Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another think coming..

When you have a brain there are thoughts. In my case, since there are thoughts, then I must have a brain ;-) :)). The thoughts don't really wait for an appointment or your permission. They come and they go. Here's my attempt to capture a few that have been circulating in my head for, well, lets say, sometime now.


Nothing gets the thoughts circulating like death. Recently one of Sri's grand-uncles died and this is the first time after the death of my grand father that I'm encountering the demise of a person who was a bit close to us. We had quite an interaction with him in our India trip this year and after we heard of his passing away, the image of him playing with Snugli lingered for a few days in my mind. He was a true believer of God and well, that was what made me think. Even though we might claim otherwise, we have certain expectations of everything, even death. We don't know whether the expectations will be met, but even if they are met, will we be even aware of what we had expected earlier? Even if we exist in some form, will we be aware of what we left behind, or who we left behind for that matter? I can only hope he is in a place where he wanted to be..


On the same note, I came to know of the death of a 2-month old today morning which shook me (don't panic, this post is not all about death). It seems the baby choked on milk while he was breast-feeding and passed away even before they could take him to the hospital! And it literally shook my heart as I hadn't even heard of such a thing before (Snugli got a few extra tight hugs on that regard). I never thought that the life-giving milk can take away a life. I can't bear to imagine what the mother is going through. I was on the verge of tears despite not seeing the baby ever and not even knowing the parents (the father is a second cousin and I haven't seen him for years). It was then I received a call from a very close friend that she's pregnant for the 2nd time (she has a 3 year old boy). And I could literally see my feelings go from a shade of sorrow to utter joy. It was literally as if a ray of sunshine burst into the gloom surrounding me. Its these contrasts of life that will never cease to amaze me.


Why do we suppress all negativity and try to share the positivity as much as possible? I don't know about you, but I seem to do this a lot. When I'm happy, be it a very small joy, I shout it loud to the world. But if its sadness, I try and keep it inside. It doesn't go beyond my family. You may have noticed it on my blog too. Most of my posts are happy. It doesn't really mean that everything is hunky and dory. There are times when Sri and I have fights (Gasp, yes we do :-p) and I'm angry or I'm hurt. But somehow I can't seem to share those times on the blog. Its not that I want to create an illusion on the blog of a perfect life with no downs. But somehow it seems too personal. Since when is sorrow personal and joy not? Another example is a simple thing like taking photos. When we are in the picture of health, we take multiple number of snaps, but if we are ill, how come the camera is forgotten all of a sudden? If life is a mish-mash of joys and sorrows, then why are the moments of sadness given this treatment? Probably, we find some solace in the fact that the moments of sadness are negligible compared to those of joy. Weird!


Its been sometime since I have written a poem for a post. Its not that I don't have ideas. But previously when I had an idea, I used to jot it down somewhere and then expand it into a poem. These days I don't really have the luxury of time and even if I do, I have minimum 10 posts lined up to write, 3 months worth of photos to send (I usually write captions for these which people have started to come to expect :-p, so that eats away the time) and around 5 people I intend to call (this list keeps increasing each day!).

And so more than a few brilliant lines
That materialized from a point in nowhere..
Have been so far pityingly suppressed
Into corners of my mind here and there.



Recently another of my friends started blogging. So I have 5 real-life, very good friends of mine blogging currently (well, 3 of them haven't updated their blogs for a while, you know who you are and I'm watching your blogs, so update soon! :-p). It kinda feels nice to have been the first of them all to start blogging, so even though I might not be the inspiration, I like to think that I have contributed to their blogging instincts :-D. And I know that they all read my blog whether they update theirs or not, so that keeps me inspired to put a post atleast now and then ;-) :-D.


Then there are a few "once in a month" comments/emails on my blog that absolutely make my day :) (For the commentator who asked me for my email, its on my profile page). They say how their lives relate to mine or how they encountered my blog by chance and how they can't stop reading it. I'm not writing this as a boast, but to let you know that you guys are the other inspiration for me to make an effort to put up a post. Now you can guess why I don't really care about the comments on my posts (Heck I think the number of posts that have zero comments are wayyyyyyy more than any posts that do :-p). Whats even more wonderful is that a couple of old friends found me through my blog! Can you believe that!


Talking of finding people, I love Orkut solely for that reason. I don't really like absolute strangers leaving "Wanna friend me?" messages (double :-p), but I love it that I'm getting in touch with schoolmates who I never thought in my wildest dreams, that I'll ever see again. And I'm getting to know every update that happens to them and its somehow amazing to me. I wish that more people that I have lost contact with would join there. Or maybe atleast find my blog from somewhere ;-).


For those who are counting how long it will be before I write something about Snugli, you can stop counting now :-p. I got her a haircut last saturday. Her hair had been growing out of control, so now she has a bob cut. She out grew her baby hair-brush about a month back. She's 11 months old and she is already outgrowing things (many of her dresses/towels she outgrew long time back). And its a dwandwa (dilemma) for me each time. I want to see new things for her, but yet feel very emotional whenever the old things are going away. Somehow it makes me want to cry. Its like there are too many changes too soon. It feels like the moments are slipping away and I can't help but be a spectator..


One thing I have realized with Snugli is that being the first child has its perks (it took me so long to realize that :-D. Don't let Darsh hear me say this ;-) :-D). As the first baby, there is no competition and no comparison until if and when the 2nd baby comes along. The first baby is the only one which has the exclusiveness of parents. The 2nd baby always has to share his/her parents. That maybe the reason why the younger ones are pampered more ;-). Also 2nd child will always be compared to the first one (He walked before her, she started saying words late and so on). Parents say that they treat the children equal, but the children always think otherwise. I always thought that my parents were partial to Darsh, but one final day was really surprised to hear him say the same of me! Guess our parents did treat us equal then ;-), hehehehe :)). One disadvantage that first children face though is that parents make their first mistakes with that one. So the first child becomes the learning point for them (which is not so good for the baby ;-) :-D). Take us, one mistake we made was not to take Snugli to the doctor immediately when she was ill, but we'll certainly not repeat that with her or another baby (if and when) ever again. Well, whats the point I'm trying to make here? Nothing. Its just that each day I understand my parents more and more :-D.


As parents we try to do the best for our child. My mom keeps telling this story about me when I was young. They weren't as well off then as they are today, so they'd take me out and buy me a small cup of icecream and I'd eat it bit by bit for hours, it seems. The point is not that I took time ;-), but the fact that they wouldn't buy any for themselves. They provided what they thought was the best for me. In my case its rather different. I, personally, have always thought that "Organic" products are nothing but a fad. In fact, I've also scoffed at a couple of friends of mine for even saying the word "organic" :-D. Also, we don't buy mineral water, we use tap water for all purposes (and I must say that I haven't fallen ill at all while I was drinking the same). Since the time I got pregnant, we did put a filter for the tap to reduce lead (whats ironic is that I did catch a cold once after that :-\). But after Snugli started eating semi-solids, most of the stuff I buy for her is organic. Most, if not all veggies I get for her are organic. And so are the curd and milk I buy for her. Sri and I still don't eat/drink organic, but we make sure she does. I don't really consider "organic" stuff the best, but its just that I don't want to take a risk with her. So what does that make me? Am I just being a good parent? Or am I a hypocrite? I'm not sure.


Lastly, I have been writing this post on and off since afternoon and am completing it only now at night. I guess thoughts don't have restraints of time and space ;-) :-D.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kaise we met..

Here in my blog, I have written several posts (4 including this one) about the first time Sri and I met. Well, today is the D-day, so as you have started to expect from me, I had to write a post. But this time I wanted to tell you how we met (I realized only now that I haven't really talked about that :-p).

We actually met through the internet! Those who are familiar with the previous posts will disbelieve me, accusing me of lying saying "You said it was an arranged marriage". Yes it is, but it was arranged through the internet :-D. Well, as the modern searching for a guy method, we registered in The point is that though we registered under dad's name, it was usually me and mom who did the checking and contacting. This is not a story about how many profiles we contacted and how many we heard back from, but let me tell you they were many in number :-\.

And so we contacted this profile (the profiles didn't have names, only numbers) and since it didn't have a photo associated, we asked for a photo, all under my dad's name of course ;-). And we got a photo. To this day I don't know why he sent that photo, it was not a very good one (he says it was the only one handy). He looked very thin in it and you couldn't really make out his face that properly. Lets just say it was not flattering in any way at all. But we didn't want to decide without meeting the guy, so we gave further details to go ahead in the process.

His father even called dad and talked for quite sometime. But later we didn't hear from them at all, so we thought that he must have agreed to marry somebody else and to be frank, it wasn't really surprising. This kind of a thing keeps happening. But what was actually happening at his end was that his maternal grandfather passed away and obviously it wasn't really the right time for them to proceed. Moreover, Sri was on one of his innumerable short trips to the US, so they had decided to continue only once he came back to India. And yes, in his side, though he had registered under his dad's name, it was him and later his mom that was doing all the mailing ;-).

So suddenly in November, we got this call saying "the boy" was in India in Hyderabad, but they'd be coming to Bangalore and would we be okay to meet. We decided on Saturday, Nov 13th 2004 which was also the 3rd day of Deepawali that year. We planned to meet them and then be off to Ramnagar to my Chikkappa's place for Deepawali celebrations. They were delayed since they were coming from Rajajinagar (I really hated it when the boys' family would make us wait :-p) and they finally arrived at around 6 PM, I think. Well then we talked and I didn't decide, but he said "Yes" immediately and all that :-p (I remember him talking and talking and me thinking "We are getting late, c'mon enough already" :-D, hehehehehe).

And so we met and you know the rest. Or do you? ;-) >:-) :-D.

Some "facts":

  • Sri "saw" 2 girls before meeting me (thats all!). I must have "seen" minimum 20 guys (if not guys atleast their parents)! The common factor is that we didn't like anyone before seeing each other. Looks like we were meant to be together ;-).

  • After they left, mom actually said that the boy is very thin and dark and might not be suitable for me :-D. We tease her about it to this day :-D. On the same note, dad and Darsh agreed that he was alright ;-) :).

  • Have to mention this - Puttanna chikkappa, without even seeing the guy, said that this was the guy I'd marry. We have a thing in Udupi side called manE-bhootha (meaning house-ghost) who is supposed to safeguard the people of a family. Each family will have this ghost. There was a big festival organized (called kOla - those who know this will know what I'm talking about) for our bootha, just around weeks back before I met Sri which Puttanna chikkappa attended and was told that soon a match will come for me and that I'd get married :-\. So he was extremely happy when Sri's dad called up the next day and said the big "Yes". He was surprised that I wanted to "think" about it :-D. Still don't know whether to believe the kOla thing or not :-\.

  • Last but certainly not the least, I later during different occasions asked Sri what made him say "Yes" and got many answers - that he liked my front cut (hair cut), that he liked my so-he-called-perfect teeth, that he liked the fact that I trekked (so basically I'd not pester him for an auto if I was asked to walk even for a while) and that I was ready for marriage. Well, to this day I tease him about whether he was looking for a girl or a horse? Recognize the similarities? :-p :-D.

Its still difficult to believe that its been 4 years since I first met him! The journey so far has had its share of ups and downs, lefts and rights, norths and souths and easts and wests and what not :-D. But I wouldn't want anyone else as my co-traveller and thats the truth :).

Happy "first-meet" anniversary Sri :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

F(r)iends :-D

Finally one of the Indian trip posts I wanted to put here!

The India trip, though very hectic, gave me a good opportunity to catch up with a few very good friends of mine. Some are still single, some are newly engaged, and others married with kids older than Snugli. It felt somewhat strange. I mean, most of my friends are those who were my classmates/batchmates earlier, so we are of the same age. So it feels weird not to have things happening to us at the same time. I know thats the way things happen. But it was always like, though we were in different colleges, sometimes even different places, we were still in the same phases of life earlier. How did we get from there to here? Now I can see our lives taking "different directions" even more clearly. Its not only paths, but the frequency is also changing :-D. I hope you are getting what I mean :).

The really strange part of it all was how I felt sometimes. A couple of my friends are recently engaged. And I felt almost 4 years older than them!! Thats because I was "engaged" around 4 years ago :). Its strange the way the mind works :-D. It feels like I have grown so much "older" from then. Similarly, I felt younger to friends who have kids older than Snugli. Just when do you start measuring age with the age-of-marriage or age-of-kids in mind? Or am I the only crazy-enough person to do it? :-D.

Our lives have taken us to different parts of the world. So it was great that a couple of friends I met were also in India at the same time for a very short duration. There's nothing like landing in India from different countries and catching up :)). But a couple of other friends couldn't be there at the same time and I felt kinda cheated. When they actually land in India, who knows whether can make it then. Going to the countries they are in, might be an option though ;-). Sri, if you are reading this, hint, hint, hint :-D. France, England and Australia, please :). Whats worse is another of my friends who I did get to meet this time will be moving to a different country this year. I am so glad that I could meet her. Who knows when I'll get to see her again :(.

The best part of it all was meeting the babies. I mean, you talk around the year about your babies, never being there when they are born and suddenly here they are, holding their mom's hands, all grown up :). I am one of those irritating people who keep sending recent photos to everyone they know, so many of my friends said that it did not feel like it was the first time they were meeting Snugli, since they had already "seen" her since the time she was born. But still it must have been strange for some to see me with a baby in tow. The last time I met them, I wasn't even married!

It was soul-satisfying to catch up with them. Even though we may not share similar interests any more or even have opposing opinions or have other friends in our lives, they are friends who ground me, who in the past have in one way or another influenced the way my life has taken shape and who have in some way defined the very person I am. There are so many meals we have shared, so many thoughts we have bounced off each other, so many pranks we have co-conspired, so many times we have laughed together, so many times confessed the sadness in our hearts and more than anything, our lives coincided for quite a long period at some point in time. And I am glad that they are a part of my life and will continue to be so always..

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A fall in the smokies..

I still have, lets say, some "In the past" posts to write (Including a couple of "India" ones, I KNOW its already 6 months), but if I concentrate on those I feel that I'm missing out on things that are happening right now. When I think of how much I have to catch up on, it simply boggles the mind. I don't even want to set a target because I know that I can't be realistic these days :-D. Anyways, lets hope that I won't simply skip those altogether..

Anyways this weekend we went on a drive to the Smoky mountains. This was our fall trip for the year. We were a bit apprehensive as the reports said 60-70% colours, but later we found out we didn't really have anything to worry about. The freeway itself was looking gorgeous on Friday evening when we left..

On Saturday, we went first to Gatlinburg and got onto the aerial tramway to go to the top of Ober Gatlinburg. The views were absolutely wonderful..

After reaching the middle-ground (hehehee), we then took the chairlifts to the top. They let us hold Snugli in one of our laps, otherwise we wouldn't have gone up. And well, you can see the view for yourself :).

You know me, so obviously we took quite a number of photos :).

While going down on the chairlift, Snugli was with Sri, so I could take some more snaps :). The trees on the path of the chairlift were exceptionally colourful. Have I told you just how much I love fall? :).

Again more photos from the aerial tramway - this road looked especially pretty. Hi road!

Babye road!

After that we had lunch and set off on the actual drive to the Smoky mountains which goes from Gatlinburg in Tennessee to Cherokee in North Carolina. The roads were beautiful, but what was surprising was there was snow in a couple of places. We reached Newfoundland gap where trees were a bit barren..

But the roads below were an absolute delight..

The trip was mostly incident-less except one major thing. While driving back from Cherokee, Snugli vomited almost everything she had for lunch which was certainly a damper for the whole trip. The next day we were supposed to go to Cumberland falls (where we have gone before a couple of times), but I decided to stay back at the hotel with Snugli, so Sri and my in-laws went there and came back. The good thing was that Snugli was totally okay that day and from then on. Looks like the illness was a one-time thing probably caused by the windy roads.

Oh well, life's just getting exciting ;-) :-D, Hehehehe :)).