Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On boring ponytails

When I was a child, I was impatient to grow up, like many others, because that would give me the freedom to do certain things. For many of my friends, it represented freedom from school and adults who are constantly telling them what to do. My ideas on the subject were neither profound nor grandiose. I only had a modest desire - the freedom to wear my hair loose.

Throughout my childhood, my mom (and school teachers) always insisted that my hair be either neatly braided or tied into ponytails. School wanted kids to focus less on "fashion" and more on education, while mothers wisely avoided tangled hair. My mother and I would argue every day as she tried to get my hair into a ponytail for school, while I fretted and acted like a total diva, because, well, ponytails weren't good enough for me. I would watch Bollywood heroines toss around their luscious locks on TV and yearn for the day when I could break the shackles of boring ponytails and walk around with the wind in my hair. Of course, the thought never once occurred to me that my hair itself could be a far cry from Bollywood glamor.

Just yesterday, as I shook my hair out from a ponytail before going to bed, I realized that I haven't worn my hair loose in a long time. My hair texture and unimaginative hair dressers have both made it somewhat hard for me to let my hair loose often and still look presentable. But more importantly, I cannot be bothered to spend an extra 20 minutes styling my hair every morning before barely making it in time to work. Now if only I could have my mom lovingly comb my hair everyday and make it into a neat ponytail...

Friday, April 23, 2010

This one is for the girls

Butterfly, T, M and I

Meeting M in California this past weekend has made me very nostalgic. This June, it will be 10 years since M, T, Butterfly and I first met. Anyone who knows us well would never say that we are much alike. We have very different personalities, ideas and points-of-view. However, something did draw us together from the moment we met. I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but it may have been our mutual acceptance and admiration of the strong and opinionated individuals that we are, and the fact that we somehow always "get" each other. Well, it's either that, or nobody else wanted to be friends with us!

I was just thinking the other day that I never really shared my first impressions with them. So here they are, for my own benefit as much as theirs. I want to hold on to these memories, and what better way to preserve them than in my blog?

I first met M during our college admissions/counseling. She was so at ease in her new surroundings and seemed so very independent, that I couldn't help but admire her self-confidence. In sharp contrast, I was demure and quiet and thought I had just entered prison and not college. She was the first person that I spoke to.

I was introduced to Butterfly by M. Two things I instantly noticed about her - I had never met a girl with such pretty dimples, or who spoke her mind as openly. Within minutes she had me scandalized. I clearly remember thinking that this girl is trouble!

T and I first met when I had managed to sneak away from college seniors during ragging/hazing, and she was sent into the girls' hostel to call me out. I remember thinking what a beauty! And how come she's not frazzled by all this ragging business? In return, she tells me that I was a real wuss for hiding in my room! T, always the honest and practical one.

Four years with each other have lead to a lot of fond memories. Here are a few in no particular order (except for the first; that one's my favorite!):
  • Butterfly and T fighting like wild cats over petty stuff during lunch and dinner in the cafeteria/mess, while M and I goaded them on and enjoyed the show. Don't judge. The food was awful. Entertainment was all we had!
  • Late-night meetings in Butterfly's room for yet another discussion on boys, love, relationships and gossip.
  • Butterfly's iron-clad rule - Thou must wash thy feet before sitting on my bed. T always walked in with dirty socks and refused to comply (more drama!).
  • Trying on Butterfly's unused outfits from her secret "clothes stash" before every college event, and telling each other how great we looked! (I must mention this. Those clothes remained stashed for all 4 years, since Butterfly had a pathological fear of having to wash/iron them after use. She was already spending a fair bit of her expensive college education just washing clothes...If it's not clear, Butterfly has OCD.)
  • Staying up all night to cram for end-sem exams, and eventually ending up in T's room an hour before for a crash-course. T was always prepared - a week in advance. God, we hated her!
  • Butterfly claiming that T's methods are always wrong but somehow her "output" is always correct, as soon as the crash course had been delivered. (This would lead to some trouble, but the cycle would faithfully repeat itself every semester).
  • Mustering up every ounce of self-control to avoid cracking up at Butterfly's jokes in class (Networks, in particular. I may have suffered from internal bleeding in that one.)
  • Long walks with M, and how we never ran out of things to talk about.
  • T's horoscopic troubles, ineffective crash-diets and her firm belief that what you eat off of someone else's plate doesn't count.
  • That first bottle of vodka.
  • Watching M unleash her ruthless sarcasm on people.
  • Butterfly trying all sorts of well-intended but downright obvious tricks to help set me up with a cute guy (who I later married).
  • Sharing our anxiety over grad school apps and where life was going to take us next.
  • Butterfly waking up one morning before college was coming to an end and anxiously banging on my door because she dreamt that we were all gone :(
This is one long post, and god knows it could've been longer, and perhaps better. I'm not sure I did justice to this recap of our time together. I'm just paranoid that these memories will start slipping away (Except for those of the many practical jokes we played on T, of course. Those cannot be forgotten and even her grand-kids will hear about them from me). But the comforting thing is that we continue to be be best friends and any doubts that I may have had, when we graduated almost 6 years ago, about staying in touch are long gone.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Mondays can be hard. I usually wake up wondering why the world of corporations conspired to create a 5-day work week, why offices cant be more like schools doling out summer vacations and spring breaks, and imagine a perfect world with no Mondays, before I peel myself off the bed to take a shower. Since, Mondays are here to stay, here are a few tried-and-tested tips that may help ease the Monday blues. (Note, these are only for symptom-relief, they're no cure.)

1. Start thinking on Sunday night about what to wear to work the next morning. Pick something that you bought recently and are waiting to try, or a favorite sweater that makes you look oh-so-thin, to help you get a little excited about waking up and getting ready. This will also help avoid having a 'Damn! I have nothing to wear!' moment so early in the week, if you have it all figured out on Sunday night. Remember, looking good = feeling good.
2. Use your aromatherapy body-wash. You're gonna need it.
3. Walk in to work and spend the first 5 minutes, rolling your eyes at everyone in the elevator and around your desk saying "Mondays!". Helps to get it out of your system. Chances are you'll even get a few understanding nods so you'll know you're not alone.
4. Avoid Monday-morning-sprightly-characters at all cost. They can be annoying.
5. Take a coffee (green tea recommended) break around mid-day to commend yourself for having made it that far in the day. Give yourself a pat on the back!
6. Leave a tad earlier than usual and spend that time browsing a store or taking a stroll or such.

If none of the above help, then well, wait and see if Tuesday feels any better.

P.S.:Any other suggestions, anyone?

Friday, April 9, 2010


Anyone seen the trailer for Sex And The City 2? Any guesses as to where it is shot? Nope, not New York (at least, not entirely). Try again. Abu Dhabi. That's right. I never would've guessed. The entire trailer looked like an ad for Abu Dhabi tourism, complete with plush hotels and camel rides and belly dancers. Oh, and guess who Carrie runs into there? (Spoiler alert!) Aiden! I have such low expectations from this movie already. And yet, I'm so gonna watch it...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Saturday!

Since the husband and I are preparing for an exam, we had to passover an opportunity to spend the first warm, sunny, long weekend (on this coast) with friends in a nice vacation rental facing a lake in scenic Pennsylvania. Instead I'm making painfully slow progress on Balance Sheet Analysis and he's trying to tear himself away from IPL Cricket matches to study. So I decided, enough is enough! Perhaps doing something nice for ourselves would make us focus more on our studies instead of wondering how much fun we could've been having instead.

So I made us a nice breakfast. Eating nice dinners and lunches happens ever so often, but a nice breakfast is a rare treat. I seldom get anything fancier than cereal and juice. So I spent the better part of this morning cooking up a big breakfast. Made some french toast, bought some fresh strawberries and pomegranate juice, baked some (part-whole-wheat, eggless, butter-less blueberry muffins) and made some fried potatoes on the side to add a savory touch.

The breakfast really helped... for a few hours, that is. Maybe I'll watch some TV now..