The Heat is On

Pari started her summer vacations around a week back. As expected, I am on my toes all day. My day dawns before sunrise even in the holidays because Pari has taken up on me in the habit of being an early riser. Basically, mischief kick starts at around 5 to 5:30 a.m. in our household.

With my cousin’s wedding in less than a month’s time, a lot of shopping is on the cards. Yes, I haven’t yet decided on what we (that’s Pari and yours truly) are going to wear as yet. On one hand, keeping Pari entertained all day is quite a task, on the other, adding the daily chores in the soaring temperatures with our domestic help on leave, is a perfect recipe for disaster.

My energy levels are forever on an all-time low because Pari being a fussy eater rarely eats properly making her go cranky often. Giving it a deeper thought, I sometimes feel that during school holidays I become more of a waiter in a restaurant. All day I can hear people (especially Pari) ordering me what to cook for her with an added instruction to make it quick. However, she is sometimes gracious enough to eat what is served to her, when she sees I am in no state to take any more orders.

A few days before the summer holidays began, my parents wanted me to enroll Pari for tuition during the holidays to let her be in touch with the studies during the holidays (she has got a lot of home-work from school too). While I fully agree with it being a good idea, somewhere deep in my heart, I wanted my child to enjoy the break, in a carefree way. Let me be very clear here, that though I love the idea of summer camps and hobby classes during summer vacations, I think at 3.5 years of age Pari can have the luxury of keeping studies to the minimum at least in the holidays.

We spend our day doing a lot coloring, playing with water colors, finger painting, origami, dancing, running around the house, fun in the kitchen arranging things, discussing recipes ( Pari loves learning names of everything in the kitchen, including names of spices) seen on TV when I try them, a little bit of home-work, watching cartoons, reading books and often dreaming together too. To be honest, our day flies in no time and only after Pari goes off to sleep in the evening do I get time to realize how tired I am and how many pending assignments I have got.

I don’t know why, but in the past few years I have slowly begun to live life more in the moment than forever planning for the future. Maybe, it is triggered by the failures of my past where I used to push all my desires to an unseen future working 24*7 like a maniac. In my current life, I rank peace of mind as a huge gain. I might not have enough money to lead a luxurious lifestyle, but still I am complacent that I am not letting the little joys of life slip past.

My work suffers, because I do not work at times when I don’t want Pari to have time to feel bored. I try my best to finish up all assignments when Pari is either asleep or busy doing something she loves. It can get pretty demanding and can take a toll on my sanity at times but still, it is something that makes me feel good inside.

In the many cooking adventures of the past week, one has been a shocking failure of a time-tested recipe, chocolate muffins. I have used the recipe over 25 times till date, but this time, the result was not only heart-breaking but so bad that I was forced to throw a batch of 24 muffins in the garbage bin with my own hands.

I will write about it at length in a separate post to avoid diluting the sweetness of this post with the not-so-happy tale of the muffins gone wrong. Besides, all the fun and play, a lot of tantrums paint the remaining hours of the day. This is one topic that deserves to be covered at length and I have been postponing posts on it from over a year (with a draft that has already been edited 18 times in existence too). Though I have the intention to publish those posts in near future.

A lot of action is in store in the coming days as the much-awaited wedding inches closer.

On a different note, my attempts at sticking to a low carbohydrate diet have helped me lose 2 kilograms till now. Nothing too exciting, but definitely a positive outcome to keep me going. I cannot deny the fact, that in the past week, my resolve of eating every two hours has gone for a toss but overall I have neither been craving nor binging, which makes me feel quite in control.

There is one more thing I wish to mention, that in the past week I have started taking lukewarm water with honey first thing in the morning after putting it off all my life. I have to credit it to green tea because after getting used to green tea, switching to honey in warm water has been a piece of cake.

The song on my mind: Yuhi kat jayega safar ~ Hum Hain Raahi pyar ke

Make honesty your policy 

My dear Pari, 

This happened when I was a little girl, around 6 years of age. One fine afternoon while playing around the wide steps that lead to the school amphiteatre, I inadvertently pulled my best friend, Aditi’s* hand a little too roughly. With her attention away from me and she least expecting this movement, she tumbled down the steps and hurt her elbows and knees badly with a mild abrasion on her forehead.

For a 6 year old, this was a major injury. In no time we had the attention of all our friends and stuff. The staff was limited because it all happened in the after school hours. Aditi was taken to our school’s infirmary where she was given first aid and her parents were called for. 

During this chaos, I was standing beside her holding her hand, but uttering nothing. In my mind the only thought looming large was the possible scolding the teachers and Aditi’s parents would give me being the cause of the mishap. 

Those dreadful thoughts were dancing like demons in my little mind and the fear I felt was so overwhelming, that till today, I can visualize the happenings of the day simply by closing my eyes. After Aditi was given first aid and she stopped crying, the first question our principal and the nurse at the infirmary asked was, how did it all happen?

I was almost trembling with fear, sweating profusely and completely shaken by the fact that I had been careless enough to have hurt my best friend so badly. Despite my sincere concern for my best friend, I narrated the sequence of events omitting the part that it was my pull that had caused the injuries. 

When my friends were questioned, they were not sure how Aditi had fallen because we were all running in all directions at that time and a lot of our friends were hiding away from where we stood. At that point Adit looked at me with a piercing gaze. The look was filled with mixed emotions of pain and anger. I knew, in the next few moments Aditi would utter my name and my game would be up.

But, Aditi never did that. She said she couldn’t remember what caused her to tumble every time she was asked so, even by her parents. Her injuries weren’t severe and after a leave of two days she returned to school with a number of bandages. Even though it was Aditi who was injured, the pain was felt by my guilty conscience. All day and night during her absence from school, I kept praying for forgiveness and her speedy recovery. But still didn’t have the courage to be honest enough to own up my mistake. 

The day Aditi got back to school, I rushed to her, but she clearly ignored me. My attempts at asking her about her well being, met a cold stare but no smile or replies. However, she was warm and chirpy with everyone else. 

I waited for some time to find a private moment with her when I apologized for everything. She kept looking straight at my face but said nothing. Even at that tender age, Aditi had the maturity of letting me learn the bitter lesson of honesty on my own. She refused to speak to me. She didn’t consider me worthy of her wrath or of being punished by telling my name to the teachers or her parents.

“A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.” ~ Charles Edward Montague

Our friendship had met a dead end. The guilt it left me with, was so strong that even today I can feel a bad taste rise in my mouth. The tincture of time healed Aditi’s wounds soon but the jab my broken friendship left on my heart was there to stay and bleed. The cold, steely look in her eyes, every time our paths crossed, jolted me from the inside. 

Around six months later, during our games period I abruptly decided to walk up to our class teacher and own up that it was me who was responsible for what happened with Aditi. Without wasting a single moment to reconsider my new found resolve, I had a word with my class teacher. 

Mrs. Sachdev ( our class teacher) didn’t scold me. Instead she simply asked me, why after so long had I chosen to speak the truth. To this day, I believe that my teacher’s calm, understanding approach that day played a major role in helping me understand and analyze all that happened between Aditi and me on the fateful day and on the many days that followed. 

Mrs. Sachdev very calmly helped me see, how easy it was to speak the truth and save ourselves from the massive damages dishonesty causes. The worst had been that I had lost my best friend forever. Mrs. Sachdev took the initiative to help me reconcile with Aditi telling her that I had realized my mistake and was remorseful about all that happened. 

Though Aditi was gracious enough to forgive me, our severed friendship never revived. Years rolled past, but this incident has stayed with me in all its vividness like it happened just yesterday, inspiring me to remember the importance of being honest at every occasion in life.  Having conquered the fear of ‘what might happen if I speak the truth’ is the biggest accomplishment in life that ensures I sleep sound with a clear conscience every night.

“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” ~Tad Williams

Today, by sharing this story very close to my heart, I wish to tell you dear, that no-matter how strong be the temptation to be dishonest, the fear of being reprimanded, stand up tall to be honest, to be accountable for all you are responsible for. It might be the beginning of a difficult road, but it will pave way for a happy ending eventually. 

With loads of love and blessings, 


The song on my mind: Yaaron ~ Rockford 

To read all letters to my daughter head here

* Name changed to protect identity.

** I am writing a letter about how a mother teaches honesty to her child with the Max Life Insurance i-genius #YoursHonestly activity in association with BlogAdda.

The Epiphany

The fear of the unknown is one that looms our minds, all our lives, shifting gears and changing magnitude. But, there is one fear that I have unknowingly allowed to blow out of proportion in my life. The fear of failure.

A few days back, while taking stock of my life in the past decade, I came across a startling revelation. While there is no denying that fear of losing someone dear ranked on top in the past few years, I could see the shadows of fear of failure, looming large in my life for almost all years of my existence.

This epiphany brought to me the guiding light in which I could see many events of my life clearer than ever before. Having hit the rock bottom, I was left with two choices. First, to bounce back and second to stay there for a while. Analyze my surroundings. See the colors of life that exist there, before deciding what to do next.

I have to admit, I chose the second option and have taken way longer than I should have mulling, dwelling and analyzing my past and my future letting procrastination and self-pity put a veil on my present. It is surely easier said than realized and still tougher to do something about it.

As I have mentioned in my many earlier posts, life looks dull, bumpy, sad and colorless from where I stand today. But the tiny spark of hope that has dared to stay alive in me, has kept me trying hard to break free. I have been working on reclaiming my self-worth and strengthening my resolve to make the most of this life, failing many times.

It is overwhelming to note, how the fear of failures (after suffering a major setback in life) have made me hide in my shell like a mollusc or perhaps a tortoise. While the pseudo sense of security did fill my heart with warmth initially, unfortunately, it was short-lived. It has taken me years to claw down the shell I had built around myself and I am glad I worked at it. The rays of sunshine, fresh air and recognition that have touched my cold, scared being, are doing immense good to my confidence.

I am slowly breaking free from the clouds of anonymity, learning to trust people, my instincts and my decision making skills once again. In this journey, of all the people, my three year old has helped me the most. Maybe because I was re-born the day she was born and we are both learning to take baby-steps, learning to love riding over the giant wheel of life, beating the fears of a fall, preparing to live the rush the highs will bring along.

It is amazing to see the life from a child’s perspective. To be excited about the unknown and squeal with joy even when you fall in a puddle. Parenting is rightly called the art of re-learning life lessons and unlearning our beliefs. Even though the progress is slow, but its existence is evident. While I am at peace with however far I have reached, I can feel the resolve to go further, strengthen with each step I take.

Taglines like “Darr ke agey jeet hai” remain smart slogans till they begin to hold a larger meaning in our lives. Every time I feel I am faltering, I remind myself of this slogan to keep going. While learning to walk as a baby is a major accomplishment, still bigger is the burning desire to rise after a fall. To hold on to the remains of self-esteem and learn to walk all over again at a later stage in life.

” Never let the fear of failure be an excuse for not trying. Society tells us that to fail is the most terrible thing in the world, but I know, it isn’t.  Failure is the part of what makes us human.” ~ Amber Deckers

Song on my mind – Der lagi lekin ~ Zindagi na milegi dobara 

Being the change I want to see

The past week has been very eventful on many fronts in my life. Despite the strong urge to write about it all as it happened, a few commitments kept me occupied to blog about them. But, like always, when I get in the drive of writing, I will make sure I don’t miss out on anything. Not even the posts I have been creating drafts for (mentally) for over an year. Yes, such topics exist, that I might have shied away from writing about in my blog but they keep reminding me to do so. Every day.

Let’s start with something exciting. I had mentioned here my concerns about my weight and the strong urge to do something about it. The good news is, I am into action from one full week and the credit for it goes to dear Princess Butter. I have been wanting to embark on a lifestyle change from the day realization dawned on me about the massive responsibility of my family resting on my shoulders alone. But, like always the realization alone didn’t give me the needed push to get in active mode.

Like I have mentioned on a number of occasions earlier, I have been pretty regular with exercising in one form or the other all my life, albeit the dull, irresponsible phase in the past few years. But those bouts of irregular inadequate exercising were doing me no good. No, I don’t let the weighing scale be my guide. Thank God for the mercy of having helped me conquer this fascination in the years gone by. Nevertheless, my wardrobe, as in how comfortable I am in my favorite dresses does make my mind worry about my well being.

I have given up gazing in the mirror almost 5 years ago, though I am slowly re-learning this art thanks to the rockstar in my life ~ Pari, the real alarm bell for me are the annual health check reports.

In the latest health check up, my Triglyceride levels showed a slight inkling to be on the higher side, yet again (they have always been within the normal range just on the higher side of the median value) my conscience screamed aloud. I knew it was high time I did something about it. This is the real reason, while my cousin’s wedding is just a way of giving me a deadline for getting visible results.

After my post (as I mentioned in the start) Princess Butter lovingly shot me an email with a diet plan. I have to confess, that I have not been able to get rid of the phrase ‘ I’m on a low carb diet because the beach season is here’ from one of her recent blog posts ringing in my mind, every time I think about her diet plan. While I (being a whale) am not aiming to get a beach body, but yes, this thought triggered me to take up her suggestions wholeheartedly and promptly.

The best bit was, the diet plan she suggested, was very practical, suited my personal liking and above all included minimal preparation. I think this has been the key that made me adopt it right from the moment I read it.

For the record, I have started following her suggested diet plan from the 22nd of April 2015. I am going to come back exactly six months from this day to take stock of my progress. Though the much-awaited wedding happening in June will push me to achieve noteworthy changes.

While I am not going to write an essay on what all I have been eating, I am surely going to share how my life has changed in the past one week.

Let me start by answering the most obvious question. No, there has been no weight loss (though I’d like to mention the 500 grams I lost in this week, maybe sweating to prepare a healthy snack every two hours) as yet.

I have started eating more of fresh fruits which I have been avoiding all my life. I know that last statement left many jaws dropped to the floor and eyes popping out to the computer screen. It’s sad, but the good news is, I am now seen eating lots of fresh fruits all day. The feeling hasn’t been stupefying but it sure has left me happy with my own self.

I have to confess, that cutting down on my carbohydrate intake majorly in the past one week (saying no to cookies, cakes, binging on chocolates and breads) has left me feeling happy from the inside. I am not a chocoholic or a person with a sweet tooth but it has taken me conscious effort to stay away from snacking on the easy treats in the pantry.

The happy feeling I mentioned, actually makes me feel light and lot more energetic than I usually do. This is in combination with the same amount of exercise as I had been doing earlier. Curtailing the sugars has definitely made my skin go clearer and look healthier. Though I am not very convinced about this, but since two people mentioned it (who are not aware about my changed lifestyle) I would like to believe this.

Another important thing that I discovered, is the truth behind green tea. I have to confess, despite my curiosity about it, I have not invested any time in doing research about the Green Tea on Internet. Though, after my last post on this topic many considerate readers sent in emails sharing their experience about the same. I have discovered a handful of green tea flavors that I am actually beginning to like in this duration.

The fact about it’s weight loss action is, since it is consumed without milk and sugar, it causes weight loss by cutting down calories consumed as milk and sugar in every cup of tea.

So far so good. But, the issue here is, I am not a heavy tea drinker. I drink tea on a once or maximum twice a week or fortnight basis. So drinking green tea daily is actually going to do me no good on the weight loss front. Nevertheless, while I am trying it out, I might let its metabolism boosting action or the said ‘calming effect’ do me some good while I replenish my stock and take a final call on this.

The last yet the most important point I wish to mention on this first week report is, this diet plan might change over time to accommodate my body needs, but I am going to stick to it for as long I can make it. I am aiming for a long term change in my lifestyle and not limiting it by the time left for my cousin’s wedding. While weight loss is a desired outcome, I am aiming to switch to a healthier lifestyle for my own and my family’s good.

Please be prepared to bear the brunt of regular follow up posts on this lifestyle change journey of mine.

Song on my mind: Dikhayi diye yoon ~ Bazaar 

From Where I See

  • Title – From WFrom where I seehere I See
  • Author – Ajay Yadav
  • Publisher – Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
  • Genre – Fiction/ Religious
  • Pages – 401
  • Price – INR 300
  • ISBN – 978-93-82536-81-9

Synopsis –  Ajay meets his childhood friend Shruti on a social network site. He finds her to be struggling with intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-social and inter-religious conflicts. Eventually the conflicts kill her. Even if the police solve the case, will it prevent hundreds of Shrutis from getting killed?

How long will we think of ‘who’ killed as more important than ‘what’ killed a person? Till we don’t address this issue and work on it, many Shrutis will keep on getting killed. We need to cure the disease, not just the symptoms.

This book is an effort by the author to find the root cause and probable remedies of conflicts, and tries to explore hundreds of pertinent questions like “Why does it become so easy to get volunteers to blow up themselves and others for the sake of religion? Does religion divide or unite? What precipitates extramarital affairs? Is the immature and wrong interpretation of female emancipation the reason for a 13 fold rise in divorce rates in the last 5 years?

It’s not only a book, it’s the path to revolution, a journey towards an utopian world. Accepting the truth is the toughest job in the world. If you feel that you are open minded, have the courage to accept the truth and a desire to change the world. Be a part of the change and take the first step to build a road to the ideal world.

Review – The book has an interesting cover that brings forth the two sides of the story,while it evokes deep thought and analysis, it also highlights the importance of the perspective.

The title of the book is well thought and very apt.

The book starts with murder investigation in progress but soon turns to flashback mode. The candid anecdotes of the life and difficulties faced by the people in rural areas have been narrated in a very interesting way. The story is fast paced with realism standing tall and strong, gifting the book a realistic warmth that envelopes the reader in this engrossing read.

The book impresses with a logical, open-minded, analytical approach on everything that makes up our life and mindsets. Be it the social,national, political, biological, historical, mythological or even the religious issues. I’d like to congratulate the author on successfully putting forth a new line of thought where the reader is evoked to dig deeper than the information that is dished out to us in many forms day in and day out.

It’s time for us to read, research and the analyse with an open mind everything big or small before following, accepting or adapting it in our life. The author succeeds in showing the reader the rational behind many societal beliefs while smartly introducing us to the flip sides of the popular beliefs. Having said that, I felt the political and religious topics could have been presented in a more interesting way by cutting down on the monologue and curtailing the elaborate details.

While the author has tried hard to accommodate all topics in a pragmatic form, I somehow felt the book got preachy mid-way making it go dull as the original plot seemed to have been lost in the deluge of information. The climax of the plot comes across as hurried. The promising start of the book gets diluted by the forced and abrupt ending.

The language of the book is rich but the narration could have been better to keep the reader engrossed despite the abundance of thought-provoking information. The issues touched upon are very relevant to the present times. But, there has to be a limit to the length of talk that can be given on a topic, over a cup of tea or over a dinner party for that matter. This in particular was a huge let down.

The book is an eye-opener on many fronts and inspires the reader to adopt an open-minded thinking. The book shares its treasure of research references at the end of the book.

I’d like to suggest everyone reading this book, to read it slowly, giving themselves enough time to chew the information provided, to make the best use of all the facts and knowledge shared in the book.

About the Author – Dr. Ajay Yadav is a consultant anesthetist, intensivist and pain specialist. His textbook of anesthesia is the most sold textbook for medical undergraduates in India, Southeast Asia and Africa. He is a rational, logical and analytical thinker and is fond of reading, travelling and long distance running.

Rating – 3.25/ 5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tiger Mates

  • Title – Tiger Mates TM book cover
  • Author – Amrish Shah
  • Publisher – Partridge India
  • Genre – Romantic Thriller
  • Pages – 319
  • Price – INR 900
  • ISBN – 978-1-4828-3662-2

Synopsis – Neil is an athletic, ambitious, forest smuggler with a tainted past indirectly finances the Militant operation of the Red Militants by trading in precious stones for them. However in actual, he is a police informer stealthily working his way into the secret of the gang operatives. Nestled in the forests of Chhattisgarh, the Red Gang is spearheaded by ex‐university professor turned into a wicked mastermind.

The Architect of Terror Debraj alongwith his psychotic chief Kedar is planning a series of strikes that would culminate with the assignation of the state chief minister who wants to sincerely reform the crime infested badlands. The motive for anti‐social destruction is to create panic and insecurity to drive away domestic & international NGO’S.

In contrast to that, Shyla Gomes determined‐dexterous demanding, an NGO envoy of Indian origin based in South Africa arrives in Chhattisgarh. She covertly ventures in the midst of anarchy to prepare a ground report that will facilitate the NGO to fund the rehabilitation program for the affected tribal community who are living in hell.

However the truth is that she has just discovered that she is the daughter of a rapist who happens to be the very designer of evil‐ Debraj. The cruel reason why her mother died with mental trauma after giving birth to her. And she is out for justice, for redemption, for annihilation of evil.

Likewise Neil is vying for an opportunity to seek revenge. His brother a young cop was brutally killed in a blast of terror perpetuated by the most dreaded duo‐ Debraj and Kedar.

Review – The book has an interesting cover perfectly in sync with the title and captures the essence of the plot in a way that’s best understood around the climax. I loved the title of the book that has captured the symbolic essence of forests of Chhattisgarh and the Tigers (both the animal and humans with traits of a Tiger) hunting for prey, vengeance and pleasure.

The book starts with the wild chase of a police informer by the militants. The demons come alive right from the start, blending well, the past of the characters with their behavior today. I liked the gentle injection of details while maintaining an element of suspense. The fast pace set right from the start goes on to impress as the characters in the book are introduced. The characters have been given enough room to grow with a few leaps in time but taking due care to tie up all loopholes before the story reaches its climax.

“Life is full of accidents and discoveries. Like stray asteroids, the situations crop up accidentally and then we make choices only to discover who we really are.”

I liked the swift shift in scenes of the book while maintaining the flow with a lucid narration and picturesque description. However, right from the start the abundant grammatical mistakes hamper the smooth flow of the book. The worst part is that these errors aren’t limited to a particular section of the book, but are most abundant in the start.

I found the loopholes in editing too stark to dissuade me to put down the book too often. This was a major reason why it took me over a month to read the book.

I’d like to congratulate the author in delivering a very intriguing read that has a myriad hues of drama, thrill, suspense, action, philosophy and romance in right proportions. The plot comes across as a perfect script for movie that can give goosebumps to the audience with its approach and confluence of terror with purpose in a number of ways.

“Never run behind life…never let life lag behind you…hold life in the grip of your palms and ride along with it like a butterfly.”

While the plot successfully kept me on my tenterhooks till the last, I must admit the climax came across as rather hasty. The desire to give every piece of the puzzle a perfect ending somehow stole the magnanimity with which the characters of Debraj and Ananad had been developed. I would have liked to see Debraj’s end and encounter with Shyla have a more elaborate description than the brief and pretty abrupt one the book offers. Accepting ‘gentic memory’ as the sole support to help Shyla recognize Debraj comes across as far-fetched in the climax.

While the book can benefit tremendously with thorough editing, the plot is on the lines of making a sure shot blockbuster. I’d recommend this book to everyone who loves reading thriller novels with a gentle dose of romance and heaps of insight into life, in a very subtle yet effective way.

About the Author – Amrish Shah is an Indian Author, Screenwriter, Filmmaker. He has been credited as a writer and creative producer for the International film on Mother Teresa. Amrish is the screenwriter for Don2.

Rating – 3.5/ 5

In Preparation

I have been wanting to update this space everyday from the past 10 days, but sheer fatigue and the enormosity of topics I wish to write about, led to my failure from writing anything publish worthy.

Today, I was determined to break this loop of procrastination being busy and break the block clouding the blogger in me and I am seriously hoping I succeed in doing so.

In my earlier post I had mentioned about a family wedding in near future. That happens to be my cousin’s wedding happening this June. The whole family is excited about it and Pari’s elation is most palpable. While the preparations are underway at their own pace, the one worry nagging me constantly is, the desire to lose some weight.

While regular exercise has kept me fit and the baby weight is long gone, but in today’s era of petite frames, I can very well be considered on the heavier side. Okay, let’s not be too kind and pronounce myself ‘fat’. But with time ticking past like a time bomb and workload on my shoulders keeping me crazy, squeezing in extra time for an extended workout isn’t quite happening.

With Pari’s school on, evenings are very busy (details on that coming in a separate post). I tried extending my morning exercise session (that happens after sending Pari off to school) the heat has been putting me off, besides working out for a little longer, disturbs my work schedule making it tough for me to fit in all I need to in the hours Pari is at school.

In short, I have a big box full of excuses that are fanning my laziness in burning extra calories but are pinching my soul that wants me to look presentable at the wedding. I already eat cornflakes for breakfast, so that isn’t going to be working wonders in the way it is publicized on TV commercials. Replacing dinner with a bowl of cornflakes is too drastic if not dramatic for me, given the fact, I am not the bride-to-be.

At this point a few of my friends suggested ‘Green Tea’ to me.

At first I turned down the idea as soon as I heard it. I’d like to add here that I have never been able to stick to the lukewarm water with honey and lime drink plan because it causes severe acidity to me. This was why I wasn’t excited about drinking a cup of green tea either.

But, as desperation would have it, I finally succumbed to trying ‘Green Tea’ wondering, when nothing else is working, this just might. I was prepared to swallow it like a bitter pill and I was almost right in guessing its taste. Despite the fact that most of the people in my life swear by its goodness, I have to admit it, I don’t like it.

It’s the very first time in my life that I have taken to drinking tea in a form other than the masala chai (made with milk and sugar besides fresh condiments). I decided to try the various fancy flavurs of green tea and in the third week since I started I clearly know which all flavors I can’t stand. Before I pinpoint them, I am trying hard to get in the groove of liking this ritual, somehow.

While I am not hoping any miraculous results from green tea, I am sure looking for it’s calming effect to keep me focused in life.

Do you like green tea? Which is your favorite brand and flavor?

I am hoping to find a flavor that would be perceived as ‘acceptable’ by my taste buds for a long time collaboration. So far, I am liking Lipton and Twinings but Tetly seems to be way beyond my tolerance.

The green tea menace isn’t my only point of worry. The wedding has been planned to be on ‘Bollywood theme’. I have to admit, I am yet to accept this theme culture as far family weddings go. I am not very sure if I (at all) understand how should my preparations for the wedding be affected by the theme.

While lots of singing and dancing are anyhow part of all Indian weddings, how else could the theme possibly affect the preparations? I know the pointer is slowly hinting at the dressing up. On giving a deeper thought, I discovered that, if I have to even in my imagination, dress up like the stars in Bollywood do, drinking green tea is not a sacrifice but definitely an investment, given my current size.

The song on my mind: Tu pyar hai kisi aur ka ~ Dil hai ki maanta nahin