Friday, 18 November 2011

Wishing, well

Every once in a while you wish you didn’t have to be strong

Every once in a while you wish you could be a child again, free of care and heart-ache

Every once in a while you wish you could be vulnerable

Every once in a while you wish people wouldn't disappoint

Every once in a while you wish there was someone to kiss your tears away

Every once in a while you wish the one you loved didn’t make you cry

Every time I hope that I will be understood, and then I have to start all over again.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Days of our lives

I spent the last one hour going over my posts over the last three years.

Wow. Three years. Three brand new years in a foreign land, which V & I call home; 3 years (almost) with a husband, who I still think of as boyfriend, three years spent in introspection, a scant three year into married life which still feels brand new, in spite of my 3 decade old existence.

How things have changed yet are the same. The dishes are still dirty but V can finally find his socks by himself. Fights still rage on but hurt less. Love remains but has matured. I still don't have an office to go to, but I now work from home. People still seem to only want to know “What's Cookin' “but I am happy to regale them about my culinary ventures.

Some circumstances/issues and certain folks still irk but I have moved on from ranting to patience and mirth in the face of irritation. Deep breaths help, I find. Some people divert their attention from the cause, I sit and dissect it- till nothing is left to ponder upon. I love these mysteries, the ones that dissolve into nothing because they were nothing to begin with. Why? Because they seldom reappear. And if they do sometime, you know to shrug them away.

At the face of it, circumstances haven't changed much but my perspective has. Made new friends, lost some excess baggage, reconnected with happy people from the past. I am still me but better. Being kind, helped. Laughing too.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hear ye, hear ye

It has been a while since I posted any thing here, but it was for a good reason. I have been busy overhauling my food blog. After two years on the old address, I decided to move things up a notch for GastroGnome and add a couple of new exciting features.I invite you to sample the new offering@ www.foodoodle.wordpress.com. Looking forward to your feedback.
Which is not to say that this space will be left vacant. Posts will resume here very very soon.

Till then, catch me at my other adda.

Friday, 17 June 2011

That's not my name!

It’s been two years in Shakespeare’s country and I find myself mulling over his famous question- What’s in a name?

Plenty, as I will now proceed to tell you.
So the name Prerna means inspiration- all well and good. But did it have to be such a tongue twister. Yes I could have changed, it. I had even toyed with the idea at age 10 when one chick decided to call me Priya because she couln’t manage Prerna. Lazy biatch. And then I changed my mind and stuck to it. Of course, I did not have the guts to face my granny who bore no such nonsense talk in her house. Of course I gloated secretly when two of my cousins changed theirs in a few years time.

Anyhoo… years later in moved to Southern India to study- and was rechristened PrerAna….notice the extra “A”? the two years I was there I fought tooth and nail to restore my name to its northie spellings and just about managed to graduate as Prerna.

Four years later I married a Kallarackal and moved to the UK.

I am sure that had I taken the husband’s name, this name calling would have gone to a whole new level! Imagine their horror when faced with a first name and surname that would have been.

But hey, I am being uncharitable. People here have borne the pain remarkably well. When encountered with the alien nomenclature they try very hard to get it right. Some are apologetic, others amused but most of them are very keen to know if they did well. It’s refreshing to see people here making the effort to get it right, even though I am pretty sure I will be the first and last Prerna they will ever meet.

If nothing else, I taught many a gora (both inside and out) how to pronounce my name. They still can’t manage as well as I would like it. But they are leagues ahead of certain fellow hindi bhaashis who still can’t manage the correct pronunciation. I have lived with Prena, Prema, Preema, Priya for 28 years. Lovely names all, but they ain’t mine.

The name itself emerged after the mater and pater waded through various options thrown at them. Amongst them was Rosy (or was it Ruby). Phew… narrow escape there. The final battle was between Prarthana and Prerna and we know which one won.

So you can see the name has been trying to establish its true identity from a long time ago. And the quest has now entered the digital age. Typed in small letters you can be forgiven for reading my as Prema and not Prerna… yea.. two completely different names... sigh. The battle continues.
As for the question at the beginning about the post- well you could say its much ado about nothing, or in my case - a comedy of errors.

And now I proceed to make a song and dance about it. Or at least the Ting Tings will, on my behalf.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Old ball 'n' chain

Yup. Sometimes this is exactly what life feels like. Just when you think you are about to take flight, someone with more relevant experience takes your seat instead.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I am done with my 27 dresses. I am thinking of donning the habit instead.

Sometimes, I feel lazy; staying positive is hard work.

No I don't expect this to make perfect sense to you. A personal rant on a not so personal forum.

Looking for sympathy, am I? Nope. Some mirth and giggles perhaps. Need to develop a more morbid sense of humour- learn to laugh at one's own disappointments. Me not you. You can too if you want, none of my business.

Next stop -carpet cleaners tomorrow morning at 8.

Life's beautiful.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Read more here!

So the last time I posted something here I updated you about this exciting new site I was writing for. And today you can read all about the website and its founders here.
And after you do that, check out these guys, www.firstfeatherconsultants.com for some more inspiration!
Thanks for your time!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

My article

Recently, I began writing for a novel & exciting travel website carved out for Europe-bound travelers. Indian Compass, started by two lovely ladies, Chetna and Sakshi, is not our run-of-the-mill travel guide. For starters it is designed to suit the needs of the Indian traveller. The idea for the website was based on an astute observation made by the owners- an Indian’s travel needs are quite different from what the Lonely Planet caters to. And they focused on Europe because both Sakshi and Chetna have travelled the continent extensively and have very very useful tips and suggestions to make. What better advice can there be than one made by the ones who have been there and done that. (For more one the website’s creation, pop over to Chetna’s blog.)

Following is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the Indian compass. I hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Think London, think art and culture. On offer are plays, recitals, exhibitions, musicals and then some. Unfortunately, most of these come with a price tag. But there is one way you can still experience some excellent Western Classical music without paying a dime: attend a church service.

Believe me, I’ve experienced it myself. Last year, a few of us wanted to get together to watch the England-Germany world cup quarter finals in true English style: in a pub. But the day being Sunday, us good Christians had to first pay obeisance to the man upstairs. Fortunately the places of worship and gaiety were in the same neighbourhood. And this brought us to the Westminster Cathedral (mind you, not the Abbey, where Prince Williams is set to marry).

For more click here.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Reflection

No, this one is not a hissy fit. For once it is a calm contemplative thought, reflecting on some things I do and he doesn’t and the reasons why things come to be so. Don’t be looking for anything profound here just some thoughts that manifest themselves one morning last week.

While I have penned down many a rant about the husband and our run-ins. They have been in jest but the narratives have in some way or the other helped me keep sane too. Not because he is a bad husband but because life threw many a curve ball at me and laughing about silly matters seemed a good way to keep my spirits up.

But there have been times when I have marvelled at how different he & I are. Sometimes I attributed it to differences of our respective cultures, at other times blamed it on his gender and so on. After a slightly upsetting morning today, for a change I did not look for reasons to blame him. Sure, he was very self-centred in the way he behaved but then was I not to blame to be playing victim in that exchange; something I realised I have done often.

I will not go into details here but offer you a background to put things in perspective. Of late, I have worried about his health- stress and BP and all that. I make sure his lunch is packed for him to take. I spend inordinate amounts of time looking at food labels to pick up items with low salt content. I remind him to take his meds.

What I do not do is take care of my own health. I am not even half as motivated to keep myself fit. Well I have the intention but it gets waylaid somewhere down the line. Needless to say, some issues have cropped up. To be specific, back aches. What I expect from the husband is to show as much concern as I do to him in these matters. Again to skip the specifics, the fact is that he doesn’t. And no, I am not asking you to think that he is a bad person. It’s just not in his personality to express (or if I may dare to say, even feel) these emotions. (To be fair, he comes to be by my side if I make enough noise J )

He believes, and rightly so, that a person has to look after his/her own self. And that’s the lesson he has grown up with. To be fair, my parents tried to instil the same attitude in me. However, I knowingly or inadvertently did not do so.

I chose, however unconsciously, to emulate the many women in my life. Them, who put their family’s needs first. I used to feel sorry for them as they struggled to keep their heads above water even as they made sure the family stayed afloat. I swore never to follow their lead. I promised to never to lose my health and find my worth in keeping my family happy and well. I fell in to the very trap I was avoiding. Somewhere in the last two years I embraced the notion that a woman who can’t look after her kith & kin or keep a house sparkling clean or cook like her mother-in-law does, and so on, is not a “successful” wife. And somewhere in the woods I also stumbled on the mental block that reminded me that if I wasn’t earning a salary, the least I could do was run the “perfect” household. All this i did to myself.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh. But I am happy that I realised what I did. You know why, because I am taking ownership- off my weaknesses and drawbacks. And I also know that this knowledge is the way to shake these very notions off. I hope what I learnt about myself today would help me give myself more credit. No not validation from others but a sense of accomplishment that I would come from within and matter more than accolades and praise from others. I know the latter is important but I also realise that the former is quintessential for a happy life.

Thanks for listening. xx

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Chicken Soup any one?

It all started when I received a mail from my darling friend Nangsyal who asked me to stop moping around and start writing. And it was not just random advice, she sent an advert along that was asking for submission by writers. It was for the Chicken Soup for the Indian Bride's Soul. Yes, yes, very apt; you can stop grinning now.

I must admit that I was filled with doubts. I had never explored the realm of short stories before this, at least not one to be submitted for publication. Agonising over it for weeks and many false starts later, I finally sent it. I guess I had to, it was the last day of submission and I had exhausted everyone's patience with my rants and angst to pen the perfect master-piece :/

This was six months back. And today I am very excited to announce that the book is finally out. Ladies & Gents one of my stories is out there for you to read and I would be grateful if you could tell me what you thought of it! You can order your copies here and here.

And now I will take your leave and go giddy with joy, again!