Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tagged

The one thing I have just not been able to do in the past one month is read all of my favourite blogs, which I have been doing for hours on end for the past year or so. I have barely posted 4 times in the past one month 'coz I just haven't been able to find the time and head space to do so. Therefore, I find myself incredibly lucky to have come across this post by Leslie from the sweet and sassy blog, Fresh out of Lemons, because she has actually tagged me in a blog recognition endeavour.

What this is about

To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long, but not forgotten, blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

Rules

1. Blogger is nominated to take part;
2. Blogger publishes her/his seven links on her/his blog- one link for each category;
3. Blogger nominates five more bloggers to take part;
4. Those five bloggers publish their seven links and nominate another five bloggers;
5. So on and so on.

It feels a tad weird to have to be almost self laudatory, but the point is definitely an honourable one. So here  goes.


1. My most beautiful post. 

I am a sentimental girl and the first posts I think about when cued about my most beautiful posts are the ones where I talk about my grandmother, my brother and my dog. Words can't convey how much they mean to me. My grandmother and my dog are gone now and there is a part of my soul that will never stop grieving this loss. So my most beautiful post would have to be The smell of pink, which is about a childhood memory of my grandmother and her food.

I would also have to choose Happy Endings simply because of how deeply I felt about what I was writing and also the response it garnered from those who understood. Writing it in itself was a beautiful experience.

I know that that's two posts. Sorry. Couldn't resist. ;)

2. My most popular post.

Of my 284 posts, Eat cake and be married has the most number of page views. This was a post about my perfect wedding cake. The wedding is over now and there was a cake. But it was a tragic, horrific aspect of the wedding and I am not ready to talk about it yet. :-(

The post with the most number of comments is All's well that ends well, my first post after getting married. The response to that post made my day.

Both would be a determinant of popularity I guess.

3. My most controversial post.

I think that I am a very safe blogger and even 5 year olds could read my blog. But one post that has the possibility of being controversial and might lead  to me being labelled a hypocrite is Earthlings, where I talk about vegetarianism.This is because while I ideally would want to be one and I completely believe in the cause, I am not a vegetarian most of the time. So yeah. I hope PETA doesn't get its hands on this post.

4. My most helpful post. 

In August I posted Yay Bee See, which is an alphabetical listing of 26 of my favourite foods and one new blogger who has cooked with each one of these foods. I would call it helpful because it introduced new blogs to readers. Nothing feels as good as discovering a new blog!!!

5. A post that's success surprised me.

This would undoubtedly have to be There was. A girl. So tall and thin and fair. Until very recently, it was the post with the most number of views and I feel sorry for all the other posts because this one just has a picture of a pillar in Hampi, Karnataka.

Of course, the image obsessed world that we live in has a gazillion people searching for 'thin fair girl' and this post just got lucky. It is strange and wonderful at the same time.

6. A post I feel didn't get the attention it deserved.

As with every blogger, this would have to be EVERY post in the first few months of blogging that no one actually reads other than the people who you've informed about the blog. And in my case, it was just Thom. So if I had  to pick one I would have to choose His-tory and Her-esy, something I posted in my first few months of blogging.

7. The post of which I am the most proud

A lot of my earlier posts took me a lot of courage to post because I am the most inconfident person ever and I continued to be supremely shy and almost embarrassed about my posts. I still haven't told 95% of the people in my life that I have a blog simply 'coz I am not ready for people to read my writing and then have to deal with the judgement that ensues.

I started this is blog almost out of frustration over the fact that I was doing nothing productive with my life itself after having studies and worked for a bit. Thom pretty much coerced me into doing it,  but I don't know where I would have been now without it because this blog is such a valuable part of me now. So I would have to say that while it is quite stereotypical of a first blog post, it took me an insane amount of courage  to let it out into the world and I am extremely pleased with the fact that I did. So please read The Ensual.

1. Spoonful of Delight
2. Meg's Mind
3. London Bakes
4. Liz makes it
5. And my very first blog friend, Sartorial Diary

Carry on the good work! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glitz and glamour, love and light

It all started with a box full of makeup...


...and two hands full of mehendi.


Somewhere in between, I looked like this. 


This is my wedding saree...


This is my father talking to my grandfather about something while I played Peekaboo,still half clad.


Lillies, carnations, orchids and roses.


Happy Feet





And then I started crying. And I wept and  wept and  wept.


But then I became happy again.


Pretty bouquets for my pretty bridesmaids.









As you can see, I never stopped posing.


My father giving me away. He looked so forlorn that I actually told him to "Smile, at least for me..."


And of course, Thom wouldn't stop cracking jokes.



This was my face throughout the wedding. I was so relieved that the wedding had actually happened and the planning was actually over!







Thom pretending to keep the tradition of the coy Indian bride who will never look at her husband's face during the wedding ceremony. 


My beloved grandfather - the one who brought my brother and I up. 



I feel like a celebrity when I look at this picture! Oprah Winfrey, here I come!!!


"Who helped Jesus turn water into wine?" (or something such) was his question to us.


Of course I had not listened to a word he had said coz I was too busy posing. "Jesus", I replied... coz that's the obvious answer for all Christianity related questions. He repeated the question again, almost ignoring my answer. I was about to say "God", the next obvious answer to questions by priests, when Richard Thomas quipped in and said the right answer, which incidentally, was "servants". It is one of those moments that I am not that proud of. 


Signing the register.


"Why did the chicken cross the road?"


 Stars in my eyes.


With my darling - my baby brother.



My outfit for the reception.



With my Mommy.


All images have been captured by the amazingly fantastically fabulous Richa Kashelkar.

That's all, folks! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

To the moon and back

You know what I did in the last 2 weeks? I went to Vietnam and Thailand and had the most wonderful time with my boyfriend, Thom.

You all know him. He is the one who held a ring to my face and said "With this ring, I thee wed!!!", three long weeks back.

Now the funny part is that we gave each other the wrong ring to begin with. I gave him the ring that said Thommy and he gave me the one that said Liz and we both stood there perplexed, wondering why both the rings didn't fit.

I, predictably, jumped right into the gun and decided that our marriage must be doomed because the rings not fitting is a clear sign that portends that. (It says so in more than one romantic comedy of 2011.) And then Einstein jumped right into his rightful place behind my right ear and yelled right into it that we were not intended for doom but had just given each other the wrong ring! Whew! Big drama averted! Thanks, Albie!

And then we lived happily ever after.

Oh but before that, you know what the priest asked Thom? He said, "Do you Thomas take these women to be your lawfully wedded wife to have and to hold from this day on as long as you both shall live?"

Lucky Thomas, huh? The vow he took is like none other. He says that the priest's was an open invitation and that he can now legally take as many women as he wants as his wife! All at one go if he so pleases!

Just you try, Thomas! I will squeeze your ears and make meatballs come out of it! And I won't share them with you!

But hilarity inducing English aside, the wedding went off quite well and the choir sang "Baby Elephant Walk" rather pleasingly as we walked out of church.

But I now know the reason why the divorce rate in India is so phenomenally low. (It is1.1% as compared to Sweden, which is 54.9% and the US, at 54.8%.)

It is only because marriages in India are dramatic, stressful and absolutely insane. For about a week before the wedding until the moment I entered the church, I was like the Energizer Bunny, running around every space like I was on crack. There were rather long moments when I felt like my skull was going to split and a flaming B-52 would come pouring out. (Or maybe champagne. My head is pretty classy.)

The panic reached a rather unstable peak the night before the wedding but it quickly dissipated post the emergence of a 'screaming, yelling and throwing things at every passer-by' bride, from my thorax. And then I was back to being Energizer Bunny on crack again. Crazy, crazy, crazy!

And right during the prayer before leaving for the church, I burst into tears and didn't stop for ten minutes. (I WILL post pictures of this monumental event.) This is 25% because I was tired from all the running around, 30 % because I was sad that I would be married and my singledom would be distant dream, 10 % because I was unemployed and therefore by default would go from being tres fabulous and living my life in my terms to being a (ugh) housewife, and 35% because my baby brother who had come all the way from far, far away had gotten really, really sick and was throwing up in the next room!

I drove to the church in my pretty white car and I was still giving driving directions to people over the phone, while my poor brother continued to throw up into a plastic bag in the front seat! (Tip 1: Never get married in Bombay or Vietnam. No one knows where anything is. Tip 2:  Never eat flight food that you have to pay for.)

So long story short, I drove myself to a tizzy until the moment I got into the church, and then calmness pervaded. My work was done.

And that is why in all the pictures of the wedding ceremony, I can be found beaming like a flamingo with a mackerel in its mouth. But there is no way in heaven and hell that I will ever EVER consider getting married again. It is too much for my gall bladder to handle. And that translates roughly to "One less divorce"!

And as for our honeymoon, we had planned it such that we would have seven days in Vietnam and three days in Bangkok on our way back. Now Vietnam is a real beauty. She is young and lithe but her soul is aged and ripe with the wisdom of her travails. She is sweet and unpretentious and kind and courteous and always, always smiling.

You know how sometimes you can sit with a friend at a coffee shop for hours on end with no conversation to keep you engaged but at the end of these hours, your heart would be as full as it could possibly be? Being in Vietnam is akin to that - you can be in her company and your conversation her with is as simple as it could possibly be, but you leave her presence feeling complete and enriched in a way that is inexplicable but absolutely comprehensible.

Bangkok, on the other hand, is as sure as an eighteen year old soaring confidently on her new found freedom. She is vibrantly hued and irreverent in her space but mindful of your boundaries. She stands strong and proud,  fierce and brash. And after you have had a taste of her, you are just not the same ever again.

The wares are plentiful - mall after mall lie in wait, selling every ware conceivable to man. There are weekend markets spread out over acres, selling books and antiques and pets and clothes for pets.

Buddha lives in gilded castles here. Like Thom says, its funny that he renounced his life as a king in India shunning all material possessions, only to live in temples in Thailand that are ornate and gemmed and painted with gold.

Everything is taken a step further in Bangkok - they probably live by the adage that if you are not living on edge, you are occupying too much space. Even the roadsides are a testament to this - you can find stalls selling fried cockroaches and stewed worms right next to one selling pretty hats and a bracelet or two, and right after that will be a stall selling bottle of alcohol stuffed with geckos and scorpions and baby cobras..

Everyone's in vogue here, sporting over sized spectacles sans the lens, boots in fuchsia pink and sleek looking hair. The jeans are slim and the tops are either barely there or oversized, held in place with a low slung belt. It is a beautiful image, really.

Everything is in plenty, but somehow, somewhere, there is a sense of containment; of control. It is not a land of excesses or even of indulgence. Rather it is a way of living that is replete with flair and freedom of expression.

Both countries were breathtaking and both are absolute charmers in their own way. But really. the most wonderful gift in the world is to be able to travel and see new places and experience alternate ways of life and really, truly honestly broaden your horizons. All I want is a lifetime ahead full of just that.

I will post pictures of the wedding and the honeymoon as soon as I can find my camera cord, which of course is hiding somewhere in my 20 suitcases full of clothes and books. But until then, big love and hugs from me to you.:)

And thanks a trillion ton for all your wishes. I couldn't say this enough, and I don't have the words to tell you how much they mean to me. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All's well that ends well

I'm a hitched wench now... an ole ball and chain! ;)

It's been a week today and it feels weird and wonderful all rolled into one.

This is me on the wedding day after 6 hours of rigorous plastic surgery and reconstructive make up.


And now meet my ex-fiance, Mr. Thomas.



He is smart. He is funny. And he rocks my world.

Most of the time.

Sometimes he makes me go right up the wall and that is when I accidentally on purpose put ants in his pants.

This is my wedding car.



She had wings and she took me to the church and back without breaking down. Ain't she pretty?

This is Taye Diggs.


He still makes me blush. :)

I'll be back with all the joyful, funny, boring, excruciating and tragic details of the wedding. After I finish sleeping that is, which I expect to happen around 2020. (Weddings are tiring!)

The End.