2021…A Year In Retrospect

I usually end up thinking of a year in a particular manner towards its end. Like 2018 was “The Year Of Road Trips“. 2019 now in hind sight, is “The Year It Was All Fine Before Downhill Became The Norm” 2020 was “The Year The Pandemic Hit” and 2021 had been “A Hodgepodge Year” all the way through!

While I don’t like to dwell on death and anything morbid overly much; I don’t recall any other year where the phone rang so many times with the news of someone’s demise. It got to a point where I’d ask my folks each time they rang up,”Who is it this time?”. Needless to say, a lot of people went before their time and it takes a while to reflect and then try to move past it.

As a family, we had a few more downs than ups but we managed to sneak in some good times nonetheless- a nice road trip full of songs, ‘are we there yets‘, junk food, room service, a beautiful stone sunken bathtub that TO and I were fighting over while another instance had me scrambling to find footing in a 5.5 ft of water while TO frolicked like a little otter and laughed at his mother’s clumsy efforts to not drink up half the pool!

2021 had been so fluid that it was half over before I realized it. It feels like I sleepwalked through parts of it and other parts I wish I had. But the highs thankfully balance out the utter lows.

On a slightly more somber note- mental health has become the need of the hour now. Whether it’s due to a prolonged state of having been indoors or being in a state of flux about the state of the world around us, but mental health now occupies center stage like never before.

People are realizing the immense benefit of talking to someone who is a professional. They help you gain perspective, fight your demons and also help you keep a hold onto your reality and sanity at times. Especially in a society where going to a shrink is still somewhat of a taboo and therapists rarely get their due; mental health professionals have been busier than ever before with parents and children alike lining up to seek help adjusting to the new circumstances they find themselves in.

On the topic of health, traveling( while curtailed for many of us for a long time) has become a renewed stress buster which cannot be denied. Whether it’s on the back of a bike, in a car or just making plans for a sunnier day in the future; traveling has been the solace many of us have been seeking for the past year and a half. And I am profoundly happy and grateful that I got to meet a few of my favorite people multiple times this year although it was a challenge and a half remembering to not drink too much water so I didn’t have to use the loo while flying or the first time when I did travel and I wore gloves, two masks, a shield and had the disinfectant wipes ready to be whipped out at the blink of an eye!

Courtesy the “prevalent situation” (it’s my way of doing a J.K Rowling’s He Who Shall Not Be Named)2021 also became ‘The Year Of The Vaccine’. Whether it was the difficult faced while registering ourselves for it, waiting for it to reach us, the initial jab, the secondary jab and the debate around the booster shot, our lives had been centered around vaccines, their efficacy and all the hopes we’d pinned on them.

I think the message that rang in loud and clear during the past year has been to not necessarily wait for a rainy day and be in a more carpe diem mode. Also, celebrate little things more because waiting for the special occasions could leave you twiddling your thumbs for a good long while. And while I really detest platitudes, I have realised (yet again) how much I and my family have to be grateful for. We are far richer than I realised courtesy the people we have in our lives. Doesn’t matter if you they are a few continents or just a phone call away but seeing a beloved face over a cup of coffee has often meant the world to me in the last year.

I’ve also grown older. Sadly. Mainly in my head. I don’t see value in Roblox. I wish all the piggies would fall down a never-ending hole and never come back. I am also quite the hypocritical parent who has indulged herself thoroughly in a few things (eg: horror movies) but has serious reservations at the thought of her child watching them. Nevermind I was younger than him when I saw Jason and Meyers hacking their way through summer camps and small town America but the thought of my kid seeing blood and gore disturbs me. I am not chill. At all. I also have no patience for Hello Neighbor, Sonic the Hedgehog and cricket talk. Oh god! If I hear one more play being analysed by Red and TO I might cut the cable connection! Happily.

To sum up, I rang out 2021 with a laugh and started 2022 on the same note. Let’s hope it’s a sign of the times to come. Salut!

The Retro Song Bloglet

Sometimes while waiting for the quinoa to get cooked all the way through, you think of Bon Jovi and his ballads. And then Bed of Roses pops into your head. And you play it and sing along till your flesh and blood comes and tells you that he can’t hear the narrator talk about the Most Dangerous Creatures of Asia over your caterwauling.

For those of you who don’t have that problem or wouldn’t mind listening to something other than Livin’ On A Prayer here’s Bed of Roses:

A Little Bit Of Music…

I am all Covided out!” That’s not my utterance but borrowed from a friend who’s said it with so much sincerity that it came across even on chat. But the reason I wrote it here is because I am all Covided out. While I waited for my reports to show up, while I played devil’s advocate about a CT scan for a mild dry cough and while people who are family getting diagnosed on a regular basis, this disease seems to have got its tentacles into everything and everyone in some form or the other.

I haven’t seen my bestie in YEARS. Actually it’s been a year and a half but you know how it is with besties. You want them to be around all the time; even if they live a continent away. Met my folks after a year despite then being a 2 hour flight away. Those things bite!

TO went back to school very briefly before being hauled back home to fill our days with petulance, sulks and occasionally making me feel like a Shawshank Redemption was going to be enacted in my own home.

The kids have been asked (read banned) from going down and playing together due to a major uptick in the active cases in our community. So poor TO is off his cricket practice and rarely goes down to either cycle or even more rarely- swing in the kiddy area. Yesterday there was a Mexican standoff at the play area downstairs with TO and a couple of little girls who thought he wasn’t supposed to have access to the swings since it was all theirs. He disagreed. Those girls had a dangerous gleam in their eyes. Their frills and flounces didn’t fool me…they’d have taken him out in a heartbeat!

Red’s not going to work at all these days. He was headed to work a few times a week earlier for a few hours at a time and it felt like some semblance of a balance was getting restored. But while we aren’t colliding with each other constantly, the whole miasma of uncertainty sometimes gets to me and all I want to do is watch cat videos on Instagram and see things like this. It makes me feel like there is light and goodness in the world and a sense of warmth will gradually seep into all the nasty cracks that have some up.

I mean how can you not put aside all the vagaries that life seems to be throwing at you and just look at that lil chin that’s so nom-nom-alicious!! I swear babies were created for something other than making zombies out of their parents and that’s just so quasi-jaded people like me can fawn on them and their pictures and of course, give them back to the zombies…I mean parents, once the quota of happiness has been derived.

Anyhow, I was feeling particularly blah last night and I started looking for cat videos and came across a small clip where a bride is throwing the bouquet but it’s a staged “throw” and the bride actually hands it over to a lady who turns around to find out that she’s being proposed to. No..that didn’t make me feel better at all…I think I found it a bit hokey but I’ve never had a proper proposal so what do I know? My ears did perk up at the song in the background…Bruno Mars’ Marry You.

Now I’m not a closet romantic. Sure I cry at watching Love Story and think whoever doesn’t cry when Jenny dies is dead inside! But all the typical crying at seeing an engagement ring and having someone get down on their knees doesn’t do much for me. If you see the video of the song I’ve written about, it is funny and annoying all at once. The lyrics are a bit meh also but it’s a feel-good song and not a feel-intellectual one so it’s not a surprise that it’s the go-to song for flash mob engagements.

Happy Tears GIFs | Tenor

And while it’s a good gesture, exciting even but the woman being proposed do doesn’t show her face since she’s all overwhelmed and there’s an annoying photog getting in her face to see how she looks all tear-streaked and blotchy-faced…ah love.

But cynicism apart, the song is peppy and while I’ve heard it TONS of times earlier in background scores on TikTok etc I always moved past it. But my slightly sad brain needed a bit of cheer last night and the beats of this particular song apparently were where the cheer was to be found. Whoda thunk?!

I feel asleep listening to it and woke up feeling better. Maybe it was the lyrics, maybe it was the melody but I do know this song is going to be looped in my head while I tackle the chores today and I will be smiling and swaying along with it…

Moral of the story: If you’re walking along in a mall and suddenly there seem to be people breaking into a dance all around you and this song comes on…RUN if you don’t want to say yes to whoever it is you’re seeing. Pretty hard to say no when the world’s looking at you and there’s a sweaty person kneeling down with an open ring box and the background dancers are getting their TikTok and Insta-worthy faces on!

Mwaaahaa!

Dafuq Bloglet

TO was working on a music assignment for school where he kept sharing bits and pieces of Western Classical music with me and saying what it felt like for him.

Then came the zinger- “Ayu this guy Bitch makes good music!” and he showed me the laptop screen which had this-

Luke 23:34!

Shuffling Into My Ears…

A good amount of my screen time is devoted to Instagram and I constantly keep finding things there that keep me interested or are the new fad for me if you will.

Found this page that I keep going back to. And while I was there last time, I found this song by this guy. Check it out.

And just like that, watching this kid shuffling and moonwalking across the streets, the malls and pretty much everywhere is the new stress buster. Of course, the cat videos will never be off the table!

Enjoy!

Shuffle dance - Coub - The Biggest Video Meme Platform

Lockdown Playlist Part Deux

The lockdown playlist grows. These are the current songs looped on my phone and in my head. This is also an exercise in the using the Block Editor in WordPress instead of the Classic Editor that I typically turn to.

Songs For Social Distancing…

Hey if I could come up with a list of songs which go against social distancing, I can surely find a few which are all about it as well.

Let’s take a look, shall we? Again, no order or preference to them. Just the ones which popped in my mind-

1. Run Snow Patrol

2.Hit The Road Jack– Ray Charles

3. Alone– Heart

4. Wake Me Up When September Ends-Green Day

5. All By Myself– Eric Carmen

6. Away From The Sun- 3 Doors Down

7. Only The Lonely– Roy Orbison

8. Where the hell are my friends- LANY

9. Tea For One– Led Zeppelin

10. Lonely-Akon

And the clear winner with lyrics that actually state, “Run away, Run away, run away and save your life.
Run away, run away, run away if you want to survive.“…Real McCoy with Run Away!

The Non-Social Distancing Playlist

I play music when I head for my bath. And it’s usually a shuffled playlist so things stay interesting. Music Musical Notes GIF - Music MusicalNotes MusicIsLife GIFs

In any case, the playlist chose Springsteen’s Human Touch and while I love that song, I laughed to myself thinking that it was so, so not right during the time of social distancing and shelter in place. And because I am thoroughly bummed out by the state of the world right now, I thought why not come up with atleast ten songs that totally go against the need of the hour aka staying in isolation, indoors and basically away from the rest of the world.

Here they are in no particular order!

  1. Human Touch– Bruce Springsteen
  2. Come On Over– Christina Aguilera
  3. Hug Me– Pharrell Williams
  4. I Drove All Night– Roy Orbison
  5. Close To You– Maxi Priest
  6. Baby Come To Me– Patti Austin&James Ingram
  7. With Arms Wide Open– Creed
  8. I Want To Break Free-Queen
  9. Come Together– Beatles
  10. Come As You Are– Nirvana

Headbanging GIFs | Tenor

I Get By With A Little Help From…

Music. Pretty much of all types but I have particular songs earmarked for particular situations or moods rather. There’s a specific song for decompressing. The main reason this song became the anthem for situations where the walls seem to be closing in is because of its lyrics. It’s beyond ridiculous. Utterly ludicrous. And that’s the beauty of it. When situations make you go WTF in caps, bold, underlined with an army of exclamations and question marks after it, a song without a head or tail can make you do a double take and go, “Dang…that’s so weird it’s actually good!”

I also get by with the help of movies. The more senseless the better. See the theme running through this post? I have a few I fall back on- Sharknado, White Girls and a few which aren’t senseless but just good clean fun and laughs like Padosan and Naram Garam and their ilk.

A good friend sitting in a virus hotspot just pinged and told me about tsunamis and earthquakes on top of the lovely days the world has been experiencing. So, find your rhythm and groove. No matter how weird. We could all do with a bit more weird. Feeling bright and shiny is a bit overrated IMHO, weird is the way to go!

Image result for keep calm and be a weirdo

 

Lost In Translation#248

TO had a good time dancing to Shaitaan Ka Saala on New Year’s eve but didn’t know the name of the song. His Hindi being what it is, half the words just escape him entirely! And when he does utter them, they are so far from where they started out that it’s more of a #dafuq moment than a #LOL one.

He asked me for the name of the song so he could tell Alexa to play it. And this is what happened…

TO-“Alexaaa wake up”. Alexa- I am awake. What can I do for you? TO-” Alexa play Sankranti Masala“. Alexa- goes round and round till she gives up the ghost and begins to reboot!!

Hooman-1. Gadget- still rebooting.