Waking up with Alarms !

Trrrnnnng ! Trrrnnngg ! Ahhh ! What is that noise ? Who is disturbing my sleep ?
I hate these alarms. This was me when I was studying for board exams and this is still me when I try to get up and send my daughters to school. I love to switch off the alarm and go back to sleep and continue with my dream. Ah ! Such wonderful dreams come only in the early morning hours, which I’ve to cut short to get up.

When I was in school, every night before going to bed, my standard dialogue to my mom will be “Ma, please wake me up early. I’ve got to read”. She’ll give me a dirty look and walk off. I know this look, as I get it everyday. Early morning, when my mom starts waking me up, I’ll just open my eyes a little and tell “5 mins, I’ll be up”. And then I’ll cuddle nicely with a pillow and close my eyes to continue my dream. My mom will come again after 5 mins and this time she’ll have a very stern voice. I’ll actually sit up and again fall back on the bed. My mom walking from the kitchen to the bedroom and me changing poses will continue for another half an hour. To put an end to this situation, my mom will just get a glass of water and pour it on my face. Alas, dreams shattered, sleep gone and I am totally awake. As this situation was a regular everyday, both my mom and me got used to it, kind of. Now, you understood why she gave me a dirty look.

Actually, the problem arised because of my sister. This sister of mine will get up on her own in the ungodly hour of 3am to study. While I can study late into the night, I can never do this morning studies. I try and study during regular days so that I dont need to keep awake just to study. Why miss out on the wonderful dream-full sleep ?

And now, when I dont have anything to study, I’ve to get up early to the ringtones of the mobile alarm, so that my daughters get ready for school in time.

What a wonderful invention is the SNOOZE option in the alarms of mobile phones. It’s just like what I did, when I was young. Those days, it was my mom who used to snooze and call me every 5 mins. Now it is the mobile, which has taken over from my mom. I set the time in my mobile 30 mins fast. When the alarm rings, it is actually 30 mins in advance to the actual time. It is a great delight now, to keep snoozing the mobile for the next 30 mins and enjoy some more sleep, the way I wanted.

The holidays are the time when the mobile alarm is totally off, but I’ve to live with the real life alarms – like my daughter, who gets up at 5.30am even during days when she has off.

Now a days, as political parties in India follow the footsteps of Obama, they are becoming more gadget oriented. I keep getting election messages in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours. I am totally against these smses in the night times.

Finally, as the exams are getting over, I am just about to get a break from the alarms and blissfully sleep till the sun rises. Here’s to beautiful dreams and great sleeping time to myself !

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Weight loss is never a Cake Walk !

Weight loss !!! Its just two words but the meaning and the effort that goes in to achieve it, is humongous. And all the tricks of the trade that we practise won’t bring the needle down, in the weighing scale.
I cannot be rated as fat. But people, who have seen me during my early days into marital bliss, will find me a bit more round at the curves, now. Well, to be honest, I don’t mind the roundness in the curves at all. It’s the bloated tummy that’s bothering me and especially my jeans, a lot.
I can still remember when all this started – it was after my second c-section. Every minute of the day was spent on my 2 daughters who are only 1 year 5 months apart. Imagine my plight when the older one wants to run around and play and I have the younger one to feed and nurse. This babysitting situation helped me to totally forget about my body. And by the time, I looked up to see myself in the mirror (after I had put both the girls in school), it was a horrible sight to see. Oh God ! All the weight gain has happily happened while I was totally oblivious to it. I had gained nearly 10kg than my weight before pregnancies.
Now, I take a vow to myself, to really workout and make myself look trim and fit.
– I started walking instead of taking the bus or auto wherever I was going alone (of course, only to places that are walkable for me). I couldn’t have walked with one toddler holding my hand and other one in my hip. I don’t remember when this exercise stopped or why it stopped.
– Somebody told having honey and lemon in warm water will help in reducing the fat. I sincerely did this till one fine day when I ran out of lemons.
– I joined swimming classes at my hubby’s insistence. Basically, I was scared shit of water. So, all that did happen in that 15 days course was that the fear of water was reduced considerably. But swimming, that didn’t happen at all. Look at my fate – when I paid a whopping 1000/- for 15 days course, I had to miss classes for 4 days due to my periods. So, only 11 days remained in my course. All I learnt was only to float.
Srini used to take me to the paid pools during weekends, so that I can hone my swimming skills. That also stopped when we got a transfer.
– During the next 5 years, somehow this exercise fever evaded me. It was when we joined the club’s health membership, that I started hitting the gym with a vengeance. And I was improving my swimming skills with Srini’s help. Wow, the world looks great now.
– I had just started reducing a few kilos and then came the fast food giants to Hyderabad. Why should they open shop here and have all of us drooling over their menus ? KFC, Mac to name a few were the culprits behind my weight gain, AGAIN.
– Now, we had to shift to our own house, and going to the health club became a distant dream.
– As I meet more women in my apartment, who have undergone similiar experiences, regarding this monster Weight, I am happy to be having company. So, some of us started some workout routines, which ended in happy coffees, cakes, sandwiches and so on that the workout didn’t have any effect at all.
– Then we took to yoga, the in thing now. We were all doing great yoga and we felt the difference in our body, but it hardly lasted for 2 months.
– Now, it is the turn of dancexercise. Even though the workouts are killing us, the joints are hurting, we know we’re burning a lot of calories there. But, can we sustain this pain and gain from the calorie drain ? I really doubt it.

Now, what does all these trials tell me ? They are shouting at the top voice that I AM NOT COMMITTED. Because, if I’ve been committed to the weight loss program, I wouldn’t have had Potato chips (my biggest weakness) or the cheesy fast foods. Whenever I am failing, I would have thought about it and found the reasons for my failure of the program.
The weight loss is never a cake walk, women. Think and choose the right weight loss program that suits your body and mind. You should be totally committed to the program. Ahhh! Talking about it is so easy. The difficulty is when you’ve to drag yourself through it.
So, help me God, to be more committed to the weight loss program, to stick to it (even during days of menstruation – these are my days when my program tends to fail) and to eat healthy.
Is weight loss a distant dream or a reality ?

I am Tagged.

Tagged me ! Oh my God ! I really don’t know how long this is going to take. And by the way, I also don’t know anybody whom I can tag. May be in future.

1. I think I am the insect hunter for my family. From the time I got married, its been like – Uma, chase this cockroach away, by my husband – Mama, there’s a lizard near the bathroom window.
How can I go in for a bath ?, by my daughter. So, its always me who has to hunt for the insect which is bothering my family members. I can hit them with a newspaper / broom / sandals anything that I can put my hand on.
2. The first one has lead to this. I am the brave hunter only till the insect has not tried jumping on me. When I was in my teens, we used to stay in the housing quarters provided to my father by the Telephones Department. Since there were lots of trees around, insects visiting us were also in plenty. Once, when I was least expecting, a tiny baby lizard just slipped from the roof and fell on my shoulder. I jumped, screamed, ran about the house – but nobody knew for what. All the others were laughing at me and trying to stop me. But, the thought of a lizard on me made my skin crawl with terror. Actually, the lizard had fallen off me when I had jumped first, which I came to know much later.
3. I am the official Electrician / Plumber / Wiring specialist after my marriage. I can do wiring for telephones, TV, Computers. Thank God, I did my Engineering.
4. In my parents family, I am the eldest daughter and I have a younger sister and a brother. Being the eldest has its own disadvantages and I really used to long for an elder brother. When I got married, it was a dream come true. I am the youngest daughter-in-law, with 2 elder brothers-in-law and an elder sister-in-law.
5. I am a very reserved person to begin with and it takes time for me to know people well. Once, the frequency matches, I go out of my way to make the relationship much better. But there is a negative side to me too – if I don’t get along with a person I just start ignoring them. I can even look through them, sometimes.
6. I had a friend Susy, when I was doing a computer course with Aptech. And Susy had invited me along with few of her college friends for her birthday party. In the party, when she served us fruit punch, she was winking at each one of us and told us to enjoy the drink. None of us in our wild dreams would have imagined that she’ll mix vodka in it. We were all behaving silly and laughing and Susy was having the last laugh at us. Thankfully, she dropped all of us home, to make sure we reach properly. I went home and hit the bed straight, scared to open my mouth. Next day in the class, when Susy explained herself, I was laughing at myself for being so stupid.
7. I started working when I was 18 yrs old. And I have to travel from Mylapore, my home, to Kodambakkam where my office was located. It is bus route 12B that connects me from home to office. Any time of the day, this bus is crowded and I really used to have difficult times travelling in that bus route. And in that bus route was a conductor whom I can remember very well, for his kind words. I used to look up to him because with a Masters in Chemistry, he was working as a bus conductor without any inhibitions. And the thought provoking conversations we had helped me to ease my travel tension. The one thing I am always reminded from that acquaintance was that educational qualifications and job positions never match in real life.
8. I have learnt the art of gift wrapping from a sweet soul in a small card shop, which me and my sister used to frequent during our teens. That person even taught us how to choose gifts, cards and I still thank him for that knowledge he imparted to me.
9. Because I chose to do Diploma in Engineering, I left my school after 10th and joined with the Diploma course. My sister was 2 classes younger than me in school (actually she is only 1 year 3 months younger). By the time, she came to 10th std, all the teachers started referring to her as Uma’s sister. Even though, she did till her 12th in the same school, she was the School Captain, she was the top-scorer in 12th std, she is still referred to as Uma’s sister. I am totally honored, even though she goes crazy sometimes.
10. My email inbox is always clean. All my mails are neatly sorted into various folders. “You are a perfectionist”, says my hubby dear. I try to be perfect in everything I do, even everyday planning. There are lists on my fridge for things to buy, things to do, people to call. If its not written in the list, its stored as a reminder in my mobile. As I get very excited when I go for shopping or cooking for lot of people, these kind of lists help in keeping up the perfect angle in my life.
11. When me and Srini were engaged to be married, we had about 3 months time to prepare for the wedding. And both of us have roamed the whole city and had such wonderful time together. Our outings were sometimes totally silly – we watched Speed for 3 times, a tamil movie Sathi Leelavathi for 5 times, got totally wet in the rain on the lovely Elliots beach, had hot and spicy bajjis in the beach, crazily sped in the bike with the wind in my hair. Altogether I have done things that I never thought I would do.
12. I’ve won many a Bhagwad Gita Recitation Competitions while I was in school. Amazing, I can’t believe it myself now.
13. I am sticker to time and I want people around me also to be like that. Only after shifting to Secunderabad, I’ve understood what low priority people give for punctuality. Sometimes, it is frustrating to wait.
14. I love Koffee with Karan in television. How many ever times it repeats, you can find me there to watch it. And not to forget, Oprah Winfrey show. That’s my fav too.
15. Household chores – Are you not bored doing the same things everyday ? While I can possibly enjoy washing vessels, washing clothes, drying clothes, clearing up the dried vessels and folding
the dried clothes are not my cup of tea. I force myself to do those chores as the perfectionist in me pops up to find fault in others work.
16. I love walking in the rain and have done innumerable number of times while I was young. Which is the reason that my toe thumb nail was filled with dirt while I was young and I had to remove my toe thumb nail two times. I can still remember my scream in the doctor’s clinic.
17. When I started baking, about 5 years back, I used to borrow a sand cooker from a neighbour to bake. The recipe also was shared by my wonderful neighbour. The recipe said, 200gms of flour, 200gms of butter and 200gms of sugar. And I measured equal amounts of flour, butter and sugar using a common cup to make the batter. The cake was a big flop. How stupid of me ! And it took me 3 to 4 trials to understand that 200gms of flour, sugar and butter is not 1 cup of each.
18. In my parents home, girls cutting their hair was considered as taboo and me and my sister were no exception. But, somebody told me that 3rd day after New Moon Day was the best day to cut / trim your hair and it will grow longer as the moon is growing. Now, me and my sister wanted to try it out. We locked ourselves in our room and I trimmed her hair, while she did for me. For the next 10 to 15 days we used to hold the end of hair in our hands while we walked inside the house (so that the trimming doesn’t show), for the fear of getting caught by our elders.
19. I can never play games both in the mobile and in the computer, for which speed is the critical factor and that involves fast movements with your fingers. I try to play the ones that needs logical reasoning.
20. I hate these totally absurd ring tones which people set for their mobiles. Baby crying or laughing is one the silliest according to me. Some people even have this tone for car reverse music. That’s totally absurd as people are shocked to hear it suddenly on roads.
21. I pride myself on the fact that I’ve tremendous control over food habits. I am off sweets, chocolates or anything with sugar. But, if there is one thing in this world, that I would sell my soul for, its POTATO CHIPS. Now, the whole world knows my secret.
22. There are so many little things that bring great pleasure to me. To name a few – a long drive in the car on a rainy day, crying silly at the end of a romantic movie with a happy ending, watching a fav movie first day first show, shop till I drop, coffee get-together with my friends, a good yoga workout, talking through the night with friend / sister / hubby, travelling to exotic places with romantic backdrops with Srini and how I wish that this list never ends.
23. I’ve always dreamt of having a super shaped body, to comfortably wear a great looking bikini.
24. I love doing kolams – as it is part of our everyday ritual. The ones with colours are my fav and I’ve won a few contests too in rangoli.
25. I read my first Sidney Sheldon book when I had just finished 10th std. It was “The other side of midnight”. I can still remember my own shock when I read it. It was revelation and enlightenment at the same time.
Hurray ! I’ve done it. It took me nearly 3 hours to type all these down. I don’t know whether they qualify for the Random Tag, but I’ve tried my best. Thanks Bins, for making me scratch my brain and do this.

Abiyum Nanum – as I see it

A few days back, I watched the tamil movie “Abhiyum Nanum” (Me & Abhi). What an awesome movie! Its been a very long time (after the movie Mozhi), I felt so touched by a tamil movie.
Even though one can find similarities with the English movie Father of the Bride, Abiyum Nanum is class apart as far as the tamil movie audiences are concerned.

The simple tale of father-daughter relationship brings tears to the eyes in a lot of scenes. It shows how the fathers are in total admiration of their daughters and till the daughter gets married, even the wife has to take a seat back.

The story meanders around the likes and dislikes of the daughter, how she convinces her father
every time and how the father sheepishly admits finally that his daughter is always right.

When the daughter chooses to marry a Punjabi, the father is at the end of his wits. How can my
daughter choose this man ? What does she see in him ? How can she love him so much ? Why
is she not even looking at me when this Punjabi is around ?
Actually, it is not this particular man that the father is against. Any man his daughter chooses to
marry will have to face his bitter words to begin with. Till the father is really convinced that this
man is the right person for his daughter, mustard splutter from his face. Every dialogue,
scene that father-daughter duo enact deserves real good appreciation.

Fantastic direction, each scene better than the previous one, a must see for all men who love
their daughters more than their life.

Act of kindness

Its been in my thoughts for the past two days and its better I blog it down.

Two days back, me and S went to drop our daughters in the school. While coming back home, S asked me whether I would like to have breakfast in a hotel. I responded with a big smile, as I cherish these moments of togetherness.

After eating breakfast, when we were coming out of the hotel, suddenly S asked me to wait near the entrance and rushed inside. I was wondering what it could be that made him rush inside. Anyway, he came out and gave me a parcel, told that it was idly and sambar. He then asked me to give to the old lady who was sitting outside the hotel asking for alms.

I was pleasantly surprised and deeply touched with his act of kindness.

This display of kindness made me think a lot.

A simple act like giving food to one person is the best way to show “you care”. It gave me so much satisfaction to see the happy smiling face of the old lady, who blessed me too. I feel that this kind act is much better, as the recognition is instantaneous.

May God give me and S the strength and the heart to perform many more acts of kindness.

Unforgettable day of my life

At last, I’ve found the courage to write about this. Its been 2 years that this incident happened in my home and now, I’ve decided to type it out. The reason being that letting it out will bring solace to my heart and soul.
We had shifted to our new flat in the May of 2006 and all the wood work were done by July end.
At this time, Srini got a Faber Chimney (Mesh type) and had it fixed. I was elated and proud
about my new home and it looked great.
It was the 25th of Dec, 2006 and I had my house full of people who had come for vacation – my
mother-in-law, my brother-in-law and family, my sister-in-law and family. Actually, I love having people around and I was sure that this vacation will be a memorable one.
My new maid of 1 month, was there to help me prepare breakfast. I told her to fry puris and I had just gone out of the kitchen to serve coffee for my in-laws and puris for kids. Everybody was so excited meeting with each other, the kids loved eating puris and even the elders were waiting to bite into breakfast. As the kids were finishing, I was calling all the others to join for breakfast.
Suddenly, from my living room, I could see flames from my oil pan and the chimney was fast
catching it, as the chimney was ON and it was sucking the fumes of oil. It was an accident, where
water from wet hands or whatever has sprayed on the hot oil and the result was total chaos. From a moment of happiness and laughter, we were all pushed into tears and sadness over the whole incident. All of us stood there watching helplessly, my chimney burn, melt and fall onto my gas stove beneath it. In a matter of 30 mins, nothing was left of the chimney and my gas stove also fell prey to this.
Here, I have to thank the three men, Srini, Ramesh anna (my brother-in-law), Govindarajan
athimber (my sister-in-law’s husband), who stood like pillars of strength, especially for me. They cleaned up the kitchen which was totally filled with black soot, re-painted the kitchen walls, bought me a new gas stove and made many an effort to make me feel better. My heartfelt gratitude for these 3 strong men, who helped the whole family to have a good time together.
I wanted to talk about it, mainly cry about it to somebody. But I thought that it was better that the whole incident is forgotten about, and I carried on. But, I used to get disturbing dreams that something is burning. When we go out, I used to think that I’ve left something on my gas and it was burning.
I felt miserable with these disturbing thoughts. One side, my heart wants to forget the incident and on the other hand, I am getting these dreams. Oh God, what should I do?
In the month of April, I just happened to see a small white patch in my forehead. Everybody said that it was a sunburn. But it was the beginning of VITILIGO or LEUKODERMA. When Allopathy medicines didn’t help, I sought the help of a homeopath. He was a Godsend to me. Whether he gave me good medicines or not, he counselled me very well. This person instructed me to talk about the chimney incident to as many people as possible. The more I talk about it, the less stressful I’ll be. This stress on my unconscious mind had triggered this Vitiligo, which is basically melanin deficiency. And I started losing the colour of my skin in patches all over the body.
After his counselling, I’ve spoken to many a people about this and of course, I’ve taken
homeopathy medicines for one year and it did help me a lot. Now I am under Ayurveda
medication and I hope that it will help me to overcome this Vitiligo. I am healing a lot with this
ayurvedic medicines, thanks to the courage of my loved ones.
But more than all these medicines, the most important thing is always thinking good and positive about future. I’ve built upon my friends circle here, so that there is always somebody to whom I
can express my concerns and fears. I also try and keep myself busy, eventually not giving scope to the mind for unnecessary thoughts. I had gone for yoga classes for 4 months and the pranayams have really helped me heal. Now I am going for dancexercise classes. My idea is to join in group activities as they make you healthy in mind and body.
Thank you dear ones, for listening to me ! It made me feel better.

Make your life worthy !

Today’s newspaper carried an article in the Sunday magazine. It was a neatly written incident which emphasizes the fact that how working husband and wife are always on the run and don’t even think of a hug for each other. Tears filled up my eyes while reading it and I could really sympathise with her situation.
This poses the million dollar question – should both husband and wife have a career for
themselves ? Yes, they both can have a career, provided they don’t live with their in-laws and they don’t have kids. They can enjoy their work and life. Credit should be given to those couples who are able to manage all these efficiently, but it does take a toll on the workload a person can handle. But couples living with kids, in-laws need to think about the need for both partners to be working.
What are we gaining or losing by this double salary ? While gaining is always on the materialistic things in life, these couples lose out on the simple joys of living.
How much money is good enough to run the household? The amount required increases with the salary increase. And people start going on crazy shopping spree, buying what all they like
instead of buying what they need. So, after sometime the house is full of junk which u like but
there is no need for it in your life. Is this the requirement for the double salary ?
What are these simple joys of living, which have been lost in the run for money ? A simple hug, a loving touch, a kiss on the cheek, kind word, to be there during the times of need, the first step / word of a baby and the list is endless. There are so many people in this career world who have not enjoyed some of these joys. And let me tell u, unless you have really experienced it first hand, the joy cannot be explained in words.
And for partners who work, please do take out time from the busy, regular routine and enjoy it
with the people you love and work for. It is not the matter of taking your children out to expensive shopping trips / restaurants. The most important thing is to know what’s happening in their little lives. Talk with your loved ones, give them a hug whenever possible, pledge your love to them, tell them you’ll be there for them.
This will make your life more happy and worthy to live.