Pepolicious

Finally got some time to upload some of Pepo’s pictures! She’s such a joker and such a big bundle of joy, that you just want to keep on shooting as she goes about her daily antics!

Like her spiderman moments, when she jumps up on the balcony door demanding to be allowed out for 5 minutes, under strict supervision, so that she doesn’t go gallavanting off to explore all of the great big outdoors!

Iz spidey fan!

Or her play time, when she stalks around the house, her prey (here, a cute lil stuffed kitten!) firmly clamped between her jaws.

Hunting time

But the cutest has to be the way she sleeps…totally blissful and at peace with the world!

Iz happy!

For some more Pepo madness, check out my Picasa album here.

Diwali dhamaal

DSC01553Mom came home this year around Diwali, and we decided to go over to her brother’s (my mama) house in Kanpur to celebrate the festival of lights. This was the first time after marriage that I wasn’t celebrating Diwali at home. I missed decorating the house, making rangoli and lighting the diyas on Diwali. BUT, I had an awesome time at Kanpur!

Since our plans were rather last minute, there was no way we were going to get train reservations. So, we did the next best thing — fly. Delhi to Lucknow (30 mins) and then by taxi to Kanpur (1 hr 15 mins approx).

I was going back to the city after about 15 years…and the area where mama stays is just the same. Those same narrow roads, which of course can’t change, a lot of the same shops, the halwais that I remember being there…it was a trip down memory lane. As we used to when we were kids, we were staying at mom’s cousin’s house (my masi), which is a 5 min walk from mama’s house.

Filkhana and Viranha Road to Kanpur are what Chandani Chowk is to Delhi. Opportunities for photography abound, but being Diwali time, and seeing as I was wearing salwar kurtas and chappals and having to manage duppatas and my purse (so, no chance that I could bolt at the first sign of an eve teaser or chain snatcher) and was constantly running between mama’s house and masi’s, I had no time to pause and capture even one single image. Crummy. Well, I guess we’ll have to keep it for next time.

DSC01561

My cousins were also there, and so every evening all of us youngsters would get together and go out on a gastronomic adventure. I had the most awesome bhelpuri this side of Pune at Bombay Bhel House, tried tikka rice, which was a HUGE disappointment, and had yummy butter chicken from Babas. And since winters had set in, we had malai makkhan every day for breakfast. For the uninitiated, this is the most heavenly, lightest, awesomest sweet dish that you can have — ever — and it is available ONLY during winters and ONLY in Kanpur. I’ve heard that it’s available in Old Delhi too, as Daulat Ki Chaat, but those who have had both say that nothing comes even close to the malai makhan you get in Kanpur — only at Filkhana.

We also managed to squeeze in a trip to Lucknow — a shopping trip for mom and masi and an overnight halt to visit relatives and friends for Abid and me. And of course, while in Lucknow, how could I not squeeze in a shopping trip too? Picked up some lovely chicken peieces — both kurtas and suit materials — from Hazratganj. All in all, a pretty action-packed, fun-filled Diwali!

No matter what

I was reading an article on the net about living on purpose and with soul. The article made you stop and think about “no matter whats” that we need in order to lead an authentic and generous life, that will empower and not imprison us.

So here are some of the influences, activities, and people that cause me to shine, that describes the environment that fosters my wisdom, and helps me to bring the best that is within me to the forefront.

  • No matter what, I need to have a space that I can call my own, where I can rest, reflect, think and play.
  • No matter what, I need a creative outlet. It helps me center myself and let go of some of my stress.
  • No matter what, I need a workplace that empowers me, where my contributions are recognized and acknowledged and where there are clear avenues for growth.
  • No matter what, I need to be surrounded by music and books — music to soothe my soul and books as they make me fee safe, somehow.
  • No matter what, I need to travel, to explore new places and cultures, as that keeps me alive and enthused.

  • Now, it’s your turn. Think about the influences, activities and people that help you to shine; and the metaphor that you would use to describe the environment that fosters your wisdom.

    A hilly existence

    It’s been a while since I’ve done any creative photography, and will likely be a while still before I do get a chance to do any. In the meantime, though, while I was editing pictures from our last trip to Lansdowne, I thought it would be nice to share some here.

    Unhook from the hectic pace of life in this small, sleepy town…

    Sleepy street

    Continue reading

    What makes a life feel right?

    Is it success, less stress, positive relationships, personal growth or ongoing adventure? All of these are important, but of paramount importance are joy, passion and living from the heart. And joy, it begins with inner peace.

    It’s happened so many times that even after I go buy myself the latest toy — be it a new gadget or jewelry or what have you — but when I come home, there’s no excitement about the purchase. And I’ve often wondered why that happened? Perhaps it’s because we sometimes aspire for what we think we should, instead of what is personally meaningful for us. Bigger isn’t necessarily better…but doing what you love…that’s priceless!

    If some of your recent purchases or achievements ring hollow,

    check to see if the “cost” is too high, or if it’s something that’s not really meaningful to you. Sometimes the outer things we seek are just poor substitutes for an inner state we crave. when you experience the inner peace that comes from being the kind of person you aspire to be, you’ll find joy around every corner…in all the toys, experiences, beauty, and relationships that come your way.

    What about passion for life? That seems to have fizzled away. There are so many things that I love doing, but the passion to do them seems to be missing.

    Passion for life does not wear out…it fades from lack of use. At various stages of life we hit plateaus and then the choice is ours: coast downhill or climb to a new peak. If we make the effort and muster the courage to move forward in some dimension of life, we feel renewed. Energy and passion climb, and we feel fully engaged. But pass on all things new, and we get stuck in a rut of the known — smack in the middle of our comfort zone.

    That seems to be exactly where I’m stuck — things are comfortable as they are, familiar. To pursue my passions or to change them would mean undertaking some element of risk. So, what would I rather do? Stay stuck in the rut, or climb out of it?

    Think of the last time you tried something new — learned a computer skill, visited a foreign country, went to a party alone or just tried a new food. Even if it didn’t turn out as you expected, chances are you got a lift from taking the risk. Beyond the familiar — just past fear — is where life truly expands. Passion needs exercise.

    Just like I do! Un-stick butt from chair and move it! Find the joy, fight for the passion and create a meaningful life.

    A meaningful life is born in the soul, grown in the mind, and lived from the heart.

    Following the busy-is-better crowd means that we could miss out on the sense of purpose, on the feeling of having made a difference, of leaving behind a legacy…Instead, there’s constant motion, with one step merging into the next,

    and though [we may be] dancing as fast as we can, we often feel no sense of accomplishment. You’re busy, but what are you busy about? Are you keeping commitments to your self? Growing the gifts that you have been given? If not, you’re probably wondering, “Is this all there is?” Outer success does not equal meaning. And meaning does not just plop into your lap; it is created every day — with one thought and one act — at a time.

    God’s given us a wonderful present — the present! Each new day, new moment, gives us numerous opportunities to live a life of purpose.

    Staying on purpose requires listening, not to the cacophony of our 24/7 world, but to the wisdom in our hearts.

    How about meditating everyday? It used to feel good…it used to give me a sense of calm, of inner joy…but then, I got too “busy” to do it anymore. Maybe, instead of giving up on the meditation, is should start saying “no” to time wasters and “yes” to living a life that feels right.

    Silence, focus, conscious choices. I’ve learned that these are the things that add meaning to life.

    Thanks to writer Suzanne Zoglio for the wonderful article she wrote on Soulfulliving.com, which helped me look within and analyze my situation.

    Out with the old!

    Manifestation so works! I’ve recently been thinking about all the stuff that we’ve accumulated at home and all the work and effort we’re going to need to put in to throw things out. And today, I came across an article on just that phenomenon of accumulating and discarding.

    It seems to me that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating things and the second half getting rid of them, paring our possessions down to a manageable cache. At some point, it is important to take the time to catalogue what it is we have, what we have accumulated, what we hold onto, what we have carried with us through the years, and what we would be better of letting go of.

    If we are to practice living life with intention, purpose, and appreciation, we are called to take stock — on every level imaginable — material, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And we feel the need to evaluate everything in terms of its value to us. Do our belongings, attitudes, ideas, obligations, commitments, habits, goals, dreams, relationships, and wardrobes still fit us? Do they suit us and our current life style? Are they flattering? Do they please us? Do they continue to serve us? Do they feed us what we need? Or do they drain our energy and slow us down by the amount of maintenance that they require?

    The author then goes on to list out a number of suggestions for clearing out…like…

    • Throw out, re-cycle, or donate one thing every day. This is a great practice in claiming what is important to you and discarding what is not.
    • Eliminate one food from your diet that you know you should not eat. When you get used to living without it, eliminate one more.
    • Send all of the novels that you know you will never re-read to a school or hospital library. And that pile of magazines, too.
    • Clean out your medicine cabinet and cosmetic drawers. How many of the products crammed in there merely mask superficial symptoms and flaws rather than enhance your essential strength and beauty?
    • Reduce stress through yoga, exercise, breathing techniques, warm baths, sex, music, art, meditation.
    • Slough off the old, like a snake shedding its skin, or a butterfly its cocoon. Emerge renewed and energized.

    You can read the entire article here.

    Divorced from reality…

    …for a few days when I went back home to Poona….

    Soaked up the cool air during breakfast in the garden every morning

    Soaked up the cool air during breakfast in the garden every morning


    It was a total break from the hectic pace of my “real” life. A going back in time, as I returned to my room — the place where I spent 20 years of my life — to a life sans responsibility…no need to think about work, to plan the next meal, to track groceries, or worry about mundane things like making up the bed. It was a return to innocence, to a time when responsibilities were something the grown ups had to deal with.
    Watched nature unfold around me on lazy monsoon afternoons

    Watched nature unfold around me on lazy monsoon afternoons


    The weather in Poona was lovely compared to the oven that is Delhi…cool breezes, light monsoon showers…perfect for lazy mornings spent reading the newspaper, breakfast in the garden with the singing of the morning birds…late morning spent talking with the parents, an afternoon siesta, long walks in the early evening, crowned by a shopping trip later in the day…a more languid, peaceful, soulful time.
    It was yesterday once more as I returned to the sanctuary of my youth --- my bedroom!

    It was yesterday once more as I returned to the sanctuary of my youth --- my bedroom!


    As some of that peacefulness clings to me still, I’m reminded of the lyrics to Dido’s Sand in my Shoes:

    Two weeks away it feels like the world should’ve changed
    But I’m home now
    And things still look the same
    I think I’ll leave it to tomorrow till unpack
    Try to forget for one more night
    That I’m back in my flat on the road
    Where the cars never stop going through the night
    To real life where I can’t watch sunset
    I don’t have time

    Wakeup call

    Today’s Reminders from God on my iGoogle page was:

    “All walls fall before you. Your faith and My Power are the only two essentials.”

    It’s such a reassuring statement to read first thing in the morning, especially when you’re going through as much mental turmoil as I am. There are so many decisions that I need to make without losing too much time.

    I had made up my mind to take a certain path if things at the work front didn’t go according to plan at the end of this year’s performance cycle. Now that the time has come to act, I find myself wondering if I should still stick to that decision, or take a slightly different approach instead. A part of me is worried about the recession, while another part of me just wants to go ahead and act. Caught in this dilemma, with no clear plan in place just yet, I find myself unable to act. Unable to sit down and list out pros and cons of different actions and paths and to take a decision.

    But this statement, so simple and powerful, jolted me out of this limbo that I find myself in. The time has come to act, and with my faith and His power, things will work out just fine.

    Quote of the century

    Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.

    Hear, hear! 😀

    We’ve been adopted!

    By a cute little kitteh!

    She wandered on to hubby dearest’s tennis courts day before and played around there all evening while he was coaching. She made friends with all of the guys who work with him and won over all the children and parents sitting at his academy. I wanted him to get the kitten over that day itself, but he was biking down that day, so wasn’t able to get her.

    They left her on the court that night, and I wasn’t too hopeful that she would be around the next day. But when his boys reached the court in the morning, there she was to say hello!

    So, he finally got her home yesterday evening. She is just so darn adorable! Must be around 4-5 weeks old, so though I keep calling her “she,” I’m not too sure if its a “she” or a “he” yet! 😉

    She plays around for a bit and then sleeps for the most part of the day. She was up and about early in the morning, so I had to get up around 6:30 am today (gasp!), but now, while I’m awake, she’s fast asleep!

    Well, what’s that they say about cats?

    Dogs have masters, cats have staff. – Anon

    Yeah, right!

    We’re not sure how long we’ll be able to keep her though. Have to see if she and Cleo get along — Cleo was scared out of her wits yesterday! It was so funny to see though! Here was this (comparitavey) big bunny sitting in her cage all huddled up and scared stiff, and here was an inquisitive little kitten peeking in, saying “Can we be friends?” Plus, as she grows bigger, we aren’t too sure if we’ll be able to handle her. So while I want to say “Yes! We’re keeping her!” my other half (he ain’t better! ;-)) is saying “Let’s see how it goes.” So as of now, we’re taking it one day at a time!