Blogging for life

After a very very long time, I feel the urge to blog today. Not because I have news to share or need a channel to vent. But to re-establish what was once so dear to me.

Blogging was an integral part of my life. A mechanism to channel my thoughts. A mode to meet new friends, likeminded or otherwise. And a passion that gave words (sometimes paragraphs) to random musings. And with my increasing absence, it remains a journey half complete.

This I refuse to accept.

What started as an online record of my public-personal life, which also was one way of fitting in, to an ever growing spectra of social networking. Slowly, it became more than that. It was my own space on the World Wide Web. My own little identity. Blogging was beginning to be fun. Slowly the number of bloggers who I interacted with increased. At one point, every post had nearly a 100 comments. The tags, challenges, awards – Blog world was buzzing. The race to be the first comment on a post was what mattered. Who cared about another rat-race called life. For me, blogging had changed. It was now about meeting new people. Making new friends. But how this impacted my blog, I only realized later. The desire to get more visitors to my blog was now the key. The unsaid rule was ‘you comment on my post, I comment on yours’. The game had changed.

I was no longer blogging for myself. I connected this blog to my Facebook account and every post was flashed there. Who was I blogging for? Time to separate both worlds. Blogging and Facebook have to live two independent lives.

And maybe that’s why, I was lost in my journey. And as a result, I lost my passion to blog. Lost some good friends along the way. Some are just an obscure memory. Others a comment on some old post. And a select few on my friend list of Facebook.

Time was my best excuse. It still is. I got busy. Work got the better of me. Life was moving on. Why wouldn’t it? Isn’t that what life does. It moves on. And so did my life.

I was only a 26 year old bloke who had just relocated to Dubai and about to get married, when I started this blog. Today, I am 33, and father to 2 lovely kids. It took 7 years to get here. Where did all that time go? Seven years! Oh well, let me leave the nostalgia for another post.

Though it was this day, 7 years ago, that it all started. So here’s what I am gonna do. This space, this little logically obscure collection of my life, will not bite dust anymore. I vow to get back. Not for any one but for me.

Time to catch up and regain some lost ground. This time for real.


Turning 30

Not just yet but in exactly 6 months from today, I will turn 30. And honestly speaking, I am pretty much freaked out about it. Infact on 1st Jan 2011, the only thing that came to my mind was, this year I am gonna turn 30.

I was always very proud of my twenties. So many milestones were achieved in these last 10 years. And hence, it was quite expected that I was gonna have a tough time forgoing that part of my life. And in exactly 6 months, I will have to do just that.

When I think of turning 30, suddenly, I feel old. And mature. And responsible. 20s is a time of rashness and brashness. And all the immaturity in the world. You can get away with anything. Health is on your side. Maybe some wealth. Life is shining with everything lined up in front of you. Somehow I don’t have the same amount of enthusiasm about the 30s. Its like, all the things that were supposed to happen, have happened in the 20s. 30s is just gonna be an extension of what has already happened. Gosh, what’s gonna happen to me when I turn 40!

So that, in many ways, sums up how depressive I am gonna be on 29th Sep 2011. And on all the days leading up to it.

But I refuse to let the last 6 months of my 20s go in cribbing, complaining and crying. No sir. I am going to make the most of what’s lined up. I had a set of resolutions when I turned 25. Most of them have been accomplished, except ofcourse about becoming a millionaire. But lets revisit that point again in 6 months! 😉

For now, I am vowing to change things. Change myself. There is a lot I want to do. Like buy a new car. We are moving into a new house so that’s done. Spend more time with my family. With 2 hours of drive time down the trash, I may have that one too. Big question mark on my health. That’s the REAL bummer. I have to, absolutely have to, lose atleast 10 kg. Have to visit Italy. Meet Roger Federer. Try different cuisines. Spend as much time as possible with Ibrahim. On his parenting and upbringing. He starts with school next April. I want to get closer to God. And my faith.

I want a revamp. And I want to do it in the next 6 months. Nothing overnight. Nothing temporary. Slow and steady. One thing at a time. And I will start with health. That’s my number 1 priority.

Oh, I forgot to add 1 more point that I wanna do before I turn 30. See India lift the cricket WC. Playing Pakistan tomorrow in the semis. I don’t mind losing the WC but I.JUST.CANNOT.SEE.INDIA.LOOSE.TO.PAKISTAN. In a WC on Indian soil. No way. Bleed blue. Bleed red. Bleed whatever you want to bleed but trash the Pakis.

Go India.

How not to eat KFC

One of the things I totally hate is people abusing what I totally love. Like I hate it when someone has a high powered car and drive around like sissies.

I love KFC. Period.

Over the years, I’ve seen hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people eat KFC. Some doing full justice. Others being a complete disgrace (in my opinion!). For the uninitiated, KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken. So if you are a staunch vegetarian, stop now and leave. And don’t stop by this blog ever again! Yes, I am serious.

No. Just kidding. But its OK if you take it seriously.

The other day I saw a bunch of people eating KFC and one of them started eating it but kept throwing the skin/topping. Now if you’ve ever eaten KFC, you would know that the best part of the chicken is the topping. And this guy just threw it. God, what a waste. What a crime. He doesn’t deserve it.

A couple of years back, I was at KFC in Bangalore and I saw a family. And I wish I did not. This entire family was eating the chicken alright, but that’s not all. They were even eating the bones. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean, why would anyone want to chew the bones?! Eitherways, I decided not to look in that direction ever.

I’ve often seen people eat a piece and throwing it half eaten and moving to the next piece. I mean, whats the point of eating chicken if you don’t know how to completely finish a piece. But I can still forgive and forget these guys. But the first two are unpardonable!

My association with KFC has been since I was kid. Back then, they had this ‘All you can eat’ offer from 12pm to 4 pm on weekdays. Imagine a group of 15-16 yr olds walking into the restaurant for an ‘All  you can eat’. It was crazy. And we had a challenge to see who is the last man standing. I am proud to say that I once managed to eat 11 pieces. But that was not the record. Not even close. A friend once ate 18 pieces. That’s the all-time record. Haven’t heard of anyone who to eat more than that. Each one in my group used to eat anything from 8 to 12 pieces. And we took breaks during the meal to ensure we could eat as much as possible. We even stepped out of the restaurant, leaving behind someone at the table, to stop the waiter from picking our plates. Got back in 10-15 min, after some rest, or a walk, some fresh air, for round 2. And sometimes even round 3. It was insane. But it worked. And at the end of a meal, we would feel so nauseated that we would vow never to eat KFC ever again. That vow would last only till the next morning. And we were back for yet another ‘All you can eat’.

Even today, I am game for KFC any day but only a quarter of what I ate back then. One my best day, I can eat 5 pieces now. Otherwise, its only 3. But they don’t have ‘All you can eat’ anymore. So nothing lost.

And the best part. Despite eating like that, I was never over-weight. And my waist was a measly 31 inches. I did play a LOT of cricket, football, basketball, volleyball and was into athletics back then. But today, a couple of pieces and I feel I could explode!

What is your best form of therapy?

“you know, i have a problem. i love food. period. for me, food is not just something we eat to stay alive. it is like worship. i do it with all my heart. i love eating and enjoy eating so much that for those 15-20 mins, life is beautiful. all worries behind me. everything comes to a stand still.”

I posted this in reply to Deeps comment in one of my earlier posts. And it actually got me thinking. Almost after a week. Yeah!

It is so true. I absolutely, totally, completely love eating. I love food. And I enjoy the entire process of eating. And it doesn’t have to be exotic cuisine. Something as simple as bread with jam/cheese or cornflakes or toasts or pancakes or croissants to more bigger preparations like biryani, rotis and curries to fast-food, burgers, subs, pizzas or KFC to all kinds of sweets like muffins, cakes, pastries, gulab jamun or ice creams etc etc! I just love to eat. Very rarely complain. Almost never notice if salt is less or more. As long as it is edible, it goes in. Period.

And it calms me down. If I am stressed, I feel relaxed after a nice meal. If I am depressed, my mood brightens up at the thought of  a good meal or snack. If I have nothing to do, I rather spend the time munching something. Food is my best therapy.

To the extent that sometimes I don’t even need company. I could be alone. And absolutely loving it.

My dear wife knows my passion for food and makes sure that I am well fed all the time. She acknowledges my tastes and preferences. Is always ready to step out for a quick snack or meal, is always game to try new stuff or places, and almost all the time enjoys food as much as I do. I just love her for that.

Now my question to all: What is your best form of therapy? As y’all know by now, for me its food. What is it for you? What works for you?

Year of the Audi – Picture post

Just crossed my mind. Its been exactly one year since I bought my car. So cherished is my Audi to me that I want to mark the occasion with a post. Actually not just a post but a picture post. Some special moments captured on camera in and around my car. Honestly, it has been around for quite a few. And if it has to be pics, it has to be Ibrahim. Except the first one!

My first day on the wheel – proud owner

Poser! (May 09)

It’s mine! It’s mine! (Jun 09)

Fond of shades like daddy? (Aug 09)

Born to drive (Oct 09)

In his car seat (Jan 10)

Over the top (with my cousin) – Jan 10

The last one was taken in Jan is actually his last picture near my car. So don’t have any latest ones. Will post once he is back. Cheers.

Edited to add: As always, taking off all the pics now. Thanks for all the lovely compliments, guys! 🙂

Sweet 16 for Roger Federer

Who is this guy? Is he from this planet? Is he human? Is he real? What is he made up of? Flesh and bones?

I doubt it.

With his 16th Grand Slam and 4th Australian Open championship, he has reasserted his greatness on world tennis.

People who don’t follow tennis for squats, you are missing out on history. Stories will be told about him. Legends will arise. Folks will recall these days and proudly say, “I was there”. We are witnessing the greatest phase in tennis history. He is possibly the single most dominant athlete in world sports today. We are audience to one of the greatest individual sportsperson ever to walk the face of this planet.

What Bradman is to cricket, Federer is/will be to tennis.

How else can you explain his performances on a tennis court? Or can you?

Players who loose to him must bow in respect. They were Federized.

As the master of ceremonies said yesterday, “Murray, you brought out the best in Federer. Not sure if you really want to do that.”

Words of wisdom for sure. Why would someone want to bring out the best in him?!

Nothing fazes him. Not the youth of his opponents. Not the pressure of maintaining supremacy. Not even the distractions of being a parent.

Federer is in a league of his own. And he is far from finished.

A gift and a cook

Look what my wife gifted me before she left for India….

My racket

A Wilson tennis racket!!!! That too the one that Roger Federer uses. Well, not the exact same racket he uses but with the same measurements, built and specifications.

close up

I’ve been wanting one for ages. And now I have it. Thanks a lot, dear. This is one of my best gifts ever 🙂

OK, so that brings me to another point. My wife and kiddo have gone to India for their vacation. I will be traveling later this month, hopefully. Its not been easy at home without them. In my wife, I miss my friend. In my kiddo, I miss my toy. But alas, I was never going to get a long leave from work. But that does not mean she gets to spend lesser time at her home coz of me. So, I sent her a month in advance.

And that brings me to the next round of snaps on this post. Without wifey around, I’ve been trying my hand at cooking. Though I have my mom, sis and sis-in-laws around, I like to try out stuff every now and then. And yesterday, was one such day. Dietary requirements meant I was supposed to have a few vegetables (cooked or uncooked) for lunch. I took matters in my own hands. Hunted down a recipe for ‘Mix Veg Stew’ and this was the outcome:

mix veg stew

It turned out excellent. Sweetish and tangy. With lots of capsicum, cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. Exactly as per the reciepe. Though I was supposed to add mushrooms and brown sugar but didn’t have any. The picture does not do justice to the taste. In the end, I had a hearty meal. Ofcourse, I did need mom’s help in chopping onions and tomatoes. But the rest, my creation! 🙂