Senorita in the making

About 2 months back, I wrote that I try to channel my energy into learning something new every time i am faced with lemons in life.

This morning i received news of one of the lemonades that I have been making for the past 15 months. I cleared my A2 level fluency exam in Spanish.

Nearly everyone asked/ask me why I chose to learn a language now. I spend a good amount of my salary coughing up the fees, block all my weekends to attend classes, drive to another state in the early morning just to meet a bunch of crazy people who want to learn Espanol con mucho entusiasmo! Most of my classmates are students or young professionals. But I have also met some interesting people with sad/inspiring/quirky backstories.

Only one person never asked ‘why’ rather only said ‘i am proud of you’ and that happens to be the Man. The Man is a forced workaholic (partly by his choice as well i think); his entire workweek and a good portion of weekends are dedicated to work. He always supports skill acquisition but sadly isn’t left with much time on his hands these days. Guess that is why he is appreciative of the fact that I am keen on learning something and supports me in every possible way.

To all the people who ask me why do i study ‘at this age’, i simply ask them – what do you do on your weekend mornings? The answer primarily is ‘i sleep till late’. I then don’t bother replying to them cause they are really not worth my time and tengo que estudiar mucho…

Hasta la vista.. :-*

 

 

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When life gives you lemons…

My strategy to overcome a difficult situation is to invest my time and attention into something creative and learn something new….

When i look back, i realise that i have learnt so many new things in my life…

Estoy in nivel B en mi clase de espanol…(I am in Spanish B level)

Puedo preparar tortes complicados… (I can make some complicated cakes)

He hecho muchos amigos nuevos (I have made lots of new friends)

Life is giving me lemons again, so i am on the look out for something new to learn…

So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade by learning something new!!

Miss(understood) Feminist

This morning I saw a new article trending “I am a Domestically-Challenged Bride; A Proud One!“ and garnering lots of ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up’.

I earn and help my husband take care of the bills. I am well-read and can hold interesting conversations with him and his friends when we entertain, I can add numbers real quick and if he wants to cross-check any fact, I am the one who can give him the info in a matter of minutes (thanks to Google and a good phone). Am I still a bad wife? A lot of people seem to think so.”

I read this article with over ‘33.3K shares’, and had a good laugh.

I think the people around me are suffering from what I call ‘afsar’ syndrome. Through my stints in a typical Delhi office environment I have observed how the afsars (officer Hindi-fied), the white collared gentry, think that it is not their job to do anything other than ‘work’ which should involve paper/computer/application of mind. Tasks such as washing their own cup, throwing the used paper cup, taking files out of the cupboard, removing the used plate are meant for the blue collared boys in their blue uniforms. I have also heard tales from my acquaintances who take ‘pride’ in the fact that they earn but can’t cook & clean and can afford a cook and a cleaning lady and that such ‘actions’ do not make them a ‘bad’ ‘wife’. No not all… rather such ‘thoughts’ only make you sound like an ‘immature’ ‘person’.

Do we ever take pride in saying ‘I just cant take a bath myself, I have a Man Friday do it for me, and I am proud of it’. Or ‘I just cant brush my teeth, I cant waste my time on such things’ Or how we wish this was true ‘Don’t expect me to do my own exercise in the gym… its too trivial for me to waste my time on this… I get a maid to do that for me’! Ever seen a Westerner boast that he doesn’t do his laundry or cook?

Recently my cook lost her teenage daughter under very tragic circumstances. My neighbour (who has a 7 year old girl) told me that she was ‘shell-shocked’ and told the cook to take ‘her time’ to recover. One day she was at my door at 6.30 am asking me if the cook resumed her job and that she ‘thought’ that the cook started coming to my house. I said no and it was only 4 days since the little girl passed away!

We go to schools and colleges to get educated. However, in the process of getting a degree to make ourselves financially independent, guess we forgot to educate ourselves about complete independence. Learning to cook and keep your house and surroundings clean does not make you a ‘typical Indian aunty’ (the derogatory term we like to call typical homemakers). Rather we are just doing our own jobs. Why is it that there is a lot of emphasis on how ‘well’ we perform at our professional jobs and that doubled with our inability to do our personal chores is received with applause. The fact that men are not expected to do these ‘menial’, ‘trivial’ jobs is another ball game all together.

Not knowing what to eat and when to eat, living in a dirty house and wearing unclean clothes harms only us. The aim is not to be Martha Stewart at housekeeping, but to know the basics and to DO it when the need arises and do not flaunt your ignorance!!

Respect the ‘blue collared boys’. We have our cooks, cleaning ladies, car washing bhaiyyas, etc. and they help us achieve more within the limited time that a day grants us. So when these helpful angels do not come, cut the bullshit and just do your own work! And no none of this is TRIVIAL or NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!

PS: Dear author, I don’t need to be a breadwinner to know how to ‘google’ to check facts or ‘entertain’ guests!

Holaaa….

Every time I think I need to start blogging all over again…LIFE happens!

I have a habit of putting the blog on the back burner every time something ‘other than blog’ comes up. Sometimes (rather most of the time) its work, or another endless list of weddings in my family, travel (mostly to meet social commitments), or hobbies which has now totally consumed a good chunk of my weekends.

Till yesterday when I was chatting to a friend and she pointed out that life will ALWAYS happen, its for me to choose what needs to be prioritised and what not.

This space has been neglected by me for a long time now. Its like that ‘once-sexy-but-now-no-longer-fitting-black-dress’ which I pull out from the trunk every once in a while and remember the good old days. I remember the time I had blog friends from various parts of the world who would post every fortnight and each one secretly wished to be the first one to comment.

Most of them have stopped blogging now and I guess I stopped too when ‘life took over’. But this is still the space I come back to whenever I want a glimpse of a bygone ‘me’ 😀

I may ignore you blog space but you are still my black dress and like my black dress I will never throw you out of my life and will always try to fit myself into it 🙂

Choco pudding

In the meantime here is some chocolate almond cake with orange chocolate sauce  for some soul searching…

Let Them Eat Cake!

This year has been a year of cakes for me. On personal front, I really upped my game (purely personal opinion 😉 ), but when compared with the general baking stands, I still have a long way to go.

The inspiration started around September 2014 when I was inspired by a red velvet cake my cousin made for her fiancé. A talented baker that she is, she won the heart of her beau through his stomach and the rest is history. I came up with the plan to make red velvet cuppies, but the plan flopped as the ‘safe edible’ food color I got was not ‘Xmas Red’ but ‘Red’ which strangely gave out a hot pink color!! Next came learning the frosting- I spent a week trying to learn to control the piping bag!! Everyday I came back from office and kept piping swirls till midnight. I think I smelt of puke those nights with all the cream cheese and white butter! A week later I churned out this… Pink Velvet Cupcakes!

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Year 2014 ended I was on a yoga detox, travelled, didn’t cook much. May was Mother’s Day and it happened to be my MIL’s birthday. She loves pineapple! SIL and I decided to throw a surprise mother’s day-cum-bday lunch and the cake of the day was Pineapple Buttercream Cake!

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I replicated the Pineapple BC cake for a colleague- who didn’t want a lot of ‘jazz’ in her cake.

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Come September again, MIL wanted to invite the new BIL’s family for lunch and I had immediately grabbed the dessert duty. This was my first attempt going eggfree and for a week my colleagues kept receiving test samples of eggfree chocolate cake. After playing with BC a lot, I wanted to try the ‘simple’ ganache frosting. I thought the cake was the tough part and ganache frosting is very simple according to the youtube videos I saw… but boy it was NOT SIMPLE!!! While making ganache is simpler than BC, handling ganache even with water and palate knife tried my patience to the max. End result was an eggfree Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache. According to the man, this is my best cake till date.

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I did a boozy version of the same cake for his birthday 2 months later, pics of that will soon be updated.

Lessons Learnt:

  • Good skills learnt over the last one year.
  • So many more skills to learn in the coming year.
  • Lots of kilos piled on just ‘tasting’ the frosting!
  • And why eat bread when you can afford cake! 😛

Inspired to Inspiring

Back in college I used to learn dance at SDIPA. Infact one of my all time personal highs in life was that I was auditioned by ‘THE’ shaimak davar during the peak of his popularity in the mid-2000s and got in 🙂 Fate also gave me the chance to be part of the troupe that went to Melbourne to perform for the closing ceremony for the CWG 2006.

The YAY moment!

                  The YAY moment!

anyway i digress…

During the 2 month long rehearsals, i interacted with a girl (ok lady!) who at that time was married and 32 yrs old. At a time when the average age of the dancers was 20, i was extremely surprised (ok shocked!) that here was a woman who was in her 30s and married and had a regular job and attended the grueling dance routines. We rarely saw her husband or saw her talk to her husband over the phone; to be honest many a times i wondered whether she was in a happy marriage. But she was sorted, calm, composed and wise and we got along very well. Somewhere inside i wished that one day i want to be her. In fact whenever we introduced ourselves to a new set of dancers, I would say ‘she is AP, she is married and 32’ and leave the new dancer spellbound 😀

Now 2 CWGs down and nearly a decade later, my dancing is restricted to the bathroom or when drunk. I needed some entertainment in life and i enrolled myself in a language class. The average age of the students is 20. On my first day, the teacher asked why I wanted to learn the language and i said my husband speaks a foreign language and i want to speak one too. The class was shocked on knowing that I am in my 30s, married and have a regular job. A few classes later a student introduced me to another student saying ‘she is AMJ, she is married and 32’ , leaving the new student spellbound 😀