A birthday holiday

It was my birthday in August! And we (a bunch of close friends) went on a holiday to Goa for five days surrounding my birthday. We had a wonderful time there, particularly given the fact that mobile phone connectivity was poor and we hardly had any access to internet. It was such a refresher not to think about work or have any urges to check fb/mails/instagram.

Some fun facts about Goa and a few favourite snapshots from our lovely time there:

Of potted plants and lavender toe nails

It was such a nice change to experience little or no traffic in Goa. Unlike most other places in India, we did not find ourselves stuck even in a single traffic jam.

People in Goa are sweet, kind and friendly. I don’t remember anyone behaving rudely with us. May be because they’re so much used to tourists and outsiders being part of their everyday life?

Tunnel after tunnel in the train to Goa

The 3 arches in Goa

It was quite a mission to find proper Indian chai in Goa. After 4 days of hunting, we stumbled across a coffee shop which served Mumbai-famous ‘masala cutting chai’. Monsoon and chai…Mmmmmmmm 🙂

Masala cutting chai in Goa

Cakes and hot cuppas at Mocha, Goa

On my birthday, I decided to ride a motor bike! I wasn’t sure how long I would take to learn riding one. But after a short lesson which lasted less than a minute, I took control and voila! I drove like I always knew how to drive. It was so much fun! This is a definite addition to my happy corner (#9).

Driving a motorbike in Goa

While we waited for the rain to stop

It rained all day on my birthday. So while we waited indoors for the rain to take a break, I blew some bubbles in the air. Blow a bubble, watch it float in the air, chase it and then finally watch it burst. Repeat ‘n’ number of times. I promise it never gets boring.

At sunset time, we rushed to Fort Aguada to see the sunset (one of the things on my birthday wish-list). But alas, dark clouds => no sun => no sunset. But I got to do something fun (also one of the things on my birthday wish-list) while we stood on Fort Aguada at the sea. I wrote a short message on a piece of paper, folded it, put it in an empty bottle, sealed the bottle and swung it into the open sea. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (I know this makes it two additions to my happy corner (#10) in this post but hey! This HAS to go into that diary).

The message in the bottle carried one of the biggest epiphanies of my life. My most favourite part of this little act: not knowing what will happen to the message and the bottle.

Waiting to swing the 'message in a bottle' into the Arabian sea

Watching the bottle vanish

There were three other things I had on my birthday wish-list but unfortunately, the rain did not make it happen. The three unfulfilled things were: climb a tree, etch my name on that tree and watch the sunset at the sea. Adding them to my future birthday wish-list 🙂

Coming back home after the holiday made me remind myself of how much I love travelling. Sigh.

 

 

Taking stock – August 2014

As I’m guilty of vanishing and reappearing after a couple of weeks, I thought I should start August blogging with a ‘taking stock’ post. Read on, it’s fun!

I’m currently

Making : origami cranes
Cooking : penne pasta
Drinking : piping hot ginger tea, it’s a perfect cuppa for this rainy season. That also reminds me of my favourite Starbucks hot chocolate. One cup of that and I’ll be smiling instantly. Sadly, it has been ages since I had one 😦
Reading : ‘The power of your subconscious mind’ by Joseph Murphy and comic strips of Calvin & Hobbes
Wanting : a break from routine
Looking : for new ideas and inspiration for start-ups
Playing : Candy Crush (I know I should have deleted the app long ago) and Minion Rush on my mobile
Deciding : whether it is wise on my part to accept or act
Wishing : for the same thing I have been wishing for over an year now
Waiting : for the right time to throw an outdoor party on our terrace
Liking : the fact that it is August. Roughly 3 weeks to go for my birthday! 🙂
Wondering : what I should get glued to once my current daily telly programme finishes this month.
Needing : more than 24 hours in a day!
Pondering : over the dreams I’ve been seeing in my sleep lately. One of them involved a tiger wandering in our street!
Watching : my thoughts
Hoping : to go on a long weekend to Pondicherry
Smelling : the rain. Life’s gooooood 🙂 (I just love watching rains and they fill my Happy Corner #8). I remember writing about rains previously too, read this if interested.
Wearing : an uncomfortable pair of jeans, which looks grrrreat by the way 🙂
Following : or rather trying to follow my instincts
Noticing : that there is good in everybody
Feeling : confused
Admiring : people who know what they want to do with their life.
Getting : extremely bored of Facebook these days.
Bookmarking : this video which makes one think about social media, computers and mobiles. Decide for yourself if you agree.
Disliking : my frizzy hair, is there a version of rainy season where you are able to tame your hair?
Feeling : proud of myself for keeping up with my yoga routine; I’m notorious for starting this habit several times and failing to stick with it beyond a month or two. It has only been a month this time too so ask me in September again!
Loving : 2014 so far.

I came across this awesome idea of taking stock from this blog: http://meetmeatmikes.com/2014/01/taking-stock-004/ and thought it would be fun to do one myself.

 

10 lessons learnt

These are some lessons I learnt recently and thought it would be fun to share them here:

  1. It is extremely difficult to practise and cultivate a new habit, even if it is a ‘2 minutes per day’ kind of a habit. However, it is not impossible.
  2. Always think happy thoughts. You are what you think.
  3. It is a necessity to take rest when down with cold/general illness. Popping some pills and watching telly all day does not always help. Playing Candy Crush doesn’t help either. Getting stuck in one of the levels of Candy Crush for hours is enough of a sign to close the app and sleep. Clearing that level is tomorrow’s motto 😉
  4. It is never too late to start something new and exciting. Similarly, you are never too old to have fun.
  5. Not many people realise that you know they are looking at you with their supposedly “sneaky” corner-of-the-eye trick. And it is very difficult to make them realise you do!
  6. Idle man’s brain is not always a devil’s workshop. It is sometimes necessary to be idle, not do anything and not think anything.
  7. Knowing how much salt to put in your dish without tasting it is a specialised skill. Mums are usually experts in this skill. When they say that’s enough, stop.
  8. Everyone around you has problems. May not be the same as your’s but equally challenging. Keeping this in mind helps with relationships with people around you.
  9. Online shopping is addictive. It is important to strictly close the browser after completing your purchase and not look at the ‘people who bought this also bought these’ suggestions. It is also important to realise that it is not necessary to avail e-v-e-r-y discount coupon that is emailed to you because this is just a gateway to more shopping and more discount coupons! Good time to get a thought bubble over your head which says “Now that’s just silly”.
  10. There is order in almost all chaos. There is just a varying degree of order from one chaos to the other. Also, there is chaos everywhere and its absolutely ok for it to be there.

 

My Happy Corner #5 (for background to ‘My Happy Corner: click here):

My happy corner today is that moment where you do the right thing (although not necessarily an easy thing) and then get to see the direct wonderful result of that action. Sometimes, doing the right thing might raise questions of why you need to what you need to do. You just need to believe that it is the right to do and do it. Sooner or later you will look back and smile. But sometimes, you don’t need to wait too long to have that ‘look back and smile’ moment. It happens almost immediately after doing the right thing. I love those moments.

 

2 rants and introducing “my happy corner”

There are a couple of things that have frustrated me lately and I have an urge to write about them.

1) People relating to me solely on the basis of my origin i.e. where I was born, where my parents come from, where my partner comes from and so on. In a professional world, how does it matter where you are from. Both professional relationships and personal relationships should be based on what a person is, what their interests/hobbies/skills are and so on. It flips me out when I see a sense of immediate “connection” that people feel as soon as they realise that I can speak their language and that I am from the same state/city as they are. I can see why they feel connected in that they feel comfortable due the ‘common’ aspects. So far so good. But they go that extra mile to be nice to you because you have a common origin or conversely (which is the worse bit), they are less nice to you if you are from a different origin compared to someone who is from the same origin as they are. I just don’t understand the bias! I connect with a person on the basis of common interests/skills or complementary interests/skills or a good sense of humour or because they are generally nice and so on so forth.

2) Gossip: I’ll be honest and admit that I gossip too. However, I gossip to people about people who they have no connection with. And since the listener doesn’t know the person that I’m gossiping about, he/she will not spread the gossip any further except rarely, when they (for some disconnected reason) narrate the story to someone totally unrelated again. So due to this “disconnected” nature, I find my gossiping to be less guilty, because my gossip doesn’t really harm the person that I’m gossiping about. Now there is a second type of gossiping where one gossips to another about someone they both know. This is dangerous because this is where the gossip spreads like fire. A lot of people have this compulsiveness to spread the gossip faster if it is about someone they both know. And more often than not, it ends up in bad/harmful publicity for the person who is being gossiped about. And worse: the gossip is not 100% factual. It snowballs from one mouth to the other and ends up becoming a mess. Why do people have this compulsive disorder of being excited about spreading bad and wrong information? What is exactly exciting about the bad/wrong information about someone? Is it the sense of ‘feel-good-about-oneself’ and therefore a sense of superiority resulting from talking bad about someone else? All this doesn’t sound good at all. As I said earlier, I’m guilty of some level of gossip too and I’m working towards bringing that to nil gossip. I know it’s going to be difficult not to gossip but I’ll compensate this with other guilty pleasures 😉

Now the things that made me smile/happy:

I have come across this awesome challenge called #100happydays where everyday you have to submit a picture of what made you happy. It can be as simple as your morning coffee or a flower in your garden or a dinner with someone close to you. It is a wonderful to remember and appreciate that small things that we do everyday make us happy. By posting out pictures everyday of such small ‘happy’ things, we tend to develop a sense of gratitude for the good things we have in life. I badly need to develop that habit of being happy and thankful for what I have, instead of being sulky because of the things that make me unhappy/frustrated.

So I decided to take up a similar challenge in my blog posts. It is going to be almost impossible for me to post a blog everyday. Therefore, with some modification to the challenge, I came up with this idea to write a “my happy corner” in each of my 100 posts that I’m going to write next. It may be unrelated to the post but there will be a happy corner to describe what made me happy lately. I’m hoping this will spread a little bit of ‘happy’ magic dust over me and the people who read it. 🙂

Now, quickly moving onto the first “my happy corner”:

My Happy Corner #1

I finally managed to find time to start painting. For months, I have been dying to stir up my interest in art projects. Over the last few years, the demanding nature of my career meant that the artsy side of me went into pathetic hibernation. I have missed that side of me a lot because I totally love art projects like sketching, home decor – DIY, painting etc. I’m not a pro in any of these things however I am good enough to make me happy 😉 So, anyway, I recently managed to de-prioritise a few things so I can spend some time painting. I have started testing out a few designs on paper so that once I finalise a design, I can paint on a T-shirt or a collared shirt. Sounds like fun? Yes me thinks. I shall try and post pics of the project once it starts taking some shape.

 

Small things beautiful

10 things that made me happy lately:

  • Meeting an old friend after ages and chatting about everything and everybody we know!
  • Playing blind man’s bluff with mum and trying to pretend that I’m really struggling to catch her
  • Small yet frequent bursts of excitement of knowing that I’ll be soon starting a new job that I’ve been longing for
  • A little rose blooming on my portico’s plant – my first ever little rose plant
  • Finally knowing and understanding the difference in usage between it’s and its. Phew!!
  • My daily telly soap (I follow just the one and I’m not ashamed to admit about it – it’s that good! 😉 )
  • Getting a lovely compliment for something I cooked last night. Compliments on food are a scarcity in our house so getting one last night really made my day.
  • Making a friend happy on her birthday is just one of those lovely feelings. I’m the kind who loves gifts and surprises. Besides a handful of assorted girly stuff, she also got a laminated hard copy of an old letter she had written a decade ago. (Oh don’t get us wrong, we are as tech savvy as everyone else now but we did write letters back in the days of no emails.)
  • A friend’s 2 year old asking me to read stories from her books. It went on one book after the other for about 5 different books but it made me happy to know that I can keep a 2 year old restless kid entertained enough to sit still for about thirty minutes!
  • Came across this song recently which made me smile: Living in the moment by Jason Mraz. Turn the volume up…