Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for... Oh, Friendship

I know this O is not really an O but an F. But today I was reading a few old posts from my blog and started to miss my friends. I dialled N but she was busy cooking for her husband’s boss from the U.S. She said she would curse me tomorrow for not calling before... oh, the blah when you miss someone!

I was reading how much I loved N when I flew to India especially for her wedding. Then I equally loved P because I did the same for her. I was reading how guilty I was for not making it to Y’s wedding. And then I read how much fun her e-baby shower was. I read the post where I felt like a teenager attending Pri’s wedding. And then it struck me – life is so different now. From school to college to wedding and now babies – life has changed tremendously. And it’s all here, on my blog!

Friendship means everything to me; probably even more than love. I would want to be Boy’s friend more than a lover or a spouse. I would want to giggle, fight, share, argue and do everything with him that friends are meant to do. And then, if I am away and he doesn’t call me, I wouldn’t want to say that why didn’t you call. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing about friendship? – You pick up the phone 5 years later and you start from where you left. There could be slight hesitation because there is so much to catch on, but you manage pretty well and you love it.

The meaning of friendship changes as you get older. You look for like minded people with whom you can socialize. It is not like before when the teacher makes you sit on the same bench and you just have to become friends. Trust me, I found my bestest friends there. *Food for thought*: Maybe I should knock my neighbour’s door and we could become BFFs! *Note to self*:  You have already done that twice in this building. People might ban the creepy neighbour who knocks a stranger’s door every few months.

Even today some conversations on a Whatsapp group make me giggle like a little girl. Your childhood friends get you so well. They complete your sentences even though you have grown apart. But have you really? The best thing is that you can say anything to them without them getting offended. 

I know this is a girly-childish-inappropriate post. But I am in that zone. I don't want to show my wit or imbibe wisdom or crib about anything. I want to dear diary today 'cause I miss my sweethearts, those moments, those hugs, that laughter, those tears, the hi-fis, the I-hate-you, that I-love-you, the I-know-what-you-are-thinking eyes, and then that I-wish-we-were-together-forever thought! 

Oh, Friendship, bless you!

P.S. I have linked several posts from various years here. They are all about my friends. Go ahead, read them if you like :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for ... Nice – the nicest city in the world!

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you would know how much we travel. We’ve been blessed that way and thankfully the Boy manages to get leave from his office as well *touchwood*. In the last 5 years we’ve covered quite a few cities in our quest to travel the world. The only city we have been to twice is Goa – ofcourse nothing in the world compares to Goa. But if you go out of the country only once in your lifetime; if you happen to be like me who likes to sit in cafeterias, watch the world go by, romance on the beach, hog on good grub and just take in the experience of a new place, then you must go to Nice (pronounced as Neece).

Nice is a small beach town in south of France. It has the much hyped Cannes on one side and the city of the rich, Monaco, on the other. But you don’t have to go there. You can just sit tight in Nice and make plans to retire there albeit as a lifeguard. That’s how quaint and fun it is.

The city has a beach strip that goes from one end to the other. Although the beaches are pebbly, you would never see them empty. There are a few shacks that are always buzzing with activity. And the areas that are open to all, you would see young couples and families watching the sunset.

There is a long promenade adjacent to the beach. People usually take evening strolls in that area. At every few steps you would see an amateur musician playing a guitar and entertaining the passer-byes. Across the road from the Promenade, there are hotels and casinos –  a complete holiday package.

But this is not why we fell in love with the place. The by-lanes of Nice have charming restaurants, churches and open spaces that make you adore the city. When you walk into the old town you see a huge number of restaurants with open-air seating. The entire place is a party. When you walk a little more, you see small  stadium like structures where bands play music almost every night and men and women try to salsa. Being France, you see a lot of love around you. It is so romantic that no matter what the age, you would want to hold hands and blend in.

Nice is so tiny that you can cover the whole place on foot. If you are not a fan of pebbly beaches, you can take a short bus ride and find fine sand in picturesque near-by villages. We covered the surrounding areas by bus where the residents got their peace. The small villas and holiday homes were so attractive that we planned our whole life there. 

I leave you with a few pictures of the city. If you do happen to plan a vacation outside India, you must consider this pretty little thing!

A postcard of the Promenade

A small section of the Old Town

The Beach
                                                              Nice by Rick Steves

The video is also available here. For the rest, you have to go and discover. Trust me, you will love it. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for... Mutual Admiration Club

If there is a biggest Mutual Admiration Club in the universe, it is here, in our Blogosphere. You agree, don’t you?

When I started out, I had to literally push my friends to read. Some of them wouldn’t even read at gunpoint. The ones who did succumb to death threats came here once in six months and reluctantly let me know how wonderful my writing was. And now, I can count on my fingers the number of non-bloggers who regularly read this space. That number is really small, but what to do, I have given up hope. BFF should really be redefined and a blogging clause should be added. Sigh.

Our small universe survives on daily dose of encouragement from each other. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. On some days this culture annoys me a whole lot. Don’t get me wrong – I do have my favourite blogs – not only because I enjoy how they write but also because I have now come to know these people through their work and I absolutely adore them. When I read their posts I compliment as much as I criticize. That balance is what I crave for in this universe. 

You see I was never the type of person you would come to if you wanted flattering remarks. On a bad day my friends would stay away from me because I would tell them on their face that their dark circles were growing bigger. On a good day, they would push for my opinion because they thought I would be fair. It is another thing that after my judgement their day suddenly could become bad! So comments like ‘brilliant post’, ‘awesome one’, ‘loved your thoughts’, ‘superbly written’, etc,etc always make me wonder if I am missing a point! This not only happens with other blogs but even mine. Sometimes I don’t think I deserve the applause, but then I get confused that perhaps I don’t know anything about writing.

Maybe after this I will be flooded with compliments. Or maybe, I will be left alone with my only faithful reader – Google Bot. Whatever it is, every society has a certain code of conduct – our top most rule is mutual admiration. As a member of this club I hereby pledge that no matter how much it baffles me, I shall try my best not doubt it. After all, you are my only hope; the BFFs will not surrender to intimidations anyway!

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for... Life’s Lesson

Dear Life, You suck.
But you know what, I know how to duck.
So when you give me lemons, I concoct a Mojito,
I am smart that way, just to let you know.

On a dull day they tell me to count my blessings,
They press on that and tell me how I’ve had a fair innings.
Deep inside they feel happy,
On how they are glad today and I am somehow feeling gloomy.

But I know how to fool them too,
I sing and dance and jump even when I am blue.
They then grow dark green with jealousy,
Seeing that makes me very, very happy!

Sadist you say, yes, probably that’s what we all are,
Nothing makes us feel better than someone else’s despair, how bizarre!
'Look below yourself and suddenly you feel rich':
That commandment is probably happiness’s best sales pitch.

I am not being sarcastic; this is an honest confession.
Try it; happiness will thus follow gloom in quick succession.
When all fundas fail, look at someone more miserable than you,
That’s the irony, life sucks big time for everyone else too.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for... Keeping up with the Joneses

Hey! Hey! Hey! Look what she’s got
Gucci, Vuitton and Chanel to strut.
She shows-off her Rolex and wears Armani,
She got DeBeers, ah! more than many.
Don’t doubt his status as he rolls-in in his Audi,
His suits are tailor made at Massimo Dutti.
He shops at Bloomindales; loves Monaco, 
Flies business class – to and fro.

So what do you do to keep up with them?
Try the fakes and find a real gem?
You brag about your plans and how they never materialise.
Then crib how Prada and Chanel don’t customise.
You learn the terms and blame it on the economy.
You hide your face behind your Maruti Suzuki.
Oh get a life, their world is fake.
Behind the moolah, there is too much at stake.

Be happy with who you are, relish whatever you own.
The bags, the shoes, these brands are too shallow to clone.
The worst form of showing love is their air kisses,
Be real; don't try to catch up with these phony Joneses.
Splurge on experiences, do the world some good
Make the earth a better place, be as genuine as you could.
I tell you today and I tell you now
Be who you are and take a bow.

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for... Just Joking

Some jokes aren’t funny. What do you have to say about these – 

I would have paid for my wife and her mother to fly on Malaysia Airlines.

But I spent all my money sending them on a cruise after the Concordia capsized.

This one is actually sick. How can people joke about people who were on that ill-fated plane?
yUVi is now XYZ.

Frankly, I don’t think poor Yuvraj Singh deserves this flak after the T-20 final. Maybe he is not playing well. Sachin couldn’t also at times. I mean, I shook his hand the same morning, dude. #showingoff

I was raping a woman the other night and she cried, "Please, think of my children!"

Kinky bitch. 

These jokes about rape and genitals – oh, how much I abhor them.

Really these lame jokes are all over the Internet these days. Men and women read these and LOL. What’s happening to our sense of humour? We smile over dead people, rapes amuse us and we feel happy at someone’s downfall? Get creative with it, people.

You can’t mock someone and use the phrase ‘Just Joking’. You can’t tell me I have a paunch like a pregnant woman and get away with it. You really can’t accuse me of adding too much garlic in Chinese food, tell me it is not done like that and then laugh like I don’t know anything. There is a line, and you should know where to draw it.

People joke about Blondes, Irish and Sardars. I really don’t think the people in question are not offended by the humour. They laugh because they don’t know what else to do.  You need to know the thin line between cool and uncool. These jokes are not only personal attacks but they also display lack of imagination. You want to be humorous right? – Get creative and make people laugh. I am sure there are racist jokes that even the subjects laugh at – find them but don’t belittle them. Good timing and appropriateness can be an asset. Sarcasm and demeaning someone can be a liability.

We need Santa Banta back. We need more of The Big Bang Theory. We need movies like Queen and cartoons like Garfield to make us laugh. Humour is a serious business, if you need to say ‘just joking’ after telling the joke then you perhaps should not be cracking it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for... Indian Cuisine

There was a time when India was introduced to Dominoes. Everyone from Raju to Ramya fell in love with it and their favourite cuisine became Italian. It easily replaced Chinese because Chilli Paneer and Chowmein were not cool anymore.

Then going abroad became cheaper and Sushi was introduced to our colourful plate. A lot of people fell in love with Tuna and Salmon wrapped in rice and loved to flaunt the new language they learnt – Teriyaki, Sake, Wasabi, Miso soup...

Arabic Hummus, Fattoush, Falafel, Shawarma were tongue twisters and they became our choice for a good night with Sheesha (Hukkah). Burritos’, Fajita, Enchilada, Nachos combined with a generous jug of Margarita added zing to our life since that spicy Salsa and Guacamole took us back to Indian fare. And when asked which was our favourite cuisine, the answer always was some firangi khana which not only got a great response but was also a good conversation starter.

But after 4 varied meals in a row, we always crave for some Dal Chawal. The yumminess called Tandoori Chicken is hard to replace. And when it comes to sweet cravings, nothing can replace mom’s Halwa or piping hot Gulab Jamun. No matter how cool you sound when you say your favourite cuisine is Mexican, you would always cringe if you get that every day for a continuous week. Am I wrong?

I’m in love with Indian cuisine. I hate my pasta without lots of chillies, I can’t stand the Chinese Chinese and let me not even start with the rawness called Japanese food. Arabic and Mexican are yummy but for how long? In the end I always go to Chicken Biryani and Palak Paneer. Nothing in the world can replace Tamater ka Shorba and Kheer (rice pudding). After all, who will like to have French Fries with Ketchup when you can get flavourful Aaloo Tikki with spoonfuls of Mint Chutney?

Are you like me... slurping after reading this post? Well, my job here is done!