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 😐

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 🙂 🙂

Are you beautiful?


If you think you are not beautiful, this is the post for you…

If you think you are, you may pls read ahead and see if you would agree…

This is me.

Looks – Average

Colour – Average

Height/Weight – Average

Nose – Blund

Smile – Almost 70mm. Meets my ears 🙂

Eyes – Sorta pretty

Hair – Read here!!

Yeah!!So that was a fact.I did not have the image of ideal looks. But the standard of beauty are limited to a perfect blend of skin tone, features and figure. Girls who were blessed with them were popular, and I had to get adjusted to the fact. Mmmm..I wasn’t really happy but then got along with the rest of the crowd.”All of us cant be beautiful!!”,they said. Like-mided people.So we all got used to the fact.. Had to.

I was a little better than some, luckier I should say – for two features stood out on my otherwise ordinary face. Eyes and the hair. I had friends, abundance of them.. “If someone falls for you, it would be for your eyes or hair”,I often heard them say 🙂 🙂 How I yearned if somebody did.. Nothing happened..

And eventually, after a span of 6 yrs, the time came and he was on his knees. I asked, “So what made you like me?”. Just like the others, I expected him to repeat those comments. The answer came, “Your smile”. I was taken aback. That wasn’t one of the best features. Not even close. Astonished I asked Why. “Because it is so YOU“…

It did make sense!!And that’s why the word says, “BE-YOU-tiful“!!

This post is dedicated to the love of my life – the man who taught me how to enjoy life and enrich life from what you’ve got inside,how important it is to love your life and live your life,to make it beautiful.

There are no more worries about the day when my smile contorts my wrinkled face and saggy skin, for I know (God willing) he would still be there…

Some joys are better expressed in silence, as a smile holds more meaning than words. I was once asked if I enjoy having him in my life, and I just smiled 🙂 🙂 🙂

Challenges of having a lovable husband


There are only two days of the year when my brain works hard. I buy advises, dig the ground, seed imagination, plow the land and reap creativity for these 2 important days – Sep 9 and Nov 14, for that’s when our anniversary and Sayf’s birthday falls respectively.

The reason for this hard labor – I prefer personalized gifts.

My definition of personalized gift – Carefully chosen, crafted with passion, woven with lots of love,.. It should conquer the heart like ‘love-at-first-sight’. It should take them down the memory lane to the beautiful moments of our togetherness. It should create a moment of a special happiness that should drive them to a state of adulation. They should love to recollect it again and again. It should be the first of its kind that they receive :-). Tough!! But I managed to succeed so far.

There are a few complications with these personalized gifts.

1)Dissatisfaction!!!. Lot of hard work has to be put in to evolve a crude idea into reality. And me, a lazy-bum, drags it to the last-minute, under the name of improvising the gift and sometimes contriving a better one. Then after lot of running around, I somehow manage one which will look fantastic to Sayf, but I would still know that a little more of hard work would have made it look better.

2)Surprising him!! Acting as though am not even aware about the importance of the day ahead and still coming up with something really worth the wait. First part was tough for me as I did not use to drive then. I always had to take half day off from office, depend on autos and local trains for conveyance to manage the gift and fabricate a convincing story for being late to home that does not kindle the slightest doubt 🙂 This is not a problem anymore as my car has covered up my conveyance troubles and Sayf is at Dubai. Yet I had to be careful during the phone calls. My excitement sometimes lands me in major troubles.

3)Time!! With the daily chorus at home and office, I hardly found time to materialise or rather personalize the gift 🙂 And of late, Pari and her insomnia has added a lot of weight to this one.

4)Expectation! Compose one better than the pervious one.

5) This is the primary problem. SAYF!! The title of the blog should have rather been ‘challenges of having a husband with a sharp memory’ 😉 Honestly, am bad with dates. Besides, am rarely exposed to men who are good with dates:-):-) Even today, Nov12, my mother complained that I forgot her birthday. OK!!This is not the first time 🙂

Sayf is a package of surprises!!

On my very first birthday (Jan 9, ’08) that fell soon after our wedding, he had planned a treasure hunt at home. I had good fun tracking down those hidden little surprises. And then came a candle light dinner at Tangerine, a speciality restaurant at chennai. Their death-by-chocolate is amazing.

The first Valientines day (Feb 14, ’08), he contacted a colleague of mine, who decorated my cabin beautifully with his gifts, cards, little red hearts and what not. I was taken aback and embarrassed a little bit!! Ghee!! Let me admit. Not only that am bad with dates, but I have a poor memory also.. So valentines day also had to be remembered and celebrated.

Furthermore, I had a hard time fixing my fragmented heart after he introduced the concept of halfivesary (Half anniversary – 6 months after the wedding) into my life. He had planned a ride to Mayajaal multiplex on our brand new Avenger. Avenger was the surprise element. Its been 3 yrs of wedlock, 3 halfiversary’s passed, and I still have not remembered even a single time that it was Mar 9th. Shame on me!! Hope I would remember at least  the one on 2011.. Am happy to celebrate life, Am happy he gives me so much importance, but the pressure that I can’t gift him better. That’s what pricks.

And then came the first anniversary – Sep 9,’08. This time I had to get ready, for all I gave till then was a black forest cake during his birthday soon after the wedding – Nov 14, ’07 and a ring on valentine’s day. How I wish if his birthday had fallen after mine. At least I would have an idea how to celebrate it 🙂 So I planned for a surprise dinner. Hurried to spencer plaza, got a few perfume candles, a few archie’s stuffs, and when Sayf came home, there were candles everywhere, a baked chocolate cake, a few I-Love-You teddy bears etc etc. But needless to mention, my gifts always get dissolved. Sayf took out a Swarovski jewel set. Beautiful they were!! But before I could digest the beauty of the gift, along came the next news – A week at Shimla, Kulu, Manali. What a big scene I had to create at office to take that 1 week vacation 🙂 🙂

Earnestly, I cant remember what I gifted him on his 2nd bday, but I got a gorgeous Tanishq jewel set on mine. Oh!!I remember now.. A few poems were written as a tribute and presented 🙂 Personalized!!

2nd anniversary was carefully planned. Running on my second trimester, a last-minute mess was impossible. So I had a hand crafted book, with poems, writings and photos that covered our eventful 2 yrs.

Currently with 3 birthday’s, 3 valentines days and 3 halfiversaries post marriage,…and am plush with gorgeous jewel sets, elegant salwars, a whole collection of Calvin and Hobbes, a digital photo frame and lots more which my poor memory does not assist to recollect. All in the luxury of his love 🙂 And I appreciate his efforts behind the gifts. He captures those small things that we may casually mention during a normal conversation and makes a gift out of that.

5)This is the latest one. Distance!! How to ship it to Dubai?????

And now that Nov 14th is just a few days away, I was trying to do some online shopping. Most of the US sites does not ship gifts to Dubai. But a friend of mine, suggested www.cafepress.com. You should try this one. You can print photos, designs and tattoos on an umpteen range of gifts – T-shirts,buttons,magnets,mouse pads, even iphone cases and ship them to almost anywhere in the world. You can even start an online store of your own for free and earn commission. Have a look at mine – http://www.cafepress.com/Zradar

There are a few desi versions too. www.dilsebol.com and www.zoomin.com. Zoomin is my personal fav with a lot of in-built features.

However, none of them satisfied my definition of personalized gifts. But the word ‘personalize‘ was attractive. Presently Sayf has started with gym, so I decided to personalize a gym bag. This guy is a big foodie. One of his favorite jobs would be to replace foodie in NDTV Goodtimes. Here is the design which I created (personally created implies personalized gift 🙂 :-)) and gave for printing. Hope it reaches him on time. 

Dealing with ‘N’ Laws


”Moluuu”… In our custom, ‘Molu’ is a real sweet way of addressing a girl of your daughter’s age. But the minute my mother-in-law calls me this way, I get a lot of “What next?,” Why me?” thoughts. Being blessed with a homely face (Looks are sometimes deceptive),I managed so long.

A friend of mine called yesterday and grieved about the way Mrs.MIL spoiled her weekend plans. The same is the case with me too. But how can the same her or me be happy, when our parents drop in for a weekend, though weekend plans are spoiled? Because parents love you, no matter what you do. You are free to do whatever you want. In-laws are not bound to love you, no matter whatever you do. They are ‘different’. They may accept you, they may not. They may love you, they may not. Their opinion on you keeps changing according to what you do and they judge on all that you do. Most importantly they may not believe in you always.

When you marry someone, you actually marry their family too. Maintaining harmony in the new family may not be easy.  Like someone said, when you choose to stick to your husband, you are stuck with your in-laws too.

I often wonder why the world is designed for the girl to stay at the guys’. If the couple could remain at her parents’ then the would have been a peaceful place. Now that the world is not so, you have to deal with them. And yes, dealing with ‘N’ laws is tough, tactical and tricky.

Me and Sayf are a team, who lets only the most necessary things flow to the  in-laws on both sides. We let them pour their opinions into only what is necessary. We stick to our decisions as long as a real valid reason does not come from either sides, but we do listen to them, appreciate them and at the same time convince them on why we chose to be so. They might not be happy, but at least the ‘she came and took my son away’ feeling will not be there.

Even when I have a real busy schedule at work, I make sure to give them a call at least twice a week. I may not call my parents that frequent, because they do not mind calling this side without complaints. My mobile alerts me incase I forget 🙂 I don’t miss a chance to shop, dine out or sometimes gossip (carefully of course) with my in-laws. I make sure to spend quality time with them when I visit them. A little effort, a little attention from my side, make my in-laws feel that I care for them.

MIL’s  may  usually be over dominating or over sentimental, but with good motives. And as long as I can find that element alive inside her, I can move along with her. They would also be experts with words and tears. When words does not work, they switch to tears, and tears works wonders 🙂 Mine does a lot of emotional black mailing, but I have cleverly developed the act of sincerely listening to everything that she puts across. She is pleased that I do so. But this is not an easy task because you will have to patient enough to hear the same story of “How people used to admire the MIL when she was young”, “How fair she used to be once”, “How her handsome son ended up marrying the me-with-ordinary-looks”, ”Why her daughter could not get a nice MIL as her”, and similar stories over and over.

Point to be noted is that a little observation helps you understand what your  mother in law actually needs from you. If you can’t give the whole cake, give at least a fairly big piece.

It is difficult to talk things straight to the in-laws because we treat them as respectful elders. But you can always speak your mind out to your husband or a very good friend. The minute you share it with another daughter-in-law of hers’, double trouble. She may have tons of her own versions to share and the conversations would eventually lead to the MIL being an ultimate villainess. However if you choose to share it with your husband, please don’t make him chose between you and her. It’s not your way or the highway. She, who has been in his life for a much longer time than you, definitely has a say.

Most of the MILs keeps reign their kitchen. At least mine does so. But only when am at Shebis’. She shoo’s me off from the kitchen and still complain on my ability to handle things on my own. So when she comes to Chennai, I get ready for the in-law invasion 🙂 Prepare menu for the whole week, show her how I manage my home and plan for the weekends. I think she is quite convinced, but she never admits. “My poor son doesn’t get to eat enough” and “I don’t know how he will survive” and “You should see how well my daughter does things” and blah blah blah. Looks like see gets some sadistic pleasure on acclaiming that her daughter is better than her daughter in-laws.

There are obvious times when you will have to really bite your teeth so hard to make sure that your tongue does not move over her protracted whining, esp. in the issues that involve people at my home.

So the most important of all. Follow the two mantras – S-M-I-L-E and I-G-N-O-R-E. If you can’t smile, at least ignore. So now a days whenever she makes unnecessary issues, I just do that. After all, she is the reason for me to have a lovable husband.

With all of the above and more, I still think most of them are harmless. When people get aged, they think different. Most of them feel that they will be left out by their children after marriage. They too would be anxious about the girl who steps into the family as much as your parents are. Like the girls, they also try to find a place in their son’s new life. While doing so, they annoy us but I think it is driven out of love.

As Dr Rebecca Liswood who founded the marriage counselling service in New York puts it, “Sudden love rarely binds the two most important women in a man’s life. But you can slowly evolve into good friends and well-wishers.”

At least give it a chance.

The best thing about marriage!!


“What is the best thing about getting married?”. It was my boss. My marriage was just two weeks old, I blankly smiled at him and said that incoming salary will get doubled. All I wanted was to skip the subject. Ofcourse I was a happily married wife then, but because I did not know what was ‘good’ about marriage, the ‘best’ seemed to be too far to comment on.

“There isn’t anything best about getting married”, I used to think, “except for the initial excitement”. I was quite a pessimist then, esp. when it came to delicate subjects like married life. Hardly have I come across successful married lives, so I couldn’t expect something different to happen for me.

I was not quite interested in marriage. First of all that was the question everyone asked me after my graduation and I found nothing wrong in not getting married. I could not absorb the concept of trusting a stranger, and spending a lifetime with him. Second of all, I was quite happy with my life, my job and my friends around. I did not have a reason to get married. It was another tiresome ritual for me. Yeah!! Its true that there were times I used to feel a bit upset for nothing happening in my life, but they were all momentary. As soon as a favorite friend of mine drops in, I would be back to the cheerful girl. I was just trying to convince myself that I can happily go on like this, as long as my friends are around. There was always a question of how long they could find time for me, but I tried not to worry about that. Moreover, I tried to be my best with my present, rather than waiting for an uncertain ‘married-future’. Marriage, according to me, was the end of ‘my-self’, all my friends, living for an ‘us’, happily (at least pretending to be happy) accepting all the responsibilities, getting myself prepared to be questioned and being ready with answers for all my actions. So like the ‘girls’ of today, I stopped worrying about marriage, stopped dreaming about my partner, and got ready to accept anything that was coming along my way. Proposals were flooding in, but nothing really worked out. And me? I relaxed. The later, the better!!!

On the other side, there was a ‘vulnerable’ me. I was getting tired of the process too, and was even doubtful if there was something wrong with me. In course of time (over 4 yrs), I had almost developed a frozen feeling about all these ‘so-called-rituals’. Huh!! I hated them. Esp, when I had to travel all the way from Chennai to Kochi (almost 12-14 hrs) every two weeks, just to smile at one guy after another and to finally hear them saying ‘No’, I hated all of it. But then, I could not deny coming home. My parents had put in so much effort for all these. For their sake, I should. So now ‘getting married’ had become a responsibility. Needless to mention, I hated it to the core. But according to Kerala Muslim records, 25 yrs was too old and that raised too much of tension at home. It was as though, everyone wanted to get me married off. It was even worser, when I decided to go ahead with whatever they said. I did have a choice. My voice was always heard, unlike other muslim families, but I was too tired to raise my voice. I somehow wanted to get married and finish this off, whatever it be.

It was with this confused mindset, that I met Sayf. I was at a very comfortable zone, as soon as he opened the topic. I don’t really remember what we talked, but I enjoyed the friendly conversation. Like any other ‘pennukaanal’, I gave my parents a nod. Definitely, I had decided not to say a ‘No’, much much earlier than this. But unlike any other proposals, we got engaged in a couple of weeks. Wow!! I was engaged now and had 2 months for the wedding. Sayf had done a lot of lovely things. I enjoyed all of it, but inside I feared if it will last only till marriage. I tried my best to be myself, but I dint know whether the Sayf was. I feared the happiness might not last longer, so I tried to enjoy all of it to the best.

The first few weeks after marriage, I wondered if someone could be like him. The next few weeks, I began to admire him. The next, I tried to impress him. We had grown too close in no time. He had gained my trust in a few weeks. Now, as we crossed 3 years months of married life, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have started believing that good things can happen to me too. Nothing has really change after marriage. We are still the same two individuals who met on June’07. Am still in touch with all my favourite friends, am living life my own way, because Sayf has just become a part of me. And now, I realize that marriage is about someone whom you can call your OWN. It is about, making your life better. I would have never known life could be lived in a much much better way than it used to be, if I had not married Sayf. It is about, rushing everything @ office at a haste, and to run to the one waiting for you. It is about enjoying the feeling that someone really care for you. I do not worry about married life now, because Sayf is not a stranger anymore. For that matter, he never was. It is the pessimist inside who insisted to believe that nothing good can happen to me. Sayf is my luck, my belief, my trust and every moment of our togetherness matters to me a lot. His very looks, touch, words,… has all made a difference. He has taught me how to love, and he has helped to know how it is like to be loved. I feel on the top of the world, when he says am beautiful. And I will long every moment, to hear him say he loves me… I cant really explain the reason to get married, but my marriage has given me a reason to live …

Sayf,
Life may have a lot of surprises for us in the years to come. Our lives may change with seasons, but please know that no mater what happens, I will always be there by your side. And now I know what the best thing about my marriage is.. Its you Sayf.. You are the best that could have ever happened to me. Just hold me close to your heart, as close as you can, all throughout and that is all I need to live….