Archive | December, 2013

Rounding Up

31 Dec

Because bullet points are my new best friend, here is a quick round-up of the year we called 2013.

Discovery of the Year: Mascara. Hitherto discarded as something that made my lashes bump into my glasses, I got the waterproof version and Oh. My. Lord. My life will never be the same again. On some days, I even manage to wear it clump-free and not look like Helena Bonham Carter’s Kumbh Mela twin.

Realization of the Year: I am capable of single-minded devotion and razor-sharp prioritization when it comes to relationships. Exactly 7 people in this world truly matter. Everybody else is lovely but entirely peripheral.

New-found loves: Pilates and dancing. And the former had a lot to do with the latter.

First-time travel: Seattle (stunning), Leavenworth (so charming), Las Vegas (dazzling), Blue Lakes (serene), Russian River (picture-perfect), and Carmel (quaint).

Where I would have loved to go: The little Gujarat village I yearn to see.

People: 2 women who came into my life in the latter half of the year and have benefited me tremendously. An addition to the family! One relationship I am relieved is over. My inner circle as supportive and blessed as ever.

Cities: Bombay, still home, still the city of my heart. San Francisco, a new love interest I am casually dating because… *pause for effect*….I discovered the Mission. London, the soulmate I continue to miss, knowing it is out there but we must live apart.

Time well spent: In a hospital. As a caregiver. Night and day, for weeks on end. I have never felt more fulfilled.

Culinary Development: Baking from scratch! Butter sponge (perfect texture, not enough sugar) and French Apple cake (bellissima! Yes, I’ll share the recipe sometime).

Focus: Telling stories for non-profits I believe in. Meeting some incredibly inspiring people through my work. Discovering that the Valley is a generous, socially responsible place.

Connections: To some really smart, successful, and interesting people who are part of the Indian diaspora doing wonderful work for the motherland.

Most terrifying moment: Watching a loved one battling for their life. May you never have to witness it.

Rediscovered: Swimming. How I love the water!

Lost: A pant size.

Gained: Two jasmine plants, a newly-minted sister-in-law, and the perfect gold pump. *respectful silence*

Not lost: The ability to roll on the floor at potty jokes. The hope that 2014 will be bigger, better, brighter. I’m champing at the bit to get started!

~

Happy New Year to you, dear reader. 😀

Let’s wish each other’s dreams come true.

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The Season of Rust

23 Dec

I wrote this post 2 months ago, but clean forgot about it in the non-stopness that has been life lately. Apologies for the delay, especially since it was a time-relevant subject, but without any further delay, here it is.

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Northern California has two seasons: sunny-and-pleasant, and sunny-and-mildly-chilly. And oh, three- drops-of-precipitation-before-the-sun-colonizes-the-sky-again. For about 2 and a half days a year. Last week, we awoke to Season Two. And felt a delicious shiver on throwing off our down comforters and savored that warm, milky coffee a teeny bit more.

The leaves have changed color. Like an earnest child who can’t quite catch up with his peers. You love him for trying, but you know he’ll never make the League of Sporting Champions.  He’ll always be the one with “Good effort” on his report card, and a slightly patronizing smile from his teacher, glory reserved for his siblings further east.

The pumpkins are out in all their plumpness. And if, like me, you enjoy the national color of this blog, you’re in for a treat, because it’s everywhere.  Crunch through piles of raked, dried foliage in your chocolate suede boots, wonder whether you can sneak in a swim for a few days more, and smile as your favorite hot drinks make a comeback at Starbucks. Apples and caramel abound. The soups are hearty, there are spices in the air, and ovens begin their annual overtime. Suddenly, sugar is a friend.

But this time of year isn’t special just for what it offers. It carries the promise of what lies ahead: Halloween costumes and Bingo night. The sparkle of Diwali, the colors, the lamps, the family time, the mithai. Thanksgiving, our annual mini-moon, and another year added to our legal partnership. Bringing home our Christmas tree, stringing lights while drinking eggnog and spiced cider, picking out new ornaments to add to our collection, watching our holiday traditions—The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol—baking brownies and hosting our annual Christmas gathering. Playing Holiday Radio until it comes out of our ears. Singing hymns into the clear, starry night. Spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts, Christmas Day dinner and the food coma after, and festivities until another year is properly welcomed. All of this, permeated with that delightful winter chill that has us wrapped in light scarves and jackets, with not a snowflake in sight.

This year, our already-busy season is topped with two special family events. The excitement mounts. We trade updates about outfits and coordinate schedules. Calls fly across the globe as we prepare for visitors and make lists of places to take them.  Much lies ahead. We bubble with plans to celebrate. But for now, I’ll enjoy the moment. Watch another leaf drop and the season turn, as I grab the chance to stand still. The pleasure of anticipation is half the fun. But the other half lies in letting the future take its time.

Here’s a toast to the season of rust. As the earth evolves, so must our destinies with it.

Et du?

18 Dec

“OJ Mami,” he says with all the breathlessness of a critical revelation, “milk has 2 names: last name Du and first name Du.”

And with that, my 4-year-old nephew gulps down his glass of cocoa.

(Yes, yes, I only married the Boy for his genetic material, so sue me.)

Opposes/Supposes

11 Dec

I shared this with close friends exactly a year ago, and the question still haunts me, so I thought I’d put it out there for you guys to shed light on. Not your typical cheery holiday fare, I know.

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American rhetoric is littered with war words on a daily basis. The nation’s lexicon is so charged with conflict–the war against smoking, the battle against cancer, the fight to save a marriage–that every act, no matter how innocuous, is verbally militarized. So deeply entrenched are these cultural references to violence, that those raised in the country barely appear to notice. Is there anyone else who sees this? I can’t be the only one! Why don’t we question it? Is there any literature or research on this that would help me understand the phenomenon?

Halve the Dozen

7 Dec

Me: I look like a potato.

The Boy: I look like a celery stick.

Me: Aww! Together, we make ….. a rather strange salad.

And, just like that, we turn six today. And your erstwhile blogger of dark thoughts is an annoying globule of mush. Blech.

 

The Wee Three

4 Dec

He stands in the doorway, framed by light that dared to slip in ‘tween the slats.

He moves closer and I can smell his shower gel.

Leaning in, he whispers the three words women long to hear: “Your coffee’s ready.”

I sigh happily, sit back against the pillows, and know all is right with the world.