Mon Petit Chou

One day, I bought a head of cabbage. The very next morning, my mother turned part of that cabbage into coleslaw, which was delicious.

The same afternoon, I was at work with the same coleslaw as a part of my lunch. I was silly enough in those days to share my lunch with a few colleagues. One of these colleagues LOVES to argue with me. In fact, I have since proved to him that he only argues with a few people, and I cannot understand why I am one of those miserable unfortunates.

That afternoon, he argued with me that “those green strips” couldn’t possibly be cabbage, because “cabbage is white and disgusting”, and the “green strips” were NOT disgusting.

I spent 5 minutes trying to convince him, explaining the buying and making process in detail, before giving up and admitting that the green strips were a mysterious vegetable that I called cabbage just to propagate a conspiracy.


404: Brain-to-Mouth Filter Not Found

Thing I actually said to a guy I met off Tinder that proves I have no brain-to-mouth filter:

Very sweet Crossfit trainer, who I met that day for the FIRST time: “You should workout a little every day; it is an investment in your health.”

Me: “Come on now. I know you’re a trainer, but *I* don’t go around telling people to read a few pages of a book every day because it is an investment their vocabulary, just because I’m a writer!”

I will just quietly die of mortification in my corner now.

How To Make Non-Vegetarian Nimboo Paani

You will need:

  1. Almost empty container of honey
  2. 1 moron who has forgotten that her kitchen has the occasional ant. [For moron bookings, please contact my agent.]
  3. 1 lemon
  4. Ice
  5. Water


1. Leave honey bottle out on the counter, and conveniently forget for several hours.
2. Come back to the kitchen and watch in fascinated horror as about 1 trillion ants march resolutely back and forth from the honey bottle.
3. Squeeze a lemon into a glass, and swirl cold water in honey bottle. Pour water + honey mix into glasses filled with ice.
4. Realise that ants have apparently decided to perpetuate a kamikaze pact, and have committed suicide in the honey. Their corpses were at the base of the bottle, and have now landed in your drink.
5. Add salt to taste. Stir.


Perfection Time Capsule

I slowly want to reincorporate my old blog into this one, a few posts at a time. Here is one I found of a sunny morning in Goa, with my favourite people in the world.

I love my job (not the working culture, the nincompoops I deal with or the lack of process – but the actual JOB) but I do look forward to the occasional day off. I say ‘occasional’ because I rarely get a Sunday completely to myself at home, regardless of good intentions. Today started off on an awesome note, and I really hope the awesomeness continues into the day/week/month/year.

1. Got up late this morning. (8:45 am, in case anyone was wondering)

2. Crawled out of bed and padded my way two flights of stairs, to see mom still cuddled up under the covers with the cocker spaniel, and dad just disappearing into the bathroom. Mom was complaining bitterly that he woke up and therefore she now feels guilty about lolling around. I, of course, felt no such guilt and promptly jumped into my dad’s spot for a quick snooze. Bliss.

3. Cocker spaniel had other plans, and therefore decided that since my face was accessible to her, she must give it a thorough washing. She was unceremoniously shoved away, and dragged into mom’s arms for a cuddle. Happy me, happy mom and happy dog.

4. Dad comes out of the bathroom, and mom gets up grumbling. I ignore all such happenings, and the dog escapes from mom’s clutches to come and snuggle against my face. My face is now full of soft cocker spaniel fur. Love it.

5. Surface about 5 minutes later and hug father, amidst loud complaints that it is HIS room and HIS bed and she is HIS wife, and what right did I have to come in the middle? Smile seraphically at annoying father and amble into the cold to play with gambolling puppies. Heaven.

6. Play with puppies for a few minutes, and then get into long chat with neighbour about said puppies, my newspaper, the Hanuman chalisa and various other issues. Fun.

7. Amble back into the house, only to find father has disappeared to get milk and bread from the shops. Hinder mother’s bed-making by jumping on half-made bed and encouraging cocker spaniel to do so as well. Then proceed to complain loudly as both of us are thrown out of the bedroom and the door is locked behind us.

8. Dance around the kitchen to cheesy Bollywood tunes blaring from the kitchen speakers. Yes, we have speakers in the kitchen. No, I will not explain. Yes, I can be bribed to explain.

9. Get handed some more work by the father. Demand exorbitant payment to do said work. Get backed up by tiny mother. Outnumber father. Girlie power, yay.

A number of my perfect moments feature my parents and my dog. Unsurprising, really.

Assertiveness and Guilt

Well, it finally happened. I told people to stop messaging me so much, because I was wilting under the pressure of it all. Only, contrary to my expectations, I did not explode. I was actually rather polite about it.

But. BUT. Of course the guilt has set in. Let me explain though.

So I have a neurotic need to reply or respond in some way to every message or call. I am built like that because I equate not replying to abject rudeness, and I cannot logic my way out of it. Thus, since I very much hold myself accountable to my own standards, I cannot ignore anyone. [Although someone tried very hard to change my mind about this stance.] Except if I have already told that person I will not be replying to any communication from them. This has happened in the past.

Keeping in mind that I have this personality quirk, and that I am usually inundated with work – project work or house work – it was a small wonder I was drowning under the stress of replying to the daily messages of some people.

First, I tried backing away from other social networks. I stopped using Facebook, avoided logging into Twitter, and finally gave Whatsapp a miss, unless I needed to communicate with my mom. I let notifications lie unread on the app, turning off notifications entirely. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew that they were there, waiting silently for my attention.

Next, I tried hinting people away. “I’m running around quite a bit.” or “I have deadlines for some work.” None of them stuck. From one quarter, I got extreme understanding and told I wasn’t obliged to respond, but the messages would continue unabated. From the second quarter, I got exhortations to stop! working! so! much! woman! Or to TAKE A BREAK! Which, while well-intentioned, is not particularly helpful or useful, and frankly makes me grind my teeth.

That brings us neatly to today. Where I finally realised that I was in a sink or swim situation, and I needed to extricate myself. So I told them very nicely that the daily messaging was causing me stress.

And sat back to watch the understanding reactions, albeit betraying hurt, and tried very hard not to rush to undo the results of me asking them to give me some space. It was horribly easy to do so, and I physically kept myself away from my phone so as not to undo it.

The trouble with me is that when I am assertive to people who are nice for the most part, and my assertiveness causes them varying levels of anguish, I find it very hard to stand my ground. I feel an overwhelming urge to rush in and soothe ruffled feathers and generally fix things so they are happy again – regardless of whether it is healthy for me or not.

Additionally, one of them was there for me during a particularly trying time in my life. And I have been there for him for moral support thereafter. So I felt doubly worse for asking him for my space. And yet, I was slowly going crazy.

In the afternoon, I sat with mom for lunch and I told her all of this. And I asked her whether I did the right thing. She looked at me and said: “Only you would let it go for so long, and then ask whether you were right. You need to sometimes do what is right for you, and tell the others as kindly as possible, but not hold yourself responsible for the consequences.”

And that, put it right into perspective.

Go Ahead And Injure Me

So, today I went for my 4th MMA class in a row. My previous streak of attendance was 6, but I had to break it because of sunburn on my back. But this post isn’t about that.

Today was Jiu-jitsu day, and it is a testament to my lack of ability that I am not sure which kind we are doing. The class starts with forward rolls, which I cannot do at all thanks to negligible upper body strength. I intend to work myself up to that point though, so I powered on through the rest of the class. Suffice it to say, there are holds and squats and swivels and whatnot.

For most of the routines, you need to have a partner. They lie on their backs, and you practise holds and locks and squats and swivels and whatnot. One of these holds involves placing a knee on your partner’s abdomen, and your hands on their shoulders or biceps. You then swivel your leg, using the knee as a pivot, and mount your partner.

My partner was a little unsure of these moves, so I went first. I placed my knee rather gingerly on her, because, let’s face it, I am heavy. But because the weight is distributed, the pressure is not actually that much. She was most encouraging though, and said to give it all I got. Her exact words were:

“Put your knee on my stomach! Don’t worry about it at all.” And added, as an afterthought: “Both my parents are doctors!”

I had to stop the routine though. Because I was laughing so much at that, I couldn’t stand straight.