Our cat, Jackson!

Our cat, Jackson!
Jackson became part of our family sometime in early December of last year, we can say he was our Christmas gift! We brought him from an animal shelter. It was quite a journey getting him home.

The very first time we saw Jackson, although a bit shy, he still managed to steal our love and attention. Aww…such a delightful cat mama, Anoushka said! Arrested by his affection, we had no desire to move around and to look at other inhabitants of the shelter. We spent the rest of our ‘meet and greet’ time solely with this snowball, stroking and playing with him. Consumed with gusto and besotted we returned home. The next on agenda was to line up the necessary permissions from the landloard and get going on the adoption process for our much loved feral. The subsequent week was spent anxiously waiting for the approvals. We had requested the shelter to put Jackson on hold for us, but there was no guarantee that he would remain on hold for a long period. We were desperate to get Jackson home. Finally the approval from the property owner came through and we rushed to the shelter to bring him home.

The wait was worth a while. We were thrilled to have this cuddly tuxedo. Living up to his personality of a sidekick, he enjoys being the centre of all the action. Be it putting cloths on the drying line, washing dishes, watching TV or anything other mundane work, sure enough Jackson has to be right in the middle of it. His ultimate luxury is to lying on his back and enjoy a massage. His favourite toy is a ball. It’s amazing to see him chasing a ball with such lightning speed and yes, he has never ever missed a mid-air catch.

His enormous size (he is almost as big as a small dog) is a bit deceptive, as he is a very scary cat. We were told that he had a very awful past, guess that explained some of his behaviour. Any slightest sound or movement scares him. It took some time for him to get familiar with the usual sounds and of our house and surroundings. One day it so happened that he decided to sneak out and visit our neighbour’s cat. Anoushka panicked and started crying at thought of losing Jackson. I was worried too, but for a different reason. Being in a new country, I was calculating a possible fine I would be asked by the council to pay against a harassment claim slapped by my neighbour.:)

As time passed, Jackson seems to have settled down and is much calmer. Jackson loves being in the outdoors. So we recently decided to introduce him to his immediate surrounding and the neighbourhood. We bought a swanky harness and leash. He took delight to be outside on a leash (I know you must be thinking how weird to walk your cat on leash) and soon started exploring our backyard. After few days of familiarization tour, we decided to send him out without leash. It was a big risk we were about to take. Knowing that he might take fancy to the free life and would never come back, we left him out. As soon as he was out, he jumped on the roof of our neighbours car port and then into their lawns. We saw him merrily rolling on the ground, oblivious to our incessant screams and shots to get his attention to bring him back home. After a couple of hours of loitering around, much to our delight we saw him meowing near the laundry room wanting to come inside the house.

He loves socialising, which has now become a norm. We often see him sitting with neighbourhood cats and enjoying each other’s company and basking in the sun! From being my morning alarm to giving me company, Jackson is a big part of our lives.

I am glad he is able to leave behind his troubled past and seems to be now enjoying his purr-fect future!

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Midlife crises

Let’s talk about it. It’s been some time I have been pondering on midlife crises and its implications. So to know about it, my first point of reference was Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, midlife crisis is a phase taken from life between 45-60 where most people go through the so called “midlife crises” displaying a variety of symptoms and a range of behaviours. Now that’s a pretty broad range and time to go through the crises!

I remember, not to long ago, for having cut my hair too short (which was more a remedy for my chemically treated hair and I desperately wanted to have a new crop of hair), I was subjected to few crude remarks from my male colleagues indicting me to be going through midlife crises.  Very frankly, until that time I remained very much ignorant of what midlife crises was all about. The thought however remained fertile and now that I have some time in hand, I am tempted to explore the topic.

If I look at my parent’s life, it makes me wonder if ever they had to go through his phase. As far as my recollection goes, I doubt if they ever were subjected to this life conundrum. I think our lives as children was a very dull and nondramatic in many ways! I guess my sister and brother can vouch for it.  Which implies that my parent’s emotions graph, if plotted, remained very much within the normal ranges.

Not getting into details of what it is like going through midlife crises, or challenging its existence or calling it a mere cultural construct, it would be worth exploring if there are  ways to bypass this phase? In my view, taking life as it comes and not think too hard about the future is one way to avoid being a petulant. I am fortunate in many ways to inherit few good genes, particularly from my father side, which allows me to dodge all the negativity and feel young at heart! Let’s keep it simple. Let’s live and enjoy life. What say friends?

Poké-MOM-GO!

Its vacation time for my daughters which usually implies that we are at home, stupidly gazing at our individual screens- that seems to have replaced the kaleidoscope what we all used to enjoy as kids. Unlike my daughters, my husband and I love the outdoors and feel suffocated in the four walls of our home. Well, I decide to take a chance and asked my daughters for a possible outing to explore the beauty of Adelaide and enjoy what city has to offer. Knowing that the answer is not going to be an affirmative one, however being the eternal optimist I am, I popped the question anyway. Yes, said the younger one. I could feel the surge of excitement well inside me but I had to contain my joy coz there are too many hoops yet to jump. So once we had an umbrella agreement in place, the next was to zero in on a venue. Exploring the past is something I love to indulge in and what great way to begin with a visit to a Museum. Adelaide has this fabulous collection of artefacts that takes you to the realm of era beyond your imagination. So after clearing the other hurdles of what to wear and when to leave etc etc, we finally left home.

Sun was in its mesmerising splendid and we were out enjoying the blue sky and a glorious sunny day. We took a bus and got down in the heart of the city. My daughter was armed with her ipad and me with goodies. I had to ensure that I had enough goodies to keep her spirits high. Happily trotting we arrived at the South Australia Museum, a grand facade. It’s quite an engaging experience and you can almost relive and soak yourself in the rich past of Australia’s cultural and natural heritage. We both were thrilled beyond belief but for different reasons.

My daughter was super excited clicking pictures and going around the hall, exploring and discovering things. Once in a way pulled me to share her discovery and focused her camera towards me…I nearly fainted with surprise. I did gave my best smile to capture the moment. This was the first time ever I was been photographed by my daughter…and that’s too at her own will. It was beyond my comprehension as everything seems surreal. This sudden twist in my fate was too good to believe, but I played along. Before we barely finish scanning one floor, I was enthusiastically lead to the next floor by my daughter. “we need to go cover other floors as well….hurry up mama” and she almost pulled me to the elevator. The next floor was all about the animal kingdom, a subject that we both enjoy. We were introduced to a broad spectrum of birds, reptiles, fishes and strangest of creatures you can ever imagine. We spent a good time going around and exchanging notes and jokes.

After a couple of hours, we were exhausted and decided to take a break and plunged on the sofas to recharge ourselves. It was then that  I asked my daughter to show the pictures she clicked of me. She started laughing and then sheepishly tells me that it was not for the pictures that I had my camera focused on you, I was collecting Pokémons. All the Pokémon were getting accumulated on you mama…this is so much fun! We laughed our head out. When I connected the dots, the obvious truth emerged and for sure it was nothing but a pokemon go!

The fact that I had a good time with my daughter is all that matters. My mantra is to tap till it lasts!

Palette of life!

You can do it baby….nothing is impossible, it’s just a small elevation. Mama, I have vertigo!! And that’s the end of the conversation…:)  Well, this is not a scene depicting an effort to scale the majestic Mount Everest, this is my fallible attempt of blandishment to get my teen daughter to buy a pair of footwear with a wee bit of heels.

Another day, many moons back; on my return from office in the peak of Delhi summers, I opened the refrigerator to reach out to have cold milk to quench my thirst. To my surprise, I saw that the school uniform belonging to my younger daughter tucked in neatly in the refrigerator. When reminded that she swapped the place and these are supposed to go in the laundry bag and not in the refrigerator, prompt came the response ‘I want to wear cold cloths to school to beat the scorching heat.

Why did I had to pass on my junk jeans to my children, limiting them to a very narrow colour palette of life. I  was bewildered and was not sure if to celebrate their out of box thinking or to take cognisant to the fact that they are swimming against the stream.The fact that my daughters are so much off with the mainstream life of teens made me a bit anxious. But then over a period of time I realised and accepted their detestability for myriad so called ‘normal’ things be it cosmetics, taking selfies or as simple as getting used to the whistle from a pressure cooker! As long as benevolence and creativity thinking becomes their core characteristic, I now take comfort in our default settings.

She walks out of the shoe store with a strut and I follow her footsteps!

Desire with Prudence- my love for parathas!

 

It intrigued me to no end and often marvelled at the ability of my Punjabi friends to make absolutely delicious, mouth-watering, amazingly soft parathas. I used to wait for my delectable lunch time and would not trade for anything to get a taste of parathas! (leave along the royal crown 🙂. Coming from a typical south Indian family, our cooking was almost oil free and devoid of masalas. The idea of making paratha was to sprinkle a bit of ghee like the holy water.

I remember once in Rawatbhatha (a beautiful place where I spend most of my childhood), we got invited to a picnic that our north Indian family friends were organising. It was a potluck and we were to bring poori and alloo sabzi. I was in my early teens and loved to help my mother in rolling chappities as I had mastered the art of making thin and soft chapaties. So here was an opportunity to showcase my skills to the outside world and I jumped in and offered my mom to take the responsibilites of making poories. With all my skills and intricacy at display, I rolled out thin and round poories. Drowned in my own pride, I was anxious to see the reaction of our family friends on my inordinately awesome abilities. To my dismay and despair, the poories turned out to be extremely brittle and flat. What I thought would be my moment of triumph turned out to be an extremely embarrassing and excruciating experience for an otherwise beaming teen.:))

That seismic event remained dormant in my deep consciences only to resurface now. After a lot of trial and error, it is only now that I finally experienced my ‘eureka’ moment as I learned to match my skills to that of a Punjabi and can churn out all sorts of delicious and soft parathas that really melts in your mouth. It is a great way to serenely console my wandering soul and provides comfort to my nervous wricked self. Don’t ask me how many pounds I gained in this process. Now that I perfected the art of making parathas, I have to deal with the trauma of carving out a leaner self to keep up with the trend, in what seems to be a ‘slim look’ fibril, the world is in the grip off. Heed to the advice of elders, desire with prudence, is what I always hear but never learn to follow.

Celebrating the victory of first female mayor….the Roman way!

History serves as a guide to future. Roman history has gripped our imagination and intrigued to no end. Romans continues to dominate our lives in many ways, from the calendar started by Julius Caesar (the month July is named after Julius himself), to the language, to religion, the science of urban infrastructure, the amazing aqueducts, spectacular architecture, the political vocabulary, census and much more.

The fascinating victory of the young politician Virginia Raggi brings back the lost focus on Rome once again. Ms. Raggi is the first lady mayor to be ruling Rome in 2700 years! Taking charge of the most prestigious office, she hopes to restore the city’s glory. Among her various promise, she vows for a more transparent and legal system by erasing the current anarchic Rome. She is also going to go after the much powerful and elusive Roman Catholic Church.

Although women did not play any direct role in politics in the Roman Empire, but there are few names that cannot be missed. Most influential of all was Livia, the wife of Emperor Augustus. She continued to play a pivotal role even after her husband’s death by guiding her son who took the reins from Augustus. Wife of Emperor Claudius, Agrippina was another feisty figure who earned respect from the men folk while she ran the empire till her son Niro was old enough to take charge. Talking about playing an indirect role, I can’t help but make mention of Sonia Gandhi, the current leader of opposition party in India at the federal level.

Ms. Raggi’s credence would depend on how well she plays in the battlefield of politics. Armed with elegance and skills, Ms. Raggi has plenty of inspiration to draw from her own rich culture and history to seek guidance for her future. If the young lawyer turned politician is going to be successful in carving out a name for her in the brutal political arena, only time will tell. But undoubtedly this is an incredible moment for womankind!

Women, a formidable adversary

This is for you acchan! Miss you loads. Hope you are enjoying wherever you are!

Women, a formidable adversary

It was such a proud moment when Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian woman gymnast to quality for Olympic games. It took 52 years!!! Women, a formidable adversary, is finally taking charge. As a women, I absolutely feel thrilled at the opportunity that awaits Dipa and wish her the best for Rio Olympics 2016. She is an icon to so many young girls in her home state and pan India. The instant recognition that she is enjoying through her achievements has certainly not come easy to Dipa.

While there is so much to celebrate of the indomitable and courageous girl Dipa and other innumerable women like her from all walks of life, we are still a long way from providing a safe and secured environment to every Indian girl child. Their achievements should not be overshadowed by news of rape and assault which has become so frequent and brutal in the recent past. As India is reporting a stellar economic growth and is progressing at a very enviable pace to its global peers, there is an equally dire need to portray India as a safe place for women; a place where they can thrive and shine. That is going to give India the much needed image boost in the international stage and add to the charm of India’s economic growth.

The journey of a women from kitchen to the centre stage is an arduous one but not impossible. We have a Dipa in the heart of every women, we just need to recognise that strength and march ahead in life to gain our own identity. I can’t help but belabour the point of giving women their basic right to education, health and liberty to decide their future.

We need the political inclination and commitment from our leaders to take charge and lead the society to see this change. It needs a paradigm shift in the way men currently perceive women and the willingness to empower them. We waited long enough! Men and women, let’s take a pledge together to lead the women folks to emancipation! Men, are you listening and are you ready to take the challenge!