Friday, December 30, 2016

Catch-up #11

So my friend Pizzadude sent the typewriter gang (which has grown from a gang of 5 to 7+3) a photo of himself, dressed in about 237863463 colours, right after winning the 'best costume' award at the Govinda-themed party I had hosted. (Yes, I host Govinda-themed parties, and my friends actually turn up and participate actively. Yes, we are very classy like that.)

It brought back memories, and I immediately checked my blog to see when it was from. Early 2013. Gosh. When I told them that, Shub immediately remarked that my blog was archival gold, while I immediately felt guilty for not blogging as often as I'd like to. Well, it's the end of the year and like every year, one of the new year resolutions is to blog more. However, I didn't want to put the next post off to the next year, so here it is -- a catch-up post, which basically means either too little or too much is happening in life.

The year has largely been a good one for us, with lots of travel (India, Telunas, Bintan, Iceland, and India again), and we hope to continue it next year. The highlight, of course, was the Iceland road trip and spotting the Northern Lights. Viv also did a road trip in the US with his dad, which I'm still very amused at. Considering their personalities, it must have been the quietest road trip in the history of road trips!

I was quite happy with my health-related resolutions this year. I've been very regular at the gym, and I feel fitter than I ever have been (though there's still a long road ahead). At my recent full medical check-up, the doctor was super pleased to see the numbers (except for the anaemia which she frowned heavily at, but the low count is partly because I have thalassemia minor, and there is only so much I can do about it). Viv did well with his running targets too, completing 600 km in the year.

I stuck to my resolution of learning to make a new dish every month and ended up doing a LOT of baking. Though I love cooking, there is something so liberating about baking. Once you have put the stuff in the oven, you can simply kthxbai and wait for magic to happen. What a beautiful change from the 'stir continuously' philosophy of cooking.

We watched quite a few movies recently -- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dear Zindagi with Pizzadude (Pizzadude and I are very large-hearted when it comes to Bollywood, and we usually sneak off by ourselves for such movies, which are unlikely to appeal to everyone) and Dangal with Viv. Loved Dangal to bits, even though I'd have preferred for the makers not to vilify the coach, or lock up the father during the final match. Too much deviation from what really happened just for dramatisation really takes away a lot from a biopic. (As a side note, I've started calling Viv and Xena Gitta and Babitta, especially when trying to jolt them awake in the mornings! And then I threaten them with "Kal subah paanch baje taiyaar rehna.")

We have also been Netflixing quite a bit, but lately with very disappointing results. Breaking Bad and Black Mirror have raised the bar so high that nothing else measures up anymore. I'm still looking for the precious hours I lost watching episodes of Sense8, Orange is the new black, Master of none, Stranger things, The glitch and The OA (which we are still watching... I'm still not quite sure why. Why, Viv?).

I've yet to make my resolutions for next year, and if I do come up with a good list of SMART resolutions, I'll do a post on that. Next year promises to be quite exciting. Other than the 'will he (Trump) / won't he' (be impeached), I hope the world is headed towards being a better place.

In 2017, Xena will enter the last year of preschool. The fun and games will end there, because once she's in primary school and the Singapore curriculum kicks in, it really kicks in. I'm hoping though, to put her in a school with a lot more focus on non-academic aspects and not have a 'toppers ki beti topper' mindset. Let's see.

Speaking of trying to parent well, I'd like to end my post with this video that I came across today, and found absolutely inspiring. It's not just about how to bring up kids, it's also about how to be a real person, a real human. I've watched a lot of videos this year, but if there's one video that I could pick as the most educational and inspiring, I'd pick this one.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Odour odour

So on Thursday morning we took a 135 to drop Xena to school, which, for some reason, was stinking of rotting garbage! (Moonlighting as a garbage truck?)

On Friday morning, as we waited at the bus stop, Xena reminded me that we shouldn't take the 135 if it was stinking.

"But how will we know from the outside if it's stinking?" I asked.

"Mama, this is what we will do. We will flag it, get in, but won't tap our cards. We will take a big sniff and if it's still stinking, we will tell the driver, "Excuse me, your bus is stinking. We can't take this, sorry."