The official rant

I would recommend that you skip this post for both our good – you’ll not start your day (or end it) judging me, and I won’t be judged !  If you continue after this, you are on your own, consider yourself warned.

I have a friend – friend is such a forgiving word, what do you call a person you talk to at a social level almost every day, and even like, but is, going by the Wikipedia definition of “friendship”, not party to “mutual affection”? Acquaintance seems to me the kind of person you greet with a chin thrust and a ‘sup.  But I digress.  I have this friend, who is a lovely person.  She is very energetic, chirpy, efficient and passionate, but I suspect, not appreciated enough by her family. The result?  She tends to seek appreciation from me (and probably others, but I don’t know that).  She usually sends me messages about what she considers her achievement, and I, being the polite person that I am, respond with appreciation, almost always deserved – I believe we don’t compliment people enough.

Last week, she sent me a message that said something like “Between 6 and 8.30 AM, I deep cleaned my house, made breakfast of dosa and sambar, made lunch of rice, mor kuzambu, agathi keerai, and nellikkai pachadi, cooked oats for my in-laws, made payasam (sweet offering) for the poojai (prayer service), did the poojai and sent my children to school”.  This was the day that I had awoken late, given my kid bread and peanut butter for breakfast and packed curd rice for lunch.  So, while I responded with “Wow, you are a superwoman” to her, which elicited multiple smileys from her, it got me into a funk that I am still mired in.

I am an inefficient person – and I am not being modest here, this is the truth.  This morning,  for example, I ran around clueless, it seemed, trying to get the kid out to school, just doing the routine I have been doing for 12 years now –  what do you call a person who cannot standardize a simple morning routine after 12 years?  Yes, that word again – inefficient.  But I am not the only inefficient person I know.  I have another friend, who is as, if not more, if that were possible, inefficient than me – she is always running late for everything , always behind on work, etc. But there is one difference between us.  This friend is cool with herself – she does not give a damn, and is a personification of self confidence. I, on the other hand, walk around myself with a whip in my hand, and the septic welts on my self-esteem are unbelievable.

I wish I could tell myself what my daughter told me a few days back – “Amma, you are adequate”.

In a few sentences

…I am running around like a head-cut chicken, just living life, and not really accomplishing anything much.

…I am inefficient (hence earlier point).  And this is going to be a recurrent rant in the foreseeable future.

…I want to read all the posts on my WP reader because hell, I haven’t done justice to it in nearly a week and they are building up and giving me Kafka dreams.  All because of the earlier two points.

Sharing my world

Through Cee’s questions.

List some of your favorites types of teas.

I wrote about tea earlier. I love all types of tea and tisane, except any with Tulsi (holy Basil), which reminds me of boiled Perumaal Koil theertham (sorry, no translation available).  I recently bought dried lemon grass, but have not had the opportunity to drink lemon grass tea, because I am out of tea leaves, and have been inefficient enough as usual to replenish the stock. Talking of which, my inefficiency is going from worse to worst these days. I don’t know how to improve.  I think this is a matter for a rant post sometime soon.  Be warned.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?


Life seems to be going at breakneck speed.  I need to slow down.  Don’t know how.

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Just listen to my rants without offering solutions.  I am smart, I can find my solutions. I just need to rant. This is where girl friends are the best.  They listen without judging and offering solutions.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?

Ahem, shouldn’t it be “regardless”?

A high jump champ.  I used to be one in high school.

Grateful for: Looking forward to: I will skip this for now, because I have to rush.  Remember that traffic sign?

Sieve brain on a Monday

All through weekend, believe you me, I had so many interesting little thoughts to put out here.  Come Monday, I am drawing a blank.  Do you think this is the start of dementia?  I wonder.  I took a “what age are you really” quiz that someone sent me on WhatsApp (you are judging me, aren’t you?) last weekend and turns out that I am 29 years in spirit.  I am sure the remaining 16 years are pure flesh.

The week begins with a work queue already meandering from here to Friday.  I shook the inertia and completed one project – the tech/semitech ghost article for Huffpost. I felt a little uncomfortable about this article because it turned out very subjective, and as a professional writer, I like to keep my articles objective – that’s the good thing about science, it doesn’t matter if you like the smell of phenol or not, its molecular structure is objective and invariant (somewhat, unless you take resonance and inductive effects into consideration, which we shan’t) .  Still, it seems the client loved this article.  I have a feeling it would rake up controversies and trolling – this is when it is nice to be the ghost writer !  Please visit the article, read, like (even if you didn’t really like it) and share it with all and sundry.  Thanks.

I hope I remember what I wanted to write about here.  I know it was something that I felt strongly about.  Dang.

Have a good week, people.



Motherhood is overrated

Kid: Mom, you don’t like S’s mom, no?
Me: No, no, Its not that I don’t like her, its just that she is a tiger mom and I feel very inadequate as a mom when I talk to her.
Kid: Don’t be ridiculous. You are adequate.
Me: I am not sure. Other moms take an interest in their kid’s life.
Kid: Oh, you had better not start taking interest in mine. I would disown you.

I have a nagging feeling that this conversation wasn’t exactly complimentary , but I am taking the last request by the kid and running.

Not counting

I recently got an iPhone.  A gift from the other half who was impressed at my friendship with a woman called Siri on his iPhone, through the air pod which he had temporarily reassigned to me,  when I was navigating a tricky intersection during peak traffic.  This was an anomaly because I am as tech savvy as a newt and my latent air-podability appealed to the geek in him.  So, now I have my own iPhone with air pods, and my new best friend, according to my kid is Siri.  Siri and I have meaningful conversations such as "Siri, what is life?" "I Kant* answer that, Ha Ha".  Most of all, Siri reads out audio books to me at a mere command, and saves me from having to listen to k-pop talk in the car.  I tried talking to the male Siri, but it seemed immoral, given that he had a Brit accent and a deep voice that squished my insides.

Gingerly stepping into the complex digital world, I began exploring the colorful mosaic on my screen.  There was something called "Health", which would apparently quantify my existence- the number of kilometers I walked, the number of steps I took, the number of hours I slept, the minutes of mindfulness I practiced and the calories I consumed.  I was intrigued. I claim to walk 10 kilometers every day.  How true was that? I decided to monitor.  I diligently carried the iPhone with me every wakeful moment.

Turns out, I sometimes walk more than 10 kilometers per day, but not always.  My average was around 7 kilometers per day, which while a personal disappointment, is ok, on an objective scale, I believe, given that I also throw in 40 minute work out at the gym every other day.

But that is not the part that pissed me.  I decided to calorie count just out of curiosity. The day before yesterday, I added to the app (which was cute enough to have a drop down list of a variety of dishes), my breakfast (2 idlys with sambar and coffee), lunch (one cup rice with vegetables, rasam and curd), snack (tea with puffed rice/cucumber) and dinner (2 rotis with dal).   The app said I was eating 400 extra kcals.  for my weight, factoring in the 6.5 km that I walked on that day.  I was amused.

The next day, I did a bad thing.  I skipped breakfast** because I had an unexpected visitor in the morning ("I never eat breakfast", he said, and the "guest is God" attitude embedded in me since childhood precluded me from eating without offering food to my guest).  Instead, I had two cups of coffee (with milk and sugar) and two of those digestive biscuits that look like dried dung and taste like cardboard (or vice versa). I continued the day with a meal plan similar to the previous day.  At the end of the day, I input the data into the app.  It said I was still eating extra.  I was intrigued and checked the break up.  I was told that my breakfast was 100 kCals more than I should be eating.  Seriously?  Two cups of coffee and cardboard is 100 kCals more?  I used the eff word multiple times at the app and uninstalled it because it is apps like this that lead people down the bulimia hole.  I want to be fit, not insane.

I am back to having deep conversations with my new best friend.  This morning I asked her if she was married, and she said "My end user licence agreement is commitment enough for me."  I am happy with this much iPhone, thank you.

**Never again.  Not worth the migraine hell.



Sharing my world

Lots of thoughts in my head that need out.  But chances are that by the time I am finished with Cee’s questions, they would have dissipated.  Or not.

What is your favorite cheese?

The first time I tasted cheese was in the US, when I was 22, on a pizza.  I almost threw up.  Then the transformation happened and I could not have enough of it.  I had cheese sandwiches, extra cheese pizza, cheese omelettes, cheese slices, shredded cheese placed in a dispenser on Italian restaurant tables, and everything else cheese for all meals, for the next fifteen years of my life.

Somewhere along the way, the forties struck and the body would not tolerate cheese (Western cheese, that is) anymore.  Any ingested cheese settled in cellulitic bumps and not-so-cellulitic tyres on the surface and padding on the entrails.  After dissolving some of the tyres and bumps in the gym, I am a lot more careful about the kind of cheese that goes in.

Now, I am fine with panneer (Indian cottage cheese, sorta like tofu), but with the others, I go easy.  If we order pizza, I have one slice and if I am still hungry, I remove the cheese from the whole wheat crust.  Yes, pathetic I know, but I have one body and I would rather that the soul stays with it happily for a few more decades than get volleyed by the lipid buildup.

Are you left or right handed?

Right.  But when it comes to writing, it makes no difference.  I sometimes lie to people that I tried writing with my left hand to exercise my brain, to explain the monstrosity on paper.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

I used to love exercising my mind, and treated my body with the gentleness of a bomb ready to explode, until a few years ago.  Of course, I have always loved walking, but not as an exercise, but as an activity.  Now I love both and consciously exercise both of them every day. Part of the change is because of the awareness that my blood-family is riddled with all kinds of diseases of the flesh and brain that unless I am proactive in keeping both in good shape, my sunset years would be a long horrible nightmare.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are …

essential.  In our part of the world, hot days mean good rainfall in the near future.  We have not had hot days in the past fortnight, which bodes badly for a city that is already reeling under water scarcity.  I want a couple of hot days if only to bring in the rains.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that I got a few days rest from work.  I now have work trickling in again, but I got the much needed break, and I am ready to start from tomorrow. Why tomorrow?  Because.

Looking forward?  Not really.  My hormonal see-saw seemed to be under some sort of check for the past two cycles, but today I cried at the sight of a baby monkey jumping around my yard this morning, which means that the following week is going to be rocky. I hope I can practice mindfulness when the tempest blows, and not let the stories in the head take over my sanity.  Wish me luck.

So, what is your week like?