Happiness, nirvana, and other such stuff

I recently got trolled on my blog. You might scornfully respond with a ‘so what? I am trolled every day. I am the controversy queen/king. In fact, this keeps me motivated and makes me look for the next hornet’s nest to disturb.’ But I am not like that, not at all. I am a nice, conflict-avoiding person, who only looks for peace and general happiness.

Which brings forward the irony of this situation. I was trolled for, wait for it, no, wait some more, yep, just a little bit, yep, let me just say it, being a ‘not-happy’ person. Actually, for being miserable. By someone who called themselves ‘Happy’ or ‘Happy person’ or something to that effect. This person then went ahead and offered his/her condolences to me, perhaps to make up for such a blatant insult, but the damage was done. I was an emoticon with a colon and an o already. Capital O. Then the O became a C.

That is when I took upon myself to do a happiness post. No, not just why I am happy, that might make the troll think I am selfish and self-centered and just assume that happiness is all about me. I have decided to spread joy. Give you mantras for being a happy person. Positivity mantras. Follow them, for unparalleled happiness in your life.

Smile

Any smile, even a grimace because you caught your neck while sleeping funny will do. But smile. First thing. Try to make it a little less toothy lest you scare the poor soul sharing your bed, but do smile. Walk up to a mirror, and smile at yourself. Make it toothy this time. ‘This will be a good day’, tell yourself. Say it in your head, smiling and saying it might lead to unwarranted scary visuals as mentioned before. This will also ensure that you spot any spinach on your teeth from last night’s dinner and stop you from stepping out of the room before brushing.

Absorb

Mother Nature has more to offer than you can imagine. And no, I am not talking only of Pigeon poop in your balcony because come on people, the poor bird has nowhere to go, let it poop in peace will you? Look at the greenery, the trees, the grass, the babies in strollers being pushed around by parents (who I am sure would not have minded another hour in bed, but ignore them, look at the babies), the overflowing trash cans outside of doors. Take it all in. Enjoy the sights, the smells, the sounds. Yeah, you can also ignore the ‘Potty’ you just washed off your little one’s bum first thing in the morning, while in the ‘absorb’ phase.

Appreciate

So what if the bai didn’t come, it could have been worse, you could have slipped and fallen in a pile of shit. So what if there is a power cut right when you need to have a bath, it could have been worse, you could have broken your leg. So what if 3 of your team members decide to fall ill the same day when there is a lot of work, at least you didn’t die. It will take a while, but once you start realizing how much worse things could be, even though they are disconnected, you will start appreciating the things which were annoying you before. After all, isn’t that how all Facebook shares with the 1 Like = 1 respect work?

Prioritize

Come on, you are human. No one expects you to be able to do everything with the same level of awesomeness. So create your priority list. And you alone can assign weights to things that matter more. So if you need to give up a chat break for two additional rounds of Quiz up, it’s your choice. If you decide not to drink water because you are too full of the samosas you ate, and cannot move, your call. If you think muttering under your breath about the nincompoops you have to deal with is better than talking to said nincompoops and not achieving anything anyway, absolutely your call. You will realize that this will bring a sense of satisfaction like nothing else. There might be momentary lapse of reason and you might think, “Oh, I am getting fat”, or “Oh these guys still haven’t gotten better”, but trust me, that too shall pass.

Thank

Thank everyone. It’s not costing you anything but a few breaths. Everyone. Your bai who didn’t bunk (two days consecutively). Your team which turned up (just 15 minutes late). Your bike which started (after 4 kicks). The traffic which moved (finally). It will take a while, and then you can move to your parents, friends and all those who you want on your Academy award speech. Finally, without fail, thank me, for these gems, which I painstakingly wrote for you. I, I will thank my troll for making me realize my misery.

So tell me people, does the world seem rosier? Are flowers more colorful? The birds chirpier? Is it sun-shinier? I sure hope so. What? What did you say? We can take away the sun-shine because it is bloody summer (35 degrees CELCIUS)  here already? Really. After all that I do, you have issues.  Gah, you’re miserable.

Ooh, wow, you’re miserable, like me. Look Troll, here are some more people you can contact and sympathize with. Happy?  Oh wait, I think I did it, I just spread happiness! Was this the troll’s idea all this while? The ulterior motive behind his short and rude message? If yes, he/she succeeded!

Who knew I would learn so quickly right?

Zo bole, so nihaal

Aap mere liye yellow duck lao, office se. Maine usko bite kiya toh usne mujhe NO bola! Papa ne mujhe scolding kiya. I am ‘phatting’ this paper. Mereko pink scooter chahiye. Aur pink dog. Aur pink cat. Aur pink car. Rice nahi chahiye. Only dahi chahiye. School nahi jaana, ghar jaana hai. Ghar nahi jaana, school jaana hai. Hum kahaan jaa rahe hain? Mall? Hum kahaan jaa rahe hain? Goa?

I don’t know. Where are you going? Aap office nahi jao. Aap mereko chodd ke nahi jao! Mereko fruit chahiye, badddda wala. Five chahiye – one, two, three, four five. Bathy karna hai. Aur bathy karna hai. Five minutes nahi, 2 minutes. Spitty mera friend hai na. Cockroach mera friend hai na. Bhoot mera friend hai na. Mereko neend nahi aarahi hai. Sona nahi hai. Sorry nahi bolna! Zo bad girl hai!

Main aapka hair comb karke clip lagati hoon ok? Wow, you’re looking so pretty! You are looking Cinderella. Main Cinderella hoon, Kanishka Snowwhite hai, aap step mother ho. Ok aap Fairy Godmother ho. Papa dwarves hai. Aap song chalao phir hum running karenge.

Mere nails kat karo. Mere ears clean karo. Aap running jao, main upar se dekhti hoon. Yeh hone ke baad, main aati hoon. I am here. Main idhar hoon. Main TV dekh rahi hoon. Papa troubling kar raha hai! Mummy love karti hai Zo ko. Chalo ball ball khelenge. Chalo books padhenge. Zo herself karegi. Aap Zo song gao na. I love you mummy.

Well, that’s just a glimpse, but that’s our very Hinglish (More hindi, less english) Zo version 2.5 for you. It also tells you just what exactly (or rather, who exactly) takes up our time every day. It’s fun. You can see.

What’s keeping you busy?

One for the heck of it, almost

Yeah yeah. I know what you are thinking. Look at this one, back to her infrequent posting, now that she doesn’t have a Blogathon egging her to go on. You are not? Well, it is certainly what I am thinking.

Not that it matters. But a few things in life deserve to be noted down however blah you feel, or however annoying work’s been, or however much you would rather read others yapping because they are so much more fun.

So thing one is a biggie. I am not sure I ever mentioned on my blog, I sure did on Twitter, but my new place of work, which I joined roughly 8 months ago? Well, that had a no cell-phone on the floor policy.

*Pause*

Take it in. Let it sink in. Breathe, breathe, BREATHE Damn it! Better? Yes. So yes. It is possible. It is true. And yes I, as a part of this organization, have been diligently locking away my beloved phone(s) (yeah, ironically, for a place which doesn’t allow you a phone, they give you one anyway so that you can be reached anytime, only you don’t get to keep this phone with you as well. Well, like I said, “ironic” is right) in a tiny locker right outside the floor where my precious cabin is.  Every day.

The first 2 weeks, I would step out every 2 hours, check for missed calls, messages and respond. Send late LOLs (I don’t do LOLs, I do Haha actually) to jokes shared on Whassap groups, check Facebook to see if anyone acknowledged how absolutely gorgeous I look in my current profile pic (ok, I do that for Zo’s pics, she gets all the likes. Hmph.), and then morosely lock it back and return to my den.

People said I would get used to it. And I did, Kind of. As in, after the first 2 weeks, I would go check my phone just once a day, at most twice. But the last couple of months, I am proud to admit that I never checked my phone even once. Through the day. It was like it didn’t exist. But I did miss it because, well, I think it is because I miss and want everything I am not ‘allowed’ pretty much. Just like Zo.

But last week, after 8 years, the policy was changed. Suddenly. Suddenly for me ofcourse, but Oh My God bottom line is I now get to use my phone at my desk like all normal people in the world! And I know it seems petty to those who have always had it, but trust me Dude, you have NO clue how it feels after an 8 month break. AWESOME. I could have cried when I was told of it. No wait, I think I did cry.

So that was one. Two was, there is this book. See, I am one of those awesome people who won’t buy new books until I finish all that I have bought, or atleast decide there is no way I am finishing them because I honestly cant. So there was this one book I bought when I was expecting Zo. I know right, 3 frigging years ago. It was a lovely book. Very well written, very interesting. But I never finished it. I stopped. Not once, not twice, 3 times. I would just stop it. The book, and reading in general. I wouldn’t buy a new book, because there was this perfectly good book I had and I was just not reading it. So it was kind of a jinxed book.

And last week, I finished it. So Phew. Big thing right? Right. I also went ahead and ordered myself some more books. I do have one unread book, but I tried starting it, not very keen to go on. Weirdly, I devoured the first two parts of that trilogy 3 years ago, and loved them. But I can’t get myself to read the third. I think I have forgotten everything in the first two, and that is enough reason to not want to read the third.

What else really? Oh yes, we did another trip to Goa (yes, again!) last weekend and it was fun except I was approving travel requests for someone from my team sitting on the beach and we all know that’s not cool. Also, I was returning to my room between drinks and fun conversations to respond to mails from work which “just couldn’t wait” on Friday night and that was not cool either. That apart, it was as fun as Goa can be and we all know that’s a LOT. Goa, is the only place where I get to holiday without doing anything at all because we just don’t have anything left to go see. And I love it. Plus there’s beaches. And Seafood. And beers. All of it anytime you want it. Basically, a whole lot of awesomeness. I know you get the gist so I will stop.

That’s enough you say? Yeah, I think so too. Now I can go back to doing all things useless, and not feel like I am cheating on my blog.

Yep, that’ll be good.

Erm, so what was I saying?

I am sorry babalog. I think this is close to the end of things as we know it, this blog as we know it. Apparently, I have lost the ability to write anything interesting (to me you freaks! ME! If  you don’t find anything interesting per se, do not rub it in). And I am worried that this might actually be the demise of my almost senior citizen blog. What? One blog year = 6 human years no?

Anyway, the past two weeks had me drafting a number of posts. One almost serious letter to Zo. I mean do I have no shame about what my daughter will think of me when she grows up? Her Mummy doesn’t do serious. Her mummy is the one who pulled a muscle in her leg when she jumped in a very Juhi Chawla-from-yore sort of way, just because it made her (by which I mean Zo, not me, I am a lovesick mommy, not insane) giggle. One heartfelt review of Highway, which read like someone swallowed Mihir Fadnvasis’ review (by the way, my new favorite critic), and then puked all over my page. Same content (and lou, so much lou), but blah to the extent of grossness. And the others, not even worth mentioning.

But none of them made to this page. Which makes me worry. And leads to some very important questions. Am I actually thinking about the content of the blog? Do I honestly believe that there is some sort of tone, or theme this blog has which needs to be maintained? Am I really that disillusioned? Do I have any more crutch words I can use here? Should I make coffee cake this weekend or stick to chocolate walnut?

Before I lose track, let me mention that I did not spend any time trying to answer these questions. Instead, I decided to write anyway, write again, and hope it all adds up to a post. Which is what you are reading, if you are.

Anyhoo, now that there is a post, and we are writing it, I think it makes sense to mention the very much enjoyable visit to BbQ Nation that was made last weekend. I first went to the place when the pricing was, well, let me just say less than half of what it is now? And subsequently, when it was 2/3rds. This time, as a prep, I went into total starvation mode before I set foot in to devour all things awesome.  And for once, did SO much justice. Picture this. 9 desserts on the buffet. ALL consumed. After infinite rounds of grilled pieces of heaven. And multiple rounds of the Cajun-spiced potatoes (special mention).

I also need to mention that after a lo-o-ong time, The Dude and I watched 4 movies over 5 weekends (one skip because we were in heavenly Kashid, where we owned the beach, Owned it. Muhahahaha. No, seriously, there was no one on those pristine beaches but the 3 of us, from 4 30 until 7 PM. Bliss is this.). Yeah, so about the movies, 4 movies in 4 weekends in town is big people. Very big. Mean, as parents, but big. And I am loving it. getting addicted to it.

As I type this, I am wondering what movie to watch this weekend, because I have one in mind. But technically it’s The Dude’s turn to pick. But I want to watch it anyway. I will need to lure him. Actually the actress in the movie will do that job ‘cos he is a fan. The good (and bad) thing is I don’t need to pre-book anything anymore, because there are 23 (Twenty Three, that’s right) screens at walking distance from my place, which play 40-60 shows of movies like Dhoom 3. This is a fact. Anyway, that’s good because, you can plan spontaneously, and bad because you can plan spontaneously. Which means I cannot trick The Dude by pre-booking movies I know will get pathetic ratings from critics but I want to watch anyway because come on! No reason. Just.

Wow. Look at that. Just look at that. That whole thing hardly took anytime and worked so well for me. I mean seriously, words are just flowing out and I am typing away and I am not having to stop and it is awesome but looks like it makes sense to stop now and now I cannot which is not cool but that’s how it works I guess you can’t have it all. Stop.

So here we are. Ladies, and Gentleman, without any further delay, let me present to you, the post. Apparently, this blog is not closing down after all, because there is a post. This post. As for the questions, I think I already have an answer to the one which matters most.

Coffee cake.

Chaos with (a) K

So last week, during a particularly obvious bout of nothingness, combined with determination to not salvage the situation by actually finding something to do, I decided to read my archives. My own archives, yes, and that too, from almost 10 years ago. Partly driven by the whole ‘Yay, this blog is going to turn 10 soon’ shenanigans I have been indulging in. And partly, by my extremely however prematurely enthusiastic B-school batch mates, who have decided to start planning our 10 year reunion, a whole year in advance.

As many of you might be aware, this blog pretty much started because of the good old B-school days. It was the summer of ’04 (how utterly not musical) and a bunch of us felt the need to share our experience of living through two excruciatingly boring months of summer internships, in different parts of the country, as we counted our days down to the big return to the campus. It was fun. And much necessary. Especially since we all firmly believed that the time at the campus was perhaps the best time of our lives, (Yes, I said that, right in tandem with the lyrics of the song that every drunk person sings to, while reminiscing the past. So shoot me), and this sharing, would relieve us of some the pain that the judaai had brought about.

It did. But once we were back to the God-awesome routine of classes, sleeping weird hours, movies, night canteen, assignments, CP and presentations (not in any order), most of the bunch lost its mojo and sunk back into routine. Some of us, however, trundled on, continued, discovering with each passing day, just how much fun this whole ‘write what you want in your space thing could be’. The focus varied, and mine in particular stuck to journaling all that was happening in life, which at that point, was pretty much everything and anything in and about the Kampus.

And as time passed, I got introduced to more blogs, those outside of the campus, and realized how this could be a vent-out mechanism. I loved how some people shared everything personal, because no one knew them there. Only, in my case, everyone did. Heck, my name was on the url. But most of what I was writing was pretty non-controversial, and more importantly, totally inconsequential. So I wrote on.

Complained about assignments, exams looming over the head, grades, unfair SCon members, mean juniors, annoying PlaceComm, bad movies, mess food, everything under the sun. And in some of the rarest moments, a couple of very, very boring, personal posts about how I really felt (dare you laugh, you shall be cursed by 21 year old self). I mean, like, as boring as it could get. But I also worried others would read it. So I marked them private. Two posts in specific. One which I thought could be misconstrued, misunderstood (or actually understood), and another, where I sounded very depressing, almost K-serial depressing. And private they stayed.

Until last week, when I was reading my archives, and I came across these two posts. And when I read them, I realized just how Blah I sounded, and how it really didn’t matter if anyone read them now. So I decided to ‘un-privatize’ them. I did one, and rushed to my reader to check if they showed as a new post, because all this sorting out aside, I really didn’t want anyone to read how strongly I supported one of two competing groups in class, not because of anything else, but the fact that I sounded downright lame-ass. Especially since I was not very well acquainted with either group (yep, competition apparently, actually, we should say studies in general, did not seem to hold a position in my priority list during the B-school days. The good old B-school days), and I had gone ahead and used some codes for the names (ABC, OQR and such), and here I was vehemently talking about how one group thought they were too cool while they were so not blah blah kill me right now oh the horror earth swallow me please. It didn’t. The post on the reader, I mean. So I went ahead with both posts.

And THEN, the stats showed how many people had visited the pages. The two pages. I just told you of one, trust me, the other one is even more lame-ass. I was like, by chance perhaps. But it didn’t show on reader right? So a whole week later, I was changing my profile picture on FB to this super cool shot The Dude has taken of me, and guess what? There they were. The culprits. Both my stupid 10 year old posts, showing as new updates on ALL my friends profiles. Not on reader, where there were still people who did not know me personally. But on FB. Facebook. Actually, you know what, then would have been the right moment to kill me. I did remove them from the timeline, but the damage was done.

One might question the sanity behind un-privatising something you didn’t want read. To which I will say, there is a difference between making available, and publicizing. If someone found my blog SO interesting that they went digging into frigging old archive and battled through the numerous grammatical errors and the punctuation over-use, they deserve to know why ABC was not as cool as it thought, and why PQR was way better. And also that at a point I was sad without knowing why I was sad which is like life in general you might say but you won’t see me say it very often, especially publically.

Anyhoo, apparently things like that our not in our hands, so be it. People who missed the awesome introspective and opinionated posts while they were being announced, you can always refer to my archives and come across these posts in due time, and feel good that you got to know me so much better.

And people who already caught them, and read them, I am sorry. Truly, deeply sorry.

100 Happy days. Not.

So,

I considered doing ’100 Happy Days’. Didn’t work.

I considered doing ‘Happy Days – no strings attached’. Didn’t work.

I considered doing something useful. And then I realised I had to be really bored to have such weird thoughts.

Which is why I am back to doing something completely in my genre. Welcome to my new series – 100 Whiny days.

I think ‘Whiny days – no strings attached’ will work better right? We all know how our quest for the extraordinary went with ze Blogathon.

So what’s making me whine today?

-  I have pretty much screwed up all the calorie burn achieved in the morning walk/run by continuously snacking. CONTINUOUSLY. Reason – said snacks were there. Yes people, we have come to a situation where we eat, not because we are hungry, not because it is tasty, but because it exists. For now, the radius of this existence has to be 10 meters or less but we can feel it expanding already. So food items around the world, beware, I am coming for you.

-  It is Wednesday. Still. How can it be Wednesday still? There is some conspiracy happening somewhere to make these annoying weekdays longer. No other explanation. No, the fact that I have a long weekend doesn’t make it any better. Ok it does. No it doesn’t. But it does. NO, it doesn’t.

-  This is the worst I swear. So I think of this brilliant counter attack at all things happy and positive in the form of my brilliant Whine series, and guess what? I am out of things to whine about! Such a terrible day to start posts concentrating on the negatives, my forte! Terrible. And on top of it, The Dude mails me while I am typing this and it is not about a pending bill that needs to be paid. If this is not unfair, I mean what is?

That has to be the cue to stop. So I will. But it doesn’t stop my eternal need to complain. It doesn’t. I will be back soon. With more whines. More complains. More insight, into all that is not right.

Till then, feel free to whine. It is our birthright.

When in doubt

Zo it out.

As you can see, the Blogathon managed to squeeze out the last drop of posting material and ability from my core which means I am back to blogging once in forever? Tragic, very tragic. However, for the sake of not letting my readers, and my stats down, here I am.

Like I said, there will always be Zo stuff. So brace yourselves for another set of updates from Zola land. No I don’t call her Zola, Zola land sounded nice. Isn’t Meredith’s daughter called Zola? I miss Grey’s Anatomy. *mental note to catch up on the latest season*.

So Zo, is finally sleeping in her own room. You remember, the room where she was doing this circle time sorta thing with all things stuffed and fluffy? Yep, that’s her room. Has been since we moved here, with her toys, and books, and clothes. But she never slept there. Because I just didn’t know how to start it. The Dude kept taunting me, but I did not do it. I could not do it. And it was me who had forced us to rent out a massive house where we would have a Guest room, and a Zo room.

Anyway. So last week? Actually on 1st Feb, my Bro-in-law was chatting with us and he causally asked if she was sleeping alone yet. The Dude rolled his eyes at me. And I said, ‘We start tomorrow’.

And surprise! We did. I did not want to make her sleep elsewhere and then move her, it would kill the purpose. The whole idea I guess was to ensure she knew what she was getting into. So right from the morning on Sunday, we kept talking to her about how awesome it was that she would now be sleeping her own room with all her toys, and fortunately, she got reasonably excited. So in the night, I took her to her room, and gave her her night milk, and asked who she wanted to sleep with. She said mumma. My heart broke a bit, but I quickly recovered and asked which animal. She picked the ‘bada wala Teddy’. And in another 10 mins she was done with her milk and fast asleep.

That’s been the routine. Everyday she picks a new toy to sleep with. Not necessarily the animals. The cricket bat, the beach toys, the spade, sieve etc, all of them get their turn. 3 times, between that day and today, she has woken up at around 5, asked for milk and moved with her sleep companion and blanket to our room. But she has managed the rest of the time. And I am very proud of my ickle Zo for that.

The times she did wake up, she would ask us to ‘Zo ko small baby banao‘ which basically means we need to wrap her in her baby swaddle, from which her legs stick out for a feet, and she would do mock baby cries as we rock her. She seems to enjoy it a lot these days. Another thing she loves is role playing. “Main mummy hoon, aap Zo ho.” Ok. “Toh phir yeh kaun hai” I ask pointing to Papa, to which her answer is always “Brother”. I have no clue where that comes from, Then she proceeds to ‘come back from office on scooter’, or hand me all her toys saying ‘Zo, look! So many toys!’, or going ‘Zo, eat your food’, or sending me on a ‘Timeout’. It’s fun, and she loves it!

Another thing she loves doing is the whole ‘Jab main badi ho jaoongi, X karoongi’. This X can be anything from cleaning her ears. to putting kajal, to cooking egg. And sometimes, she just does it and goes ‘Main badi ho gayi hoon!‘ ofcourse to be screamed at, or given a time out. Not that it changes anything.

On Saturday, Zo the little monkey did her first ‘scribble on a wall’. She got scolded. Then she proceeded to insert the pencil tip into a key hole and break it. I had had enough, so I thought of giving her a serious talking to, but in a manner most books and magazines suggest. So I sat on my knees, at eye level with her and asked her if that was the right thing, and how I was disappointed, and why did she do it?

She was listening to me intently, without getting distracted, a first I have to say. So mentally, I was thinking how awesome these articles were. And then I gave a pause for her reaction. She walked up to me, still looking into my eyes, leaned her neck forward, and wriggled her eye brows. Honestly, like a cartoon. She then bent, touched her nose to mine, and grinned.

I burst out laughing. I know, the worst thing to do when you are taking parenting seriously. But I found it SO cute, and SO hilarious, that I laughed, picked her up, and we both laughed for a while. I then called the Dude and admitted that I was the worst mom ever who would never be able to discipline her daughter, but in my defense, WHO in their right mind wouldn’t find that adorable.

Sigh. Ok moment two that needs to be recorded. She has this friend at Day care, who waits in his toy car for her to arrive. When she does, he calls out to her, and the little lady announces ‘I am here!’, and rushes in. This friend then tells her how he’s parked her car in the Parking lot, and how he did not allow anyone else to take it, and how he called her last night to tell her that (Eh? I love their imagination!). She nods, gets into ‘her’ car and says, ‘Let’s go!’ Mommy melts. End of story. Oh wait, Mommy is also forgotten, which is weird because 2 minutes before, the same Zo was bickering about how ‘School nahi jaana!’

That’s all for now. That would be an entry in my Zo diaries, and also a way of saying, No, the Blogathon isn’t the only way this place won’t die. I did contemplate doing the 100 Happy days thing, but, erm, 31 days pretty much killed me, I am thinking 100 days would be masochism redefined. Yep.

So there, hang on, and we should be back soon with more stuff to say. Till then, Zo says hi.