January 25, 2017

Home (Town) is ....

Where winters are gorgeous and pink.
Where one has to wear slippers even at home.
Where I can get over flowing supplies of curd and butter milk, even in winters!
Where I get forced to apply lip balm every now and then. Winters are still lovely.
Where everything around is in order and beautiful done,thanks to my mommy dearest.
Where no one can sleep till even 9am. Again thanks to mommy but with a bit of support of our irregular maids!
Where I can get all the delicious heritage food dishes to hog on to.
Where I can just lie down in peace because hey, there is no noise at 12 am like Mumbai.
Where I shop shop shop and shop and never drop. Specially fabric! No town in the world can weave cotton thread, the way my home town does.
Where I can talk talk talk and talk with my entire clan because we all share the same frequency.
Where I can meet my bestie - Frock Buddy N( provided she is in the town) and chat, laugh, eat, laugh and chat.
Where I can open my mother's wardrobe and grab any saree from her beautiful collection, just for the sake of it.
Where my brother eats whatever I cook.Only if we have not had an argument before the dish got cooked!
Where I can get all my ID proofs' photocopies with lamination, tucked in my folder. In Mr.ISB's language, 'Isn't your mom awesome!'

Home (town) is really where that part of my heart is.

Even after so many years, the remaining part of my heart sinks when I leave the town.

January 18, 2017


I'm never surprised when some one comments on my hair calling it a big chunk of wires or 'Satya Saibaba'  or even 'Jatadhari'. Yes, I was christened 'Jatadhari' only because my hair could drink away a big bottle of coconut oil in a few minutes. I may be exaggerating but this is the only way one can understand what I'm trying to convey -the exponential growth over scalp and fizzy hair.

I've had my share of bad hair days or say years, but after I got myself a short hair-cut to flaunt, I was into a perpetual state of 'Happy Hair'. At least that is what I believed. Till today.

My director who is young (at heart) enough to get shooed away by me (thankfully), started laughing seeing me.

"How come your hair looks combed today", he said.

No, my friends. Neither I was not into a new swag nor I had invented a chemical to control my hair growth. 

I was wearing a scarf! 


January 16, 2017

'Priceless' couple

I've got almost detached from the television. Just to get addicted to Netflix and Hot star. We watch movies and different series almost every day on either of these 'channels'.

So, one day it happened that we got glued to Koffee with Karan's 2nd episode of the 5th Season. None other than the dashing couple - Akshay and Twinkle, were the guests.

I being a very shy personality in terms of public display of affection, over lovey dovey couple sometimes make me sick. Hence, for me getting impressed by most of the Bollywood couples who come to this show, is a bit difficult. But....

Akshay, for being the straight forward, hard working guy. *(Not to forget his physique at this age)*Twinkle with her charming dress and glamorous stones along with her wit,wisdom and authority in whatever she does. Everything about them seemed mind blowing.It was amazing to see such contrasting personalities (as Karan puts rightly, 'He is lull and she is the storm') tied up in the marital knot, living 'happily (and always progressive) ever after'.

Some of the fun and witty moments with notes....


Akshay kumar stole a part of my heart by showing epitome of honestly and transparency on the show when Karan Johar asked,what would that be when Twinkle says 'We need to talk'.

"It means, I would have forgotten to flush" (After visiting the loo), Akshay said.

Twinkle stole the other piece of my heart by showing her wit,almost all over the episode.

Karan: Isn't it weird that your real name is Twinkle and the nickname is  Tina?
Twinkle: My grandfather wanted my name to rhyme with my Mom's amd Masi's names. So other options were Sprinkle and Sparkle. Twinkle is much much better!


"I wanted to know exactly why am I getting married to him and where am I getting into", when she was explaining why did she made those two list out of one showed pros and cons of marrying Akshay. (Speechless at her clarity, if true!)


I don't even want to pen down how many times and how she whacked Karan without an ounce of diplomacy and a bag full of satire.


"The worst thing critique has to say about you", Karan asked Twinkle.

"They don't have to write, they have to just sing 'Mela dilon ka'..", Giggles Twinkle


"For a very small period of time I thought I was in love with Twinkle (The only female he had a crush on), I wonder how."

Twinkle without even blinking her eyes for a moment, "Because my testosterone levels are 11, which is almost as much as a man's and I had mustaches at that time"! 


When they realized that none from the couple has got an award for acting in a film,
Karan puts aptly that they are indeed a 'Priceless' couple.


January 13, 2017

Chill Pill

If you are thinking that I'm going bonkers over what happened in the Cold Play concert in Mumbai last year,well you are wrong.

Mumbai has been performing beyond expectations this new year and has dropped its temperature to 19 degree Celsius at some points in last five days. (Yes, apart from my family,I miss winters the most in Mumbai) *Grinning at all friends back in Singapore*

....And I've got reasons to celebrate this season every day by...

-Indulging into Teh Halia. Yes the Malaysian (Singaporean) equivalent of Adarakh wali chai. Sayesha Didi is not here to make it for me (And how she has mastered the art!) and so I've finally acquired the skill to make Teh Halia using her recipe, albeit with a bit of change. A big piece of ginger in the mixture of water-let it boil (because hey, Indian Ginger can spoil the milk if we don't follow this step), add milk and let it boil, add spices (if you want to), sugar and chai, let it boil and viola, be ready to devour the tea. Didi, this is for you!

-By opening the big box of woolen clothes. (and omit wearing jackets but,use all the stoles and shrugs) How I miss wearing over sized pull overs. Hands-me-downs of my younger brother (Yes). I can go on and on about winter wears back in my home town but lets not open the Pandora's box.

-Going under cover. Ah,I meant under light Rajais. Mumbai needs to be more chilled to fulfill my dream of getting wrapped up in the thickest Rajai one can get ever. For now, light ones would do.

-By munching more on home made TilGud laddus, Methipaak, Khajurpak and what not. The so called winter in Mumbai never gives that appetite to enjoy such goodies, but this time- well, Bhagwan ke ghar der hai, Andher nahi. Of course, the season makes you a bit more energetic so you don't miss the work out. So, fayada hi fayada.

-By rubbing some ghee on soles of the feet, before sleeping. Now, don't ask me the logic but I like to do it  because it makes my skin supple and it reminds me of my grand mother every time I do it. It is one of the home remedies she used to swear by, to protect us from cold.

-By laughing on (in my head) people, going all mad due to the sudden chill, Mumbai is experiencing. I meant, come one. Ahmedabad stays on the terrace from early morning to late night on 14th and 15th of January, in around 7-10 degree Celsius. No, not to play Garba but do the second most favourite activity -Kite Flying. Lets not even talk about northern parts of India!

Do you guys like winter??


January 9, 2017

Gingered Up

I'm picky about drinks I devour. Well, if you are thinking about alcohol, today I am talking about Tea.When it comes to tea, I become a typical Virgo. (I'm an Arian other wise)

I generally don't drink tea out side. Not even in the office from the day our canteen contractor has been changed to some one who does not know how to make a little less sugary tea than what he serves. The reason is my phobia of tasting the tea which would be too sweet or won't have ginger in it at all. I do not compromise with the taste of tea at all. Only a couple of people (My Singapore roomie and our uncle from USA) can make tea for me.

It is not that simple. Nobody at home apart from my Dad-in-law likes my kind of tea. (Did I mention that Mr ISB does not have tea at all? Perhaps the reason he does not get my pain related to tea, is quite obvious ) Hence when my MIL makes it early in the morning, we get a little less stronger tea flavored with green tea leaves. Only Green tea leaves. Ginger does not appear at all as my SIL and MIL herself can not even stand one mm square piece of it. I being a bit in hurry (and lazy at the same time), do the Jugad of adding masala and warm it up to make it gulp-able for me. Things suddenly changed within a week at home last month. After this at-home-vacation, I stopped compromising on my morning tea. I started developing the skill set to make two types of tea in separate pots early in the morning.(and to wake up really early)

It was a win-win decision I could made.I'd designed the mental flow chart with timing calculations for the  dual-tea-making-process to achieve optimized timing. What do you expect from a nerd in the kitchen, hah? (My mother calls it Usual multi-tasking ladies develop to save time and efforts in the kitchen. Blah!)

From that week, I have been indulging into some brilliant tea early in the morning. (And there is one more person happy with my newly acquired skill set- my Dad-in-Law)

So it happened that yesterday morning, I was all excited to cook up a storm. Ages I have been cooking all alone (no,making tea is not cooking) and when my MIL and SIL decided to go to Rajasthan for a small break, I planned my own mini kitchen exploration during weekends. 

Now, it is not that I can not cook when they are home.It is just that both are very helpful and curious which does not go really well with my Pseudo-Virgo-Soul. I like to be in my own flow while I cook. I don't want to get judged for my 'it needs to be one more degree hot' method of cooking. Hence,I avoid such kitchen sessions when all are at home. (Our cook and mom collaborates better than my let-me-be-alone-cooking-sessions, anyway!)

So coming back to the Sunday morning, I had a list of recipes to dish out and one of the main dishes I wanted to cook up was 'Undhiyu'. The mixed vegetable sabji with only two table spoons oil, the way my mother cooks. Now it is no child's play. You have more than half a dozen winter vegetables to prepare in different ways, Masala out of six seven ingredients to be prepared and steam cook it in layers,such that vegetable chunks don't get soggy. 

I was quite nervous and hand called mom already thrice for small queries even when she had sent me the photo of the hand written recipe. Suddenly, I realized that coriander stocked in the fridge might not be sufficient. So, Mr.ISB came forward and went to buy another bunch while I prepared other vegetables for the dish. 

When he returned I suspected something else with the coriander bunch in the bag he was holding.

"What all things have you got? There is something else."

"I've got Ginger for you.", showing some dozen pieces of Ginger in the bag, Mr.ISB answered.

"But,we already have them in plenty!!", my mind was trying to calculate how many months do we need to finish the total supply of ginger we have got.

"Keep them, So that you don't run out of ginger for your tea"

Irrespective of our difference in personalities, you get me every single time. Reasons I've got married to you, Mr.ISB.

January 6, 2017

Made Up Expectations

I was never a Cosmetics fan while I was growing up. The way I see today's college going girls (even school girls some times) it is hard to believe that I was never into fashion- specifically Make Up. I can not remember more than two events where I would have even painted my nails. Talk about having a dad with discipline as a middle name (who believed cosmetics has/had lead content which can hamper kid's growth) or a very simple and beautiful mom who looked like a goddess carved out of marble (Complexion which I never got) without any make up- I was never exposed to 'Make Up instruments' or cosmetics.

As soon as I entered college my mom suddenly started feeling deprived of the privilege to kosofy her daughter like other mothers around her did. I was one of those girls who never came home late. Never watched movies with friends. Never went out for night outs. Never wore short dresses or even sleeve less tops (The true story is while I was too busy doing  GundaGardi, none of my 'guy' friends wanted me to be with them after evening or at a night out as I was the only girl in the class of mechanical engineering) How would my mother complain to any one in this matter? Her six-pockets wearing daughter (who could have got arrested by the fashion police) hardly bothered going out with friends or dressing up- forget using cosmetics. Hence, Mom tried her best to introduce me to the world of kohls and lipsticks (and got her self introduced too!) but I ended up using Vaseline lip guard only as the substitute of the lipstick.

Time flew and I left home for my first job. I continued being the same for about one and a half years and then I met my best friend ever. Booom.... She got me my first ever Kajal. Back home, I guess my mom did a secret little celebration after seeing my photos with kohl and a lip tint!

Anyway, the inertia had just shifted but not much, hence for next four years I hardly used any other thing than a kohl pencil.

Then came the era of my own wedding, internet and Youtube. I got friends who loved make up and had the skill to really do the 'make up'. I struggled a lot to be like them - peer pressure or the pressure to look good even when you are stressing yourself like nobody's business by travelling every week to cities. Of course it reached only upto a BB creams and not even a foundation or a concealer- well, just to come back to a lip tint and a kajal. (In a way, I tried to go main stream but...)

Today, I hardly apply Kajal. Lipstick is something I flaunt when I have some corporate meetings or functions to attend. (My secret to be on time every single time) Though I never thought of my image as a  lady who is too simple, Until last week.

I was digging out deep in my office bag, hunting for my favorite pen. After a few seconds, I threw my patience out of the window and started taking out things out of the bag- wallet, diary, key-chains, lip balm, hard disk... Wait... Yeah a lip balm stick . Packaged in the Pinkiest ever body- almost like a lipstick- if you understand what I meant.

And... To my dismay... My colleague's eye caught its attention and said,

"Yeh kya hai.. Tumse yeh umeed nahi thi" ,with a cunning smile.

*Bubblegum thunking her head on a virtual wall*

Talk about expectations. Made up expectations. May be not.

January 3, 2017

To the Job

I'm not a big Steve Jobs Fan but when he said, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." - I could not agree more.

I'm one of those people in the world who spend nine to ten hours a day at office, six hours a day. (Only Indians know how to slog it seems!) When 70% of my day time is being spent for something, I ought to love that very thing. And, I am fortunate enough to be in love with what I do. Then there are days when the stress and challenges build up to the extend that the EQ drops to zero and IQ goes haywire. You do not dislike your job but you just need to go on a break to feel the fresh air.

Last couple of months have done the same to me.Now I do not demand a vacation for some reasons but I definitely need to remind myself what this job means to me.

I created products from scratch. Ask an engineer working on a techno-commercial profile, when did he/she created something from scratch on his/her own. In my previous jobs of around 3.5 years I could never developed anything on my own entirely. Either the process was set or there were way too many functions working on it that as a junior or a mid level officer, there was little I could do. Making presentations in the same template, following up people or filling up excel sheets hardly fed my hunger of designing/developing something.

This job has given me exactly what my previous jobs lacked. A series of products evolved in front of my eyes and I was/I am a major part of the whole process. From picking our own customer calls to training a team of three, from struggling to code our own website to just picking up articles to post and give it to the IT team. From recording our founder's voice for our video to hiring a voice over for the same, from googling to find what is the name of the material we had seen somewhere to delivering products made up of the same material successfully. I won't take the credit on my own but when you are the first employee of the company, you can count yourself as the core part of anything happened/happening under the roof. The whole experience so far is more enriching than anything I did in last two jobs.

Beside my core work of developing products and establishing supply chain, I also handled finances for the very first time. Handling vendor payments, raising POs, raising invoices, following up. I also learnt a lot in IT section of the firm- keeping track of data base in the server, coding a bit, pushing data to the website, generating information and keeping a live deck linking to the customer care, and the latest learning basics of SQL to do sufficient job while we interview a person for our IT section!

And no, the list does not stop here. I learnt to work on the single conference table with other four to five people and collectively create mess. I learnt to coax people to keep it clean. I learnt to manage my diet when the pantry (a small cabinet) was filled with Paapi chocolates and biscuits. I learnt to enjoy home cooked food in the lunch break. I learnt to manage my subordinates and their stress as well (And I am still learning, to be honest) I learnt to manage to make our sweeper clean the office properly and to add- my director taught me that skill! I discovered joy of walking when the calls to vendors are being made.

I'm more than cheerful in the office now.I am more than 100% involved in whatever I do. I have decent salary if not deserving since last two years. I have a lot to learn on the way but I've two mentors to learn from. I've a couple of subordinates to count on.

I'm proud when we crack the order. I'm more than proud when we establish a system to help the client.

I'm happier if I recollect of my life without job satisfaction.