Boy Colours!

“I hate boy colours!” the little girl said.

I held up a pair of women’s underwear that had just arrived from the warehouse. The winter sale was on at the store and stock needed updating –

“What colour is this?” I asked

“That’s red”

“Is red a boy colour?”

“I hate red!” said the little girl.

“A girl after my own heart!”

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016

Greetings one and all! It’s New Years Eve here and maybe already New Year in some parts of the globe so HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 to all my fellow bloggers!

I saw my Aunt had posted on her Facebook page that, the results of an online survey, in the New Year she could look forward to – ‘More muscles’, great love, career advancements and lots of travels. Everyone in the family had a good laugh…Who writes these online questionnaires anyway?!!

My mum just sent me a New Years wish

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Looking back at 2015, I say it surely wasn’t one of the most stellar years of my life. Definitely one of those so – so years where I’ve achieved nothing ‘ground breaking’ nor experienced anything ‘earth shattering’ …To condense 365 days in a nutshell I would call it – a year of ‘certain uncertainties’, lags and difficult decisions.

In 2015, I was actively involved in the lives of friends in my real life and less in my virtual world.

Smidgens of wisdom from 2015 –

  1. EI is important!! Always maintain Emotional Integrity in relationships. I’m sure we all have those moments where you feel like you were dropped into that awkward social environment where you know being friends with a person is not conducive in the long run, but you thwart your inner ‘ESPN’ (I hear you Karen of Mean Girls.. :D) and carry on anyways…Word of advise – DON’T
  2.  Regrouping is important!! Be mindful of your goals and direction in life. Take time off in your day to regroup. People and places throw you off track but as Tina would say, when its time to shut down –
  3. KISS Always!! Keep it Simple Silly!You think you’d like to take over the world and do it all and be nice to everyone…you buy stuff you do and don’t need, when what you should actually be doing is- just say a few words of gratitude to all people and things for the good and bad lessons learnt and let go! I think we all need some Marie Kondo in our lives

I have a huge announcement. The New Year I will be moving from the U.S back to India. I don’t know if you all knew but we were here because of my husbands work assignment and it has sadly come to an end and we fly back around February 2016…So here’s to New beginnings!

Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

COOKING A LA NU

After having fixed her breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries with a cup of green tea, Kayla walked up to the kitchen to prep for that evening’s dinner. Fried Rice was on the menu and Dragon Chicken.

She stepped into the kitchen and decided to cook a little differently today – Maybe she would cook naked! Wouldn’t that be unhygienic? She just decided she would take a bath. Stripped off her clothes Kayla began gathering the ingredients in her birthday suit. Soy sauce – check, Chilly sauce – check, rice,chicken….

As the wok heated up she felt a sharp sting on the side of her right thigh and the skin close to her perfectly round belly button – the oil in the wok had just reacted angrily to the tiny drops of water that had accidentally dripped into it…Yikes! bad decision perhaps?This small ‘mishap’ didn’t deter her from her decision to cook the entire meal the way she was. Soon, she felt her skin soak up the oriental flavors of the sweet and the chilly, the fresh bite of the spicy ginger dissolving the pungency of the garlic…

Suddenly she realized she just couldn’t go through with this charade…KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Monday Rambles – What I hate about the Rain

Monday Rambles time! Hope everyone is enjoying the lovely spring weather. As I sit on my couch looking out the window, I can see the dense dark clouds outside and it is most certainly going to rain today.

I love the lovely earthy scent when the first rain falls on the dry soil – takes me back to the beautiful monsoon mornings in my grandmother’s backyard, the soles of my sandals sinking into the moist, red brown soil; holding the flowers and flicking dew drops off the leaves in her garden which she tended to and loved even more than her children – you can read more about my grandmother and her obsession here.

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But sorry to say, there ain’t nothing romantic about the rain and here’s why

Rains are the curly haired girls worst enemy. Yes, Just imagine you’ve spent hours styling your lovely tresses only to step out and then it pours! All that time (and product) spent taming your mane goes to waste as all the moisture in the air has done the damage, leaving you looking like this –

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Racoon Eyes…No Thank you. You look at yourself in the mirror and admire your perfect eye make up. You take the train to work and as you step out, it begins to rain. You’ve forgotten your umbrella and decide to face nature head on. As you step into the office you notice people are literally avoiding looking your way and you step into the washroom to ‘freshen up’…and then…you let out a bloodcurdling shriek that has the lady in the rest room cubicle literally jump out mid business…How could you not? Your make up has run all over your face and you look like that kid from the movie – The Grudge

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Showers of  Muddies. Don’t you hate walking on the sidewalk headed to work looking all dapper and sharp- chin up, shoulders straight,tummy tucked in, your favorite shoes ‘clickety clacking’ on the concrete and feeling good about all the admiring glaces being thrown your way, smug and happy about your awesome dress sense and impeccable taste..Until…

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Why do you love/hate the rain? Do let me know.Have a great week folks!

Monday Rambles – Sound bytes on Personality at the department store

Aloha my lovelies! How are you all doing? I’m sorry I literally didn’t show up the whole of last week..Not that I’m presumptuous enough to assume that my not posting on my blog would cause anyone to go ‘off their rocker’ crazy because they need ‘The Showcase’ fix to light up their day. Though that would be so cool if it were true isnt it? Fabulous Nishi – Transfixing, Transforming…on second thoughts that would hands down be the corniest thing I’ve ever written on this blog don’t you think?..Uh..No, don’t answer that question…

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Moving on, the last week the whole family ( read the husband, lil Ems and I) were a little under the weather and we were mostly at home taking turns at doing steam inhalations and salt water gargles- two most effective ways to eradicate a wily cold or throat irritation especially if you catch it at its early stages and oh yes! those and plenty of fluids…We also set the clocks ahead by an hour last Sunday and embraced our newly extended hours of daylight with open arms and like a caterpillar sheds its cocoon our winter wardrobe has been stacked away until they will be summoned next winter.

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Moving onto a totally unrelated subject, a few weeks back I overheard the cashier at our local Smiths store speaking to a colleague about a certain other colleague whom we shall call Ms. Sunshine.It was pretty late in the evening and as I was standing in line to pay, Ms. Cashier tells the colleague how everyone just loooves Ms. Sunshine because she is always smiling and being ‘nice’ (as though it was a crime) and then what she said next was the icing on the cake – She said, she thinks that Ms. Sunshine is that way because-wait for it-  she has “No Personality” (!!?)

When it was my turn to pay, Ms. Cashier “acknowleded”  my presence with an expressionless,sideways raised eyebrows glance while chewing her gum open mouthed, rang up my purchase with as much enthusiasm as a Jersey cow standing in a pasture chewing the cud and continued to gossip about Ms. Sunshine to aforementioned colleague while I paid for the goods and ambled on with my bags.

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Ms. Cashier is not alone. It’s a worldwide phenomena – growing number of people consider ‘being nice’ as being synonymous for ‘being dumb’ or ‘being fake’. Nice people get pushed around and taken for granted. Their smiles and good natures are dubbed as idiotic and uninteresting. Which explains the popularity of the Kardashians and the “Real” Housewives and the Snookis and J Wowws of the world. People accept the rude, the crass and the confrontational and don’t know how to handle the nice.

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Going back to Ms. Cashier, just because Ms. Sunshine doesn’t throw an attitude and bombard you with her sound bytes doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a personality. Isn’t the fact that Ms. Sunshine is ‘nice’ tell us that she is an amicable person with a pleasing personality that people like to be around? And you know what – Ms. Sunshine could actually be the smartest person working in the store because she knows her sunny disposition and cheery charm will actually take her farther in life than Ms. Cashier will ever go with her snooty attitude and terrible manners.

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Not that I’m writing off our generation because I truly believe that inspite of all the deplorable and disgusting stories we hear and however much we may lament the death of chivalry and the growing materialism of our times; there are a few deep, compassionate and considerate souls on earth who treat people with respect and who don’t see being ‘nice’ as a sign of weakness but rather the superior ability to rise to the occasion and make best of an otherwise hostile man-eat-man world…I just hope they don’t become disillusioned and go extinct.

Never underrate the power of being nice because ‘Nice people’ are always in demand.Tell me isn’t it easier to simply blow your top when you are in a bad mood than to maintain your composure and put on a smile? Businesses even when they formulate cut throat strategies know they would never thrive with shoddy customer service.

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Leave behind a legacy of being nice. Have a great week folks!

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion #1000 Speak

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Hello everyone, I’m sure many of you would have heard of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion movement here at WordPress…you can read about the lady who kick started this  Lizzi Rogers by clicking the link. When Serins of Serins sphere threw out an open invitation to join in, I jumped at the opportunity.

One of the best definitions for the word Compassion that I’ve read and completely agree with is that ‘Compassion is being able to recognise the suffering and sorrow of others and taking action to help’

When I think of compassion there is an incident that happened in the very recent past that comes to my mind and in this particular instance it was not a human being but an animal, that taught me a valuable lesson and made me think and gain a fresher perspective on this beautiful emotion that helps elevate us and realize the God’s spirit we were all born to embody.

We had a White Christmas here at Salt Lake this year. It was beautiful to see the snow fall and cover the rooftops and the trees and it snowed the whole day on Christmas and the day after.The day after Christmas is when my story begins. We had a visitor at our door who was none other than a  little cat. Though in the beginning I just thought it was the T.V, I later came to understand that the mewing and scratching we were hearing was actually happening outside our front door.

Now have I told you that I’m afraid of cats? I don’t hate them. All my life I’ve known people who have cats as pets. One of my Aunts had this huuuge Persian Cat at home and with all its snobbish airs you would assume it was the Shah of Arabia and we the lowly human beings it had so graciously allowed to sit in its kingdom/presence…but all said royalty or not, the moment these creatures come anywhere near me I freak out.

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So here we are inside. The husband and I were cleaning up and  it got to the point where we had three full bags of trash and we had to throw them out before the next round of cleaning could start and there was this cat mewing at the door. I tried shooing the cat away through a gap through the door and the husband had a wise idea – He got out the vacuum cleaner and started vacuuming the living room. “ The noise should drive the cat away” he said.

Well it worked! I opened the door again and this time the cat was gone! I felt immense relief and volunteered to throw the trash. Little did I know what waited me by the stairs..

The story that follows will be narrated through the eyes of a panic stricken and extremely terrified woman. The moment I stepped out three huge bags of trash in hand, the cat came pouncing up the stairs and towards me. My heart raced at record speed and I started screaming for my husband and shooing the animal away at the same time. No husband came to my rescue as he was vacuuming away to glory and my bellowing outside the door got drowned in his enthusiastic dust busting…

The cat and I were now trash bag to paw – the cat was tugging at my trash bags with its paws I mean. My heart was now beating in my throat and my brain had flatlined…”Take it!” I screamed and dropped two of the three bags I had in my hand and frantically ran down the stairs to the trash can outside.

Once I disposed of the trash, I walked back mind filled with apprehension and fear only to find this was no nightmare – I was wide awake and the cat was still there and so were my trash bags with paper cups and plates spilt all over. The cat had established dominion over my front door and was now giving me the most iciest wide eyed stare.

Seeing I was back, it walked back towards me and settled on a stair just above where I was standing on the stair landing. Once again I shouted for my husband and at this point I realized it would be just me and the cat now and I had to do something about this…I took a few deep breaths and decided to get over myself.

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I looked at my enemy the cat one more time..but this time I didn’t look at it with fear rather with an open mind to understand what I was against. It looked back at me and I couldn’t help notice now with my change in attitude  it’s eyes were not harsh or barbarous but rather seemed to be pleading with me for mercy, for COMPASSION, to rescue it from the cold…It’s body was shivering as it huddled on the step drawing from its own body heat for warmth. I continued to look into its eyes and this time my mind was more at ease..If this was a talking cat who we will now name – ‘Puss on Stoop’, our exchange at that moment would’ve gone something like this…

Me: “Dear Cat, I hope you don’t think I’m being cruel…not letting you inside”

Puss on Stoop: “But please help me.”

Me: “I would if I wasn’t so scared of you”

Puss on Stoop: “But you don’t have to be scared, look at me, I’m freezing”

Me: “I see that, but its a childhood fear I’ve not quite outgrown, pictures of a lady maimed by her pet cat, I once saw in a magazine when in school is still fresh in my memory…I want to rescue you..but I don’t know how”

And then like an angel of God, my neighbour appeared with his girlfriend’s son, “Hi Nishi, were you planning to drop by the house?” Considering I was standing in front of his house too afraid to climb the stairs and go up to mine I guess that’s what it looked like..I smiled sheepishly and told him the reason I was there.

He took a look at the cat and informed me it was just a kitten and possibly a stray and slowly and gently picked it up from where it was. From the way the cat so quickly glided off the step and onto my neighbours shoulders you could say it was greatful to its saviour and that this was the moment it was waiting for all this time…to be held and rescued…My neighbour told me he would take it to a shelter where it would be safe and in the mean time he took it into his apartment. I thanked him and walked back home.

As silly and frivolous as this incident may seem the little cat taught me a lesson in compassion. Sometimes your fears inhibit conscious thinking. Your mind shuts down and you become blind and incapable of empathy. The opposite of love is not hate it is FEAR.

All the oppression and the brutalities that are going on in the world around us – the wars, killing of innocent children, the torture and lack of tolerance for people, ideas,views and groups all stem from fear and lack of patience to try and understand.

I hope we adopt a more open and broadminded outlook to life and help further build this ‘World Village’.Let’s try and create that world of compassion and brotherhood.Tiny drops….

Monday Rambles – Easy steps to tackle Holiday Weight !

Ahh..My first ramble for the New Year…Of late I’ve noticed I’m getting slouchy when I sit..Maybe I should sit up straight…Hmm…I’ve placed the cushions to support my back to avoid the slouchiness but What’s that-  an unsightly ‘tire’ around my waist…I run my fingers across my face and I notice my nose is losing definition and my chin seems to have found a buddy..I’ve generally been feeling sluggish lately and my sleep patterns have changed….

Okay, I should just stop and not go further down on this road of self analysis and climb off the weighing machine it led me to… but its obvious – despite all my good intentions I’ve packed on the… ‘Holiday pounds’ (eeek!).

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I thank God for winter layering and puffy jackets

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I wonder what look George was going for here…but it couldn’t get any better than that jacket…

….because they provide an excellent cover up for all my misdeeds…Please no one invite me home for dinner because the heaters  will most likely be on which in turn will force me to let go of my ‘armor’ and you know how unforgiving those knit sweaters can be…I yearn for summer now so that I can just go back to wearing my loose airy tops.

So even if you are a ‘skinny minnie’ or a ‘chubby tubby’ like I am, we all want to lose those reminders of the Cocktails or  desserts or those cheesy casseroles that have so lovingly settled around your mid – section making you look even farther off from your ideal hour glass figure and more like a 1.5 litre bottle of Coke or Sprite or whatever your favorite type of soda is..or worse –

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Its just a matter of getting in there and battling the bulge – swish swoosh gone! (Who am I kidding,  I wish it were as easy as that but its not…) But let’s focus on doing things RIGHT this New Year and tackle this problem one baby step at a time…

1. No more mindless eating

There are moments when I become one with the food I eat..I love to eat and when a bowl of pasta is presented before me its just me and Mr. Spaghetti..but its high time we broke up with empty calories…Every item of food that you get into your hands and before it enters your mouth has to pass your very logical and sound left brain reasoning. You are not denying yourself or making a sacrifice –  If it’s high in sugar and sodium it most certainly NOT good for you. You could either share it with your colleague or whoever is close by and if they don’t want it just throw it in the bin. I hate to waste food but,you know what – ‘Better go waste than go to the waist

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2. There should be Water water everywhere

Water is so crucial and important to weight loss you just cant over emphasize the importance of drinking water. You really can never drink too much water and drinking water not just helps the kidneys work more efficiently in flushing out toxins from your body but it also helps the body to let go of the excess water that it has been holding on to as water weight thanks to all the sugar and salt we consume during the holidays.

The standard 8 glasses of water everyday has changed now everybody needs to drink half an ounce to an ounce for every pound that you weigh…So if you weigh 180 pounds you need to drink 90 ounces to 180 ounces of water every day..Sounds like a lot but the benefits are immense.

3. Take up a Hobby

Winter is hard  and with shorter days  and more time spent indoors. Hobbies that keep your mind and body active will help keep away those emotional triggers that automatically  lead you to the tub of ice cream in the freezer. Taking up a project that keeps your mind active and relieves stress is very important to balancing those hormones that lead to weight gain..So its okay sometimes to be maniacal and just immerse yourself in something you like to do as long as it keeps you from aforementioned freezer.

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4. You got to move it move it.

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(Okay did you just do a head dance while you played this video you know where you only move neck up and throw in a couple of weird expressions for effect? Its fun!)

Ahem, now that you’ve stopped watching the video, what I’m trying to say is that nobody lost weight just lying on the couch (unless of course you decide to go under the knife or adopt more radical measures that may lead to more serious consequences to your health and future well being).

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So cardio and stretching exercises need to be thrown in, in good measure..

Slowly and steadily..

Don’t see it as a chore. Just take up some activity like walking up and down the living room when the commercials are on

OR.. just playing that video we just head danced to and moving more parts of your body and not just the head..’I like to move it move it….

5. Positive affirmations 

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Who hasn’t heard about the power of positive thinking…’Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can acheive’ says Napolean Hill one of the greatest personal success literature authors of all time and most famous for his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’

Conceive a happier healthier version of you for the New Year and keep reinforcing and reaffirming those positive thoughts and Believe me we’ve got this!

Have a great week guys!