Wednesday 15 April 2015

Cutting the crap!

It is a rare occasion when I get to read a newspaper article properly these days as my little daughter keeps me on toes almost all the time. But well...last Sunday an article in the Sunday edition of ToI caught my attention as it talked about how clutter messes with our inner peace and how important it is to declutter your house and life of unwanted things every now and then.

This very article talked about a unique way to declutter your house...by taking the 30 day declutter challenge. Well this challenge entails this simple routine...
Donate/Sell/Trash one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, three items on Day 3 and so on. And on 30th day...you would have decluttered a staggering number of 465 items of household clutter.

I have started with this challenge on Monday and I decided to keep a note of all the items that I am getting rid of, not in an intention to hold on to them emotionally but more as a written proof that I have succeeded in my purpose and would help me stick on to it rather than make some mental excuse of leaving the challenge midway.

Though it is for sure that I won't be able to finish it in 30 days flat...as there might be some days when I would take more than one day to accumulate the things that I want to chuck...but I still would stick to the consecutive numbers...and would make sure that I manage to reach the figure 30 somehow. (It is not as easy as it sounds...I am already mentally calculating what would I get rid of when more than 10 items are required to be given away/thrown/sold off)

Another good thing that would come out of this challenge is that not only would I empty my house of unwanted items that I have hoarded over the years but it would also ensure that I rearrange all my storage spaces (including cupboards, kitchen shelves, et al). This is something that I keep postponing every time I think about starting it.

So...let's begin the challenge...here's the list of items I have chucked/donated till now...(gonna update this list as the challenge progresses) :)

Day 1: an old blanket
Day 2: 2 old kurtis (which I have not used for years but since they were hardly worn and almost new...did not have the heart to give them away...well, until now)
Day 3: An old packet of Rava, an old body scrub and a pair of shoes
Day 4: 2 Plastic bottles, a rubber band, an old soap dish
Day 5: Orange juice pack, plastic bottle, empty cookie box, 2 plastic spoons
Day 6: 4 bottles of expired medicines/cough syrups, 1 old foot mat, 1 plastic bottle
Day 7: 4 bottles of expired medicines (yet again!), 1 oil bottle, 2 old magazines
Day 8: 5 baby socks (the pair of which is lost), 2 bottles of expired medicines (too many expired medicines in my medicine closet!!), 1 chocolate shake tetra pack
Day 9: 4 more bottles of expired medicines, 3 packs of expired tabs, 1 rubber band, 1 old diya
Day 10: 10 pieces of clothing!
Day 11: 6 pieces of clothing, 3 empty glass bottles, 2 expired medicine bottles
Day 12: 10 pairs of shoes!!, 2 Green Tea packs (expired and thus thrown!)
Day 13: 3 kitchen item packs, 10 pieces of clothing
Day 14: 2 plastic bottles, 5 pieces of clothing, 1 toy, 6 pieces of baby clothing
Day 15: 14 pieces of baby clothing, 1 old car seat
Day 16: 7 hangers, 1 expired medicine, 8 pieces of clothing

Getting into some serious decluttering now. Donated a lots of clothes & shoes and still feels like there is a long way to go!

Wish me luck! I hope I complete the challenge (and don't end up buying more things than I throw out) *fingers crossed*

Thursday 14 February 2013

Pa

Dear Papa,

There is a saying that a Dad is a son's first hero and a daughter's first love. And I think it's pretty true! What a coincidence that your birthday falls on Valentine's Day. So here's wishing my first love a very Happy 60th Birthday on Feb 14, 2013.

So what if you have become a senior citizen, I still feel you look more young and dashing than ever! :)  Wish I was there with you today to celebrate this special occasion. Posting a pic of yours here that I clicked a couple of years back. Always keep that smile intact...

Love you Pa
-B

Monday 24 September 2012

Letter to my daughter - I

Dear Daughter,
You came into our world on 10th August 2012 (Janmashtmi) and brightened our lives with your toothless smile, big, naughty eyes and cute gestures. I still remember the moment when the anesthetist announced in the OT “It’s a girl” and in that moment of semi-consciousness I uttered “Wow! We both wanted a daughter!”. Yes, you are a dream come true for us. When I came out of OT and asked your father “Are you happy?”, his feelings resonated in his chirpy and cheerful tone when he said “ I am VERY VERY happy!”

You are the cutest thing I have ever seen. And you look so angelic when you sleep. I don’t leave any opportunity to plant a kiss on your rosy cheeks. You resemble your dad so much that whenever someone comes to meet you the first thing they say is “She is Neeraj’s duplicate”, “She is daddy’s girl” and so on.

Being a mom is a full time job. As one of my friend so rightly puts “Once you are a mom, even going to the bathroom becomes a luxury”, is so true. Initially, I was so confused and clueless about taking care of you. You were so tiny! It was scary even to hold you. However, now I have become somewhat confident and sure. You have also grown up a little. And more importantly the presence of your nani and dadi helped me to cope with the initial jitters of taking care of a newborn.

In the last one and half month, I have fallen in love with the way you yawn, the way you half close your eyes and pretend that you are sleeping, the way you look at me with those beautiful eyes, the way you hold my finger in your tiny little hands, the way you place your hand close to your face as if avoiding any attention, the way you smile while sleeping, oh…the list is endless!

Your father often jokes about the fact that you need me and no one else when you are crying and cranky, to soothe you down. He says “She is Mumma’s beti. She just needs her mom” and you know what, I just swell with pride hearing this.

Being a mother has been much more rewarding than I ever thought. Now I just can’t imagine my life without you. Today I am publishing this post on the Daughter’s Day to let you know that you are so much loved and treasured. You are undeniably most precious to both your mom and dad and we are very sure that you will grow up to be a charming and sweet person. I want you to know that like all other parents, I want you to be successful, intelligent, pretty, kind, honest, loving etc. but most importantly I want you to be a happy person. I want you to be someone who enjoys all the small and big things in life and does not leave any opportunity to celebrate, to rejoice and to spread cheer and smiles around her.

Love you betu
Mom

(here's a cute pic of you taken when you were less than a month old)

Thursday 8 March 2012

Quilling

I was never a very creative person. Would rate myself as average on the creative scale. So I never made any awesome paintings or any other such artistic products that many creative girls try out in their free time at home. But recently I came across some paper craft which looked really appealing and beautiful. I thought it might be difficult, but when I searched for it on the internet and watched the “how to…” videos on the youtube I realized it’s doable and does not require too much of fancy basic stuff to start off with. This paper craft is known as quilling. There are lot many things that can be decorated using quilling technique but I started with something which was basic and would not be very tedious or time consuming. I started making quilling envelopes. Below are a few pictures of my quilling envelopes:

3-Tier Flower

Quilled Butterfly and flowers

The only basic things that you require for making these are:
1. Envelopes

2. Quilling strips (easily available on a lot many Indian websites)

3. Quilling tool (it’s a pencil like tool again available on the sites selling paper craft products)

4. Imagination :)

Now after getting the hang of basic quilling shapes, I am motivated to try out something new and fascinating each time. And needless to say, Internet helps. For example, I saw this pattern of “love birds” on one of the blogs on quilling and tried it and made a card for hubby on the valentine’s day :)


This is something that I intend to continue doing in my free time and continue experimenting!

Saturday 19 November 2011

Rockstar - Review

We happened to watch Rockstar last weekend in a theatre nearby our place. A few comments about this movie (spoilers galore!)

1. The movie belongs to Ranbir from the start till the end. He truly rocked. His transformation from a meek and endearing college going kid to an angst-filled rockstar was truly commendable.

2. Nargis Fakhri is so pale that it is impossible to believe her as an Indian girl. Though Imtiaz Ali tried to justify her looks by giving her the character of a Kashmiri girl still she doesn't look the part.

3. Nargis Fakhri just can't act. Her acting totally sucks! So much so that in some senti scenes she actually looks comical.

4. The dialogues in the 1st half are straight forward and witty without any extra sophistication, Sample this: In one scene where Ranbir's mentor asks him if he has ever fallen in love and Ranbir starts thinking. The mentor says "Agar pyaar hota toh ghanta sochna padhta"

5. The 2nd half gets boring and repetitive. Ranbir only keeps some interest alive. Unfortunately his brilliant acting also doesn't make the audience feel his pain and anguish. After the movie, hubby jokingly commented "I could soooo feel his pain!"

6. Being a movie about a music celebrity, I thought the music of Rockstar was just about ok. There was no single number which really caught my fancy.

All in all, Rockstar is an average movie. I had more expectations from it considering it was Imtiaz Ali's movie. But well, it is indeed better than his previous flick "Love Aaj Kal"

Thursday 3 November 2011

KL and Bali trip - snippets

We had booked our tickets for KL-Bali trip long back in March. And after a wait for around 8 months, October finally came and we embarked on our journey to 2 very beautiful countries in Asia. During the trip, we did lot of touristy things but I’ll remember this trip for some few not-so-touristy ones:

Visiting a Chinatown for the first time
Yeah...I was a Chinatown virgin if you say so...lol. This was my first visit to any Chinatown in any country. Hubby took me to the Chinatown in KL and I was simply blown away not just by the colors and lighting but also by the amazing replicas of so many branded items available there. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Coach – bags, scarfs, luggage, you name it…it was there. When we were tired of being amazed and amused at all these realistic fakes, we helped ourselves to fresh juice, yummy corn and coconut water.

Staying in a homestay of a Balinese couple
I had booked this homestay on the recommendation of trip advisor and needless to say, it turned out to be a really ideal place for us to stay in the initial period in Bali. It was right in the central location of Ubud and the Balinese couple was very warm and friendly. All the restaurants, taxi services etc were just a minute’s walk from this place but still this place was so calm and peaceful. No fancy stuff like expensive hotels, but all the basic things were in place and everyday we also were treated to a nice breakfast. It was a great beginning to our Bali adventure.

Eating in lakhs of Rupiah
Well, before we started our journey, I knew that 1 Indian Rupee is equivalent to around 170-180 Indonesian Rupiah. But it still took us time to gulp this fact when we had our lunch for the first time in Indonesia and the bill came out to be in lakhs of Rupiah. (Don’t really remember the figure now but imaging the guilt of having eaten food worth something like 120,000) :D

Hiking an active volcano called Mt. Batur
Bali is a rich land endowed with lot of different geographical features. It has beaches, volcanoes, lush green rice fields, rivers et al. When we came to know that hiking tours on one of the active volcanoes can be arranged along with a guide, we both were game for it. So we were to climb Mt. Batur, an active volcano with a height of 1717 m. We started from our homestay at 2:00 AM and started the hike with our guide at around 4:00. I am not really good at trekking coz I have a drawback that I start panting pretty quickly. So after lot of huffing and puffing, taking a lot of breaks and in the end being literally dragged by my guide, we managed to reach the top of the volcano. And well, the efforts were well rewarded. We saw one of the most beautiful sunrises. We also saw a huge crater formed at the top. There was even some smoke coming out from the middle of the crater. And then our guide showed us a small cave like place on the mountain where the steam was coming out and in spite of the chill in the air, it was so warm and soothing to stand in front of the cave. We reached back to our homestay in the afternoon with aching legs and severe tiredness but the hike was totally worth it.

Travelling across the countryside of Bali on a scooter rather than taking conventional tours
A suggestion to anyone going to Bali – don’t fall in the trap of sight seeing tours available there. We did our own sightseeing and how – we rented a scooter for 2 days (it costed us around INR 300 per day WITH PETROL!) and we had the most amazing time going around the countryside of Ubud and to far off places like Batur Lake and Sanur Beach on our scooter. Hubby did not allow me to drive much (against my wish) coz he was concerned about the safety but he made sure that we have a helluva time. We drove from morning till evening and saw the inner parts of Ubud village and a lot of surrounding areas which wouldn’t have been possible on a guided tour.

Chance meeting with a Marwari couple who happened to know someone from hubby’s family
Okay when I think about this incident even now, I still freak out. What are the odds that a couple traveling to Bali from Bangalore would cross paths with an elderly couple traveling from Kolkata who also by the way, turn out to be Marwaris like us and not just that – they would also know some close relative from hubby’s side. Quite remote, you may say. And when it happens you end up going out with them for dinner and even going for water sports with them the next day as they are warm and gracious enough to invite us with them in their rented car.

So, all these fascinating things made our Bali trip memorable. If I get a chance I would like to travel to Indonesia again and do so many other things which we could not cover this time coz of shortage of time.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Janamdin Mubarak

Khushi manaane ka din hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Socha tha surprise denge
Saath mein celebrate karenge
Ek hamaari ore se tohfa denge
Aur return gift bhi lenge
Par who nahi ab mumkin hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Office ka kaam kuch aisa aaya
Unhone baahar jaane ka plan banaaya
Humko ye naa bilkul bhaaya
Niraasha ka baadal aisa chaaya
Dukhi ab hum tumhaare bin hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Happy Birthday dodo! :P