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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My photographer friend!

I am a self-proclaimed photo maniac and love looking at pictures! I am dumbfounded when I see his photos and albums. Sri Iyer, a friend and an amazing photographer takes pictures that are pieces of art! People often say you should do something you love, for a living - coz you are best at what you do! He is a fantastic photographer...and guess what? He has taken it up professionally and has his own studio in Chicago! His forte - People, Little People (babies) and People who are just born (newborns!)

Sri is a Maternity Photographer in Chicago and Baby Photographer in Chicago specializing in beautiful pregnancy pictures, modern newborn photography and children's photography. His wife and my cousin, Jana, helps with newborn posing.

Check out his website - www.photosbysri.com and you'll know what I am talking about...here's a preview!


I told you?! What do you think? Love?

The Girl in the Green Scarf!

...Yes, I am the girl in the green scarf and this is the one, I mentioned here that my dear friend C, spent more than a MONTH knitting this gorgeous pattern for ME! :-) Isn't it gorgeous?

It came as an absolutely pleasant surprise to me and I was thrilled that she put so much effort into this and gifted it to me! I am going to treasure it forever...and even if I am a beginner at knitting, I know that its a difficult pattern and it has a combination of two different shades of green and OF COURSE takes loads of patience to knit such a huge scarf!

Why Green? She said, " She saw a picture of yours truly with S, in Loire Valley and there was all this greenery around us...and she wanted us to remember Europe like that"

Thank you sooooo much C, for the wonderful gesture.... I am deeply touched! I'll feel all warm and fuzzy both inside AND outside during the winters!:-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 7)!

Today is the final day of the 'Positivity Week' and I think God really wants to test how positivie I am, coz I had a bad day and its going to be difficult to list my 5 things today! No, I am not giving up and will make an effort! :)

1. I am thankful for the warm hug S gave me when I was visibly upset. He calmed me down when I reached home to vent my 'bad feelings' and misery. He can instantly figure out all my moods even if I don't utter a word! I am one of those people who needs to vent it all out, I never keep anything negative or positive bottled up - I believe letting it all out helps you move on...

2. An old lady in the Metro struck a conversation with me (which is a rare occurence as people hardly look at you, forget having a conversation!)...and before she had to get off...she said "You have dimples, no wonder your smile is so beautiful"!! The compliment warmed my heart and made me smile :)

3. I am happy that I found 'Kaushiki Chakrabarty' and her melodious voice that calms all my senses. I feel tranquil in those moments. :)

4. I am another day closer to seeing my darling Amma and Anna! :)

5. This is my 301th post...In Indian culture, when people give money as a gift or blessing, they add an extra rupee to it, like Rs.1001, Rs.501 etc. There is some significance to that practice. It symbolizes the intention of giving a little more than expected, a symbol of prosperity and abundance...which does not stop with a round figure. Similarly, I am happy that this is not my 300th post, but is my 301st post...and I believe it means I will always have happy memories and thoughts to share as time passes by...

This experiment has made me realize that I have so many things/people in my life who make it so much more worthwhile. On all days, (today is an exception), I did'nt need too much time to think about 5 things that made me happy...I am not just looking at the brighter side...I have learnt that there is sunshine and happiness all around...I just need to remove the shades that I am wearing! Enjoy the sunshine and happiness, its out there..within your reach!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 6)

I had a fabulous weekend, looks like the positive thinking is working! Without further ado, I list my 5 happy things for the day!

1. I am happy I found this job. I get a lot of exposure, learning and I have also learnt to be patient. It is really difficult to find employment in Paris (or France?) if you don't speak fluent French and my French is anything but fluent! Strictly speaking, I was'nt 'unemployed', I was doing a lot of freelance work and I treated it like my "business"! But, I found it really difficult to get paid...they would extract the work but dilly-dally on the payments.

So while I got frustrated with the non-payments and scoured through every magazine or website, I mentioned to my friend S that I terribly missed working! I work part-time and this came about, thanks to her, who religiously looked for suitable jobs that fit my profile and referred me to my current job! Thank you S, I am very grateful for this!

2. I feel very blessed that I am married to my best friend! PERIOD. I think that says it all.

3. I am happy that I have learnt to surrender, total surrender to GOD! I have always believed in HIM, but I was very upset with GOD for certain events in my life. Now, I have accepted it and strongly believe that it happened for a reason! He knows what is best for me, he will always be there for me! After all, I am his favorite child! :)

4. Both friends and family think that I am very naive and fail to understand that not everyone is good! I really do trust everyone. I am happy that I see only the 'goodness' in people...if we propogate 'positive thinking', should'nt we learn to focus on the 'goodness' in people too? It has always worked very well for me as even the so-called 'distrustful' or 'mean' people are nice to me! :) I am happy I stuck to my instincts about people.

5. I am truly TRULY grateful that I was born to such wonderful people like my parents and thankful to them for the wonderful sibling they have given me! I know its all destiny, but I feel so lucky for the wonderful family I have!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 5)

It has been a fun-filled weekend with very dear friends...full of fun, laughter and madness ( mostly on my part!) :) Its going to be really easy to list the 5 things that made me happy today!!

1. S and I, met a group of friends and we invited our British friends C and P (from our evening yesterday)...to a Sunday brunch at the world-famous Saravana Bhavan ( they have recently opened a new branch in Paris)....lots of delicious authentic south indian food, friends, conversations and filter-kaapis (filter coffee) later, we were a happy and contented bunch! :)

2. My friend C gave me an absolutely gorgeous surprise - she gave me a lovely green knitted scarf that took her more than a month to complete! It looks stunning and I simply loved it and touched by all the effort that has gone into making it! :) God, I am so blessed to get all this love and affection...will post a picture of the lovely scarf soon - its a sea-green color and its stunning! Thank you so much C, you made me an extremely happy woman today! :)

3. Speaking to the hotel staff in tamizh gives me a high! Apart from S, they are the only people I can speak to, in my mother tongue...and it gives me a sense of being back at home in Madras! It will always be Madras for me, NOT chennai...can't relate to it! :)

4. I have a 'child-like crazy' alter-ego which reveals itself when I am very very happy and comfortable. After a REALLY long time, I could reveal my alter-ego! Very few people get to see this side of me, apart from S and family....and I am glad I could add 2 new friends, C and P, with whom I felt so comfortable! :)

5. The weather is just perfect - cool and pleasant, and its a perfect Sunday! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 4)

As we have already established that being positive or positivity is a great feeling, I will directly move on to the 5 things that made me happy today! :)

1. Coupled with my screwed-up hormones, I have a constitution that puts on weight, if I just look at food...leave alone eating it! So I really have to work doubly hard to acheive fitness read lose weight. Last year, I bought a pair of cotton jeans in a sale without trying it out, and when I came home and tried it on, it did'nt move beyond my hips to my utter horror! I stored it away hoping I will fit into it soon....and Voila! when I tried it on today, it did!!!!! I wore it to work today and only I knew how excited I was!! :) I always buy a few clothes that are slightly tight, so that its an incentive for me to work harder... :) My own little trick!

2. My friend C who I met in Paris sends me a random SMS about something we discussed long back....She does that very often....and it brings a big smile on my face! Coz, it shows that she is thinking about me and her SMS always comes at a time when I feel lonely and it cheers me up! An absolute bundle of energy and smiles, she radiates happiness....I am glad she is my friend! :)

3. It was a fun evening with friends C and P, and of course my darling S, an interesting movie (Inception), loads of laughter, great food and interesting conversations. Conversations with friends here are always interesting as we get to know and understand other cultures as well as share with pride, our culture, cuisine and to answer all the curious volley of questions! :)

4. Maybe it sounds very sappy, but I love weekends like everyone else for the same reasons - having a relaxed morning, breakfast, chill or relax and enjoying your time...but there is also another reason! :) If you have been reading all the days of my positivity notes, you will notice that there is an underlying common thread on all days - it is S! He is definitely one of the most important part of my happiness...and I am glad its weekend when I get to spend the entire day with him. I don't need to spend every waking moment with him, but I like to see him around...can't really explain it! :)

5. Same time, next week, I'll be with Amma, Anna and S....probably catching up on everything, having a leisurely breakfast as they would have just arrived late night....cuddling up to Amma, lying down on her lap....I can't wait!

Bon Weekend! Cheers!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 3)

I truly believe you can achieve happiness and be happy ALL THE TIME! Even if you are feeling really low, if someone smiles at you....you automatically smile back! I love to see smiling faces and most of the time, that's how you can see me - with a huge smile on my face! :) Even when I ping someone, this is a permanent symbol in all my chats - :) !

The conscious effort to stay positive seems to be working pretty well! Writing and listing it out on the blog further reiterates it! Moving on...to the 5 things that make me happy on Day 3!

1. I talk to my mother almost everyday! I am very close to my family which means I also love to talk to my brother and Dad too. But its not always possible to talk to them everyday for the simple reason that my brother needs to be at work and my Dad does not like to talk much! So my brother and I, send each other offline messages when we have something important to to say to each other, share music or any little thing! I smiled when I read his 'offline message' today! I am so glad that we manage to connect almost anytime despite the time difference and busy workind days.

2. My FB status reads ' Yours truly and Preeti Shenoy are focussing on being positive!' referring to the experiment! One of my friends who likes to tease me a lot, commented that 'So what's your blood group, B positive'? ...I had the last laugh this time coz I REALLY am B+!!! I know this friend S through my husband S, but we make fun of each other like we have been friends for years! I like the easy camaraderie we share and am grateful for the lovely friendship! :)

3. I love cooking and enjoy trying out different kinds of dishes....of course, I need to be in the mood for it ( I hate the prepping part of cutting veggies, grinding, purees, buying the veggies in the first place)! There are days I'd rather have Maggi noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner....anyway, I tried this Potato Capsicum Pulao from Nag's food blog! It turned out really well and S gave me a bonus when he got back home to say he loved it! He ALSO pinged me to say he really enjoyed lunch. It made me really happy. I owe it to Nags, who has a lovely blog and her method of explaining the recipe step-by-step with pictures makes me feel very confident about the outcome! Thank you Nags! If i want to make something different, I always check her blog first!

4. One of my friends from school is reconnecting with me on FB after a decade and she had sent me a message saying this " Janani, I must say that you look more beautiful than before....is it luv....;-)....??? All your profile pics are dazzling!" I am always thrilled to receive compliments and it made me feel good to read that! Yeah, I am vain like that! Bite me! :)

5. Last but not the least, believe me, I am really glad its FRIDAY!! I am this super-bright, chirpy person on all Fridays! My friends, colleagues and family will vouch for it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 2)

As you continue to find out the things that make me happy...you will realize that its very easy to make me happy. I get excited about the most inane things....or the little things! :) I also think its the best-kept secret to happiness...finding happiness in the little things in life...don't you agree?


1. I happened to watch interviews of Jada Pinket-Smith and Will Smith on Oprah and an old interview of Hrithik-Suzanne Roshan and it felt so good to see that they are so much in love and are the best of friends even after many years of being married and kids. Sadly, I am a witness to many of my friend's relationships and marraiges (of many years failing, even the most romantic couples I have known)....and this was a welcome change! I hope to see many more couples like them who help each other grow!

2. I am forever in a dilemma about growing/cutting my hair and bug S everytime asking if i should cut my hair....he said 'babe, you look sexy in long hair, so keep it!'....now that did'nt make me feel good....I was thrilled! ..and of course, I am growing my hair now! ;-) Besides, I am terrified of Amma's reaction if i cut my hair again and I have had short hair for quite some time now!

3. I saw this smiling baby on the Metro with the most beautiful eyes and she gave me such a gorgeous smile....it made me feel sooo good! If it was back home in India, I would have played with the child or touched her tiny hand....but here, I have to make an effort to stop myself from doing that! :) All babies are beautiful and ethereal...PERIOD.

4. Call me a material girl or a girly girl! But I just found this amazing natural shade of lipstick ( Golden Souffle, L'oreal)....and it tastes really good....does that count? :P

5. I listen to some good music everyday on my commute to work. Those 30 - 40 minutes, my entire life is a soundtrack and everyone else simply cease to exist! The grumpy faces, heat ( summer is killing esp. on the Metro with soo many people and non-existant ventilation) just don't bother me...and I am on a high! Depending on my mood that day, I am either listening to some calming music like melodious numbers or Hindustani classical or I am listening to super-koothu ( fast beat) songs or interesting songs with good beats and I am doing a mental dance if that's possible! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Positivity Week (Day 1)

Nothing interesting to write on the blog all this month. For me, the highlight of this month was that I would be going to the A.R.Rahman concert! Unfortunately, the concert got cancelled and since then I have been moping around coz I was REALLY looking forward to it!


So when I saw this post on Preeti's blog! I jumped in, coz I have always wanted to focus on being positive and looking at the brighter side...and what a lovely idea to do just that! I strongly believe that 'Happiness is a state of mind' and if you make a conscious effort, you can always be happy. Yes, we all do feel low at times and its ok to falter....just remember not to dwell on the negatives! I try not to! :)


As Preeti suggests, starting from today, for the next 7 days - I am going to write 5 things that made me feel happy or grateful.

1. I am grateful for the steaming cup of coffee (with a touch of cinnamon, for good health) that my darling husband makes for me every single day while I am in 'blink' mode! I am not a morning person and it takes some time for me to come back to reality, literally!! It makes me feel really good that he understands that and I love the gesture! I also thank him every single day coz I never take anything for granted!


2. My friend M pings me almost every day with a ' Hello Darling' or a ' Good morning sweetheart' virtually and it puts a huge smile on my face everyday when I read it. Very few people call me or address me with endearments like that and mean it. The green light next to her name is reassuring even if we are not chatting or having a conversation all the time. The virtual world is such a boon and of course, my friend is a big blessing in my life!

3. From the time I have known that Amma and Anna are visiting me, I wake up with a smile thinking I am getting closer to seeing them! I am super excited and thrilled that they are visiting even if it is for a short while.

4. I feel very good when S and I discuss our respective days at work and have a nice chat when we get home at the end of a tiring day. We have a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower ( another aspect I am very grateful for!) from our Living Room and Kitchen...so we enjoy each other's company, conversations and the fabulous view at night when its all lit up while we cook together or have a snack or just sip tea or coffee!

5. I felt really good when I sprayed on some Coco Chanel Perfume ( very French, huh?), as I got ready to go to work! My friend gave it to me just like that when we met yesterday! It was really thoughtful of her and such a bonus for me to get a gift for no reason! How cool is that and what a lucky bum am I?

I am also grateful to Preeti for this lovely impromptu surprise she gave me...you brought a huge grin on my face (all day!) , Preeti! and a BIG THANK YOU :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I wish...But...

I wish I were perfect
But there is no perfection in the real world

I wish everyone liked me
But I can't please everyone

I wish I were not judged for all my actions
But you are entitled to your opinion?

I wish I could live life on my own terms
But who is stopping me?


I wish I could hold on to everything and everyone I love
But nothing is permanent in life

I wish I knew the purpose of my life
But life is all about the journey, not the destination

I wish I were always happy
But would I value it as much?