Monday, June 30, 2008

Rain, car, greenery, movies, cooking, pizza, books, love

...a recipe for a good weekend (in random order). This was by far the most relaxing weekend we've had in our life together (despite the fact that I did nothing as planned). It began with me submitting my work status reports on time this Friday--something that I've not been punctual with since the last few weeks.


Nanny Diaries was planned for Saturday morning. We had an disagreement and melted into tears as I usually do when I don't want to yell at him. We ended up spending half an hour in the bed--me talking to him, and asking him to be more vocal about what he feels. At the end of it, we barely had time to dress up and rush for the movie. It turned out to be well worth the rush. We had lunch at Mc D's, then did an errand for mom before heading home.

The weather was so wonderful, I didn't want to waste my time trapped inside the four walls of either the house, or the office, or anywhere else. So we took off on the Mumbai-Pune highway, and eventually hit the expressway.

We were surrounded by clouds and greenery

...on either side of the road.

We even went through showers that left welcome messages on the windshield :)

We passed through tiny tunnels

...and longer ones

...and finally turned to Lonavala.

We drove straight past the town and took an about turn where the road merges into the expressway again.

Oh, for the record, I relaxed, put my feet up (literally, as you can see)

...and let the sweet hubby drive (who didn't go past 80 kmph on the expressway until I
teased him about being a sissygently reminded him that he could do so)

We went past the Lonavala dam

...past the hills (there were tiny streams of water running down most of them)

...and on the way back, stopped to ogle at the lovely lake with the little island in between.

A simple kaala-khatta made the hubs' day

...and I was thrilled just to be alive and to be able to enjoy these things with a cute partner-in-crime!

I couldn't resist taking pictures even when I took back the driving console in my hand :D
...thanks to the kickass 3.2 Megapixel camera on my Nokia 6500. Mmmmmmmuaaahh!

Just before we reached home, our dear car crossed the 10,000 kms milestone. Hurray! (Now it's due for servicing :-P)

I had planned to attend the book reading for 3, Zakia Mission, but was too euphoric to drive myself into a gathering of people, after enjoying the wonders of nature. So we just chilled out at home. Hubby got me the CD of Jab We Met, because I've been missing it whenever it was aired on TV. And guess what?! It was being shown on one of the movie channels at the same time! We only realized it after we put on the CD, and were surfing channels while I got the food ready.


Sunday dawned for us just an hour before midday. MIL called up around the same time, expecting us to wake up late (at least they know that much about us for sure). I prepared lunch while the hubs cleaned the house (partially, as always, before he got all sweaty and abandoned the work to have a bath). I was disgruntled and didn't respond when called out to cuddle after his bath. He got the hint and tidied up a little more to please me :D Once the food was ready, I took my shower and then snuggled up to him. He complained a little, but I diverted his attention to food.

After putting a lot of thought into how we should spend the rest of the day, we moved into one of the bedrooms where we began a new chapter of our romance--namely, reading A Brief History of Time. Sigh! You know the proverb about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? Well, my man's different. I need to bore a hole in his brains to get to his heart! Scientific explanation of natural phenomena thrill him no end, and I have some cosy time in his arms after his brain is well-fed.

Three chapters later, we both had enough, and went out for a stroll around the neighborhood. It started raining pretty heavily, so we had to chicken out and run homewards. Before that, though, I found this and this on the colony's noticeboard! Didn't know there were folks in here who were intersted in Gouri Dange's book too! Will find out sometime (maybe). Once home, I spent some more time watching TV, while the hubs played computer games.

Then I headed out to buy some stuff for the pizza I planned to make at home (of course, with a readymade pizza base). That constituted my shopping this weekend. Back home, I made a garlic-chilly-onion-sweetcorn-cheese pizza topped with oregano. It turned out OK according to me (less baked than I wanted) and amazing according to the hubs (see why I love the guy?) We washed 3 pizzas down with Blue Curacao (the mocktail version I made out of the crush-concentrate and soda) while watching Bend It Like Beckham. It turned out to be a little private party for two!

Okay, now this is personal, but somehow I feel like sharing. As we crawled into bed for a slumber trip, I snuggled upto the hubs, held his face in my hands and looked at him for a long while, before asking him to kiss me like he did for the first time. And the idiot went on to ask why I keep asking him for that (I guess this was the third time in the 3 years that we know each other, but he thinks it's quite frequent). I held on to my courage and reasoning (so that I could explain to the code jockey in his terms) and said, "...because it's like re-booting. The first time a person kisses another, it's a fresh, pure feeling, devoid of all the emotional experiences that affect the couple later in their lives. When we have spent a few days or years together, we know each others' shortcomings and irritating habits, and those primarily affect our attitude towards the other person. By kissing like we did the first time, we make an attempt to erase all those resentments, and start over. It's like falling in love again." What I didn't say to him was that I yearn every now and then for the skip-of-a-heartbeat or the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling one experiences when one falls in love, or kisses for the first time. I'm a sucker for those moments.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Japes - I

Found this gem while trolling the internet today:

St. Peter is walking along the fence that separates Heaven from Hell and he happens upon the Devil.
"Looks like the fence is gettin' kinda rickety," says St. Peter, "Whaddya say we have it fixed and split the cost 50 - 50?"
"Fence looks fine to me," answers the Devil, "To have it fixed would be a waste o' money."
St. Peter then says, "Well, suppose we go ahead and have it fixed, and then sue you for half the cost?"

"YOU'LL sue US?" chortles the Devil, "And just where are YOU gonna find a lawyer?"

I chortled like the Devil too ;-)

Random weekend plan - II

Updated at the end. Like this.

It's not much of a plan, actually. I'm just wanting to stay at home and do some cleaning up. The house is lying ignored and littered. Since the past few weeks, it's only the hubs who does any tidying, if at all. I've sort of taken to neglecting everything in it. Even the plants, at times. But I was scared the other day when I saw little bugs, first on the hibiscus plant, and then the Mogra and the Sayali. I washed them off immediately, loosened the soil, and watered them. I'm gonna check again for any signs of bugs, and if they stick on, I'm getting a pesticide spray. Maybe I'll look for a natural / herbal one, but I'll need one, nonetheless.

Things have been slightly better off since last week. Vanity first: we'd been to an aunt's place last weekend and I happened to stumble upon a weighing machine there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had lost 1.5 kilos. (Big grin!!) The wonders this thing does for a girl's self-esteem! I haven't used the bicycle as much as I planned to, but it's definitely not written off yet. Although, swimming's almost forgotten. Well, not forgotten, but every time I plan to wake up early and go to the pool, I end up sleeping in for long hours. Inertia, what else? On the work front, I barely scraped through another deadline. I had resolved at the beginning of this month to work on my focus (yes, so that I could focus on my work), but I ended up doing just what I have been doing for the last couple of years: procrastinating. It frustrates me so much, but I haven't found anything / anyone as yet to help me out of this habit. It's also stressing me out.

So, I'm looking forward to a weekend of house-keeping, both at home and at the office. There are piles of papers in both locations that need to be sorted and put in the their proper places. At home, the cupboard and the kitchen need attention. At work, I need to get rid of extra baggage by deleting old, obsolete emails and files in my working folders. Then there's this whole collection of music and pictures that I need to rename and caption.

I also want to start reading out to the hubs the books I bought for us: the entire Harry Potter collection (again) and A Brief History of Time. But that will happen only when he stops acting snobbish and trying to tell me that it doesn't make any difference to him if I do not read them out to him. Till then I go on with the other ones I got for myself (Wise and Otherwise (by Sudha Murthy), The Celestine Prophecy (repeat), The Tenth Insight, Curious Lives). I already finished Brida, and I'm so glad it came to me, like others, at the perfect time! But then, some of them can wait. I have a occasion coming up. I'll be traveling to Sunnyvale in September, and will have lots of time to read (if I act lazy and don't go around CA by myself, like I did last time). I so wish hubby would join me there, but he just doesn't seem inclined. It pains me, but then, I'll have fun anyway. It's his problem if he doesn't want to travel with me. Hmpf!

This is what we actually did.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New addition to the family

Last weekend, after the Sinhagad trip and after watching Sex and the City, me and the hubs thought of extending our family. Actually, we had been thinking about this since weeks, and I had been plotting about this in my head since early that morning. So out we went in the evening, to bring home our little darlings. The ones who'll adorn our previously vacuous balcony. All we need to do is water them every morning, loosen the soil once a week, add fertilizer once a quarter, and change the soil once a year. Low maintenance, peaceful, and beautiful... I simply love these kids!! Now we have the balcony covered...

(L to R: Lily, Rose [I'm not sure what this tiny variety is called], Tulsi, and Jaaswand [or Hibiscus])

(L to R: Yellow Rose, Kadhi Patta [or Curry Tree], a colored-leaf plant, and another decorative floral plant [I don't know what the last two are called... if you do, please enlighten me!])

and Center :)
(L to R: Mogra, another couple of plants [that I obviously don't know the names of], and Sayali)

Meet the Happening Hibiscus

... and the Lovely Lily

...(oops, Lilies!)

One of the many trips to Sinhagad

Last weekend, me and a cousin had planned to drive to the base of Sinhagad and hike to the top. Here's a view a couple of a kilometers from the base.

But just as I was about to park, we both chickened out (mostly alarmed at the crowds arriving to hike up) and drove to the top instead. Here's what we encountered on the road. It had just begun raining less than 5 days ago, and look at the green trees already!

We looked around at the neighboring villages below, and saw the lovely Mutha flowing by.

We took a pit stop to admire some trees at the edge of the road and the view beyond.

My trusty li'l car that happily takes me wherever I want to go (point to be noted: my maternal uncle, an expert driver from whom I got the driving bug, has not yet driven his car on this road--four years since he got it; whereas I, less than a year since I got my license and my car, driving to the top--seems like I've not completely lost it yet).

Near the parking area, which is surrounded by tiny sheds like these, where people sell hot bhajiyas with spicy chutney and chai--perfect food for the season.

Another view from the same place. Ignore my cousin... his face is in only for a perspective (yeah, my silly attempts at photography).

The villages on the other side of Sinhagad. See the thick cloud cover? They even shut out the lovely mountain ranges you see at the horizon on clear, sunny days (which include a couple of other forts).

We encountered the tiniest of frogs, and lumps of snails (this was a loner, I guess). For the first time in my life, probably because the weather induced euphoria, I thought baby frogs were cute (sorry couldn't capture them).

We walked a short distance from the parking to a place that people normally do not tread (towards the Potato Point, for those who know), and this is a view from there. Yeah, the clouds were moving in from one side and the wind was pushing them away. Hence the half-hidden lateral view of the fort.

The TV tower at the top and the winding road towards the right.

Hope that tempts you enough to visit the place if you happen to be in Pune during the monsoons. A word of caution: NEVER go there on Saturdays or Sundays after 8:00 am. The crowds pour in and make the place look like a mela. It's also heart-wrenching to see them strew the place with plastic and other waste. That's besides not being able to enjoy nature in its tranquility.