Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If we were having coffee together... 3

If we were having coffee together dear friend, I’d have lots to talk about because my once-in-a-year trip home makes me garrulous. And if you’d raise your eyebrows at the word ‘home’ I’d reiterate that no matter where I go or how many houses I buy or live in, home will always be my hometown. That’s the city I grew up in, the city my parents still live in, the city where I, quite unrealistically,  expect to bump into a familiar face at each turn.

If we were having coffee together....
I’d tell you how I squeak like an over excited child each time I spot a sign of development here. ‘Ah the university got a makeover’, ‘Wow a new flyover’, ‘Ooh an authentic Italian joint, a yoghurt parlour’, ‘My goodness how many coffee shops are there?’

And yet, I’d tell you how I look out for the well-loved and the unchanged bits even more eagerly - the chikan shops, the gorgeous monuments that dot the city that I barely noticed when I lived here, a favourite kadamb tree, the gulmohur lined avenues, the thandai, mithai, chaat and biryani.

Most of all I’d tell you about the people. People, who are bound to me with nothing but simple bonds of love. I’d tell you about the chachaji at the paan shop who continues to give me free meethi saunf just as he used to when I was a toddler, or the thandai wale chacha who refuses to charge us if he spots me. ‘Ghar ki beti hai,’ he says, ‘paise kaise le skate hain hum?’

I’d tell you about the people here, who still exude an old world charm... the time my mother-in-law and I were arguing over who would pay for the vegetables and the vendor calmly took it from my MIL saying, “Betiyan toh mehman hoti hain’. It sounded incongruous - a guest in my own home? How exasperatingly old-fashioned! Yet I could argue no further.

Then there was the time we got stuck at a narrow curve on the road. ‘Peechhe lo’ said the driver of the oncoming car. ‘Lo nahin lijiye hota hai', admonished my sister as she reversed the car. I cringed waiting for the angry, impatient rebuttal but the driver, a barely literate stranger, gave her a sheepish apologetic smile as he drove away.

If we were having coffee together.... 
I’d tell you how it warms my heart to see these tiny courtesies thriving here, how I cannot but smile when I hear the aap and the ama floating on the breeze, even as ‘dudes’ and the ‘bros’ make space in its vocabulary.

Yeah my city is changing, becoming more like a metro with all modern conveniences even as it loses some of its character. That is bound to happen, and that’s good, that’s progress, I tell myself. And yet when the old-world ways show up unexpectedly, as they are wont to do for they are part of its personality, they are ever more quaint and comforting.

If we were having coffee together....
I’d invite you over to this city known for its relaxed evenings, I’d invite you to come experience a sham-e-awadh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Of travel plans and travel anxiety

Its the summer break and that means my presence here at the blog shall become sporadic. As we ready ourselves to set off on our travels I am consumed with a bad case of travel anxiety. 

What if the taxi gets a flat tyre?
What if I miss the flight?
Did I miss packing anything?
What if my baggage is overweight?
What if I misplace my baggage?
What if I forget the ticket, the id?
What if I am not at the correct terminal?

What happens when I get there?
What if I don't find a cab?

It's endless... this list of tiny worries.

Without even being aware of it consciously, they nag at me for days before I set off. That, when I've been travelling on my own for over two decades. It makes me irritable and more likely to snap at the kids, not that they aren't doing enough to drive me up the wall anyway. It wasn't half as bad when I travelled alone, having responsibility of the twins just makes it worse.

I've tried imagining the worse case scenario and that isn't scary at all yet the anxiety refuses to go.

I'm hoping putting this down here would make me see how irrational it is. 

Do you worry when you travel?

Friday, April 01, 2016

The things I've seen this morning

A woman hanging from a rope, another one draped on a stand with her head hanging back. A man with his legs strung across his shoulders, another one with his hands and feet hopelessly entangled while a third one sits calmly cross-legged.

Those are the things I've seen this morning at yoga class.

It’s ages since I did a 55er. I thought I’d try one for this prompt.

I won’t stop there though, because I have to tell you about my new experiment with yoga. Let me begin by saying that I took it up once before for about two years and found is quite magical. The twins weren't yet two and I was on the verge of going completely crazy. Yoga then wasn’t about weightloss. I looked upon it as the only me time I was likely to have through the day. It turned out to be way more than that. I always came away with a sense of peace and well-being from the sessions. It helped that the instructor was coming home and I had the kids close by.

With the twins entering their tweens, the 'going crazy' feeling is closing up on me again and I thought I could do with some peace of mind along with my exercise. Also, with my knees getting worse I knew my days with Zumba were numbered. Yoga it had to be.

However, it has just not been the same.

To begin with the class starts right at the time that twin’s bus arrives so I’m not there to wave them goodbye and that doesn’t make me too happy. Yeah they’re almost ten but N makes this huge show of not wanting me to go while hardly bothering with me when I’m there. Kids, I tell you! They’re champions at starting off guilt trips. 

Besides, there are too many people at the class. When we had the instructor coming home we were just three friends and had undivided attention. My spondilitis has only made it worse. I cannot do many of the asans and that bugs me no end, specially when it's something I could do earlier or when I see people around me doing it with relative ease.

It doesn’t help to have Zumba songs playing in my head during meditation. I feel like I’m being unfaithful (To Zumba or Yoga, I haven't quite figured out). Sigh! 

Maybe another time, another class, another instructor. For now it’s back to the walks and the Zumba.

So what’s your most/least favourite exercise?

Linking up to Finish the Sentence Friday. Thanks to Leanne for the wonderful prompt  'The things I've seen this morning...' . and as always, warm thanks also to Kristi from Finding Ninee our regular host. Do drop by to check out the other entries.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A gratitude post

About two weeks back I landed myself a sore throat. Nothing that couldn’t be cured by warm water gargles and mugs of ginger tea, I thought. However within a day my throat turned to sandpaper making swallowing difficult and I felt The Wheeze come on. 

If you’ve ever had it you’ll understand the capitals. Within the space of a day breathing becomes a chore, lying down impossible and sleep a mere dream.

This hadn’t happened to me in the last ten years. The twins seemed to have scared it away! However this time it was back.

I gave up oral medications and took on inhalers. Soon enough the breathing eased. Within a week I was feeling human again.

I remembered my childhood - those long painful nights with my mum sitting beside me rubbing warm mustard oil and garlic on my chest while I struggled for each breath and prayed for the night to be over. The days weren’t ever so bad for there were distractions. Nights, on the other hand, were dreaded monsters. Propped up by pillows I would struggle to pull out each breath from my clogged lungs. 

Those nights were truly dreadful.

It was this dread that made me reach out for shawls and sweaters at parties. This dread made sure I was always unfashionably bundled up at weddings and get-togethers when everyone else was flaunting their silks and georgettes. And it was this dread that made me completely immune to friendly jibes from friends and family. 

It would take sometimes, a month for the congestion to go.

This gratitude post today goes out to scientists, researchers and doctors who have made our lives so much easier that a mere ten days later I was back at my Zumba class with just a memory of the wheeze.

Thank you with all my heart. Oh and from my lungs too :-).

Linking up to Vidya's Gratitude Circle Blog Hop. Do click on the link and head on over.


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