Tag Archives: Share your world

Sharing my world

Do you use paper money? If so is your money organized sequentially according to denomination?

Yes, but rarer these days because it is a pain to go to the bank and get cash.  I use cash for autos (a three-wheeled cab-mimic) and Uber, but for almost everything else, I use the credit card.  I never knew I’d come to this; I was a late adopter of the cashless.

And no.  I am very disorganized.  Money is usually strewn around inside my hand bag.  I need to get more organized, the bug has bitten, and I won’t rest until my money bag is regimented.  Thank you, Cee, for the kick at my backside to get into order.

You are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time?

I wish I could say yes, but no.  I can be silent for hours on end, but I can’t do nothing, I am extremely restless.  I awoke at 4 AM this morning because the better-half was leaving for his home town and I had to pack breakfast for him and his parents. It is nearly 8 AM now, and the only time I have sat has been to type this out.  This is why I find meditation very difficult.  My mind quietens immediately, but my body cannot.

What is your greatest strength?

My sense of empathy.  I make for an excellent shoulder to rest heads.  Empathy is, however, also my curse because of the reactions inside me in response to auras outside.



Sharing my world

…after a long time.

From Cee’s Share Your World – April 9, 2018

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

A little less than a month ago, we moved to a different house, but I can’t really count this, because my friend lived in this house before we moved in, and I have visited her once when it was her house.

I am planning to go to our local neighbourhood nursery.  It is a hop skip jump away from where I live, but I have been too chicken, because the caretaker looks rude.  Still, I desperately want some potting soil and a Rangoon creeper (which will most likely bloom AFTER we move out of this house a decade from now, like the one in my old house did).

List three favorite book characters.

Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina  (Fellow is pretty docile and confused like me)

Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter  (Nerd #1 like me)

A support character in my husband’s second novel (I, being its muse)

What is your favorite non alcololic drink: hot or cold?


Paanagam (jaggery water spiced with dried ginger, cardamom and a dash of lemon juice).

Neer mor (dilute buttermilk, spiced with green chilly, cilantro and salt)

Tender coconut water

Oh God, I am thirsty.



Sharing my world

Share Your World from Cee

What are you reading right now?

This question, and framing an answer to it.  But I suppose that’s not what was asked.

My book reading has gone down the toilet these past months.  Work leaves my brain fried at the end of the day, and I just want to read something that does not get me to think too much.  I am re-reading Agatha Christy, the book on my bedside table now is “A murder is announced”.  I like the Poirot series, but Miss Marple makes me gouge my eyes out.  Still…

Before this, I re-read “Evil under the sun”.

I am also reading Wodehouse (my comfort read) – Right Ho Jeeves.

When I say “read”, I use the term loosely. I read about a page in bed, by the end of which, my eyes are so tired that I shut them and just lie there.

That’s ok.  I read in cycles.  There would be a high of incredible reading, followed by a low such as now.   The high will come soon, I already feel the hankering arise in me.

What was your first adult job?

“Adult job” sounds a little, umm…suggestive, huh?

I vaguely remember answering this question once before.  My first paying job was a teaching assistantship in my grad school, I mentored the freshman chemistry lab. Hated it.  I am not good with labs and practicals – and the freshmen were a rowdy bunch that I wasn’t accustomed to.  I am great with theory. I wish I had been given a theory class to teach instead, but I was an “international student” from a non-English speaking country, and while “non-discrimination” was on paper and all that, the teaching gigs always went to native English speaking grad students, which was crazy, because despite my different accent*, my spoken English was as good as (if not better than) theirs.

*One of the rowdy undergrads that I called out in lab for cheating, complained to the faculty-in-charge that I didn’t know English and no one in the lab could understand me.  The faculty-in-charge called me to a meeting, presumably to make me take English lessons and concluded the meeting with “maybe you should teach English here” !  A tad patronizing, I know, but that’s how the cookie crumbled.

 What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

I used to love Honey Nut Cheerios – I probably still do, I haven’t had it in ages.  Yes, you get them in India, but cereal is never sufficient for me – even when I did have cereal regularly for breakfast, I would be hungry within half an hour.  I make a substantial breakfast now  for me and my family – today, for instance was adai (lentil pancakes) and aviyal (mixed vegetable gruel).

I like muesli now, but not as a breakfast cereal, but as a topping for apple pie, ice creams etc.

What made me smile?

To wind down after a grueling day, I watched a Tamil movie called “Panchathanthiram” with my family, a couple of days back. Had me in splits for two and a half hours (Tamil movies are ridiculously long).

Sharing my world

In a very chatty (written chatty, i.e., not vocal chatty) frame of mind.  So, rambling replies to Cee’s Share Your World – February 19, 2018


How do you like your eggs?

When I was about 10 years old, I had jaundice and became very weak and emaciated.  Once I recovered from the illness, my mother took it upon herself to boost my health and weight.  I was fed a lot of healthy vegetarian food, but that wasn’t doing much to my energy, at least not at the rate my mom wanted, she wasn’t a very patient woman. Her domestic maid recommended eggs.  Now, I belonged to a very strictly vegetarian family that even shunned onions and garlic. Egg?  But torn between the need to fatten me, and not bringing egg into the house, my mother earmarked a glass for egg, kept it in the back yard, and the maid was required to break an egg into it, add milk and sugar to it, beat it well and give it to me.  I was required to drink that concoction at the backyard, take a bath and then come back into the house.  Contrary to what I had expected, I liked the eggy milk.  But that regimen was stopped once my mom thought I was fattened enough.

When I was about 15, I was hungry at a friend’s house, and she made me the only snack she knew how to make – scrambled eggs.  I loved it.  My family didn’t know about it.

When I went to grad school in the US, my friend was an eggophile.  He’d make the most awesome cinnamony French toast every morning, and I had piles of it every day.  He also introduced me to egg nog, and pancakes and what not, and converted me into a complete and total eggophile.    I continue to make some egg dish at least once a week for my new (husband and kid, i.e.) family – my birth family continues to not know that I am a traitor to the tradition !  Unfortunately,   my family and I have different tastes in egg dishes.  While I prefer sweet egg stuff, like French toast, pancake etc. or even bland (boiled egg), my husband and kid prefer omelette (I hate it). Still, egg is easy to cook, so I make both.

Strangely, I seem to be losing my fondness for eggs.  In fact, last week, I almost gagged at the smell of eggs.  Perhaps age rewires the brain now and then.

Have you ever met anyone famous?

Every day, in the mirror**.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

I am not even sure what my “own money” is.  I got scholarships through most of my post-school education – undergrad, grad 1 and grad 2.  The money went straight tomy education – the undergrad and grad 1 scholarships went into paying my college fee.  The grad 2 teaching assistantship went into supporting my living in the US.  Perhaps I must consider the TAship as my first “own money”.  I am not sure it was the first thing I bought, but I remember buying a pot of indoor rubber plant for my drab grad housing apartment, with one of my early salaries, and feeling terribly guilty about wasting money.

Ok, back to work.


** From the movie – The Thomas Crown affair:

Thomas Crown: You look wonderful!

Catherine Banning: Thank you! How are you?

Thomas Crown: Popular.


Sharing my world

I haven’t been sharing my world through Cee lately, although a lot of my world is being shared otherwise.  Resuming…

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

I have help with cleaning. My maid comes every day and washes the dishes and clothes and sweeps the house.  Today, perhaps attributed to the hormonal seesaw that is just starting, I am a little pee’ed about her.  She doesn’t clean corners, no matter how many times I nag her.  Do maids ever clean corners?  I wonder.

I would love someone to take over the cooking part of my life, and I had a cook for a year a few years ago.  I realised that it is a greater pain managing the cook, than actually doing the work myself. So, I let her go.

I am terrible at (wo)man-management.  I know people who are divas at managing hired help.  My mother-in-law, for example, can get the hired dance with joy at having to work ten hours nonstop, for measly wages and a cup of tepid coffee.  I have seen hired help volunteer to dust cobwebs and clean the many many lofts in her home, for no pay.  I, on the other hand, feel icky about ordering people around and concepts of human dignity, human rights, equality and such crap crowd my head so that I let my hired help relax with a cup of fresh coffee, while I get things ready for them to “work” !  A friend of mine says that if she ever needs a change of career, she’d be my hired help.

That said, despite her incompetence at work, my maid is a good friend.  She is a stress buster, as I chat with her, and can cure cricks in necks with some tricky maneuvers.

A chap comes to clean my yard once a fortnight. But heaven help anyone who potters about my garden but me.  My garden (however scanty it is) is mine and mine alone.  Hands off.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

The better half, the kid and I.

A doctor that I used to know in my grad school days once told me this, and it has stuck on for life – Never value stuff.  Value people.

What calms you down?

As counter intuitive as it may be, work.  When you see me maniacally cleaning the kitchen, handwashing clothes, tilling the yard, hand picking weeds, sweeping the floor, baking cookies and writing proposals one after the other without break, know that I am in the throngs of PMS and am calming myself.  True that by night, I’d be a physical wreck, but the Buddha would be jealous of my mind.

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

I churned my own butter from the cream I had been collecting for a few days from the fresh milk I have been buying, and made cinnamon sugar whole-wheat cookies using the butter.  The cookies were delicious, even if I say so myself, and the house smelled cinnamony for hours afterwards.  Bliss.

The kid’s exams end tomorrow.  She will be off to her grandparents’ with daddy, which leaves me home alone.  A friend is visiting and staying with me for a couple of days, but before she arrives, I’ll have the house to myself for three days.  This is perhaps the first time in fifteen years that I will be alone.  I love my family to bits and all that, but I am excited about the “me” time that’s so rare and precious.

So long…

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.