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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2013, the year that was

Luckily, I have been blessed with an amazing understanding set of friends who have been my rock, pillar and much more..  They are always there, to pat me on my back, slap me, knock some sense when am upset or hold me when I crumble.. 

Rewind....Happy new year 2013 -- I welcomed 2013 from a friend's house, an evening that had me visiting quite a few friends, some of who were visiting from abroad. We celebrated a friend's niece's birthday with pani puri and bhel puri, cake and ice cream. We stayed up late into the night wishing others, and chatting away, sharing our plans for the year that came therein.... We knew 2013 was going to be good.. Now when I look back, it was a mixed bag of a year [I guess every year is the same] :)

Dealing with those who have passed on -- April brought with it painful memories.. My aunt had passed away in April 2 yrs ago and we were still reeling from it.. An uncle who wandered aimlessly, not being able to deal with living alone in a home he had shared with his wife for nearly 30 years... We all feel so helpless and lost, we miss her terribly as well.. There were many others who passed away this year, some after years of suffering and some with none... 

Movies: This is the year that I started watching Malayalam movies. All thanks to the new group of friends, I was introduced some of the finest movies- Ustad Hotel, Amen, 5 sundarikal, Arikil oraal to name a few. I have watched in all nearly 12-14 movies and do believe in this a state that make some brilliant movies! The latest being Drishyam [which was absolutely brilliant]. I have also received quite a few recommendation fom friend and the movie group am part of.

Apart from this, 2013 was when I actually managed to do justice to the International Film fest that happened in the city in Dec. Not only did I register, get a pass, but ended up watching about 14movies! not bad for 6days :D And what is more, this got me featured in a newspaper article on Art Appreciation [read article here]

Taking the leap: After all the years of ranting and venting out, I finally did it in 2013. I took the leap and flew forward landing safe on the ground. I moved out of my grandparents house and into a rented apartment. I had been on the hunt for nearly a year, but I guess some things are meant to happen when they do. My BFF was moving to Bombay and that is when I decided "I am gonna ask her and move into her apartment". I did just that and lo behold, it has been 7months as on date! Yayy for me :) I am now so much more at peace [with myself and the world]. The joy of having your own space is so liberating. It is not just about the physical space, it is the emotional & mental space.. Did take my family a while to grapple with this reality and now they are ok [either have accepted or made peace with my decision].. I miss Floppy the most, do spend lotsa time with him everytime I head to Chetpet. I am loving this phase, where I have friends visiting, some randomly dropping by, some coming over to vent, and some who use my home as their "space" when they need to get out.. 

Travel : I dint travel too much in 2013, but I did do a few good memorable trips. Starting with the one to Kochi to surprise my friend for her birthday, Jaipur with a friend and then ofcourse the cherry on the cake was Amritsar with friends.. Am hoping this year is better, well I have managed to getaway every weekend so far and have plans for the next 2 as well and then some more. There are a few destinations that have been on my list way too long [am going to make them happen in 2014]  

Reading: I read nearly 84 books [ if not more] in 2013. And this year I am hoping for a lot more, especially since I have received quite a few books from friends and publishing houses. So far, I have completed 7 books :-) 

Health: It is slow but I can see progress and this keeps me going! Since am doing the cooking, I know what am eating and it helps :) 

Here's to a great 2014 for me and all of you!! 

This Monday.. Hidden dreams.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Food at the sound of the bell

Just back from a tiring 3 day trip to Jaipur and Ajmer, the last thing on my mind is to get into the kitchen and whip up some dinner for us all. Actually, none of us have any energy left in us to chop, cook and clean up. One of my friends sugests take away. But then comes the debate of who wants what, one wants chinese, the other something light and one more wants North Indian comfort food. Gah... I ask them all to give me a minute of peace and quiet while I gather my thoughts and then it was agreed, we would all go for simple North Indian food that evening.. 

That is when I have a light bulb moment. I pick up my phone and go to the Foodpanda app, browse through the restaurants around the area "sarvodaya enclave". Instantly, a whole list of places that are open and available around the area pop up. From there, it takes me no more than 2minutes to pick the restaurant, order the dishes and sit back waiting for the door bell to ring. 

Informing my friends to wake me up when the doorbell rings I decide to take a nap [ha, in my dreams]. The gang wanted to know about the food. I told them I had placed the order. They would not believe me since I dint speak to anyone, nor did I rant out a list of items we wanted. I showed them my phone, the app and the Foodpanda website.. One of them still stared clueless, so I took her through the ordering process- how when you open the site, you key in the city and locality for it to shoot out suggestions. And from the list, I chose the restaurant, then the dishes, and finally logged in to my account to complete the process. Phew!! it took me longer to convince them than it did to place the order :D  

Oh, a special mention to their Live chat, I was stumbling when I tried to complete the order and that is when I noticed their Live chat feature, clicked on it and within seconds there was someone guiding me through the process.. beautiful stuff.. 

By the time I was done answering their questions about order, payment and delivery, the doorbell chimed and our food had arrived. Foodpanda is a cool site that lets us order food from the comfort of our home or just about anywhere. I have also placed orders while sitting in the cinema theaters so that food arrives just as I get home, nice and hot, neatly packed.What is more, you can either pay online or do it at the time of delivery! Next time you are stuck in a meeting and hear the tummy growl, pick out your phone, place the order and get ready to dive into hot food as you step out of the meeting! And if you are one of those who just cant decide on the restaurant, simply choose your favorite cuisine and let the site give you options!! Yayy to those crazy days when you are hungry but dont know what you want... 

And if you were to check out their site, there is a whole section that shows off the various deals and offers across restaurants. 

If you live in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Pune, Gurgaon, Noida, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, or Mohali  then you should check them out. A little birdie tells me they are soon coming to other cities as well.. Awesome!! 

Ah, sooper, I see you are already getting ready to download the app.. Got an Android or iOS phone- you go get it!! ;)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013- The year that was

Well, yes I do know it is a cliched post that pretty much everyone is doing! I deliberated over it for a few days, started writing it on 30th Jan and then abandoned it only to resume today.  I want to share all that has happened in the year that went by, both in my personal life and generally in our country.. :-) 

Like every other year, this year too began on a high note with great expectations and dreams. Before I knew it, the days flew by and it was December.. There were the days when I felt awesome, on top of the world and those where I was low and down in the dumps! 

Uttarakand Floods- There have been so many natural disasters our country has been through, but this was quite a shocker this year. The entire region was plunged under water, the land of the Shiva as it is referred to nearly submerged, houses broken, roads washed away, people left homeless... How heart wrenching simply thinking about it. A friend of mine was part of a team that went to this area and spent a few days there, helping people and doing what best she could. 

A girl who flared off some reaction- Nirbhaya aka Jyothi– Women travelling alone, women living alone, women out on the streets- are they safe was the only question in everyone's mind. NO thanks to the gang that brutally raped a girl, tortured her and her friend, all of which led to her death. It is what made the people of the country stand up for women safety and enraged people all over.  We also now have the mobile app VithU which promises to be a solution to help girls who are out alone and in danger!! 

Arushi Murder case-- This is a case that took so many twists and turns that it left us all puzzled. The teenage girl along with their housekeeper were brutally murdered, and everyone under the roof was a suspect. After months of investigation, it was finally declared that the parents are the culprits and they have been locked away. I still  ponder if this is true and if yes, what was their reason, where they both involved, why and how could parents kill their own child.. RIP Arushi... 

Movie industry underwent a small transformation-  Both the Kollywood and Bollywood movie makers paused for a bit and decided to make a few movies that were offbeat. They deviated from the usual drunk, heart broken, masala genre and made some interesting ones. Lunch Box, The Ship of Theseus, Neram, Soodhu Kavvum to name a few. It goes to show that you dont need a big star cast or elaborate plots to keep the audience engaged. This does not mean the Aarambham, Endrendrum Punnagai and Ram leela are forgiven... 

Tehelka crash boom bang- Who would have thought Tarun Tejpal would fall like this. Just reading about all that he did and how things took a turn makes one want to spit in disgust. Why cant men [like him] keep their hands in their pockets and their manners on their shoulder. Yuck!!

Launch of Mangalyaan- Cruising at 32km per second, the Indian spacecraft to Mars is now in the sun's orbit on its way towards the red planet after leaving earth's gravity early Sunday, making India the first Asian country and fourth in the world to leap into interplanetary space. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan as it is called is a Mars orbiter launched into the Earth orbit on 5th November by ISRO.  It is infact India's 1st interplanetary mission and, if successful, ISRO would be the 4th space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and European Space Agency.

Section 377 - Oh welll, so much for living in a free country!! On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled homosexuality to be a criminal offence setting aside the 2009 judgement given by the Delhi High Court... But what was surprising and good to see was that many actually came out of their closets post this verdict. A friend announced to the world of his homosexuality through a beautiful note on FB.. He speaks in length about his experiences, what he went through and some of the silly questions he was asked! I dont understand why the Govt should even be involved in matters such as these, which are personal preferences.. 

Aam Admi party- Literally translated to "Common Man Party", it was a political party that was launched in Nov 2012.  Born due to the major differences between Anna Hazare & Arvind Kejriwal, this party had me curious [I am someone who has zero interest in politics]. This was a party that was all set to make a difference in our country.  Today's news says they have won in Delhi... Here's to a better India in 2014 [fingers & toes crossed]

Auto Meter in Chennai- After years of shelling out 100s and 200s, yielding to the demands of the auto drivers, we finally have a thing called "Meter" in our autos. Yes, there are a few who still demand, but 90% of the autos ply based on the meter. And I have come to say gazillion bucks thanks to this, no jokes! For the 1st 2kms it is Rs25 and others it is Rs12, which is still high but makes a world of difference to us who use the autos often!! 

Pavement shops gone in Pondy Bazaar- I know it is not big news, but it is to us Chennaites. These small stores  were strewn all through the pavement in Pondy bazaar, and now they are all gone. New tiles have been laid which makes it such a pleasure walking along these roads. Flower markets have been moved to a swanky concrete building and so have the other shops.. It is amusing to watch the empty store fronts, but it is a welcome change!  

I wonder what else lies in store for us in the coming year.. I do hope things change for the better.. Let us strive to make it better for all us. Stop using Plastic bags, wear seat belts and helmets, don't drink & drive, pay heed to others on the road when walking/driving...  

Happy New year all... :-))