Friday, February 27, 2009


Silenti etc mos usquequaque exsisto memor.
The dead will always be remembered.

My friend succumbed his life to illness today 3.30 AM. I have a huge, huge, huge hole in my life suddenly.

This morning I had two surreal shopping experiences. I was at a grocery store at 5 am to buy Basil (tulsi) to put on his mouth where his last breath came from. I also went shopping for a brand new suit for him to wear for his funeral tomorrow. He looks shrunken inside it already.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jai Ho!

Does NOT get any cuter than this! Just adorable.

Picture courtesy my most favorite desi style blog....

I was so happy to see Slumdog sweep the oscars. Perhaps it will now be possible to atleast start a dialog about a more democratic society, about the haves and havenots and the deep divide between them.

Congratulations to AR Rahman. What a richly deserved award. Not just for this movie but for his entire body of extra ordinary work

In other news...

Frieda's dress was lovely.

I am glad the desi actors did not wear desi clothes. They wore the clothes that would market them appropriately on a world stage as working actors.

I wish I were skinny and could wear Anne Hathaway's cream pailette sequined dress.

Sophia Loren looked tranny.

Penelope Cruz annoys me and I did not think her role in Vicki Christina Barcelona was worth an award.

Jack Black makes me realise that men who make me laugh are hot.

Sean Penn and his angst is just plain hot and he does not have to make me laugh.

Thats all folks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brownian motion, totally random

So now we go on to doing something else other than fixating on the gloom and doom of my last post.

Here is totally frivolous post about random things about me.

I got tagged by DeeplyDip over in Sandy Dubai.

Here are the rules for the tag.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose people to be tagged. Send the person who tagged you, a link to your tag.

When I tag folks it's because I want to know more about you. Also, I am probably bored of gazing at my own navel and want to gaze at yours.

So .... All my readers and blogdosts (great term though I did not coin it), I tag everyone who can sit down long enough to do it. It is because I want to gaze at ALL your navels.

I will now bare my midriff and you can gaze at my navel now.

1. I can crack all my toes and fingers. Very Loudly. Okay TMI... moving on.

2. I get regular manicures and pedicures. I dont like nail polish on my own very short fingernails but my toe nails are always painted.

3. I am a makeup junkie. I have drawersfull of makeup, mostly unopened. Sephora is my favorite store in the Mall.

4. I own exactly 131 pairs of shoes. Yes, I counted yesterday.

5. My shoes are neatly placed heel to toe in see through boxes. I drill air holes in the boxes. The boxes have to be from Container Store. No other brand will do.

6. My closets are very, very neat. Always. On the pain of death. Yes, death!

7. My favorite chore is scrubbing bathtubs and showers. I do my deep thinking when I am scrubbing. Yes, I do windows and clean toilets too. And yes, I scrub all the bathrooms every single day. I have much thinking to do obviously. Else I am just OCD. Take your pick.

8. I love my Roomba. I really do. I have Roomba love.

9. I love to do laundry. Love it, love it. Something about folding crisp, sweet smelling clothes is very orgasmic.

10. My idea of bliss is rolling around naked in " warm just out of the drier" cotton sheets.

11. My sheets must always be atleast 400-600 count long staple egyptian cotton. Yes, they must be Wamsutta brand and they must be bought with the 20% off coupon from Bed and Bath.

12. I do not buy anything if it is not on sale. And yes, I always look online for a coupon before I shop.

13. I have been called cheap and penny pinching before. It is in my DNA I think. I also married a man with WASP New England parsimony in his DNA. We make a fine pair.

14. I play tennis with little technique but great enthusiasm. I bash that ball very hard. Yeah, not subtle, but effective. Works for most things in my life.

15. I was a competitive swimmer and track athlete as a young teen, and probably had a future in amateur athletics. But then I discovered boys! Being chased by them was more fun.

16. I have been told by more than one person that I am exactly like Elaine from Seinfeld. Yeah, I know that was completely random.

17. I like to cook. I do, I do, just not everyday. Just for fancy entertaining.

18. I like perfume and collect it in droves. Unfortunately, I cannot wear any. The husband is extremely allergic to perfume. I can only look longingly at all my bottles.

19. I am not a trained gemmologist but have been around gem knowledgable people all my life. I can usually tell the quality of gems at a glance. And yes, I like emeralds and diamonds.

19. The husband and I are always looking to add to our collection of folk art from around the world. The collection was started by my inlaws and we are sort of inheriting it.

20. I love textiles and collect them when I can. I especially like to collect antique saris.

21. I desperately want an authentic antique parsi garaa sari. I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want. I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want.I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want.I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want.I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want.I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want. You can tell I am desperate. I already have the emerald brooch to wear it with.

22. If you want me to like you, show me good manners and remember to say thank you and please. I dont like boorish people and will cut you off in a second. Yep, superficial that way.

23. I am very involved in womens issues and legislation. I am involved in the political life of my little town. Yeah, mostly as the crazy woman with the imposible demands and loud voice at Council meetings!

24. I once saved a friend from drowing. Yes, really. Pulled her out of the sea, pumped water out of her and all that drama.

25. I am a cancer survivor. Yes, survivor. So everyone dont forget to self exam your entire body and get all the preventive checks you can! Eat cabbage, and carrots and broccoli and love yourself!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Heavy with love, with guilt, with regret, with happiness.

A male friend is terminally ill. At the hospital a few days ago, I sat all day at the foot of his bed amidst beeping machines and tubing and needles and the detritus of modern medicine. We whispered to each other, gaining mutual comfort by reminding ourselves of our connection through childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and careening through careers and marriages. We talked of the good times and the disasters that befell us. We talked about my longstanding marriage and children and his brief trainwreck of a marriage. We talked of significant things and frivolous things. We talked about career worries and how he regrets not taking the path less travelled. As long as I have known him since the age of ten, he had secretly wanted to do something with his innate artistic ability. Instead he became a physician... a healer. Ironic though, a physician who cannot save himself now. We laughed a bit and also cried. We cried a lot actually. He said that he had end of life issues to resolve and I had to know something. He told me that he has been in love with me for years, decades even.

I am left a confused mass of feelings. Rib crushing emotion that does not allow me to process except the basics.

Is regret allowed? My regret for crossed signals in my heady rush to embrace life as a young adult. My regret for not stopping long enough to hear what my gut was saying to me. For not being there when he needed to be understood by me. My regret that he never said out loud what needed to be when the time was right. My regret for thinking that I knew him, when I did not. My regrets for... I am not even sure what the regrets are for anymore.

Wondering with curiousity at what might have been. Is this even allowed?

What is allowed? Now. Today and here as I watch his tenous hold on life becoming weaker; as he deals with unending pain. His death is hastening as he is no longer accepting treatment.

In the most fundamental of ways I never understood him. My best friend but I did not know him. Is regret allowed for not really knowing him?

Is telling the husband about this new knowledge allowed? To what end?

Is guilt allowed for wanting to return the same measure of love while he is still here. But to what end?

However yesterday surrounded by the glow and warmth of friends and family as we enjoyed a celebration valentines dinner... my children by my knee and the husbands arm around my shoulders, I smiled. I was surrounded and carried aloft by so much love, even his. Yes, even his. I will accept the secret burden of his love because because it is his gift to give me. My new secret love. My best friend who I will have to part with soon.

Dense and heavy. His love. His gift to me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Of marketing, loving and losing

Last night the kids and I made valentines for thier classmates. My daughter has 18 in her first grade class and my son has 22 in his 4 year old preschool class. Oh my, a grand total of.... 40. Not elaborate valentines, but the usual printed card that you tape a lollipop to.

Daughter wants girlie High School Musical valentines and Son wants Kung Fu Panda valentines. Ofcourse Disney only makes boxes of 16 count valentines. VERRRRRRRY ANNOYING. Heck, Disney with its elaborate market surveying strategies knows approximately how many kids there are in an average class. But clever marketing Disney elves somewhere in the swamps of Orlando or wherever decide to license only 16 count boxes of thier most popular cards. So now guess what! We buy more boxes and have a ton of cards to waste. Ofcourse next year we will go through this excercise all over again because there will be atleast two more Disney movies with new characters that must be merchandised. Clever fellas those elves!

Oh and in other Disney elf marketing thuggery... three days ago my son saw an ad on the Disney channel for EGGS! What is an egg commercial doing on a kids channel? Apparantly they dont take thier ... you must be 18 or older to order (or whine to mom about)... very seriously.

Pristine white eggs each emblazoned with the Disney mickeymouse ears. The commercial showed a happy family at a breakfast table, waiting for eggs made by a happy smiling mom. Mom ofcourse was cooking perfect Mickey Mouse shaped eggs. Now my kids want those eggs. Yeah, even my egg allergic daughter! So we will go to the grocery store looking for these eggs which are sold at a premium price. Thankgoodness there is a candy free aisle that we can be checked out through. Oh look, I forgot, the candy free aisle has the mickey mouse balloons flying at full mast, and look below the balloons... the disney character tattoos too, for my kids to whine over!

And you thought that spending 5000 bucks for a week at Orlando for a family of four was enough contribution to the Disney Corporation! All that nonsense about 1600 for a family of four that disney advertises is not realistic at all. Ofcourse you will spend 5000.

Thats it, we are not going back to Orlando until the kids are teens! They liked the rides and all but seriously all they really wanted to do was go back to the hotel and swim in the pool. For that I could have booked into the local comfort inn for $100 and had the kids swim in hotel pool! Its not even like the kids are pool deprived during the winter. We swim every weekend at the local Y!

What will we do on Valentine's day? Not much really. The husband will probably give me the regulation box of candy, which will be eaten by the kids. Dad and Mom will give kids a prettily wrapped up Globe.... yes very educational and practical. Meet up with another family with kids and we will all eat dinner at a local Italian restaurant where the kids can make a little noise. Then we will come home, put the kids to bed and watch the rest of JOHN ADAMS dvd's... a must see HBO miniseries. More about John Adams in a future post.

That my friends is how people who have been quite happily married 20 years and have young kids celebrate Valentines day. Family, hugs and kisses and political drama.

About Losing...

Two friends are in the process of losing marriages. The marriages are almost gone, lost but not over. One couple is desi and one is not desi. Both have similar issues of emotional neglect and the miseries and retaliatory issues that arise from neglect. Very painful. Most painful is that both families will probably just have to continue to live together and torture and be tortured. Money is a powerful detterent to making a clean break. It is hard to face a future without when you have had enough. It takes a lot of courage, help and desperation especially when you have kids to support in an "acceptable" upwardly mobile manner. I want to help and make it all go away magically and have everyone live happily ever after. I know I cannot do that. all I can do now, is listen.

Of losing some more...

I have been good, about eating before I get really hungry and not eating fast and greedily. I have been working out, but it hurts! Really, it hurts. Used the elliptical trainer at home for an hour every night and I had a couple of boot camp style workouts with a Marine type of hard body fella with an extreme crew cut. He barked very loudly at us and called us pussies for stopping to catch our breath. I learnt to box away at a weighted bag and managed to swing it about half an inch. Okay half an inch is better than the bag knocking me over... right? Havent stepped on the scale yet. I am afraid to be dissapointed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oy Ve ... full disclosure and a promise to myself.

Okay so I am not in the shape I would like to be. At some not so distant time, in a galaxy far away, I was actually very athletic. Very! I was very, very, strong, taut, fast and had wonderful balance. Today... not so much.

In the past six years, I did have two wonderfully happy excuses for my weight gain and one traumatic one. The traumatic excuse literally kept me off my feet in bed for about 5 months and much emotional eating followed when I was recovering from all the things that modern medicine did to save my life. After that the happy excuses kept me on my feet and eating thier many, many, many leftovers.

I am not obese, but I am like they say back in the motherland "khatey peetey ghar ki ladki" (you can tell the family is not starving). There are jiggles and the weight is no longer in the right places. Okay, you twisted my arm so full disclosure... I could lose about 30 lbs and not look completely skin and bones. My work is sedentary and I am not the most energetic and dedicated housekeeper, so I dont think I am using as many calories as I eat. I dance ballet but I am no prima ballerina to be sweating like a piggy at every dance class. I merely glow.

I dont like to diet. No I dont. I get cranky at being denied anything. I rave and rant and get into a snit when I am hungry.

So what do I need to do?

I need to eat sensibly in a manner that can be a lifetime habit. This part is hard. Very hard and it makes me whimper in self pity,

Like a cartoon I saw... I have metal fillings in my teeth and my refrigerator magnets keep pulling me back into the kitchen. Thats why I cannot lose weight.

I also need to work out. I can work out. I love to work out. Today I went to a pro athlete sports place and I did a work out there. I could. I ACTUALLY COULD. I STAYED THE COURSE. I beat out a half marathon running friend in the stamina stakes. Okay I am bit competitive.


Well that was just the first time.


So I have 30 lbs to loose and to be in the healthiest shape of my life by August.


It has been said and so it shall be done. etc etc etc.

I need y'all to be my cheering squad!

Monday, February 2, 2009

And the winner is.....


OXY! OXY! OXY! Your answer was right on the mark! Congratulations!
Folks go check out Oxy over here.

It is YAUTIA. Atleast thats what the sign said at the grocery store.

Sort of like Taro root I suppose. I hear it tastes more nutty than like potatoey (is that even a word).

Some information about Yautia is at one of my favorite recipe resources here.

A recipe for yautia soup is here.

A recipe for yautia cooked with fish is here.

I am going to try the fish recipe and post pictures.

So OXY the floor is yours for the next Riddle me this!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Riddle me this

One fine day when I was checking out

and I happened upon a picture of one of my most favorite crunchy foods and it didn't take me long to guess what it was. Well, what do you know - I won the contest and here is my turn to post something that others have to guess.

You have to:
find something stranger than strange and,
post it on their blog within the next two weeks.

The quiz remains open for at least 1 day and at the most 2 days.

The person who guesses it correctly gets the torch and is the next host for Riddle Me This.

If the person who guesses correctly is the previous host, then that person will get to pick someone to pass the buck to from all those who made a guess.

And so on.

Please use the fabulous logo, also designed by Manisha, and link back to the host who passed the baton on to you.

Please do your best to keep this alive. Just think of how much fun it will be!

So I am posting pictures of something that I found interesting. Well I had never seen it before. But then I have pretty much lived under a rock.

Assuming you have been out and about in the world, can you guess?

The pencil is shown for scale.