January Update

It has been a month of too much on my plate. Mainly because there were almost 3 trips that I took, thus, leaving no weekend for just being. I am sure all of you have seen those memes about ‘this is the fastest January ever’ and right now, I am feeling exactly that.

So, where did I travel to?

Before 2022 ended, Rahul and I took a quick trip to Rishikesh with two of our friends. It was quite impromptu as Rishikesh is only 6 hours drive away from where we all live and Rahul & I were anyway visiting my parents, who live even closer to Rishikesh. Our friends decided to pick us up on their way and it was a very smooth and chill trip. I’ll write about it in a blog post and link back here.

After that, my friend and I took a much awaited trip to Banaras, the ancient, holy city in India. I don’t remember properly but I am very likely to believe that she and I have been thinking about making this trip since 2016 and so glad that we finally made it. Again, a post is due.

Then, this weekend that just passed us by, Rahul and I went to Jim Corbett National Park with my parents. I would probably not dedicate an entire post to it as it has very limited things to do, so let me just get to it here. Basically, its a national park where you can be one with the nature – flora and fauna both. The place is famous for tigers and there are regular forest safaris arranged for tiger spotting. I have been here once more before with my engineering friends and there used to be only early morning safaris back then. This time, there were afternoon safaris as well, which is what we opted for to avoid the early morning cold. Literally no one I know has ever spotted a tiger in the Corbett Safaris and so was the case this time for us. πŸ˜€ There are very less tigers in the entire national park region anyway. We did, however, spot tiger paw marks. My trip highlight was the Kosi river that flows from this place. When I had been to Corbett the last time, I didn’t know about the river, neither was my resort situated near it. My husband researched and told me about the river and that there are resorts next to it. Hence, I spent time looking at the river from my room’s balcony and we also went to sit there. It was really peaceful and calming.

I am then taking cue from Lyssy’s post here to take stock of my month, she calls it “What’s Up Posts”, it was started by her blogger friend Shay 8 years ago it seems!! Let’s see if I manage to do it every month.

I am going to answer all the questions in the below card for the post then.

What We’re Eating?

I mentioned here how I am trying to eat healthy in my daily routine. The only thing is that this month didn’t have a lot of routine days, but that also means I loved so many things during my trips. Banaras trip was exceptionally good when it comes to food. I have written all about my Banaras food expeditions on my Instagram here, in case you would like to know.

What I’m Reminiscing about?

I am in general someone who reminisces a lot, so its difficult to keep a track of this. πŸ˜€

What I’m Loving?

Absolutely loving my rhythm and carving a routine for myself in all the chaos. I should also mention here even though I hadn’t considered it while writing out this post that I am thankful for the chaotic but fun travel opportunities.

What we’ve been up to?

Work, travel and finding moments for myself and even for me and my husband.

What I’m dreading?

I am going to meet a lot of a particular side of my extended family in the upcoming days, dreading is too strong a word, but I am cautious of it getting too overwhelming.

What I’m working on?

Snail’s pace but I am trying to work on this. Trying being the keyword, haha!

What I’m Excited about?

Even though I mentioned I am worried about getting overwhelmed about meeting the said side of my extended family, I am looking forward to enjoy in the wedding this is for. I love Indian weddings more than anything!

What I’m Watching/Reading?

I just completed my first read of the year – The Hindu Way by Shashi Tharoor. It was a roll over from 2022, now I am onto my second one – The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjay Baru, I have never read a book on politics and, surprisingly I am quite enjoying it.

I am watching ‘The Crown’ every now and then, mostly with my meals. I am not able to binge watch it because a) I cannot play it as background music while working since it requires attention the first time, b) my husband does not enjoy it, and a couple of hours at night is the only time we have in common apart from breakfast so I don’t want to watch such a long series during that time.

I recently concluded ‘Emily in Paris’ and man do I love it! I never expected to enjoy it so much. I might do a post on it, you know.

I am also watching the Indian version of Shark Tank, not enjoying it as much as the Season 1.

I may have re-watched a lot of stuff, and I am also looking forward to watch SRK’s latest movie Pathaan after 4 years in a movie hall. Although I don’t have a lot of hope from the story, but just for the heck of watching SRK on big screen.

What I’m Listening to?

Oh, this is a good one for me. So, I may have mentioned that I am not into any specific music, mostly anything nostalgic Bollywood or any famous Punjabi songs float my boat. Every now and then I listen to random podcasts but I haven’t found one that I love and its very random and also very infrequent. However, very recently, I have kind of started building my podcast listening habit to avoid looking at my phone in mornings and right before bed. I am liking it not only to avoid screen time but also because I am leaning to informative stuff. I won’t share which ones I am listening to because I don’t have a strong opinion yet on this. πŸ˜€

What I’m Wearing?

I am sad that I didn’t use a lot of my winter stuff on my trips, but kind of repeated the same things. I just wanted to be super comfortable and not try at all. I am also sad that my two boots that I love have started to chip, because I definitely wanted to use them more. I’ll probably check with a shoemaker who sits outside my house if something can be done.

What I’m doing this weekend?

The coming weekend, i.e. Feb first week, would be the weekend I would want to chill completely. Let’s see how that goes, although knowing some upcoming things, I think it would be busy again.

What I’m looking forward to next month?

The said wedding fun.

Planning for more travels, especially a big one, fingers crossed.

Most importantly, improving some things about my work.

What else is new?

I had to think hard for this, so I am just sharing a silly thing that came up in my mind – I am soon going to try a fun takeout and planning to convert it to date night. Let’s see how that goes.

How is my December going?

December is usually that time of the year when I get extra finnicky about completely more books, writing more blog posts etc. This December is no different, albeit a lot has ensued that made things unplanned and left me with less opportunity for such slow living activities. I am going to talk about those and then also mention about what activities I would like to do more in the 10 days remaining.

First of all, my nani (maternal grandmother) passed away, ever so suddenly. She was old and not keeping well, but those were typical old age problems and we certainly didn’t foresee any such thing. She had a cardiac arrest at her home, after which she was hospitalized and was on ventilator for couple of days before she took her last breath. In my view, she led a full life, except that her old age was not as good as it should be for someone of her candor. What I mean is that her two most important traits – saying anything at any time and being a super hardworking person who can never sit still – both got affected as she grew old. Everyone kept sensitizing her about speaking random things (which also becomes common as you age I guess) and due to her health, she wasn’t able to do a lot. What I also feel bad is that she struggled on the ventilator for those last two days, I mean every time that happens with anyone, post death we feel that wish they didn’t have to struggle in the hospital, right? However, what truly hurts is how less I spoke to her on phone in the past years. She had a good relationship with all her grandchildren and I used to meet her often. However, I know she expected phone calls which I didn’t make and the funny thing is I randomly used to think how I should call her more often but just didn’t. One thing I am sure everyone is glad for is that she attended the wedding I spoke about here. It was important for her in more ways than one. I hope she is happy wherever she is. ❀

Secondly, I had another wedding to attend from my husband’s side of the family which was almost at the same time as what I just mentioned. I wasn’t able to enjoy the wedding as much as I had hoped to, however, overall it was good. I’ll soon post a dance video from the wedding on my Instagram, you can follow me there if you would like that. πŸ™‚

Last but not the least, I have some random stuff going on that takes up my time which I didn’t account for. Few examples – some visits from family members, filing my tax proofs, planning for a trip that eventually got cancelled 😦 and, the worst of all, I am yet to file expenses from my last business trip which was almost two months ago. I better get to it if I don’t want to invite trouble.

Things I would want to do more of in December:

  1. Eat better – more winter greens, less carbs, less alcohol πŸ˜€ that’s the motto but it seems like a task not meant for December πŸ˜€
  2. Spend more time in the winter sun
  3. Something that comes naturally to me but these days it isn’t – read more
  4. Most important which would also make #3 happen – reduce phone addiction
  5. Write more blog posts (especially some yearly round up ones)

How is your December going?

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

April Favorites

I talked about my impulse to share about some things I am loving here & got some really good suggestions on how I can make it interesting. Hence, I started with this monthly favorites series.

For my previous monthly favorites, go here.

I actually got pretty lazy with keeping a track of my favorites after a couple of months, so I have very few in this post which I managed to draft back in April. :O

Prelude to a Riot: I talk about this book here. Its one of the good books I read this year, albeit too small. Weirdly, not in an I-don’t-want-this-to-end way, but rather that it felt incomplete, I wish there was more to the story. Maybe, there’s one coming soon and the book is strategically named a “Prelude”? (I mean, yes, that name has another meaning in the book but a girl can hope).

Om Sweets Gol Gappe: If you don’t know what are Gol Gappe, what are you doing with your life? Anyhow, specifically Om Sweets Gol Gappe is a pandemic favorite. So, this is an Indian street food and before the pandemic, I used to judge every single person who would even consider making it at home, forget ordering in. However, during the pandemic, a friend ordered it at our place and we made fun of him for the first 5 minutes, but eventually we were hooked. Gol Gappe are just as tasty at home, you guys, and Om Sweets has set the bar high now with convenient packaging and all.

Pencil Case for Kiyan’s Return Gifts: Kiyan is my husband’s nephew and we spent a lot of our pandemic period in Surat at my in-laws place with him. We were there for his 5th birthday which was also a timeline when people were trying to bring back kids birthday parties post the pandemic dry spell. I took the responsibility of being in-charge of return gifts for his birthday party. Since I love kids stationary so much, I ended up loving what I finalized so much that I took one for myself as well. πŸ˜€ Below is a picture. By the way, I had many other cooler ideas in mind for kids birthday party return gifts which didn’t end up working that time, so, if you are looking for any such ideas, do hit me up. πŸ˜€

A Busy November Update

I knew since a long time that I am going to have a busy November. I looked up to it with every ounce of excitement. You know why, right? Its the wedding season in India and that is kind of my favorite “festive” period. πŸ˜€

However, November turned out to be busier that I expected and it meant a truck load of work for me before I even get to the point of piling on Gol Gappas in Indian weddings.

I am going to write everything that down in November below. If it sounds like a lot on top of a full time job, that’s because it.

So, it started with my SIL’s family and MIL visiting us impromptu. Basically, they were on a trip to Rishikesh and Badrinath and we were asking them to take a halt while going back to Surat. They initially didn’t agree and eventually ended up making an impromptu halt. We were just back from a wedding right then and since my SIL was staying over properly for the first time, it was less of a chill family time at home and more of a tourist-y going around the city. Hence, it got a busy week.

Right when it ended, I had a business trip to Vietnam again. On my way back, I ended up missing my flight because of some fuck up and even my luggage didn’t arrive on time. It was truly a bad day, that i didn’t see coming at all. 😦 I was howling on the airport like an idiot.

To top it all, long ago I had decided to take over a fun but very time intensive task of hand painting a sari for my cousin who’s getting married in a few days from now on. Of course, I knew how happy I would be doing this task and how happy she would be too, but I so didn’t see it for the effort it requires. πŸ˜€ Also, I didn’t manage to even start on it until I came back from Vietnam. I had all these months I mean, but still. I am happy that I didn’t let this ambition die a slow death and did use my previous weekend entirely for doing this start to finish. There’s a sneak peek for you at the end.

I would also say I had a very fulfilling busy November, because as long as its not irritating or monotonous work making me busy, I am up for it sometimes. πŸ˜€

But what did I miss out on due to the busy November?

  1. I haven’t been reading at all, like at all since probably more than 2 months. This is what happens when I get into the loop of a boring book. Instead of pulling myself out with an alternative, I just continue being the phone addict that I am.
  2. With busyness comes the drive to avoid working out as much as possible and I have been successful in that. Not gonna see me in that jawline I wanted for the weddings I guess. πŸ˜€
  3. As expected, this blog suffered the most. I obviously didn’t do any of the planned posts in a long while, but more importantly, I am lagging behind in my book posts. Something I am going to regret the most if not done on time. It matters a lot to me that I get in all the book posts before the year ends.
  4. Getting a new outfit: Please don’t be too quick to judge that I am one of those tone deaf people who get a new outfit whenever they have an event to attend (I know I sound more judge-y than you :P). In fact, I have managed to take a lot of use out of my wedding trousseau but that’s also the reason why I had planned on getting a new outfit this time. I buy anything after a lot of thinking, so I had some specific ideas in mind. I didn’t get the time and frankly I was lazy. So, I am just going to re-wear a lot of outfits which I love, but I have been sort of bored with, since I have attended a lot of weddings and stuff since my own.

If you made it till here, give me your November update. πŸ˜€

A sneak peek of the hand-painted organza sari πŸ˜€

‘Reading List’ Update

Couple of days back, I started creating a ‘reading list’ for myself. Now reading list can literally mean anything for anyone, but I’ll just explain what I mean here, in this context. I have a very short attention span these days when it comes to work and, honestly, I know I am not putting in enough effort to concentrate harder. I also know how we get lured into obsessively check our phones by the algorithms, but I can try harder to not do that for sure. For example, I can easily leave my phone in the other room so that I don’t open Instagram for the next couple of hours, right? Anyway, so I come across a lot of notifications during the day & there are very tempting articles (?) that I feel like going through in entirety. What I am trying to do when this happens – just make a note of the said article which I’ll go back to in my ‘free time’. So, this is sort of a daily reading list.

I am loving making this daily reading list to the core & there are more than one reasons for that –

  • I love making lists on notebooks but don’t get enough chances to that, as I prefer having my work related to-do on my laptop only. This is giving me a great opportunity to write down something that’s important to me daily.
  • I hate the fact that I don’t consume any news actively or any of the adult stuff, you know. This activity is prompting me to read more so-called informative stuff as well. Since I am not reading stuff on a whim now, I end up incorporating more informative reads because then I don’t feel pressured to immediately consume that info.
  • Its a mindful activity – something that slows me down on an otherwise busy day. I come across something I want to savor, and note it down to be savored in a few hours. This 2-minute thing is a joy!

What I am not liking is that I almost never end up completing my daily reading list, but I am sure that you would have guessed already. πŸ˜€

This also reminds me how much I love reading posts with back links to other blogs, where people are suggesting what they loved reading on other blogs. I need to do one of those, for random articles as well as my own old blog posts.

Would you like to share anything that I can include in my reading list for today? πŸ˜€ Do leave them in the comments!

Of loss and never getting closures

I love getting closures. I hate that movies/short films and more of such content is increasingly making it a thing to leave endings open & to ‘viewers discretion’. Like, hell no! You tell me what you wanted as an ending, dear content creator!

And what is that one thing that never gives you closure? Death. And more so, if you know just how much the person had the will to live. I broke down today watching a year old memories in my wedding video & everything about this unfortunate happening came rushing. In hindsight (of a couple of hours only :)), I feel such break downs are much needed to become more accepting of the loss. However, loss is one and closure is another. You never get this closure that this person wanted & expected life differently, he was so looking forward to getting better & going back to his life, had not given up & that was the ray of hope his near & dear ones held to. This is a fact that will not change. All we can do is hope that he is in a better place.

This break down is what triggered my post but I also started thinking of other instances of never getting closures, well, not never, but mostly. The most obvious one I thought of was lost friendships. Not the ones where you ‘lose touch’, although those can count too. But I specifically mean the ones where something just snaps off and neither of the parties ever try to fix it. It has happened to me a couple of times and it does hurt a lot.

Life would be much better with closures, but if there was a list of things where it would be nicer to have closures, death would top that list.

I hadn’t expected myself to write back here with a gloomy post, but it is what it is. Quarantine life has been so freaking busy with work life having no boundaries, that the little me time that I get is spent just being a potato. Writing never makes the cut. Monday blues hit harder and stay on till Saturday πŸ˜₯ and I think I need to have a plan to make things better for myself.