2019!

I know this is 2 weeks too late, but here’s wishing you a very, very Happy New Year! 😊

Hope you have a marvelous year ahead, with loads of new experiences, meet countless new people (or if you are an introvert, like me – get a chance to know your known friends πŸ‘­πŸ‘« and family πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ better), visit new places and break some personal records! Find Love ❀, Happiness🀣 and most importantly Peace! πŸ™‚

No posts this year as yet, coz the ones that are in the pipeline are taking me forever to get together; and the ones that are ready don’t really hit the mark for being “The First Post of a New Year”! πŸ˜‹

So, Happy New Year 2019 again! 😊

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Book Review: A Walk to Remember

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My copy of the book πŸ™‚

I am guessing all Nicholas Sparks book fans must worship this book; and to be honest, it was good. Like tear-jerking, making you smile unknowingly, wonder longingly good. 😍❀

Synopsis:

Landon Carter is a 17 year old local trouble-maker, who has had the best upbringing but lacks motivation. Jamie Sullivan is the South Baptist preacher’s daughter, who is the same age as Landon but worlds apart in character.

He asks her to the homecoming dance, when he cannot find any other partner; and she makes him promise one thing. She then asks him to portray the main character in a play that she plays the female lead in.

Will Landon hold up his end of the promise?

Summary:

If you have just watched the movie based on the book; and are plenty pleased with yourself: Nope! you need to read the book as well! πŸ™‚

I have always been a fan of the movie, like a huge fan; which kinda held me back from reading the book, even though I had the copy for years! But now, I know the book is in a way better. There are so many differences between the stories portrayed in the two mediums. I guess books with their elaborate descriptions of emotions, past connections and other conditions give us a direct understanding of the protagonist’s POV.

I have to admit though that the first half of the book, I struggled a lot to maintain my interest in continuing. But, as the pages kept turning, I was hooked to the story.

I especially liked the way the name of the book is subtly explained in the story (during the D-day, in case you didn’t catch it); and it makes so much more sense. πŸ€— One more thing I liked about the story is the fact that Jamie let her hair down sometimes, knowing Landon liked it down; but sometimes chose to tie it up in a bun, confusing Landon. πŸ˜€

Rating: 4/5

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!!πŸ‘ΆπŸ€©πŸŽπŸŽ‰πŸŽ„πŸ₯‚πŸ€—

A priest once said wishing people Merry Christmas even after the 25th isn’t the biggest blunder you can commit. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

My family and I started our Christmas celebrations with the arrival of my brother on 24th early morning. On Christmas Eve, we attended the midnight mass (during which we half dozed; Mom & Dad included) and then we came home to click our annual family photos, then sat for some much needed tea and Christmas sweets. Then off to bed. 😴

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Mom, Dad and Bro catching up on some face-to-face gossip
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The kormolas before frying.
My Mom’s homemade Nevryos

The Christmas sweets were prepared by Mom, Aunt and I the previous week. We prepared Nevryos, Kormolas and Dodol: the usual Goan Christmas sweets. Though some households make alot more than these. πŸ™‚

My dad makes a Nativity crib every year. This year he made one in Goa after around 30 years.

Mission: Wed Kid

My parents, though they have surprised me with all the things they have let me a free pass at; are very traditional and orthodox in some ways. In a way, their expectations are not completely something that would raise eyebrows as they just want their kids to settle down.

The expectation I am talking about is that “Carol should have been married by now”. Before I was 25, my Dad used to repeatedly say, ‘Find yourself a guy by 25, or we will find a guy for you’. 25 is now long gone and my parentsΒ still seem to be pretty chill but have those rare panicked moments.

If you have followed my previous posts (or if you know me personally), you would know that I have not been in any relationship as such; a romantic one to be specific.

Which is now causing a problem for my parents. The couple who met each other and fell is love; completely clueless in the art of matchmaking; expected their kids in direct correlation to have love marriages. But alas, they were (blessed?) with an introverted daughter who limits her socializing to a huge smile and a Hello!

I especially feel bad for Mom Dad when a relative comes quietly, and almost secretively whispers to Mom how her daughter has a boyfriend working in so-so country. When they are alone, Mom whispers this news to Dad, who then lets out a sigh; saying out aloud, how easy her parents have it. (Yeah, I silently curse myself for being who I am, when I hear that)

It’s like a competition for parents; Whose Kids get Married off Faster. WKMF Season 1.

But, I cannot be of any help to my parents in this regard coz it’s just something I simply cannot manage. I know, I know, my counterparts in their late 20s like me, must be huge experts in relationships. But me πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Waxing woes

Being a girl in this decade, you are expected to have shiny, smooth, hairless arms, armpits and legs. Doesn’t matter what the consequences are; it’s an unsaid expectation.

My legs in their natural glory.

I know the above sketch is an over-exaggeration of what my legs actually look like when not waxed, but that is exactly how I feel they look, when I don’t have a chance to constantly check them in the mirror.

My mom loves to say, ‘Why do you need to wax?’; but she doesn’t know how self-conscious I would get at a function with my hairy legs out for all to see.

My mom also loves to complain about the fact that I do not wear dresses as much as I apparently should. But, that would require regular waxing! and having the parlor ladies staring, with disappointment, at the ingrown hairs on my legs. Not forgetting the small red patches that appear; which make you temporarily feel like you are on the verge of dying; and the parlor ladies who lack any empathy – applying burning hot wax, even after my screaming out that it’s hot!
Why go through all that stress when I could look classy in a pair of black jeans? excluding wedding receptions and feast days obviously; I would look too casual then.

Jeans and heels ❀

Nothing beats wearing jeans and a pair of heels. ❀

P.S. Razors and creams you advise? Been there, done that; no more, thank you.

Ramblings: 30/11/2018

My dad who is an experienced driver for atleast 15 years in the U.A.E., gets a little intimidated to drive in the Goa traffic; so the evenings when I am at home and an errand requires going to the market, I become the designated driver by default.

Though that doesn’t stop my Dad from giving instructions almost every 10 minutes of the drive. By the way, I have been driving unchaperoned for atleast 4 years, not that there haven’t been any mishaps.

While coming back home from the market one day; we reached an intersection (T section) at which I had to take a right turn, I stopped to check if any car/bike was coming from the both sides; a girl on a scooter zoomed past straight infront of me (from the right to the left).

Mom: Look at that girl, riding so fast! Girls these days!

Dad: Yeah, look at that!

I (smirking): Hmmm

Dad (complaining to my mom): As if your daughter is any less.

I (laughing out now): Yeah.

Mom (forever defending me): Yeah, I know; but here, if you ride/drive slow or wait for sometime, people start honking and try to overtake you.

I: Why to wait in lines behind that one slow car/bike?

Mom: That’s also true. Only God can protect us, that’s all we can say.

Tuesday Beach Visit

[6th November 2018]

I had a Diwali holiday on the 6th, and as my family and I were busy with two back-to-back weddings during the previous few days, I made it a point to rest, like totally rest on that one holiday before I had to get back to work. Not that my father had the same thought. πŸ˜€

In the evening, some family friends, who had come all the way from Mumbai for a relative’s wedding, decided they had to see a beach before they leave. Their first choice was the Colva beach, but being a Benaulim local, with our totally uncrowded and laid back beach, I convinced them to choose the Benaulim Beach instead.

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An angry little hermit crab was trying to make me let go of it’s temporary home.

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Al splashing around in the water.

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Benaulim Beach almost an hour before sunset.

The kid – Al was like a storm on beach, running into the water then running back to the shore; and as I was given the responsibility to ‘look after her!‘, all I could do was walk slowly behind her, just in case she slipped. She was very unhappy with the fact that no one joined her in getting wet though. πŸ˜€

We collected a lot of seashells and starfish. Some starfish were very much alive though (to our horror) and were slowly moving ahead or into the sand.

When I saw the starfish shimmy-shimmying into the sand, all I could think is – These must be the introverts of the beach. They try their best not to attract attention to themselves and hide themselves as soon as possible (but sloooowly; that video above is in hyperlapse, so they seem fast) or just act dead πŸ˜€

All in all it was a fun short visit to the beach.

Young Please!

Does anyone else have the fear of growing old ? Like one day being too old to do certain “young” things.
Yeah, most of us have that type of fear. Not to the extent of it being a phobia but a general fear of growing old (or should I say growing up? BTW check out Gerascophobia).

I have these certain limits that I set for myself; so that at the least in my mind, I feel like I am battling the oncoming “old” me.

  • I stay away from shoulder bags. I detest them, like strongly hate them; First of all, why are they right under our arms? how do you search in them when they are right there in my underarms? how is that in any way comfortable? Secondly, I feel they give the older lady look; but it could just be my mentality.
  • I stay away from any kind of makeup for office. I had to think through typing this out; as nowadays “young” people too put on a lot of makeup. Maybe the reason why I stay away from makeup for office, is because my mom tends to keep saying – ‘you are working now and still walking around without even applying lipstick!!‘.
  • I try to stay fit. I hate being that person who cannot jump, run or walk a certain distance. Psst.. I do all that just so I am not one of those people. I hate that sometimes after a short run, my legs pain or my chest low-key hurts. So, I push myself, I go to the gym, I try to eat when required i.e. when I am actually feeling hungry. From last October, Thwe and I have started going for marathons. Not half or full marathon though; 5km or 10km are more than fine, thank you. That adrenaline coursing through my veins (sounds like a sports ad line) gives me the satisfaction that I am trying to stay fit; or it could just be the endorphins which makes me a teeny bit happy. I just do not want to one day, hold my back and say No, I cannot do this.
  • I like to ride my old, battered scooter fast. I know there is no way that I can defend myself for my speeding, but I just cannot handle riding slow. The only time I ride slow is when I am in deep thought. Maybe it’s all those action movies that I sometimes watch, and how being young is all about being fast.
  • Marriage scares me, more than I like to blurt out. My friends are getting married one by one, and that is like a scare tactic for me. Who said only men get upset when their friends get married? Yes, I am happy for them; but the scariness of it wins by a margin of 0.0000001%. I do not want to be that person who says I do not want to get married one day, but I also love my freedom and being single. FYI, I am the girl who has never been in a relationship here. So, you can guess how much being in one would scare me. Yeah, I also have my dreamy moments. But, getting married would be a threshold of growing up, that can never be crossed out at a later date. See how I said girl? instead of lady or woman or female or mademoiselle? Striving hard to stay “young”!
  • Oh! and I am on a mission to get as many tattoos as possible (one per year). (piercings on my ear too maybe).

That is all I could think about for the post right now, but I am sure I have 10 more small little things that I do/ do not to make myself satisfied in staying young.

I know my ways are a little neurotic than usual, but what do you try to stay young? to hold onto your younger self?

Mumbai Trip (Part 4)

Short recap: We reached Pune from Goa, then took a 4 hour mini bus ride to Mumbai; Dadar to be specific. We then took an Ola cab to the Gateway of India. The area around the Gateway of India was crowded with the Eid crowd so we left soon. We then loitered behind The Taj, where we found The Colaba Socials ❀ We walked to Book Street.

Yes, I basically wrote about walking to Book Street the whole last post. 😢🀭

Okay, so we reached Marine Drive and the weather was amazing to sit and enjoy the view in front of us and the Mumbai skyline.

A photo I wish someone clicked of us. BTW, this is the first sketch I drew of the Mumbai Trip.

The experience that I wanted to recount here was the treatment that the Mumbai Police gave to wrong-doers in the area. The first wrong-doer (who we didn’t really notice) was a guy who was drunk and still drinking I guess. These policemen suddenly appear and start slapping the guy in complete Indian Mom style. I half expected a chapal (slipper) to be involved.

There are some huge boulders on the shoreline of the Drive, called Tetra-pods (yes, I Googled it). Some men were stupid or enthusiastic enough to jump onto these tetra-pods and pose for photos. There came the police charging towards them slapping them multiple times (which made me feel like those guilty siblings who feel like they would get thrashed next). It drizzled a little while we were sitting there.

We then took a Ola/Uber from Marine Drive to Bandra. Yes, we still had energy to sit in a taxi, in the Mumbai traffic, for around 1-2 hours; just to see the Worli Sealink and reach Bandra. On the way we passed by the Ambani’s tower. Maybe if I was standing right below it, I would be impressed. But, from afar, it didn’t look all that great. Why all the grey? We enjoyed spotting a lot of purebred dogs on the street though being walked by their nannies holding poop collecting sticks; which is something we rarely see in Goa. At least around the village I live in. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The Worli Bridge

At last we reached the Sealink which was beautiful. I enjoyed the view more than the bridge structure itself. I am usually not those people wowed by bridges. The houses which were to the right of the sealink were painted with multiple colors which was beautiful too. Now that was truly beautiful. How a place that people would avoid viewing, is turned to an artistic beauty. After crossing the sealink, we again got caught in traffic trying to go to Bandstand. Mannat was one of the go-to destinations.

The taxi dropped us somewhere near Mannat, and to be honest I was tired by then; like too tired to take another step but we went ahead to see the house of the Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan. Buuuuut, as you can guess, it was Eid and apparently SRK comes out on his balcony and waves to the crowd outside for the occasion; so, it was not surprising that the whole street infront of his house was full of excited people; with police harshly commanding all bystanders (including Ani) while waving their lathis to move away. We clicked a few photos of the house and then walked away.

While sitting in the cab on the way to Mannat, we had seen a church, so we decided to walk to it. It was the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Mary.

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Trial at sketching the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Mary, Bandra

We reached the church and saw that opposite to it was a grotto, so we walked up to the grotto and walked back down. When we entered the church, a group was saying some prayers followed by the Angeles. Knowing the prayers and feeling like a traitor just standing there behind, I entered and knelt down, after which I sat on the pew. I don’t know whether it was the tiredness, or the fact that the church was so so beautiful inside, or some other fact that shall not be said out loud; I started crying, not the sobbing-wailing kind; the tears-dripping-no-one-knowing quiet kind. Then we left the church and sat outside it and waited for our ride to the bus station.

The Uber arrived and we left for the bus station. At the station, we sat in the waiting room. Three tired, frustrated individuals sat in 3 corners of the waiting room; waiting for the bus, that we thought we would miss, to arrive.

Soon a girl and her brother entered the room, and that’s when I noticed most of our bags were kept on a chair away from all of us. It’s funny how strangers can get us to be so paranoid. The girl started asking me questions in a language that I didn’t really know. She then changed gears to Hindi, those I understood. But as I was being paranoid, not all her questions were answered. Social conditioning.πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

Once we sat in the bus to Pune, I again found an empty window seat for myself. After a tiring day, I needed space to clear my mind and the window seat was a bonus. We were so tired, even when we stopped for dinner, none of us got out. We reached Pune at around 11.30 – 12am.

That was our day in Mumbai.

Mumbai Trip (Part 3)

Short recap: We reached Pune from Goa, then took a 4 hour mini bus ride to Mumbai; Dadar to be specific. We then took an Ola cab to the Gateway of India. The area around the Gateway of India was crowded with the Eid crowd so we left soon. We then loitered behind The Taj, where we found The Colaba Socials ❀

Continuing, we left The Colaba Socials happy and satisfied. The “happy” needs to be highlighted in bold and underlined as much as possible. To be honest just coz we were Happy; not coz of the bill to be completely honest. πŸ˜€

We had decided to visit the Book Street, which was according to Google Maps a short walk from our then current location. So, we marched forward, with Ani trying his best not to look like he was accompanying us. We had a short washroom detour at a coffee place – I will need to confirm the place with Thwe. Was it Starbucks? CCD? πŸ€” All I remember is I saw it, walked in and asked where the washroom was and directly walked towards it. I think there is a “Washrooms are never to be denied to non-customers” rule? πŸ˜‹

The whole atmosphere of walking on the Mumbai streets towards Book Street was totally different than in Goa. It just felt nice. It could be because we were in another city, walking with friends, away from home, a kind of freeing experience?

We reached the Book street and as usual just jumped right into browsing through the countless book titles and reading through all the summaries. The book-sellers were basically geniuses in what kind of books would sell. They brought up title after title enticing us to buy them. Thwe, Ani and I ended up buying a total of 9 books; a haul that wouldn’t usually happen anywhere else. Those books are still on my TBR list.

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After the book gawking was done, we booked a cab to take us to Marine Drive. A must go-to place for tourists, right?

Now, that experience needs a post of it’s own, don’t you think? 😁😜