Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Have you ever struck a #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.” 

I was soon going to be an aunt- a masi! And after having a kid, you know that children are the greatest gift to a woman. Her womb becomes a shelter to a little one who is growing nurturing from your inside of you. And I always think that you love your sibling’s kids more than yours because you get to spoil them and love them without the hassle of being the bad one. That’s left to their mom. And I keep them all happy with getting great deals from snapdeal. 

And as you grow to love this little wonder, you want them to give the best things you can.  And since me and my sister both belong to the fauji background, we often have to live alone where going out with kids is really tricky. Also we live apart, posted in various places now so gifting her for the newly born was so easy. And being the shopper I am, I bought a beautiful Fisherprice rocker/ bouncer from snapdeal. The price was way less than what I found in the market and I purchased it as soon I found the thing I liked. The moment it reached, I got many pictures from her on my watsapp, her excitement was my thank you. Watching the little one in the bouncer was such a bonus. His giggles and his response at the bouncer made my day. I realized that you do not have to give someone expensive gifts to make them feel special. The thought behind it just makes all the difference.

My other nephew is now 9 years old and he loves celebrating his birthday. After going through several websites, I again went with my gut and ordered his favourite Transformer from the website. And making a boy’s day on his birthday is something that’s priceless.  I am currently the most-loved masi in the family and it makes me feel happy to make the kids in my family happy.

Even my son, he needs to be kept entertained with various types of toys and I have always relied on snapdeal for the best deals. I really do not wait for any occasion to buy him presents. Their website often gives discounts to regular members.   Mostly it was toys from skilloffun that are really good at educational toys and some cars for him. Snapdeal seems to have good products always in stock. And their app is always at hand when I need to shop anywhere!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Salman Khan's never ending tales

The background story as everyone know: The hit and run case where Salman was pretty drunk and without a license, drove over some people eventually killing them. And  while the industry refuses to comment on it because making him an enemy just meant saying goodbye to their careers, the media still intends to hound this Bollywood icon.
source: The Hindu

I personally like the guy. He seems to be doing well in his career and has made some serious enemies with the media. But the nonsense starting from the year 2002 has to have a full stop somewhere. I really want to believe that the actor isn't the culprit but the truth is out and is hiding behind his personal driver. It's just like a bollywood movie all over again but with Salman Khan as the villian. The typical father must have bribed the driver by confessing that he was the one to hit and run and promised to take care of his family while he rotted in jail. The Amar Akbar Anthony story seems close to this one. I do not know how much more melodrama is left to play. The film writer Salim seem to be getting creative with his son's case now.

But seems like the Khan's family really want to get this over with. No matter who gets hurt. It gets juicier because now they claim that the police were not ready to hear the driver's statement. Why? Because they want to get their hands on the famous actor? Who knows. Anyway hoping that justice prevails no matter what. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Bucket Of Happiness

1.     Travel the world

          I always wanted to see the world and explore the little nooks and corners where I would find an ideal coffee shop or a Tapas bar. That art gallery of an unknown artist who would be famous twenty years from now. I would love to try the local cuisines too. What a wonderful way to live!

2.     Open a book store/Library

This might be for my later years but I always want t be surrounded with books. I have huge library of 
books already but no place to keep my ever growing collection. But one day I would like to give platform to the writers all over India to display their books in my book shop. I am greatly influenced by the movie SHOP AROUND THE CORNER. Yes, that woman would be in the near future.

3.     Trekking in the forests

I am not one for big exercise regime but a quiet hilly walk or a dense forest leading towards a waterfall would be just great. I did go for an Aruku Valley falls and the walk towards it was tiring. Currently working towards being a little more resilient. 

4.     Attend a sunburn festival Goa

I love to party even if i love my books. And for a few days I would love to forget myself and be this diva with music lovers all around me. Dance like crazy within the wee hours of the morning. Yes, drink myself to stupor too. Basically have a good time with myself :)

5. Go on an all women trip somewhere

As much as i love my family, I would like to take a trip all by myself and since i would feel more comfortable with a group. And what better group than friends? And seriously, no men allowed at all!

6.     Write a best-selling novel

I already write novels and have three in my pocket too but what it would be to have my book get an award? Still working on this and I really dream big when it comes to writing.

7.     Visit the literary sites in the world

Where did Jane Austen write? What would be her desk like? I always wondered. And did Shakespeare enacted his plays here? These would be questions on my mind when I would visit UK. Although I would like to explore more on the topic, this would just be the greatest inspiration for me. Ann Frank House is my present list.

8.     Go on the sets of Comedy Nights with Kapil

I have this wish to sit as his audience and hug this guy for opening a show like this one and making us laugh again. Not only him but his team is doing a great job as well. I really want to go on his sets!

9.     Have a book club

This one would only be possible if i am in one place but as soon as I settle down in one place I am going to open a book club, invite everyone for tea and sandwiches while we discuss the controversial dialogues of novels. And it will be free of cost. Only Book lovers allowed!

10.   Spread awareness towards Autism  

THIS  Residential School called Autism Ashram in Hyderabad has provided a place for the kids with special needs a haven. Its a beautiful 10 acre land of joy. And I find more who really do not know what AUTISM means. Its a sad world out there. And I am planning to give my time towards this cause more and more. To donate you can just click on the link http://www.care4autism.in/. Your contribution will mean a lot. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Deepika Padukone, You are my Hero! Here is Why...

Why are we so reluctant to talk about Depression? Its because I suffer frequently from this too. I have not really talked about it to anyone except my husband. I tell him at times that I don't ever want to wake up or that i often think about suicide- I know. I seem to have a perfect life. I have a loving family, enough money, a beautiful baby then why should I feel as if my world is shattering in front of me? Sometimes you really do not need answers to such questions. I kind of blame it on my post pregnancy blues because I still suffer from it. And the responsibilities seem to never end at times.

And that was why I started blogging a long time ago to keep my mind busy with things other than just my family. Taking care of a toddler can be tiring and you need to understand that I live alone without help. I do not believe in having a nanny and that could have been my greatest flaw. I never ever took help. And so now I am highly strung and try to be a perfectionist when it comes to things because I feel as if I can be the only one who can do justice to the job. And being in a marriage when you are husband is busy can also take a toll on you. Yes, I do not want to wash my dirty linen in public but it gets lonely at times. And a woman needs people around her to tell her that she is loved. But ten years in a relationship and routine changes the way it had been. And that's why I talk about my feelings to my partner. Knowing that he would understand and give me the time to recoup because yes, depression makes you feel sick and helpless. At times I just want to sleep away and never face the world. Meeting people becomes a chore because then I would have to laugh and talk when my heart's says otherwise. Yes, I am coming to terms with it now. I know that there will be times that will make me feel as if I don't belong in this world. My artistic streak is sensitive and i get hurt pretty soon. Tears come and go without prior notice. I always think about meeting up with a psychologist but that only makes me feel ashamed. It is important for me to talk about it though. And I write a journal that has nothing to do with writing a blog that's open to a public.  

Writing about it has made me feel better. I know most of you will be shocked but then that's the truth of life. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I would love Kellogg’s Waale Guptaji Ki Family Breakfast Invite!

After going through the recipes of Kellogg’s on the Facebook page, I am very impressed with Guptaji’s family who make sure that their breakfast table always attracts their children to have healthy food the way they want to. Not only their children but the neighbours seem mighty impressed
too. Starting from the usual milk, fruits and Kellogg’s, which has always been my breakfast staple, now I can really do a lot more than these beauties.

I always used to skip breakfast because of the hectic routines in the mornings and it was doing things to my system. Kellogg’s has made it so much easy to have something at hand to eat even if I am at the go.
Its motivated me to loose some weight too by avoiding some heavy duty oily breakfast options. And while it feels great to indulge once in a while, I still prefer my daily intake of kellogg’s. Being an army wife, we get our quota of ration where we get two or more boxes of these and I would love to whip up the Chapati Chivida cornflakes or the Sitaphal Cornflakes. And we do keep throwing cocktail parties which requires snacks and continuous flow of yummy food. Cornflakes always come to my rescue then and I whip with a chapata treat for my guests. The usual recipe is onions, cilantro, lemon over the crunchy treat. I do find it rather appealing to utilize the potential of a simple box of cereal. A great snack for my little one because I fry them when he needs something more than baked cornflakes. With a little salt and peanuts, it comes to your rescue with an
active toddler around.

 And a good heavy breakfast has always been important in our family. The usual aloo paranthas and
puris have been taking a toll on our waists which has got to stop. And definitely making tiffins for both my son and husband while thinking of delicacies that would keep their interest going is a lot of work. My mind just stops working once in a while then. Now with Guptaji’s recipies I am all set to
make their mornings a happy Kellogg’s day.

My son usually gives me a hard time at meal times. And he has got a sweet tooth and the he would love to have the walnut cornflakes corn balls without a fuss. And since I am more of a ‘chatpati’ kinds, I usually make myself a bhelpuri treat using cornflakes without the puffed rice. Its healthier
and fills up my tummy rather well. We all do have our own choices and Guptaji’s family has certainly given a lot more to think about with the simple cornflakes. 

And making breakfast is hardwork and needs a whole lot of planning. I must have several cookbooks just on breakfasts. And its been a while since anyone invited me for breakfast so it would be great to visit Guptaji’s house for ‘nastha’ because I would learn a great deal more about their breakfast ideals. 

A Writer Or A Mother? So Many roles to play

With my second novel A SOLDIER'S LOVE STORY
A woman’s life no longer labelled as just a ‘wife’ or a ‘mother’. She is certainly more than that. I say that because I live among women around me, in my family who are not only conquering their field as a professional but also doing their bit as a mother and a wife or a daughter. My mother who married into a Punjabi family being a Bengali have certainly not been a smooth journey. Along with that she had three daughters who needed to do well in studies and behave like a ‘sanskari’ woman when they would get married in other families. While taking care of us she pursued her interest in Education and did her Masters and Mfil. My dad was always encouraging her and also opened a school so that they realize their dream as entrepreneurs. They struggled all their lives to give us a good life and I do learn a lot from the because my parents never taught me to be spoil brat. Every thing in life is achieved only through hard
On one of our trips to Aruku Valley. We are ardent travelers!
work.  Maybe that why I am one of those women who want it all- A loving family, children, a career and an active social life. And although the pressure was high where all my friends were pursuing professional courses, I just wanted to be a writer. And although people who do think that writing would mean just sitting with an expensive laptop and typing abc’s, it does take a lot more than that.
My family

Weaving stories, making a good readership and a family that lets you be by giving you space and time is what doesn’t happen all at the same time. The hectic social obligations of an army wife often gets in the way too. There are always social gatherings, some NGO work with the families and events that needs a woman’s hand. And with a toddler in tow, sometimes you have to make tough choices and leave him to fend for himself. However you cannot excuse yourself at times which is what makes your life tougher. As a woman I cannot help but feel guilty at times because I always feel I am not doing justice in my relationships. Being a writer pulls me away from the reality and I often isolate myself from them. Its freeing because I write better then. And today with three of my books published and a good number of people reading them, I know that I have done something for myself- created a niche that one needs in life to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Life in Manipur

Manipur has a certain glory in it that cannot be compared to any other state. Yes, the road needs repairing and the standard of living still has a lot of dents in it but then you will see people living their lives some in rebel and some still searching a meaning to their lives. Men are lazy, drawn to alcohol and drugs while women sit out chewing on tobacco and crouching down, waiting for the evenings to be over. But the younger lot see more than just that. They want to do something in their lives, get a job and live a good lifestyle but then that means they have to leave Manipur and settle down in places like Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Life is difficult here and I see people surviving the harsh winters and batteling with the problem of water for daily use.  Then people converting to another religion because they get personal benefits and free education for their children which is so sad. Why can’t the government do more for them? People living a nomadic lives on the hilly areas because they feel safe and away from the spending of living in a city.
Waiting for their turn to perform

The local gold jewelry of Manipur. ''Fish, Potli earrings' are a hit with the army circle 

An event where we organized the local dances of North East

The Local 'Methei' dress of Manipur with silk stole and manipuri handwork

Despite everything, I hear carols every Sunday. The followers attending church with all the dedication, in hope of meeting people, exchanging a few words and forming a strong community. The women are the strongest here. They run the house, take care of the children and also sit at their place of business. And they are entrepreneurs in all sense because you cannot win a bargain with them. And end up paying a lot more than the stuff is worth. The lack of resources has made the people harsh and demanding.

The local festivals goes on for days here and they have a pretty good time dressing up too. You will not find one badly dressed woman or man here. They all follow trends like their life depends on it. They watch Korean drama and movies for entertainment and want to belong to a place like that someday.      

And the people here love music. Love is rather a small word because I have dozens of videos where they sing so well that you will not miss watching the MTV. The songs so melodious that it will take your breath away. In fact Iam trying to learn one which has become my favourite and is the top song sung at every party called ‘Zoutuai Lianu’. I attended the world wide music competition called ZOMI IDOL where contestants get to go abroad and win exciting prizes. And everywhere people have been so warm and kind, eager to befriend. It reminds me of my stay in Bhutan where although language is a barrier, people still understand respect and kindness. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Digital India- Karega India to Badega India


E Governance is today’s most amazing scheme that our government in India has started  since the boom of internet and every household seem to find it convenient to sit back and use the websites at their own free time. When we think about booking railway tickets, submitting a form for a passport, getting your birth/ death certificate done, paying your household bills- the mind is quiet bogged down with the pressure of actually having to go out and enquire about it all. And with their websites giving us access to information about the procedure and how easily someone could just  do the payments online, its certainly is a boon to live in this century.
No long do the citizens have to stand in line and wait for their turn. It all happens with a click of the mouse.

The aim of E governance is simple. They want its consumer citizens to have greater access to them and connect more via these online agencies.

Its important to have it in today’s world because of various reasons. The government can keep a close eye on its accounts and have income come on a steady basis. It makes them a reliable government because it’s a flawless and mostly saves a lot of costs which can be used for other social purposes. I see students wanting to apply for VISA and Passports all the times and they get their work done all through online portals. The elderly who now find it difficult to come out of their homes but can use their computer with ease now just bless the system.

Living in a state of Manipur, I have realized the importance of having E Governance. People living in the hills cannot go by themselves and get the important things done in person. By opening up various offices for the localities, the government have given them an opportunity to come forward and be the part of the growing India. They do not have to live obscurity anymore.  

They could work a little more on their websites though and make it more user friendly. The railways websites is forever delayed in getting their pages uploaded which is quiet frustrating. Also the booking can only be done before eleven in the night. Sometimes coming from office the midnight is convenient to do all the payments. With user IDs and password, a citizen can now protect its accounts and feel free to use it when the need arises.  The Anna Hazare movement where each and every person was signing petitions for ‘I bribed’ stories, the online forums really helped the government to connect with the woes of the citizens. The online petitions are now becoming a fast growing trend in India and popular with the youth. 

With E Governance becoming so aware of its citizen growing demands, its making its business to grow with the technology and making each citizen more informed about it. The recent survey on Telengana where each house was scanned to distinguish between higher income and lower income families, it did take a great step towards making more improvement in abstaining the taxes for those who couldn’t pay.

Its certainly not going to stop now and with a promise of more to come, E Governance will make sure that the rural areas where one cannot go to the cities and do the needful, can just use an internet cafĂ© or use the offices they have opened there. India has so much to give and the government is following the lead. 

Things that makes me happy

I always thought happiness was complicated. To achieve it one has to have a lot of money and splurge one whatever they want. But as things got into perspective I realized that to be happy one does need money but not a lot of it, enough to spend it when the need arose, also it’s less complicated than I gave it credit for.

Interacting with the locals
Personal happiness ma lot to me. I believe that if I am happy then I could really put my 100 per cent in whatever issues I have to deal with every day. And every day is not the same for me. Since I have a toddler running around, I have to make sure that this little man is happy and entertained all day long. It does take a toll on my patience at times but watching his little face giggling, just makes it all worth. Making my family happy makes me happy.

The local dress of Manipur
Apart from this I love travelling. It makes me happy and believe in goodness of strangers. I always was told that you need to keep distance from them. But when you are thirty, you really do not care about opinions any more. I already have mine and it perfectly made sense even if it wasn’t the ideal thing to do. Even if I am staying in a place like Manipur where there is short of resources, I realized there isn’t much to make you feel alive. I see it here in the faces of every one here. Because life is hard here. Men are lazy, drawn to alcohol and drugs while women sit out chewing on tobacco and crouching down, waiting for the evenings to be over. But the younger lot see more than just that. They want to do something in their lives, get a job and live a good lifestyle but then that means they have to leave Manipur and settle down in places like Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Life is difficult here and I see people surviving the harsh winters and battling with the problem of water for daily use.  Then people converting to another religion because they get personal benefits. Sometimes you cannot help the unhappiness around you. The pieces have to be picked up and you have to take advantage of every situation.  I plan to travel a lot more and stay in places where its not about luxury all the time.  The real sense of the place just fills your heart with hope and contentment. Happiness definitely doesn’t have to be perfect.

So now I take joy in waking up in the morning, having my family love me for who I am, a hot cuppa tea when I need a little boosting and I am are pretty much set in the happiness department.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

#1000 speak When my teachers bullied me

 My childhood as I remember was a good one. Sometimes too sheltered and even today I could feel that protectiveness of my parents when I used to live with them and study in a school owned by them. There were times though I didn’t have things held on a platter at times. I was the only north Indian girl in my class who didn’t speak Telugu and I always felt conscious around my classmates who chatted away in the local language. The teachers who were not always kind because they didn’t really care I was the principal’s daughter gave me a hard time. I could never forget the art teacher who wanted to fail me and except two boys in the class, she failed everyone for drawing in exams. I was livid, scared and teary eyed. My parents were aghast and the entire school spoke about the principal’s daughter who failed. Being more on the creative side I always felt the need to rely on it for a career than mathematics and science. I really felt hopeless and cried for days. Fortunately the teacher was found to be a little on the insane side and was fired for failing students for a subject that was meant just for recreation.

source: Indiblogger

I was hoping that I wouldn't have to face frustrated teachers anymore. But then the world wasn’t so rosy and my computer teacher who had a weird English accent started to point out silly mistakes I did. And his biting remarks began to worry me. I even hid the bathroom during his class hours so that I didn’t have to face him. I almost became cold at the thought of him coming to school. Other girls weren’t the target and it made me feel like a caged bird in my own school. The last straw was when he slapped me and I had to stop myself from being bullied anymore. I didn’t care if I sounded like the spoilt little princess but I had to get that man leave. It was making my life hell. I was thirteen then and spoke face to face with my parents. I know how much it took for me to complain about that man but I did. And it did make a difference. So speak up when you have the time and do not wait years later to regret that you had done nothing about it because the worst thing you could do to yourself is to submit to it. 

My First smartphone Outsmarted me

#ChooseToStart with the new moto E

I remember a time when phones wasn't a necessity in life. The landline was the only way to communicate and that was rather used in emergencies. I went through my college life without having to constantly worry about checking my facebook page or even worry about the number of selfies I took today. Time with friends had been precious then. We had worries of our own and things to do that required attention (Or so we felt in those days). A lot of books to read and some second hand book stalls to explore too. The after hours in college were spent having chat at the famous Gokul Chat in Koti, Hyderabad and that’s it, life was so simple. But slowly the need to be in touch started and by the end of my Master in Literature I had a simple working phone where I could take pictures and call up my boyfriend whenever the need raised. Internet wasn't a possibility then with the high data rates going on when I was still dependent on my parents for money. I even remember being bored when I had nothing to do. Now I don't remember when I was actually free.

My life changed since I got my first fully working with internet smartphone. My dad got generous and I splurged on my first express touch phone that I bought in Manchester, UK. India still didn’t have the model. I was explained in detail about the stick that came with it and how to use it. I could even write in my own handwriting and this little wonder would convert it to send texts across. My world changed then. It also changed the way I looked at things now. And with the amazing pixels in my phone camera, I took an entire vacation relying on its excellent picture quality. The result- I could tuk away the little thing in my purse and not feel the burden of the heavy SLR camera I left at home.

I was twenty two then and life had so much to offer. Perhaps I started my journey late because today I see teenagers busy with their smartphones. I even consult a few if I have a question. And they have all the answers in hand. I could use a phone for various purpose now. It became my MP3 player, my radio on the go, my digital photo album, my chat friends on the go and even an e-reader where I could conveniently wait for hours while reading my book in a 5. 5 inch phone. Obviously my phone changed since then. I guess I am not a loyal customer and like to experiment with features now. Starting from Motorola, Blackberry, Samsung and Micromax, I have enjoyed all these versions of a smartphone, giving me freedom of moving out of phone and carrying my world along with it. Since my son was born, I constantly take pictures from this device now. I have apps downloaded that makes my life so much simpler. I am no longer in a hurry to open my laptop to google for questions I have in my mind. I just do it with voice recognition feature on my phone or just type away to glory. I am much more informed and enjoy being this techno savvy woman who knows her gadgets.  

Basically life's good and my smartphone has become my friend and adviser on the go. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Look Up- The Moment stood still


With his pet Woody

Family Vacation to Taj Mahal
I seemed to have come a long way. When I see my life going the way it should have and see my friends exploring their singlehood, I wonder if I missed out a lot in my life. I even dream of living single somewhere and no having to go through the nuances of everyday routine. Every time I think about it- I remember my life began with my son who was born three years ago. The moment they took me into the delivery room, my life had found a new beginning. I was a mother who had so much love to give that all my silly thoughts just flew away. I would sing lullabies, read silly stories again and again, make him touch flowers and ice cubes, enjoy the look on his face when he first tasted chocolate and the time when he just lay down on the carpet waiting for our pet Woody to lick him and jump on him. The laughter always remains. That funny giggles that starts at nothing or even with a simple peck on his neck- it just makes my boring day, a joyful one. The softness of his cheeks when he needs that reassurance that I am no longer angry with him, touches my heart. So much so that I cry secretly at the joy of being responsible for this boy wonder. I love that he relies on me when he wants to play outside and is not scared of the dark because I am around. The madness of the day might get to me but my boy remains happy and full of life.
I had to go out for a day to arrange an event and had to leave him behind with his dad. Although I enjoyed the day without his constant demands, my son was always at the back of my mind. Like every mother- I kept thinking if he was eating Maggie or having more chocolates than he should. The time I finally reached home, I saw this boy jumping on the bed saying ‘mamma ghar aa gayi’ and I sighed in relief. Everyone was still alive and everything seemed normal again. And he didn’t look like he missed me much because his dad made him do all the fun things when I try mostly to feed him. I promised myself to be a little more ‘fun’ the next time we spend time together.

I do not know how I because this soft mushy mother when I have so many things on my mind but all I know that this little man had changed my life forever. Love is such a small word to describe how I feel about him because now my hearts aches only to hear one word-‘mamma’.

Start A New Life- Moving out and other things

Marrying young has its down downfalls and comes with a lot of responsibility. Moving out from my cozy room where I stored thousands of books and so much space to even have a over flowing wardrobe, I just had to marry an army officer. The house was a two bed house with a small kitchen and I had my reservations on how my stuff will adjust anywhere at all. But I warmed a bit and pulled my sleeves up, determined to make my bare house, a home. It started all with a lot of gusto, getting the curtains up, the sofas set and the new LED television in our bedroom. The kitchen where only I wipped out my Hyderabadi recipies, I realized that moving out of my parents home was the best thing that had happened to me. Not that I didn’t miss them, but because I had so much to learn here. My friends in Hyderabad had already moved away and my only friend was my husband now. Talking over the phone for hours was not my thing anyway.

The time came when we bought brand new gadgets and life was getting comfortable with just the two of us. But a tragedy stroked and while we were on a vacation, our house got burgled. It wasn’t horrible to see your things splattered all over the place and the things we bought just taken away from us. The culprits were no where to be found. I felt naked, as if my life was out in the open now, seen my some petty strangers. My tears were soon wiped and my husband took me for a quick shopping outside. We couldn’t afford to buy new stuff anymore but thanks to EMI, we did get by. I remember how strong I had to be for both of us and because I had to forgive those people and move on with my life.

We still had so many places to see though. And after two years in Jalandhar, we moved to Madhopur, setting up our house again. Starting over and cheering to new beginnings. We had our first baby here and the house became special to me as I lovingly decorated the little teddies around the house in blue.  My writing career was taking off too and I was a freelancer for a children’s magazine. It filled me with happiness and anticipation when we moved again to Orissa for my husband’s study course. The beach and the fresh air did us good and as a couple we just got stronger and setting up a house now became a very easy process, knowing where everything had to go. With a baby on tow, I carried him around and made sure that no matter where we lived, our lived will always be happening and new.   

Together- Our First Dance

I was nineteen, a fresher in college, still deciding what I wanted to do with my life and trying to make sure that I didn’t fall for the wrong guy. But then ‘It’ happened. I perhaps have too many happy memories attached with this one, so I am going to tell you a story of how I met a handsome cadet at the National Defence Academy. Apparently he was going to change my life up-side down. The NDA ball and the ambiance of love and youth just filled the dance floor and I ended up having him as a ball partner. Here was a boy of twenty one who pulled out a chair for me and asked me what I would like for a drink- complimented politely on my smile while gazing quiet intently in my eyes, hoping for some sort of connection that we could have. The night was getting a little chilly then- no he didn’t offer me his coat as you hope- he just held me close when we danced without ever touching me. The hours flew and it was time for dinner. I was supposed to use the fork and a knife while eating my bread and it took me a while to realize that I had it all wrong. I was still trying to look dignified and totally prepared for this kind of treatment. Formal dinners with guys were really new to me. Still this quiet young man, just encouraged me to try desserts that looked like mashed cake in custard and it tasted like heaven. I was always a fussy eater but here I was experimenting with food. Something in him made me want to be a little more than the shallow me.  I saw couples all around me, some dating seriously and some just filling in place for another but everyone were having a good time. He asked me to wait outside at the steps and I left to do his business. I roamed around looking through the menus attended by dignitaries of various countries. Half an hour passed by and still no sign of him. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I must have sounded silly to him. The thoughts were still going through my head. He came back, panting a little, looking off.
 “I asked you to wait. I thought you left me”.
“No. I couldn’t leave you”.
I didn’t know how true those words were. With a shy smile, we resumed towards the dance floor.
 It was time for a last dance and we did a waltz on ‘Pehla Nasha’. Since I was no Beyonce, I compensated with wrapped my arms around his neck and moving with the music. He was surprised, I could see that but totally enjoying the attention I was giving him. But then, he didn’t know that he had treated me like a lady all evening and this was the first time I had nothing to give in return for his kindness.
The clock was soon to strike twelve and Cinderella had to go home. But he wanted me to see where he lived. When you are in your teens, you really take decisions by your heart and I went along with it. The squadron was huge, no girls allowed rule was still on. So we followed it like good little children. I took time to look around, waste time because I was so reluctant to leave him. Our steps dragging when he had to drop me home and the last thing we did was exchange numbers.
I was perhaps too much of a cynic back then to accept a permanent commitment but when you have to fall in love, you do. And that night became the foundation of a long distance relationship that we continued for the next three years. Writing letters to him on a weekly basis till he completed his training, talking over the phone after a long day just taught us that love means patience. When he proposed- he asked me to be his girlfriend and I refused.
“Then be my wife”. I was zapped at his eagerness and sincerity.

That happened ten years ago and today I am married to this wonderful army officer, confident and loving- who still pulls out the chair for me and makes me feel like a woman.