Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why I Run

Standard

Why do I run? Somedays I run so I can listen to new songs on my iPod, other days it is so I can eat more of my favorite food. A lot of days I run so I can tell myself that it will keep me in shape. The marathon is done and over with, so why do I find myself waking up at 6 (okay, 6:30 am) and clocking in at least 3-4 miles daily? running

I have realized that at the end of the day, I am running for myself. In India, it is not that common to see people running on the roads. You might get a few stares (well, this is common for everything in India), but this doesn’t bother me one bit. Running has become a part of who I am; I actually miss it on days when I have taken too long of a break.

A lot of days are a struggle, the want to keep stopping, the want to take a shorter route, the want to not get out of bed at all. However, it is precisely this that makes the experience so much more rewarding-the fact that I did wake up, strapped my laces, and crossed the front gate of the house. With running, like a lot of things in life, you can’t give up. It is something I try to apply to other instances, but not sure if I do too good a job at it. Along with enstilling discpline,running has become that one moment when I am pretty much free of anything and everything.

Yes, all the cool gadgets, running tracker, long distance running shoes are benefits of the journey. It’s neat to have a phone that tells me the distance I have run, the space of my run, and shoes that provide ample cushioning to my feet. But I think I can run without it. Running to me is all about personal strength, motivation, and perseverance. There is no particular skill required or training required-you set your own pace and rhythm. It’s all about you and what you want to achieve out of the experience.

So why do I run-I run because I genuinely enjoy it. A lot of days, it’s just me and the road, focusing on taking the next step and not stopping, and there is nothing wrong with that 🙂

Advertisements

100 Tips for Avoiding Shocks & Surviving in the Motherland

Standard
My personalized survival guide to India

My personalized survival guide to India

As part of our 30 day photo challenge (please visit our facebook page and participate), I had to take a picture of 13 things. I was completely perplexed, which 13 things will make an interesting subject? The answer is related to this post. As a wedding gift, my friends gifted me a survival guide for India. Basically, this guide had 100 tips to smoothen my  adjustment to India. I won’t give you each and every single suggestion here, but I will mention some of my favourites!

  1. There is a person for everything: someone to hammer holes, someone to drop your groceries, and even someone to pay your bills.
  2. You can get someone to come home and do your waxing, mani-pedis, facial, threading and even hair rebonding.
  3. Practice the head-wobble. It can be used to indicate anything from ‘of course, you moron’ to ‘yeah’, ‘no’, ‘I don’t know’ and ‘may-be’.
  4. Everyone you are family friends with is your uncle or aunty. And once you are married, you too are automatically an aunty.
  5. People will stare for no apparent reason. Learn to ignore.
  6. People pee on the side of the road. It’s normal. There is no need to stare.
  7. Learn the lingo, onion is called kanda and potato is called batata in Maharashtra.
  8. Only two sports are followed in India – cricket and anything that we are winning.
  9. While out and about, make sure you know the name of the area ACP/DCP/Head Constable (important designations in the police department). If a cop busts you, claim that Mr. ACP is your maternal uncle. And hope the person you name isn’t the one stopping you. In which case, God be with you.
  10. Patience is the biggest irony in India. You need it for everything, yet no one has it.

This list was prepared by my dear friends so you can’t find this golden piece of advice everywhere:) I have to say I have encountered each and every one of these incidents (apart from getting pulled over by a cop, but this might happen soon as I have started driving) in my four months here. I will continue to share these experiences. Thanks for reading!  

Having a baby is a Tough Job

Standard

I am almost towards the end of my second trimester, and so being the kind of research loving  person that I am have read enough books and articles to last two lifetimes. I still won’t go and say that I still know everything when I comes to childbirth or raising a child, a lot will need to come from the experience of it.

In India however, it  seems everyone is a parenting expert, and therefore quick to dish out advice once they find out you are pregnant. And I am not talking about family friends and relatives, but even random people you might meet in a store. And it seems that I might have picked up on the trend as well, just the other day I was recommending cloth diapers to a new mom at the hospital.

And once you do have a baby, and it turns out to be a girl, there are many who will tell you to start trying soon, so that you can have a boy. Therefore, it is not surprising that sex determination tests are illegal in India. Luckily for me, neither my parents or in-laws have said that they want a boy, and my MIL even told someone, it doesn’t matter even if she has two girls, as long as they are healthy.

But on the other end of the spectrum are people who want their sons to get married again, if the wife has had only daughters. The theory of genetics, and the fact that it is the male that determines the sex of the child is lost to them.

I have heard some strange things, and most I am sure are myths. Here are my top 10:

  1. If your left eye gets bigger than the right during pregnancy you are going to have a girl
  2. If you go into labor before your due date, the baby will be a boy
  3. If you eat oranges, your baby will be fair
  4. Same, if you include a little bit of saffron in your milk daily
  5. Eating a lot of curd helps ease delivery
  6. The female also has a hand in determining the sex of the baby-this I know for a fact is a myth, but one that is believed by many.
  7. Soak almonds overnight, and remove the skin and then eat them for a fair baby
  8. If you have no particular food cravings, you will have a boy
  9. You get stretch marks if you scratch your belly
  10. Eating bananas will lead to a miscarriage

There seem to be quite a few suggestions as to how to make one have a fair baby. This afterall is a country obsessed with fairness creams for both men and women.

On the other hand, there are some that I believe in, which I am sure others find ridiculous. I listen to quite a bit of classical music and Gayatri Mantra daily. I believe in the ‘Mozart effect’, wherein listening to classical music helps spikes intelligence and also calms the baby. We also talk to the belly, so that we hope the baby absorbs our voices and recognizes them when he or she is born.

What are some pregnancy myths that you have heard of?

Special 26: Filmy Friday Nights

Standard
Special 26

Special 26

Wow! What an intelligently made movie! Those were my first thoughts as I left Fame  Cinemas in Fatimanagar, Pune yesterday. The film that left me thoroughly entertained was none other than Special 26. As many know, Bollywood churns out almost double the amount of movies a year as to Hollywood, however not much can  be said about the films’ quality. I didn’t know much about Special 26; usually I am up-to-date on all movies and Bollywood gossip, however Special 26 was completely under my bollywood gossip radar. In one way I am glad about this because I went into the movie with almost no expectations.

Special 26 is an excellent con/heist movie made by Neeraj Pandey, famed director of A Wednesday. Unknown to me, the story is inspired by the true incidents of 1990s when cons, poised as CBI agents, would raid business men, politicians, and other well off personas and walk away with a whole lot of money. As a viewer, I was constantly at the edge of my seat, wondreing who is conning who.

The movie started off at a feverish pace and successfully maintains that pace throughout. The story keeps you hooked till the last moment. Some might argue that the romance track and two songs were unnecessary, but I am a bollywood movie lover, and therefore even enjoyed that side track. What I enjoyed most in the movie were the witty dialogues and subtle humor. I thought the humor was quite similar to that displayed in Ocean’s Eleven or Spielberg’s classic con movie, Catch Me if You Can.

Thank-you Akshay Kumar for choosing a right movie to display your looks and acting talent. This is the first movie in the past three years (after Patiala House)were you are tolerable on screen. Akshay played his part with finesse and restraint. Even though he wore quite oddly paired clothing, I couldn’t help but awe his good looks at times (especially in scenes when he is walking to and from the airport). Anupam Kher was a pleasure to watch again (I just recently saw clips of him in Silver Linings Playbook). Manoj Bajpayee, who has lost a lot of weight, probably had the best part. I was just glad to see him in a role which was not his a political or rural village drama (unfortunately I have started to accociate him with those films).

Bottom line: I enjoyed the film a lot! From one movie lover to another, go watch the movie! For our international readers, you can watch the movie with subtitles if it’s playing near you.

Sulafest 2013

Standard

This past weekend, I attended the annual Sulafest that takes place in Nasik, and is organized by Sula Wines. This was probably the first Indian wine that I had heard of, and I am sure this is the one most people know of, thanks to their strong PR machine.

Welcome

Welcome

As compared to last year the crowds were a lot bigger, food and drink prices had risen quite a bit, and the food was not that great, which was disappointing.

There was some great music, and that is the main crowd-puller for the two day fest. Some of the musical acts included Grammy nominated Deep Forest, Swarathma, and Dualist Inquiry. Besides the music, there are stalls for a bit of shopping, wine tasting, and grape stomping. This year approximately 10,000 people showed up, both young and old and on display were a lot of lovely dresses.

The crowd during Sahej Bakhsi/Dualist Inquiry's performance

The crowd during Sahej Bakhsi/Dualist Inquiry’s performance

For those living in Mumbai/Pune and the surrounding area, the fest makes for a great weekend break that can be coupled with some sightseeing. Just remember to book early because come February you will find it difficult getting a place to stay.