November 18, 2014

Bullets through my blog!

I know many of my favourite bloggers hate the idea of bulleting short stories-rants. I am not going to be the people pleasure any more, so I have decided to use those bullets (Good, I dont have a gun!) for the wordly-vomit I need to have. How gross I can be!! *Thunking my head on a virtual wall*

  • My schedules have gone haywire. My two bosses (Ex and current) are exactly two poles. North and South. The Ex one does not want to leave me and the portfolio , the new one has already declared my ownership over it. He will pitch in when it is necessary. Good for me. But hey, if there is a formal process called 'Transition of roles', then I am the victim of it. The new boss does not believe in it and the old boss wants to have everything formal. Even a coffee break during the meet. Hello uncertainty and ping pong decision game!
  • I need to bake some breads or even a cake. Period.
  • The urge to create some thing new in my professional life has made me read trillions of articles and some good numbers of books online. With days passing by, I am slowly uncovering my wishes in terms of my work. 
  • The horrible and terrible ( they are understatements!) news of a friend (who used to be a very very good friend of mine, now out of touch!) who lost his wife a week ago in a road accident made me numb. Numb that I wanted to cry and I could not. I want to live every second of my life. No regrets. 
  • I have discovered my love for Mornings. I am a morning person thanks to my house maid and super hectic schedules. I sleep super sound and yeah, I get up (After one snooze, already considered while putting on the alarm!) early. If nothing works, my house maid does the get-up-its-morning task. No, I have not started working out as a daily habit. Some day.
  • I have the weirdest husband. He takes sadistic pleasure in scaring me out by appearing from no where at 1am when I sometimes get up to drink water and he is still on his beloved laptop or watching Tv! I get tiny heart attacks almost bi-weekly. What exactly do you express when you are in your deep sleep and you feel somebody is dunking you in a mountain of sand which is actually a dreamy feeling of a real scene. The scene when your husband is sprinkling powder on your calm, composed sleepy face. 
  • I want to maintain a diary for grocery in Mummy style. Weekly plans, vegetable shopping and grocery with hand written notes and stains! I have been procrastinating to implement this. Not Good.
  • I have discovered a new habit. Not sure if it is good or bad, but a step towards striking a work life balance if it exists. I do not open my work- laptop after office hours. Office hours do not mean 9-5 time frame here.
  • After ages on avoiding facial clean up (Hold you breathes people, I am going girlie!) I made a visit to the expensive saloon near by. I am feeling good and bad. Good for the refreshing feel, bad for the hole in the pocket. 
  • I have discovered new interest in brands like 'Kitchen Aid' for my kitchen. I own a knife now, made by the marvelous brand ( I am an engineer and I notice craftsmanship and material first!) gifted by Mr.ISB's our Kaki. Kaki, if you are reading, thanks for the gift I managed to get for myself from Mummy! :-)
  • I got re-connected with my two Singapore friends on Whatsapp after much expected light abuses from one of them. If you are reading this, Ms.Roomie, I am waiting for the next best phone. Blame it on my iphone! 
  • I have been banging on my next Mumbai Visit. Filter coffee, Dosa, Irani Cafe, Bandra and HOME. Hope it comes soon.

November 11, 2014

Need to talk!

Okay, we need to talk. I need to type. Days I have been blogging and so there are many random things we need to discuss about. Hope you get yourself a cup of (really awesome) Masala tea while I talk share titbits on the blog.

It was an awesome weekend which started on Friday night. My sister (in law who can out law!) came from Mumbai to stay with me have a blast in Pune for some days while Mr.ISB had to be out of town. I was already bored at home as it was more than a week I was all alone, struggling and juggling between my professionally complicated and personally too lonely a life.

So there she came and the cold as well decided to set off, talk about winter. Mix vegetable and paneer pulao with roasted tomato soup. Tick. Tomato crusty cake- first experiment- Tick. Adarakhwali chai- Tick. Alu methi sabji- Tick. Handavo - Tick. Chocolate Banana Peanut butter smoothie - Tick. Awesomeness in kitchen is more awesome when foodies meet.

A friend cum office-mat came to spend some time us with a leaking nose (hope she never finds this blog post). And then there were talks about their (girls sans me) match making with 23435 types of  prospective grooms they have encountered till date. Yours truly found herself immensely lucky as she had by passed the stage where you meet those thousands of guys officially for 'arranged marriage' and get confused when you have to hypothetically assume good things about him in two or three meetings! Poor girls. Well both of them are quite smart, of course finding the right guy would be difficult! The whole how-the-hell-I-say-yes-to-a-guy discussion, we had a brilliant dinner at my favourite restaurant.

The night followed by the dinner was interesting. Chatting, chatting and chatting. When suddenly somebody opened the  main door of my house with a key followed by a series of mini heart attacks in my body. No crime took place. Mr.ISB had peeked into our talk session as always, trying to give a surprise by coming home from his trip. It was a shock for a few second I swear, not the surprise. My lord, please note.

Of course, the (read: silent) icing on the cake had arrived and so the 'masti' was doubled in the cheerful pink cold of Pune. Kolhapuri chappals gifted by Mr.ISB only increased the fun. The awesome dinner followed by a pie and a cake- coming back and checking out wedding photos. No weekend can be better than this.

Then the moment came when I realized the Sunday comes only to be followed by Monday. Throat pain also occurs to be followed by cold. Office also starts to be followed by frustration.

Well, the worst at office is not yet over. Keeping my all limbs crossed.

November 3, 2014

The weekend,Cooking and Bubblegum!

It was a super relaxing weekend. Mr.ISB managed to spend with me by taking a detour from his business trip. It was like that splash of cold water, which makes you relaxed-refreshed but it stays for a moment. Two days were joyful but stayed there only for 2 days. You know what I mean!!

Movies, books, dinner outside with constant cooking incidents and accidents!

Laccha Paratha , Pudina Chutney , Garlic toast and Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - I crafted them all in my kitchen thanks to some brilliant chefs (almost, for me!) in the blog world and both of us relished all of these dishes followed by a super tasty dinner pending since long at a nearby favorite restaurant.  Creating magic in the kitchen is more relaxing then staring at the mail box in the office to let things move! Ah..By the way, not mentioning a loaf of bread which failed to rise came in between my otherwise good (read: awesome) mood.

A little bit of shopping, a dinner date and a movie or two were enough for me to forget the failure and start afresh. Another reason which made me stand up and bake again, was my frustration. Baking always leads to a much needed distraction, followed by some time in introspection.

The introspection which used to push me in a black hole aka depression before, now makes a calm play. Day by day, I am getting convinced where my real interest lies, accepting reality, gathering courage to do what I want. Slowly but steadily. Just like my first bread which I baked. Yes, finally I baked my first tasty loaf of bread!

I am in love with the beautiful rise thanks to the wet yeast procured from a near by bakery, whose owner failed to  know why I need to know Everything about the wet yeast and bake my own bread! His recipe was simple. "Thoda atta, thoda salt, thoda yeat, milao thikse, fulane do and bake karo." followed by "Aap banayegi?"

When I followed her blog post step by step (Though I replaced dry yeast with wet fresh yeast) and finally after hours , while cutting the bread loaf, I was almost drooling due to aroma! Enough self praising! ;-)

The satisfaction of crafting something for the 'Paapi pet'! ;-)

I have  also realized coming days are going to be even more frustrating in office. Worst is yet to come. Professional world might turn upside down or even worst, crush me,mince me. I am ready to seize the situation. Once and for all. With my cooking adventures on. Every single freaked out day will be a bake out day!

I promise.

October 31, 2014

A mindful monkey!

It is amazing how my mind works. The messy mind needs lists, calendars and plans fixed. Impromptu plans upset me for a while. If it is travelling or recreation, it is fun. Otherwise, such incidents upset that little corner of my mind in a horrible fashion.

I have two types of problems. One, I am so very much clear about what I have to do, when and how I need to do. It creates the feeling of being too busy.For example, I make a rough plan in my mind before leaving from my office about rest of the day(?). No rest, please note. The draft would be very much in detail. Like, Going to the basement parking, getting on the vehicle, stopping at a near by 'Sabji wali', stopping for that grocery shopping, parking the vehicle in the colony, Getting into the lift, Start cooking- chai making ,calling both mothers and so on. I do it sub-consciously.

My second problem occurs when I do not know what I have to do. Like, my next job? My next vacation? When should I plan for a visit to my home now? Bla bla. It makes my mind boggle. All the time.

I want to do everything and that too together. Without missing a bit. I know this. The habit of multitasking some times makes you feel blah, far from being satisfied. Rightly said, "You are not Multitasking, you are just task switching!" May be I need to change my mindset to this.

I 'have to' make a to-do-list and I am a sucker for applications which can help me out. My problem is I make lists randomly any where, because I am yet to make the 'system' in which I can use a single diary/application for personal and professional tasks. Sometimes going digital seems the best way out and some times I am back to good old diary lists!! Both never gets in sync!

With my baking - cooking adventures on (Did I tell you, I have started putting Jaggery in oats in the morning, in place of Refinded Sugar?), eating healthy stuff is on priority. Along with other domestic stuff I have to do in the absence of my maid. So,whatever time I get after Maha frustrating office hours, I chase the super long to-do-list.

I keep on revising editing it in my mind or an application or on paper.So my mind jumps around tasks all the time. No doubt focusing on work, which is frustrating, gets more frustrating with time. My mind never decreases the speed of processing. The list never gets sync with my mind, paper list or an applist.

I keep on hovering around ideas to make my to-do-list perfect and then check all the points in the list.

May be a different sort of monkey minded personality I am!
A mindful Monkey?

October 29, 2014

It really helps. Day dreaming.

Nilofar was coming. I was selfish for a moment. I wanted it to come to Pune at that very moment, so as to get an early compulsory off. (Being human, I don't want it to happen only, I was not a human being at that moment.)

My heart was thumping hard. No nervousness. Frustration. I did not want to go to the meeting which I had managed to avoid for quite some time. Just because it never helped. The saturation point was coming closer, to feel numb, I felt. The office kills my senses every day. Slogging is not challenging, that is what some senior management people told me. Yeah, well. That is what they make us do.

I attended the meeting with the shivering body while the low temperature of the room managed to keep my blood from boiling. The sheer wastage of time, managed to bring evening closer. Just to get roasted in another 'Counselling for career' lecture from another senior. Well, that is life. Talking about work life balance and asking to attend calls at States of America time.

The frustrated body tends to bend towards heavy , junk and irregular meals, like a normal human being. Just to realize they are big mistakes of my life. Having a cup of tea in place of heavy breakfast and grabbing the tasteless lunch, way after lunch timing. That is another story too. Being unhealthy and fat.

Those fat cells accumulated due to lack of exercise dance in the form of Bharatnatyam, Garba and free Bollywood dance shows once I enjoyed till I finished my 10th board. They keeps on increasing and decreasing in numbers. They never leave me alone for a long period of time. Of course my DNA is made up of fat cells if I look at my family,but there are celebrities like family members who manage to stay fit, a way healthier than a kid at an old age. I think, I am out of excuse and will power both.

The frustration rules my mind after office and I hardly feel my heart willing to beat with increased pace and endorphin rush in my veins. I ignore working out and keep on eating stuff, I should not.

Those sleeveless tops, halter necks and hot pants would never get the privilege to get flaunted by me. Those Reebok shoes in the show room to die for, will never get to see my legs moving faster than my usual speed of brisk walk. Those beautiful silk Sarees will be loved by me immensely with the wave of pain of looking ugly  in them. Those back pains which will play hide and seek all my life just because of my excess weight during PMS.

I can see the saturation point, the point of no return is coming closer in my professional life, affecting my personal life like never before.

I do not have a tunnel vision yet, to sort this for once and all. I have a blurred picture of what I would be doing in coming years, may be like a drenched painting. You thought you would get a finished bright, proper strokes on the canvas, what you got is a bucket full of water falling on it. Also you realize, you don't want to paint anymore.

Beautiful mornings, Sunshine, Chai mugs, Balcony. Jogging, dancing and the blood rush. No wearing formal clothes and no worries regarding how to tie my hair. Vegetables and grocery shopping and a stocked up kitchen. Relishing the food and working on my favorite laptop side by side. Chit chat with family members, photo clicking here and there. Challenges where my passion lies. Spic and Span kitchen and bright curtains. White cotton comfortable bed sheets and sparkling mirrors. Baking, blogging and reading every day. Discussion on geeky things and a few days out of town to enjoy the vacation every year.

Day dreaming relieves me sometimes from the baggage of frustrations I carry.

It really helps!

October 27, 2014

The Big-Fat Festive wave!

It took me (and Mr.ISB) to the storm. The Diwali and our New Year. Of course, combination of two talkative and hyper personalities of same age when meets, such things happen. I am talking about Mr.ISB's sister and not Mr.ISB!!The addition was Diwali. Let me explain!

First my parents came to Pune and then we went to Mumbai. Home. The trip of course covered a lot of social gatherings which were pending after the wedding, we clubbed all of them with Diwali and New year gatherings. The over explosion of such happenings  made me more chirpy (Yeah, I surpassed my past records!) and of course happy happy. No story can justify my feelings , so I am back to basic bulletins on my blog! :D

  • Going to Mr.ISB's eldest uncle's place.This was a bit of surprise as  I never could participate in most of the topics with them before. Generally filled with religious talks,this time the meeting happily included travelling ideas and talking with our nephew. The 10 year old kid actually came with us for the night stay. Above all, talking about books with the Uncle made me  us happier as I was happily given his two favorite thrillers from the collection. The little cute kid of the uncle who is now my husband might be thrilled that I stole am stealing the show. :D
  • My nephew. This kid talks like a kiddo Bubblegum. Fighter planes and wars. Spies and Defense. Cars in addition. I gifted him one of my favorite magazine  in English. Happy Happy!
  • Rangoli. No Diwali can be the 'Happy Diwali' without Rangoli. There are stories related to my rangolis every year back Amdavad wala home. Credits to my grand mother who was brilliant at it and we could make Rangolis every year.Some times, every day a new rangoli! I am into this ragoli making from the day I could hold a pencil and knew about colors. Ganpati Rangoli is compulsory in my rule books of Diwali since years!

  • Do not even ask me about food. Yours truly baked a cake, a not-so-so-good bread, some experimental and 'over sweet by mistake' muffins. The main chef at home, my mother (In law) made super tasty 'Ghughra' and the brilliantly assembled Sizzler! The foodies relished chocolates my dad brought from France and some random sweets every now and then. I know I have to start with my workout from today!
Okayish Bread made with clubsoda!

Banana whole wheat muffins!
See how well the engineer has managed to get the shape ;-)

  • Telephones. Mobiles. Talking to my favorite Kaki and Kaka from USA (I better give them blog names now!), my relatives from Ahmedabad and some other formal talks. Honestly , I enjoyed each of them. Some more some less.Unlike Mr.ISB who gladly talked (For a few minutes before running out of topics!) only to Kaka-Kaki from USA, for others he crafted some really good facial expressions to avoid , which were enjoyed by me and my sister (in out law)! :D
  • I also realized how parents can affect babies. I got to hear from a very young and stylish corporate mom that her 4 years old kiddo called her 'Babes' once. Learning from the random comments by his father. I laughed my lungs out!
  • After working really hard in the kitchen (Not cooking but the tedious side activities when your maid is not there) Bubblegum and the sister out law got pushed to take rest in a separate room by every other person of the family saying evening with guests coming in, would be more tiring. We had 2 hours to sleep and revive, which we spent in talking talking and talking. Got revived too, seeing faces of other members of the family when Mr.ISB opened the door of the room silently to cross check if we are sleeping!
  • Meeting old friends. Irritating some more. Long walks with the Bro buddy-1 and Mr.ISB like old times. Honestly, we need to meet more! Such a good feeling to re-play memories.
  • Back to back movies and discussion, some airy plans of travelling and career. The idea of managing two girls (Bubblegum and the sister out law) for more than a week made our mom threaten us saying she might take up the job if we decide to take a sabbatical together, under one roof!! :D 
  • Mumbai home also means, pleasant morning walks, cups of filter coffee in the famous cafes at Matunga. No Starbucks can beat them!
  • The departure for me was super frustrating as here in Pune, from today, I am again alone. All alone. With Mr.ISB on business trip and my office work starting again. Blogging such memories makes me giggle in such lonely moments.
Such was the festive big fat wave for me. How about you?

October 20, 2014

Bubblegum who bakes, now!

These all, baking stuff started with my dad. Really. He loves this machine with top and bottom heat elements,one motor and some sheet metal- metal parts. Do you realize he is a hard core engineer?

Whatever I baked at my home (Sadly, people call it now 'my' parent's home and I disagree with all of them), he became the most enthusiastic member of the family to taste those cookies, cakes and well breads. Some of them were really good, beginner's luck may be. Some of them were disgusting and he tasted all of them with same smile. Poor dad!

Slowly , dad's girl started building up interest in baking. For years, all I did was using ready made mixes or Indian dishes like 'Bati', baked potatoes with some masala. Now when my Bua who is equally into baking (beside being an 80 years old young doctor) decided to gift me an OTG, the ball of choosing an OTG came into my court completely.

That is how things started going haywire.

Yours truly got impatient and did extensive research while the husband was away. Rubbing shoes in different stores to hunt for that particular model did not work, so I did nothing but ordered it online on Amazon India. One of my then favorite site to order anything under the sun. Things went dull when I received my consignment in the form of a damaged OTG.

I lost my mood, temper and tempo to even talk to any one. Some where the madness to bake and practice to bake some cakes and knead some breads before my parents visit my home,made me almost a depressed a soul. I registered for the pick up for returns and refund. I was not ready to take the risk of replacing the product any more.

It took some 20 calls to 20 different customer care employees, 4 apology mails, some 100 sorry-s , boiling approximately hundred liter blood  they successfully picked up the wrong dispatch after 7 days.

Meanwhile my parents had arrived and they stayed without any trauma in the form of baking by me. Lucky guys. Anyway, daddy and the daughter had decided to get an Oven so it was. So while my parents left the city, the Oven arrived at 10 in the night! I do have some regret for not being able to harass them with my experiments but then, I am happy for the new OTG!

The OTG which finally came home!

How can I sleep when the OTG has been installed ? I followed chased her for this cake recipe!

Please do not stare the picture, rough baking is allowed for the first experiment after months, in your own OTG!

This is what I got. I swear, not so healthy for a midnight snacking, but yummy all the way!

Yummyness all over!
With the first successful baking experiment, I can say,

Bubblegum now bakes!