~Bangalore is beautiful today, with its Ooty-like climate, thanks to the cyclone-like atmosphere that has been created here. There is a coolness in the air, and it has been steadily drizzling since morning; the day is crisp and clear. It is just the kind of day that puts me in the mood to write something, but sadly, the words do not seem to flow. For quite some time now, I feel blocked in some way. Try as I might, I am just not able to set my mind free and let it reach unexplored depths. But write I want to, so I think I will attempt free flow – a penning down of thoughts as they flow, without a definitive end in mind. It is supposed to be good for releasing the creative juices, so they say.
~So. My work for the day is done, and I sip on my cup of masala chai as I type this out, contemplating cabbage and onion pakoras, refraining just because I haven’t been able to go on my routine evening walk today, and I don’t want to pile up the calories any more than they already have.
I am quite enjoying my walks, actually, in a nearby park. I ‘discovered’ this park recently, and it has been a fun experience going there every day post work, sometimes carrying a book or my camera with me. The people there have begun to recognise me, and often smile and nod as we pass by on our respective walks. The routine feels good, and I hope the exercise is doing my body good.
~That said, I have a feeling my exercise and the sort of diet regimen I have been trying to follow of late is going to go for a toss once the parents are here. Oh, yes, they will be in Bangalore the day after tomorrow. We have chosen a house for them on rent, where they will be staying till we finalise on a property that they can buy. This house is a five-minute walk from my place, and I am so sure Amma is going to ensure that her daughter and son-in-law are fed hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To tell the truth, I am looking forward to being pampered, being taken care of, cossetted and cuddled. It still hurts, though, to understand that we’ll be giving up our family house in Ahmedabad for ever, in just two days’ time, and that it will never be the same going back to the city again.
~The fact that the OH has ‘discovered’ a nice place for bajjis, bondas and pakoras on his way home from work, and tempts me with a little parcel of some fried goodies or the other straight off the stove at least three days in a week is not doing much good to my diet and exercise regimen either. I have been trying to resist, but end up hogging at least a couple of the treats – which, I must admit, are lovely – each day they are sneaked into the house.
~Speaking of food, I have been in the mood to experiment with flavours, cooking things at home I find challenging, and which I haven’t tried out before. I am quite enjoying the process, and I will write down recipes soon. Now that winter is here, I suspect soups will be making a regular appearance on our table. I am all up for trying out different types of soups at home, especially the lemon-coriander soup that I so love slurping at restaurants. If you haven’t guessed already, I am presently enamoured with the idea of the goodness of home-cooked simple food, using fresh produce, and harnessing the best qualities of the different ingredients we use.
~The pink flowers are blooming all over Bangalore these days, an indication that winter has arrived. I love these flowers, and I love this primitive way of marking seasons. These flowers have been adding colour to my mornings, lighting up roads and spreading smiles.
~I find it a tad difficult to believe that December is already here, and that this year is soon going to come to a close! Where did the time fly? I haven’t realised how this year just sped by at all. By the by, the season for Christmas is here – one of my favourite festivals. I love looking at shops and streets and churches all lit up in preparation for the festival, thinking of Santa Claus and gifts and goodwill and cheer. The Christmas cheer usually hits me in the beginning of December, and I feel happy all month long. It hasn’t this year, though, and I am hoping it will soon. I really am. Maybe I should do things, visit places, that will put me in the Christmas spirit.
~By the by, I saw on the news that it has been snowing in Kashmir. I was enchanted by the pictures of Kashmir in news bulletins – it looks so very beautiful! It is amazing to see some of the places that we visited donning a pristine white garb. It looks like something out of a fantasy film now! Playing in the snow has always been a dream of mine, and I would love to be in Kashmir now, building snowmen, throwing snowballs at the OH, and just generally rollicking in the snow.
~Of late, I have been fascinated by all the lovely spots that the world has to offer, all over again. Thanks to Raimund Gregorius, the central character in the last book that I read, Night Train To Lisbon, I am taken by the idea of nomadic travel, being a wanderer, travelling from one place to another as the fancy takes you, without a schedule and nothing to hold you back. Sadly, not everyone is cut out for that kind of life, as enticing as it sounds. I shall try to do the best to be a traveller, in the way I can. I have been toying with the idea of hanging a large map of the world in my drawing room. Apart from being a quirky piece of decor that is very much me, it would remind me to never give up on travel.
~I have been listening to some Gregorian chants since afternoon, and have been utterly fascinated by them. They have enchanted me, in spite of the fact that I cannot understand one word of them. They just sound magical, and transport me to another era. I can only imagine how wonderful an experience it would be to listen to these chants live, in person, in a beautiful, old church. This lady got me all intrigued about Gregorian chants, while we were discussing Night Train To Lisbon, and I had to immediately go and look them up on YouTube. I am marvelling at the power of the internet, which brings such music from far, far away to my home in India.
~I have been in the mood to read deep stuff that is thought-provoking, and have found the perfect book in Joanne Harris’ Blackberry Wine. Just the right mix of magic and reality, it has been keeping me company since last week, and you can find me immersed in it whenever I can steal away a few minutes during the day. I am almost done with the book, and am already wondering what I will read next. Nothing seems to appeal.
~The OH and I went to the wedding reception of one of my colleagues last weekend. It was a lovely affair, and it was great to see the couple lost in each other, happy to just be together. Such sights sooth the mind, and relax me from within. The food was wonderful, too. It feels good to know that I have been building relationships at my new workplace.
~It is soon going to be a year since I joined this workplace, and the job is not really new any more. I can safely say I am glad I took up this offer. This is a smaller, closer set-up than the huge corporate I used to work with earlier, and is more satisfying and charming for that very reason. The office is not swanky, there are not many big parties and events happening here, but I find myself surrounded by people who are friendly, willing to talk from their hearts, and who are caring and ready to help out. I find the management quite approachable, and willing to understand and work around employee issues, rather than telling the staff to keep work and personal problems separate, something that used to happen all too often at my ex-office. Moreover, this job has made me challenge myself – as a person, as a professional, and made me think of and do things I never would have thought myself capable of doing. This proves that change might be scary, but it is not always bad.