Monday, February 1, 2016

Of Mom & Distressed Jeans !!

"No sense of quality at all"

I could hear my Mom grumbling, charging towards me while I poured another serving of Dal-fry on my Pulao.

"Beta, what kind of clothes are you buying." The 'Beta' is of course a clever camouflaging technique that my Mother resorts to while subduing the impact of her outburst. 
"Look at this, it has ripped after ONE wash. Do you want me to stitch it?"

I calmly eyed the crumbled piece of my favorite blue jeans. Yes, it was ripped, at the
Source: Myers
thighs, because that's how I bought it.

"Ma, fashion hoi fashion ... it's called distressed jeans."

The look that my mom gave was definitely more 'distressing'. I don't know whether that was for the jeans or the fact that I was talking with a mouthful of rice.

"Fashion ne Phota-Kaani!!". She gave one last hopeless glance at my ever-smiling face and went back, probably contemplating if she could stitch it together without me noticing.

Phota-Kaani - in Assamese, technically it's a ripped cloth used to clean the floor. And if my mom had her way, my favorite clothing article would be mopping the poo poo and pee pee of my little cousin.


Our understanding of fashion has never been the same. I still remember the first salwar Kurta that my mom had ordered for me. Her instructions to the tailor were clear and crisp.
"This is a 5 meter cloth. Use ALL of it to stitch a kurta for my 13 year daughter ... and don't waste a single centimetre". I have to say the tailor was pretty good at following instructions. The kurta was big enough to fit myself, my mom and her sister as well.

Oh even after all these years, we still joke about it !!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

That Proud Moment !!

Of course like any silly emotional sister I was teary eyed, and I think my Dad  too choked with emotions when I spoke to him on phone. Well, that's my brother for you, giving us all sorts of "feels" for the past 26 years.
When 8 years ago he went as an NCC cadet to Delhi for Republic Day, we hadn't even imagined that someday he would walk down the prestigious Rajpath, even though three generations of our family were/are in defence forces. In fact, on his return my Mom's only worry was his bag full of unwashed sweaty clothes and mud laden boots :P She made sure they were left on the porch, and scrubbed his face red trying to remove all the tan :P 

For 3 months we have been waiting for this. I was at my Uncle's place today, had hooked the laptop to his TV, and was literally staring at the countdown. I am so thankful for the existence of Doordarshan National, for telecasting the parade live on Youtube.

It was a classic "Anu on TV... Anu on TV" moment. But never had I imagined how overwhelming it would be. I haven't met my brother in 3 years. To watch him all smartly dressed, leading a contingent of four legged soldiers...oh I still get teary. Same with my sister who luckily was at Rajpath. And in between wiping tears and blinking eyes we watched him. Yeah, we are a ridiculously emotional family. :P

A video posted by The Times of India (@thetimesofindia) on

So right now, I am stalking profiles on Instagram, Twitters, News Channel searching for his pictures.

It was after years I saw the Parade. Some very fond memories are associated with it. But what remains same - is the goosebumps I get every time a Lady Officer comes on screen. Extremely inspiring and empowering!!

Ok before I get even more emotional, gotta go back and collect more pictures.  :) Hope you all had a wonderful Republic Day. Jai Hind!!



Friday, January 22, 2016

The Wannabe Masterchefs

The aroma of spices, with a delicate hint of chilli, filled the room as I served Palak Paneer to a hungry bunch of sibling and cousins. That was probably the first time I had ever prepared an 'edible' meal at home. The last time I made something with Channa Dal long long ago, Dad had to make trips to the bathroom all through the night. I know, such a lazy no-good daughter I am. 

But even more delightful was how everyday my husband prepared and taught my Mother and her band of sisters a variety of Marathi dishes - Thalipeeth, Baigan Bharta, Puran Poli, Balushahi, Dahi Samosa, Poha. Didn't I tell you I returned back with an extra layer of tummy, well I wasn't joking!! 

The amusing part was to translate Assamese Hindi and Marathi Hindi to Hindi. Yes there is a thing like that.

My mom seriously had no faith in my cooking and was always losing her hair worrying if we were eating right. Now that she saw her son-in-law dishing out delicious dishes one after another, she's relieved that atleast we won't die of malnutrition. 

My Dad was mighty pleased to sink his teeth into soft balushahi that he had been craving for three years. The ingredients were measured and added by my husband, Mom kneaded the dough, Mahi made small round balls while I fried and dipped them in sugar syrup (and ate them as well ... you know just to test the softness, texture etc etc). The kitchen was always busy with a flurry of activities, while our clothes smelled like cloves and cinnamon.

We were a bunch of walking-talking Khana Khazana :P But when all 9 members of the family prefer salt from the scale of bleh to sphygmomanometer breaking high and chilli from 'none' to 'maar dala' , well all sort of solutions need to be applied. It was like solving one of those Engineering aptitude tests. 

If A like spice of 0% and B like spice of 120%, then after how many minutes should a bowl of curry be separately kept before adding chillies so that A can eat without crying a river.

Boy!! Managing a kitchen is no phunny business. One wrong spoon of salt and people would be down with dizziness and nausea. I am pretty sure after we left my Dad would have undergone a series of health checks while my mom would have totally cut down non-vegetarian and sweets and salt and chilli and whatever that's tasty. 

Now that I am back in Sydney, every time I sprinkle Jeera in hot oil I could almost feel Mom say 'Kidney kharab ho jayegi'. {Don't ask me how and why - Don't Moms always tend to know some weird science} 

Ohh how I miss this crazy bunch of wannabe masterchefs.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Photo Blog: The Vacation

The last few weeks of December were super exciting as I travelled to India for the first time after relocating to Sydney. 7 flights, 2 time zones, food, 3 different cultures, food, travelling on foot, did I mention food!! I had been preparing my travel excel sheet 5 months in advance. My body clock was completely out of control and the first few days I was zombie-walking. But well, it's home... who cares.

Here's a photo blog, summarising my trip.

At Singapore Airport, in between posing and rushing to catch the sky train.
Nikki went crazy as soon as I opened the gate. She is as gorgeous as ever

Shopping with Dad at Gar Ali, Jorhat. Back to good old times.

The fields in Nagpur are just as beautiful. My husband took me on a tour every morning, to the fields nearby.

Macau sure knows how to light up their buildings. I felt like walking in a real life video game. 
Umm, dried fish I assume. Just a random street stall in a beautiful Chinese village Tai O.

Dwarfed by the amazing Big Buddha, in Lantau Island

A glimpse of Hong Kong Island 

I got so many stories to tell, please don't mind me yapping for the next few weeks :D


Monday, January 11, 2016

The Pronunciation Trouble

My Mom is obsessed about Sarees in Checked pattern. She doesn't own many, mostly because even a normal cotton saree costs a bomb in my hometown, in Assam. The last time she bought one was in Nagpur, three years ago, during my wedding. My Dad had found this amazing store selling beautiful cotton Sarees at awesome prices. Awesome only to the eyes of Jorhat dwellers, because to us, Nagpur is so much more affordable with good value for money.

Anyhow, when I went home last December, my mom was still gushing over the checked Saree she bought at Nagpur. The problem is she can't pronounce 'Check' or any other word starting with CH. She pronounces it like Seck or Sess (Chess). You got the drift.

So that fine morning, my mother, her sisters (Mahi), my sister and my husband were sipping tea and relishing Pithas. Yeah quite a crowd huh!! That's why it's Home. :) Mom started with how comfortable the "Secked" Saree was and asked me to buy few more "Secked" Saree and courier them. 

My husband, oblivious to all the pronounciation trouble, pipped in casually "Oh you want a Sexy Saree!!"

I coughed out my tea, my sister was rolling on the floor laughing, Mahi was wiping her tears with knife in one hand and half chopped spinach in other. The kitchen was roaring with laughter. But the most amusing part was the expression on my Mom's face. She stood fixated for few seconds before rushing in to open her suitcase and taking out the check-patterned saree she was talking about, but we were too busy laughing our guts out. Till today I can't forget her reaction. She can be so cute sometimes :P

My husband has trouble understanding my Mom's Hindi sentences as it is spoken with a strong Assamese accent. Most days he would safely nod his head and smile, but is bowled when she asks him a question. That's when I translate my mom's Hindi to Hindi for his benefit. 

Ahh home!! The fun never ends :P

Leaving you with a picture of the mighty Brahmaputra.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ahoy Matey !!

Hello there!!
So I have slept through the weekend, my voice is still hoarse and knees aching from all the dancing I did on Friday at the office Christmas Party.

Our's was a Sea Themed Costume Party and half of my team was dressed as Pirate :P 

That's me -  a very happy and Dressy pirate. It was a last minute shopping I did just a week before the party. The guys at Costume Collection delivered it within two days and saved my day.

That's my Team - A band of Pirates and Popeye :P

After dressing up at the office, we walked towards the bus stop. Imagine a huge group consisting of Pirates, Sailors, Popeye, Ninja Turtle, Titanic Zombies - leisurely walking on the road, queuing up for the company provided Bus. Yeah that was fun when people stopped us to ask what the heck is going around in :P Some took photos, some videos, and for once I felt like a celebrity -  a weird celebrity though. :P

That's the view from the venue.

The two water buddies, discussing some serious water issues

And there's Michelangelo - The Ninja Turtle. The amount of time and measurement he took to cut those eyes - I am pretty sure it's more accurate than the actual costume. :)

Oh there's two of them!!

Some more shots from the party. Mr Popeye is making his way though a bunch of Jelly Fish :)

My absolute favourite was the Titanic Zombie group - their makeup, dressing, concept - it was brilliant.

My phone battery died and now I am relying on my colleagues to share all other cool pictures.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Of Suitcase, Sale and Sushi

Hello all the beautiful people out there :) Let me just state at the beginning that this whole month I am not going to post any serious writing on the blog (not that I do ;) ). It's just going to be  on and off pictures or random anecdotes. The last month of the year is always busy. There are checklists to be completed, goals to be reached, people to meet ... and the biggest one is - learn to pack a suitcase. Seriously I am so terrible at it that I have to youtube a video tutorial. It's total chaos out here, which is doing no good to my already frizzy hair.


Last Thursday night I went to a Dress to Success Charity Sale with two of my colleagues. After exhausting my cash and buying some amazing brands at an incredible price, we headed to Sushi Hotaru to grab a bite. I was so excited to see the Sushi Train. There were numerous varieties of Sushi, going in circle. I picked the ones with caviar toppings, my friends ordered some soft shell crab handmade roll, lotus chips and a "salmon family" sushi, which we devoured in no time. 

Time to take pictures with our Loot.

The weekend was spent at La Perouse, where my husband had a photoshoot with few models. I roamed around, enjoying the cool breeze which was a huge relief from previous day's 42 degree Celsius.  Never will I ever complain about winter. Once his shoot was done, I too managed to get some cool shots :D

In case you wanna check out more of his photography - 

Until next time ... 


Monday, November 23, 2015

5 Videos, on Repeat

Internet is like a time loop ... how the hours are lost listening and watching the same stuff over and over again is beyond me. I spent straight 2 hours watching this video. It's crazy. For the fear of getting stuck again I try (in vain) to stay away from this section of Youtube.

I chanced upon them while looking for Dance tutorials. My pancreas threatened to pop out when I tried to emulate their moves. Who needs a workout routine when you can do this!!

And this too. If you are addicted, don't blame me.

As if these amazing girls were't enough to send me into retrospective mode, there comes this tiny little angel ... with a sword.

Seriously, what did I do all my life!!

These days I am into listening to mashups of Hindi and English songs. I feel they sound way better than their original versions.

Her other videos are just as wonderful.

I watch DID episodes (Dance India Dance) on youtube. The amount of talent these participants have makes me all weepy and goey . This is one video that I can never ever get bored of watching.

I hope you like them just as much I as do. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Hook Knee on the Shoulder" ... Whatttt !!

Hello all the beautiful people out there. I am quite chirpy today as it's Friday. Yayy!!

So I have completed the 13 Day #NamasteInNovember Yoga challenge on Instagram, where the hosts would post a yoga pose each day, and whoever was taking up the challenge would then post pictures of themselves doing the pose or a version of it. It's amazing to see the number of people who are dedicated to practicing Yoga. Their zeal for a fit body and mind is impressive and inspiring.

My husband too became a part of it as every evening after a good warmup and a Vinyasa flow I would drag him out of his comfort zone to click my pictures. Some days he would be creative, some days were just blehhh.

This is how Yogis learn skateboarding. :P

One of the days when the husband was overflowing with creativity

There were few poses that were way beyond my understanding like Eight Angle pose(ahsh-tah-vah-krahs-anna - the one with cap) and Koundinyasana 1. I seriously have no idea how the body could be bent like that. My brain stopped processing as soon as the tutor online asked to hook the inner knee on the shoulder . Like what is happening here!! Anyhow, after watching numerous beginner level videos I was brave enough to try them. My husband gave me a fish-hook-in-the-eyebrow look and as usual wondered if I was stuck. Well, I did look quite desperate, but I couldn't possibly face the camera with my sweaty-teary-tongue-out-help-me face. That's when the cap came to the rescue :P 
Koundinyasana 1 (source Yoga Journal)

The last one was Koundiyasana 1, which I did with the help of a block, because how in the world should one make the left leg fly while the right one rests on the elbow. I got a feeling that all I did was swimming on the floor ( hmmm the carpet needs cleaning).

It was a good experience though, going beyond my comfort zone to try things that I have never done before - keeps me humble and grounded. The road to wellness is long and bendy, and my shoulders too tight. But for now, let me sip my green tea and rejoice the fact that I completed the challenge, without killing myself.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Husband Histrionics - II

My husband sometimes go through this No-Rice-Roti-Only-Juice phase, often resulting from a sudden realization that his face isn't as angular and shapely as it was few years before. I try my best to console him by reiterating the popular quote - Round is also a shape sweety, but for some reason it always backfires. :P

He would then be found in the hall, lifting dumbbells, doing push ups and handstands. It would all have been good if only his grunts and noises weren't disrupting my Oms and Vinyasa. I adviced him to try opening his third eye, instead I received a light tap on the forehead to mind my own business. {Guys they just don't listen}

Anyhow, those are the days when I am under immense pressure to provide him with food that is devoid of carbs, saturated fats, glucose,  gluten ... in short anything that is considered delicious. Knowing his tendency to be picky, last time I laid before him a plate of beautifully arranged {if that is even possible} baby spinach and carrot. He went to the kicthen and made himself a large cup of hot chocolate, with extra milk powder.

The other weekend he was adamant that he will be eating only green and raw. I browsed for low carb recipes and zeroed on Avocado Egg sandwich. He followed that diet for exactly two afternoons before buying 2 chicken drumsticks and a breast piece for dinner.

He is well aware how ridiculous his antics are, but also perfectly knows that only his wife would entertain all his nit picks (usually with a mocking smile and a "not so delightful" retort).

These days whenever he is fussy about double chin, I cook palak paneer with extra cream and serve with aloo paratha. ;)

Oh by the way, today is our 3rd Wedding Anniversary :)

More on Husband Histrionics 

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