Dec 30, 2014

2014, the Year that was…

Its become almost a tradition, I noticed, me writing my year in review post towards the end of the year. And yes, I kinda like it, though I intend to change the documentary-ish tone I’ve used in the old posts. :-)

I’ve stopped saying if it was a good year or a bad one, because its all about perspective. I definitely had fun, loads of it in this year too. Some new friends and some old have made the year very eventful, and as usual, I am grateful for having met them - each one of them, even if I don’t talk to them as often as I want, or the ones that I see almost every weekend.

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I guess I’ve stuck to the mantra – Always have a non-work-related-side-project, pretty seriously. There hasn’t been a time in this year in which I didn’t have a side-project I wasn’t pursuing. There is a blackboard in the house that I log these in, to serve as reminders on what I should be doing if I ever tell myself that I am getting bored. And no, I haven’t been bored in a while, thank God, for that!

So there has been some crazy spray painting towards the end of the year, and some passionate quilt making plan that is yet to take off, to a beautiful bottle waiting to be painted with chalkboard paint, to all those yellow leaves in my pretty tall bamboos waiting to be cut, there are always things I could/should be doing.

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And then, there are always books, thank God for that too. I don’t ever remember a time I wasn’t reading, and there has never been a time I was able to fall asleep without reading, even if it is some article I’ve bookmarked to read on my phone. Books and reading have become so integral to my life that I don’t think they are hobbies anymore, they are just a part of me. Going by the sheer number of books I read this year, as compared the years before, you can say I’ve slacked off. But who will go on those crazy TV series marathons if I bury my nose in the book? And who will laugh like crazy when my friends are all having fun at someone’s dining table? So yeah, I’ve taken a conscious decision to not let any of my side-projects get in way of the good time I could be having with people I love. That’s a constant this year, and I can’t be more thankful for that!

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There has been decent travel, I must say, and that doesn’t include the fiasco that came up in December. New Zealand will have to wait for another time, I guess, when I will remember to check the tickets before packing the bags and making plans. God alone knows I cannot survive another oops-the-flight-was-yesterday moment, everyone I know will rip apart whatever little of me is left now. There were work related trips to Uncle Sam, and one trip to London that I took myself on. And then, there was the annual vacation that was Goa, where I redefined vegetating, to this extent that we might not be going back to Goa for a while now. That was our 6th time in 9 years there, so I guess even Goa wanted a break from us. This was also where the husband and I redefined meanness, nothing else will justify standing in front of the wedding banner and laughing at the English and the groom’s pose on it, no? Hampi is definitely a highlight, and a place we will visit again. A comfortable distance from Hyderabad, great locations to shoot and on my favorite NH7, what else can we ask for!

IMG_7794Ruins, ruins and more ruins.

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I think I’ve moved on from being a food photographer, because there wasn’t a lot of it this year, as much as am not proud of it. Yes, I haven’t been experimenting a whole lot in the kitchen, but going by the sheer number of good moments we’ve had around my dining table (thanks to the Bread Baking class I’ve taken, and the hand-made pizzas as a result of that), I have definitely entered the kitchen this year. And if you are one of those who has eaten the pizza I made, thank you, you’ve kinda fulfilled a dream I’ve had for a long time.

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The focus with the camera was on landscapes, especially towards the latter half of the year. Yes, I was also preparing to shoot good pics in the now-cancelled-trip-to-NZ, but I’ve enjoyed this time with the camera and I know there is more to come. Husband, as usual is excited about this, and now wants to arm me with better gear in that respect… so lets see how far I go.

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This is also the year I realized that I am human after all. Nothing else explains the warm feeling I felt when Mom started reading the newspaper after her cataract operation, or the fact that I miss her sometimes. To add to that, I also am kinda missing my in-laws who have been guests at Uncle Sam’s house for a while now. So yeah, I think I am human after all, with feelings for people who are not me and the husband.

I dare not mention the word fitness here, because the activities on that front are zilch. Yes, there was this 5K and a Duathlon that I did, but I alone know how I finished them. There are a few friends who inspire me with their regime, also willing to pull me into that, but I am a lazy ass. And I NEED to lose the weight I’ve put on in the last couple of years!

Work has been great, as it always has been. I like what I do, and it keeps me happy. Anything more I say about this will be beating the cliché so I will not. There are some activities I’ve been doing at work for some years now, which are not work-related. Another item to add to that list is the new mentoring thing am a part of, which is fulfilling and learning at the same time. Interacting with such smart college girls makes me think of the potential I probably carried back then, and also teaches me so much every time I meet them.

The side projects am pursuing now will continue to 2015 too. I don’t think I’ll have super aggressive reading goals, 50 books a year is a decent number. I’ll probably move to genres I haven’t explored before. There will definitely be more on the photography front. I will not mention travel here because am yet to regain the lost confidence at planning and taking flights on time. And the focus will again be on hanging out with the right people. People who are positive, and from whom I can learn. That’s all that makes the difference!

Dec 22, 2014

Things I don’t want to forget…

The past couple of weeks have been a mess. I screwed up a major holiday plan, because oh well, I was over-confident about my planning ability. I realized the f**k-up on the day we were supposed to have travelled, and so we cancelled the tickets. I thought I'd cry, because I had wasted a ton of money, and called the husband in the hope that he'd yell at me, and I can then cry. I wanted to cry. No, he didn’t yell. And I laughed about the screw-up with a bunch of good friends over some rum, and life was good. But I realized I hadn't cried at all. Not a single tear, at what was otherwise a very anticipated, and could've been a great holiday. I also didn’t cry over the money I lost, and at around midnight, in the middle of all the laughing I started crying. Or an attempt to cry. Again, no tears. That’s when a friend pointed out that the reason I wasn’t able to cry, probably was because the husband was being supportive, and hasn’t yelled at me even once! The minute I realized the screw-up, he got me home and worked on problem-solving. And hasn’t mentioned it all even once. :-)

This morning, the husband sent me a link to a video they shot of him at work. It was a minute long, and in it, he was talking about some good work his team has done. I had to listen to the video three times to actually get what he was saying, because the third time I realized I was grinning silly at his picture on my computer, and the grin he throws in the middle of some words. Oh, I loved to see him on screen, and he looked good too, yes. When I tell that to him, he says immediately that he isn’t going to shave off the beard now. Apparently this is the first time I said he looks good, when he had his beard on. :) [He knows my love for bearded men, but is miffed that I press him to shave it away. But alas, none of it is fruitful, the man does what he wants, with his hair and beard.]

Anyhoo… I've been married to him for almost a decade. And I felt silly grinning as he grins in the video, and silly coz I replayed the video three more times, and saved an offline copy for future viewing. :). I felt proud and it felt good. .

And then , there is this constant reminder of his colorblindness. The man can't differentiate between some shades of pink and blue, and its genetic. He inherited it from his mother's side of the family, and all his cousins have it. It's even a source of laughter when the family gets together and some discussion about color comes up. No one believes it, and I don’t let him forget it, with whatever snippets I can recollect at the moment, and recount them at gatherings :)

In spite of this now-famous-condition of his, the man insists on coming curtain shopping with me and having a say in the colors of the curtains. He wants the colors to look good to his eyes, it seems, which is why we only had bright orange colored curtains in our house for a long time. Yes, I find this adorable. I find it super cute that he insists on knowing colors like mauve, brown and teal.

The best of this is when he is packing my lunch boxes, or closing the lids of other boxes/bottles at home. Sample this -

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Yeah, he doesn’t accept that this is a mismatch, and every time, literally every single time I see this, I smile and gush. Like a silly little girl. :)

Couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how I miss the butterflies in my stomach , but love the fact that I'm in a stable relationship etc. But I feel now that the butterflies you feel in the stomach at the prospect of new love actually matures into something else… an adult version of those butterflies… akin to what I am feeling now, as I write this post.

We were two people who met only because marriage between us looked like a possibility. It was a modern kind of an arranged marriage, and we'd known each other only for just 2 weeks before we got engaged, and almost immediately got married. When we decided to get engaged, we weren't in love (he claims he was :-) ), we knew that we hadn't compromised on anything we wanted in a partner and so knew for sure that we'd be in love soon. We didn’t force love, luckily, we didn’t need to. It took its time, but when it did, I knew it was going to stay. There were never any grand gestures of love before, there aren't many now.

I can't recollect how and when I realized I was head over heels in love with him, and I know I can't every few days if I still love him. It's when I feel like how I felt today is when I know that the love I felt when I felt it first has only grown to what it is now…

[PS : The title of this post is inspired from this series. :-)]