Archive | February, 2012

Cake Balls

28 Feb

A work friend and I are sitting at a  “women at work” kind of seminar. We thought we would probably meet some senior execs ,say our hellos, network a little bit and overall make our presence felt. However on getting there, we realize that no one of importance has really shown up, the topic is extremely boring and the session seems to be going on and on.

We look around at what people are wearing and between us can figure out which stores people have bought their attire in. (Yes, I realize we shop or window shop a little too much)

“That is definitely Banana (Republic )” my friend whispers of the lady in front of us. “Oh and I saw that top in Anne Taylor for 19.99 on clearance. “

“Ya, but it looks quite worn, doubt she bought it in clearance. Might have paid full price and bought it some time ago.”

“Would you seriously pay 40 bucks for that top? Come on”

Anyway, we do this for a while and then get bored.

I suddenly spy the snacks at the corner of the room.” I definitely see some Sweet Leaf tea.Good!Wonder what there is to eat .What do you think it is – cookies?”

“Na , looks different. Maybe brownies.”

When the networking part of the event starts, we are almost the first ones at the food table. And to our delight we find it is cake balls. Yum.

We take 2 each for starters (barely a mouthful) and are thinking about going for thirds. “Should we? “, I ask. “Looks pretty greedy, especially since we look to be the senior most folks in the room!”

“Who cares? The fact we are senior, no one is going to say a thing or even notice we had 3.”Let’s go for it “ ,says my friend.

“Dude, calories? That thing has got to be 200 cals each?

“Just work out a little more today at the gym.Come on.”

Before we can react, 2 women head towards the table and grab a box each ( 24 in each box!) , don’t bat an eyelid and don’t even look around and  calmly walk out the door!So much for us getting thirds!Several people in the room didn’t even get to taste one.

Lesson learnt – Overanalyzing, never gets you the cake balls!

In sickness and in health

16 Feb

My friend is her first relationship ever. She is in her early 30s and has pretty much scoffed at romance or anything with romantic connotations all her life. It is heartening to see her talk and behave like a  lightheaded teenager though as she is going through this. She went on her first date a few months ago and is completely besotted. They will probably end up married by the end of the year.

Being her (best?) friend I get to hear all the stories first hand and live a little vicariously through her.

The first date details, the first time they used the word ‘love’, the first time he visited her(it’s a long distance thing for now) and then all the gifts!

As she was really celebrating her first Valentine ’s Day this year, she went into panic mode figuring what to get him. Last night she gave me all the finer details of gifts she finally decided upon and gave him and the stuff he got her.

She ended with asking me what the husbadoo and I gave each other.

I thought for a second and said “Well, he gave up his weekend cricket to nurse me as I was sick and he took over all the cooking and household duties this weekend. I in return, did not give him my infection yet! (Unfortunately, I spoke too soon. I gave him my cold within 24 hours of saying this!)

So we never have been big on gifts to each other, especially for V day. I think our first V day together as a couple in 2005, he gave me a CD of his favorite songs. Considering I do not listen to music at all (serisouly, don’t care much for music at all) this was a surprising gift. I did listen to half the CD over a period of 2 years, before losing it in a move. I gave him a little stuffed toy whale which we still have somewhere around the house.

Our first V day after marriage again was no gifts but a good dinner outside and the second one was again no gifts but lovely Italian dinner at home.

This V day it was no gifts and staying in! We had planned on making it an extended weekend of celebration and going out but our plans were dashed. It started quite well actually, on Thursday with dressing up nice, watching a musical and quick Italian dinner before the show. Friday , we wanted to go shopping alone but instead found ourselves having  Thai food with some friends. Saturday I fell sick with subzero weather  and Sunday, Monday , Tuesday I was pretty awful. So much for the Husbadoo’s plans of a lovely picnic lunch in the park over the weekend 😦 Temperatures were below freezing which is so unusual for where we are at this time of the year.

Hsubadoo turned into personal house elf and took over all the household duties. Multiple cups of hot water to drink, salt water to gargle, inhalation set ups, vicks on my chest and back, lots of haldi ka dudh. It didn’t stop there –he made me awesome uttapams and served them fresh off the grill. He gave up the only one he saved for himself when I demanded one more after recovering my lost appetite late in the day.

On Monday, before he left for work, the dish washer was loaded and running, the kitchen was sparkling, some lunch was laid out, he rushed to the store to get me some cough drops and saw that I was taken care of for the day.

At nights he had been dispatched to the guest room to sleep much to his many protests but stopped by several times to check on me, take my temperature and just sooth me back to sleep.

On V day evening, I felt distinctly better while he felt worse. His throat was sore and he had developed a cough. Guess the separation did not really make any difference and he caught the damn infection any how!

Anyway, he picked up some Indian take out from a place we both love and we sat on different couches watching reruns of “How I met your mother”. We then drank our hot milk , gave each other a few flying kisses and went to our respective rooms to sleep!

So that was our V day. No flowers, chocs, cupcakes, fancy dinner outside. However, it was special in a different kind of way. I actually think that it is at moments of sickness and suffering that we actually appreciate our partner the most. The stuff that he did for me this weekend to me was way more meaningful and memorable to me than some chocolate and a fancy dinner outside or even a trinket (which I would invariably break or lose). We might still go out and have that fancy dinner when we both recover completely but for now I am completely satisfied with my V day.

How did you celebrate???Go on , let me know…

4 Years!

14 Feb

It is exactly 4 years to the day that I started working for my current company. My first real job after grad school. I had interned with the same company during the summer and despite other offers, there was a certain familiarity and draw that this place held. Part of this draw was the group of friends I had made during my internship who were going to be coming back to work full-time with me.

For some background, I was 22- bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I had landed on the US shores at 21 and hated every minute of grad school. Had no friends to speak of and overall was miserable. My summer however had been delightful .i made some really good friends , I had experienced what financial independence looked like and had loved living alone for 3 months.

So we all started work on the same day. All of us between the ages of 22-26. About 6 guys and 2 girls .All of us with rose-tinted glasses of making it big in the corporate world.

The first 2 years were spent with tons of eating out (we did this Friday night, Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday  buffet at a desi restaurant), lots of random trips to neighboring cities, kayaking, jet skiing trekking, other outdoor and water stuff,  several mini golfing evenings ( we ended up knowing the courses surrounding us so well that it became a bore to do this), multiple evenings bowling (some in really sidey but cheap places),laser tag ( chasing 12-year-olds and defending our fort), consuming  numerous pizzas at someone’s places and watching random movies of every genre possible.

The 4 years have seen several changes for our little group.

Professionally there have been some layoffs, some rehires, some promotions, some disappointments.

Personally there have been big fights and patching up, serious car accidents, multiple heartbreaks, broken engagements, several weddings and now the first new baby who arrived a few weeks ago.

There been professional jealousies, bitching, sulking, moments when we have made excuses to not hang out, trips that were not really satisfactory to all parties.

There have also been 2 am comfort calls, never missing showing up to a birthday at 12 midnight with cake and champagne, always , always big dinner parties with home cooked food when anyone’s parents visit, not being able to attend each other’s weddings in India but having your parents , grandparents and siblings go instead (because your entire family knows you are friends), midnight coffee shop chats about qualities desired in future soul mates …

Then when the soul mates (spouses) made an entrance into people’s lives, there have obviously been discussions, ratings( in the absence of the person and new spouse ,of course) on looks, personality niceness, compatibility and  general conversational ability.

Marriage, babies, significant others changes things in a group. We don’t meet every weekend anymore. We do not perpetually have IM conversation windows open with each other at work. We don’t meet for lunch from work all that often. We may not be as close as we were to every single person in the group. We no longer hang out for 8 hours at a stretch.

I still know though that these are my go-to friends, come what may. I do not need to meet or talk to them each weekend to even know this. I can discuss pressing work politics and contemplating move questions honestly with them, I can call  them through tears when I am freaking worried that the hubsadoo isn’t answering his phone and has not been seen or heard for hours(  his phone ‘s  charging died but he scared us a little) ,I can ask for a 4 am ride to the airport and I can gossip for hours about the love interest of the moment and get the finer details.

All in all, this set of people has been a big part of my life in the last 4 years. Probably my first real set of friends in life. I was the kid whose dad was in a transferable job and I studied in 7 different schools, 5 different cities, 2 different countries and never stayed long enough to have a “best friend”. I had a decent group in college to be fair but it’s not like I am in touch with all or even 2 of them. I had no friends in the 16 months of grad school, only acquaintances.

As we all go our separate ways in a few months / years, I know we won’t be there with cake and champagne bringing in birthdays at midnight but I hope some of this closeness remains.

Back with a bang

7 Feb

So I have been away for a few days, busy  with work and health stuff.Multiple random posts ran through my head as I worked or nursed myself back to health.Unfortunately none of them come to mind when I do sit to write!

Anyway, Bhargavi at http://bedazzledeternally.blogspot.com/  recently nominated for an award.Who me was all I could gasp ? Seriously, with maybe 2 months of intermittent blogging I totally did not expect this. Anyway, I am honored. Thanks a ton, Bhargavi 🙂

Let me do some justice to this award now.

This is what I have to do:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award
2. Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them of the same
3. Share 7 Random facts about yourself
4. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your Blog Post

As I have already thanked Bhargavi .One thing done. I hardly know/ read 15 blogs and the ones I read have already been nominated ( I really need to get more active on the blog surfing front) , I think I will  go ahead and share some random facts.

  1. My chocolate preferences from love to hate are white, milk, dark, extra dark. Can’t stand extra dark.
  2. I love my ice cream but it really has to be only in a cone. Cups ,bowls and bars don’t really count as ice cream in my book.
  3. I believed in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the sandman till I was about 9. Oh and Wee Willie Winkie too. He comes and gets you if you don’t sleep.
  4. I don’t listen to music! Really! I have no preference. I do not own an ipod . Do not have a single song on my phone or computer .The husbadoo plays stuff for me sometimes. I remember the occasions he has done this but unfortunately not all the songs. I can watch a Hindi movie and come out of theatre not remembering even a single song. You have to tell me what the situation or scene was and I might remember.
  5. I do not really like cereal. Occasionally eat some muesli. For that matter I am not really a breakfast person.
  6. My favorite animals at the zoo are monkeys followed closely by bears. I can spend hours by the cages.
  7. I am really scared of heights .Don’t mind the observation deck views or similar stuff but I have never been on a roller coaster , ever and nothing will induce me to. Think it is the motion coupled with the height that I cannot bear to do.
  8. And one more for luck, I love board games. Thankfully I am married to someone who does to. We have a pretty fine collection but as most of our friends hate playing them, we don’t get to play them very often. We have invented some pretty fun 2 player versions though with modified rules:)Join us for a game if you are in town!

 

Now we will try uploading the picture.

And with just attempts in positioning it , we are successful!

This was a pretty fun post. I get to talk about myself and who doesn’t like that!