Tag Archives: Share your world

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

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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.

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** From the movie – The Thomas Crown affair:

Thomas Crown: You look wonderful!

Catherine Banning: Thank you! How are you?

Thomas Crown: Popular.

 

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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:

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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.

IMG_2074

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.

Contentment

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

https://ceenphotography.com/2017/09/04/share-your-world-september-4-2017/

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 !