Friday 30 October 2009
To add something completely unrelated, if you are a patriotic Bong like me, Mary Anne would bring Anjan Datta nostalgia in doses. So much so that you would ruffle through old music files to play Datta's song "Mary, Mary Anne, Marie....".
Thursday 29 October 2009
By reading just the forward and three recipies, I can tell it is an interesting book, instantly engaging the reader and making the reader laugh in the process too.
To get back to my cooking experiments, today I am planning to make honey chicken with seasame seeds. So watch out to know how my experiments with honey chicken and terriyaki chicken went and wish me a little cooking luck in the process too.
Before I leave you, I must share what I am currently pondering upon -- the sparkling white grab of the chefs. Is it not a wee little bit impractical to wear white when you know it is going to get sauce, juice, gravy splashed???
Wednesday 28 October 2009
To get back to the movie, the characters are very realistically etched and the viewer can establish almost an instant connection and identification with them. And as has become Delpy stock in trade some of her self realisation are just too good. Delpy is good but Goldberg is superb. Though I would still rate the Before movies higher, this is a good watch.
Monday 26 October 2009
Sunday 25 October 2009
Thursday 22 October 2009
Same thing is happening in UK as well. Like everything else I am getting to know the coins. But this time I have become smarter, I have kept a small coin purse where I keep all the change and only take those out when there is no queue behind me.
One irritating thing in these countries is the usage of one and two pence. Not that you can use these to buy anything, but since they are in circulation they just tend to make your purse heavy.
Wednesday 21 October 2009
Me being the temperamental and moody Libra, I keep having phases of these. But then like all other things, these also pass. But no sir, they are the sticky kind, and it takes effort and money to make them go away. So I would say driving away self doubts is a time consuming and resource intensive business. But you gotta get rid of them, cos if they linger then they impede normal activities of life and worst of all hinders your rational thinking power.
Self boosters to drive away self doubts:
1. Point out the good things about yourself to yourself in precise bullet points. Like you are a survivor having survived lost love, broken relationships, sudden change in career....few people make it through, you are a fighter till the end, you have survived worse situtations in life so this also you would overcome....etc etc etc.
2. Get out of house, go for a walk, or sit in a park bench or librabry or movie hall and have a long dailouge with your self. Of course you start out by being soft and nice to yourself and then when your obstinate self refuses to listen scold her a little, be a little firm and ask your self to stop all this nonsense, that always helps!
3.Stand in front of the mirror and critically assess yourself....no no dont look at the double chins (if you have any or the protruding tummy) or the ever increasing number of grey hairs or the unplucked brows....smile at yoursef and twinkle your eyes and flutter your eyelashes....that is the trick....sooner or later you will start finding yourself beautiful and that would bring a genuine smile to your face, replacing the old artificial one. Tested recipe.
4. Write to yourself, even if you do not maintain a regular journal, no sweat...just open a new office document and pour your heart out....be uninhabited and write...all the things that bug you, all the things that make you hate yourself etc etc etc...pour your heart out honey, cos no one but you would be reading it. After you finishing reading it, go take a break, wash your face, drink some water, inhale some fresh air and then come back to read it. While you read it, you will see that you automatically reject some allegation of yours or point out to yourself that so and so is not right etc etc. This has helped me many a times, sometimes when I dont feel like typing or cant look at the screen anymore, I write on paper. Then when I am done, I tear the paper into peices and throw it in the air and let the breeze carry away my thoughts. No nothing dramatic like that, I just destroy whatever I had written.
5. Vigorous excercise like an hour of aerobics....by the end of it you are so tired you dont care about self doubts....you are beseiged with muscle pain! Did this only once or twice in long life....but not a bad remedy if you can actually get your lazy depressed self to the class and dont let your fat self to cower seeing all those flat tummied sexy divas excercising for God knows what.
External boosters to erase self doubts: be warned these may be both time and money intensive,damn!
6. EAT-- chocolates, ice creams, chips/crisps, Chinese takeaway, spicy Indian food, nachos, sushi (no, it is not unhealthy enough), large pizza with extra cheese and toppings, KFC or just walk into a fancy resturant and buy yourself an expensive meal with expensive wine. Soon the bill would depress you so much that it would take over all the self doubt space and mission accomplished. Tada!
7. DRINK--now this is a bit risky one. If alone please drink at home, but please please dont get into the habit of drinking alone every evening. Best would be if you could find a couple of friends and go out or party in someone's house. I always prefer the house party, that gives me space to be a little drunk and talk nonsense. Whenever I get drunk I want to fly away, whats your wish in drunken state? But drinking and being uninhabited sure scares the self doubts away.
8. SMOKE-- again if your are not a regular, please dont get into the habbit. I am not a regular smoker but an occassional smoking spree sure does help me. I love menthol ciggs, what is your poison?
9. Chat with your mom or best friend or not so best friend. The downside of this is, if the other person is not being understanding or receptive the chances are that you will feel more depressed. I have had such expereice, so I do this very cautiously and selectively. Alternatively you could hang out with friends, no do not share your grief, just hang out, soon you will get into the silly giggling mode and when you come back home you will realise that you are no longer sad.
10. Have sex-- frankly have not tired this. I have always been happy happy when I had sex. Gotta try this one out.
Ok the promised 10 tips are laid down but I have some more to share, so what the heck....read on.
11. SHOP-- ok this can be a bit dangerous. I am sure you know about shopoholics, so have a budget, a small one, cos once you are out shopping your budget is going to double or tripple in the excitement of all those goodies which you must have. This has been my downfall many a times. Though I am not a reckless shopper but when I go shopping to cheer myself up I do get wee bit reckless and almost always overindulge!
12. Read a good book maybe a Mills & Boons, soon you would be so carried away in the passion of the hero and heroine thast your miserable love life will stop bothering you. But this may have the opposite impact as well.
13. Watch an old favourite movie-- this almost always cheers me up. Also you could try music, play some favourite music and sing along, who cares if you cant sing but do bray...this is about yourself and not about those who can hear you.
Ok now the things you should never, ever do in depressed state:
1. Try to connect with your ex. No no do not visit his Orkut or Facebook profile, no dont punch in his number, oh no the number has trickly dialed itself.....damn soon he picks up the phone and you can hear his oh so familiar sexy voice.....you if you have any shred of dignity and self preservation left keep down that phone NOW and thrown your mobile away, break it if needed. If he ever calls you back, keep a mountain on your heart and do not take the call. Oh please do not, you are sure to come out more depressed than ever after talking to him and realising that you still have feelings left, or land up having sex one more time and feel more rotten than rotten egg the next day.
Same goes for writing emails or sending text or voice messages to the ex. Oh why did God invent exes? Who needs them anyways. Way too much trouble for a small bag of happy memories.
2. Hope for sympathy from unsympathetic sources like a bitchy cousin or friend. Honey some people never change or are too bloody self centred or critical of you to engage with.
3. Call or meet the guy with whom things are warming up a little....if at this stage the guy sees you clingy, emotional, ridden with self doubts....the guy being the guy is sure to get scared and run like hell. Seen this way too many times. Only one guy in a million, no make it a billion would actually sit you down, give to a fresh hanky to blow your nose, buy you a drink and listen to you. It is better not to take that chance.
4. Weigh yourself--oh no this is a dangerous area to begin with, when in the throes of self doubt this is a positive killer. Dont, dont, dont!
5. Being in bed or not going out of house-- I know few of us have that luxury but chances of bunking classes or calling in sick when depressed are pretty high. Done it many times myself. But then I land up hating myself for wasting time and get all the more depressed. Believe me the outside world is at that time much more cheerfull that your house.
Ok enough gyan. I am supposed to go job hunting today and lo and behold was instead wrtiting this long piece as if it is my life's vocation. Actually as mentioned before I am dreading this job hunting bit a bit. Anyways gotta go, cheer up honey and remember all women have these phases so you are not the only one whom destiny has singled out for this torture. This almost cheers me up!
Tuesday 20 October 2009
Saturday 17 October 2009
Sheldonian Theatre where the matriculation ceremony took place.
Queues of students outside the theatre waiting to go for their ceremony.
One young undergrad student sauntered by, who to my amusement had a 6 inch ruler stuck with a black tape in place of specs handle. He looked as if it was the most normal way to wear his specs....oh the student had panache I must say. The joys of being a bindaas student! At odd moments like this I miss it, I must say.
Finally Indranil came out, I was waving like mad to make him look up so that I could take a photo. To no avail, the lady next to me, saw my frantic waving and suggested that I shout his name. That also did not help. Once out of that place, we walked along High Street, the entire place was filled with students wearing gowns. There was festive air all around with some guys playing lively music at one corner, while in the other corner there was a brave musician who was on the tightrope while playing his fiddle.
There was a beer festival happening in the Town Hall which Indranil wanted to attend but it was too early in the day to start guzzling beer. So instead we loitered around some more, looked for cheap deals for a printer and its accompanying jazz, finally found one. Then in keeping with the rest of the morning, we went in for formal English breakfast for our lunch.
Friday 16 October 2009
For once I am at a loss for words and don't really know what to say. The issue is so complicated and there are so many complex layers and powerful players...I feel quiet ignorant to say anything at all. Except that as a citizen of this earth I am deeply worried and promise to use the resources much more carefully like water, electricity, petroleum etc. I wish our leaders also took this seriously and stopped just giving politically correct speeches and actually took some concrete steps to hinder climate change and global warming!
Wednesday 14 October 2009
Except for my doing housework nothing much is happening. Indranil's classes have started, so he is mostly gone or when at home studies! Yes horror of horror I am married to a guy who is engrossed in some book or article or FB all the time. How I hated this very idea and how Angira and me, we had sworn that we would never marry a fellow student. I I could shrug off the shackles of studies but lo and behold within a month of marriage husband gets into an intensive course. Left to myself I am getting super bored. I don't really know what to do with myself. I got out for a walk and grocery shopping, that finishes in 40 minutes, I start reading a book, that too finishes in 2 days. Have chatted with all the friends in my gtalk,left sentimental messages to those on FB list, even become regular in Orkut. Still it seems like time doesn't pass. Have to look for a job for my sanity's sake, but so far being clueless continues. Now I guess I am bored enough to actually do something about being clued in and getting the job.
On a brighter note, got myself membership in Oxford Public Library....so no lack of books. Also picked up some movie dvds, didn't know they cost, but oh well. Anyways watching some old Cary Grant movies and loving him.
Monday 12 October 2009
Now that I have my own house to run, I am so far doing a fair job I guess. Since I am not doing much else as in looking for a job, I am doing a lot of home cooking. But here in UK my favourite meal is the breakfast. You can start eating lovely things like croissants, pancakes, Nutella, strawberry flavoured yogurt, and so many more goodies. Since we have reached I have made Nutella a part of all my meals as well as in between snack so much so that Indranil has suggested that I write to Nutella company to make me their most valued customer! Now wouldn't that be great, if that ever happened?
Saturday 10 October 2009
Monday 5 October 2009
We were there for 2 nights and 3 days. All we did was eat, sleep,take walks, sit in front of our mud house and chat. On Saturday we ventured out to see Shantiniketan, it was an aborted home coming for me and then we went to see this haat and went shopping.
This trip was a much needed rest between super hectic schedule. The place was so serene that it kind of took our breathe away just by its simplicity. There was no television, no radio, no space for any laptops, in fact there was barely any electricity. All we could see was green and water and all we could hear was the cricket and frogs. Some photographs from the trip.
View from our house. There was nothing except green and ponds all around us. Since it was the middle of monsoon, the two days we were there, it kept raining, making it all the more lovelier and greener.
Saturday 3 October 2009
One significance of this full moon night is that some Bengalis worship Goddess Lakkhi on this day. It is generally said that Bengalis from East Bengal do this, more so they offer ilish maach (hilsa fish) to the goddess. But my father's side of the family in spite being staunchly from the western side of Bengal perform this pujo (praying ceremony). This full moon day in Bengali calender is called kojagori lokkhi pujo.
In my family the pujo is held in the evening when the moon is shinning brightly in its full glory. For this particular pujo, there is no idol, rather a kunke which is an old bowl like thing made of mixed metals like bronze, silver etc and has intricate designs. Years ago during zamindari system or maybe even before this it was used to measure grain. It is kind of a family heirloom. Since lokkhi or lakshmi is the goddess of wealth hence worshipping this kukne. The ceremony is usually brief.
What used to be fun was the dinner that my mother usually prepared. It used to be a vegetarian meal with luchi, aloor dom, cholar dal, begun bhaja, dhoka, phul kopir torkari and usually payash for dessert. I am almost salivating thinking about those goodies. My mother is sure to make all of these dishes today, though with the family dispersing the dinner has become less fussier. I can almost see my mother standing in her kitchen frying luchis, while the aloor dom shimmers in a pot next to her, in between the luchis she would check the aloo, instruct the maid to taste the payash after she finished chopping the brinjal for begun bhaja. The dinner used to be a big thing in our house once. As a kid I remember all my dadus (grandfathers), uncles, aunts, cousins gather in our house, since our thakur ghor (worship room) was very small most of us would spill in the terrace. Some of us would play hide and seek while the elders used to laugh and joke, some one would start singing some rabindrasangeet being inspired by the full moon. After the pujo there would be prasaad (sweets and fruits which are offered to the goddess is usually eaten in a Hindu home by the everyone after the ceremony gets over) distribution and then finally dinner.
I wish I had some photographs to show, let me see if I can find some old ones.
Enjoy the full moon folks, I sure am while the Oxford moon plays hide seek with the clouds!
Friday 2 October 2009
Met some of Indranil's Indian classmates. In fact the Indian students are planning a diwali celebration and there was a little impromptu meeting held after lunch. It reminded me so much of our meetings held at Ganga Hostel, JUN to plan the Bengali night. The celebration promises to be interesting, lets see how it goes.
After the lunch, I decided to go check out Argos. We had checked Argos online yesterday and they have some kind of clearance sale which looked interesting. Argos turned out a completely 'students getting ready to get back to school' kind of place. I could find nothing of interest there, or maybe they sell only online, need to figure that one out. Feeling disappointed, cos I really wanted to pick up some deals from there, ventured into another shop. I am forgetting the name of this shop, but they had good stuff and the best part was the sales lady asked me whether I was a student. When I told her about my husband being one, she said we could get 10% discount, so I should come back with him. I wanted to pick up a shopping trolley, asked the sales lady if they had any, they didn't, but one kind lady overheard and suggested that I go check out Marks & Spencer, they had something. Better still the lady took me there herself, found out the trolley bag and even helped me operate it. She was out shopping for her daughter and seemed really peeved that her daughter was not responding to her text about some urgent shopping decisions, she reminded me so much of my mom. I told her so, some relationships are all the same, no matter in which country or culture you belong.
So thanks to this kind lady, I hope she had a successful shopping spree, my first venture into Marks & Spencer happened today. I know venturing into a shop is nothing exciting, but hey if you have been hooked into English lit like me places like M &S are like landmarks. It is never the same to venture into M &S in India. I wish I had money to pick up at least some of the goodies on sale. Never mind, I am sure my time would also come. Though picked up some body sprays for Indranil, poor guy he had left most of his stuff back home.
Next venture was Sainsbury. I have become a regular visitor there, soon it would seem like my next home in Oxford. Picked up a 16 piece dinner set and some wine glasses, so now apart from out 2 mugs and 2 plates, we have some more plates and mugs. Yeeeeee we are rich!
Indranil has flu and what a bad patient he is. He is one of those who feel that they are going to die every time they sneeze. To make matters worse we are not yet registered with NHS. He is being really paranoid and I am sure worsening the flu. I have always hated nursing, that remains unchanged. Wont make any Florence Nightingale any time soon.
Oh reading this really interesting but thick book called London. Fascinating.
Thursday 1 October 2009
Finally reached Oxford 2 days back, kind of done with the initial settling down, Indranil's b course induction has started from yesterday, so I am kind of in a loose end. Yesterday I ventured out and did some shopping (all essential mind you cos we are on endangered list, one student and the other unemployed), cooked food, picked up Indranil's clothes thrown all over the flat. Today morning after Indranil kind of rushed out (he is always running late), it suddenly hit me that I have become very wifely-- I cook, I shop, I sort and fold clothes, look for cheap deals. Something in me protested, so ever since I have demolished 3 packets of potato chips ( no sorry crisps) and slept for some solid hours. Now trying to decide whether I should go out for a walk or not. It is one of those rare sunny days, the enthusiastic part of me says I should take advantage of it while the lazy part of me refuses to.
Here time passes super slow. I kind of automatically wake up around 7ish....Indranil goes out by 8.30ish....and then the clock just refuses to move. I wish I had this much time in India when I was rushing around non stop. Have to get into the habit of orkutting again.
Must upgrade my resume and start looking for a job soon. I am completely dreading the idea, but some bulls have to be taken by the horn. Now that kind of sounds cheesy, doesn't it???
On this note, bye. From now on I have a feeling that I am going to be a very very regular blogger.
Oh the photograph in the header is taken from our flat's window.