October 2, 2015

Money matters (And the wallet too!)

So last night when my sister-in-law came back from a get together, she was really in a good mood and yet sleepy. It was kind of a high moment for her to type (with sanity) and so by mistake she floated a message to a wrong window in her WhatsApp. A window where my Spiti Group does all the blabbering.

(The truth is she had opened the chat window and asked me to type in her Nexus 5, which was a tough task for me as I am a woman of habit and I was really bad at using a diffrent keypad of Nexus 5.)


Sister-in-Law: C0Ol wjll take The vwallet on Monday.

(We both slept off, saying smart people in the group would understand that it was a mistake!)


Just when I was getting ready for the office Mr.ISB called me, asking was my sister-in-law sane while typing gibberish on the group. I informed it was a mistake. He started laughing and asked me to check the latest reply on it by my very own bro-buddy. I opened the mobile hastily before leaving home..

Bro Buddy 1: (After reading sister-in-law's message) It's an app? Rite? 

*I could not control and thought of stretching this. I meant techie guys behave like fanatics sometimes but on a random message?*

Bubblegum: No re, it is a startup. The whole line is a title (of the start up!)

*Now, some members of this group are startup fanatics and bro-buddies are leaders!* *Here comes the number two.*

Bro buddy 2: ???

Bubblegum: Google (it)

Brobuddy 1: But they have an app.. It's abt personal finance if I remember correctly! 

Brobuddy 2: Vwallet? I read it but not much information Also no reviews to judge. Can you explain a bit more?

(Now who asked him to download the so called app was out of my mind! Out of any one why would we promote it?)

Bubblegum : *Remembering  his weak point* Do you want a job there? Arey cant type much, would tell you in face!

By this time Mr.ISB was laughing out loud on Whatsapp (Dont' ask how)

Brobuddy 2: :D :D

Bubblegum: Google to ata hai na tum ko.

Bubblegum: Taunt mat mar, Mile tab batana.

And then the whole game plan got destroyed as my sister-in-law's message popped up (No, I would not really forgive you for spoiling the fun!) ..

Sister-in-law: Yaar kya bakwas chal raha hai. That message was wrongly sent to you guys. I forgot my wallet and was going to collect on Monday. That's all. 

* I was furious but still laughing out loud, with other members of the group who were silent till now.*

Just then my sister-in-law asked the million dollar question to my bro-buddies. (Who were dying to know the truth of vwallet just two minutes back.)

Sister-in-law: How the hell did that statmenet make you think that I was talking about some app!

Well, I also want to know the same sistah! May be the Spitian hangover has taken a toll on them. 

Poor Startup conscious crackpot guys. 


PS: Friend K knew I would blog about this. Well, of course I would. Bro-buddies were saved by my sister-in-law otherwise the damage to their image would have been devastating. 

September 29, 2015

Yaar Bina Chain Kahan re

"Friends are relatives we get to choose."

I had read this quote some where and every time I remember it, I agree to it like never before.

Every friend is unique but if I segregate all of them, they would fall into three categories.

1. Friends, who are 'Hi Hello type' and when they meet up we manage to have a blast. 
2. Friends, with whom you share details of every second of your life. I suspect after certain age we do not get into such friendships. Unless you marry your very best friend. (But then who the hell keeps on poking nose in the spouses' life every now and then? Talk about independence)
3. Friends whom you don't meet frequently, you talk to them once in a while but they still remain close. (or they are childhood buddies) So much that you never feel the distance. They are always there. Always.

Catching up with the third category is fun. Supreme fun. There would be new stories and new discussions in the air (WhatsApp is on cloud, remember?) and yet there would that thick old connection. Thicker than blood. I believe, at least. So when yesterday I was getting bored at home (After a super hectic day and cold syndromes striking back) I decided to catch up with some friends from the third category.

Singapore flatmate 1: This blogger mam has recently shifted her butts along with her body to India from Singapore which leaves only three close friends to meet in Singapore,if at all I implement the dream plan of visiting 'my second most favorite country to live'.  While we were discussing about her 'Groom Hunting' activities I realized, the fun we had in Singapore with Chai can never be experienced again, Unless our flat mate mentioned below decides to buy her wedding gown from Mumbai :D

Singapore flatmate 2: This celebrity who  represents Indian diversity like nobody's business,had shifted to India from Singapore long back. You might spot her with a drawing of the kind of wedding gown she wants for herself in Bangalore. With this she also collects data which proves India's inability to manufacture designer wedding gowns. Here we are not talking about 'Make In India'.

Friend D: This friend who is going through the most difficult phase of his life, surprises me with his maturity to handle turmoils almost every time I talk to him. The kind of friendship we share has to be decorated with titles like "Together from Kindergarten but never bothered to actively grow the friendship" or "Age old friends-who-don't-talk-much, are better than new friends who talk and still can not understand each other".

After talking to these three friends, content with the way I had ended the day I dozed off in no time.

Such are some friends and friendships. Connecting to them makes you fill the void created by 'nothingness' in your life.


I heard the alarm next morning, and was surprised to find myself start the day and not snoozing it off. Very much my old self. After suffering from the hangover, I was struggling to fill my day with enough doze of adrenaline or satisfaction, just enough to get up early and get going.

September 25, 2015

Targeted in advance

I love throwing surprises and host parties. There was a time when I used to plan surprise farewells like a pro ( A good number of seven in total) and enjoy the whole process of surprising/shocking friends - family. From a small personalized letter to big farewell parties - Surprises I planned were in all shapes and sizes! They include a carton of Buttermilk packs, story books, self made birthday cards, home baked cakes and air fryers! Planning surprises do give me a sense of life, my joyful life. Some time back, while reading my own blog I realized I had stopped experiencing such big small joys in life. I made a come back last week, which I mentioned some time back.

I want to create such moments of affection for all people I am close to. I had one opportunity at office too, yesterday. So I grabbed it (Read: Tried).One of my two company partners (AS(S), ah A & S) who are friends, philosophers & mentors were taken aback when they found we were having our hands full with a card, a cylinder like barrel and a chocolate cake which we took out from that 'under the table' cabinet we share. We, three poor (okay, what is the point when they are not going to read this ever!) team members have been planning for this celebration some two months back led by yours truly.

One of us don't come every day to the office and handles IT stuff from his own office. So when we realized A's birthday has to be celebrated when all are there (and not on the actual birthday), we were not worried about the 'surprise' factor! We were going to celebrate some three days in advance, it would be a surprise itself! :D

We had decided not to include S- the other company partner in the planning committee, as he was busy in his dad's hospitalization. (Also, we were scared that he would hint A being a true partner.) We were not too resourceful anyway.After many brain storming sessions where our cafeteria waiter also contributed by creating a storm of tea every single time, we could not decide on a gift or a any other plan. I was running out  of those imaginary blood cells who carry a virtue called 'Patience'.

Then exactly two days back, some auspicious star formation was created day & so we could decide on one single gift. That cylinder barrel which we we took out from the cabinet along with a cake and a card was nothing but a rolled magnetic dart board for the in house game champion A. Something which A wanted to play in the office in those moments of stress, but never got the chance.The cake and the venue (what else, but our own small office) management was done by our IT officer. I had sourced the card and the cake, while our designer had happily approved the aesthetics for both.

A, being the introvert was a bit conscious seeing all smiling faces, but could brave the cake cutting sessions. The birthday boy (Hah!) was blushing for exactly 37 minutes before going back to work.

To protect their privacy I can not put the image of our card here but it had ten small cards stuck inside one big card. Talk about cost cutting and start ups! (*Coyly looking at keyboard* Yours truly was appreciated for the concept!) Design approval and the cake manager got their credits as well, along with our background noise - the other mentor S who was surprised by our game plan along with A.

After observing the card many times, the targeted birthday boy raised his eyebrows and asked,
"Bubblegum, you are good at creating surprises for people haan."

I grinned and said, " I know"!

S, Some day (Highly unlikely) if you read this I just want to let you know. This was the most boring surprise I have ever thrown. I owe you one kick ass surprise birthday party, next year may be?

September 21, 2015

aPOINTment # 6

When you just keep on running and the endorphin starts kicking in the body, you can not/ should not do anything but enjoy the 'Runner's high'. Well, do not widen your eyes. I did not run enough to get the high but my life ran. It is still running and I am merely coping up with the speed, huffing puffing sometimes but still enjoying the 'High'.

  • A trip to my home was more than fun. Panipuri and Kulfi, Gupshup and shopping. Those three days were so much packed, I tell you. All I had wished was to rest and do nothing (No, My in laws don't do Zor Zulam on me. I was just plain bored of some things.) when I planned for the home trip. What I realized is, 'resting' is even more boring for me. A day completely without doing nothing does not work for me. I feel depressed. 
  • Baking-vaking happened at home. Baked a really chocolaty cake for my cousin and my mother. Yes, both of them have their birthdays this week. My frock buddy N. What to say, I just missed meeting her. Why? Because a lot of social meetings, upcoming marriages in the family. If you are reading this, shoot me :D Oh, well I am trying to call you in a while, better you pick my call.
  • I fell in love with Sarees one more time. I took out all sarees proudly owned by my mom and conveniently declared ownership on all of them. Only if I can flaunt sarees the way every graceful Indian woman does. Talk about dreams. 
  • I started a new tradition in my family. In Mumbai, as writing & reading in my mother tongue has almost become a code language between me and mom-in-law, I wrote her a birthday letter in my mother tongue without using a single English word. Yes, I feel so good about it. No, it was not a threatening letter, guys. Chill. She liked it. In fact, loved it.
  • I am feeling so close to Hindi now a days. Like never before, I feel the language.(Don't ask) I want to practice speaking in Pure Hindi, hopefully mixed with Urdu more and more in my life.
  • Buying a gift for my mom with my brother was a fun move. A ride on his bike while getting drenched in the rain can not be plain. Not at all. More fun was checking out his expressions when I asked him to accompany me in a shop which had already accommodated around twenty females hunting for sarees and their male partners lined up in the lobby, doing nothing. 
  • My team at work as expected, did not bother me while I was happily enjoying my second 'much needed' holiday this month. A break from a break is needed now. 'Much Needed'.
  • Ah, all these things happened while I kept on sneezing time to time. To my dad's horror, it seems I am allergic to milk. (Yey, not the Chai okay?) Which if proven, gates of guilt can be opened and I can have the strong Adarakhwali chai every single day!

September 15, 2015

Loss of the (ear)ring

To both mothers' dismay, I am not into Gold. Or diamonds.Or even Silver. No, I am not the one who hates ornaments. In fact, I love ear rings ,anklets and rings sometimes. Only if they are imitation. I was given many gold ornaments and some diamond ones when I got married. I love all of them but who wears them everyday?! They happily rest in a locker of a nearby bank most of the time.

Coming back to ear rings. My great love for ear rings. I have collected, preserved and flaunted many many of them, right from the day I started buying imitated ear rings when I was in the high school. I still have that 'Smiley wale earrings' bought while I was in the college. ( I kid you not!) I was pretty clear about the (only) self-made fashion rule: "The ear ring should match exactly match my attire." Hence, the enthusiastic shopper in me would go gaga over every big or small ear-ring stall my eyes could find, wherever I go. So much that, I also had bought a pair from 'Saputara' which is a small tribal hill station in the corner of Gujarat. Who buys ear rings from such hill stations?

I am actually a person who hates superstitions, but when it comes to 'Lucky' stuff I am stumped! I had my 'Lucky watch' which was my dad's watch (Oops), I used to believe in my 'Lucky hair style'and I have my 'Lucky ear rings'. No, I had my luckiest ear ring. :/

I lost one (and the only), a couple of weeks bag. The small white semi-star (Don't ask!) shaped studs which I flaunted in all the interviews I have given so far, in my life. Not to brag but each of the interview had got successfully converted into jobs/admissions.

So when I lost this luckiest pair, my heart sank. I silently cried invisible tears. No, it was not real or even an expensive piece of an imitation ornament set. It was more than that, the luckiest pair. I have preserved  the one piece from the pair which was left with me, thinking I might turn lucky and other piece would magically come back to me.

I am still waiting for the magic to happen.May be I would get the piece back? May be I would get another luckier pair? May be I would get rid of this superstition.

May be.

The Spiti Story-5

Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 here.

There were bumpier roads. There were bikers. There were rugged riders riding them. There were a couple of sturdy cars with high horse power engines roaring on the path. More than anything else, it was Adrenaline getting sprinkled every where, for me. We were on the way to Chandratal.

I was quite excited by the idea of living in a camp, hiking to the lake and framing splendid beauty if I can. I wanted to let me eyes wide open and fill them with blues, grays and greens till they over flow.

When we spotted our tents, it brought excitement in some of us and some were nervous at the thought of spending the night inside those tiny fabric toy-looking rooms. We ate something, kept our luggage there and started for the most spectacular site in Spiti.

Chandratal is a 'moon' lake at the height of 4300 meters in Spiti. It is one of the two highest wetlands in India. Once the road ends, there is a hike of around 30 minutes to reach the lake. One should always acclimatize to the high lands before starting for this place. I can not explain the beauty of this place with words any more.

When we saw the lake from distance after taking the turn from the peak we were hiking on...

We were closer to the lake.. A small stream of water below the track,,,

When we reached the lake, Felt the lake. The Chandra Tal. I almost thought if this is Chandratal, how would be the mighty 'Maansarovar'!

The colour of the lake changed with the direction of sun rays. It was not a magic but still a magic.

We spent good amount of time in the super windy atmosphere. We saw some crazy pupils jumping in the water without clothes and having fun while I refused to remove my shoes too! We jumped, we sat peacefully ( Okay, not me!), we clicked, we admired nature. Almost a sense of Niravana, may be.

Coming back to the base was quick as almost every one was stunned by the beauty of the valley. We were not knowing the actual thrill was in braving cold that night! :D

The chilling wind was trying to penetrate in the multiple layers of sweaters - jackets we were wearing. Getting inside the tent could help a bit,but not much. Our driver T came to our rescue and offered us the local wine made out of 'Jawar' which they drink to save themselves from cold. We all enjoyed it to the core, yeah me and Mr.ISB - the almost teetotalers of the gang also took shots!

We were hungry and so in the dining tent, along with other 17 ( Ah,, random) foreigners (mostly from Israel) we had Rajma Chawal and Achar. The simple menu appealed to our stomach and not to our taste buds. After dining we all decided to occupy the tent shared by me and SIL to play games. While they could enjoy cards, I the-no-cards-gamer sealed my self in the sleeping bag. After struggling for a while in the chilling weather, every one decided to sleep as the next day our return journey was to kick off.

Next morning when I unsealed myself to switch off the Auto Alarm in the phone, we had to carry a search operation to find the mobile as multiple layers of clothes and sleeping bags had engulfed us completely.

A cup of Kawah and a bit courage we all started our return journey. A journey, I did not have a heart to make. I wanted to stay there forever.This never happened to me before!

Spiti, Stay Special! 

September 14, 2015

The Spiti Story-4

You can find the first three parts of the story, here , here and here.

Visiting Ki Monastery was a treat to our eyes and hearts. For me it was eyes, for many it was the heart. Talk about having a camera in your hands, but then nothing to regret. Some people believe in 'Dharma' and some people believe in 'Dharma thorough Karma'! :D

We had to visit one more monastery near by and so when a Lama approached us with a request of dropping him there we were more than happy. We wanted to know more about Lamas and so it was a win-win situation. The Lama talked about those cold months where Spiti wears the blanket of snow. Each monastery stocks one year inventory of  eatables and other necessary things. The supply chain engineers in the gang approved of the complex supply conditions here.

When we reached the next Monastery, he said he would take us around which made us happier. We walked down to the village, chit chatting about the life cultivated here by locals. We saw a group of foreigners with their geared bicycles and silently paid respect to them. We kept on climbing wherever the Lama took us, we saw amazing scenic beauty from different levels of the hill. SIL, Mr.ISB and Friend K managed to climb the last level where he declared that we can see fields here but for some reasons the temple is closed. We, left outs had lost interest in climbing by now and were more into framing those green fields with Himalayan peaks in background.

The Lama now wanted to be with us for our journey to the next destination - Losar, which was more than a couple of hours away, where we had to stay that night. Now, SIL and Bro-Buddy found something fishy and we took the help of our driver T. He listened to us and formed a plan to get away with the Lama. We all sat in the bus and our helpful driver T told him something which we did not understand but Lama asked us to continue without him. We were relieved. The Driver T told us that the Lama was mentally unstable. We were, :O

Our next destination was coming closer after some hours, which were killed by sleeping , talking, sleeping, eating, again sleeping ,some shopping - local crafty stuff and talking. Our driver took us to a small field which had one single yellow roofed house with cattle grazing near by. Similar to what we as kids used to draw in our drawing books! :)

Our bus was now riding on a straight Kachcha road under an umbrella of  the dark black sky. The sky was cloudless. It was like that Navratri traditional ghaghra with a lot of 'Aabhala' (Mirrors like buttons in different shapes and sizes) stitched on to the fabric. My SIL also managed to lose her fancy woolen cap by peeping out of the window of the car to see that lonely yet glamorous sky. The Bro buddy was mentally ready for the star-shooting activity, ah, clicking this sky with his fancy devices and tripod.

By the time we reached the Guest house arranged by Nomadic, it was Dark. Darkness was more than frightening. People went straight to their rooms to freshen up. While SIL managed to take her Not-So-Powerful nap, rest of us gathered in Friend N's room to chitchat. Listening to some humorous incidents in Friend N's life was so unique that first time I felt, some body had my eyes and ears (and mouth too) to register generic and yet not normal incidents happening in life. Once we were told that the dinner was ready we all went to the most warmest room we had seen in last few days.

This room had an old coal based heater, Indian sitting, frames with Spiti photos and books all around. The heat we all wanted that night was coating our bodies slowly thanks to the heater. After the dinner some of us went to our respective rooms while the two male species of our gang went to the terrace which was a part of the coldest dessert in the world that night, I along with SIL tried to cover ourselves as much as we could and went there to meet them. We managed to stay there for 5.57 minutes there and decided to go back to our room. We were anticipating the end of the day, little less we knew that the night was the 'Gyan ki Raat'. We found wisdom that night.

Friend N came to our place to ask how was our trip to the terrace,where guys were trying to click the gorgeous sky. We started talking on it and on different people around us and different situations we are/were facing and philosophy and Bro-buddy and marriages and quotes and spiritualism and love stories and,. One guy attempted to join us while Mr.ISB was fast asleep in the next room. At 3 am we decided we should sleep and the collective wisdom later on made the 3/4th of my post here.

When we got up in the morning with  sweet day dreams of seeing the most beautiful place in  Spiti-  'Chandratal' that day, we were surprised by the beautiful landscape in the day light when we peeped out from the balcony. Last night, it was difficult to see and feel the beauty around the guest house. Some times our mind does not permit us to see the silver lining in our lives. Because we judge the situation, the person and the face. That is how worries and bias generate.

A mug full of coffee and good old Alu ke Parathe made us ready to seize the famous Chandratal!