Category Archives: Share your world

Sharing my world and stuff you didn’t need to know

Cee’s questions

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?

I wish I could say “yes”.  For a long time, I thought that’s what was missing in my life – a park bench in which to sit and be lost in the moment. Took me a while to understand that I am too restless for that.  In retrospect, everyone else around me has known it.  My class teacher in 11th called me “jumping jack” for a reason.  My college friend called me “butt spring”.  My labmate (a Japanese girl) called me “bullet train”.  I can’t sit in one place (unless I am writing) for more than two minutes.  I must move.  Even when I do sit, I am fidgety.  My feet tap, my hands flail, my eyes wander hither-thither – definitely not the Buddhaisqueness you’s associate with a park bench.  That’s why meditation is hard for me.  My brain calms down instantly, but my body can’t take stasis.

A few months ago, a bench was installed right outside our fence.  I was excited when it was being installed – now I can finally sit on a bench in the evening, listen to bird song, watch children play, and tête-à-tête with the neighbours.  Guess how many times that has happened?

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles, turn on the flashlight or use your cell phone for light?

I live in India.  We don’t lose electricity in a storm.  We lose it because we can.  The powers that be, believe that character must be built among the citizens and in their magnanimity, always cut off power just when you dump soaked rice into the mixer to grind, or you are in the middle of a work deadline and the goddang document must be mailed within the next seven minutes or it would spontaneously combust.

But that does not answer the question. I use my phone flash light to get the candles and light them all around the house.

Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers? 

Can I have the $10000, keep half to myself and give away half to the stranger?  I could use the extra dough at the moment.  To buy innerwear.  You know the problem with rains?  Inner wear don’t dry fully (no, we don’t have a washer-drier – yes, we live a fairly spartan life) and there is nothing more annoying than having damp clothing next to your skin.  But you didn’t want to know that, did you?

While on the topic of innerwear (yeah, I am gross like that), I always call it by its Tamil name (jaddi), which drives my family nuts – “you are gross…why can’t you be decent and call it inner-wear?”, the kid and dad chorus.  “Why?  What’s wrong with jaddi?” I ask, “it is just another piece of garment that you wear”.  They roll their eyes around and give me a wide berth until I stop saying the blasted word.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

My kid’s cheer-up book is my inspiration this week, and perhaps for a long time afterwards.




Sharing my world

Sharing my  World through Cee’s questions

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

Rice.  I love rice. I’d marry rice if I could.  I can eat rice all times of the day. I love it with clarified butter, with lentils, with rasam, with curd, with vegetables, with all kinds of powders….and all forms of rice – raw, parboiled, brown, dirty, white, basmati, Mexican, sticky, dry…

I have, unfortunately, reduced the amount of rice I eat because of the 7 kilos I have added in the past decade, which I am trying to lose.  I have lost two so far, and it is an uphill task.  I often replace rice in my daily meal with cream of wheat, for which I have now acquired a taste. Even so, three days is all I can go without rice, and I succumb.  I sometimes feel that rice is being vilified too much. The Japanese eat rice all the time, they don’t have metabolic syndrome problems (I think).  Indians just eat a lot of other unhealthy stuff – Diwali is fast approaching, and the entire nation would be soaked in oil, butter, and the like for the next many weeks until the next festival gives rise to a whole new set of junk food – and conveniently blame rice.  Not fair.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Readers of this blog can answer this question.  Fanatic about now. Today.  This minute. Detest thinking of the past.  Even yesterday.  Even this morning. Terrified of the future.  Even tomorrow.  Even an hour from now.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

I’d like to be a fly on their home wall for a few days, just observing their life.  What were their daily habits, what did they eat, how did they interact with each other, what did they wear….

I would love to meet the women in my ancestry.  What were their thoughts, interests, hobbies, passions? What made them laugh…what made them cry….

I’d love to know how much of me is from them, and how much is just me.

Sharing my world

Answering Cee this week.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Walking.  I am a rabid walker.  I walk on the average, about 8-10 km every day.  I also like to potter about in my excuse-of-a-garden,but not right now because there are hundreds of millepedes all over…eww.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

DRIVER.  I get very car sick as a passenger no matter where I sit.  We visited friends at the other end of town yesterday and took a cab.  I am still a little queasy.

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?

Time to do more stuff, energy to do more stuff and opportunity to do more stuff – I would like to read a lot more than I am currently reading (which is not hard, I read for half an hour on a good day – I fall asleep by then, which is because I am jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof all the time !).  I would like to draw and paint (I don’t do that at all anymore), I would like to write more, brush up my German, learn pulli kolam, brush up on my singing, work on more documents, take on more projects…..

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciated the absence of a work deadline this Navrathri – for the past 17 years, I have always shuttled between work and Navrathri celebrations and feeling guilty of not doing either fully.  This year, my Navrathri has had my undivided attention.

Sharing my world

Sharing my world a little late.

My My, is it Thursday night already?

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about …

I am a very curious person and I am so glad I am around in the digital age of information.  Google is my best friend.  I am almost always googling up something or the other.

But if it has to be one thing specific, I want to learn more about my brain and how it functions. I wish I had been a brain scientist.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

A clean floor, with a clean pillow.

A clean toilet with running water.

No mosquitoes.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Food.  I suspect.  I spend most on food.  I am stingy otherwise.  I would think gazillion times before spending money on anything that is not food.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Not really an inspiration, but this will be my world for the next ten days.  Navrathri starts today, and I was debating if I should keep a golu (dolls display) or not, given the space crunch at home after the furniture revamp.  But I decided to have at least a small golu because I do not want to be the one to end a tradition in my line of the genetic propagation.  I used to be creative and do a lot of interesting stuff for golu when my kid was younger, but the past couple of years I have minimized it.  I have this intense craving for simple living these days, and my golu reflects my need.

My golu:


I may have posted about the following picture last year.  This is a silver Saraswathi (Goddess of learning) that belonged to my great-great-grandmother, and passed on to me.      So that goes on the altar every Navrathri.


So, happy Navrathri to those that celebrate.

Sharing my world


I know I am going to sound like a pretentious prick as I answer Cee’s questions this week, but these are my honest answers now.  They were very different a few years ago, and may likely change in future.

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

This is what I mean by “pretentious prick”, and I swear this is how I feel now.  I don’t want this money because I obviously didn’t work for it.  I don’t want anything I didn’t work for because it would not be useful and (to each her own quirk) may even lead to catastrophes.  I wish I could work in order to earn the $250000 per year, but that would involve the sacrifice of something – my leisure, family time, hobbies…so perhaps not.

Another reason I don’t want that quantum of money is that I would not know what to do with it.  I am not a willing spender, and hoarding it would make me a bit irritated as well because of the spiral into materialism.

Is it more important to love or be loved?

I think to love is the only real thing, no? To be loved is not in my control.

List things that represent abundance to you.


Inspiration:  Don William’s “I believe in you” is an inspirational song that I listened to again last week when I learned he passed away.  Rest in Peace DW.

Sharing my world

What colour do you feel most comfortable wearing?

I gravitate naturally towards maroon-red shades. I am partial to wine red.  But these days, I don’t care.  I seem to have gone from bad to worse in terms of my dressing pattern –  I seem to strongly need comfortable clothes and for some reason, comfort is directly proportional to ugliness.  I have a dinner party to attend this evening, and am a little lost on what to wear, because all my comfortable salwars are faded to the point that you can’t make out any colour, and the sarees that are grand and elegant are oh-so-uncomfortable.

My current house guest is a DRESSER, the capital letters are very much intended.  Not that I am being judgemental or anything – she is passionate about dressing up and spends hours daily deciding what to wear, wearing it and accessorising it with matching jewellery, footwear, creams, lotions, colours, brushes and what not.  And looks stunning.  This exacerbates my shabbiness.  Last week, I offered to take her to the local mall, and she was scandalised that I picked up the car key, while still in the clothes I had been wearing at home – a comfortable kurtha that used to be wine red, but now is a whine red!  She begged me to change into something else and wasn’t particularly satisfied with the one I changed into, but too bad that’s all I had.  She was shocked that I had four pairs of clothes in my cupboard (not including the formal sarees).

What is your favourite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

I am not fond of dogs.  I’d rather that they mind their business and I, mine.  I admire German Shepard-s from a distance – my childhood neighbour had a gigantic one called Mickey, who she said was gentle as a lamb, but I was terrified of him.  I have been chased by a Pomeranian as a child, and continue to stay clear of them.  There is a really affectionate stray mongrel that my better half calls “Ramabadran” who loves me to bits, and it breaks my heart when he whimpers for me to pat him.  He is the closest that has come to being a favourite dog.

List at least five favourite flowers or plants.

I don’t think you will meet any South Indian woman who won’t put jasmine at the top of the list.  Rangoon Creeper is my next, given that it shares its Tamil name with my mother.  All other flowers come right behind.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I was able to focus on my breath and stop from reacting to a slightly instigating situation last week.  This inspires me more to not forget my breath.  Considering that my hormones will shortly start bothering me, I am holding on to my breath more tenaciously than ever now.

Sharing my word

This week’s questions:

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

From my previous post: All domestic chores taken care of, work chores suspended, and meals magically materialising on the table, while I spend the day reading, writing, meditating and gymming.    I don’t mind having my family around, as long as I get an ample dosage of alone-time.

Complete this sentence: My favorite place in the whole world…..

Chennai, my birth city and the one I live in now.  Home.  The living room, the corner chair that I am sitting on now as I type this out.

Who was your best friend in elementary school (prior to age 12)?

Two of them – Soumya and Shobha.  I met them in kindergarten and they are still my go-to friends, even though both of them live in a different country.  42-year friendship.

I have made a few more girl friends over the years and they are the people that keep me sane.  I am a strong advocate of the women-needing-girl-friends concept.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

My in-house guest – I am not sure if you can call it inspiration, but she made me understand myself and my needs a little better.  She reminded me that I am a quiet, introverted person.  Earlier, I would feel miserable about my complete lack of social skills (especially in comparison), now I am perfectly fine with it.  Perhaps the acceptance comes with age. Or from the wisdom that well, if you can’t do something about it, might as well accept it !