Playing House

I am sure as little girls, we all must have played house (ghar ghar) at some point in time or other. Remember that make believe game where we behaved like grownups and where we dressed up to look like a mommy or a daddy? Going to work as daddy does and cooking in kitchen as mommy does and scolding and disciplining children as parents do?  We played our parts to perfection like seasoned, method actors. Keenly observing how our mommy and daddy behave and noting down all the finer nuances to play their part perfectly while playing house. What fun that used to be! I remember playing house for hours with my girl pals (and sometimes guy pals also, though they will outright reject to admit that now) every summer holidays. We had a play kitchen set as well, with all the little vessels and the miniature fridge and the cooking range and plastic food. I remember we all wanted to play the important roles of that of a mommy or a daddy and no one wanted to play the role of a child. Hence, we used to take turns in playing mommy and daddy and make our dolls and the Barbie play the role of children.

Back then, we couldn’t wait to grow up and be an adult, could we? I used to think how cool the world of grownups is! You don’t have to do your homework, you don’t have to go to school, you don’t have to be scolded and disciplined, you don’t have to be told that it’s time for bed and you don’t have to be told to stop watching TV.

And now that I am a grownup, I wish I was a child again, where all I had to do is worry about going to school and doing my homework, sip lemonade and watch Tom and Jerry, play house and scold the Barbie for not doing her homework, bring the roof down by shouting, playing, fighting, jumping around during holidays and driving the mother up the wall.

But it was all going very well. Till last week. Since TCG and I live alone; far, far away from home, it felt like I was playing house once again. But this time for real. He played the role of a husband (on the lines of daddy), who goes to work and worries about paying the bills and I played the role of a wife (on the lines of mommy), where I busy myself with all the household chores cooking, cleaning laundry and the sundry.

Then last week, I started working once again. And my carefully observed schedule of previous two months went for a major toss. I suddenly realized that playing house in real is not easy. Waking early, dressing up, eating breakfast on the go, rushing off to work, spending a busy day in office, coming back, cooking supper, cleaning, and running several errands in between…welcome to the real adult world.

Till few months ago my major worries included what to do on a weekend, what dress to wear, what class to join, where to meet my friends, and which party to go.

Cut to 2013.

Now I worry about what to cook, what vegetables to buy, taking stock of what things we are running out of in kitchen, what toiletries need to be replaced, doing laundry, dishes, dusting, cleaning the house and ironing clothes (which I never did in India; you can outsource this for very cheap back home, you can even have someone pick it up and drop it back for cheap).

This whole weekend went by in a frenzy doing household chores that we ignored during the week. It’s like the clock in my head is constantly ticking. If I don’t hurry up with a, I won’t have enough time to do b. If I don’t do b now, then I won’t get it done till next weekend. That means I will have to go a week without b. So I better hurry up with a, so that I have enough time to do b. You get it right? If I over sleep on weekend, then something that needs to be done will definitely be left out. And so on.

Reading, writing, blogging, watching TV, reading news, cooking fancy…have taken a hit. But once I get settled in my new routine, I am sure I will make time for these too.

And really speaking, it’s not all that bad. I love being busy and am enjoying every minute of this new busy life. I go back to bed tired, but satisfied. It helps that TCG doesn’t shy away from helping me at all. He helps me a little in everything. Together we are doing just fine. What with all the practice I have had during my growing up years playing house, I should be doing fine, shouldn’t I?

First Day at Work

After a long time, I was back in office. It was a first day at work today. In a new city, in a new country. It felt different. Different good. People were dressed differently and yes, the office environment was a far cry from the one I was used to in Mumbai. Very relaxed and laid back. Welcome to NZ.

I was my usual calm, composed and confident self; excited about finally getting a chance to get out and about. I have been holed up at home for the last two months here, and have had hardly any chance to make any new acquaintances or friends. So I saw this as my big chance to network, to learn, to earn and set my foot in the door.

To say that I was overwhelmed with the information overload would be an understatement. But then, that’s how first days are, aren’t they? Introductions and inductions and more introductions and more inductions: HR induction, Team Induction, IT induction, Office Induction etc. etc. All in all, it was a fun first day, getting introductions and being introduced.

This place has people from all over the globe working here. America, UK, Germany, China, India, Fiji Island, Sri Lanka, and of course the locals. And boy, it really is a bit of a challenge to understand everyone’s accents correctly. It’s very easy to get the American and the European accents correctly, thanks to all the T.V. and all the movies that we watch. It is the local Kiwi accent that is rather difficult to get. For Instance, they pronounce ‘e’ as ‘i’. So yes, in the beginning, you really have to listen closely. You know, you don’t want to end up all odd and gawky when they make a joke and you don’t laugh because you don’t quite understand.

The day was spent getting acquainted at the office, exploring the place, settling in at my desk, figuring the e-mails, and the intranet, and the communication system here, remembering some half a dozen passwords to access various things, and the likes. Pretty much the normal first-day-stuff.

But it looks like I am going to keep real busy now and coming back to blog very often might be a little difficult, but I will surely make time to be as regular as possible.

P.S.: You can wish me luck, btw.

It feels like just yesterday

It feels like just yesterday – my friends and I sipping away some expensive coffee at some coffee shop, digging into a hot chocolate pastry and spoon fighting for the last piece, laughing our guts out at something silly, trying to cut each other’s point and outwitting each other, crashing in on some friend’s door at midnight and giving him/her surprise birthday wishes, giggling over wine and dinner gossiping about hot, new guys on the block, talking about our dating woes and dreading ending up single as all good guys we knew were either married, committed or younger than us.

It feels like just yesterday – dreaming of my Mr. Right and of a blissful, wedded life.

It feels like just yesterday  – living with my parents, that single, carefree, happy, cocooned, protected and dependent life; without a care in the world, without having to worry about duties or responsibilities; without worrying about what groceries to buy and what to cook for dinner every single day; without worrying about paying the bills or making the ends meet.

It feels like just yesterday – rushing through my morning ablutions; taking forever to decide what clothes to put on for office like that was single most important thing to worry about, running around the house looking for my things, my book, my bag to carry to office, sitting at the breakfast table while mom dished out something hot and delicious and steaming while I dried my hair or secured my belt, then hurrying through the breakfast because I was always running late in spite of mom doing everything from making my lunch to packing it; then dashing out of the house and realizing after reaching downstairs that I forgot the bike keys; rushing back up and finding mom at the door holding up the keys for me.

It feels like just yesterday – meeting TCG for the first time and the lightening realization in my heart that this is it; this is the man I want to marry.

It feels like just yesterday – running around like crazy from one designer to another, getting my wedding trousseau in place, running around doing zillion errands, deciding the jewellery, the make-up, the bridal look, shopping for things that I wanted to bring along with me to NZ, doing rounds of the caterers, deciding the menu, adding, subtracting from the list, selecting the wedding card, writing the wedding invitation and in between all this craziness making time to jog and exercise to look my best on the D-day.

It feels like just yesterday – seeing the house cloaked in the wedding frenzy and everyone counting down to the D-day, radiating nervousness and excitement at the same time; those emotional moments, those tears shining through smiles.

It feels like just yesterday; walking down the aisle clenching tightly on Aarti’s fist, seeing my parents looking at me in a different way, having that sinking feeling in the stomach that this is it, and walking the next few steps to the altar knowing that these few steps are going to change my life forever.

It feels like just yesterday – stepping into my new home and realizing everything is different here and yet embracing all the differences and adapting as quickly as possible to them.

It feels like just yesterday – growing crazy with all the packing, deciding on what things to take to along to NZ and what to let go, weighing the baggage so that it remains under the check-in weight limits, realizing its exceeding, opening and re-looking the whole thing to find out what else can go, letting something dear to me go with a heavy heart and a big sigh.

It feels like just yesterday – standing at the airport with tears in my eyes and waving good bye to my family, knowing that I won’t be seeing them for a year at least, still braving a smile.

It feels like just yesterday – stepping on the soil of NZ and being greeted by a welcoming, cool, gentle breeze and knowing in my heart that I will adapt well.

It feels like just yesterday – making this house look like home, cleaning, scrubbing, dusting, arranging and rearranging the furniture till it felt just right, cooking something new and fancy everyday and waiting for TCG to get back home.

It feels like just yesterday – realizing that the honeymoon phase is beyond me now, that real life is right here, going crazy looking and applying for right jobs and finally, finally, finally lending one. Things I am grateful for: Reason # 20

Life’s come a full circle. Come Monday and I will be back in office. After a five month sabbatical. It feels different, and I am excited. Kiwi way of doing things is different. None of my previous experience is going to really count in the beginning. This is hardly my field and I have to start afresh. But I am hopeful that this will lead to something nicer.

So, I am back to the grind. Only this time, there won’t be any mommy packing the lunch or holding up the keys.

It feels like just yesterday. 

Fighting Monday Morning Blues

I am having Monday Morning Blues of a slightly different sort. And my Monday Morning Blues don’t start on Mondays but way before that, on Sunday evenings.

Weird you might think, considering I am not even working at the moment. Every day is like a weekend to me. How is a Monday then different from any other day? And I agree, these are not illogical questions to ask.

But you see, though I am not working, TCG vey much is. We spent the2 whole days together going out, shopping, watching movies, cooking, eating and relaxing.  After spending the whole weekend together starting Friday evening, I started to feel a little low and restless as Sunday night closed in on us, thinking how I will be left alone once again once TCG is off to work. So if my behavior over last two weeks is analyzed, I would say, I am the happiest on Fridays and a lot sadder on Sundays.

Sidenote: I hate, hate, hate when the alarm goes off on Mondays. Figuratively, that alarms is the cue for me to come out of my weekend reverie and get that ass up and moving. And annoying that TCG sometimes is, he lets it snooze for one whole hour at regular intervals of ten minutes before I finally kick him out of the bed. Everyday.

Coming back to the point, the silver lining on the cloud is that I now have soooo much free time on hand to do whatever I please. And I am really grateful for this. (Things I am grateful for: Reason #3). Things that I always wanted to do back in India but couldn’t ever do because I was always so caught up in the routine.  I say, routines are the worst things that can happen to anybody, they viciously entangle you and, oddly enough, put you in such a comfort zone that you often find yourself becoming  such a big, sluggish procrastinator, one who has to strongly fight inertia to get anything-out-of-routine done.

Today I woke up to a rainy and gloomy day.  I decided I will not let it puncture my mood and will make the most of my day. Quickly finishing my morning ablutions, I fired up my computer and logged onto Google, “How to bake an eggless cake?”

Baking… I am trying to avoid you and run away from you for the longest time now. No longer will I let you intimidate me. Enough is enough. I am going to take you heads-on and conquer you. And I promise, not too long away from now, you and I, we are going to be sort of thick friends.

I have been afraid of baking for so long now, it seems ridiculous. After all, how difficult can it be?  So I decided that either it will happen today or it will never happen. And it did.

So the ‘Mission Baking’ started and I got down to work. I read up a few basic recipes, saw a couple of videos and realized the following:

  • That only tin or glass moulds (specifically for oven) can be used.
  • That I don’t have the measuring cups or the spoons (but I will not let that dampen my spirits, I will resort to crude ways of measurement)
  • That I don’t have a good enough round or a square tin mould to stick in to the oven
  • That it’s possible to bake without eggs (Really)
  • That I don’t have either the cocoa powder or the chocolate chips (So what, I will bake a plain cake…vanilla is fun too)
  • That microwave with convection mode can also be used for baking (Sigh…and all this while I was putting off baking because we didn’t have a oven at home back in India, only microwave)
  • And where there is a will, there is a way (Even without so many things, I will at least know how a cake bakes, fluffs and rises)

After 20 minutes of search and knowledge gathering, I set to work. And in about an hour, my first cake was ready. How did it turn out? Not bad for the first time, considering I didn’t have half the ingredients and I didn’t know the ‘B’ of baking. It was fun and worth the trial. May be I should have baked for 5 more minutes. It was a little tender inside. But I am a little more confident now that I have extended an olive branch to my hitherto enemy that oven was. I am telling you guys, ‘Oven’ is not as monstrous as it’s made out to be.  It can actually be our friend.

Here’s my first cake, prepared and baked by me… from scratch.

First Cake

First Cake

2013-03-18 12.59.10

Are you mocking the heart shape mould? 😦  Oh come on, it’s not all that bad 😛