Adios 2015

I’m a little late to the party, I know. But ever since I put it out into the universe that I wanted to create and put out a novel, work got extremely work like and dumped me with more tasks than time in the day. Needless to say, I failed that particular task miserably. However, the whole of 2015 was not a failure. Instead of tempting fate and starting an another ambitious novel titled ‘What Happened To Me in 2015’ or the less ambitious version of ‘How Everything Can Change In a Year‘, I created a picture collage of my 12 highlights of the last year!

2015 Photo Snapshot Cupitonians
Click on the image for a full size view!

And here is a list – since I can’t help myself!

  1. I attended a music festival in Bangalore and the headline band was Alt-J, one of my most favourite bands of all time. This is big because growing up we never got to go to concerts (part of the reason being that not many artists came to India). I attended it with people I love and there just is something about hearing your favourite music live while swaying in the rain to the rhythms that move you.
  2. The boy moved countries for me, yes. But I love the fact that over the year he has gotten to know my family better to the extent of having inside jokes with them. I’ve always wanted to be with someone like that and watching them cuss out identically during family sports night just fills me with so much happiness. It really is the little things.
  3. We watched a lot of sports. I don’t get to do it too much now that I have moved countries but Bangalore gave us the opportunity to watch our cricket team and football team in action. So what if there was a little (okay, fine, it was a lot) monsoon!
  4. The third image is us watching the finals with Bangalore Football Club (BFC) and the fourth image is of us at a Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) match
  5. As a going away present, my colleagues and dear, dear friends gifted me a Kindle. It is such a blessing because I love reading so much but have had to leave all my books behind because of the move. Thanks to the Kindle, I can now read anywhere and it weighs next to nothing despite having a billion billion books.
  6. We moved to Bangkok for a lot of reasons. The Erawan Shrine became a big landmark for us because I work next to it and it was bombed shortly after we moved. It is a symbol of how resilient we are as humans when it comes to disaster and ultimately, what it is that makes us humans
  7. Bangkok is a BIG city in the true sense of the word. I share a love-hate relationship with it. But every time I get down about it, a breathtaking market pops up. I’m not much of a shopper, but the markets here have been such a delight!
  8. Part of why I love being in this part of the world is all the travel opportunities – I have so far been to two coastal areas and one beautiful island. Bangkok is another gem that we still haven’t explored fully. In the photo here is the lovely island of Koh Samet.
  9. Photo of the pier at Pattaya (Which reminds me that maybe I should write more travel journals!)
  10. The Bangkok river side and Asiatique
  11. I have always wanted to travel for work. I realise that the idea of travelling for work is much more romantic than it really is, now that I am leaving behind someone. However, while previous travel for work experiences were limited to one end of Bangalore to another, 2015 took me to Malaysia and one of the most beautiful office spaces I have ever seen.
  12. December saw Star Wars (Weeeee!), a new love for BB8. It also included an unplanned trip back to Bangalore for Christmas with family.

The most important event was the chance to meet and spend time with my niece. I am forbidden from posting her photos on online platforms (her parents have a thing about it I can’t really explain!). However, I never thought it possible to love someone so truly without actually knowing much about the person but I am truly in love with that little munchkin.

Can’t wait for what 2016 will unfold!

Summer 2014 – Top 5 Kids Movies To Look Forward To

For long term readers of this blog, you know how much I love my animated features and movies made for kids. I feel that sometimes they have more meaning and depth than some of the movies that come out of Hollywood. It is my honour to host Corinne, a mom and homeschooler, with her take on movies to watch out for this summer. 

The countdown to summer has already begun and the movie world has promised us a slew of cinematic treats to celebrate. In order of date of release, here are the top 5 most anticipated family friendly movies of the summer of 2014.

LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN – MAY 9TH

Legends of Oz - Dorothy's Return
Image Source

Following the story line from where it left off in Wizard of Oz, Dorothy returns to Kansas to witness the aftermath of the tornado that first transported her to Oz. To her surprise, the minute she arrives home, she is whisked away to Oz again. Oz is in trouble – her friends are missing and the people need her help. Her quest leads her to make more friends and indulge in even more adventures.

MALEFICENT – MAY 28

Maleficent
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You may remember Maleficent as the wicked witch in the kids’ classic movie, Sleeping Beauty. This live action remake delves into why a once good fairy becomes evil. She curses little princess Aurora only to find that she is the key to peace in the human and forest kingdom. The movie will take us through the drastic actions Maleficent will then take to restore balance.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 – JUNE 13

How to Train Your Dragon 2
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Easily the most anticipated movie this summer, How to Train your Dragon 2 takes place 5 years after Hiccup unites dragons and Vikings. In Berk, dragon races and exploring uncharted territory seems to be everyone’s new favorite sport. The story will show us a grown up Hiccup and Toothless who discover a cave full of undiscovered dragons and a dragon rider whose skill is levels above Hiccup. If the stir on the internet about the first 5 minutes of the movie (released by DreamWorks) is anything to go by, this will be summer’s favorite.

PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE – JULY 18

Planes - Fire and Rescue
Image Source

Everyone loves stories of underdogs who emerge victorious after fighting for their impossible dreams. The endearing hero, Dusty, is back to his never-give-up ways in this sequel to Planes. After learning that his engine is damaged and that he may never be able to race again, Dusty joins the world of aerial firefighting and together with his friends battles a massive wildfire. The movie takes the characters on a journey to discover what it is that truly makes someone a hero.

THE BOXTROLLS – SEPTEMBER 26

The Boxtrolls
Image Source

Legend has it that beneath the cobblestone streets of the city live a bunch of vicious, child and cheese stealing boxtrolls. The truth, however, is that the Boxtrolls are a bunch of quirky and loveable boxes who have adopted an orphan human boy who they call Eggs. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator, Eggs has to go out of his way to save his family. This movie is to be released a little later in the year and from the trailers, seems the best way to wrap up Summer 2014.

About the author: Corinne Jacob is a professional writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.

Shameless Self Promotion

I haven’t written “properly” on here  in a while on account of life being what it is – but I have been getting an unbelievable amount of views and comments that has nudged me to make this post. Allow me this one indulgence?

In case you’ve missed it, my top 5 posts (ever) are –

You are a Bangalorean If – A comment on the little things that a Bangalorean would indulge in.

Ode to my 29 Teeth – A horror story about how in the great battle of life, 32 teeth soldiers went marching in and only 29 made it back alive.

I am a Weirdo – A post that, if you’re being honest, needs no elaborate introduction.

This is for you, Rami – A eulogy for a mentor, a friend and confidante.

What it means to be East African – A list of things that struck me when I was volunteering in Tanzania.

Not to say I have given up on writing. I haven’t. I have been popping out Guest Posts like a machine, a machine I tell you. This is just to nudge you in the right direction and tell you that I have created a new page called Digital Footprints that lists all the places I do manage to write in.

Just know that I’m not ignoring you. I will try to write at least one post a day. Promise.

Hope you are well.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E

For some odd reason, F.R.I.E.N.D.S is really big in India. It came out on TV when I was in highschool which meant that we would watch it when the parents were asleep because OMG, kissing scenes. But it’s just one of those shows whose catchphrases have stuck with you even after all these years.

Case in point, sometimes I go running in the morning with Broseph. Today he did something like this –

He overtook me with a "That's not running. LET'S GOOOOO!". Erm, thanks Phoebe!
He overtook me with a “That’s not running. LET’S GOOOOO!”. Erm, thanks Phoebe!

But then I realised that these are somewhat worldwide.

I was in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) getting ice cream when I heard the nasly “OH.MY.GOD”. I nearly dropped my ice cream when the other person said “Oh hi Janice!”
I was in Inverness on the eve of Rockness 2013 and we were all jamming the good old jams – Beatles, Clapton and as the night wore on, a million renditions of Smelly Cat!
Broseph and I walked around, sometimes the whole day, in Malaysia. We’d work up monster appetites and when we sat down to eat, we’d always get interrupted by some tourist or the other, talking non-stop about their adventures. Till one of those days, Broseph really lost it and actually said “That’s a great story. Can I eat it?”
Men (and a few women) have actually tired to pick me up with Joey’s classic “How you doin’?”
When we were in school, and mind you, this is a catholic school, we’d do the Ross Gellar hand curse when we really wanted to get a certain point across
The number of times my male and female friends have used the “We were on a break” excuse, phew!

And lastly, I had a really intense conversation with Broseph last night. It went something like this!

anigif_enhanced-11014-1392392236-5anigif_enhanced-buzz-1309-1392650078-4

Have you ever walked into situations where F.R.I.E.N.D.S references were being used? Or has Breaking Bad taken over the Empire Business these days?

10 Lies Parents Tell You

30 Day Writing Challenge

We’ve all been told little white lies growing up. It’s not just a cultural thing, I find. Some of the lies are so universal. And inevitable – you’ll realise this when you start using them yourself. Before we begin though, I HAVE to share this Indian parent meme I found online. Go ahead, laugh!

Indian Parents

1. Change your appearance – Make a silly face and it will get stuck that way. I tried for so long all these “poses” Calvin is so good at and failed miserably. Led me to the conclusion that I must not be doing it right. Damn my lack of play dough consistency face.

Making Faces
2. Every ache has a reason – My mum was our resident doctor. Whenever I was ill, I’d hear her say “Oh, you have a headache in the middle of your forehead? It means you’re dehydrated. Drink water” “Oh, your little finger hurts? It means you aren’t eating enough vegetables”
3. Pet Adventures – I used to idolize my pets because they would always “run away” and go off on adventures. Usually for love. My parents once showed me a newspaper clipping of a cat that looked like ours our cat who had just been married to the love of her life. They had garlands around them. A proper Indian wedding!

Cat Marriage
4. Parents know everything – They are the true all knowing superheroes who not only manage to provide you with everything you need, they also know EVERYTHING. Where we came from, where we’re going, what is our purpose, why Mr. Neighbour was yelling at his wife (he was practicing for a play).
5. Chewing Gum Trees – Mum used to say that if you swallowed gum, it would stay in your system for 7 years. And in that 7 years, if you swallow a seed and god forbid it gets stuck in gum, you could grow a tree. I feel like I have many bonsai’s in me right now. I’m my own environmentalist.

Stomach Trees

6. Beauty Tips – These aren’t what my parents have said. On a list of priorities, appearance was the last thing. But these are lines I have heard other parents use “If you eat meat, you’ll become dark”, “If you eat too much chocolate, your hair will fall out”, “If you drink coffee, you’ll get pimples”. If you want to be fair, with luscious hair and flawless skin, STAY AWAY from meat, chocolate and coffee. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
7. Saving the world – Every time we fussed about food (which was fairly rare in comparison considering aid worker parents) we’d get the standard “Do you know how many people are starving?” Before we were old enough to understand the true lesson, we assumed that if you ate without wasting anything, those starving multitudes would be hungry no more!

Superhero
Totally legit selfie of me saving the world!

8. Yummy in the Tummy – Noodles Worms, Pasta Intestines , Chicken Wings Frog Legs were the TASTIEST meals we’ve ever had in our lives. The more disgusting, the better tasting.
9. Distance – We’re always “almost there” whenever we were on a road trip. They’re make us start singing countdown songs like those green bottles, 12 days of Christmas and local equivalents. Then we’d start counting backwards from 10,000. Then we’d start counting red cars. No matter how long the destination, we would almost always just be 5 minutes away.
10 The Afterlife – Tales of the afterlife always changed based on my favourite story. As far as I’ve figured out, the afterlife is a place on the moon that is paved in gold and buildings are made out of candy. The hills are made out of chocolate and the snowcaps are vanilla icecream. Everything is free and you never have to work a day in your life. You can read all the books you want, watch all the tv you want.

P.S. Santa is a real person and I don’t care what you say.