The Road Not Taken

Note: This is hardly an original title but extremely apt nonetheless, especially for this particular post. Somehow this post was particularly difficult to write. The words didn’t flow the way they usually do and I’ve made more revisions than I’ve ever done before, left it cooling on the rack as it were till I decided to just get it done once and for all. Read on…

I’ve often touched upon the nomadic life I’d led as a child. It was never dull whatever else it may have been. It was hectic at times and sometimes trying but never dull. And in the process the one thing I always wondered about was whether putting down roots somewhere was really everything it was cracked up to be and if it was something I’d be able to aspire to one day. Because after 9 schools and 11 cities you really wonder at times where it’s all going.

There was a point of time when I thought I’d got it figured out. I was much younger but without the rose-tinted glasses. Work was shaping up, other aspects of life were also pretty much where they needed to be. And then they changed. Not entirely drastically but they changed and the path that was taken has led up to today. And it’s been a good one for the most part. But a part of me wondered about the shape of things had the divergence not occurred. The all too elusive what-ifs occasionally rear their head and you can’t help but extrapolate things and wonder if you’d have been able to follow the blueprint through and where that might have got you.

Now nostalgia is just fine on it’s own, indulged from a few hundred kilometers away but when you get down to brass tacks and walk in the same paths the younger you did, sometimes it’s just not the same at all. Imagine a place, a cafe if you will, was something you zoomed into regularly like it was home base. The food tasted great, the drinks even better and the time spent there was memorable. And then one day, you walk in there after a few years and it’s not really special anymore. It’s run-of-the-mill. The place isn’t run down or shady…it’s just not what you want anymore. The younger you sure, the older you…not so much. And that can be a slightly bittersweet realization for those of us who sometimes want to desperately hang onto the vision of something the way we remember it.

I remember visiting my college with my best friend a long while after we finished our graduation.While the original structure was still standing, the new extensions to the building made it look more like a transport hub than the college where I spent 3 very significant years of my life. And while I’m not opposed to change, there’s change and there’s CHANGE. And as we grow up and older, some changes are inevitable and often seem irrevocable.

Nostalgia works well for some time but the deeper you go into it at times you realize that you aren’t acknowledging the most often critical part of whole situation- that you’re the  one that’s changed the most. Older, maybe wiser, definitely healthier (we’re a body positive blog folks) and once you get to that point; at best nostalgia can be a joyful interlude but one best kept brief. Because there’s so much happening now! The future maybe unknown but the past is something we’ve already gone through. Reliving it or attempting to kind of seems like walking backwards to me. Best to grab onto whatever’s happening now and hang on for the ride.

Here endeth the lesson.

 

Guilt-Free Goa

We have our own version of Vegas in India…G-O-A…what happens in Goa stays in Goa and Goa seems to be built for everything you’d do while you’re away from home, boundaries, restrictions and the humdrum of the everyday.

How else can one explain the most prim and proper of “aunties” who is carrying enough weight on her hips and belly to feed a colony of starving cannibals, strut around very confidently in rather iffy outfits that leave nothing to the imagination whatsoever!

Or the sudden craze the biggest beer bellies get for wearing Speedos and jiggling their way along the beach, without a care in the world? Or the most hirsute of men jumping into crystal clear water where the hair on their bodies is practically at par with the sea anemones one might expect from the fathoms? Those are some sights people were not meant to see and be able to unsee.

It’s not just about being more daring with attire, people leave their food dos and don’ts behind…way behind I might add! Stuff doesn’t have to be kosher, in a manner of speaking…it just has to look and taste good. And nothing tastes better than the forbidden fruit or the bacon!

This isn’t a critique, mind you. It’s interesting to see how people loosen up with their inhibitions and just enjoy themselves in a way that they normally wouldn’t on any other holiday destination…unless it actually was Vegas or the French Riviera maybe.

Years ago when I was working with a B-School, I remember the spring break-like fever descending on the students. The senior class wanted to go to Goa together but they also had exams coming up and had to prepare for the campus interviews for the placements etc. My job was to prepare them for those interviews and wouldn’t you know it? I had to do it during the time they were in the Go-Goa mode! So little by little excuses started coming my way…suddenly a whole bunch of parents had silver wedding anniversaries that their loving children just couldn’t afford to miss. So many grandmothers fell sick and apparently a glimpse of their beloved grandchild is what the doctor had prescribed above all things! It was quite fun to watch and I didn’t have the heart to say no to any of them because this too is a right of passage.

When I took a mini-vacay with some girlfriends I went to Goa. We ate, drank, slept, gabbed and frolicked in the utter Goa-ness. And that’s the beauty of it…it’s not just the beaches..it’s the place. It’s where you head to get drunk, it’s where you head to for a romantic weekend, honeymoon even and it’s where you take your hyper kid to cool off while you sip cocktails by the pool in the am without a thought for time of day!

Goa was made for relaxation- be it quick or a long-drawn one. It’s for gorging on seafood, eating spicy stuff your stomach can’t stomach and still having a great big smile on your face because it’s satisfaction all the way! So if you want to get high on sun, fun and the occasional dram…this place is a surefire fix!

Cheers!

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Kiddy Movie Reco: Turbo

We LOVE animated movies in this household. Especially about all sorts of creatures you normally wouldn’t encounter in your day to day life or even if you did, you wouldn’t give them a second thought. Turbo falls into the second category.

The story of a garden snail who dreams of the Indy 500 and his eventful journey till the day the black and white checkered flag waves him off the starting line, is a story which the kids will enjoy thoroughly. Even if they don’t cotton onto the central theme of dream big and keep dreaming till you get it right; it’s a movie that’ll end up being looped a few times.

With a voice cast of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti and Samuel L. Jackson amongst others, this movie isn’t something that moves at a snail’s place but one that zips all the way to the finish line!

Another thumbs up from team Dreamworks!

Movie Review-Captain America: Civil War

Image courtesy Google Images

It’s been AGES since I saw a movie on the same day it released. Probably not since 04 but then that’s too far into the past for me to dredge up the when and wherefores.

I generally enjoy the offerings from the Marvel universe. Captain America is the typical boy scout but he’s easy on the eyes and then Iron Man? Forget about it! uttered in a pseudo Italiano-Americano accento!

I was waiting for this new installment of Captain America because I wanted to know what new person, event, catastrophe they could throw into the mix to make the movie engrossing.

And they came up with a fairly plausible one- a wronged soldier who goes vigilante and wants to bring down the wrath of…well himself on the Avengers! As far as plots go, not bad. The action is as always, over the top but damn enjoyable. Iron Man does seem to enjoy top billing in the Avenger movies maybe due to the guy who plays him but I find that I missed the chemistry between Pepper Potts and Tony Stark in this movie. Gwenyth Paltrow probably being too busy in promoting Goop!

But back to reviewing the movie- in a nutshell? Eat at home and save yourself the money for the popcorn and soda because it’s nearly a 2 1/2 hour-long movie and you need munchies while the drama unfolds and the super-powered punches are thrown all over the place.

Thor and The Hulk being the big misses here especially because they did have some screen time in the first Avengers movie and did what they were supposed to and in the second one there was a nice little thing happening between The Widow and Hulk.

C.A.C.W- is about friendship. Redemption and essentially Big Brother trying to control the “greater good” and Tony Stark’s need to have the last word.

Read the wikipedia page for the spoilers because I don’t want to be the reason someone doesn’t go and buy overpriced popcorn to watch this movie.

I was surrounded by high school and college boys who were whopping along with Iron Man and shrieking whenever someone got slammed into concrete or some or equally hard surface and realized that these movies make you feel younger and somewhat mindless. But it’s fun so it’s all good!

Reflections On A Sunday…Yet Again

After a long while I had a lot of space. A LOT. I mean driving-alone-on-a-fairly-secluded-road-with-not-too-many-people-around or too-far-behind-in the-mirror-kind-of-space. And I just took in the solitude along with the car freshner smell and realized:

  • It is SO important to have some totally, totally, totally alone time; away from social media, people and other living beings barring self.
  • Rabbi’s Tere Bin Sanu Soniya is a fantastic song to drive to at any time!
  • Nostalgia isn’t a bad thing. It’s not depressing or debilitating unless you wallow in it. Enjoy it and it uplifts.
  • I love Hyderabad.
  • I am not entirely *not* a morning person. A quasi-one I would say.
  • The Swift is a pretty neat car. Not only because my feet reach the pedals but the car sings at high speeds but doesn’t make you feel like it’s coming apart at the seams.
  • I really don’t like the vanilla aroma in my car. I prefer a more woodsy kind of smell. Out you go Ambipur Vanilla Bouquet!
  • It’s quite nice dropping people off. Welcoming them is better but even the drop off can be a journey…for me especially, so it’s all good.
  • I need to filter my mouth a bit more while alone since the “ch” sound comes out pretty frequently. Case in point- the lizard I saw scuttling across the hall got a no-holds barred CH****** from me.
  • I really have a thing for bullet points 🙂

Happy Sunday Peeps!

2014: A Retrospective of Movies

Compared to other years, I’ve actually gone out and watched quite a few movies in 2014. My quite a few might be still a pitiful number but I was averaging one movie a year after MLM was born so anything that takes me beyond that number is just dandy!

I downloaded (ahem ahem) quite a few recent movies as well in the past year and rather enjoyed some of them while others were  in the watch’em-delete’em category.

Some of the stuff that stayed with me from 2014 were:

I wasn’t too impressed with How To Train Your Dragon-2 barring the new dragons they introduced. I didn’t see why Stoick had to be killed off. But Toothless as the alpha was a bit over the top for me. Still…dragons, fire, flying..what’s not to enjoy?

Incidentally I watched about 5-6 movies in the theaters this time around so half the fun was that. Plus the nachos and the popcorn…leave it. Am a hog.

The stuff that was a strictly one-time watch were:

  • 22 Jump Street (did not understand how this got good reviews).
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (the retro soundtrack made me nostalgic)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (enough already with the franchise!)
  • The Other Woman (not very funny…not really funny at all)
  • Frozen (somehow the hype made it less interesting for me but gotta love ‘Let It Go!)
  • Sex Tape (watched it halfway before the brat woke up but didn’t find it engaging enough to come back and watch it till the end)
  • Annabelle (boring!)

I still have atleast another 10-12 more to go and we’re round it off by watching Paddington today at the theater (first movie out in 2015…yay!).

Be as all this may, I think 2014 is one of those years where they have made extremely diverse movies and some truly excellent ones at that. Hollywood doesn’t let the grass grow under its feet but the amazing range of 2014 has been one its best so far.

Do you agree?

Happy Viewing all 🙂

VaCaTiOn!

I thought I might blog each day of the vacation but that hasn’t happened. No biggies. It’s a vacation after all. Nearly free from rules except the 20-minute rule for getting into the pool post a hogging session.

The beach is clean, seem to have no riff-raff (none that I’ve spotted so far) and is pretty shallow so MLM and we have been able to venture pretty far in without worrying too much about turning turtle once a big wave hits.

The resort by itself is nothing over the top. It’s cozy, looks like a resort, feels like a resort, acts like a resort as it were but it’s not your run-of-the-mill filled to the brim during holiday season either.

We get enough pool time and don’t have to jostle for a good spot on the beach either.

One of the things we wanted for the vacation was an overall sense of being relaxed. We haven’t yet opted for too many activities (that’ll come with the second part of the holiday) and neither did we want to have our fill of things to feel that we’re getting our money’s worth. We wanted to relax, have some laughs, take a few pictures and have a good holiday.

Barring a smallish (well..not that small) with the luggage arriving once we landed in our destination it’s all been just dandy.

We’ve tasted the local cuisine, gone to a party, made half-assed sand castles, caught a wee mudskipper, chased crabs on the beach and seen a mangrove and it’s denizen amongst the whole of things we “haven’t” done.

MLM has been pretty social too….going up to people on the beach and in the pool, saying hello. Sometimes choosing people to interact with purely on the basis of their attire viz the boy who wore the alligator swim trunks or the lady who was just lazily floating in the pool till the little monkey swam up beside her and decided he wanted to do what “aunty” was doing 🙂

We’ve had to resort to the television only once or twice till now. The digital media is a companion during meals but we’re working on that.

All in all it’s a good way to round off a year that’s seen lots of hours in the office, lots of scoldings over handwriting and homework and plenty of time agonizing over the ironing, maids and choosing schools for the offspring.

So here we are….vegetating.

How sweet it is!

Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging
Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging
This says it all...happiness personified.
This says it all…happiness personified.