Ciao, La Vita

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

#DearZindagi,

It’s been long since we had a chat, or met with a cuppa reckoning the balance sheet so far. I believe I’ve crossed the threshold called ‘half-life’, and like an unstable radioactive element, will continue to decay exponentially for the rest years. This isn’t just a chemist’s blabber, dear life. It is the exact summary through midway, rather midlife.

Let me begin with gratitude for not deserting me. I know it has been difficult for you to put up with a brooding brat like me, but – you’ve been damn good so far! Since I gained enough maturity to ponder upon stuff, I’ve realised that you have clung to me. When the going got tough, you were tough enough to get me going against childhood bullies, teenage crushes, adulthood heartbreaks, or the corollaries of wedlock. Do you recall the huge transition that I had to make from a suburban school to a metropolitan high school? I was lost in the sea of people, everyone rushing past me in a bloody busy city, pushing and jostling me to the brink of oblivion. While I would sit alone on the penultimate seat of the school bus on chilly winter mornings, the fog mixed with strong but sweet charcoal fumes from tea stalls would remind me that you were right there, with me. When I have ambled along the college lawn, both alone and lonely, you have thrown surprises with vibrant yellow petals of Radhachura (Gulmohur) strewn all over the trail, just for me.

You’ve been holding my hand during every major decision I ruminated upon and led me carefully to what my heart desired. I would have been a failed, incomplete scientist if you hadn’t put words in my pen and prodded me to be a writer. It’s been quite a few years now, and I know you still stand by me despite a number of futile results. I’ve been worried that I can’t write as well as others, distressed that I haven’t been published yet, exhausted of rejections and writer’s blocks. And yet, when I open a new page and tap at the keyboard, you make me a writer – impervious to the mediocre and convoluted world. You’ve manoeuvred quite enough to get me a little accolade, a tiny prize, a monthly salary and exciting work to keep the ball rolling. Each instance I falter and risk crumbling down, you’ve sprung a sweet surprise and motivation to clench me up.

It’s you, life, to whom I owe the joie de vivre, the pleasure of creation in the form of words and stories. I have scooped up inspiration from you, life, and woven stories that have touched a few peoples’ hearts. They have praised me, but it’s you whom I should shower with thanks. If I have ever felt the fear of losing you, I’ve resorted to poetry and reading and waited patiently for you to resurrect. Because –

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

So long,

Yours.

————

I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda.

 

A Tale of Odd and Even Shares

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Do you remember the candies that you shared with cousins during a summer vacation, the ice lollies called golas on the streets with your college beau, or a plate of crispy pakoras on a rainy evening with the entire family? If you can share these and create memories, why not share a bucket of laundry with members of opposite sex in your family.

ariel

Sunkissed washing machine on a summer morning

Not getting into the nitty gritties of laundry duties in India (like I did in a previous article on #ShareTheLoad ) – I’d suggest, and may be coax you with my stories to jump into the bandwagon. The very basic and important household chore of laundry is often seen lonesome waiting upon women of the house. It was pretty common among my peers to heap trunkload of unwashed clothes all through their semester and carry them back home to be washed. A humongous task of washing was gifted to the mothers, sisters and domestic helps during the college kid’s semester break. Times are a’changing now, with washing machines costing cheaper than decades ago and invading the middle class household. High school kids and freshmen are just a button and few clicks away from washing their soiled jerseys and fancy jeans. What about the other chores though – drying, folding and stacking the clothes? The most arduous part of laundry.

Generically, an atomic family of a couple like us need to perform laundry twice a week with mini washes (without the machine) in between. Since Pune is facing a drought this summer, we’ve decided to keep the laundry minimal and accumulate them to maximum twice a week. Hence the #LaundryGoesOddEven becomes easier to implement with the better half (M) going gung ho on Sunday – first day of the week, and me choosing the fourth day (Wednesday). This has actually been working since the advent of summer this year as water became scarce and came in batches of hours each day. We chose Sunday and Wednesday mornings for laundry as they suit our leisures perfectly well. M jumps about as a hyperactive school kid in glee of just operating the gadget, laundry seems an excuse for him to play with the washing machine. Since he leaves early morning on working days, Wednesday works fine for me to wrap up the midweek laundry. We have been able to fine tune the chore to almost mechanical precision, and try not to miss our preferred days of the work. It’s a seamless process, each doing their own on time and saving rest of the day for important work like writing and blogging!

M & me on a Sunday and Wednesday respectively

M & me on a Sunday and Wednesday respectively

‘I am taking part in the #LaundryGoesOddEven Challenge by Ariel India at BlogAdda.’

Watch this video to #ShareTheLoad.

Memories In March

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Memories are best served cold. They are created while you’re young, so you can carry them inside your head till it is alive. As you grow old, day by day, it’s time to ruminate on the memories, warm them up and have them served apiece within a mundane daily routine. There are some that don’t taste the same after days or years, and then there are others that sizzle up with time and fill your senses with longing for loved ones.

Watching young ones in the family grow up is a beautiful process that enriches one and makes for endless memories. I’ve had the scope to witness my young sister-in-laws (SIL) transit from school to college and transform into beautiful ladies from cranky teenagers. For a large part though, we’ve been living in radically different cities and corresponding through occasional phone calls, text messages and holidays. The moments spent there would be hurried and sporadic, in a frenzy over a few days to soak away the minutes slowly into our togetherness. We’d catch a movie, hop off to lunches, meet at their places, our place and any other relatives nearby, sneak away time for a chat on the terrace while mothers and aunts carried on their chitter-chatter. Each holiday would remain a collage of these moments, with images popping up in our minds months later, causing roars of laughter on either side over a call.

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#ExpressYourself at Freecultr

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

I think we all love tee-shirts with unique and superb designs. And what better than being able to design your own tees and sell them as well! Freecultr is the store that gives you an opportunity to upload your designs on their website, where they can be sold and you’ll receive a portion of the profit. Insanely easy steps lead you to showcase your designs before the world.

I have no talents for sketches, doodles or cartoons, sadly. But if you’re adept at these, do try your hand at Freecultr. It is great to be able to #ExpressYourself through your creations. Be innovative, create your doodles that will convey your message and let people wear your expressions! I’ve drawn inspiration from nature and uploaded few of the photographs that I’ve clicked. They express tranquility, peace, add colour to our lives and comfort us through nature. You’ll wear a piece of nature if you pick up the tees designed by me!

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Words of Wisdom #SachchiAdvice

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

The maladies of youth include aversion to advice. It applies to almost all of us, more of it in our early adult years when peer influence is greater than golden words from elders. I was resistant to advice too, I used to sit with a flat face and blank eyes before relatives and acquaintances who would lecture me on various stuff, some of them even unimaginable. Things were better with my parents though. Still, at times, during a long dark phase in academics, advice was something I’d be intolerable to.

When I was in the last year of my Master’s degree, there was a lot going on – classes, lectures, projects, thesis, experiments, exams and confusion. Few of our professors wanted us to go abroad for further academics and motivated us with their advice. A few others wanted us to pursue doctorate under them, to work in their lab and be guided by them. My classmates were divided into three groups, the first two wanted academics in and out of the country and the third group opted to search for Government and Private sector jobs.

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Of Scents, Stinks and Whiffs

Image Courtesy : BlogAdda

Image Courtesy : BlogAdda

Each household has its distinct orbit of odours. When you enter a house, the first thing that hits you is how it smells. I’ve been put off quite often by living rooms and corridors that reek of sweaty socks, possibly the worst stink in the world. Given the fact that we live in a humid sub-tropical country, it is extremely difficult to maintain a house free of any bad odour. Our food habits lead a big way into this phenomenon too.

Since we belong to the Bengali clan, our staple is fish and meat (as you may already assume)! Living in Calcutta, it is well accepted that every family cooks and eats fish, rather the exceptions are looked down upon. But in other cities, especially in other countries – I’ve been sceptical cooking fish in the apartment. While we may savour the aroma of freshly fried fish in mustard oil, I’ve heard neighbours complain and frown, which is pretty normal in the circumstances. It even happened that in our student condominium, we used to pull open the fire alarm, take out the batteries, cook our fish fry/curry and assemble the alarm again. The property laws in USA are so strict that we’d be fined and warned if the fire alarm ringed owing to the fumes while frying fish. So much for comfort food of fish and rice!

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Wash the Blues Together

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

I’ve realized over the years that household chores are best done when shared. Since this fact has been validated by my father throughout, it was obviously expected that my husband would do similar things too. The fact that M (that’s my better half) has been away from home since he was 18 for academics and later job, has made things easier for me too. As I’d written in my earlier post, he has been doing his own laundry much before I shed the dependency on my mother and started doing mine.

Funny enough, he cooks better than me too. #ShareTheLoad seems to be very well applicable in our household of just over 5 years. While we were contemplating marriage, we made a list of things both of us liked doing around the house.

Cleaning utensils – Me (I don’t like the way M does it, not enough grit there, he hates it actually)

Dusting and Floor mops – Him (I don’t like the dusting part, I’m allergic and bored to death)

Cooking – Me (Weekdays), Him (Weekends). Since he likes to experiment with all kinds of exotic stuff like different meats, those are reserved for the weekends and special occasions.

Laundry – Me (I am probably one of the rare women who likes to do laundry. The aroma of a good quality detergent on squeaky clean clothes is something that freshens me up).

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