Quick note

Thank-you to everyone for the wishes on the Hello Beautiful post. For those who might not know, Indian blogger network IndiBlogger alongwith Dove and Yahoo! held a blogging contest called "What is real beauty?" The post I submitted (surprisingly) ended up winning the first prize. I'm pretty excited because it was absolutely unexpected. And welcome. :)

I might be somewhat infrequent here for a very short bit -- unless I can manage my time better and post something -- as I have a deadline pending. My publisher's finally had enough. I better get my butt moving. 

PS: There are some really well-written posts on the beauty issue here, check them out.


Past Imperfect

Mia will be ONE year old next month and frankly it's making me feel quite strange. There's the bit about where-did-the-year go. Then the bit where I go, "Oh my god, my baby is not a baby anymore!" Then I start thinking that it's been three years since I had a proper job, i.e. as a journalist. And I wonder if this is the end of my media career. But then I think I really don't want to put her in childcare unless we really need the money. Amidst all that thinking/wondering, I realise that soon it will be five years that I have been writing this blog. Well, this is more or less the same as Emancipation of Eve; I just gave the old blog a new name.

So much has changed over the last five years. It amazes me at some times and totally scares me at others. There are so many amazing bits. Mia, Partner, living here, a terrific rapport with my parents, a new family I love... In five years I've gone from smoking 10 (and more) joints a day, spitting mad at the world to not having had a cigarette in the last five days. I am wearing nicotine patches, but it's a start. The scary bit is that none of it was planned, everything just happened. So it could also un-happen right? That's what scares me but I'm not going to be chicken shit. Jo hoga dekha jayega. :)

Here's what was happening with me this day, on this blog in the (five) years passed:


How (a)typical

So it's just another regular evening at our house. We all -- Partner, his bff-since-school DocPal and me -- are in the lounge ('drawing') room except for Mia, who is asleep in her cot. We hope the baby would continue sleeping while the men watch footy and I read Tina Fey's biography Bossypants.

The men do the usual man-thing of discussing some stat (they are not so sure about) and abusing some umpire (they are very sure about). Sometimes though they look away from the TV screen long enough to stare at me. There are many points in the book that make me laugh out loud. I am stared at during those points. "You are a freak," they declare, Partner loudly and DocPal tacitly because he does not deny it either. Sometimes I read out bits from the book while laughing out loud, they stare at me harder.

At one point I have to stop reading. Tina has just written about some of her male colleagues pissing in various cups and keeping these cups randomly sitting about the office. Some of her other male colleagues -- another department, lower hierarchy perhaps since they didn't get their own cup -- have been communally pissing in a jar. Having worked in the media, I was quite struck by this. I tried to think of any time I might have seen any of my male editor's, various techie or other colleagues ever sitting around suspicious-looking styrofoam cups. The only cups I had noticed were the once that were supposed to be coffee but were actually rum-and-coke-during-night-shift.

Anyway. So I interrupt the boys and ask, "Have you ever pissed in a cup because you didn't want to go to the toilet?" Boys look at each other.

Partner says, "Geez, not in a cupppp, more like a Gatorade bottle."

I am disgusted and turn to DocPal -- who is a doctor afterall -- looking for some support, some signs that he too is similarly disgusted.

DocPal to Partner, "Did you fill the bottle?"

So why am I the freak?

PS: Bossypants, totally read it. I loved the bits about her childhood and starting out in television. The bits about her at Saturday Night Live were somewhat boring. And then I really fell for her when she spoke about motherhood etc. Sometimes it feels like she is really honest, at other times there's a bit of that's-bullshit-Tina but overall worth a read.


Personal arse licker?

I’ve just put Mia down for her afternoon sleep. I left her with her eyes closed, a little smile playing on her lips and her favourite tee shirt sleeve stuffed in her mouth. She loves sucking herself to sleep…on good days. On not-so-good days she likes to be rocked and patted in my arms. Except that now she has decided she needs to pat me back while I am patting her. Basically it’s a lot of patting and no sleep. I’ve been doing the patting-rocking since she was born and even though it can get tough sometimes – there’s my favourite show on TV, or guests waiting, or dinner getting cold, or I’m just too tired – I love it when she falls asleep in my arms. The way she snuggles under my chin, the way her mouth stays slightly open (even with the recently developed bad breath), the way her breathing deepens along with her sleep. I feel an immense sense of peace each time I rock her to sleep. Sometimes, I also feel an immense sense of gratitude that she was born in Australia and not in India.


I am pretty sure a whole lot of you saw Google's very cool doodle yesterday. I initially thought it was "invention of the guitar" or something but learnt later -- after Googling of course -- that it was to celebrate guitarist Les Paul's birthday. I hope you had much fun twanging away, I know I did. Apparently some people 'created' music pieces as well; though I've tried clicking on some of the links given in news stories, I haven't been able to hear anything. But anyway, it was an awesome surprise to discover the strings actually worked. I realised quite accidentally when I pointed the cursor over the doodle to read the mouse-over of whatever 'day' was being celebrated. Totally loved it Google, thanks.
Here's a cool photo essay in Times for a quick rundown of the noteworthy doodles. For those who want the entire doodlepedia, here's the link to all the doodle's ever on Google's website. It was good fun through the images and history, enjwoy.

Have a good weekend too; it's a long weekend -- Monday is the Queen's birthday therefore holiday as well -- here in Australia. Tomorrow I'm going to watch Dr Zhivago the musical, super excited. This will be my first, ever live musical. :D
PS: I hate Bing for searches, it's bloody useless.


Friday bookslutting

It's amazing the number of times it has happened to me; logging on to write one post, starting to read some other stuff, then following links and ending up with a completely different post. 'Reflective analysis' was a course subject for my Masters; you were supposed to reflect on your practice and I just couldn't get my head around it. I scored dismally in it. I think I can explain it much better now -- where an idea originates, how it changes into something totally else and how it influences whatever it is you are 'creating' -- and I'd do it without a bloody bibliography or deep-breathing exercises. We were made to do both in class. Most of the yoga-time was spent twittering (the real thing as against wrongly used synonym for tweeting) with these two Italian boys I was really fond of*. One was on a study visa like me and another was an Australian-of-Italian-descent, both quite gorgeous. Sigh. Anyway, now one of them is part of a band and I'd really like to see them perform. (*Fond of = in a hey-you're-fun kind of way, I was attached to Partner then as I am now).


Project Why

The girl on the extreme right is Tanjali. The picture was taken against the boundary wall of the Indian Institute of Technology, Ber Sarai, New Delhi. Tanjali and her family and a host of other beggar families lived (still live?) on the pavement next to IIT. That particular red light -- on the intersection of Ber Sarai and Outer Ring Road -- was where they earned their living. Tanjali -- and the other kid -- are both wearing tee shirts that I'd painted. It was part of a small project started through the Indian Shitizen, a blog that I stopped writing. That blog received extreme reactions from people.



Melbourne is getting colder by the day. The minimum for today is six degrees celcius with a max of 15. Mia is having her morning snooze – should be up any minute – and I am still sitting in my favourite flannel pyjamas and a huge, brown sweater that makes me look like a mini woolly mammoth. But it’s super comfortable. As I type this, I am looking out at the little space we call our backyard: There are browning willow leaves everywhere. The trees are nearly bare-limbed, quickly shedding the remnant of their leaves, preparing to go easy for the winter. If I look out of my kitchen window, it’s the same story. The kitchen window overlooks another neighbour’s backyard with its many fruit trees. There is not a single leaf to be seen on any of the trees and they look very cold.
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