Monday, January 23, 2017

High on Life

The other day, the weather was fabulous in Bahrain. When I looked out of my window, I felt like it was a crime to sit indoors. Being a weekend, I pushed the Boy to go out for breakfast. I was not eating because of a diet which I will talk about soon, yet I enjoyed every single moment of it.

After breakfast I asked him for a drive. When we got back, the gloom set in again and so I asked a few friends if they had plans for lunch. I again pushed the Boy to go out for lunch. I had tea, yet I loved every single moment of it.

And then I asked for a drive again.

Sometimes I get so excited, it is creepy. Every single atom in my body is like a living version of Mithun in his white pants jumping to the tunes of some silly song which I can't seem to remember.

The day was not over yet. I pushed the Boy yet again to go a see a new flat for rent that we've been eying. The flat was gorgeous. I came back and got super excited about that. I looked for different things online concerning the flat. I tried to convince another friend to move to the same building. I did everything except, ofcourse, jump out from my comfortable couch!

Being excited, planned and overly optimistic are the three things I take immense pride in. They define me as a person. Somehow I see very less of it around me. People are more gloomy and subdued. I mean a drop of rain in a desert is worth taking out your pom-poms, right? Just sitting out and having tea is not enough!

I don't know if life is shamelessly short or unbearably long. I don't know if my excitement becomes a pain for someone. I like being crazy. That's the exact way of living life according to me. I want to behave like I've just had five shots of tequilla and have no care in the world. Trust me, there is no other way to live.

I end on this short note. Blogging is not on my priority list these days. I've been doing a whole lot that keeps me occupied. I wish to be back soon, with life as I never knew before. 2017 is shining like a Salman Khan's blockbuster on the first weekend. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Celebrating New Year's

When I was a teenager, my New Year's eve celebration was simple: I would make my favourite cheese on toast, sit in front of the television, and ring in the New Year. My mum and dad slept in early as always. My elder brother partied with his friends. And me, I would celebrate in my own sweet way.

Then I grew up and was cool enough to accompany my brother to parties. He took me with him and I would have sips of alcohol from his glass. My friends still had restrictions, so I celebrated with his friends. They became my buddies and that was fun as well.

Things changed after marriage. Our first new year was a boring one since my in-laws had to shift to a new city on that day. We slept in at our neighbor's house but made *private* special memories! After that we moved to Bahrain. I remember each new year celebration distinctively after that. I also have my favourite ones. I also know that if I would have not celebrated, I would have regretted it.

They say that New Year is hyped up. I love this hype. If we don't put pressure on ourselves to make occasions fun, atleast the world is putting some force. Imagine following the same routine day after day, how boring life would become.

Some argue that not everyone has someone to celebrate this occasion with. Well, this gives you all the more reason to spice up your life. You could have a friend, a sibling, a partner, a neighbour, even your employee, your servant, anyone. There are millions out there who would love your company, you just have to find them.

I don't have any qualms regarding celebrating at home or outside. Though I prefer clubbing, I totally understand if someone is more comfortable at home. I've had so much fun going to clubs, dancing, drinking and following the countdown that I wouldn't want to trade them for house parties. I do that often on weekend basis, then why not go out if I can when every restaurant/pub/club in town has made special arrangements to celebrate?

I believe in celebrating each and every special occasion that comes by. I like the hype. I also create the hype. I buy new clothes, I dress up well, I start looking at deals early on, I ask friends for company, the works. I wouldn't mind celebrating each weekend like this, but we don't do that, do we? Then why not this.

So if you didn't celebrate any special occasion this year in the grandest way possible for you, you're not celebrating this beautiful life God has created for you. Show your gratitude by being joyous. Find your happiness and celebrate. Life's short my friend, but you can make memories and make it longer than it seems to be!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 - The Year That Was.

My life's dreamy. I don't do much, yet I do enough to be happy and content. From the outside it may look like a drag, but look into my heart, and you'd find contentment with just a dash of confusion, because, well, there is nothing worse than a sorted life.

2016 was the same - only a little better than the last year and a tad worse than the year to come. How can I be sure of the next year? - well, that's how cool God is to me!

I count happiness with all the new things I do. Routine fills the gaps between the new things and that's important to feel settled. But new, new gives me excitement, a feeling that I am alive, a hope that I am still young at heart and mind. 2016 was awesome because:

1. I learnt how to Mosaic. Tiles, clippers, grout - it made me tired yet fulfilled. I created a beautiful owl which hangs  on my wall now. Absolutely in love with my creation!!

2. I opened a new Instagram account - coupleintransit. The purpose of this account is to cover the new places we visit - in and outside Bahrain. But you know what, I forget to take pictures before eating, I forget to post pictures after visiting, I forget to like others for them to like me, and I never follow anyone till I really want to follow - all are the makings of a terrible Instagrammer! Lets just say coupleintransit would just remain an extention of this blog and nothing else. I was never into ass-licking and would never be.

3. I read more books in 2016 than I read in any previous years. I'm a lousy reader. If I lose interest early on in a book, I put it away and don't go back to reading anything for months. So this year was special - I might start reading more.

4. I wrote a letter to my 10-year old niece! In the age of technology we have forgotten the love for paper, pen and hand-written mail. I want her to know what it means to write letters, the fragrance that brings you close to the person who wrote it, and something that you can keep in a box and cherish forever, not just mail that goes on the cloud in form of bits and binary!

5. We stayed in luxury hotels for the first time this year. We spoilt ourselves and felt awesome. I hope we can still stay in 3-stars and feel great because, otherwise, with our limited budget, we won't be able to travel as much!

6. We took two spontaneous trips this year - Prague and Dubai. This was so unlikely us. The first was in lieu of the leftover leaves that needed to be used, plus, God bless Fly Dubai, a super-awesome deal on flights. The other was the Boy's conference that ended being my vacation with my favourite cousin in the land of Sheikhs. I loved both holidays a whole lot and they definitely deserve to go in my diary.

7. Planned a very romantic evening for the Boy on our anniversary. Period.

8. Started eating a lot of chicken and eggs - if that counts!

9. Oh, how can I forget, we were the leading pair of a promotional video by a topppp Bahrain Magazine. I don't want to get into details because I was immensely embarrassed!!! We were even featured in the magazine and the Boy was told by many people in his office and otherwise also that they saw us!! We also had a disagreement with the magazine staff and they had to compensate us. This experience would be hard to top for sure.

10. We saw an International artist Live for the first time. Avicii in Ibiza was an experience I would never, ever forget. My feet were aching like crazy after the show, but it was totally worth it.

11. Made a video for my bestie's daughter's first birthday which made a lot of people shed happy tears! I was also reminded that I've been awesome right from teenage - two of my friends still have gifts I gave them when I was 13 and one has passed it to the next generation. I don't know why we don't exchange gifts like these as we grow older. Hmm! Birthdays are special and need to be celebrated. I wish to hug and be hugged on birthdays, gift and be gifted... Oh, i digress!

This year I became a tad selfish because I want to have fun in life. There were times I wanted to do so much but just could not. I became stronger because I exercised a whole lot. I became braver because I traveled alone when I did not want to. I became smarter because I read so much. And, like every year, I became more grateful for all the goodies and for all the sense. Here's hoping to top all these experiences next year and adding more to my gratefulness account.

Much love.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

This is Us

I was watching this show called This is Us on television when Kate, the fat girl in the show, made a revelation that struck a chord. ‘It’s always going to be about the weight,’ she said, ‘it has been about the weight ever since I was a little girl. It is a part of who I am.’

Being extremely overweight is like a disease. And if, unfortunately, you’ve had a disease for too long, it is all you think about. ‘Will I fit in that chair? Will that dress fit me? How am I looking? That’s all I can think about,’ Kate said.

I know how she feels. Hell, I think exactly how she thinks. Not because I am in the same situation like her, but because I am in a similar situation like her. If not your own conscience, it is the world around you that keeps reminding you of the shortcomings you have. The situations you face are perceived differently by you because of the thing you have. Now I don’t know if ‘normal’ people have something bothering them persistently, but it does take a lot of space in my head.

The thing is, I don’t know how to get it out. You condition yourself into believing that it is alright to have a shortcoming. If you are a positive person, you are constantly telling yourself that it is all okay. Basically you lie to yourself because deep down you know it is not okay. This is when you let your shortcoming take over your whole mind, body and soul.

This thought is so disturbing yet true. You are living a great moment and bam! a thought troubles you and you let go of the fun because it so deeply a part of you. Live in the moment they said, but they knew all too well that it was just a cover up.

What else a person is to do? Sulk? Cry? Make all the moments about that one stupid thing that wasn’t chosen by him? To become that bubbly, chirpy person we lie to ourselves that we are bigger than our problems. We are what we think we are. We are not fat. We are not crippled. We are not suffering. We suppress the demons and go on living a life in which everything is okay.

Perhaps the sour lemons life gives us help us become the yum lemonade that we are. If it weren’t for those shortcomings, we won’t be the sensitive, more loving people that we are. We are crazy, I agree, but we are also sweet and caring and understanding. I speak for all fat people here. I speak for all those who have been battling a disease for years. Every second of your life is going to be about that, but it is also going to be about you, about us – the great thinkers and ‘feelers’ of all time! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Weight Rant. Again.

I just had some coffee and cheese on toast. Although my lunch was a yoghurt-apple-honey-walnut thing that I absolutely love, it did not satifsy my stomach, hence the toast. I did some exercise in the morning and I have to go to the gym in an hour. I've done this quite a few times this year, but that bitch of a weighing scale refuses to move!

When I stand on it in the morning after having my two big glasses of warm water (to dilute the fat you see!), it smirks at me. It reminds me of the fabulous trips I've had and the Kulchas and the Margaritas I have so happily devoured in the last few months. 'Yoghurt for lunch, really? Remember the night with three desserts?', the lazy, immovable, piece of fat stink tells me.

So I had 2016 goals which are slowly converting to 2017 goals. I have a diary, I have a calendar, I have an excel file, heck, I even have a piece of paper under a cake magnet on the fridge that tells me how my weight has moved in this year. That's 58.5 minus 57.5 kg. They just sit there and tell me that I have spent more time in creating a floral design on some device for each activity rather than moving my butt. I wanted to create a set of tapping feet for a home Zumba session with my two left hands, is that so hard to accept?

Now before you start telling me that I look fine and I don't need to cut down, let me tell you about a recent encounter I had with a few hot mommies in Dubai. Now Bahrain is like a village in front of the kingdom of Burj Khalifa. Here we have women happy in their space eating like there's no tomorrow. But Dubai's got super models with whom you have to compete on a daily basis.

So when I met these women, I thought I was the fattest one there. These were in their late 30's with atleast two kids and minimum three big solitaires. They ate one-fourth of the starters that I ate. They took dinner in small bowls. They took a fork to eat the yummy home-made cake (of which, mind you,  they asked the host for a recipe. I am guessing it was for 'fat' guests like!). And then, when I was happily devouring my favourite Cuba Libre, I saw a huge kettle of green tea which was served to them by the host. I wanted to die with shame. Here, in Bahrain, I am an epitome of diet and exercise. I have people having green tea just for my visits. My friends mock my salads and grilled lunch choices. There, they have trainers who come in every day and dietitians who send them food every 3 hours - I was schooled.

While I don't judge their choices because I also believe in a healthy lifestyle, I did learn a valuable lesson. There is a long way to go to size 4 and with my weekend pitchers of Margaritas and my monthly dose of Karhai Paneer, my future doesn't look so bright. I will not give in to the mocking. I will make exercise and diet my passion (I have started positive thinking, and I am not kidding!). And I will not spend time coloring the sides of a fancy diary or writing a blog post. I will work to achieve my goals! You don't believe me, see this snapshot. And dare you mock me. Remember, I have hot mommies of Dubai to compete with. And if you ask me, you should look up to them as well.

Just for the weight though. I would crush them in other areas *smug smile*.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Voices in my Head

They tell me it is ok
Then they tell me it is not
When I look out for explanations
They tell me they are a confused lot.

‘Oh how convenient,’
I tell them out loud
Then they laugh at my misery
Tearing me apart, Making me not so proud.

These voices in my head
I wonder if you can hear 
Only if you did
I wouldn’t be someone you could bear...

These voices in my head
Do you have them too?
How do you push them away
So that you can be you?

'I am better than these voices,'
I sometimes calm myself and say
This is, ofcourse, yet another voice from my head
Which tried to be kind to me today!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trip Report - 5 nights in Goa

Some destinations present themselves in a new way even when you visit them multiple times. Goa is one such place. This was our third visit; familiarity blended perfectly well with newness and made our trip wonderful. 

This time we decided to stay in the North for 3 nights and make our first trip to the South for 2. Being a little richer than last time helped 'cause hotels in the South are both tempting and expensive! Plus the taxi fares, oh the taxi fares... more on that later.

We landed here on 7th evening from Chandigarh and headed straight to Souzo Lobo in Calungute for dinner. After a disappointing meal, we had our favorite Naturals ice-cream and took a taxi to Club Cubana. It was a Monday night, yet the club had its amazing vibe that we absolutely love. After chilling out on the beds, dancing to funky beats in the club section and having a few drinks at the bar, we retired for the day. By the way, never ever go to Calungute beach. And always, always have Natural's ice cream and definitely go to Cubana!

Love the sound of waves at Souza Lobo, not the food and the strays though.

The bar at Club Cubana - always buzzing with good crowd and superb music.

If you can have only one ice-cream in your lifetime, this is the one!!!

We had been to Baga, Calungute and Morjim in the North but never seen Candolim beach. Much against the wishes of the taxi drivers outside our hotel, we thought of checking out the scene there. The shacks were still not open due to some stupid government approvals, but we could still get drinks and sunbeds on the beach. We stayed there for a while, but returned back disappointed. Again.

For the evening, we had a booking at Thalassa, the much celebrated Greek Taverna in Vagator. I had called a few days back and booked a table with a sea view at 5 p.m. Absolutely loved the beautiful sunset and the buzz in the restaurant. Built in Santorini/Mykonos style, the place was quite entertaining. I guess we missed out on the live shows because it was a Tuesday, next time, maybe!

The view from our table

The creme de la creme of Goa tourists!!!

At night, we went to the casino. The atmosphere was becoming grim.. Modi had just given the news of banning Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. Frankly, I thought it was a joke when I read it on whatsapp! The Boy confirmed it soon and we were worried for a lot of people we know! We had a lot of cash with us as well and we were heading straight to Bahrain in 3 days. We didn't have any intention of waiting in the queues when the banks opened. It didn't matter if we lost in the casino; they were going to give us our money in denominations of 500 and 1000 only!!

Well, I am seasoned player. We played for a couple of hours and didn't lose a single penny. That's how I like it - entertainment for free. Without being greedy, we left early. 

The taxi wallahs were accepting the cash. Some restaurants followed suit. Most were confused and held on to their 10's,20's, 50's and 100's dearly. ATMs were all filled with people at night and there was panic all around. Thankfully, we had a trustworthy friend in Goa who took our cash from us the next day and deposited the same a couple of days later. What a relief! 

On Day 3, we went to the Portuguese Quarter in Panaji. Goa is much more than its beaches, and I really wanted to see that. It was a quiet neighbourhood with a clear influence from its Portuguese rulers. We walked around and had lunch at the most famous restaurant there - Viva Panjim. The food was ok, the owner was very sweet and friendly, the decor was rustic.. only cards accepted during this particular panic situation!

The houses in Fountainhas - the Portuguese Quarter in Panaji. Google did this editing for me!

The Restaurant - Viva Panjim 

We headed to our favorite Morjim beach after this. Finally we were happy to be where we were comfortable. New things are fun, but old and pre-loved are better. Our dinner at Britto's was the same - delicious even on our third visit. Do try Prawns Balchao (dry as starter not the gravy ones because then it has a very weird smell) to love more of the Goan cuisine.

The night at LPK - Love, Passion, Karma - was disappointing again. Lousy crowd, Pathetic music and no ambience whatsoever. I don't know if it was Wednesday night lull or what - we left in 30 minutes flat!

Me - the poser - at Morjim!

LPK - the 'artwork' impressed us. Nothing else.

Now came the day we were most excited about - our trip to South Goa. We took a big step and booked ourselves into The Leela Hotel in Cavelossim. Aah, what can I say about this magical property. Frankly, I wanted to be up and about all the time so that I don't waste a single moment from our precious time here! 

The room had lagoon views, the Golf course was perfectly trimmed, the nursery was beautiful, the walk into the beach was perfect, the food was delicious... we even spotted Sonia Gandhi on our walk around the hotel!! 

The sunsets at Mobor beach - always wonderful!

Hammock on a clean beach - God has been kind!!!

I love those trees and I love those shoes even though they make me look like a school girl!!
This was all inside the hotel, btw!

One of the many Lagoon views at The Leela

Our balcony - can someone make a neighbourhood like this and buy me a villa in it?

Early morning walk around the Golf course on the way to the beach

My favorite drink in the whole wide world!!
And if someone can bring it to your beach bed - ah, pure bliss!

8 a.m. at Leela, Mobor beach
The two days were about early morning walks around the hotel, listening to the waves, getting lost in wilderness, sleeping on the beach beds, drinking Margharitas and eating Prawns masala and Chicken Xacuti at a nearby restaurant - The Fisherman's Wharf. I can't fault anything in those two days - this part of South Goa wowed us. 

Will we return? - definitely! Will we just go to the South? - no way! The real Goa is in the North. We will visit both. Maybe I can call Goa our Leap Year tradition (2008, 2012 and 2016 so far!). Until next time, keep being yourself Goa. And don't let nasty Taxi drivers, who quote exorbitant prices in the beginning and then come down to above normal prices, stop you from visiting this gorgeous place on earth. Goa can be a cheap holiday or a very luxurious one, it all depends on you. Ours was somewhere in between. Whatever you decide to do, you will always yearn to return.