Monday, July 27, 2009

Friendship and Happiness!

I have found happiness in unexpected times...friendship from unexpected quarters!..When I didn't expect to feel happy or for that matter, didn't think someone would reach out to me and that someone would definitely not be the one I thought it would it comes as a pleasant surprise when it is unexpected and I began to re-evaluate my choices in life, choice of 'friends' and misplaced trust, maybe?! I can never understand the enigma that people can be...and I say it with no malice, it is more of a wondering, if I will ever figure it out or maybe that's how its meant to be. You are not supposed to figure it out, you know?!

I have always believed you have to love yourself first for others to love you...similarly, you first need to be happy yourself to make others happy. Can you imagine trying to make someone laugh while you are crying or sad? Maybe, you can smile imagining it! When did wanting to find happiness and be cheerful and upbeat become a selfish act? Why do we all expect approval from others all the time? In fact, if you have observed, there is always a need in all of us to do something ALL the time! You have to get somewhere. PERIOD. Even when you are on a holiday, you have a to-do list which is all great! But in the process, you forget to enjoy the experience. We have all heard of the phrase 'The journey to the destination is as important as reaching the destination'...but somewhere along the line we did'nt understand the meaning or may be fail to comprehend the meaning of life itself.

You are weak and vulnerable if you cry. You are dull and boring if you don't seek thrills. You are a wuss if you are emotional. Who makes up these things? When did you become an authority? Is there a point to blindly follow what others say? In the fear of being branded something, people hide their true emotions, they never experience it and I am no exception!
I am generally a very happy person; you will always find me smiling and cheerful. BUT, I am human, and I have my low moments too and I feel sad too. People really close to me get to see this side, mostly Amma, S and a few close friends.

Obviously, they want me to focus on the good things I have or am blessed with and not to dwell on the demotivating aspects.
While I would like to think I am self-motivated and optimistic, I hate it when I actually pity myself. I REALLY do…I feel like I have failed myself when I cry. But I have no qualms in admitting that when I cry it out, I really do feel better. It could be psychological? But hey, if it helps, it’s ok, right? Right!

Honestly, I find it very artificial when I meet people who are ALWAYS upbeat and cheerful anytime of the day. I think its humanly impossible or it could be a case of sour grapes, maybe? If i think about it now, maybe such people camouflage their negative feelings or frustrations well. How I wish they were open about it? People like me would not feel so guilty about feelings sad. Coz it makes me feel I am a weak person and that I need to be strong all the time.

I would like to believe I have evolved as a person coz I am able to acknowledge or identify the not-so-pleasant aspects of me. Most of the times, I only begin the self-improvement process, it does not move beyond a point, like i have reached a plateau or something!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Random questions I don't like to answer!

Very often, friends and acquaintances ask me this question - Do you miss India? Do you miss *particular city here* ? Well, I have to say NO! I don't miss any city per se, I miss the people in that city or country. For most people, they have an affinity to a certain city or country coz they have good memories associated with that city....they may have good friends who live there....well, at least for me, that's what it is. I never have an affinity for a specific place. Really. I like every city or in my case now, country I move to ( I have moved only once and now!). I make new friends, develop new tastes and start liking the nuances of that place I love and live in.

Also, noone held me at gunpoint and asked me to move here. I was well aware of the pros and cons of moving out of India and I willingly did so. I am not going to give reasons or justify myself. But we made an informed decision and we are happy about it. India is my home country and I will always love it. I don't think i need to profess my love for my country only by saying 'I miss India'. Having said that, I must admit i DO miss the colorful festivals, the constant flurry of activity everywhere, the ease with which you can talk to just about anyone, seeing lots of friendly people, friends, family...definitely I do...but I know I will come back sometime! So it feels ok... :)

Then, there are some others who ask me why should I be the one to quit my job and move? Why can't S quit and move with me? Why should the woman sacrifice and leave everytime? I don't say anything coz I don't want to sound rude. But I think to myself, "what exactly are you trying to do?"!! I am certain that if I got a great opportunity and it is a lucrative opportunity in every sense, S would move with me. I enjoy my freelancing status now and I know I often crib about following up on payments...but at the end of the day, I love what I do, earn some, live some, enjoy some...and travel some! S does not have that luxury...what about that? I don't like people who ask questions or create trouble just for the heck of it.

Another tiring question I get all the time is that 'you got married so early?' ' God, you are a child-bride!!'...I am sick of having to answer that question. I am the married one, and a very happily married girl! Do you ever hear me complaining? Do I ask YOU why are you not married yet or why did you get married so late? I don't ask you such questions coz its none of my business...and frankly, its not yours either to ask me!! So quit bothering yourself over these little details that don't really concern you!

I know, sometimes, people ask questions to make conversation...there are a million things you can discuss about..why these? People forget to draw the line, most of the times they don't care! Its as if you are obliged to answer! Believe me, I am NOT!

My forecast today!!

I loved had so much meaning in it...I am putting it up here for me to read and motivate myself when I am feeling low and for others if it will help!

Every day is a fresh new life, a fresh new start, and a fresh new chance. Don't get upset or angry by past events, and try not to dwell on things that you cannot change. Your whole life can turn around in a day, so feel free to start every morning with a positive outlook. As you wash your face in the morning, think of it as a baptism. Clean off the debris from yesterday, while welcoming the freshness of today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bastille Day Fireworks - View from our living room!

We sat in the balcony, having dinner and thoroughly enjoying this spectacle! It felt like all of France gathered in the Eiffel Tower, to celebrate Diwali ! Sharing the joy of light with you here...

Part I (Click on the colored text)

Part II (Click on the colored text)

Part III (Click on the colored text)

Part IV (Click on the colored text)

You can hear us talking in the background...sorry, we just didn't remember the conversation and the clink of cutlery could get recorded as well!!! :D

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gorgeous Giverny!

We planned to go to Giverny, an idyllic village in the French countryside, Normandy....with yet another bank holiday in France, we got a long weekend and we decided to make a small weekend trip there! A few glimpses...

Some Trivia: Giverny attracts half a million visitors from all over the world; especially painters who are charmed by the unique light of the Siene Valley. Claude Monet, a very well-renonwed painter lived in Giverny for more than 43 years. His house, his gardens and his impressions of Giverny in his paintings are world famous! You have to see it to appreciate its true beauty, the colors and all the greenery is simply fabulous!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Different shades of Paris...

I am amazed at how almost everyone has a toy-like dog and the dogs are extremely well behaved. I mean how many times have you seen a dog remain silent and just not bark at all !!! Yes, none of these dogs bark and they just remain cute and silent as they are carried around or tag along with their master, sometimes even without a leash!

I am really amused when I see little kids less than 3 years old maybe, play with toy babies...the funny part is these kids are pushed around in their prams by their moms. These kids in turn, have babies that THEY push around in a toy pram...its really cute and funny! :)

I find it strange that when people meet each other on the road or in the Metro, they don't really make conversation. But they meet each other specially in a cafe in the evenings to just have a chat...why not do it when you meet otherwise?

I was pleasantly surprised to taste our very own lassi packaged as 'yogurt icecream' referred to as 'yaout glace' here with some fresh fruits. It is basically creamy lassi with toppings of fruits, tutti frutti or chocolate as you like..its healthy, nutritious and low calorie...its not too sweet either! What a way to package it!! :) You don't really feel guilty about having dessert!

I am curious to know why the beggars on the streets, almost everyone has a pet dog. When they are unable to fend for themselves, they have a pet dog too? Mind you, they treat their pets very well and give them proper dog food everyday, the pedestrians can all see it. A friend told me that the pedestrians give them money for the dogs out of pity, maybe? ( and yes, there ARE beggars in Paris too!). India is not the only country with beggars and elephants!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Orange Gladiolus in my tiny lil' garden!!

There are always flowers for those who want to see them...

The Earth laughs in these lovely blooms, don't they?...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I don't throw away used bottles, I do this!

Edited to add: You can use any bottle after the juice/pickle or whatever gets over...wash it thoroughly. Use glass paint and liner to outline the designs and fill it with color. You can use it to put flowers, chocolates or just like a showpiece...even in the bathroom as a stand for toothpaste/toothbrush...I didn't use any patterns specificially, just used my creativity..but you can even source patterns from the net and try!