Weekends around here

22 Sep

I’ve started to cling to weekends like children who get all sprightly some Friday, and begin to sulk as Sunday evening draws near. Its not that I don’t like school days, I mean weekdays, for they hold a different kind of pleasure. But the weekends have become the only time VC and I get to spend some time together. And by spend, I mean really spend some time together. Because what do you know, just eating dinner together doesn’t really cut it, in the long run. And that is how life has been for him. And therefore us. He has been woefully overworked in the last few months (and I feel like I’ve been saying this for the larger part of this year!) and even conversation is taxing at the end of the day, and I sense the increasing need for “quiet time” around here. But when the weekend comes around, he turns into this enthusiastic person quite nothing like the person I am used to seeing Monday thru Friday. Funnily, the weekend is when I wind down. I choose not to get online too much, stay away form the computer and don’t cook anything too elaborate. I sleep in, nap sometimes, but mostly spend the weekend relaxing. But he? He always has a plan. Even if it is organised relaxation, which is to say we do nothing, but veg out. Him doing his research on the latest fetish at hand (it used to be cycles, now its film-making) and me reading or pottering about. Weekends are when I usually revel in doing nothing.

We didn’t have cable connected for months on end, but had that fixed recently since a certain annual guilty pleasure, trash fix kind of reality show involving 12 strangers being locked up to cohabit in a house for over 100 days, came on yesterday. So, these days we have the additional option of watching some TV too.

We used to be pretty outdoorsy on the weekends. At a time when we had like-minded friends in town. It was not uncommon to go on long evening drives ending with dinner far far away, or go in search of a secluded beach, watch the sunset/sunrise from one of the islands close by, just take off for the weekend. It was easy and never required too much intensive planning. Just the company of a couple of people was enough, we never waited for a large brood to gather, and we’d be off. But that has diminished for many reasons. The right company has mostly moved out of Goa, and those that remain no longer hold my interest. We’re not as enthusiastic ourselves, because with VC tiring weekday schedules he prefers to unwind indoors. So most often we end up cooking, shooting a foodeo, or he goes cycling, at the most. Making a plan to go far out seems to take more energy than we are willing to expend, just by ourselves.

However, last weekend A and A with their 5 year old N asked us to join them and we took off without thinking about it too much. Quite spontaneously we found ourselves at an old and forgotten spot we once frequented. “The church on top of the hill” as we have gotten used to calling it, used to be the place we’d take visiting friends when they’d ask about Old Goa. Because its the place not too many people know of, its where you wont find thronging tourists, and offers splendid views of the river below and Panjim in the far distance.

Views

I took along this yellow cake (on which I slapped on some makeshift chocolate sauce) I had incidentally baked just that afternoon, and turned out A had baked this yummy gulkand (would you believe?! I’m not even a fan of anything-rose but this was seriously good!) cake too. An unplanned picnic of sorts happened, followed by playing catch-n-cook with an 5-year-old who puts the fun back in running around for no apparent reason.

Picnic

Some tumbling down green slopes ensued, while I watched in amazement. A couple of lovey-dovey couples were intruded upon, in our wild running, and I realised what I thought was a not-so-popular spot was suddenly more filled with people than I had ever seen it.

Tumble

This is what happens when you hang around an inquisitive and mildly fearless child. You go into nooks and crannies your adult self couldn’t be bothered about snooping around, and you’re forced to see things you otherwise wouldn’t really see. Like bugs, termites and grasshoppers, unless you’re into that kind of thing.

Bugs

A and I chatted, while the other A enlightened me about geocaching. You gaiizz!! Its a real-life treasure freaking hunt! I am totally enamoured by it, especially after I saw the cache he checked in on. Those in the know exchange notes and little tidbits and the whole thing is too fascinating for me to explain in words. All my childhood fantasies of having Famous Five styled treasure hunts, or randomly stumbling on someone else’s treasure came to life. I’m now plotting a few good spots to go drop a cache of my own.

Sufficiently sweaty from running around, we waited on VC whose sole mission of the trip was to test a new found time-lapse technique. His latest keeda project at hand is to teach himself the ins and outs of as much film-making as he can. So there he sat patiently shooting frame after frame, at 3 minute intervals, while we had tarted getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Stop

After an hour of hitting click, click, clicking later, when the sun had gone down we decided to call it a day. Dropped by at the closest drinking hole where we stuffed our faces on beer and pizza. Good way to end the week, I thought.

When we came home, VC sat and stitched this together. Turns out, while I was busy running around chasing grasshoppers, stuffing my face and yakking away about geocaching, the sky had put up quite a show. Goa can be achingly beautiful, sometimes and it felt so good to be outdoors again.

Immediately, this song came to mind.

Week-end.

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No words

19 Sep

The world is fast being depleted of its geniuses, beautiful minds and wonderful human beings. Today we lost yet another great one.

I’ve spent a large part of today what I thought was an inexplicable funk. Not much got done. The lunch I cooked was insipid. After a half-hearted meal, I did something else I rarely do — dozed off for an extra long nap, when I should have been catching up on work. At 5 pm, when I still didn’t feel compelled to drag myself out of bed, I felt maybe I should just give in to the funk. Because I realised it is after all not without reason.

I don’t know why the news affected me at all. It’s not like I knew the man. I have only been an admirer of the music. Despite not being too big on Carnatic music, something about his gentle smile, the casual almost too easy way in which his music flowed, and the fact that it stood out so much in the Remember Shakti ensemble (which is where I’ve heard him the most) has always made me love him, his music and the subtle, happy, smiling person that he seemed to be.

I was at the gym when I got the news this morning, and from that moment on I was all over the place. Distracted and unable to keep it together. Something about being totally blindsighted by news of death brought memories of that January day when I went to visit Ajju in Bombay, rushing back to my mind. I had made the trip just to look him up, spend some time with him. A hugely delayed flight led me to arrive some 7 hours too late, ring the doorbell at almost-crack-of-dawn, try and catch some sleep. I woke up later than usual, had a hearty breakfast with ajju, after which he retired to his favourite chair to read his newspapers from end to end. He was up and about, ate a perfectly full breakfast, chatted with me inquiring about everything that was important. Ten minutes later, when I went into his room to ask what he would like for lunch, he had slumped in his chair. Peacefully, silently breathed his last. It was almost like he was holding on to meet me. And I couldn’t have been more grateful for those ten minutes I managed to get, major delays notwithstanding.

Death is never easy, more so when it takes you by surprise. More so when it comes too soon. No reasons are good enough, nothing ever pacifies just enough, and once again, all I can think is it was time to take the music to another world.Just like I did when Ajju passed on.

Today we lost another one — a prodigy, gone too soon. I have no words, except Thank You for the music.

Finding Fanny

18 Sep

I watched it. I loved it.

I should have picked up on the wordplay earlier, but I didn’t. Not until the opening scenes of the movie, when the camera very quickly gets fixated on Rosie’s derriere and sets the tone for the mad, quirky, odd-ball film that it is.

I love a short, quick film that isn’t dragged out at any part, and Finding Fanny fit the bill in that respect. I was a tad annoyed at the almost expected “6 months later” epilogue that seems a little forced, but I suppose I’m amongst the minority of people that is sometimes okay with an absurd and abrupt end to a film, where every little string doesn’t necessarily have to be neatly tied in a bow. Especially not if the film preceding it has been bizarre, full of twists and turns and downright cheeky.

The characters are whimsical and eccentric, the plot unnatural. Almost like a scene from a Mario Miranda postcard brought to life. It’s sufficiently peppered with little distractions in the form of smaller characters, like the cat, the padre and Fanny — which made it feel like theatre, more than anything I’ve seen in Bollywood in recent past.

I’m also a fan of quick and clever story-telling and am losing patience with Hindi movies that make no effort to tell engaging stories, without the pace flagging or going OTT. Finding Fanny managed it beautifully, steady pace that kept me engaged at all times. Again, very reminiscent of theatre, I felt like I could have been reading a crazy book with the same story, the overly caricatured characters and the totally strange plot. None of that unnecessarily dragged out drama, verbose dialogues, song and dance. Every scene packed a punch, left me guffawing and rapt. The few unexpected and utterly bizarre twists were well-timed and many of them made the entire theatre hoot, or gasp in unison.

As for the acting, for a change, each character hold their own and pulls their weight in building up a solid story. Naseeruddin Shah was the star for me. Soft, economic acting that made you really feel for his character, despite his quirks and eccentricities. Pankaj Kapur comes a close second, but just the very nature of his character gave him a long rope to work with. Dimple Kapadia was fabulous, nailing the Goan Aunty meme completely. I was pleasantly surprised by Arjun Kapoor who seems to fit these lazy, angry young man roles so much better than the chirpy college kid roles (2 States, I’m looking at you) kinds. And I can’t believe I’m going to say this, given my deep dislike for DP. But, Deepika was glorious, almost ethereal and so perfect for the character — pretty little maiden, out of everybody’s reach. Good daughter-in-law, good friend, clever on one hand, scheming girl who orchestrates the whole trip, and also smart enough to get what she wants along the way. I just wish she’d perfect her dialogue delivery a little. She still sounds like she is outside herself when she speaks, which paints all her acting with a thin, but impossible to ignore coat of inaccuracy.

I quite liked the music too! Very real and well-suited to the setting, it balanced out the general loony theme of things. No song and dance sequences, but a quirky Shake Your Bootiya track to which the credits roll out. But mostly I think I liked it because I am shamelessly, hopelessly in love with Goa. It’s also a large part of the reason I wanted to watch it, in the first place. I’m known to endure the shittiest films just because they’re set in Goa, and sit and point out familiar places and scenes through out. And this film captures Goa beautifully, minus the usual cliches that make my skin crawl. Drunken men going What men!, and the like. The setting had a sense of timelessness, in that it was obvious the film wasn’t set in present day, and yet you can’t quite pin it to a particular period.

After a long, long time I came out with no complaints. It was equal parts funny, touching, sweet and mad and I wouldn’t mind watching it one more time. Because it’s a simple film with a straight forward story, no acrobatics in drama and style, good acting and the combination makes it thoroughly entertaining. Who needs anything more?

Confessions of an endorphin junkie, part 3

17 Sep

I’ve been attacked by starting trouble for the most part of this week. I know it’s just Wednesday, but dragging my feet to the gym is not something have dealt with too often. I don’t like it, it’s very unlike me and I don’t know how to shake it off.

This week I have felt super lazy to get going. This is why I am almost afraid to take a holiday from training. Even though my body really needed the rest in August, deep-down I worried I’d face the sloth-attack when it was time to return. Maybe its the weather, or limbo-like situation I’m in, but every morning, I am overcome with this intense need to just stay home, sit around and wait for things to happen. All the while, I know at the back of my head that once I begin I will come out feeling really good. But try telling that to my heart that’s longing to just lounge around and not jump around for a change. Perfect spirit-is-willing-but-the-flesh-is-weak kind of situation.

But here’s the thing, I still managed to drag myself to the gym. Everyday. Because the promise of feeling fabulous and energetic an hour later is too good an opportunity to pass up. I’m thoroughly addicted. I wasn’t kidding when I said I am an endorphin junkie. Twice over. It’s no wonder really, because endorphins work pretty much like drugs and narcotics do. Wonderful chemical reactions in your brain and other parts of the body, where endorphins make masti with neural receptors to inhibit all signs of pain, dullness, lethargy. Tricking you into feeling so goddamn good, you want some more. And more. Until you basically just can’t get enough. So much so that even when your body is saying no!, some part of your mind is going yes! yes! yes!

So, like the quintessential junkie who needs just the slightest impetus to give in, I took myself to the gym. Unwilling flesh and all.

up

Because the only way forward, is up.

All it really takes is a few rounds of lifting some big-girl weights, or a couple of spunky dance numbers, some good music and  eventually, pretty soon, I’m bopping around like a happy trooper. Like one hit of a newly passed joint, or that swig of vodka, neat. And all is well with the world again.

I don’t know when I got so addicted to it. But working out has quickly replaced most other addictions in my life. Friends constantly crib that I am no longer as willing to catch a drink, and invariably stop after a few — unlike before. I’ve nearly given up most other ways to get high, and I’m that wretched person in most circles that can be described as annoyingly high-on-life. Sometimes just thinking about what it feels like at the end of a workout is enough to get me going. Starting trouble diminishes by half right there. Mid way through an ass-busting circuit, the mention of hurdles that are going to make an appearance in the gym, makes me go yay! and makes the aunty next to me roll her eyes.

Endorphins make me feel alive. The energy I expend over the one hour at the gym, oddly enough, sets me up to keep going through the day. It’s funny how it even makes me eat and sleep better. And to go through the day feeling elated, satisfied and like all is well, is the biggest bonus. They say an endorphin high actually heightens the sense of satisfaction you feel from working out, and makes you come back for moaarrr. Which is what takes me back, dragging fee in tow.

So I’ve been battling this starting trouble this week, but all it takes is pushing through that hint of a beginning of that nagging thought that says to-go-or-not-to-go. Because once I’m over that hurdle, and I do go in to the gym, the feeling evaporates in no time at all.

Today, it was this new cracking salsa number. I’m no great dancer, but by the end of this song I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.

The trick is to just push through, begin, and let that energy rush do the rest for you. That’s just the beauty of endorphins at work. And I’m hopelessly addicted.

Finding happy

16 Sep

It’s been one of those disappointing FB days. I happened to eavesdrop (on the FB sense of the word anyway — the conversation popped up on my feed because a friend was actively commenting on the thread) on a conversation thread that linked up to an absolutely twisted article about an utterly ridiculous stand on the Deepika Padukone-TOI issue. The article talks about how people’s right to lech at a woman’s breasts is as valid as a woman’s right to wear a low-cut dress. It went on to say as people we are “selectively liberal” and do not consider a man’s right to stare at a woman’s breasts if she chooses to bare them. Somewhere in that twisted logic, the small matter of voyeurism and invasion of privacy (which is actually the issue with this particular TOI) seemed to have gone missing completely.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, 76 people liked the article, and the thread went on to get over 120 comments, the bulk of which consisted of men defending their right to lech, some likening a hot woman wearing skimpy clothes to a sexy car parked on the side of the road. Nobody can stop us from looking and admiring the car, some said.

Halfway through the thread I realised a lot of the asinine arguments, examples being raked up and parallels being drawn while plain horrifying, but were being drawn up just for the sake of an argument. My friend was pretty much one of three people in the conversation defending her stand as a woman who has the right to defend her privacy and call out any behaviour that makes her feel uncomfortable. I was rooting for her, but since the conversation wasn’t on my TL, I couldn’t participate.

With every point made by her or the other women on the thread, there was an active rebuttal with a longer comment containing an even more ludicrous example and argument. Made me wonder just how this will go on, and if much of the banter on the part of the men was just intellectual banter — argument for the same of argument alone. I see this happen a lot on fb and it makes me wonder how much time people have. I’m one to talk because I was having one of those decidedly slow days, and I stayed on, masochistically subjecting myself to the conversation that I didn’t even belong to, to begin with! I relentlessly hit refresh and watched the comments grow as the debate unfurled.

I could feel myself seething with anger at one point and shut down the damn page. But only long enough to eat my lunch, after which I was back. R, S and I had a parallel email exchange about the preposterous proportions the conversation was taking. A lot of the hypotheses — a woman ought to retain her “power” in any potentially-confrontational situation, thereby not assuming every lecher will turn out to be a rapist; leching is not a crime, raping is; some of us know how to lech discretely without making women uncomfortable — were increasingly laughable. But not just that, they were all being made by men. Educated, well-read men, I was told later. Men who have probably never been leched at, faced eve-teasing or come close to being molested, in the way that all of us have been at some point in our life.

And this is just the thing that annoys me about these intellectual debates on fb. It is SO easy for us to pontificate, sitting in our little bubbles of privilege. To hypothesize about what things should and could be like, if only women learned to distinguish between a “good stare” and a “bad stare”. Heck, it seems I need to now learn that from a man!

The TOI-DP debate was never about leching vs rape, that’s a separate and an important argument. It wasn’t even about what’s legal and what can be deemed a crime. But that thread made me realise to what extent people can go to defend their stupid notions, ignoring something as pure and basic as the idea of privacy, of civility and of fine lines between looking at a beautiful person and making them feel uncomfortable.

The number of times and the lengths to which some arguments went to make it seem like it was perfectly acceptable to look at a woman (especially if she was dressed provocatively) as long as you didn’t touch, eventually made me sick to my stomach. It was appalling to see the twists in the discussion, the things that were done in the name of defending mere hypotheses, even when there were enough women ON the thread who had experienced the entire range from invasion of privacy to molestation, and were sharing their experiences right there in the comments section. I was shocked at the levels of intellectual masturbation a forum like that allows. At how we can be so alienated from the truth (in this case the men arguing over something they will probably never experience to the extent women continue to, every single day) and convince ourselves that airing our beliefs like this is a sign of being progressive. No matter that entire basis of the argument is regressive beyond belief.

I’m too aghast to even begin to explain the multiple things on that thread that caused me worry. So I finally shut down fb for the day and decided to share some of nicer things I have seen on the Internet this week. Consider this my attempt to find some happy for the day.

I have been an active followed of Humans Of New York since it began, and I took a little personal joy in reading about Brandon Stanton’s visit to India as part of the United Nations World Tour, for the Millennium Development Project. Many of his photographs are just average, and not stunning in a way that I am drawn to the work of say Raghu Rai or McCurry, but the stories he uncovers are most often priceless. Most often I read the captions before I take a closer look at his pictures. To be able to befriend a stranger in just minutes, to converse with them enough to share some of their deepest innermost stories, and to capture it in a frame that brings some part of that story alive — I think that’s definitely a skill worth having.

Perhaps it is something about hitting 30, or turning the corner of finally owning up to adulthood and accepting it. I may still plenty immature and have so many things to figure out, but in many, many little ways I see my parents in myself. And mommygolightlee shares that discovery so beautifully in this piece.

After seeing everybody’s top 10 most loved books of all time, all over my fb, I was very happy to see this list by TinRoofPress. Im usually turned off by this need to hate, diss or push down something just because everybody’s loving it (yes, why do we do it?!), and even though some of my favourites are on this list, TRPs post made me laugh out loud. Maybe you’ll see the humor in it too?

I was never very good at depriving myself of good food, especially food that I love. Only recently I considered going on a healthy diet, not so much to curtail the good stuff, but to cut out the rubbish and curb eating out a bit. Just to see if it makes any difference to the way I feel, my energy levels and if it makes a dent on my training — and yet, I haven’t been able to dive into it. This piece seems to be written by a girl after my own heart and after reading this, I think I’m going to be abandoning the idea to control what I eat entirely. Just eat that brownie. Or in my case, that extra helping of rice. (God, how I love rice.)

This morning, I woke up with bread on my mind. And promptly, food52 threw this collection in my face. Thanks, Internet for giving me yet another downward spiral to jump into. I’m eying the cinnamon kringel bread and the whole wheat pita. Good lord.

And the last thing I want to show you is this video of the place that brought us to Goa, the place that gave me the longest professional stint in my life. I am never quite able to explain to people what made us move to Goa, to work. I usually just sum it up with “we found a really good place to work”. It’s never enough, but some things cannot be perfectly explained, I suppose. Even now, I don’t miss the work I did (because I’ve diversified and moved on from the kind of work I did then), but I do miss the work place, the atmosphere, the people an the sense of community and camaraderie I had there. Now every time someone asks me how I landed up in Goa, I point them to this video. *goes off to watch the video to make the happy come back again*

And in case that’s not happy enough for you, take this.

Sunrise, sunrise

15 Sep

Morning. It makes its presence known with the dull light slanting in through the slit where one curtain ends and the next begins. There’s a brief cacophony of alarm bells ringing at our bedsides, and we lazily hit snooze time and again. Finally, when I rise, it’s the best time of the day. I am alive and about within minutes of waking. None of that need-to-surface stuff for me. I am ready to hug the day, right from the word go, in a giant, tight embrace. It’s what they call being a “morning person”, which is not to say I am an early riser. I’m not. I actually like sleeping in, lazing around, and all attempts to begin the day slightly ahead of time have failed repeatedly. But when the night’s sleep has been good, I wake up awake, as opposed to needing time to roll out of bed, open my eyes, crank my brain to begin functioning and face the day.

I’m the weirdo that wakes up alive. Nothing like going through the actions on auto pilot, watching the bulbuls flit about on the creeper outside the window, as I take in the smells that signal morning is here — steaming chai bubbling away, the zesty lemon of kitchen detergent, and the remnants of raat-rani that linger outside my front door, when I go out to fetch the milk.

1

I like the slow-starts more than the frantic ones. It’s like gazing out lovingly at the day spread out in front of me, my mind slowly dissecting the many things I need do. Weighing-in on work, assignments, meetings, coffee dates, workout routines — the many things I tick off on any given day.

2

Hugging my mug of tea, sitting beside VC, the coffee-table bearing the weight of our coordinated outstretched legs, as we read the news, in silence, I’m usually the one asking VC to slow down and stay a while longer instead of rushing off to work. There’s something about that peaceful, ease of just staying in the company of one another, with everything around us still and quiet.

3

Perhaps it has everything to do with being a bit of a Type A, I like to have things sorted and in control from the moment go. Before I begin my work on any given day, I spend some time clearing up the house — picking up odds and ends, tucking a bed-sheet in here, straightening a pile of books there. Setting my kitchen up clears out my head, and puts me in the state of mind to figure out meals for the day. When I skip these few minutes of peering into my veggie tray, cooking is a scattered and slightly imperfect process.

5

Breakfast is my me-time. Whether I’m cooking up a hot nashta, or whipping up cereal and fruit, or chucking it all into the blender to make a smoothie, this is my time to check in on feedly, read a little, and think about what I want to get done.

4

Belly full, mind gathered and the basics around the home are sorted, I rush off to the gym, and its onwards and upwards from there. The tempo of the morning usually sets the tone for the day to come. The days I do not get my morning dose of sweat and endorphins, I drag my feet and feel lethargic. The way my morning unfolds is usually a clue for how the rest of the day will go. When I am recovering from a late night and wake up half way into the day, I know my day is not going to perk up. And nothing, not even several cups of tea or coffee, a power nap or anything can shake me out of that state of lethargy. The days I efficiently and effortlessly wade through my tasks, find myself at noon with most of the work for the day done, I know it’s going to be a fabulous day.

6

Morning around these parts is probably the biggest, most significant evidence of what a homebody I’ve become, and how much I’ve grown to love it. A decade ago, I wasted no time in waking up, rushing into the shower and heading out. Being out = being busy. I’d have never imagined this 180 degree reversal.

I thrive on tending to my home, in fussing over the meal, in planning out my assignments and working around everything I have to do at home. And all of this happens in the morning. It’s really the best time of day for me, when I am at my productive best. As the day leans towards noon, things slow down, laziness creeping back into my bones. Come rain or shine, nothing wakes me up and readies me for the morning ahead, quite like morning itself.

In between

12 Sep

So I’m stuck in the middle, in many ways. Work is on an extended limbo-like phase. I’m pursuing an opportunity that requires me to hold off on everything else I had going on. I’m waiting, and yet said opportunity is taking longer than anticipated to materialise. I’m 100% sure that if I drop it and accept the other smaller assignments in the waiting, I will immediately hear from the bigger one I was originally waiting on and then feel like a fool. So I continue to wait, and its really getting annoying to be stuck in the middle with no real idea of which direction to move in.

My routine is still floundering around in a state of disarray. Life has resumed in earnest, but functioning without that set routine back to the way things were is not easy. I need routine, it rules me. I let August go as my month off from normal life because I had so much happening, and ever since the maid-spat early this month, I have hired new help.  cheerful, sweet and hardworking girl who has also agreed to help me out in the kitchen. This is way more than I could ask for at this point because maybe I can finally free up some time and stop cribbing about never having enough of it. But on the downside, she is engaged till mid-day and comes to my home at 11. This new schedule is taking longer than I expected to get used to. I am used to having my house back in order before I go off to the gym in the morning, a routine that sets the rest of my day rolling. Now everything feels like its pushed back by two hours because the clean up only begins at noon. We’re both doing our bit to work around it, and deal with everything shifting by a couple of hours, which some times means the dishes lie undone till noon (which drives me slightly batty), and lunch happens later than usual (which just makes me ravenous) and then afternoon spills over into evening — basically a new routine. But when you’re a creature of habit like I am, the smallest change makes you feel like you’re stuck in the middle. I really ought to pick up and get going, but everyday I feel like I’m going against the grain and not really moving ahead.

The Hungry & Excited website is being revamped as we speak.  It was meant to be a 15 day project, but its taken more than 2 months. This is partly my doing, I got so busy with IFBM that I didn’t follow up as closely as I should have. And then I’ve been a bit scatter-brained about picking up and closing the loop. It’s almost done, and I’m happy with the way its turned out. THe minute it’s up and we’re set to go, I want to introduce two new cakes on the menu and start doing some small-scale local advertising. I’m exciting to hit play again, but I can’t do it until my website is actually fully ready and running. It also means I have to hold off on posting new posts, sharing anything else on the blog and generally moving on with normal programming. The wait is killing me. This neither-here-nor-there situation is really like being stuck in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve hit a roadblock as far as cooking goes. I’m constantly itching to eat something different and don’t always have the energy to whip it up myself. I find reasons to cop out of cooking a lot, or willingly let VC take over, or just be really bad and order in — and this is not normal in these parts. I feel like I’m not able to slip back to normal life, and it’s really beginning to annoy the crap out of me!Unable to move forward or backwards. Just stuck. Here in the middle, is where I am off late. It hasn’t helped that my home has been full ever since I came back form Bangalore at the start of August. I have underestimated the wonder that is having my own personal space. I love having people over, so I never imagined that 1.5 months of it would have stuck in the middle, not able to hit the pedal and get going with my life the way I know it.So I’m mostly just going with the flow. Doing things as I feel like, not planning my days too much and not thinking about it. I’m reading two cookbooks at once — if that qualifies as reading. Aparna Jain’s The Sood Family Cookbook has me wanting to bookmark every single recipe. Rushina Gildiyal’s A Pinch of This, A Handful of That, while not fabulous in a literary sense, does have a fair number of recipes I am itching to try. I have discovered a new love for recipe books, I realise. This is very new for someone who never makes a dish the same way twice.

I’ve resumed my training in full-swing and physically feel a lot better. Exercise sets a happy glow over most other things, making the limbo seem normal too. It’s good to have sleep, hunger and daily functioning back in order again. Cooking is a close second, and I’m almost there.

The only other thing I’ve been doing with a fair bit of regularity is helping VC churn out foodeo after foodeo. He’s working on them at top speed and I am almost afraid I won’t be able to keep up. Here’s the next — a makeshift Aubergine Lasagne — a lazy Sunday lunch that was as much fun to put together as it was to shoot, and then sit down and eat. It was the last meal the sister and us had together before she left and some parts of this film will always remind me of the epic month we just spent together.

And in honour of being stuck in the middle, and just going with the flow, this has been my track for the most part of t0day.

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