Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I spent most of yesterday evening watching a series called Banshee. It is so full of blood, gore  and sex that it can give anyone nightmares. For some reason at some point I actually liked watching it but now I can barely bring myself to look at the screen and yet I cannot look away. So today I decided to watch a Romcom, just to soothe the nerves. Now Du, our telecom service provider has a pathetic collection of romance movies. It was a choice between Sabrina and Leap Year, I went with the latter because I've seen Sabrina way too many times and I'm not ashamed to admit that I like it. I like candy floss kind of movies.

A lot of times my husband ends up having to watch them with me on the television. He wouldn't be caught dead watching one in the theatre. And you know how there are these little dialogues that one loves in these movies, the little moments. Let me give you an example, Julia Roberts to Hugh Grant in Notting Hill,"You know the fame thing. It isn't real. I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Or another example is the famous,"You complete me." speech rendered so eloquently by Tom Cruise to Renee Zellweger in 'Jerry Maguire'. Another perfect example is the movie Sense and Sensibility when Hugh Grant comes to visit Emma Thompson and tells her he is not married and she bursts into tears.

Somehow by some unfortunate miracle, my husband will ask me me an all important question at that exact moment that I've been waiting for the dialogue to be delivered in the movie. Every. Single. Time. If the movie is playing on the television I cannot rewind and watch the scene again whereas if it is taped I do rewind it but then it's not the same. I still don't know how he knows the exact time to speak and break the mesmerising hold the movie has on me but he does it. He murders my romance movies so well.

He almost did it today too while the hero was proposing to the heroine. Instinctively I looked at him, waiting for him to ask me something. Nothing. But the moment it was over he mumbled to himself,"I hate Parul. She makes me watch these movies."

Monday, May 30, 2016

The heat

I was all set to go swimming today but then I stepped out for a bit to go to my monthly visit to the salon and decided the sun was just too harsh to be out. By the time evening arrives I get too lazy to go to the pool. I really need to start swimming though because evening walks are getting shorter and shorter as I begin sweating in the first five minutes of being out.

I ended up going to Shakespeare for the second time in two days. I met Natasha and as always had a lovely time sipping tea and catching up. I hang out there so much that all the servers know me quite well by now and most of the time I don't even have to tell them what to get for me. Ibn Batuta Mall has added a whole new wing and we had a nice time checking out the new stores. It's been a while since I saw a movie in the theatre. The next one has to be 'The Nice Guys' with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. I saw the trailer today and it was so hilarious. Ryan Gosling can actually be quite funny. Somehow that's so unexpected, I've always seen him playing serious characters.

I'm progressing very slowly with my new book, Six Four. I read a few pages and then fall asleep with the book resting on my face. It's one of those books which takes some time to get going. So that's it for now folks, I'll see you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 29, 2016


So I used to be quite the mall rat at one time but now I only end up going to meet a friend or watch a movie. The only window shopping I do is ogling at books. It's so frustrating when you find a really interesting book but it's the second in the series and they don't have the first book. I found this book called The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley but it's the second one in the series. It's about the passing away of the sisters' father and leaving behind a mystery for each sister which leads to a journey of discovering their heritage and identity. I think each book goes to a different location. The third book comes out in November. I think I need to make another trip to Kinokuniya but I promised myself that I would first finish all the books I picked up the last time before I pick up any new ones.

So I went to meet my dear little Apurva who is going off to Greece for a holiday soon. There she is trying on some of my jewellery collection. As always it's a pleasure to hang around at Shakespeare Cafe. I had my usual Mint lemonade and a nice chocolate cake. Now I'm completely engrossed in the IPL final. Hopefully, Kohli, the beautiful little boy will win. He's doing pretty well as of now. I remember the days I used to despise cricket and then I laid my eyes on Andrew Flintoff. I thought he was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. Anshuman was truly happy with this development and took full advantage of my ignorance. Even when New Zealand or Australia were playing he would calmly tell me," Wait and watch, now Flintoff will come to bowl." And of course I would patiently wait like the proverbial idiot. Anyway it got me into cricket and I'm glad because now I really enjoy it!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Six Four

So I finally finished reading Career of Evil today and started on a new book called Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama. He has written six books in Japanese and this is the first one to be translated into English. I usually rely on the opinion of friends when I pick up something new but this one intrigued me because it is not only a crime novel, it is also an insight into the society and the police of Japan. It's a really fat book. I really like fat books, so filled with potential. I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes when I find a lot of titles by the same author I tend to pick up the fattest book on the shelf.

I was on the second page when I remembered that I forgot to update my blog today. I went to the Ripe Farmer's Market today and the whole place was buzzing with people. So many children, hopping around, painting, sitting on their dad's shoulders, the really tiny ones walking around like little drunk people. I mean the fact that little children are still trying to balance themselves makes them seem like they've had a few.

Like always I spent most of my time at the second hand books corner but didn't find anything that would have caught my fancy. I bought a necklace after a very long time but it's just so pretty- Citrine stones set in silver. The lady gave me a little gift that I've hung in the house. It is a cluster of green and white crystals and stones and has something to do with Archangel Raphael. She said it would emanate good energies. I certainly hope so. It's such a pretty green.

Everyday I think to myself, I won't have anything to write but then I open up a new post and thankfully the words flow. I hope I can keep going. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 27, 2016

In general

There's nothing much to say today. Working freelance has its advantages and disadvantages. You can plan your own time but on the other hand, there are times when there is a boatload of work and other times when things are slow. The good thing about it is that no single day is the same and you get to research and write on a plethora of subjects you might never have considered reading about otherwise.

I'm still reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith or JK Rowling as she is actually known. I'm enjoying the book but somehow I liked the second book, Silkworm much more than the first and the third in the series. May be it's because I've read so much about serial killers already that the path this book is taking sounds like JK Rowling read the same articles as I did for her research. I must admit that she's a wonderful writer. I haven't read the Harry Potter books and I have no intention of doing so in the future but she sure is a great crime writer. I've become invested in the future of Cormoran Strike the detective and his partner Robin Elacott. They seem to be in less than happy relationships and yet through the three books haven't got together. To be perfectly honest I'm reading it more to see what's going to happen to them in the end rather than how they're going to catch the killer.

I can't wait to finish it and get on with the next book. I have no patience and this book is taking me forever.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Loneliness and aloneness

I spend long periods of time each day by myself with my dogs and the television's babble for company. One would think that being alone so much might be tough but I really value time in my own company. I think the past two years have taught me more about myself than all the years that came before combined. I have found a peace within myself, and comfort in silence.

While I thoroughly enjoy time with my friends, I always spend a few hours just reading, or having tea and looking fondly at the Neem tree outside my window gently undulating in the breeze. The summer can be cruel in the desert but the truth is that it makes life bright. The sun breaks through the curtains and fills my home with light.

I have understood the essential difference between being lonely and simply being alone. When you are lonely, you long for human contact, to say something to someone but when you are comfortable with who you are you don't always crave proximity with other people. You value being alone and being able to do things that bring you joy. There is joy in the most mundane of things. When I clean my home, do the dishes, wash the laundry I try to do it as well as I can. To me it's important that everything I do is done as well as possible. It's true, I actually like doing these things. It's very satisfying when everything is done and I can sit on my laptop and work in peace.

So what I'm trying to say is that learn to enjoy your own company more. Do everything as well as you can, even if it's washing a cup. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Life with dogs

My dogs are my family. They cannot speak but they communicate very effectively. My older dog Ninna is now ten years old. When we moved to Sharjah from Bombay I decided I wanted a dog. I had been wanting a pet for as long as I could remember but my mother was always against it because she thought my sister and I would not take responsibility for it. I longed for a dog.

When Ninna came home she was a two month old puppy and she would put her little paws on the bed and ask to be picked up. Today she is ten years old and has gained a bit of weight and finds it a little hard to climb up on to the bed so she stands there looking at me with her innocent eyes wanting to be picked up. Mili, my two year old on the other hand can climb, hop, jump over anything and everything. Together, they've destroyed my sofa, they tore up the leather then systematically chewed up the sponge inside it. I have to cover the damn thing with a blanket when guests come home.

I gave them a bath today and it is quite a task as any dog parent would know. Ninna hates getting water on her face and no matter how gentle I try to be with her, she tries her best to jump out of the tub and escape my evil paws. I hold her by one leg and bathe her with my free hand. Mili doesn't mind bathing so much and she's smaller so it's a lot easier for me to handle her. She doesn't mind water on her face and likes to lick Ninna after bath. Both of them love being towel dried and brushed. And when the spa treatment is over they like to sit in the sun and snooze for the rest of the day.

Ninna, for some reason, doesn't like walking on grass. Mili on the other hand has a tough time walking on the path where I'm trying to lead her. I don't think it's possible for Mili to walk in a straight line. Once or twice she got off her leash and ran off. Anshuman and I had to go running around yelling her name and chasing her around the car park. She's so spoilt, my little Mili. She is actually hand fed by me otherwise she ignores her food. I don't mind but I think I've really spoilt her too much.

I love my two munchkins. As Anshuman always says,"In my next life, I want to be born as a dog in your house." 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Maximum penalty

I was just thinking about how much I love driving and I thought it might be interesting to share my struggles and how I learnt to drive. The first time I got into a car was in Delhi and my father was my first teacher. He would get annoyed with me for making mistakes but I wasn't doing too badly driving around cars, rickshaws and cows of Noida. But one day he yelled at me and I threw my hands up in the air, didn't talk to my Dad all the way home and declared to my mother,"That's it! I'm not learning anymore!"

So I joined a driving school in Delhi. I wasn't particularly good at it but I got a license anyway because the test was a farce as my instructor was sitting beside me the whole time even guiding the steering wheel every time I was about to mess up. I got married, moved to Bombay and even there I tried learning to drive but gave up after two classes.

Next came Dubai and yet again I decided I should learn driving. I enrolled in a school and my education began. I went through instructor after instructor. I failed my driving test. I took more classes. I failed again. I took more classes. I failed again. When I failed my test for the tenth time, I called Anshuman and cried,"I don't want to do it anymore! I'm never going to get my license." He replied,"You have to! Go back and register for more classes." I cried and said,"No." again and again. Each time he wasn't hearing any of it. He said," You have to." So I did more classes and got my license on my eleventh attempt. Joy oh joy!

But the story doesn't end here. I was still very afraid to drive alone. We had a Jeep Cherokee at the time. She was a good girl and Anshuman called her Misty. In the beginning I only drove with Anshuman by my side. I was still a bit fearful of going out on the road alone. Almost a year went by and I hadn't taken the car out. Anshuman got a car from the office and the Jeep was standing in the parking just waiting for me all pristine white with black, badass fenders. I wouldn't dare.

Then one day this woman who used to come home and wax my limbs was slathering the hot, gooey stuff on my arm and I started talking to her about how I was still afraid to drive on my own. She had got her license in the second attempt and she said to me," Even if you take out the car so what? Maximum you'll die. You could die anytime anyway. Just go!" Somehow that hit home. I knew that if I told Anshuman that I was going to take the car out alone he would be a little hesitant and wary so I decided not to call him. I got into the car and drove it to my office located on the Sheikh Zayed highway. Of course I took a wrong turn. I got honked at when I changed lanes like an idiot but I reached my office safe and sound. I sat in the car, congratulated myself and celebrated with a smoke.

When I got home I called Anshuman excitedly about what I'd achieved. He was so happy. I've been driving for a while now. I still make mistakes mostly while I'm parking and ram into a car, a pillar and once a huge metal dustbin but I'm a very safe driver on the road. So, my point is quite obvious, don't give up on yourself. Maximum penalty for trying is failure, but the minimum penalty for not trying is definite failure.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Spending my time

I haven't been here for a while. Like always life took over but honestly there's no excuse for neglecting my blog for so long so I decided to write a little today. Life has been quiet and a good kind of quiet. I work from home and lately have been enjoying researching and writing articles on psychiatry. It is fascinating to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the mind. I always believed mental health is imperative to living a fulfilling life and writing these articles only reinforces that view even further. The most positive thing is that no matter how small or big a mental issue is, if you go out and get help things will get better.

Other than that I have been reading voraciously. I don't seem to have patience for 'serious' reading at the moment so I stick to mystery and thriller books. It's just so exciting when the mystery is about to open up I can hardly get through the last few pages fast enough. It's strange though that sometimes months go by and I don't read a thing and then suddenly I find myself dry swallowing a book on a daily basis. It's the same with painting too. I paint a lot in a sudden burst and then for months a blank canvas stares at me, just waiting for me to pick up a colour. Yes I will get back to it at some point.

The only commitment I will make is that I will write everyday here. I hope I can keep it up for a long long time till procrastination strikes again.