Remembering a time when summer vacations were a legitimate part of a calendar year

Crisp cotton dresses, mangoes, lemonade, shaded verandah’s and lazy afternoon naps. The stuff the perfect summer days of my childhood were made of.

Oh and endless Amar Chitra Katha’s and Archie Comics!!

I’m wondering why mom has the opposite reaction as mine when it comes to celebrating birthdays. My enthusiasm can give competition to the most-high-on-sugar-3-year-old on their birthdays and mom just doesn’t want to be reminded of the event. Nevertheless, the warm early summer evening and moms birthday seemed like perfect excuses to crack open a few beers and celebrate with the family.

Scooby and I have been indulging in way too much conversation that involves Africa all day. All of which led to us rewatching Black Panther again, discussing Masai Mara tribes and comparing notes on African sunsets. Mom appears to be liking her gift flown in from the dark continent.

 

This weeks care package includes the last winter harvest of lima beans, the first pick of this summers lemons, cherry tomatoes picked off a vine and a whole assortment of other fresh produce from my mothers kitchen garden.

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How is 2018 leaving you? Miffed or Chuffed?

I said 2018 was going to be spectacular on this blog at the end of 2017, and in its own way I guess it has been. But realistically speaking, I’ve had mixed bag this year. Personal highs but professional lows. I’m tempted to say the years flown by, but a quick scroll through my phone reminds me of just how eventfully these past 12 months have come to pass. Weirdly enough, my phone seems to be filled with pictures of food. Food I’ve cooked, food my mom has cooked, food in restaurants, street-food and a whole lot of pictures documenting happy-hour adventures. There are pictures of my blue-June-bug that I bid goodbye to after 6 years and a lot of pictures of the new Silver stud in my stable. I’ve met the funniest young crowd, dabbled a bit in redecorating the apartment and coloured my hair burgundy.

2018 will also remain the year I finally learnt how to bake. And I’ve made peace with the idea that I’ll always prefer cooking over baking. And it is the year I wore sarees on almost 30 days. In the most realistic sense, that itself makes me feel like sucha grown up. Its the year when I have done the most for my parents and am really starting to feel like they now rely on me quite a bit and count on me even more.

But I happened to party less and saw even lesser of the world. Something I intend on rectifying in the coming year.

But these past 5 weeks have really been a revelation about the state of most of my relationships. At least the ones I really really care about. In fact a decade with a few and couple of decades with the others gives me the audacity to start using the word ALWAYS.

I know now that the girls&I will always be nuts in our own nutshell, K&I will always remain what we are, I will always be there for the best moments of the J’ngr gang, I will always call RT the moment I hit a roadblock and my family will always remain just that – MY family.

My most favourite Christmas decorations picture of the year – Thanks K!!

Coffee in sarees, Bollywood night, midnight drives, 3AM conversations, the four of us crashing in the exact order we always have from our teenage sleepovers, groggy early mornings with coffeetea&bananabread and groupfie’s in bed – basically outlines the adventures with my girls this past week. Add a Kannada movie that’s making waves (KGF), a lovely Christmas, a couple of soul satisfying meals and a quiet weekend spent binge watching an old favourite series. I think it’s safe to say the 52nd week of 2018 has been a very special week.

Cma left me a heartwarmingly gracious sleepover parting gift.

Cartoons all evening, masala dosa for breakfast, a holiday the next day and no homework for the night

Saturday’s in my life were sorted as a kid and life couldn’t have been better.

It’s strange now that I look in hindsight how little it took to make my heart sing with happiness.

Met a young person on Saturday evening who was running down a flight of stairs cricket bat in hand face wreathed in smiles and while he stopped to say hi, realised his joy stemmed from the fact that he didn’t have to go to school the next day and could play with his friends till 7 PM!!

Need to find that delirious joy and excitement about my life again.

Expedition Happiness

I don’t know if I’m late to the party, but I’ve ditched my pay-TV package for the unlimited joys of live streaming services. Such a surreal decision considering I remember 1993 and all the excitement that year brought with it in the form of satellite cable tv channels being introduced in India for the first time. Who knew online streaming services will one day rule the day and one day make me willingly give up cable tv?!

I still remember the joys of using the Netflix mail service back in 2006. One had to look through a website and place orders for DVDs which would then arrive in about two days in those red envelopes.

On that note: I’m remembering Blockbuster.

And THE BODYGUARD is definitely helping my transition to live streaming services. This 6 part BBC series is truly the bomb!!!

Paying it forward

One of the best lessons I’ve had the privilege of learning has been “Paying it forward”. I remember Pinks who was my manager a decade earlier mentioning this often along with another corner stone I conduct my life with. That the best thing you can do with either knowledge or kindness is pay it forward and light another’s life.

A message and a picture on Whatsapp out of the blue today brought back memories of the time I moved into my first apartment by myself 8 years earlier and so many peoples kindness filling up the empty basic apartment space I had rented. About 4 years earlier, I had given away a bed frame to a young associate who was new to the city and was literally setting up everything from scratch. I got a message from this sweet girl this morning that she’s moving cities and has decided to give away the bed to someone who in need of one.

It’s such a small thing but I feel like someone has turned a lightbulb on inside my heart. Plus I’m absolutely amazed about how much she seems to have loved it while she had it.

A weekend celebrating the best gift my parents ever gave me

The brat.

Its our day and Scooby seems to be in love with every single piece of his Raksha Bandhan hamper.

[Side note: wonder when he’ll ever need to protect me? Especially since, I’ve been the bully protecting him from almost the minute he could walk. (Raksha literally means protection for anyone seeking context). And while I’m on the topic, apparently the sister is supposed to get the gifts on this day and somehow for the 30th time I seem to be the one giving the gift]. Makes me think Scooby should be the one tying a rakhi on my wrist.

A lot has changed over the past year, the biggest change being his wedding and all that comes with such a major life event. But Scooby&I have come to realise that we are a unit unto ourselves. The kinds that can share a look across a crowded room and understand exactly what is passing through the others’ mind. And that’s as happy a thought a sister can have when she ties a rakhi on her brothers wrist.

Mom is so incredibly happy to have all of us under her roof that she has gone and surpassed herself with all that delicious cooking. Spent half of last night watching movies with Scooby (we agree that the new Jumanji while being a good one time watch will never match the brilliance of the original), discussing celebrity fashion with the sil and ganging up with the sibling and teasing her about sleep talking.

In other unrelated news, I’m heartbroken about TBBT ending. After Friends-SATC-ELR ended, it took me a while to fall in love with a sitcom and Big Bang Theory was puuuurrffeeecccttt. Soft kitty kinda purfect at that!! Hope something as good comes along to provide another decades worth of belly laughs.

But first SEASON 12.

Rpit is getting married and weirdly enough I’m being showered with gifts.

It’s strange how easily sleep comes to me when I’m back at my childhood home

 

I went to bed early last night and slept for 11 hours straight only to be woken up by a quizzical expressioned and a tad bit worried mother.

In a true anti climax turn of events, (much like my tattoo story) – mom liked my hair! Which is a shocking turn of events considering she told me not to come home unless I reversed it. I believe at one point the word nice may have also been used by the mother. 😉. I guess it’s largely because of the efforts of one of my cousins DC and my sil. Apparently they’ve been showing mom way too pictures that involve fashionable hair. Jayums this morning came into my room to collect laundry and called it “navilu gari”.

In other news, Sacred Games has been binge watched and I’m all sorts of transfixed. It’s dark and riveting and definitely addictive.

On a completely different note, does one really ever get over an old love?