My thoughts & Interests, Work & Life

Here is a cuppa love

“Do come over for a cup of coffee..” I love the instant warmth these simple words brings into life, just like coffee. As much as I cannot deny this invitation, I cannot deny the coffee charm in my life.

Coffee started running in my veins since early childhood when all our weekends were at our hometown. “Zai, kappi kudichal karuthu povuutto [You’ll become darker if you drink coffee]”. My cousins never left a chance to tease anyone. I hesitantly sipped the black drink. The taste, smell and the fun we had then, was so refreshing. Just like the coffee.

Years later when Bru was was introduced, our mornings became more aromatic and instantly energized. On days when college was dispersed earlier than usual, we would collect all our bare minimum savings to buy 2 coffees and the famous beetroot cutlet [Courtesy: Indian Coffee House]. The coffee would go round the table, so did the laughter. The freshly ground coffee smells heavenly, so are those memories.

Freshly brewed coffee and hot sambar vada always topped the favorite food list from Chennai days. Strong filter coffee is a pure bliss!! The friendship too!!

When me or bro fell sick then, Amma used to run and make chukkukappi. The dash of spice and sweetness that slipped down and immediately relieved sore throat. This flavorful drink is full of nostalgia and goodness of dry ginger. I bet all 80s kids would still have it as the first home remedy for sore throat even now.

During earlier days of client visits when restaurant menus were too complicated , I accidentally met cold coffee. Like they say, some accidents are beautiful. Revolution of Cafe coffee day and endless hrs on coffee talks continued.

Espresso, Latte, Cappucino, Americano.. List of varieties and flavor of coffee is endless. Coffee blended so fast in our lives – Ice creams, cakes and my darling Tiramisu.. The twist that the bitterness of coffee adds to the sweetness of home made desserts is exotic.

Coffee is not just coffee anymore. Its about the fun we had, the love we shared, the happiness that went around the table and the memories full of aroma that is added to the sweet and spicy life….

Dear coffee, I love you.

Dear friends, Do come over for a cuppa coffee.

Work & Life

The global conspiracy

It happens…Everytime you decide to gym or swim,…Every single time you think of jogging or cycling..
Bad weather, Boss asking to report early,Baby in bad mood.. Simple disturbances in normal routine… Yet happens exactly on the day you think of sweating it out. Looks like a treacherous plan is constantly devised to ruin your exercise 🙂
But all around I see people slimming down except me and hubby…So where do they find time from? There is only one answer – DETERMINATION. These people are all determined to overcome all the destructive forces that may come into picture and do what they have decide to do. We all may be like that with certain things, but when it comes down to gymming, determination would be on the lower curve and everything else suddenly takes priority.
So the conclusion. The meagre chance for people like me to slim down – COMPULSION. Compulsion generated out of a different motive.  In my case, it was to save 50Rs a day….
Being on the plumpy edge, I always bothered but never tried to reduce that extra calories, until I became 65kgs after a Scotland Stint. Gained an incredible 8 kgs in 3 months. Came back to apna-des like a football. Fortunately office which was only 2 kms from home had changed its location to some remote area 20 kms, and metro was the only option. Station was a good 1.5kms from home. Auto charged 25Rs one way. I did not have the mind to spend a whole 50/- for auto everyday. So left without a choice, I walked both ways. 3 kms walk a day.Decent flight of stairs.Lot of energy spend to smash the crowd and get into a compartment 🙂 In 1 year, I was 48kgs for the first time in life after 6th std 🙂 Until daughter was 8 months (3 yrs after this huge reduction), i just happened to stay close to 50’s…And then resignation, followed by more time to cook and watch cookery shows and exhibit my love through cooking skills along with some of that baby fat, started showing the results soon. Back to 58 and now trying hard to maintain it there…
Hopefully things are falling in place again. I mean the compulsion part 🙂 The new job demands to take metro which is again a respectable 1.5kms from home. Fingers crossed!! I would be back in shape in another year…  🙂 🙂 This time the motive is to save 25AED a day. Shame on me!!
Work & Life

The DDL Badge!!

No No not DDLJ, its DDL . Dubai Driving License. Yes,I am a proud owner now and how? This is a story you would love 🙂

Well, You know about how I started driving in India – Necessity 🙂 Left without a choice. Thanks for husband who had to fly to Dubai immediately. This time too, he is the man behind the story. Until the beginning of last Dec,I had to do only one thing – Look after both my kids – One 33 yrs and the other 2 🙂 So life was smooth until ABC driving school came up with a 50% discount.So husband pushed me (almost dragged my lazy bone) into one of the most expensive and insurmountable  tasks in dubai – Owning a driving license. His confidence has to be appreciated.

And me,an average Indian driver, has no hopes of getting a license anywhere in the near future 🙂 I joined for the course in winter and expected to attain this badge by the end of summer (5 months = 5 road tests). And that was considered a high expectation. Problem – People (mostly Indians) , somehow manage a license in a minimum of 3 or more tries, no matter how good a driver, they are. When you tell someone that you have joined the course, they would play low and advise you to expect 3 or more failures in the initial attempts. Demotivating, but thats how it happens here.  There are even people who have gone to 10th and 12th trials.So I added 2 more to the normal tries, and prayed that I should pass atleast in the 5th attempt.

The institution was like going to school again.They would teach you from ABC – How to open bonnet, where is the indicator, which is break and so and so.

For every move there is a procedure. Here is how to change lanes – Step1:Scan your centre mirror. Step2: Put indicator Step3:Scan your rear mirrors. Step4:Check your shoulder Step5:Check centre mirror again Step6:Once you car is in the correct position, increase your speed, take the vehicle to the lane intended  Step7:Switch off the indicator. And any step you miss or mess with or change order of, you would fail. Hope you have a small picture as to why people fail so often.

And then the hurdles you have to overcome before the final test – Pass parking test first, then theory test, then assessment test and then the final road test. Each test you fail, there is so much of money involved to reappear for the tests, that people sometimes cant bare the expense.

So I had a huge responsibility – Get a Dubai Driving license!!!Finally I pass all the tests.With 2 weeks for the final, people give this whacky smile. “Well, you’ll see in the final. Dont mind me saying, but keep your hopes low…” And by that time, I had a job, had to give reason,seek permission and take a day off.I also will have to report back the status.So it was not just facing friends and relatives but also the boss who invariably wants detailed explanation on every single issue,…

And the D-day arrived…After two hours of waiting, 3 of us were called in.Fortunately the female instructor was off.Blessing in disguise. When god has proposed,who the hell can dispose?So the first lady takes it from the parking lot and forgets to stop in the first stop sign. With her fate was almost decided, he calls me in and I was happy to be the 2nd because no parking (where i am week at) required.But the second lady jumps in,and takes the seat.Then very confidently comments about how stupid others drive,how slow they are,how they do not follow the rules and so and so 😉 I think somebody had advised her that confidence creates an impression on the instructor. May she dint know that arrogance does the opposite.Well,then comes my name.

I get onto the seat,try to recollect the steps on how to start the car. Adjust the mirrors,adjust the mirrors,adjust the mirrors……I couldnt bare the enormous amount of tension that had built in all the while..Well,I had gone blank.The instructor had started growling by then and i knew i had to start.With memory who had given upon me, INSTINCTS was the only friend to trust.And off we went.2 U turns,few lane changes,into the gallis,back to the driving school and to the parking lot.Parking is all I can remember now, and it was picture perfect!!He asked us to meet him in the room in 10 minutes and vanished.

Soon the other two ladies gets out.”Sorry dear.I think you loose”,says the second one.”You forgot so many rules”,says the first.”So I lost.No need to worry Zee. Better luck next time.It happens.Some days are not mine”,I tell myself.And they judged me on where I was wrong,what I could have done, that I wished  the 10 mins finished fast. So we went to the room.

“First lady”,he calls,”You missed the stop signs.You fail”.

“Second lady….”.

She jumps in”Pass right?”

“No.You fail.No proper U turn.Missed stop sign.Arrogant driving”.

She comes back and says”So all of us fail”…

“Third.Zeee”.I go with no enthusiasm”Congrats you pass”..He hands over the paper and walks away.Fully arabic.

“WHAT???I pass”

“WHAT???She passsed”… 🙂

I couldnt believe my ears or understand a word in the paper. I run to husband who was waiting.

“Sayf, they say I have passed”.

“WHAT???You passsed?Show the paper.S**t.Who will understand this?”So we run to the security.

“They say I have passed.Can you confirm please”.He confirms.

We still couldnt believe.So we go the counter to collect the license and confirm again”Yes congrats.She has passed”.

Husband calls his bro.”WHAT?She passed.Passed in first attempt.Dont joke give her the phone.hey congrats Zee.But you guys are not joking right?How did it happen?Good,you guys did not have to loose a lot of money”.

I smiled.It just happened.But I couldnt believe until they issued the license. And i do admit,I am not a great driver.You call me lucky,I would call me blessed.Told you right, if god proposes, who the hell can dispose? Good luck to all who are planning to appear for a license test.

Work & Life

30 and old????Naaa….

Remember Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S?He had a pact with god that he wouldn’t turn thirty.. 🙂

But 30 and old? Naaaa,Not anymore.. Well, 30 doesn’t look that old as I thought it would be. I just crossed that milestone and now I do not have worry about reaching 30 anymore…,

During college days, people who crossed 30 were looked upon as matured and grown up adults. OK..So I do not have to wait to be matured anymore 🙂 People normally do not agree that I am one..

A friend mentioned that am ageing gracefully.So I just went back to those old snaps with him (more than a decade old),compared it with recent ones,and yes, I do look a lot better…

This epic birthday was one of the most wonderful days I ever had, or even thought I would have – Desert Safari, dune bashing, sand boarding (which I was terrible at) and just when I thought it coudnt get any better, she calls me on stage for a few minutes of belly dance.Turning 30 was fun. And who cares?Life is just the same,just like any other day.Afterall, 29 and 30 has just 1 year between them. So not that old am I 🙂 And if turning older can only bring me more birthdays like this.Then why worry?

Recently read that 30’s is the new 20’s. And 40’s is the new 30’s. So I still have TEN more years to reach there 🙂

The real fun is to see people drop their jaws when I say I am 30.So I talk my year out. While I enrolled for the driving lessons they were surprised to hear am married,even more surprised that I have a baby,totally wild when they knew she would be 2 soon,and couldnt help but be delirious when I wrote my age down. I absolutely, thoroughly, entirely, enjoyed the whole show and walked out of the institution wholeheartedly because I just turned 30. Yaaaay!!!!

Bro said that he was all bored seeing me in 20’s for last 10 yrs. Makes sense 🙂 And why not get prepared for the adventures of the next 10 years, 40 being the next milestone..The last 30 yrs did give you enough lessons to learn,so why not practice what you learned from?I am now officially grown up to advise juniors about my experiences of the past and write a book/blog on what i learnt in all these yrs 🙂

I love Pierce Brosnan when he said ” To my eye, women get sexier around 35. They know a thing or two, and knowledge is always alluring”… Another blog reads, “Now that I am 30,I can date women who are 40 and their daughters who are 20”. Sounds great..30 does add spice to life 😉 😉

Life has been good so far,and it can only be better in the years ahead. So getting old means getting BOLD.Wishing all who are 30 or more –  fantastic, fun filled years ahead. 30 something is not that big deal.Be grateful that you have had 30 yrs of life and god bless,we will live longer to see more of what we call LIFE..Its time to give yourself some more love and be who you are…

Oh!People in their 30’s needs to be relaxed.Why not a spa? Husband too agrees.  🙂 🙂 So old is gold.Wait!!Gone is gold,coming is Platinum.Please try hard and smile if you can.There I tried a poor PJ 😐

Marriage & Motherhood, Work & Life

My Best friend’s wedding

Am so happy and thrilled.My best friend is getting MARRIED.

Am slightly apprehensive too…My BEST FRIEND is getting married.

Here is my all time favorite friend,the one who respected me for the woman I am,..Here is the guy whose mere presence would make my smile wider,the guy who has been with me for almost a lifetime now.15 yrs would be too short to call as a lifetime relationship,but i am only 30 and he shared half of the life span 🙂 The best of those memories flash across when I scribble down this post. From the time we met, he has been there all throughout to make my life a pleasant journey. Without any second thoughts, I could run into him anytime,any weather to share the happiness,sorrow or even the silliest gossip. We devise crazy schemes, talk ultimate non sense, laugh at ourselves & others,fight on who looks older and would tolerate each other sing for hrs.. We are two extremely bad singers and so the degree of tolerance is a bit higher than it actually seems.And yes, all these yrs its me who needed him more than he did. And now its time to share him, a major part goes to her ofcourse 🙂

Am sure most of us would have had this phase at some point during our best friend’s wedding or a favorite cousins marriage or someone of that sort. I still remember him mentioning how sad he was, when he was happy about my marriage getting fixed after a lot of drama 🙂 Well that part was quite easier as husband grew fond of him.

So there I too am,…

Befriending someone has never been difficult so far 🙂 SO am hoping she would soon be my friend too. Sharing some lovely little secrets about him would do the task.I am good at that.If they had been anywhere closer,I would have invited them home already.Fingers crossed!!They would be able to pay us a visit soon.

But he is getting married,and it is for the good.Things will never be the same for us,and I have tuned into that music already.The fear is about feeling out of place next time I meet him.Fear is whether she would accept us the way we are.I do not like to be the pain on anyone’s ass for that matter.So if she will not be comfortable,I would have to put my foot down and step out of it. God forbid that wouldn’t happen,because…

…because we are meant to be together and now,we would rock with our families.Need to do some shopping now,for I have to be at my best while witnessing the most beautiful moment of his life.And now that am all geared up,I just hope the new job wouldn’t become another hurdle to attend the function that am eagerly looking forward to, for if I do he wouldn’t let me live to write another post 🙂 🙂

Work & Life

Honored again…

Priya has awarded me with an award for the dearest bloggers, Liebster blog award.

Liebster means “favourite” or “dearest” in German and by sharing this award with you, it means your blogs are my favourites. Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to her blog.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
3. Choose 5 bloggers to receive this award and let them know by commenting on their blog.
4. Hope they pass on the award to their favourite blogs.
5. Thank all those who follow your blog.

Here are my nominations:

Yasmeen, Aswathy, OMC, Shalini, Deeps

And like Cybernag said, “What goes around comes around”.

Thankyou Seena for tagging me the Versatile blogger award once again. Here are the list of random things

My thoughts & Interests, Work & Life

Kolaveri viral infects daughter

With this virus spreading far and wide, husband was enjoying different versions this morning and daughter dancing to the tunes. I was trying to force feed her (as usual) and she resisting (as usual) to her best. That’s when it struck how it would be if she had her version of this song, and here it is…

Hello Guys.. I am Singing Song..
Not so soup Song.. Flop Song..                                                       

Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?

Distance-la TV, TV
Me-u smiling white-tu
TV background amma, amma
Amma face-u black-ku
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?

I am playing with-u toys-u
Amma yelling sleep-u
Amma heart-u black-u black-u
My-u future dark-u..
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee?

Mole, Aa plate edutho..
Some more rice edutho..
Papa Papa Papa Papa Papa Papa vannallo..

Too much torture Papa..Ready 1,2,3,4
Ok papa.. Now tune Change-u..

Kaila Stick-u.. Only English..
Hand-la stick-u,Face-la spects-u
Papa very strict-u
Eat-u eat-u vegetables-u
No more cartoon-u

God-u God-u Oh My God-u
Help me somehow-u
Parents, Parents, Grand-u parents
I want you here now-u
I am dying for chocolate-u
Get me out of this place-u
This song for girls ‘n’ boys-u
We don’t have choice-u

Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Dee

Flop song..

I have recollected the lyrics from memory,but incase I have missed a para or few lines am sure you would excuse me 🙂 After all, daughter is only going to be two,and so she can miss one or two lines. Poor joke,eh? Never mind 🙂 🙂

And here is our favorite version of the soup song

Note: With the advise from a few fellow bloggers, I am reserving all copyrights of the above version of Kolaveri song.

My thoughts & Interests, Work & Life

Dealing with english accent…

With people from different countries residing together, English is the common language here.As long you do not know Arabic, Chinese, Philippini and the variety of Indian languages (Hindi/ Malayalam/ Telugu/ Tamil/ Bengali ….), you have to stick to English. Fortunately CUSAT has influenced my Hindi/Bengali skills. Needless to say, Chennai IT companies have brimfully brilliant Telugus,Tamil and mallus 🙂 🙂 So I can deal with Indian languages. But when the ones I meet do not know any of these as much as I do not know theirs, we choose English. The mother tongue influence on English would end up confusing most of the time.

After enrolling for driver’s license test, I had to clear a theory paper which wasn’t a big deal at all. Anyone would get through. So after the exam, I went to the invigilator to collect my result, and he said, “You fail”.WHAT??? No way. I look at him again and see an impatient him shouting, “You fail. Please collect your belongings and leave.Next in queue…”.I collect my mobile and then he hands over the result along with my file which says I have only 2 wrong answers, and I realize he said, “Your FILE”.What a relief..

Neighbour Egyptian anty is fond of Pari. She mixes Arabic and English together to help us understand better,but ahem… Being my mother’s age,we give her due respect and visit whenever possible. Pari is her adorable darling. During one such visits she asked “Ul-Zatayam baby crying, Why?”.I stood perplexed trying to figure out Ul-Zatayam, while her hands went round and round to comprehend, repeating “Ul-Zatayam,Ul-Zatayam”..  All the while at her home, I was trying to decipher Ul-Zatayam, when she asked, “How are your parents – Fazer,Mazer?”. So ‘Z’ was for ‘th’ and then it suddenly struck. Ul-Zatayam, Ul tha tayam – All the time. “All the time baby crying, why?”.Poor thing!!

So we have to learn and deal with not only British English and American English,but also Chinese English,Philippino English (though I cannot tell who belongs to which country,I can tell after they talk),Arabic English,Egyptian English,Turkish English etc etc… But that’s all fine. Mother tongue gets mixed up with foriegn languages.Natural.

But sometimes people create the fake English accent and totally twist my senses. Long back in mid 2005, when we were at Brighton, our team planned for a Swiss trip. Exactly on the day before the trip,London bomb blasts happened and therefore heavy police checking prevailed at all airports. After landing at —— airport, a police man asked my colleague why we were visiting Swiss, and my colleague answered with heavily accented English. “We are tourists, sir”. His Tamil and English emphasized the word ‘tourist’ too much that the police man asked again. “What terrorist?” :- ) 🙂 There stood our horrified colleague,but oh!! What a lovely joke it was for us. From then till now (6 yrs) he is been referred to as Terrorist 🙂 🙂

Work & Life

Packing and Moving…


is tough…. But am an experienced hand now. After shifting houses for the 5th time within 4 yrs of marriage, I can be certified so. However experience does’nt really matter.Hassles,stress and struggles are a part of house shifting. And Oh!I shouldn’t forget to mention that all shiftings were actually intended for my convenience.So noone to be blamed for.

Soon after marriage when I changed job, office was more than 20 kms from where we were put up and 4 hrs in travel through Chennai traffic was quite a waste of time. So we shifted.

Perfect,well furnished brand new house. Owner’s sister was our immediate neighbour and approachable. 6 months later, she told that her daughter is returning from the US and is looking for a house. I warned husband that we might be asked to shift any time from now. In another week, owner gave us a ‘generous’ 3 months notice period 🙂

We were lucky to have found a new home in the neighborhood and shifting was comparatively easier. After an year, I was about to leave home for delivery and there was a magnanimous 8 months maternity leave (blessed we were),so all my things were taken home and then back. It dint involve any furniture (luckily), but was quite a huge task. Ofcourse for my good.

Sayf came to Dubai in a couple of months and we were supposed to join him in 5 months. So in 5 months time, the whole house had to be shifted to Kerala with the exception of a few things that had to be shipped to Dubai. Two weeks and then everything to Dubai. For our better life,na? 🙂

Not even an year here. We have shifted again. Dubai demands that we should have a 2BHK to keep a full time maid. And why maid? Am joining work soon. Yaaay!! This shifting too was for my benefit. Noone can be blamed but some good things are always accompanied by a free gift – packing and moving 🙂 🙂 We are used to living in suitcases now.

Fingers crossed!! My new office wouldn’t be too far that we have to do this over.

Culture & Religion, Marriage & Motherhood, Work & Life

Parental Negligence

Last saturday started gloomy with the news of a blind 4 yr old who fell from the balcony and passed away later. His parents were away to drop their elder son at school. We had our own discussions,reasoning and conclusions about the incident and then went to a park nearby.

And there was an eyesore.To avoid all sorts of legal jargon I have hidden his face,the eyes of the little guy was exhausting though.

A little fellow,hardly 2 yrs,hanging on the swing and dozing off all alone. It was depressing.Reporting to the security would not help as the park was too large for his parents to find him. Unsure of what to do,we stood beside the swing that tilted one side as there was every chance he would fall down and get hurt.We were  monitoring, occasionally holding onto him, under the impression that the maid who brought him would be there soon.Parents can’t leave kids like that!!!

A small girl (about 5yrs)came at random,swayed him,but we couldn’t communicate to her properly.Aabout half an hour later,arrived a high school lad.After we explained he took the baby, who was still asleep and walked to a couple who was lavishly having their own time in the park. They were on a picnic, with all 6 children who were disbursed throughout the garden. Yes,I agree it is difficult to have our eyes on all the little ones all the time. But leaving a baby,all alone who wouldn’t even be able to tell someone why he was there or whom he came with, is not pardonable.Does it not show that you are interested in only making them and not raising them?

Which one do you think is a worse example of negligence? The grief brought by the loss of a child is beyond comparison.
It is important for parents to have their time, but will they be able to forgive themselves if something happens? Am not asking you to save the world or stop child abuse or halt child begging,…but only pleading you to be responsible for your own blood.

Leave the thought of daughter being left alone,I can’t even stand the sight of her with a scrapped knee,this being the most common.No,I am not over protective.Am only trying to be accountable.Till the time, she is able to come and tell me legibly what happened, I should stay vigilant,and if necessary even after that….