm Al Quwain for a booze run and had a blast - I heart road trips, for whatever purpose they may be.
Had charades night with pizza - Round Table's,the last honest pizza in Dubai, proudly proclaims the menu. It was great as was the company.
And oh my the charades!! It was a battle of the sexes and the chicas trounced the gents (as if you didn't already KNOW that). I mean, let's take 'JAWS' for example. I ask you, is it easier to mime water, fish, a galloping sea-horse (Well that's what it looked like) all with one hand, such was our expert mime...or is it easier to just 'point' to your own, God-given jaw line?!
It was a lot of fun...and I know the guys probably have a lot of fun to poke at us too, but hey, I blog, you don't, life's unfair like that.
Dora and Boots stayed over one night. We all slept in the hall, in front of the telly and watched Disney's 'Beauty & the Beast'. Well, Dude and Dora dozed off. Boots and I cuddled and enjoyed Lumiere sing about Belle's dinner. We had Nutella on bread for breakfast and played football in our little hall. A smiley will just not do justice to the memory of it all.
On another night, Dude had a cricket game. I always enjoy watching him play, whatever sport it may be. My dad is mighty proud of his sports loving son-in-law and always asks about the score, average and outcome of his games. His team didn't win, but he was great. (Ok, so I'm partial.) Then went out with a few friends, for a mouth-watering dinner at Jimmy's Killer Prawns. It was a seafood fest, fried hammour, grilled jumbo prawns, calamari, prawns in hummous - the Goan in me loved it it all, but I'll still say that nothing beats fish curry, white rice and a few fried prawns. Bliss.
Our last day we spent at home, catching up on the activities that the married must catch up on. And I refer to cleaning, laundry, sorting etc - lest you wonder. *grin*
All in all, hols well spent. Can't wait for the next lot.
We had the boys back from Oz for a while. It made for a busy, fun, chaotic month of noise, laughter, painting, eating out and the Xbox.
Then they left. First Billo, about 2 weeks ago and then Tatt Boy yesterday.
No more late nights, talking about..well, nothing in particular, but everything in general.
No more painting peacock feathers. Or Lamps. Or Walls. (we're highly creative you see)
No more intense discussions about relationships, over filafils and lentil soup. (if you're in the UAE, check out this place called Commodore in Sharjah, behind Al Wahda - it's open 24 hours, serving the best Arabic food)
No more Gears of War for dude. Double players at least. He played today, died one or twice and missed Tatt Boy. It was sad and cute, all at the same time.
I've promised to learn so that I can team up with him...but the gore and guts all over!!
Come back Tatt Boy :(
No more listening to Honey Singh. (*grins*be careful if you're going to check him out on Youtube)
No more Pats and me getting home hungry and feasting on already made tuna wraps.
No more Iftar dinners and plant hunting and Pictionary playing.
No more this and no more that. I hate goodbyes. I know, I know, we'll meet again and all that...but I just can't seem to get used to them. I hate saying goodbye to my folks - come to think of it, I don't, coz my eyes are usually full and I'm too choked up to say a word.
Don't get me wrong, life is still fun and we'll all get back to normal in a few days....but right now, since you've BOTH gone and left....
My friendly neighbourhood cha lover, gifted me a badge.
Ketchup Girl is super cool and her blog has become a favorite of mine in the last month or so. Which is basically since I've started reading it, so treat that as an indication of her total coolness. *grin*
10 honest bits about me.
Brace yourselves people.
1. I have an insane fear of falling off the bed in my sleep. Due to this, I never sleep on the edge and if left with no choice on a single bed, I'd rather sleep on the floor.
It happened 2 months ago, I kid you not.
2. I've been paranoid about my weight forever. Even when I'm thin, I'm fat.
3. I pray for my friends. All of them. Whenever I suddenly remember one of them in need/trouble/a bad mood, I shout out to the Big Guy upstairs.
4. I hate, hate, HATE when I'm at the cinema and I can hear the guy 2 rows down, chomping on his popcorn for all his set of 32 are worth and then slurping his drink. I throw daggers at him from my make believe cloud, as I hover above his fat head.
5. In college I fell in love with Winnie the Pooh. And I had one birthday when all my friends, (who fuelled my obsession) gifted me Pooh towels, Pooh photo albums, a Pooh dustbin, a Pooh toothbrush, a Pooh straw, a Pooh photo frame, Pooh tee-shirts, Pooh cards, Pooh magnets, Pooh this, Pooh that and Pooh the next thing.
SUCH a great birthday :)
6. I'm a Harry Potter freak. Thanks to Wikipedia, I know the magical history of everything and everyone mentioned in those glorious books. Helga Hufflepuff just didn't get her due.
7. I think I know all Govindas songs. I memorised them, laughed at them and know them to this day. Do not judge me. The man was ridiculously blessed with the most amusingly fabulous songs.
10. As a baby, I slept on my tummy with my bottom high in the air. It's hard to describe what it looked like exactly, but I'm told that most kids sleep that way. Yet no one talks about it, so I'm inclined to be doubtful. (Let me know what you think though, I'm hugely interested)
I'm going to tag a few blogs, which I think are quite honest too. Consider yourself gifted!
My Godfather Pascualis a man who has a special bean bag in my corner.
He was my favorite uncle as a child and someone I can still listen to for hours. He manages to keep me spellbound with stories of an old Goa only he and my mum remember, he taught himself to play the guitar and totally ROCKS 'House of the rising sun'. He loves soup and good food and the old days.
He shifted continents quite a few years ago, but we still keep in touch thanks to awesomeness of e-mail.
He sent me a lovely mail this morning, that I'm sharing with you now. It's long, but totally worth the read - hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The 45 lessons life taught me. Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26.. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Spending time with Dora and Boots this weekend. It took me back to when I was the one scared of the dark, I was the one searching for chocolate in the fridge, I was the one spending afternoons doing homework at top speed, just to watch cartoons immediately after.
Got me to thinking about what I missed most...and some really good memories.
Being an only child, mum and dad came up with a lot of little things to keep me busy. Scrapbooking was a huge favorite with me. We spent hours pouring over magazines and old greeting cards. My pages were full of places I'd visit, things I loved and pictures mum and I just...thought were really cute. : )
2. Weekends at Ajman Marina.
Ajman Marina was a club, located an emirate away from Sharjah, where we lived. Special Fridays were spent at the Marina, all day in the pool, out just for a gorgeous barbeque lunch and then back in the water. The kids in the family spent all our time trying to tumble in the water, go between each others legs, jump, dive and throw each other into the water - those Fridays meant enough excitement to last us the whole month!
Weekdays at 4PM was cartoon time. By that time, I (and probably all the kids I knew back then) were done with our homework, tea, baths and were comfortably in front of the TV to watch Transformers, ScoobyDoo, LooneyToons - the works. Good times.
4. Bath time.
This particular joy is still close to my heart. As a kid, bath time meant a lot of playing in the tub and mum and me indulging in some mother-daughter mischief. She would let me jump on the bed, tickle me and I'd be laughing till I got the hiccups. As I grew older, I'd have bath on my own, but the bathroom door would be open and mum and I would be talking and laughing about the day gone by.
When I last went back home, I realised mum and I caught ourselves doing the same thing. In Goa, with rain beating on the tiles above, the familiarity of the moment was so much more special - only because I hadn't realised how much I missed it.
5. So I started this post thinking I'd be able to zone in on 5 things. Now, at 5, I realise I can't. Long walks with Dad as he dropped me to Arabic tuitions, standing on a stool in the kitchen and washing glasses as mum cooked, meeting friends every morning in the school bus, little accomplishments in school that I now realise, were a big deal, making friendships that are lasting me a lifetime, learning to make the yummiest chocolate potato cake (will find the recipe and post it, I promise!) and so much more.
We could be in the poshest parlour in Europe, London Dairy, Baskin Robbins, Vadilals or even the little shop in Bombay that sells ice-cream out of those over-sized cardboard boxes.
It's always vanilla.
But when mum realised that I had tired of it, she introduced me to Butter Pecan.
So here's the thing, I didn't like the ice-cream. I however, LOVED the pecans. I'd tell mum to have the butter pecan cone and give me the pecans. *grins*
One day she told me that I needed to have the rest of the ice-cream as well...mix it up with the pecans and perhaps it wouldn't taste so bad.
Thus bringing me to my point.
Off late, life has been...well, a bit taxing. Blame the recession, blame the summer, take your pick. But thanks to mum and her lesson on the pecans...I've still had a great time.
My friend Zee at work. She forces me to stop for a cuppa. We laugh over the stories we share of the few hours past (since our last cuppa yesterday!)
Chili is a constant source of fun, laughter and endless conversations. Her upcoming wedding is almost always doing the rounds in my head. I love all the thinking and planning that's going into it - I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
Dude. One of my best friends. We fight, we laugh, all of it. It's not picture perfect, but bless him, I love every minute.
Dora, Boots, Pats and more recently, Tatt Boy. And oh, a peacock wall we're painting. We're having the bestest time. I heart you guys.
And me. Yes, me too. I've realised my mind and heart don't allow me to be down for too long. It's like I've been conditioned to be happy. And I'm ever so grateful.
My pecans are taking me through the summer, through the rough, through the rocky roads.
Thanks mama...who knew I'd learn so much over an ice-cream.
It's been more than a month since I last blogged. Lots of excuses comes to mind-work, home, friends, family, life in general.
But since this is my honest space, I am suddenly overcome with a bout of honesty. I just didn't feel like writing. Opining. Emoting. Anything.
Not coz I was unhappy or troubled or anything...I just didn't want to.
Like the flu, I think it has now passed.
For those of you who missed me *hug* you are too kind.
For those of you who thought I was a super lazy blogger *grin* you ain't seen nothing yet.
Lots of bits and pieces happened, one of the biggest 'bits' was that dude and I celebrated our first anniversary. I'm still smiling at our weekend get-away, the flower delivery at work, the gifts, the hearts all over the walls at home, the confetti on the floor. It was lovely!
We play Xbox games together. Even cricket in the house. We love to watch NCIS.
'Nights in' almost always win over 'nights out'.
And no, it's not coz we're getting old and boring as a lot of people may think.
It's just nice to married to a friend. Someone you can be you with.
Watched The Jackson 5 - the young brothers, set to make it big in the music world.
Watched a young hopeful become a rock star - slowly and surely, he climbed that famed stairway to success.
Watched a bright eyed boy become a troubled young man. So much drama, so much eccentricity, so much to hide away from prying eyes.
Watched some amazing music happen. Thriller, Billie Jean, Bad, Beat It, Human Nature, They don't really care about us, Man in the mirror, Out of my life, Don't stop till you get enough - such an endless list.
Watched the moonwalk. March 25th, 1983. He performed live on a television special, Motown 25: Yesterday, today, Forever.
He invented it. We've all tried it sometime, haven't we? *grin*
Watched musical history in the making. Yes, we have. Put aside all the bad things you know about him and think for a minute. WE HAVE.
Watched some amazing collaborations. Guitar sets by Eddie Van Halen on 'Beat It' and Slash on 'Black or White'. Co-writing 'We are the world' with Lionel Ritchie, his duet with Sir Paul McCartney, 'The girl is mine'.
Watched a star crash and burn.
And finally, watched a memorial for a man who was a 'larger than life' talent, an amazing singer-songwriter, an artist who's music will live on for a long, long time.
There are some people who think that all this hype and media frenzy is undeserved. I've seen countless blogs, comments, letters to editors, newspaper articles - all claiming the same.
But my truth is this. It is usually, only in death that we remember the good about a person. This is true in everyday life. Why should this single mans death be any different?
We say we shouldn't speak ill of the dead...yet we do.
Yes, there were many allegations. But we all have skeletons in the closet.
Maybe there was child abuse. And that sucks. It's disgusting and horrible and sick and hurtful and deserves to be punished. I agree to all that. Some of you may think he deserved to die this way, for the life he lived. Perhaps.
People want to know why so much love now, in death? Why not when he was alive? Why so much adulation for a possible pedophile? Well, why weren't these people protesting every single day, since 1993, when those first child abuse accusations hit the stands?
It's the same concept of reaction...we're all just different people.
I'm not defending his life, or his doings. But I am voicing my opinion, like the rest of the world. My generation lost an icon we grew up grooving too. We always liked him, always listened to his songs, always loved his music. And we're only voicing it now, coz well, that's the way life is.
You rarely sing peoples praises when you realise they'll be around tomorrow, you can always join that Facebook fan page later, put in 10 different entries to win those tickets to a London concert when it's a bit more convenient. But when he dies....You remember. And you are grateful.
I think people need to calm down a bit and let the man rest in peace.
To be 'that' talented...is a gift. No matter how you look at it.
These were my two favorite parts of the Michael Jackson memorial.
No, I didn't watch the whole thing with candles all around me. I didn't have a tissue box by my side and I didn't recite a rosary for his soul.
But I did get teary eyed for all the memories his music brought back to me.
Queen Latifah read out a poem written by Maya Angelou, for Michael Jackson.
On the 6th of July, seventeen years ago, a darling little boy came into my life.
His name is Minguel.
I was speechless when his parents asked me to be his godmother. I was all of eleven years old and technically, not the right age for the job. But my uncle and aunt were set - they wanted Minguel's godparents to be closer to him in age, thereby understanding him better and being his friends first.
When we went to see the newest budle of joy gifted to our family, my uncle took me out into the hospital corridor and said he wanted to ask me something. My mum and dad were there, grinning from ear to ear - they already knew. I think back now, to all those years ago - I didn't really understand the importance and preciousness of the moment. I hugged my uncle and said yes and then went back to my aunts room and hugged the new mommy. Now, my heart grows heavy with pride as I remember those moments.
Minguel was christened soon after and I remember writing a poem for him then, my little godchild. He ruled my world and life revolved around him eating, drinking milk, burping, peeing, farting - babies, I tell you!
He was 2 before I knew it. I watched him eat shawarmas, sing little songs, pronounce my name 'mondala' - I still don't get that, but I loved it! His folks let his hair grow just a bit and he had the cutest little pony tail!
One of my favorite memories of him is when Dad and I got back home one evening and we saw Minguel and his Dad in the distance, getting back from the supermarket (we lived in the same building). It was dark, so at first he wasn't sure who we were. Then he heard my voice and te realisation that struck!! My little munchkin came running towards me, in that adorable way that only little kids do and he leapt into my open arms, as if I had just gifted him all the candy in the world.
Let's just say that if I wrote about my memories of the little Minguel, it would be full of exclamations and smileys!! He's a special lil' guy who holds, no...owns, a special part of my heart.
His family have since then migrated to a new country. Minguel has grown up there, but when I speak to him on the phone, he is still the same boy with a heart of gold. He's ridiculously tall and wears glasses. He loves football and a ton of other sports. He's a good student and a good son. And no matter how old he gets, he'll always be my godchild.
He'll always be my little pony tailed angel, named for a grandfather I never met, but belonging to a boy I'll always love.
I got tagged recently by pranksygang from www.pranksygang.blogspot.com. Thank you P!
It works like this. I name 15 books in 15 minutes and since I can name them in 15 minutes, they're clearly all books that I loved so much that I can remember them that clearly or hated so much that I wouldn't recommend them to a soul. If I'm being really honest, I don't have any 15 books in mind - I think I can safely manage 5 though. And I don't really remember the books I hated - so I guess I'm good :)
Here's my 5 - let me know if we share something in common!
1. The entire Harry Potter series.- J.K. Rowling
I simply don't care what anyone has to say, I loved them ALL.
I don't believe them to be childrens books at all. The world of magic, friendship, drama and mystery that Rowling weaves, spanning 7 years in the life of Harry Potter, the boy who lived. Her writing has had me hooked from my second year at college, when Chili gifted me the first book onmy birthday. (Thank you Chili :) ) She's one awesome author and if you've got an active imagination, you'll see why I treasure the books so much more than the movie. Rowling rocks at the top of my list.
2. The Bible.- Good question.
As a kid, I grew up listening to Bible stories and I had my favorites. The birth of the Christ child, Joseph and his brothers, Moses floating in the wicker basket and being found by the queen, the miracle of the loaves and the fish, the baptism in the Jordan...there are tons. Mom used to read me some at bedtime, then I got older and read them on my own, my Childrens Bible was a prized possession. As I grew older, I graduated to the 'big people's' Bible, but truly, the childrens edition remained my favorite. It's simplicity got the message across and taught me more as a child than it did as an adult. I learnt that God was my friend. Enough said.
3. The Waitress- Melissa Nathan
Of course I have a girly book up there!! As girly as it gets, but a great read. The story of a girl who works as a waitress and then follows a dream to own her own restaurant. Peppered with her own issues with men, family and friends, a great bit of chicklit.
4. Burnt Toast- Teri Hatcher
I'm not sure what I can say about this book, except that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes you through the actress life just before Desperate Housewives - the ups and the downs. It's not full of trials and tribulations, but a lot of simple, real, easy to understand stuff. Little things that made me re-read paragraphs and want to jot lines down on post-it notes.
5. Five run away together- Enid Blyton
My favorite book of the series. It's the one where the Famous Five - Julian, George(ina), Dick, Anne and Tim run away to Kirrin Island and live in a cave. They pack supplies in the dead of night, from a stove, to tinned fruits, to sleeping bags. It appealed to the young adventurer in me and it's a book I very fondly, still have on my bookshelf.
Thanks Pranksy - I did enjoy that trip through the corridors of my mind!
I've been blessed with many good friends over the years.
One of the most recent is someone I knew in college - we were friends then. Not the 'let's dress like alike and giggle in a corner' type, we were your normal, everyday friends. Then college ended and we didn't really keep in touch.
About 3 years ago, we got to talking again. And this time, (thankfully) we didn't stop. We clicked somehow, more than we did in college and it was nice to be able to slip into that old 'comfort zone' again.
In these 3 years, she's become one of my closest friends. I'll call her Chili, shall I?
I could tell you volumes about Chili. Our lives connect on so many levels now or we choose and will them to connect. But I shall introduce you to her slowly. She's a gem.
Chili and I talk. We talk about everything. We talk like it's going out of fashion. We talk about clothes and films and life and people and photography and dreams and food and and and and. It's great to be able to have that with someone - the ability to talk about anything, anywhere and never get bored. We've sat through some seriously crappy movies, but we've had fun because we giggled through even the bad bits. Talking to Chili is one of my favorite things to do.
My Chili's getting married soon. She's super cute as the soon to be bride. Trying to keep it all together, but fretting so much at the same time. Dude and I recently attended a ceremony held by her family - one in which the community welcomes the soon to be married couple, with much joy, dancing and lots of flashy jewellery. It was nice to see her and her soon to be habibi(beloved in arabic). I watched her smile and hug and pose for pictures. And my heart smiled.Dude knew what I was thinking and he squeezed me hand saying, 'They look good, don't they?'
Recently dude and i did a little babysitting for Dora & Boots.
We spent all of 5 full days with them. We did a lot fun stuff together and it was great. Scrapbooking, watching cartoons, going to the park, bedtime stories.
We also did the 'real' stuff, like homework and meals and going to bed on time and a dozen classes that the girls attend, from swimming to ballet to tennis to kathak (it's an Indian dance form, you can read more about it here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathak).
When we took Dora to her swimming class, we sat and waited by the pool till she was done. Boots stayed with us and kept herself amused with wooden benches, my handbag and the water cooler. She's got some imagination, that one!
Dora's swimming class takes place in a huge pool, divided into 3 parts. The first, for Dora's age group, is children learning to swim and getting the right training to be confident swimmers. The second, for slightly older children, is I suppose, a more intensive training class.
The third was for babies. Literally. They were in diapers and each baby had a parent with them in the water as well. it was all about getting the child comfortable with water and getting over the fear of suddenly being dunked. (SO been there!)
It was amazing to watch. The class progressed with the parents singing 'row, row, row your boat' and the kids being swished about in the water. The giggling and gurgling and occassional wailing, was fun to watch.
Dora's turning out to be a wonderful little swimmer. I was proud as I watched her, a cute lil bundle of blue, with bright pink goggles and a swimming cap (is that what you call it? It's super tight to be a cap, it's like it latched onto her brain!). She'd suddenly pop her head out of the water and look for us and wave excitedly, a huge grin on her face.
The experience at the pool, watching Dora, keeping an eye on Boots, watching all those parents and kids...made me think.
Parenthood is a big, no scratch that, HUGE deal. It's not just about taking care of them as babies and feeding them, burping them and all that other stuff. They grow! You still have to keep them entertained and then, shiny, jingly jangly baubles, won't help. There's education and friends and good influences and bad influences and a gamut of things I hadn't really thought of before.
No, it's not my biological clock ticking, for those heavy thinkers amongst you - thank you very much.
It's just that at that moment, at the pool...I was suddenly in awe of parents everywhere. For the efforts they make, the dreams they dream, the sleepless nights, the constant love, support and backing even when they might just want to whack you silly. I mean, it was a swimming class for heavens sake.
Parents sacrified their Saturday morning to come and swim with their kids, in the desert sun (only the seating was shaded) and they had brought healthy snacks, creams, hair ribbons, all to make the experience more enjoyable for their kids. It was just, a swimming class.
We had a blast with the girls.
I have to be honest, I don't envy parents. I was a bit unnerved at all the little add-ons that parenting seems to entail.
But I do think it's awesome to be able to see our Dora & Boots finding their element in this world.
I've always been a bit apprehensive about public transport.
Now don't jump the gun and think I'm being hoity toity, with my nose in the air or I think scandalous things happen on the subway or even that you get robbed on trains.
That's not what I'm saying.
For some reason, travelling alone on buses in particular, has always freaked me out. Especially the ones which have seats facing each other, you know, 2 on either side? Yeah, those. I remember as a kid, some weird lady in the train kept staring at my face as I sat as close to mum as possible. I ventured a smile, but no such luck. She kept glaring at me out of the roundest eyes I had ever seen. I think I even started to cry! Now when I think about it, perhaps she had really bad eyesight or something. NOW, I can make all the excuses for her, but back then when I needed it, I probably thought she'd jump out from under my bed in the dead of night!
Anyway, I think that may be some sort of deep rooted reason for my dislike of buses.
Today, after much thought and discussion (yes, sometimes public transport warrants that for me, thank you very much!), I mustered up the guts to take the bus home. It's about, say, a 45 minute drive. A colleague who stays in my area, stayed back so that she could travel with me, help me learn the ropes, so to speak.
The whole thing was a mini adventure fo me.
We walked to the bus stop, constantly turning back in search of and then craning our necks forward to the traffic ahead, to make sure we hadn't missed it or weren't going to miss it.
Once we saw it approaching, Lux (my colleague) hastened me to a particular spot on the pavement, which she informed me was the exact place in front of which the bus would stop so that the door would be right in front of us. (I made a mental note to carry chalk next time to mark out these all important spots.)
The bus stopped, exactly where Lux said it would and we were the first two in. There was this gadget on the side of the door which Lux slid her bus pass into and charged it. It beeped, rather loudly. I looked quizically at the driver, safe behind his glass door, asking for a buss pass. In the time that it took for me to ask, him to hear me take the money through a tiny hole in the glass and then to actually give me the bus pass (hidden away in some secret location behind aforementioned glass door) at least 9 people charged their cards at the beeping gadget and rushed past me.
I finally got my pass and found Lux who had saved me a seat, bless her. We were in the seats that were opposing the direction of movement and it kinda messed with my head for a few minutes, but as the knowledgeable one on my left said, I got used to it. I marvelled at the bus, my journey, the view, even my handrest for a good 10 minutes! Lux and I spent the rest of the journey getting to know each other. We got home in no time and got off at the same stop. Just before we could get off, Lux reminded me that I needed to get my change back from the driver.
Sheer genius, I tell you. *grin*
After we got off, we walked together for a while before going our seperate paths home.
I quite enjoyed my trip home today and look forward to more. I look forward to reading on the bus, listening to my ipod, collecting my thoughts, perhaps sketching even. (oh, you can't eat on the bus, who would have thought?! The other day, a mum was feeding her son a bag of crisps. The driver played a message on the sound system stating that eating while on the bus was a no-no! Imagine that. Lux told me. I'm convinced she's the all-knowing bus Goddess)
So I'm over my apprehesion. Thanks to situation, circumstance and an unexpected friend.
The www amazes me.
Such a magnitude of information, all accessible from my good ol' laptop.
So this is my space in the galaxy, my bean bag in the corner.
Come sit with me and dip your fingers into my cookie jar of memories - perhaps you'll find we have something in common.