Thursday, July 14, 2016

The City of Nightmares

Today was just not my day travel wise. Post work, I got onto the wrong bus, the wrong train and the wrong station. But being the oversmart wise-alec I am, I figured "this is an adventure, I will step onto the next train home, if that's the last thing I do". The squashing/pushing/pulling/high pitched abusive Andheri station aunties didn't play party to my plan.

Two attempts of jumping onto the Borivali local were thwarted back on my face, by said aunties. By the time, the Virar local came, I gave up. I quietly walked out of the station, in an attempt to find an auto. But I did'nt know where the heck I was because Andheri station is a bloody maze! I got out of the first exit I found and walked for god knows how long till I saw the main road. I desperately tried to hail down an autorickshaw for the next 20 minutes.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I just wanted to burst into tears and yell "Screw you Mumbai!". I felt as lost as the 21 year old me who came here 8 years ago and fell of a local. 2.5 years in this city and I just want to leave. I have lost my hair, my peace of my mind and my sanity. 

Friday, July 08, 2016

The nightmarish Mumbai monsoons

It's raining cats and dogs in Mumbai. As always, the whole city has gone kaput. Trains are getting diverted, the roads are traffucked more than usual and everyone is catching a bad, never ending viral infection. I was tucked deep inside the darkest corners of my blanket and pillows for over a week. Finally back to work and my throat is still going kitch kitch. 

I wonder why folks romanticize the rains so much on social media platforms. The first drops of the rain and people take walks in the rain and begin instagramming foggy car windows. Why?! The rains cause nothing but trouble.

Here's what happens to normal people like me who travel for over 4 hours to work everyday :

  • Cars splash water all over pedestrians and don't give a damn
  • When trains pull up on stations it brings with it a mighty splash of dirty rain water that sprays all over people standing on platforms
  • Toilets in offices stink more than usual
  • Roads get more potholes 
  • Share auto-wallahs begin to charge double the fare
If you still love the rains, you're clearly in some dream world. Snap out of it! And pray that this wretched season passes by quickly. 


(Image Source : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bombay_flooded_street.jpg)


Friday, June 10, 2016

The eternal weight loss struggle

I'm back to being a nice round 60 kilos from a compact 55. It all began 7 months ago when I picked up this new job in Lower Parel. I was suddenly working 12 hours a day from a comfortable 9. I couldn't gym anymore because of my acute lower back issues, my love for food continued to escalate.

It didn't help that my office complex (Kamala mills) had some of the best restaurants in the city. It also didn't help that after each draining client meeting there were amazing bread pakodawalas and puran poli maushis right outside the client's doorstep. And the icing on the cake, I've met an amazing bunch of men and women at work, who also have a deep love for food and love going out or ordering in.

Slowly and steadily the flab began to show, that mad love for food began to overtake the logical side of my brain and here I am looking like a little hippo.. again.

I decided to take charge of my life and I've begun running again - that lost sport which I was too scared to indulge in because of the back pain. 4 days down and I feel creaky like a rusty Godrej almirah, the back is killing me and the knees feel wobbly. But I feel lighter, in control and less guilty about popping that one extra piece of chocolate just before hitting the sack.

There are some people who can eat a kilo of food per meal and look like an anorexic rod and then there's me, I just sniff food (okay, I'm lying, I eat like a grunting caged pig), and bloat like a puffer-fish.

Let the games begin. Food v/s Me. Here's to looking fit and fabulous again!

(Image Source : https://www.pinterest.com/bariljohnny/weight-loss-cartoons/)

Friday, May 06, 2016

Grandmothers

Grandmothers are those fairy God mothers, who have been planted on earth just to keep us out of harm's way. Remember the last major bike accident, that scary auto ride in the middle of the night and all those testing situations when you thought, "Oh shit, I'm screwed"? How do you think you've gotten out of all those tricky numbers without so much as batting an eyelid? Grandmothers!

Mine is tucked away in Trivandrum, praying endlessly for all my whims and fancies to come true. New jobs, promotions, appraisals - all sorted with one whiney phone call to the grandmother.

Grandmothers are those cute fluffy beings who worry endlessly about you and wait tirelessly for that one phone-call every week. Some of their concerns are borderline hilarious, "You work 12 hours a day?! Quit immediately.", "Your plate only has 5 pieces of chicken, 3 pieces of fish and 4 mutton cutlets. You've become such a poor eater!" But that's the thing about grandmothers, they make you question your decisions and give you a whole different perspective, a perspective from a different time and age. Her innocence and purity of heart is a refreshing change from the corrupt, mind-gaming playing, money-driven generation I'm more used to tackling everyday.   

From being petrified of lizards to developing a fine taste for food, from teaching me kick-ass hair styles (fountain ponies were totally in, in the 90s) to making me understand the importance of finishing my home-work before all the fun and games, you've been a wonderful grandmother Ammu. 

I think it's safe to say that the siblings and I would not have been half the people we are, if it weren't for the solid foundation you laid for us. You've pampered us yet been firm, you've held us back from tricky situations and have given us the courage to spread our wings. You've said no and you've said yes. Most importantly, you've taught us to be kind human beings, to help those in need and to give selflessly without thinking about how it will benefit us. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Musicians

Musicians, that fascinating breed which managed to hold my attention for the longest time. I aspired to be one. I even learnt how to play the guitar just so that I could form a band and get my funk on! Unfortunately, my guitar sir abandoned me after a mere month, made excuses for not showing up and eventually cut my calls.

Being the 'never say never' person I am, I kept at it and began attending numerous underground metal gigs in Chennai at "Unwind Center". "Unwind Center" was a dark, dingy hole in the wall performance venue for the most obnoxious teenage boys from a myriad of random metal bands, along with their 10,000 million anorexic groupies. I tried hard to fit in by wearing black clothes, dark make-up and scary looking junk jewellery. Unfortunately, my roundness (I was 65 kilos back then) gave me away. 

A few years later I met a bunch of "humour metal band" boys who were super talented, humble, down to the earth and the exact opposite of being obnoxious. I found their behaviour rather puzzling. Were'nt they in a band? Where were their groupies? They introduced me to a world of underground metal in Mumbai. These folks looked scary with their gloom and doom metal acts on stage, but were extremely sweet and so approachable offstage!

These "humor metal band" boys opened my eyes to the world of music. They underwent hours of practice (jams, in their language) to perfect every act they pulled off on stage. They spent precious man-hours writing songs, recording them, making them into a full length album and finally selling them to a handful of "fans". 

For the longest time I was proud to be known as their friend. I tagged along with them everywhere. And now that I'm married to the guitarist of the above mentioned band, I see the turmoil in his soul for not being able to really pursue his musical dreams. 

It's time that this country recognized talent and actually paid that talent, HARD CASH. And I don't just speak for the music fraternity, I speak for all artists - painters, writers, poets. We demand recognition! Give it to us today or your future generation are going to be a bunch of unappreciative, artistically illiterate idiots. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stress Eating

Nothing beats stress better than a freshly fried bread pakoda and a piping hot samosa with spicy green chutney, from the local tapri and from railway platforms.

Rough day at work? Eat
Frustrated with life? Eat
Bored? Eat
Happy? Eat

Stress eating is your brain's way of telling you, "Screw you guys I'm going home". The more the work pressure, the more the quantity of junk food consumed. 

In school, I found solace in piping hot Chilli Chicken Pizzas from Chef Express (a hole in the wall pizza joint in my neighbourhood, back home in Chennai which created the most delish pizzas!). 

In college, I made friends with samosas and kachoris. 

At work, I find comfort in sugary cups of tea and coffee along with large quantities of chocolates.

Stress eating and the waistline ain't friends,
The brain however undergoes a cleanse,
One's soul cobwebs become a little less dense,
And there is the return of common sense
 THE END

If you've read this, thank you for your patience. If you've read it a little and ditched it mid-way, goodnight already! It's way past your bedtime.  

(Image Source : http://healthdrivenlife.com/how-to-overcome-emotional-eating/)

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Siblings

Siblings, those scary older people whose bedrooms you're not allowed to enter. Siblings, those cool mysterious older creatures, whose every move you wanted to copy to the T. Siblings, those extra parents our parents gave us, specifically to baby-sit & scold us younger kids. 

I've had three! My immediate big brother & my first cousins who I always presumed were my own siblings. I could not distinguish between my mother & my aunt. In my head, I always had two mommies & our family was quite large. We all met during summer vacations & family holidays (which were very frequent back in the day.)

Being the youngest had it's advantages. One scream & all the parents would come running to whack the older sibling who refused to share his/her toy with me. One bite & I would have everyone's attention in a jiffy. And as we grew older I was showered with the most expensive gifts ranging from the latest mobile phones, iPods, watches, digicams, branded perfumes, I had it all, even before it hit the Indian market, all thanks to my siblings. 

Our family vacations have dried up. We don't meet so often anymore & we live in different parts of the globe. But knowing that they're all out there, leading comfortable lives, is a happy feeling. And hopefully we'll stick around for each other as the years roll by. 

"There's no other love like the love for a brother/sister. There's no other love like the love from a brother/sister." Terri Guillemets