Pongal

When it’s Pongal, it’s Rangoli time.

We didn’t plan Rangoli this year, but from the moment I opened my eyes this morning, I have been seeing Rangolis all over, forward messages, whatsapp statuses, neighbours, newspapers and what not ! And then I couldn’t stay anymore. Searched the Internet for a simple one and started on it. A who declared initially that she wouldn’t join me couldn’t stay back and joined me during the colours part. Finally we did what we were supposed to do for Pongal.

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Pongal !!!

And the evening gave me ample time to explore acrylic colours.

May our dreams turn into wings to fly high and higher !!

18 years

You are a stranger

You seem friendly and we can have a good conversation 

I can say ‘Yes’ to this proposal 

Do we know each other enough ?

Will I be able to adjust with you ?

You understand me well

We have common tastes 

We have good times with each other

I can rely on you

You don’t understand me at all

You respect my feelings 

Our tastes are poles apart, will we be able to get along ?

We have common passions

We fight over everything 

We patch up after fights

It’s difficult to read your mind

You are predictable 

Why do we have to fight so much ?

You share all my thoughts, worries and problems 

You get angry too quickly 

You lose your anger fast

You give me my space

You do not restrict me for anything

You encourage me to do what I like

You respect my thoughts and ideals

You make me smile, feel good and contented

Dear V, It has been 18 years that I met you for the first time and my feelings towards you went through tonnes of transformations, good, bad, like, dislike, peace, anger and what not ! Listing everything is practically impossible and as you know, this is just a snippet of that big list !

Thanks for being a wonderful companion and let’s together add many more beautiful memories to the list.

Kahoot

I got to know about Kahoot! for the first time in the lockdown period at work.

The HR personnel used to organise various online activities to keep the spirits of the employees and their families high. They have used Kahoot widely to organise quiz contests for kids and adults. It was quite good, sometimes participating with A, sometimes with V’s cousins, sometimes with the entire family. Moving positions above and below with each response kept us on toes.

It had been on my mind since then to try it out with family gatherings too.

Last Diwali, on the spur of the moment, we (our family, V’s mama’s family and V’s Pinni’s family who stay downstairs) decided to have a potluck lunch at our place to bring in the festive mood.

Naturally, it would be nice to have some activity post lunch to keep everyone engaged and have some fun time. Kahoot came to rescue and we prepared some questions upfront on the general interests of the participants , which were movies, food, festivals and stuff.

It was quite a hit as everyone liked it and had good fun. We paused at each question, chatted on it for a while, shared some light moments, followed each other’s scores and the best part was that, everyone was included irrespective of the gender and the age. After we were done with the quiz that we had prepared, we explored the existing available quizzes and spent sometimes with those too.

Kahoot entertaining us !!

What activities do you plan at such family gatherings ? Do you have any fun activities to share ?

Wordless Wednesday

Marking the vacation of V’s cousin # 2 and the farewell to V’s cousin # 4 ( the one who has gone to Canada to pursue his culinary degree ), we had a small get together at home around three weeks ago.

Pineapple glazed with barbecue sauce
Potatoes and cheese sauce
Nachos with three dips, tomato salsa, pineapple salsa and cheese sauce
With some added main course items
Shots with coffee and whipping cream
A small part of the group while the rest of the group is busy arranging

Isn’t food and family an awesome combination ?

Uninvited guests

2018 was the first time I guess when pests were first seen at home. It was quite a shock for us back then.

After the shock subsided, we decided that their is no way out other than pulling out everything from the cupboards, including things that haven’t been used for ages and get all the places treated by a pest control agent.

It was quite a big effort naturally, the mental stress of how big the impact would be, the physical stress of getting everything out, cleaning all of it and putting them back into their places. We got the activity done over a period of two to three days eventually. We got rid of some stuff in the process too.

Three years after that, since a month, we have been seeing traces of pests in a particular place. We treat it on our own and then it comes back in two weeks. Finally we decided to get rid of these uninvited guests with professional help and called them over.

We didn’t anticipate the real effort that would be required as the guy promised that everything would be finished in three hours. He stood by his word and finished his work in three hours. But it might be taking 30 more hours to restore things back at home.

The day that started normally got dedicated to these pests and I sincerely hope we don’t have to host them again.

On a lighter note, this looks like a forced way of cleaning stuff at home to welcome upcoming Pongal !

Madness that we can’t let go of…

The college gang that has once shared almost everything among them, food, beds, books, days, nights, happiness, worries and almost everything under the sun is now spread across different continents and time zones.

The geographical factor couldn’t affect our madness of those days and the technological luxuries have only helped us in multiplying them multi fold.

Sincere thanks to Whatsapp video calls for letting us relive those days of madness.

When we celebrated all the Virgo birthdays of the gang by all of us cutting cake at the same time, booking Dunzo in the midnight and delivering the cake to the locals and then having the cake, all of this in the same call that lasted for hours together
When one of the gang member in California celebrated her house warming ceremony and others joined virtually, to the extent of draping party wear on the pajamas !
When the locals meet and decide to go on yellow theme and make everyone in other time zones too wear the yellow stuff
When we decide the order as a group irrespective of where one’s present geographically and share the food…

When we do almost everything as part of these video calls, folding laundry, cooking breakfast and lunch and dinner, lazing on the couch, falling asleep on the bed, putting kids to sleep, helping them with their homework, talking to kids when the mothers are away, pulling each other’s legs, whispering secrets and blurting out nonsense, I feel the madness, I love the madness and I just can’t let go of it….

May the madness continue for years to come…

Therapeutic

Each of us have got our own list of things that we find therapeutic, things that make us feel so good, things that brighten up our mood, things that make us smile inward, things that make us let go off the inner negative feelings, things that we itch to do again and again.

The bigger the list, the happier we are is what I feel. We would have so many things to look forward to ! It gives us even more happiness to add new things to this list.

One such item of my little list is sketching while listening to music. This combination is so awesome that I keep looking out for the next possible opportunity all the time. It makes me feel so good and recharges me and makes me feel lighter.

My latest trial…

Letting my dreams fly high !!!

My latest obsession…

What do you find therapeutic ? Have you discovered something new that makes you feel happy ?

Sigh of relief !

Around three weeks ago, my manager offered me her role as she intended to move to a different team and position. The offer was quite unexpected and so was naturally shocking.

My feelings towards the offer changed from shock to discomfort to restlessness and anxiety and back and forth. Yes, it felt great that someone superior to me felt that I am worthy to take up something so responsible. It felt awesome that someone I admire was ready to trust me with her team that she had grown to love so much. Then you may ask, why so many negative feelings ?

I thought about the responsibilities and the tasks that would be associated with the new role. Managing people, their tasks, deliveries, assessing people, tracking projects, motivating team and most importantly leading the team. It requires skill and talent in various aspects and good amount of dedication. I thought about how I would fit into the role. As I thought about each task, neither did I feel any love towards that task nor did I find myself excited about developing skills for that task. The only feeling I had was that I’ll not be able to do justice to some task that I am whole heartedly not interested in. I didn’t find it right to accept something half heartedly and later feel guilty about not doing it right. I had lots of fears and restlessness within me.

I decided to not take up the role and conveyed it to my manager. She tried a lot to convince me to give it a try but all I felt was reluctance within me.

My manager’s manager scheduled a meeting with me for yesterday afternoon and from the moment I received the invite, a plethora of thoughts flooded my mind. Is it right to say no to something ? Am I doing the right thing ? How is the opposite person going to receive my decision ? What would the consequences be ?

With increasing magnitude of butterflies residing in my stomach, I couldn’t help but google about how to convey the reasoning behind my decision and what my aspirations are and where my interests lie. I was amazed to see a whole bunch of articles on how it is very common to not choose managerial roles and how many people prefer to continue in the individual contributor roles and how to convey such decisions to the management.

The meeting got over in a very short time and my manager’s manager turned out to be very understanding. He found my reasons perfectly valid and stated that it is okay to grow in which ever direction one likes to. He has asked me to get back to him whenever I have a change of mind.

I heaved a big sigh of relief after that meeting….

I hope I have done the right thing by following my heart….

I hope my learning and growth continues to happen in the direction where my interests lie….

NCC

Some words have a majestic feel to it and the words or letters NCC fall in that category.

As a school going kid, I wasn’t even aware of the existence of NCC, let alone being a part of it. But my respect towards NCC cadets grew as I learnt gradually about them and watched their performances occasionally during the Republic Day celebrations. They looked quite grand and royal !!

Last academic year, when there was an announcement at A’s school to apply for NCC, A applied for NCC Army and got selected. To say that she was quite ecstatic about it is an understatement. She was extremely proud of being a part of it and enjoyed every little detail of it. But as luck would’ve it, she couldn’t enjoy any of the usual activities as everything happened online instead of offline.

This academic year, or the last calendar year, the selected students were called to come over to school to get trained so that they could escort the Chief Guest of the Investiture ceremony in a very formal and official way. The selected girls group, of which A was a part of, was very sincere and dedicated and very very excited to be a part of this event. They practised for hours together, learnt fine details, basked in the joy of collecting their uniforms, treasured their accessories and enjoyed every bit of the training.

A on her big day !

The event has happened finally smoothly and successfully and the girls got to taste a teeny weeny bit of being part of NCC.

After the event, they attended couple of more classes, theory and practical, got to learn some more stuff but they are yearning for more.

Hope this new year brings things back to normal and the kids get to enjoy and serve as NCC cadets as they are supposed to be…