I am…

  • Trying not to take a nap, really not advisable since it’s already 4pm.
  • Re-reading the Adrian Mole series for the gazillionth time. Crazy how much I identify with a Middle England-er, who grew up in Thatcher era and is pedantic,anxious and fussy. And, he makes me laugh.
  • Thinking about making one-pot sambar rice for dinner.
  • Feeling slightly nauseated after having eaten two chocolate chip cookies
  • Relieved that I’ve gotten paid for two stories. Still far from having the bank balance I would like, but feels good to see some money in my account.
  • Reminding self not to spend a significant amount of said money on books and to finish reading the ones I have.
  • Dreaming about a jaunt across Europe — museums, cafes and lovely parks.
  • Telling myself to stop day dreaming and to go bring the clothes in as it looks like rain.
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Weather gods confused

Supposed to be summer in Hyderabad. Days of searing heat, dryness and feeling like your face is going to burst into a ball of flames. We had a couple of days of that here and then it started to pour. Hailstorms, wind, thunder and rains causes the temperature to drastically drop. I woke up this morning to an overcast and cold day (18 degrees centigrade!). I’m not complaining. Just wondering how long it will last and what the hell is going on with the weather.

Writer’s Block

I have to work on a small feature story but I just can’t seem to get into the mood to write. I have all the information collected and got the required quotes from the experts, but when it comes to putting it all together and writing it, my mind goes blank. I can’t find the words, the sentences I construct are boring and I just want to close the Word document.

Instead of writing the piece I am watching episodes of ‘The Office’. Intermittently, I open the Word doc and stare at what I have typed already. So far, I have added a sentence here and there and come up with a heading for the story. At this rate I will finish a 500 word piece in about a week.

I hope for a creative surge which will get me to write the story in one go and be done with it. Till then, this is how i’ll have to get by.

Saturday

This could turn out to be a good day, I think. I sit on the sofa reading ‘Death Comes to Pemberly’, while the husband makes pancakes for breakfast.

The day stretches ahead of me and I don’t mind waiting for the coffee decoction to trickle down the filter slowly. Nothing like the smell of freshly brewed filter coffee in the morning. I can even hear the sparrows chirping outside the window.

And then C turns on the television and puts on the news. Shouting anchors, put-upon guests and a stream of idiotic advertisements every 30 seconds fills the room. There goes the peace.

Resolutions 2015

I am back and it feels apt to start with a post on my resolutions for 2015. Can I just say, how did it already get to be the year 2015?! I read this post somewhere that we are as far from the year 2030 as we are to the year 2000– it’s a pretty obvious mathematical conclusion, but it still freaked me out.

I know I am a little late when it comes to listing my resolutions for the New Year, but we are still in the month of January, so I think I’m okay.

Here goes:

1. Blog more and regularly. Considering my last post was months ago, this has to be my top resolution for the year. I need to make writing a habit, since freelance work doesn’t come by all the time blogging will also serve as an easy way to keep up with my writing and as an outlet for my angst as well.

2. Be  positive. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a bit of a ‘negative Nancy’. I always expect the worst to happen, and worrying is second-nature to me. Somewhere I believe that if I expect the worst to happen, then I will always be prepared and more-often-than-not things won’t be as bad as I imagined. I know this is unhealthy and I am putting myself and the people around me under a lot of stress. I need to be calmer and identify and stop myself if I’m getting into one of my pessimistic moods.

3. Be healthy. I am clubbing together the cliche resolutions of working out more and eating well here. Though, I am happy to report that I have been following these two religiously for the past two weeks. I workout for 45-60 minutes a day/ 6 days a week, I am doing this to get fit and strong, more than to lose weight (though I wouldn’t complain if I did lose a ton of weight). Also, most nights I don’t have carbs for dinner. I am eating more vegetables and fruits and cutting back on sugar. It has only been a couple of weeks but I am being positive about these new lifestyle changes (that’s a check for resolution number 2).

4. Be less bitchy and gossipy. I love gossip, I enjoy hearing it, analysing it and invariably sharing it. I know this is very, very wrong. Who know’s what the subject of the gossip is going through or dealing with? I am going to try to be more empathetic and less judgmental. And shall not indulge in negative gossip.

5. Be patient. I have to stop skipping ahead to the end of the book I am reading to see what happens. I have this bad habit of sneaking to the last pages of a book to see who the killer is, or who dies, or if people end up living happily ever after. I need to stop doing that and learn to go with the flow. This might be the hardest resolution to keep!

6. Be more connected to family and friends. I am part of whatsapp groups with most of my close family and friends. But it’s sort of a cop-out. Sending random updates and sharing videos of cute puppies, links to articles and pictures from this-or-that party doesn’t really provide insight into what is happening in said friend or relative’s life. I am going to make more of an effort to call/skype/facetime with my loved ones and have actual conversations with them in the New Year.

7. Be less controlling. I like to control plans, people, situations and I get very emotional if things don’t go exactly the way I would like them to. In the process I never enjoy the moment and I end up being a ball of stress. I will learn to let go. To let people be. And to sit back and be in the moment.

Wish me luck!

Being an adult

Growing up my younger sister, younger brother and I were brought up with the strong message that it was our duty to learn as much as we could, study hard and get a good education and then job so that we would always be able to stand on our own feet.

Our time was spent going to school and tuitions, reading and classes like dance/music ( which never stuck). We were never forced to do anything, we were never expected to get the highest grade, but we had to do reasonably well. We were lucky enough to have plenty of help at home, so I don’t remember ever setting foot in the kitchen except to maybe bake a cake or try cooking something exotic I read about in a magazine. My mother spent most of her time reading and because of her we all became avid readers, we thought our time better spent reading than worrying about the laundry or cleaning. I had a fortunate childhood, thanks to my parents. But in many ways I was ill prepared to face the world as an adult. I was too wrapped up in books, I didn’t know how to cook or keep a home, I couldn’t drive or deal with most people.

My first job took me away from home, but I was lucky that my flatmate was like-minded. We learnt together when it came to paying our rent, going to the bank, dealing with the help and public transport. But the fact that we were so alike, meant that most evenings we would be reading or watching TV shows and would order in food instead of cooking. We would let the help get away with not showing up for work, and we never bothered making the flat, we shared, into a home. But we were happy, independent for the most part and doing things that interested us.

Then I got married. My husband is a good man, doesn’t expect me to be the one to keep home and cook, and supports my writing career ( I use the work career in it’s loosest possible sense). But as I freelance, work from home and make pittance it does fall into my lap the task of managing the help, cooking dinners and making sure the house is clean. I try to cook dinner around four nights a week, I have prettified the house, I make sure everything is reasonably neat. But I constantly feel like I am falling short, especially when I meet other wives who are doing DIY decor projects and setting up little gardens on their balconies. I can’t even claim that my job keeps me too busy from getting more involved and doing more around the house. I would love to have a pretty garden or to be able to cook gourmet meals every night, but the fact is I don’t enjoy the process. And for all the books I have read and education that I have had I am lost in the real world.

I get bored when the conversation steers towards where to buy curtains and what chillies should be used to make a particular dish. I wish I could be interested, because it is important to know these things and to make the effort. I worry that I am not pulling my weight in the relationship. And worst of all I am not independent financially, which was the one thing my father stressed the importance of.
So I start questioning what my purpose is in this world? I am not the independent and successful woman I was brought up to be and I am not the happy home maker I have the opportunity of now becoming. And I don’t know if I want to be either. Being an adult is confusing.

Dust

It is everywhere. A film of dust settles on everything — the tv screen, the dining room table and even the mesh on the windows. I wipe a surface clean and barely a minute later the dust has returned to form a blanket. Dusting in Hyderabad seems to be an exercise in futility, and I try not to jump up every time I see a bit of dust. ‘I will not dust more than once a day,’ I tell myself. But the sight of it niggles and I am up and about dusting again. The dust is even in the cloth I use to clean, it is everywhere. I lay my phone down on the table for a few minutes and the clean black screen is layered with a fine powdery dust.

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the dust, wondering how much sand it consists of and how much of it is dead skin cells? This thought makes me slightly ill. I talk about the dust with other people I know in the city and we discuss how the aridness and dryness of the area makes everything dusty. When I am eating or drinking water I feel the dust at the back of my tongue, in my throat. This could just be my imagination but it feels slightly prickly and seems to dry out my mouth, I have taken to drinking water constantly throughout the day. 

I draw the curtains so that I can’t see the dust on the corner of the coffee table or on the books that line the shelves. I long for humidity, I long for rain– anything to wash the dust away.