Monday Rambles – Fears

Hey everyone! I’m still here. Things that were supposed to happen months ago are happening only now. Though the plan was to start back in January due to the husband’s work we had to stay back another month and when finally tickets were booked and the itinerary confirmed for the end of Feb, again he was asked to stay back for another month and so here we still are and hoping that we will finally fly to India this weekend – Saturday to be exact. Looks like Easter Sunday will be spent in – flight.

Its been crazy and although ideally I would’ve liked to be all calm and composed and zen like, reality has been far from it… When you’ve prepared your mind for something and you hear that your plans are not to be there is this feeling of powerlessness and uncertainty which don’t quiet agree with me. I hate surprises and the Cancerian that I am – I hate feeling insecure.

I’m a firm believer in the adage – Everything happens for a reason and so I settled down and decided to find the silver lining in my ‘situation’

Problem (s) – I feel stuck, I have a home in India I need to set up and being in another country further delays our settling in, I need to find a job so that the break in my resume doesn’t turn into a gaping pothole, We’ve discontinued Em’s school so shes at home and every moment I don’t engage her ends up with me feeling terribly guilty, I miss my family and friends who I’ve not seen for so many years now.

All these problems I know will disappear once we get to India but there is still this nagging thought at the back of my head…A fear that I may get sucked up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and lose my voice again. If I’m not creative I don’t exist. I also fear being consumed by my fears.

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Dear Reader, I’m sorry I’m drawing you into my fears and insecurities and I know I started this blog as my happy place. Where I can be happy and where if anyone drops by can feel happy and maybe inspired (?) 🙂

I hope you all pray for me and as I step into what feels like a new chapter in my life, your good wishes and friendship will remain because, you are all so special to me!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

 

 

Monday Rambles – Vegas!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving weekend here in the U.S. Families get together over delicious oven roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and scrumptuous casserole, creamy mashed potatoes and sweet and delicious pies to express their gratitude for the blessings of the preceding year. The past two years we were fortunate to celebrate Thanksgiving with cousins the American way but this year it was Vegas calling!

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This weekend is also every bargain shopper waits all year for with the awesome door bursters that start with Black Friday and continue on to the wee hours on Saturday and with a couple of deals trickling into Sunday.

So, as I was saying, the husband and I finally packed our bags to go see Vegas! It was a six hour (421 miles) drive all the way to Vegas from Salt Lake City and the route there was super boring, with rocky mountains and arid grasslands. It didn’t help that the husband decided to brush up on his high school geography and started quizzing me on the names of the rock formations on either sides of the road.

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The moment we hit the state of Nevada we started seeing casinos on either sides of the road and huge billboards of clubs that specialise in “love”  on them but those were just the tip of the ‘SIN city’ iceberg.

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We checked into the MGM Grand right on the Las Vegas strip. It was a funny start to our stay at the MGM, when after lugging three suitcases from the parking lot, standing in queue and finally getting the key to the room, we were greeted by the previous guests who were only just checking out of the room ..totally awkward situation right there… but, the staff at the reception apologised profusely and upgraded our rooms to a higher floor with a  great view of the strip and so inspite of the initial hiccup ‘alls well that ends well’ we thought.

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The next day we hooked up with our friends who had also come away from SLC and we walked the strip sight seeing and feasting our eyes on the colors and grandeur of the Casinos (and the people) on the strip, and we got to catch a glimpse of the fabulous Bellagio fountain.

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It was lovely to see the Prada and LV offerings and the cutting edge architecture of their showrooms but couldn’t help feeling tickled by this new ‘LV’ on the block.

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Planning is essential if you are going to Vegas and to make the most of your time there because you kind of feel overwhelmed by all the entertainment the city has to offer and if you are only there for a weekend you find that you end up not doing half the things you got there to see.

Justin Timberlake was performing at the MGM when we were there and then there was the Cirque du Solleil – at the CA theatre within the MGM, but kids below five are not allowed so we couldn’t go with Ems just having turned three last month.

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No, I did not gamble in Vegas. I tried a hand at one of the slot machines and stopped by the time the machine had gobbled up five dollars (yes, you read correctly five dollars…thats how gamble shy I am)

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All in all it was a fun trip ..the stay at the MGM was awesome- rooms, staff all excellent, we got to try some new albeit expensive food ( yes, dining out in Las Vegas especially on the strip can be expensive), and the weather was perfect – a nice break from Salt Lake City…

Las Vegas is just the place to go if you are single or even as a couple without kids, though there are things you can do with children at Vegas like the Arcade at the Excalibur or the Gondola ride at the Venetian or even the dare devil rides at the Stratosphere… then again this is not a city for the faint hearted or the innocent and Yes, your cards and your wallets better be loaded people!

Now I start foraging for topics to write about for the new week…Until next…Have a great week guys!

Monday Rambles – Hardly gone just rambling on

If you read the title and felt it didn’t make any sense – it doesn’t! :). I know its been a while since I’ve (virtually) chatted with you all, mommy hood just seems to take up all my time these days.Despite all my good intentions to enroll Ems in preschool last year it didn’t happen. The pre school here requires that she be fully potty trained and I am proud to say WE’VE finally achieved the feat of going to the potty unassisted and she starts school next month!

She’s a good child no doubt about that. She’s not very fussy and listens to what I say, but you know as a mum you always wonder if you are actually doing enough and being over critical of your ‘mothering skills’. So I got the workbooks and the flashcards and the three line books to prepare her for the wonderful world of learning and growing up ahead of her.

She’s picking up and loves singing the Alphabet song and counting from 1-20 (with a few number jumbled up between 11 and 20) But trust me – teaching a child is no easy feat! I always thought of myself as a very patient person but I guess I proved myself wrong. I yelled, threw tantrums, had a ‘Pity Party’ (did you see that song by Melanie Martinez from The Voice? ) cried and then realized my approach was all wrong.

I had to be the PARENT instead of the BIG BABY I had turned into and set the example. I calmed down and stopped the pushing and the nagging and then things just started falling in place. Maybe a series on my experiences as a mom later.

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Hope you are all having a great summer! Have a great week guys!

Monday Rambles – After a break.

So it’s been a long break…A bit too long perhaps? The reason I say this is, coming back, I just didn’t know where to start with the catching up and I just kept putting off my ‘Monday Rambles’.It kind of felt like coming back to work after a long vacation and finding out you forgot to ask someone to water your Lucky bamboo and you find out your lovely plant has long gone to plant heaven. I guess I’ve warmed up and stretched enough now isn’t it? so, let’s get right to it shall we?

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Bye Bye Lucky Bamboo.
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Yay Spring!

Isn’t it great that Spring is here? I for one am relieved and happy to have said good bye to the dreary winter.

And what have I been up to during my break? The aim was to do some introspection, be inspired and to perhaps dig a little deep into my creative cauldron. Can’t say the break was all I had expected it to be, because life can get a little too overwhelming and you have no option but to be one hundred percent available to tackle whatever is thrown your way (read husbands work schedule, spring allergies).But all’s well now and when you read about the earthquake in Nepal and the thousands who have lost their life and are injured you just remember to be thankful and to appreciate all the good things you have.

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I know Thanksgiving is over but I guess its never a bad time for some pecan pie … 🙂

I did however, do a bit of baking – Mostly pies – a pecan pie, sweet potato pie and an oreo cheesecake pie…but the last one didn’t involve so much baking more of mixing and leaving in the refrigerator to set. So all the hogging against my better judgement has left me 13 pounds heavier…yes you read right the number is a one followed by a three..which brings the total number of pounds I need to lose to thirty five.I’m trying not get worried. Just being positive – you dont want your stress hormones to add to the damage already done now do we?

Talking about binging, I binge watched all seven seasons of Mad Men on Netflix and have fallen in love with the fashion and style of the 60s and ahem…John Hamm who plays Don Draper the central character of the show. Mathew Weiner and his team of writers who wrote the show are simply brilliant – the way they’ve drawn out the different characters in the mad mad world of advertising in the 60’s intertwining it with all the major political and socio economic milestones – the Kennedy assasination, the Civil Rights movement, the booming economy, the Hippy culture, the introduction  of computers into mainstream business – this show had me hooked.

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I’ve also started reading Austenland by Shannon Hale…I’ve just finished with the first chapter and being a fan of all the works of Jane Austen I must say I’m curious to see how the plot is going to develop.

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I’m looking to make some changes to the blog or maybe even set a theme for the next month. The thought is still ‘Work In Progress’ and hopefully I should be able to come up with something concrete very soon. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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!

Monday Rambles – On Sadness

What’s up everyone. Last week, despite all my good intentions I couldn’t devote as much time as I would’ve liked to blogging and browsing. You know -You want to do this, end up doing that and as Seinfeld would put it-  yada yada yada..

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No, I wasn’t watching reruns of Seinfeld but you know those times you feel so down in the dumps, so blue you have no clue, so low you just don’t know what to do ?

So sad and depressed that if a person walked into your room with a gun you’d happily stick it down your throat and pull the trigger (No, you’ve never felt that? Then, that’s just me then…)

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But what I’m trying to say folks is again nothing new – Emotions are so powerful. I read a quote somewhere last week and now I can’t find it and when paraphrased it goes like – ‘great art is often the result of great sadness’. I agree that sadness is a very deep and strong emotion that when experienced in moderate to high levels, it awakens the poet in you however, when experienced at its peak, it steals the words from your world rendering you mute…which reminds me of the scene in the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte where when after her wedding to Mr. Rochester comes to an abrupt end mid ceremony with the revelation that he is already married and  she realizes that all along she has been living under the same roof as his mentally ill wife, she sits on her bed in her wedding dress – ‘too sad to even cry’

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Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre…

I am an eternal optimist and so I will definitely point out that the silver lining in experiencing these temporary troughs in life is it offers you the gift of empathy. You learn to walk in other peoples shoes even if its not your size and you are feeling uncomfortable and to reach out to others and make a meaningful impact in their lives through your words and actions.

I look at lil Em today and I feel this surging emotion of wanting to protect her from all the nastiness in this world. As a parent I want her to be happy ALWAYS even if I know it is not possible and shield her from the meanies and the recreants of the world thinking it would maybe scar her emotionally and psychologically. But this would not be right or possible. She will collect sea shells of good and bad experiences in her little sand bucket as she walks along the sea shore of life….Its inevitable. The only thing I can do as a parent would be to be PRESENT and give her the confidence that my shoulder will always be free for her if she needs me.

So count your blessings and never forget your misfortunes because you tend to draw a lot of wisdom and life lessons from them. And…Write them down.

Monday Rambles – The Journal and the Writing process

Hey everyone, how has the New Year been? I know…I’ve been MIA, was just taking a small break after the busy holiday season to relax and unwind.

Taking a break is a good thing for the brain because it gives you a fresher and more renewed perspective on how to take your creativity forward. That said, taking a break beyond a certain period of time from a creative hobby can be detrimental as a break will lead you to lose touch and once the inertia sets in its so difficult to drag yourself out of the slump and all the writing you end up doing will be this

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image courtesy: http://www.pajamadiaries.com

As a blogger I feel its important to put out material on a regular basis and by this I don’t mean every single day as this might not be possible because sometimes you need to fulfill the obligations the other roles of our life imposes on us and your family will start sulking and complaining because you’ve served them microwave dinners three nights in a row…Life is afterall, all about balancing our ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ lives. So setting a schedule and not leaving your blog ‘fallow’ for too long is by all means ideal.

Talking about ‘inner’ life, a few days back after Ems had quite surprisingly gone to bed early and the husband was reading/researching something online, I had some time on my hands and I decided that before my writer’s block permanently froze for the whole of winter until spring when it would maybe melt and whatever creative juices were left oozed away never to be seen again, I had to write something!

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For a change instead of my laptop, I reached out for my new journal that I had bought at Barnes and Nobles for the New Year and started jotting down some ideas for the blog.

With the growing number of electronic contraptions in my life I hadn’t realized that the actual act of writing had fallen in the shadows and here I was ‘Journaling’ after a looong time :D.

As I wrote I felt like I was having a conversation with this ‘little mousy voiced sometimes in- your- face obnoxious person in my head’ (please don’t think I’m crazy)… I jotted down points and ticked those things that I agreed with myself and crossed out those things that I well, disagreed… I scribbled, I doodled, I drew pictures and stick figures and huge animated alphabets with eyes that grinned from line to line. I was having a ball!

Dawdles Doodles apart, as I continued to write things down, I could feel my thoughts were taking concrete shape and suddenly, I felt like a Jungle explorer cutting through the thick Amazon Rainforest leading my team onto a clear jungle path. I seemed to have drawn a tunnel from my outer world and into my inner mind…And I had a list of ‘workable ideas’ … Hurrah!

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I may not consider myself as a very “methodical” writer and though for most of the time go about it in a haphazard fashion, deep down I understand that ‘Writing is a process‘ and Brainstorming is the first step – for which a journal is a very handy tool!

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image courtesy: http://www.glogster.com

Writing on a paper or blogging may seem all the same since both have the element of therapy by themselves.

In blogging as we type, words flow from our subconscious and sometimes it even feels like an out of body experience where you feel like an outsider looking inside…you break free from the imaginary shackles that limit and hold you back and that is most possible when you write fiction; but, while writing pieces like this – rambles – I am conscious of myself and have an inner ‘thought auto correct’- editing, constructing, sometimes constricting my thoughts which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing, but having an opportunity to jot them down helps you get even more closer to your inner voice and your intuition.

Sure, there will be the tech buffs and gadget whizzes who can show me how modern styluses and computer softwares and apps can pretty much do everything that you do with a regular pen and paper on laptops, tablets and smartphones. Don’t get me wrong I am not against technology by any means and I whole heartedly with open arms accept all things into my life (living beings included ;D) that comes with a guarantee to make my life easier and help me save time.

And sure there are our efforts at reducing the ecological footprint. And in my search to find eco friendly recycled paper journals I didn’t have go too far and I found these on Amazon

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So, let’s not completely disregard the benefits of maintaining a real journal. Buy one, doodle in them and keep revisiting them every once in a while even if it is just for an hour because it really is a great way to de-stress and get in touch with your inner child. Fewer minutes of streaming ‘Bones’ or ‘Scandal’ or Downton Abbey’ and more streaming ‘stream of consciousness’ and suddenly you have some clarity on the things that have been bothering you because – let’s face it – a major chunk of the problems in our lives can be sorted out with a small shift in perspective.

So, what’s your experience with journaling or with technology? Please do share…And yes – Have a great week folks!