October 31, 2014

A mindful monkey!

It is amazing how my mind works. The messy mind needs lists, calendars and plans fixed. Impromptu plans upset me for a while. If it is travelling or recreation, it is fun. Otherwise, such incidents upset that little corner of my mind in a horrible fashion.

I have two types of problems. One, I am so very much clear about what I have to do, when and how I need to do. It creates the feeling of being too busy.For example, I make a rough plan in my mind before leaving from my office about rest of the day(?). No rest, please note. The draft would be very much in detail. Like, Going to the basement parking, getting on the vehicle, stopping at a near by 'Sabji wali', stopping for that grocery shopping, parking the vehicle in the colony, Getting into the lift, Start cooking- chai making ,calling both mothers and so on. I do it sub-consciously.

My second problem occurs when I do not know what I have to do. Like, my next job? My next vacation? When should I plan for a visit to my home now? Bla bla. It makes my mind boggle. All the time.

I want to do everything and that too together. Without missing a bit. I know this. The habit of multitasking some times makes you feel blah, far from being satisfied. Rightly said, "You are not Multitasking, you are just task switching!" May be I need to change my mindset to this.

I 'have to' make a to-do-list and I am a sucker for applications which can help me out. My problem is I make lists randomly any where, because I am yet to make the 'system' in which I can use a single diary/application for personal and professional tasks. Sometimes going digital seems the best way out and some times I am back to good old diary lists!! Both never gets in sync!

With my baking - cooking adventures on (Did I tell you, I have started putting Jaggery in oats in the morning, in place of Refinded Sugar?), eating healthy stuff is on priority. Along with other domestic stuff I have to do in the absence of my maid. So,whatever time I get after Maha frustrating office hours, I chase the super long to-do-list.

I keep on revising editing it in my mind or an application or on paper.So my mind jumps around tasks all the time. No doubt focusing on work, which is frustrating, gets more frustrating with time. My mind never decreases the speed of processing. The list never gets sync with my mind, paper list or an applist.

I keep on hovering around ideas to make my to-do-list perfect and then check all the points in the list.

May be a different sort of monkey minded personality I am!
A mindful Monkey?

October 29, 2014

It really helps. Day dreaming.

Nilofar was coming. I was selfish for a moment. I wanted it to come to Pune at that very moment, so as to get an early compulsory off. (Being human, I don't want it to happen only, I was not a human being at that moment.)

My heart was thumping hard. No nervousness. Frustration. I did not want to go to the meeting which I had managed to avoid for quite some time. Just because it never helped. The saturation point was coming closer, to feel numb, I felt. The office kills my senses every day. Slogging is not challenging, that is what some senior management people told me. Yeah, well. That is what they make us do.

I attended the meeting with the shivering body while the low temperature of the room managed to keep my blood from boiling. The sheer wastage of time, managed to bring evening closer. Just to get roasted in another 'Counselling for career' lecture from another senior. Well, that is life. Talking about work life balance and asking to attend calls at States of America time.

The frustrated body tends to bend towards heavy , junk and irregular meals, like a normal human being. Just to realize they are big mistakes of my life. Having a cup of tea in place of heavy breakfast and grabbing the tasteless lunch, way after lunch timing. That is another story too. Being unhealthy and fat.

Those fat cells accumulated due to lack of exercise dance in the form of Bharatnatyam, Garba and free Bollywood dance shows once I enjoyed till I finished my 10th board. They keeps on increasing and decreasing in numbers. They never leave me alone for a long period of time. Of course my DNA is made up of fat cells if I look at my family,but there are celebrities like family members who manage to stay fit, a way healthier than a kid at an old age. I think, I am out of excuse and will power both.

The frustration rules my mind after office and I hardly feel my heart willing to beat with increased pace and endorphin rush in my veins. I ignore working out and keep on eating stuff, I should not.

Those sleeveless tops, halter necks and hot pants would never get the privilege to get flaunted by me. Those Reebok shoes in the show room to die for, will never get to see my legs moving faster than my usual speed of brisk walk. Those beautiful silk Sarees will be loved by me immensely with the wave of pain of looking ugly  in them. Those back pains which will play hide and seek all my life just because of my excess weight during PMS.

I can see the saturation point, the point of no return is coming closer in my professional life, affecting my personal life like never before.

I do not have a tunnel vision yet, to sort this for once and all. I have a blurred picture of what I would be doing in coming years, may be like a drenched painting. You thought you would get a finished bright, proper strokes on the canvas, what you got is a bucket full of water falling on it. Also you realize, you don't want to paint anymore.

Beautiful mornings, Sunshine, Chai mugs, Balcony. Jogging, dancing and the blood rush. No wearing formal clothes and no worries regarding how to tie my hair. Vegetables and grocery shopping and a stocked up kitchen. Relishing the food and working on my favorite laptop side by side. Chit chat with family members, photo clicking here and there. Challenges where my passion lies. Spic and Span kitchen and bright curtains. White cotton comfortable bed sheets and sparkling mirrors. Baking, blogging and reading every day. Discussion on geeky things and a few days out of town to enjoy the vacation every year.

Day dreaming relieves me sometimes from the baggage of frustrations I carry.

It really helps!

October 27, 2014

The Big-Fat Festive wave!

It took me (and Mr.ISB) to the storm. The Diwali and our New Year. Of course, combination of two talkative and hyper personalities of same age when meets, such things happen. I am talking about Mr.ISB's sister and not Mr.ISB!!The addition was Diwali. Let me explain!

First my parents came to Pune and then we went to Mumbai. Home. The trip of course covered a lot of social gatherings which were pending after the wedding, we clubbed all of them with Diwali and New year gatherings. The over explosion of such happenings  made me more chirpy (Yeah, I surpassed my past records!) and of course happy happy. No story can justify my feelings , so I am back to basic bulletins on my blog! :D

  • Going to Mr.ISB's eldest uncle's place.This was a bit of surprise as  I never could participate in most of the topics with them before. Generally filled with religious talks,this time the meeting happily included travelling ideas and talking with our nephew. The 10 year old kid actually came with us for the night stay. Above all, talking about books with the Uncle made me  us happier as I was happily given his two favorite thrillers from the collection. The little cute kid of the uncle who is now my husband might be thrilled that I stole am stealing the show. :D
  • My nephew. This kid talks like a kiddo Bubblegum. Fighter planes and wars. Spies and Defense. Cars in addition. I gifted him one of my favorite magazine  in English. Happy Happy!
  • Rangoli. No Diwali can be the 'Happy Diwali' without Rangoli. There are stories related to my rangolis every year back Amdavad wala home. Credits to my grand mother who was brilliant at it and we could make Rangolis every year.Some times, every day a new rangoli! I am into this ragoli making from the day I could hold a pencil and knew about colors. Ganpati Rangoli is compulsory in my rule books of Diwali since years!

  • Do not even ask me about food. Yours truly baked a cake, a not-so-so-good bread, some experimental and 'over sweet by mistake' muffins. The main chef at home, my mother (In law) made super tasty 'Ghughra' and the brilliantly assembled Sizzler! The foodies relished chocolates my dad brought from France and some random sweets every now and then. I know I have to start with my workout from today!
Okayish Bread made with clubsoda!

Banana whole wheat muffins!
See how well the engineer has managed to get the shape ;-)

  • Telephones. Mobiles. Talking to my favorite Kaki and Kaka from USA (I better give them blog names now!), my relatives from Ahmedabad and some other formal talks. Honestly , I enjoyed each of them. Some more some less.Unlike Mr.ISB who gladly talked (For a few minutes before running out of topics!) only to Kaka-Kaki from USA, for others he crafted some really good facial expressions to avoid , which were enjoyed by me and my sister (in out law)! :D
  • I also realized how parents can affect babies. I got to hear from a very young and stylish corporate mom that her 4 years old kiddo called her 'Babes' once. Learning from the random comments by his father. I laughed my lungs out!
  • After working really hard in the kitchen (Not cooking but the tedious side activities when your maid is not there) Bubblegum and the sister out law got pushed to take rest in a separate room by every other person of the family saying evening with guests coming in, would be more tiring. We had 2 hours to sleep and revive, which we spent in talking talking and talking. Got revived too, seeing faces of other members of the family when Mr.ISB opened the door of the room silently to cross check if we are sleeping!
  • Meeting old friends. Irritating some more. Long walks with the Bro buddy-1 and Mr.ISB like old times. Honestly, we need to meet more! Such a good feeling to re-play memories.
  • Back to back movies and discussion, some airy plans of travelling and career. The idea of managing two girls (Bubblegum and the sister out law) for more than a week made our mom threaten us saying she might take up the job if we decide to take a sabbatical together, under one roof!! :D 
  • Mumbai home also means, pleasant morning walks, cups of filter coffee in the famous cafes at Matunga. No Starbucks can beat them!
  • The departure for me was super frustrating as here in Pune, from today, I am again alone. All alone. With Mr.ISB on business trip and my office work starting again. Blogging such memories makes me giggle in such lonely moments.
Such was the festive big fat wave for me. How about you?

October 20, 2014

Bubblegum who bakes, now!

These all, baking stuff started with my dad. Really. He loves this machine with top and bottom heat elements,one motor and some sheet metal- metal parts. Do you realize he is a hard core engineer?

Whatever I baked at my home (Sadly, people call it now 'my' parent's home and I disagree with all of them), he became the most enthusiastic member of the family to taste those cookies, cakes and well breads. Some of them were really good, beginner's luck may be. Some of them were disgusting and he tasted all of them with same smile. Poor dad!

Slowly , dad's girl started building up interest in baking. For years, all I did was using ready made mixes or Indian dishes like 'Bati', baked potatoes with some masala. Now when my Bua who is equally into baking (beside being an 80 years old young doctor) decided to gift me an OTG, the ball of choosing an OTG came into my court completely.

That is how things started going haywire.

Yours truly got impatient and did extensive research while the husband was away. Rubbing shoes in different stores to hunt for that particular model did not work, so I did nothing but ordered it online on Amazon India. One of my then favorite site to order anything under the sun. Things went dull when I received my consignment in the form of a damaged OTG.

I lost my mood, temper and tempo to even talk to any one. Some where the madness to bake and practice to bake some cakes and knead some breads before my parents visit my home,made me almost a depressed a soul. I registered for the pick up for returns and refund. I was not ready to take the risk of replacing the product any more.

It took some 20 calls to 20 different customer care employees, 4 apology mails, some 100 sorry-s , boiling approximately hundred liter blood  they successfully picked up the wrong dispatch after 7 days.

Meanwhile my parents had arrived and they stayed without any trauma in the form of baking by me. Lucky guys. Anyway, daddy and the daughter had decided to get an Oven so it was. So while my parents left the city, the Oven arrived at 10 in the night! I do have some regret for not being able to harass them with my experiments but then, I am happy for the new OTG!

The OTG which finally came home!

How can I sleep when the OTG has been installed ? I followed chased her for this cake recipe!

Please do not stare the picture, rough baking is allowed for the first experiment after months, in your own OTG!

This is what I got. I swear, not so healthy for a midnight snacking, but yummy all the way!

Yummyness all over!
With the first successful baking experiment, I can say,

Bubblegum now bakes!

October 16, 2014

Frustration, Food, Books!

These three words sums up my life since some days. I would also like to put up a disclaimer that this is a 'Blah' kind of a post!

Last one week has been a roller coaster ride which took a depressive path and it is yet to collide with anything which can stop it. The only positive part of the tenure was the election day in the state and with no right to vote here, I quietly enjoyed the peaceful holiday with Mr.ISB. I am dreading today again, as the ride is going to continue.

Lately my office and my work has been draining my last 1% of peace and energy for nothing. It is no more challenging my urge to take up thing any further. I just feel like escaping from each and every molecule the office is made of. Right from my colleagues , friends and my work. Everything.

Every morning I have to pull myself away from the bed bribing me a cup of my type of tea. I drag myself to pick that laptop which would be lying on my bed as last night I would be working on it,  like a ghost with burning eyes and in between reading my current ongoing book-love. Trade offs are never easy.

The house maid has decided to never (not even a single day) to come on time and thus making me late for the office, every day. I am not sure if I am slowly striding towards inhumanity but I really feel like asking her not to come the next day, as the deal is over. I am yet to implement and it will take forever. No, I can not do that to any one. Freaking expenses these days, they need work too.

In such days, only cooking and reading apart from understanding semi-motivational speeches given by the eternal optimistic Mr.ISB keeps me alive. I have also changed my loyalty from paper books to Kindle App due to my over shooting expenses on books and the need of keeping them with me all the time. Of course the feel and the smell is missing big time but then there has to be a trade off.

When I am in office, I take everything to slow down my metabolism. I do not go for the lunch, I hate the all-women-girls lunch group talks to the core. I do not even go with my guys-group of lunch as well. In short my calls with stake holders affect my mind in such a way that, I throw it on my body. Not acceptable, I know.

When I am at home. I cook (Good or bad!) out of the overwhelming feelings towards food. Seriously, I feel satisfied from within. I guess each and every droplet of my blood celebrates the joy when I cook and feed two souls.

Yummy pancakes!

Masala Tomato rice!

Pithado - Besan ki sabji - Mom's Input!

Kofta - Healthy No fry!

Super healthy Atte ka sheera - With minimum Ghee and Jaggery!

Stuffed Grilled Bell Pepper - Waiting for Oven to make it properly !

I guess the amount of frustration I gather in office every day, safely turns into a unique food dish. Not in my life time I took so much of interest naturally in cooking. Cooking is therapeutic! My cooking adventures are truly supported - guided by her and both moms, in Eklavya style! 

Yesterday, after Repeating cooking-reading-sleeping cycle for three times we managed our asses to move out and as usual we went for a long walk which ended with a dinner and the Crossword visit. 

I was happy, things were soothing out and I realized the working day is knocking on the door! 

Frustration, Food and Books - Here I come again.

October 12, 2014


Then there came a message from one of my colleagues, " You are cooking fancy stuff! Finally like us, you are domesticated after marriage. Hahahahaha. Welcome to the poor working women's gang!"

I was offended big time. It is not the truth. 'Domestication' is not negative at all, for me.

Reasons are many. I am free to do whatever I want to do. Whatever I want to wear. I have developed my hobbies in last four months, more than I did in last two years. I love having a kitchen of my own and not the shared one with my room-mates. I love keeping my home spick-and-span. Does that mean I have forcefully changed myself? Is doing domestic stuff so bad that makes you a part of that 'Poor Working Women's Gang'?

Well there are gazillion perspectives and all are based on situations but this led me to a long introspection. I was flabbergasted when I concluded, the so called 'Domestication' is something I love, at this point of life'.

I remember the rebellion self ,yours truly,who abhorred cooking in teens. I had some limited food dishes in my wish list and was never driven towards cooking them for any one, forget myself. I was the 'career conscious kind of a Mechanical Engineer'. I was ' I will get myself a cook' kind of a young girl. The happiness was in challenging everything my class-mates and friends do in the male dominating field. My mom dad supported me in whatever I wanted to do, crowded by 89 guys in the class of 90 students and with my several groups which contained guys most of the time.

My OCD to keep things clean appeared from my DNA gifted by my mom once I left my home town for the very first job. Till then mom was there to make me do the stuff like organizing cupboards and helping her in the kitchen to keep it clean as if the whole kitchen was bought from Ikea, every single day.

After moving three cities in India and a country on my own, I have picked up some curiosity to make all of our meals delicious. I crave to keep my kitchen spotless, my drawing room cozy with sunshine. Well, there are days when I just have to leave with the dirt on the platform due to the tired body and frustrated soul continuously worrying about work at office. Even after office hours.

I make Mr.ISB the guinea pig for cooking experiments, believe me, I am a toddler in this journey which gives me immense satisfaction after feeding two stomachs and thus my heart. I feel the brilliance of the light at the end of the tunnel when I smile after cleaning and organizing things piled up in all those corners of my house. I love spending some time with my plants who managed to survive my regular absence due to travelling.

I feel the marriage made these things possible. I realized what I do in the day time at office is nothing but chasing this male chauvinist field of  Mechanical Engineers, proving my efficiency in doing things better than many of them but the whole I-am-as-good-as-any-of-them feel does not give me joy any more. I feel drained, I feel gripped by some jaws. May be the salary drives me and pushes me to keep doing what I do.

I do not think, house-stuff home-stuff makes me that poor working woman included in the so called bothered gang of ladies. I have started loving cooking, cleaning, buying grocery, experimenting unique dishes which I hated in 25 years of my life.I am not that poor thingie, domesticated after the wedding.

The word 'Domesticated' is not at all worth what I feel.

The sense of meeting your soul, with each of the tasty meal I cook is not worth so much of negativity.

October 9, 2014

Putting thoughts together!

This is a better title than 'Blabbering again'! Looks composed. Well, my mind is far from behaving composed. Trillion thoughts bubbling together in the tiny cabinet are rushing on to appear on this blog now.

Mornings of my own. With Mr.ISB on a business trip and my maid's usually late arrival has created a confusions in my mind. Is the lonely time, I needed to things I wanted to do or it is plain annoying to get disturbed in between. A new found my-morning-love and the excuses of my  maid as well as irritating phone calls. Even if your office permits you to come a little late, your stake holders at the job wont.Blah.

My mind is over loaded with things I want to do and so as a 'List-maniac' of the highest order, I have calmed down my self by putting it on a piece of paper. Only if I can fulfill them all.

I have been opening up new tabs by clicking links recommended by friends and try to clip on them to some applications for the later-on-reads. I fail to check any of them. I abhor almost all 'cliping' application. I am a big fan of simple, neat and user friendly yet fast designs. Be it websites, applications, Software , furniture or machines. Anything clumsy turns my mood into a even more clumsier state of mind than that pretty clumsy thing. The truth is, I hate when I forget about those links.You know what I mean. I wish I had all the time in the world to read them all, one by one. Like some body said some days back, while making an Adarakhwali chai for the first time in his life at 11.30 pm before I had to attend my USA conference call with choked nose, "There is so much of knowledge in the world." Yeah, Like learning how to make a cup of tea which Bubblegum can relish at the Veee hour. Mr.ISB!

I have become a personality of  all great OCDs on this earth. Mr.ISB puts into a different way. I am a control freak personality. I need to be organised if I want to feel good. A trip plan, a shopping plan, a super market visit, a hobby list. I need to plan on dot. Apart from such 'Plans', I need a clean sink, a clean platform, a well arranged book storage and a perfectly ironed as well as placed pile of clothes. Even when my sofa is full of office bags and my coffee-table has piles on newspapers on it. OCDs appear in installments for me.

I have been thinking a lot on ambitions lately. Not a single decision of my life was taken against my wish. I am in the field  I wanted to be. I studied what I always wanted to. I earn and agree to the fact that all corporate jobs suck. I doubt if my ambition was my aggressiveness to accept challenge to be the part of a male dominated field and prove myself?

The 'fitness-freak' side of my husband has made me realize, how much fat I have accumulated apart from loosing on immunity and getting back-pains all the time. I really don't want to look like a big fat buffalo in coming days. Time to re-focus on the workout plan.

A lot of chaos inside, isn't it? Hey, I am still positive.

All good things start with chaos!