Anything but books Tag

Anything but books Tag

I am loving this tag doing the rounds introduced to us by Shantala.  It has been fun reading other’s responses.  For a change, this one is not about books but a little more about me.  Read through and pick up the #AnythingButBooks tag.  I would love to read yours too.

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

I grew up at a time when there was just one hour of cartoon shown on Sunday mornings at 9 called Mickey and Donald which I loved.  Then there were the video cassettes of Tom and Jerry we used to watch for endless hours.  Among the recent cartoons,  I love binge-watching Shinchan.  I have to watch it,  I have 2 boys.

What is your favorite song right now?

It is a not so current song.  But, I have been listening to this on endless loop as I discovered it recently.

Kehte hain khuda ne is jahan mein sabhi ke liye
Kisi na kisi ko hai banaya har kisi ke liye
Tera milna hai us rab ka ishara maano
Mujhko banaya tere jaise hi kisi ke liye

For the non-Hindi speaking,  here is the translation –

“It says God has created someone for everyone,

Finding you is a sign from Him,

That I am made for someone like you.”

I love the way the music goes around in circles. If you loved the lyrics,  the music is even better. Here is the link

What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I can spend hours walking.  I love to go for long walks,  walk in a market, shopping, walking to anywhere.  All I need is a pair of comfortable and strong shoes.

What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love to spend time in Museums and in ruins.  I can spend hours and hours going through each and every exhibit and reading all the notes written below it and I can remember them too.  On my last weekend in London,  I spent the whole day,  yes the whole day, at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Natural History Museum.  It was pure bliss.

As for the ruins,  I stay near Bassein fort and I love to walk around the ruins of the fort.  The fort is used for movie, music videos, ads and TV serial shootings too.  It helps to maintain this historical monument.  But, it could also damage the original features of the fort.  I wish our Archeological department does more to protect this fort.  You can see the fort in this famous song from Heropanti.  Ignore the foreground dancers,  just see the beautiful fort in the background.

What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

I want to learn about editing videos. Why? To create book reviews with videos.  I don’t want to be staring into a camera and showing people book hauls.  But, more like an edited video which will show what the book is about.  Anyone help me with where can I start?

What is something unusual you know how to do?

There really is nothing unusual I know that the rest of us doesn’t know.  In fact,  there are too many things I do not know to do.

Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can).

Well, last year I made this website.  I used tutorials on Youtube to understand how to customise the themes, how to add code and lot of nitty-gritties.  I am a techie and code loves me.  It was pure bliss to seep through endless code after ages.

What is your most recent personal project?

It has to be growing capsicums.  It did grow, I posted the pictures on Instagram.  But,  now I want to create a fairy garden or a miniature garden.  All my time is now spent in watching their videos and Pinterest is full of ideas.

Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

When I look out of my window,  it is to a main road which is 100 feet wide.  So,  loads to think about like cars, clothes, signals. Just before the road is a peepul tree inhabited with birds of all kinds.  Their morning activities are fun to watch.  There is also crow’s nest and I love watching their antics.  Beyond the road is an unkempt open ground.  It is green now due to the first rains and a delight to watch.

Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favorite food, but like your favorite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.

I am not really a foodie but I love to listen to music when studying or working very hard. If it needs me to concentrate and stay awake,  music is the best.  It helps me focus.

Now that you know me a little more,  tell me about yourself.

 

Taboo Stress  #PeriodPride

Taboo Stress #PeriodPride

My family consists of my husband and my 2 sons in the ages of 11 and 17.  I have made sure my elder son is aware of periods and will make my younger one aware too as he grows up.  I have to as they have seen me a zillion times buying sanitary pads and carrying one to the bathroom.   One day, curiosity got the better of the elder son and I explained as possible.

But when I was growing up,  my mother used to hide it.  Those Carefree and Stayfree ads would make us squirm.  Sanitary napkins were not to be shown in the presence of my father or brother.  With three females in the family,  someone was using them all the time.  But,  it was a secret between us.  It was brought from the medical store in complete secrecy.  One couldn’t check the packet at the medical store.  It would be wrapped in newspaper and then handed over.  We were not allowed to touch plants and the Puja stand was out of bounds.  It was worse when I used to visit a friend’s house.  They would not let me touch their furniture, utensils or enter the kitchen.  When I used to go to Kerala,  we could not enter the kitchen, puja room, drawing room or touch the well, plants, flowers,   These practices are still being followed even when education has changed their outlook in other spheres.   Continue reading

The turning point in life #MondayMusings

The last week,  June 25 to be precise,  I completed 15 years of joining the IT industry.   It was an event that has had long term impact on me and my family.  I can look back at life and point to this date with certainty and say, “That day there,  it changed my life.”   Nothing has ever had as much of an impact as this day in life.

Prior to that,  though I was a computer programmer,  I was working in one of the user companies and even after close to 6 years of work experience,  life had really not taken off.  To add to it,  we had 6 full day work weeks.  With  a toddler in tow and living in a joint family,  I did feel at times that there was nothing much to look up to in life.

When I had resumed work post my first son’s birth,  I was surprised to find that my company had moved on from custom software to an ERP system called SAP.  For me at that stage,  it was a software I had not even heard about.  And my IT Manager was a new guy.  Not knowing what the future will hold,  I went about it and could barely focus on work with visions of being obsolete and removed from the job.

Life had other plans.  The IT Manager gave me the option to choose between Web Designing and SAP.  Web Designing and Java were hot at that time and everyone was doing it.  I knew my limitations on the creative aspects.  But, the other option was unknown.  Here,  my friend,  suggested that I should take the leap into SAP as there was nothing to lose anyway.   The company wanted me to pick up the new software on my own as training was outrageously expensive then for SAP.  Continue reading

If we were having coffee .. #weekendcoffeeshare

cappuccino-276505_640If we were having coffee,  you would tell me that I have not shared coffee with you since a long time.  I try to hide my face but then what are friends for if they do not complain about you.  I had some good reasons too.  I was caught up in life and its tantrums.

Life went on a tad too monotonously.  I have been reading your exciting posts and I felt, I had nothing to share.  It was also summer vacations here and with the children at home,  or rather at the playground the whole day,  I just had time to see to it they are fed on time and bathed daily.

We did make a short trip to Mahabaleshwar,  a neighbouring hill-station for some TLC.  And a week ago,  the school and colleges have started and the boys are back to their daily hectic routines.  And now I can get back to blogging.  That was the major reason for staying away.   And I think you will understand.

This week the much-anticipated monsoon is back in Mumbai.  After the total absence of rain last year,  we are hoping and praying for a good three months of soul drenching, flooding and grinding life to a halt rain.  The drought last year has been a wake-up call to preserve the delicate environment.  I am glad that in my local area,  there are many ponds and lakes.  This year they have been systematically cleaned up and readied for rain-water harvesting.  This year should be better than the last.  Mumbai, with its burgeoning migrant population cannot afford to have a drought.  The civic authorities may just ask us to leave the city.

On the book blogging front,  two of my reviews will be up soon and there are three more pending to be read.   Be back to check out the reviews on the blog.  Sadly,  I am losing out on a lot of reading time due to work and family,  urging me to move towards audio books.   I am discovering a whole new world of audio books now.  If you haven’t, check out some free classic reads on Librivox.org.

On a different thought,  I really wish someone will do a reading of Malayalam language novels.  I would love to listen to them in their original forms instead of half-baked translations.  Anyone wants to take it up?

This year, emboldened by successfully completing the April A-to-Z challenge, I have also signed up for CampNanowrimo pledging to write 30,000 words.  I have been wanting to write longer stories but never got around to it.  The plan is to write a romantic story.  Putting in some plots and plans in place for the same now.  Do send me your suggestions.  What kind of love story excites you?

I need all your wishes and blessings as I start my journey next week.

So, how have things been with you?  What is keeping you busy,  my dear friend?

Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster

A holiday to remember

Working from home can be a boon or a bane.  It’s a boon when we can avoid the daily commute.  But it soon becomes a bane when the kids are having holidays and are at home.  My quite home fills up with the boys’ activities with watching TV,  board games,  throw balls and the endless shouts from the playground calling out the boys.  To top it all,  I was at a remote location in Kerala and the data card was P-A-I-N-F-U-L-L-Y S-L-O-W.  After the initial few days and some quick pre-monsoon showers, it was practically nil.

All that energy and nowhere to let it go made the noise louder and louder and left me cranky.  I finally decided to take them out over the weekend for a short trip.  As luck would have it,  I was not sure where to go as I wasn’t familiar with places there.  I wanted a short trip, nothing more than 2 hours of travel one way as my elderly parents would also accompany me.

Every evening used to be full of heavy showers.  Those who have experienced rains in Kerala will know that when it rains there, it pours.  We looked for places in and around my hometown Varkala.  It is already a popular tourist destination with its famous beach being just 15 minutes away for us.   My home is also near one of its backwaters, just a minute away and we can view it from the terrace.  So, no novelty in backwaters or the beach.   BackwatersVarkala

We started searching on google for places to visit in and around Varkala.   Also, places to visit around Thiruvananthpuram as we are just an hour away from the capital.  We found out the KTDC contact (http://www.ktdc.com/tours.php) numbers and called them up.  They had a couple of trips for Thiruvananthpuram in a Tempo traveler.  We had to also join at Thampanoor railway station.  Again,  it is not suitable for my parents and a day before, the whole railway station had been submerged due to rains.

The boys were getting restless now.  Finally,  we decided on a trip by hiring a private vehicle.  Unlike in cities, Varkala is quite remote.  We don’t have the typical ‘Rent-a-cars’.  So, checked with my cousin for a contact.

He called up his friend and the friend called up another friend.  Finally,  we found a Qualis with A/c.  Yeah, in these parts, we have to specify that too.    Continue reading