Friday, 3 November 2017

How do I keep the right balance between YES and NO


Being a parent isn’t easy. Forgetting that you’re one is even more difficult. Once a parent, you will always think, feel, assess, react, celebrate and even cook like one. But despite this 24 X 7 roller-coaster ride, you never get off the seat at the end of the day and say with triumph – ‘Now I know it all’. Because, you cannot. Basically, if every parenting issue we have to face was a bulb, we’d be lighting our way to the moon!

Someone wise once told my husband, and he makes sure he reminds me every day, ‘the smaller the child, the smaller the problems. The bigger the child, the bigger the problems.’ Strangely, he thinks it’ll help me cope with my young kid’s issues much better. Even more strangely, it helps because I know ‘the bigger-the better’ war is lurking in the future. What also helps this social media addict is turning to the online community for everything - from the tried-and-tested tips to the latest trending issues. That’s when I came across this video:



The video shows the very common problem of children interpreting their parents’ basic instructions about their health and well-being in their own way. The misinterpreted instructions lead to social and psychological effects, which were neither intended by nor known to the parents.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

God is in the details in Rajiv Mittal’s ‘Brahmahatya’




The Prologue to Rajiv Mittal’s ‘Brahmahatya’, with its absolute finality of ‘what is over is over’, draws you in, immediately. Is it a sigh of relief, this sense of closure right at the start of a book? Or is it a tone of defeat the book whispers in? The curious unhurried juxtaposition of a priest getting dressed and a man trying to be ‘old enough to be his father’ just a page later only adds to what seems like a very unusual start to a book.

The story of ‘Brahmahatya’ is at once tragic and triumphant, banal and sacred, real and unreal, of this world and another. The book is ripe with episodes from Hindu mythology and excerpts from ancient scriptures which are appropriated by the characters to understand their circumstances, or by the author, in order to move the story forward.   

Govindarajan Memorial Residency (GMR) is an old age home in a Southern state of India. Most sponsors of the aged residents, like Ravi the protagonist, live overseas. The fee for care-giving and for funerals is duly sent, keeping oiled the wheels of this plush retirement home, comfortable but speckled with greed and politics. The residents ‘were historical but they definitely were not works of art in a museum; these were crumbling.’ The atmosphere is one of a ritualistic sameness of routine and a smell of medicines, decay and death.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Curious Case of Hanging Laundry


I am extremely perturbed today. I have learnt from various sources that it’s against gentle manners to dry your laundry out on balconies, your balconies of your houses, out here in Brussels. I also learn that this is true for many countries around the world, but about those mennu kee. I’m not looking for comfort in numbers here. I am, right now, looking at the sun shining on my balcony, and with a gentle wind calling out to the washed laundry piled in the bucket near my feet, waiting to be freed.

Yes, freed. I’m sure wet clothes have feelings too. That they like to hang freely after what they go through in the washing machines. To wave their arms and legs and hems and holes as they dry in the wind and sunshine. And what about their daily dose of Vitamin D? No, this isn’t my angry state of mind muttering untruths to me. This is the absolute truth. It pinches as hard as the hardest clothes-clip the very moment you have to push your clothes rack into your drawing room, and start hanging your soaking laundry there, hoping this summer of 09 will last forever.    

For a city which barely manages to get enough sun in a year to make rai ka achaar, I find this tradition absolutely unbelievable. Or maybe, they just don't know what they're missing!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Hairy Legs, Brussels and ‘I think she likes me’




The hair on my arms is the length of my toes. The hair on my legs has reached my toes. I wouldn’t say it is a completely new experience, but it is certainly most novel to experience it when a country is celebrating, yes celebrating, all 13 degrees of its summers with skin and sunshine. On the cobbled streets of Brussels I am probably the only one wearing stretch denims while the world is sprinting ahead of me in airy, breezy and frivolously delicious summer clothes. The moment I spot a pair of smooth legs enjoying the sunshine, it is as if the jeans grow four sizes smaller to kill me with asphyxiation, or whatever the hell tight jeans can do to your health when the heart burns green. 

But my hands are tied. 

I am thousands of kilometres away from a long-trusted tin of Shabnam Cold Wax (Rs 70) and a packet of disposable white waxing strips (Rs 25). Are there no salons in Brussels, you ask? There’s one in every Rue, but with my level of fluency in French I believe I might as well discuss foreign policy with a plant, and succeed in having a path-breaking dialogue, than explain to la fille successfully that I need a wax. Um, there is another reason why I have been Google translating salon menus but not garnering the courage to enter and ask for a pure and simple wax. 

It seems to me to be a secret kind of … something. It caught me by surprise. And I have been trying to unravel it as much as I have been my overgrown eyebrows from my lashes.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A lovelier world

Everybody has their own definition of Indulgence. For some, it’s busying themselves with their hobbies, and for others it’s about exploring the world and finding their true selves. You know, long drives in their beloved cars! I must confess, though, that there are moments when Indulgence seems like the very reason I wait for the 1st of every month. Pay cheque time! And food, (good food) served at beautiful places brings out the best in me. The best black dress to wear, a limited edition car to transport me, and a most exclusive culinary experience at the end of it. Sigh. Somehow, the mundane makes way for a lovelier world when you accept how divine indulging yourself can be. Here are five fine food places in Delhi for finding it!

1. Tamra, at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel - Tamra is a ‘world in your platter’ place, offering Asian, Japanese, International and Indian fare, straight out of its five interactive live kitchens. It's fun and vibrant.

Pic - shangri-la.com
2. West View, at ITC Maurya –The exquisite view and the fine variety of mouthwatering delicacies make West View a must-go. But better be a proper meat-eater if you’re coming here. The European style menu is focused on meat dishes and all you need to do is pick your meat cut and how you want it cooked. For the rest, get here in style lay back and enjoy the scenic Delhi range.
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