Saturday, January 29 there's no tomorrow~!

Hey! My kid bro can cook...! And not just silly Maggi or Tea/Coffee, but proper food - glorious food. Boy, am I glad. :D

I found out last night when he prepared the spread that included "Kadhi" (the one with besan dumplings not the lazy papad or aloo one!) with steamed rice topped with cucumber, tomato and sprouts salad.

He made it all using the recipe book that he got from India. When I had seen it in his stuff and given him an amused look, he had said, "I don't know anything in this book but I read it on the plane and it sounds not that bad!"

I found this great blog with yummy recipes, Shiok's Site. I'm trying to prepare a collection of such similar or other various sites in the "Good Stuff" section of my blog. Lets see as the lists grows...

Suraj is in the kitchen again make 'Poha'.

:) Boys.. can you cook? huh?
Girls... are you suffering with saucepan-phobia??!

P.S. Oops! Sorry Madhu, hey all, the blog is called "Chef's Notes" not Shiok's Site! :D

Friday, January 28

When I'm lost...

...I read this...

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise. " - Robert Fritz

Don't we all??!

Monday, January 24

Vrrrrooooommm! In a real car.

I love the Carting game on my XBox, especially using the steering wheel and accelerator/break thing... very real(yeah!) and thoroughly entertaining.

But..when it comes to real life, the last time I drove something with wheels was more than 5 years ago, in India. I had my own Bajaj Spirit - deep red in color. For those who haven't heard the name, it was your typical girlie, Sunny type bike. I used to go to my IIT coachings in that. Made some great friends *smiling, thinking of those times* because of that bike.

Ok..ok.. back to present. So, I have a full Indian driver's license with a dodgy date of birth! It says I'm 2 years older than I actually am. *yeh mera India, I love my India* ;)
Anywho..! So, when I came here to Oz, a year or so later, I gave the Learner's Test on the Computer and passed with flying acquire my legitimate (read correct DOB) DL.

Another 2-3 years passed. I still haven't upgraded myself to P Plates!
(Here is Oz after a min. of 6months on Learner you can give a driving test by actually driving a car and get to Probationary License, which then goes for 3 years, till you get your Full license! Unless, of course, you have a legit overseas license which can be upgraded directly to Full License after the computer test.)

Much gyaan... back to the situation at hand. Achhaji, I found this great car, at a great price in a great deal. Done all the paperwork, and when I went to pick it up on Saturday afternoon. They go..."Errr, you have a learner's?"
"Umm, yeah!"
"Sorry mate, you have to be atleast P to buy a car."
"Oh! I have an overseas Full license (praying in my head - *God plz don't get them to ask me for it coz it had dodgy DOB*) and I'm about to get my P's soon."

After 10 mins. of contemplating and discussing and arguing with the issurance and finance guy.
"Promise us, you will get your P's in one month and we'll give you the car now!"

:D *Yiiipppppeeeeeee*
I sign the papers and my designated driver *he* drives me home!

My first car!!!!!!!
And I'm oh! so excited about the long drives and the cool trips that I'm gonna take and oh! so nervous about the P test that I have to prepare for before I can take those long drives and cool trips!!

*Pray for!*

Saturday, January 22

The girl has a game and the boy can shout!

If you read my last post, you may have known my mind set yesterday at work. I was ready to run out of my office screaming, "Mummy!!!!!!"


So I settled for Mummy's son. :)
My bro, called him home.

"Suraj, what are you doing?"
"In the kitchen, washing some dishes."
"What are you making for dinner?"
"Arrey behen, you have to make dinner that is why I'm washing the dishes!"
"What are you making for dinner."
"I won't wash the dishes, if you don't make dinner!!"
"What are you making?"
Oh! I love getting on his nerves...such a stress releiving excercise! Sachhi!!
Ignoring me completely he said, "Today is Sania's match."
"OK, whats the score?"
"Hasn't started yet."
"Let me check the schedule of play on the net." After a few seconds, "Oh! its on right now, they are starting the warmup!"
"Behen, lets go see it! Pleeeeaase! We will cheer for Sania and make her win the match."
Kids and their undying faith! I wanted the believe the same, I think.
Btw, I'm a kid too! *hehe*

Anyways, I said, "Fine, finish what you are doing, then come to the city. I finish work in half n hour, see you at the Ticket sales thingy outside Vodafone Arena. We might be able to make it."

45mins. later.
"Come on, Saaaaniiiaaaaaa!!"
We made it, but were pretty late. Could see quite a few Indian flags in the arena. That in itself was enough. I was happy, very proud indeed.

Sania played well... we all know. We have obviously not seen the end of her. She has a game. She put up a fight...tried and well...she's 18. Has a long time!

Suraj was just awed by the fact that he was in a International Grand Slam match! :)

All I heard till the next match began was, "Awesome!" "Amazing" "Unbelievable" "This will take me 5 very long mails to explain to all my friends in India."
and "Behen, dekhna Sania will beat Serena next year, right here in the Australian Open. You wait and see!"
Love the guy! Did I say that before?!

If Sania's match went for 50mins. next one went on for 4hours!!!
Swedish No.11 seed Joachim JohanssonVs Spanish No.24 Feliciano Lopez.

There were almost 100 Swedish supporters dressed in the Swedish flags with all the pompoms and horns and drums etc. Shouting away to glory.

And Suraj like many of the remaining Indians in the arena started rooting for the underdog Lopez! If you see that match, the marathon rather, that went on to 5 sets the last one upto 13-11, and hear a guy's voice yelling "LoooopeeeeZZZ" That is Suraj.

Honest, for the whole first two sets, I was hiding my face everytime he would yell out coz everyone around would turn to see him.

But shamelessly, so enthusiastically, Suraj kept going.
Clap - Clap

By himself for a while...then as Lopez picked up his game...all around us started joining in!
I did too. :P

I think the Swedish crowd got to Lopez at the end, Johansson won, 6-3 3-6 5-7 7-6 13-11. Way after 11pm our time.

Was a great game. Great evening.
Cheers again to Sania.
Cheers to my buddy-boy Suraj.

He can barely 'croak' this morning!

Friday, January 21

Chemistry...??? No...!!!

What is going on?

I have no idea.

Its Friday (okay my Thursday as I work from Tues-Sat, but anywho!), almost the end of the week and I am feeling wierd. Don't smirk..please.

There is this strange heavyness on my head, my heart, my mind basically my whole being.
An unrestlessness - like I'm forgetting something, something that I have to do, somewhere I have to be, something I have to write, something..... and I have NO idea WHAT-so-ever, what on earth that is!!!


I thought I just needed some fresh air so I went outside to a bright sunny day - Nothing.
I thought I just need a walk, so I walked around the block - Nothing.
I thought I need some retail therapy (that works! for us chicks at aleast), but as I'm at work, I just got myself the chocolate I have never tried - Flake Luxury and the drink that I have never tried - Fanta Spider with Choc Icecream. Some retail therapy..not even $10! Sheh!

I thought so too... who cares.. just try it. Try I did, and (yes you know!) - Nothing.

What is the matter?
Please don't write n say its the case with girls..often! Or its just the stupid hormones or any of that biological/chemistry mumbo-jumbo. That is totally unacceptable!

Girls you know what I'm talking about... or do you?
Guys have u ever had that happen to you? (Don't smirk...I'm warning you again!)

Mummy --- here I come! (read, call) :D

oooo! Bhagwaanji...yeh mujhe kya hua hai!!

Thursday, January 20

No News is good news - Really?

Hearing of all the bad news of my home country really puts me down and I cant even begin to imagine what it is like for those right there, watching/hearing it all first-hand.

But I tell myself, all is not that bad. People are still living their lives enjoying, acheiving, working hard and then playing/partying hard. That is what we Indians know best -
To see life in the eye and overcome whatever it may bring forth!

Three days ago I hadn't heard of the name, but today I know Sania Mirza like any Indian living away from India would (i.e. by searching online). And she makes us all proud - the girl who made Indian Tennis History.
Her next round with Serena Williams will probably be her toughest so far. And probably the odds are against her but if she does it, it will be amazing! I'm happy for her. Wishing her the best.

In search to find out more 'good' news about India - the news that we hear the least, I found this site, aptly called 'Good News India'. The country's successes - although marred by illiteracy, poverty, exploitation and corruption - are reaching new heights, surely someone, somewhere is doing something right!!

I make peace with myself.
I am happy and content.
I wont point fingers.
I will spread the good word.
I belong to the good nation called - India

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake!


Tuesday, January 18

The case of false birthdays!

Yesterday was my birthday again!
..yaa again. And you wonder, how come? Didn't I just have one in Nov?!

OK, tell me.. how many of your have heard about false DOB in driving licenses? In gym membership cards? Photo IDs? Club Cards? Credit Cards?
..And what about at school?!

I'm one unfortunate gal whose DOB by mistake went on the school admission form as 17-1-19** instead of 17-11-19**. (achha baba..its 1982..happy?!) Back to the matter at hand. Just a mistake of 1 and 11's.
Oblivious of it all I celebrated my birthday for 12 years at school, religiously at that, on 17th Nov. And no one ever said a 'chu'! (I'm a proud scorpion! Ji haan..thankyou very much!)

Then...when I was returning from Delhi in the car looking at my passport and my school records filling my forms for OZ.

"Mummy.!! Papa!!! My dob is incorrect in my marksheets!"
Then Mom ventured to explain. Apparently I was an over-bright kid at pre-school (a geek I presume). They made me skip classes. But when it came time for admission to Year 1, I was below the required age group. Minimum was 6 years. So a deliberate fraud was done! I was made 10 months older. Nov-to-Jan only so I could sit for the entrance exams.
Hmmmm....And then Papa, just went and got my passport made with my correct dob.

So I had two conflicting documents, my marksheets which I need for my university admission and my passport which I need to get to the university!!

Nice one guys!
Took us two days up and down to Lucknow Passport office to change the dob on the passport as thats easier to get changed (by saying its a clerical mistake by the clerk!) than to run to education board and get all the educational documents changed!

Now I am 10 months older every where on papers! I got b'day card and lottery scratchie from work yesterday. (ofcourse I didn't win luck!) And b'day wishes from work collegues. Ab kisko kisko samjhaaun!

But on a brighter note...I got flowers from 'him'! He likes to see the brighter side of the (ehm!) fraud!! And I made muli ke parathhe for my bro and him as their treat!

Happy B'day to me!!
Bolo naaa....!!!

Saturday, January 15

While I'm in the mood... talk abt weddings and partnerships..
I was wondering, about the whole arranged and love marriage thing.

Friends here is Australia used to ask me, "Are you promised to some one?!!" And I would go into explaining how India has changed and thats not what happens any more!

My mom had this hour session with me and didi before we had come to Oz. She had said that we are sensible gals and that in the course of our studies we'll make lots of friends (ofcourse!) and they'll be boys and girls (yaa!). And if we end up liking sumone, then we should take the opportunity of those years of study, to know the person and at the end of the term, if, we still think, "Yeah! I like that guy", then let mom know. She will break the news to dad and he will take care of the rest.
(Man!!!! I was like :O ) Mom!!!! :O

Then she went on to explain...ofcourse he cant be Christian, or Muslim, or someone with lots of 'Aib' (bad habits e.g. drinking, smoking..preferable non-veggie!!) And beta..see so many choices are still there!
Yeah..! Right!!!! :D

Didi had a love marriage. Brahmin Hyderabadi guy. Very very sweet, very very caring n loving. Wonder if she would have found him if she had never left Kanpur. Now they live happily ever after in Kentucky with little Shriyaan. (Dekho mai maasi ban gayi socho mai massi ban gayi...ok ok..u got the drift!)

Then you hear about others like....
Jeffrey's best friend Bunty in Ludhiana called a month ago. Said, 'Mate, day after tomorrow is my wedding!!"
"You kidding right?!"
"No man...I came to know last night!!"
"You came to last night that day after tomorrow is your wedding?!! You mean they printed it on a "shaadi ka card" and gave you and said...'Come, its your wedding!' ??!!!!"

Turned out that a family came from Canada. They liked the guy and proposed for wedding with their daughter on the same week. Then they returned the day after to commence paper work for the boy's migration!! Talk abt ...hurry!!!!!

I cant say which one is the best. As there are hundreds of examples where love marriages fail and other where arranged ones go on for years - happily!

So... I leave it upto you. What do you think? Love OR Arranged?

Wednesday, January 12

I was shopping for my wedding...

Mummy was saying that maroon is the best color for me. And Didi also had a maroon lahenga so why do I want to go for something different. But I just wanted something that was a blend of conventional and unconventional... be it colors or design or style.
Some one go explain that to her!

I was rushing in and out of shoe shops. Nothing that I like fits me. Didi used to say, "Sarr bada sardaar ka, pare bada gawaar ka!" Her size was 5.1/2 so its was easy for her to say.. she got the Karishma Sandals and the Rani Shoes...and... all the nice shoes that used to come..!

Its so hard to guess what my groom will look good in. I am searching for silk ties.... I love a pink tie... with blue stripes or something. Need a matching shirt to go with it too. How about a bright white with thin pink checks..?

I'm very nervous abt the whole "in-law's" thing! I'm so nervous..I get the jitters.

I open my was a dream.

I have been having similar dreams recently. And its well... intersting... coz a little being inside me believes that I have good sixth sense. So...something may be on the cards...
And another half is nervous...because I have heard things abt dreams.

Plz tell me -

  • Is it bad to dream abt weddings? I didn't see the wedding..just the prep.
  • Should I be more career focused...not thinking abt marriage. (I just turned 22.)
  • What color lehenga should I go for...
Just kidding abt the last one!~ :)

Somebody...anybody...!!! Help!!
(or is it normal...pre-marital stress ;)

I'm crazy...tell me!!!!

Sunday, January 9

A little help... goes a long way!

Sunday is nice!

Woke up a minute before the alarm. We went to the "World Vision" office today as we had volunteered to help out with receiving phone calls for donations for the Tsunami affected areas. Thankfully it was busy with lots of calls after last nights Charity Concert. The centre made $20.5 million since last night 6pm...!
One sweet boy not more than 7 or 8 yrs called, coz he wanted to donate his $5!

BTW... I kinda like playing the Gocarting game on the steering wheel..!! I think I'm gonna get hooked up to those racing games just like my bro!

Ciao coz I got to...Wrrrrrrrooommmmm!!!!

Saturday, January 8

After days...

It was a brighter morning,
The sun was finally out of the clouds.
Music was coming from the other room,
The eyes didn't hurt so much.

It was a warmer morning,
The weekend had finally arrived.
Saturday brunch was on the mind,
I actually felt like cooking.

It was a calmer morning,

I obviously cant write in verse. I tried...see I did, but I just cant.

Well... I spoke to family in India yesterday. Thankfully they all semmed a little, a very very little bit calmer. Ofcourse my eyes welled up when I spoke to Jaya (Anant Bhaiya's kid sister), Mamaji and Mamiji. But they are handling things okay..I guess. Mami was sedated with medicines so she just kept saying, "Nupur tum kyun nahi aayi.. Kyun nahi aayi".
I could only whisper, "Mami aaungi as soon as I can Mami...I promise!"
Then she just said, "Kuch nahi...bass tum khush raho"..!!!


On a lighter note -
Suraj is soooo into PS2...that he dosen't like my XBox here!

This morning after having lots of different pakodis.. Aloo, Onion, Pumpkin etc with coriander chutney, Suraj proclaimed that he wanted a PS2!!
Arrey!!! Whats wrong with the XBox. The games are practically the same...who cares if its green(XB) or blue(PS2)!
These boys!!
On top of that they come with all sorts of reasoning on why its so much better for 'me' to get a PS2 on top of the XBox. NO! You play the XBox..a'ight!!!

He was happy after 2 hours of loitering in the Game stores in the city when we found 3 games that he liked in XBox... 3 games is better than a new console! With them we also got that steering wheel thing and the brakes and accelerator box for the car games!!
*I know... I am spoiling him! But its so hard to say no to that inncocent face!*

How many of you feel that no matter how hard you try to hold the dollars, just try to be sensible and save but...they always find a way to slip through the tiny gaps between the fingers?

Any bright ideas people.?!

Thursday, January 6

And it struck me....

I said to Mom... "Why don't I have an elder brother?"

She smiled and asked, "Why do you say that?"

I thought for a minute and replied, "Because elder brothers are better than younger ones. They look out for you, they get you sweets and chocolates, they treat you better!"

She laughed at that, "Oh! You can't be so sure."

And that was it. It always ended like this. I cried myself to sleep whenever I had a fight with my younger brother..when he had broken my doll or spoilt my new dress or just made a mess with my stuff. That noosy little @#$%#$#!!


I will not say that he was my best friend. Coz I didn't share all my secrets with him. I was concious of what he would think of me. He was elder to me, you know! And like all elder brothers are... protective and judgemental!

I tried to be nice and witty and sweet and dumb all at the same time. He had a great sense of humor. He was not too bad with the guitar. He would try playing a song and I would try and sing with him.
He always loved challenges. He always loved challenging me!
We would bet on the silliest of things. He told me that he wanted to be the Don by the time he was 35 yrs. Hah!! The Don??! It was so like him. He had just finished The Godfather and so he thought that he could build his empire like those Italians. We bet on it.

Once he took me for a ride on his bike. Got me my favourite icecream at 'Temptations'. And then said gravely, "I'm about to tell you something. You have to promise me that it will stay between us."

"Okay, I swear"!!?!

And then he said softly, "I'm in love!"
Hah! I thought but I didn't dare say it. I asked who the girl was. I knew the girl. When he asked me what I thought of her, I was touched that my opinion mattered to him!

He was my first cousin. My mamaji's son. The elder brother I never had.


Then I came to Australia. He had changed.... he had broken up with that girl. Said, "It was never meant to be". I asked him to make an email account so we could keep in touch.

He never did. I would only hear about him from his sister when I called India. I missed him. I missed the times we had together. I wondered, 'Will I ever have the guts to tell him when I fell for a guy?'


Yes, thats what we both have been.

He got married two years ago. I couldn't make it to his wedding as it was smack in the middle of my exams!!
He had a baby boy a few months ago - Dhruv. He looks soooo cute in the pictures sitting in my brothers arms! My bro - he's a papa now!!

I sent this very silly noisy little toy and Dhruv loves it! He wont play with any other toy except the one I sent. Its probably because the noisy plastic grabs his attention. And he just stares at it and claps!


My elder brother...the one I never had. He died on a road accident yesterday.

I was speechless for 2 minutes.

I stared at the phone.

I told Suraj...Anant Bhaiya had died! It was all in slow motion.

Suraj was confused. He shook me, "Are you sure?!"

I could hear crying on the other end of the line.


And it struck me -
I will never see him again.
I will never laugh at his jokes again.
I will never sing with him again.
I will never argue and bet over silly things with him.
I missed his wedding.
I missed the birth of his son.
I didn't see him since Jan 2001.

I had been waiting to tell him about the guy that I am in love with. I had been waiting for the right time. I knew that he knew... as my family know and are waiting for me to return to India to tie the knot. But I wanted to tell him myself. Like he had.

Now I wont be able to.


He's gone.
I miss him.
Was he upset with me? May be he never made the effort to contact me because he came to know about my guy from my mom. And he was upset that I didn't tell him first!

Oh! God.
My elder brother... no more.

3o'clock at night. I'm writing about him on my blog. I want to remember this time. These feelings. I miss him...and I don't want to forget that.

Monday, January 3

My hairy little ape :)

I became maasi on the 31st Dec last year!!!!

Dekho mai "Maasi" ban gayi...
Socho mai "Maasi" ban gayi...
-- Been goin nuts the last 2 days. Just overjoyed really!!!

The little golu-molu-coochiku is the family's first grand child.. my elder sis's first baby, my mumma n papa are the very very proud "Naani" and "Naanaji" !!
The little hooligan is very very hairy...the little ape!! Here are his first pictures... I cant stop staring at him.

Catch you guys soon....