International Evening @ Podar

My Little Parrot 🙂

Yesterday, Ishaan’s school had an International Evening, for which yours truly had to go scouting for a bird costume! Yeah…the kids were doing The Animal Boogie song and my son was a bird 🙂 So, after managing to source a parrot costume and practicing at home (endless prancing around the house and on the bed singing at the top of our voices :P), I dropped him off and settled down with the other Moms to enjoy the event. It was an hour-long wait, until the Principal arrived and after a few short announcements, declared the Fete open.

Every grade had a stall in which they displayed their chosen concepts and themes. It was quite an eye-opener in terms of how confident and put together they seemed, even the first-graders 🙂 and how well thought out and presented their ideas. The Pre-Primary section (the pre-schoolers), did a song and dance routine as I mentioned earlier. I watched proudly as Ishaan and his friends sang their Animal Boogie with the effortless enthusiasm that only children seem to possess 🙂 They were all adorable and here’s the video to prove it! Ishaan is in the upper left corner next to the teacher, although for the most part, only the giant parrot head of his costume can be seen bobbing to the music 😛

Then we were off for a tour of the stalls. One was a ‘Country’ in itself, called ‘Estrella’, which means ‘Star’ in Spanish; complete with its own constitution, culture, and citizens; founded on the concept of universality – which the students described as equality for all. They were very popular, although I think their offerings of food and live music might have had to do something with that 😉

There was a stall on Organic food where 4th graders taught us how to detect adulterations in food stuff. Did you know that if you sprinkle salt on a slice of raw potato and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it, a light bluish tinge indicated that the salt indeed contains iodine like it should? Pretty cool that! They even had a student dressed up as a lawyer who we were informed would take up any complaints we might have about the quality of our produce!

Another stall I enjoyed was The Fu-School (Fu being short for Future! Of course;)), where a bunch of 7th graders walked us through their vision of a school of the future, with playgrounds in the air (an innovative use of anti-gravity to make up for a lack of ground space!); shoes that doubled as storage, eco-friendly Tri-bikes with built-in speed limits for safety; beautiful recycled paper jewellery; and smart backpacks with sensors that beep when they cross an accepted weight limit! Truly an iSchool for the Future this! And aptly named PTS – Pathway To Success 🙂 They had even invented their own alphabet and we were invited to play scrabble with the letters! We won a few chocolates which was rather nice! Took me right back to my school days 🙂 

We couldn’t visit all the stalls, there were so many of them – stalls featuring futuristic medical devices, music therapy, art, environmental issues, fitness, alternate sources of energy, living in outer space, wildlife protection and many more. But the children were done with their singing and exhausted from all the dancing and excitement. It was a great evening though and one that showcased the children and their creativity. It was their time to shine and they rose brilliantly to the occasion. Kudos to all the teachers and staff for their hard-work and inspirational guidance! Congratulations to the students – our bright young minds of the Future. We’re depending on you to do a better job than we’ve done so far 😉 Well Done Podar!! Keep up the good work 🙂

Well Done Podar!! Keep up the good work 🙂

Monkton Mondays!

Yup! It’s that time of the week again…the Beginning…and I’ve decided that since I love Monkton so much and think he’s a great way to start a day, a week, most things in fact; and because I love the cheesy alliteration…Mondays will henceforward be ‘Monkton Mondays’…well at least until he stops creating new stuff which I hope is a long long way away 😛

IMG_2007Before I post this week’s Monkton pearl however, let me share with you a rather startling thing that happened last evening. Ishaan and I were downstairs playing cricket and having fun as we always do, when he does all the running around ;), when there appeared a Monkey!! No!!! Really!!! Ishaan had hit the ball for a six and as I was following it in the air, there it was, a Monkey, walking along the ledge of the house next door, bold as can be! I couldn’t believe my eyes and my shrieks brought Ishaan & the watchman running over to see what had happened! Mr. Monkey meanwhile having reached the end of his jaunt, calmly leaped onto the coconut palm in our compound and then onto a fruit tree of some sort in the neighboring one, where he settled down to eat, oblivious to the curious if rather nervous observers below 😛 That done, he leaped on to the wall again and disappeared from view, as suddenly as he had appeared. The whole episode was so surreal, I only believe it coz I saw it with my own eyes! How does one solitary monkey find it’s way to a Bandra neighborhood far from the  National Park (here in Mumbai), or the valleys and mountains, which are its natural home? I’m sure I don’t know! Ishaan was excited though and kept calling to it to come bowl 😛 while I kept yelling at him to stop lest the creature suddenly obliged 😉 Now I can’t bear to leave the windows open for fear of a Monkey invasion!!

And since Monkton is the best way I know to explain the inexplicable, here we go 😛

The madness mokey
Couldn’t find one in a larger size 😦

As I type, I remember, I’m a Monkey…well in many ways 😉 but more specifically in a Chinese Horoscope kinda way…I was born in the year of the Monkey…that I have a rich & rare genius is obvious by the fact that I married a Rabbit 😛

Cheers to the Inner Monkey, People. Revel in it’s Genius, Glory and yes – in its Madness 😉

Have a Great week ahead 🙂

Child’s Play!

Woohoo!!!!!!!! Survived another play date, with a trio of hyper-excitable, hyper-energetic, just about hyper-everything 4-yr-old boys 🙂 I mean, I love my child dearly, but why do the things that make him happy, have to be so exhausting for me?! This is when I’m convinced that if there is indeed a God, he is definitely a MAN 😛 😉 No offence to all you dedicated Papas out there (Hubby included), I know you exist, but well…Majority wins 😉

And yet, what is it about watching them play that brightens our days so and lightens our hearts?  What is it about the mad, seemingly chaotic running around that makes our hearts flip-flop madly in our chests and turn us into grinning idiots? Is it the instant flood of memories that rush us back to a time when we revelled in the gay abandon of rough and tumble play? Is it our craving for their obvious innocence as they caper about like monkeys, laughing & screaming for no reason, falling, fighting, and making up all in the space of seconds? Is that why we laugh while our hearts cry for our own lost youth?

Or perhaps it’s just their sparkling eyes, red sweaty cheeks & hoots of echoing laughter as they kick the ball high into the air, or run around like headless chickens looking for a place to hide in a madcap game of hide and seek, destined to fail because they will not stop giggling!! Boys giggle just as much if not more than girls, people! Especially 4-yr-olds! Whatever our reasons, however hoarse we get from the constant cautionary shots of ‘LOOK OUT!!!’, “Get OUT of the car’s way!!!!”, “NO GOING OUT THE GATE!!!!!!!!”, as much as we pretend constant worry at their hurting themselves – deep down inside, in our very cores, it is…what’s the word…Restful. Yes it is! Oh so Restful…and for those all too brief moments, All is Well with the World!!

colored hands

Cheers to children everywhere & how about indulging that inner child this weekend?

Go on – do something silly and laugh!! You know you want to 😉 

Happy Playing People 😀

A Fresh Face!

Ok…let me begin by saying straight up that I’m not a Spa kinda gal! No, really…I love the ‘after’ of it, it’s the ‘before’ & ‘during’ that I’m uncomfortable with 😛 There’s no polite way of saying this (although Mark Haddon might know one, but I digress ;)), but I’m a prude! An unapologetic one too! The thought of shedding clothes and having strange hands touch me is just…uuuughhh 😛 And yet I’ve suffered the discomfort often enough to fall utterly in love with the after effects of a great massage. The knots in my neck – magically melted, the back – glorious, the feet – revived, my whole body feeling new, feeling ready, feeling reborn! Yes, a massage is a fabulous thing in expert hands.

Did I mention – I’m not a facial kinda gal either? Well I’m not…I’m not into any routine beauty treatments coz I don’t have the time and much less the inclination…too many books to read for one 😛 I get my hair cut and colored once a month (thanks to my stylist reminds me with an SMS!) and a pedicure at the same time. I used to get manicures too, but these days I don’t – a combination of laziness and the fact that they don’t last me more than a couple of days, certainly not with a 4-yr-old!! You never know what you’re going to have to put those hands into next 😉 Also somewhere I believe that the less stuff you do to yourself, the better your body does…this is particularly true where the skin is concerned I find. Wash with water, a mild face wash (haven’t used soap in aeons!), a quick pat dry…and leave to breathe. It works for me.

So when my friends presented me with a Snip Salon voucher for my birthday, I was going to use it to get my haircut-pedicure combo. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that their Salon in Bandra, not 5 minutes from my house, was a Spa and didn’t offer the regular services that us mere mortals like to indulge in! They had only facials and massages listed on their menu and I thought – well, I’ll get a facial and a foot massage (my friends being very generous as they are wont to do ;)), no nudity involved! And so I dropped by and made an appointment.

Snip Salon
The gold-leaf doors and the very room where I spent a happy hour!

A word about the Spa – it’s located in a beautiful heritage bungalow on a noisy junction! It’s entrance is a plain glass door, which once entered, shuts out the regular cacophony of the city. When I went there to make the appointment it seemed awfully silent & devoid of customers, although why I expected to see people lying around getting massages I’ll never know! Still I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little concerned. The interiors were suitably spa-like – a discreet reception counter with the mandatory ceramics and frangipani, manned by quiet, helpful, girls who if they weren’t Thai were definitely from the North-East. There was an overpowering fragrance of lemon-grass as far as I could tell. A frosted glass saloon-style door led off to mysterious innards and a set of tall slim double doors done in gold leaf led off to somewhere else. It all seemed mysteriously calm and strangely alluring. Used as I am to the bright lights and bustle of my regular Salon, I felt out of my element and uncertain. You know the feeling, “What am I getting myself into?”…that’s the one! Still I soldiered on and made my appointment and went back today after dropping above mentioned 4-yr-old to school in search of some much needed R & R. Also I was excited about getting a facial for the first time 🙂

So imagine my surprise when I was led through said gold-leaf doors into a decidedly spa like room and asked to disrobe!! What??? No!! A voice is my head shrieked! This cannot be happening…it’s a facial people, I don’t wear clothes on my face or can’t you tell?! Didn’t say it out loud of course (I’m a giant chicken in reality!), but I think the girl (very sweet she was too!) understood coz I started to splutter awkwardly and must have looked ready to bolt 😛 She handed me the towel (never big enough is what I think!) and thank God for small mercies, left the room after showing me the steam cubicle in the room where I was to sit my towelled self down for 10 minutes. Well, I had to do it didn’t I? Too late to get out of this one, Girl! So I did and although I was uncomfortable, I sat myself down in that cubicle and shut my eyes as the steam began to pour in. It got pretty thick in there until I could barely make out the general direction of the door, and except for the initial few minutes when I found myself thinking of Psycho I didn’t want to run anymore. Water at high temperatures can do that to you – I slumped against the wall and just let my body go limp with the heat. It felt like such a relief to be there, cocooned in solitude, oblivious to worlds inside and out – to just be in the moment 🙂 It felt ethereal.

Then of course, it was time to re-enter the real world and arrange myself on the bed as demurely as possible and wait for whatever happened next. It was glorious! It’s been years since my last massage and I’d all but forgotten how skillful fingers can soothe away a lifetime of grime and cares if only for a little while. My facial and foot massage happened simultaneously and for the next hour I was lost to the world, while one girl gently scrubbed, cleaned and steamed my face, while the other released every aching knot in my calves and feet, God Bless Them!! By the time they were done, I didn’t want to leave – how typical is that?! And as I got dressed and stood on my freshly painless feet, I glanced in the mirror to see if the facial had done what it promised. I thought my skin looked pretty fresh and was that a glow? Yup! I had a fresh, new face – untired, unlined (none of those smirks now!) and ready for what remained of another hectic day. My lips were beautifully glossed and I felt utterly relaxed. On my way out, I was offered a tiny glass of juice (so pretty), instructed to stay away from face wash for the day and urged to ‘Come again!’

I think I might…I think I will 😉 Thanks a million to my lovely and wise girlfriends for a fabulous gift 🙂 Love you loads!! My only regret is that I couldn’t take pictures myself. Of the Salon of course! What were you thinking?!

Any Spa experiences of your own you’d like to share? I’m listening!

Weekend Alert People 🙂

A Random Thought…from Edward Monkton!

My life changed after I discovered Edward Monkton! It became infinitely better and humorous and yours will too 🙂 At the very least it will bring a smile to your face and we can all do with more of those. Me…this one made me laugh out loud, coz it’s so true and yet I would never have thought to put ‘hedgehog’ & ‘brain’ in the same sentence 😛 But look…they make perfect sense 😉

So on the 2nd Day of the year, when the sheen is faltering and the awareness of routine is setting in…Blame it on the Hedgehog, People 😉

Cheers! Happy Wednesday 🙂


21 Today!

Yup! That’s how long we’ve been married – Hubby & I!! Some days it seems like yesterday and others it seems like 50 years ago…you know what I mean 😉 I’m not one for stock taking – I like to move onward and forward and not dwell on the past, but Birthdays, Anniversaries and New Years offer us, indeed compel us to do both! So here goes…

929611~Live-with-Intention-Mary-Anne-Radmacher-Posters2012 has been a year of transition. Yes, another one! They seem to crop up with annoying regularity 😛 A move from small-town Goa to Big, Bad, Bombay (yet again!),  is challenging at the best of times, but add a 4-yr-old into the mix and things get…well…interesting is one polite way of putting it 😉 The last time we made a similar move was in 1995, when I was way younger and much more naive (this in retrospect ;)), and the only baggage we had fit neatly into boxes 😛 Things are a lot different now, yet the ride has been fairly smooth all things considered! Ishaan has settled into his new school, I have settled into being mistress of my own home after staying in Mom’s house for 2 years and we’ve travelled to new places and old, which fact has helped me keep my sanity through the roller-coaster ride that was and still is 😉 Gir & Diu were two new places we discovered and loved, visited Goa several times and made the annual family trip to Mahabaleshwar, all of which have brought much excitement, adventure and joy 🙂

As for Anniversaries…I’ve been married to the Man I love for 21 years now and have known him for 24!! If that’s not a Lifetime…well I don’t know what is 😛  He’s not the exact same man I knew all those years ago, nor am I the starry eyed girl I was then…so many things have changed. We are parents now and that has been and continues to be the most challenging and exciting thing we’ve ever done!! A life changer if ever there were one! The shaping of another human being is a privilege, a responsibility and a joy…scary but fulfilling, tough beyond measure and yet rewarding beyond imagination…it’s such a paradox but if you’re a parent you know exactly what I’m saying! Ishaan brings brought us untold joy and worry in equal parts and I wouldn’t change a moment of it!! Well perhaps some 😉

We’re older yes and in some things wiser…for one thing, our relationship is now beyond pretense. There’s no need to act one way when you’re feeling another, no egos (well, there are egos, just that no one cares particularly ;)), no reason to hide things that annoy you (and we all know how those multiply over the years :P), and no cause to be insecure about the little things (and most big things too!) 😀 It’s rather liberating. There’s a healthy (at times grudging) respect for each other that tempers most fights (of which I am happy to report there are still many :P), and allows for space – the one thing in my opinion that most marriages would die without. We are both at heart individuals who value our freedom and this ‘two become one’ notion, romantic as it used to seem is now a thing of the past. Now it’s more like ‘two become a team – united yet unique’…yes…I like that!

So yes, we’ve evolved and matured into what I like to think of as a great team (if Hubby thinks differently…well…he’ll just have to blog about it now, won’t he? :P), and there’s no one else I can imagine spending the rest of my life with 🙂 And yet many things stay unchanged…the way his smile makes my heart melt, the way I depend on him to explain all our finances and he relies on me for everything else ;), the little things that he still does that make me feel special in a crowd 🙂 His silliness, shared secrets and jokes, and the way his eyes look for me when I enter a room…Yes! I’ve got myself a good man, the BEST man for me! He gets me and in a very clichéd way, we do sort of complete each other, or maybe we are just two complete people that like being together…yup…I like the sound of that better 😀

So here’s to the 21 years that were and to all those that are yet to be! May they be as fulfilling, as rewarding and as joyous as those that were! And to the Man who made it so…what can I say…he knows my heart and I love him with every inch of it!

Happy Anniversary!! Love you G! Always and forever!!

And to everyone else, especially my readers who have tolerated my long absences and forgiven my irregular posts, I’m  striving to make 2013 different! Hopefully, I’ll see success 😉

Meanwhile…It’s another New Year!!!!!!!!!! Here’s a quote to send you on your Merry way, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!”  ~Joey Adams

HAPPY 2013, People 🙂

Teachers Day


Every year, India celebrates its teachers on the 5th of September, the birth date of its second president Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, an educator and statesman of the highest calibre. I must confess I knew next to nothing about him and I’m glad I took the time to find out a little more. Like most famous Indians born in pre-Independence India, he came from humble beginnings and rose to great accomplishments on the back of his intellect and integrity, the latter so dreadfully lacking in the present generation of us free Indians 😦 Here is a great quote attributed to him “When we think we learn we cease to know.” Personally I would like to add, and vice versa! “When we think we know, we cease to learn.” I firmly believe my country is in dire need of better teachers – teachers of the old school, selfless, dedicated and passionate about their vocation. Not the cash-crazy owners of tuition classes that have sprouted all over the country 😦 

Today is the day and inexplicably my son has a holiday! No celebrations in school which is rather disappointing and the card we made sits rather sadly waiting to be happily received by his class teacher tomorrow. Well, be that as it may, these are some of the thoughts running through my head on this Teacher’s Day…

I’m remembering my 5th grade teacher Ms. Olive Callan, in Stella Maris, Kobe. She was a wonderful human being and an excellent teacher. She was loving and yet could be firm, even stern without ever being demeaning or cruel – in my opinion the hallmark of a great teacher 🙂 Her warm smile could light up the most miserable day and she loved us unconditionally as we did her. She left school the same year I did, me to come back to India and she because her son had been diagnosed with a brain tumor 😦 I can’t remember details clearly, it was so long ago, but I remember that that was an important reason in my wanting to become a doctor and a neurosurgeon! Didn’t do the latter, but did eventually manage the first! I tried looking for her recently through random searches on FB but I know nothing about her or where she lived except she was from the UK. How I wish we could connect again! Thank you Ms. Callan for a fabulous 5th Grade and for planting the seed that flowered into my present life-path 🙂 Love you!

And then there’s Teacher Lydia…my brother’s teacher…a woman who mentored him through some of the most difficult times of his life and I’m not talking academics here. My brother had Duchenne’s and had to be home schooled. This is why I believe in miracles people…at a time when my parents were exhausted from looking for a teacher that would agree to come home and teach him, Ms. Lydia entered our lives and nothing was ever the same again! Before we knew it, she became a valued member of our tightly-knit family & continues to be to this day 🙂 She’s one of the most positive people I know and although she was my brother’s teacher, she taught me a thing or two about life and attitude! She loved him, scolded him, cajoled him and loved him some more and I know he adored her. We all did. My eyes are tearing up just thinking of their bond – they were lucky to have each other and me, I was lucky to have them both. I’ve lost him and I don’t see Ms. Lydia as often as I should anymore (what with me being in Bombay and she in Goa, battling arthritis), but if you do happen to read this Teacher, I want you to know, you are never far for my thoughts and I love you always. Always.

My favourite ‘Teacher’ movie has to be ‘To Sir with Love’, starring the inimitable Sidney Poitier! I adore him and I adore this movie…the scene where he finds the sanitary pad burning away in the fire is forever etched in my memory. I first read the book when I was in school myself and I remember thinking how terrible those children were and how brave and strong their teacher! I remember wanting him for my teacher! Much later I saw the movie as an adult and the feelings came flooding back. Again and again in my life, the best teachers have been those that combine a healthy dose of discipline with genuine concern for my well being. It has often taken me a long time to acknowledge the latter in the face of the former! It’s a failing I’m happy to report I got over with time, age and experience 🙂 There have been many teacher films made over the years… great ones too…but this one remains for me the Gold Standard against which I compare them all.

Another ‘Teacher’ memory is crying copious tears while reading ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips” by James Hilton, a slip of a book borrowed from my Dad’s bookshelf! It’s such a poignantly heart-warming tale of a teacher who struggles to connect with his students initially and then goes on to become an institution of sorts! I remember him reciting the names of his students and at that time thinking it rather funny and silly 🙂 He was that sort of teacher Mr. Chips was…unintentionally humorous, sensitive and quietly affirmative – the best kind!

Goodbye Mr. Chips – Cover of the 1st Edition

And of course I have my very own ‘Teacher’ story given that I married mine 😉 Oh don’t get all het up! Nothing illegal I assure you 😉 Hubby was a senior resident in Preventive & Social medicine and took classes for us when I was a student in my 2nd year of Medical College. He was an ok teacher I suppose but I’m not really the best judge of his teaching skills now am I? Given that I was busy concentrating on his rather sweet smile 😛 We were married after 3 years of courtship and have been married now for 2 decades! We’ve both learnt from each other and taught each other about life, love and marriage. It’s been one long lesson – mostly fun 😉 Thank you Darling for sticking with me 😉 I know it hasn’t been easy. Love you.

Now of course the tables have turned and I find myself transformed into a teacher 24/7, as every parent does. Being ‘teacher by default’ to my 4-yr-old son is really the hardest & most exhausting thing I’ve ever done – watching my language and actions and controlling my thoughts constantly is tough and often I just let go and rebel against the high standards I set myself! I don’t think I would have been a great teacher in the traditional sense – I would have been fun but not very consistent and too impatient for my own and my students’ good! It takes a lot of self-discipline and that’s not my forté! And yet the thought of moulding minds & influencing others is powerfully seductive…I’m glad I have only the one student to potentially ‘screw up’ 😛 Good Luck Ishaan…you’ll need it 😉

So here’s to Teachers everywhere & in every form! May they continue their good work, live long & prosper! Happiness always 🙂





Weekend @ Patnem

This last weekend was spent with the Ardee gang at Patnem beach in Canacona, on the southern border of Goa. It was a weekend of fun, frolic and endless mojitos…well, it was for me 😉 We were nine families from Ishaan’s class in school and we took over the Cuba Patnem Resort where we were staying, almost entirely for the duration! For my part, this was a much needed break away from home, the computer and books – yes you heard me right – books 😛 My Booker project has been keeping me decidedly busy and the getaway offered timely relief. I took my helper Pushpa along, to give her a holiday and of course to handle Ishaan, which she did with much aplomb! She’s really good with children and they can tell. They flocked to her like ants to honey!

A view of Cuba Patnem Resort on Patnem Beach...

The Patnem beach, is in the manner of most South Goa beaches, much better preserved than those in the north. The sand quality is better and the number of tourists is still minimal, a rare sight in Goa these days. Consequently the beach is cleaner and more inviting, although there were an inordinate number of stray dogs around – not all of them friendly 😦 The journey from Panjim to Patnem took about 2 hours, but after we had got rid of the heavy traffic at Margao, the ride was scenic and enjoyable. The Cuba Patnem Resort where we stayed is a small resort with 15 cottages (both AC and non-AC) located smack bang on Patnem beach. They are rather dear to look at the cottages, painted in different colors with hammocks on every patio 🙂 Mine was sunshine yellow & overlooked the Arabian Sea, which occasionally obliged with a glimpse of blue waters.

My cottage by the Sea!

The Sea can be deceptively calm here, so swimmers beware! We spent the evening of our arrival frolicking in the waters and discovered the strength of the current, quite unexpectedly, landing often on our tushies 😛 Not very pleasant I can tell you 😉 The beach is lined with shacks and resorts fronted by the ubiquitous beach umbrellas. Home is one such I strongly recommend for its great food and ambience. They have an excellent vegetarian menu (their veg panini and pastas were a huge hit with our gang) and surprisingly serve no fish!! Sacrilege for a beach shack in Goa methinks 😛 They do however serve up tender coconut water from freshly plucked fruit on their property 🙂 I also recommend Dropadi (yes, that’s how it’s spelled!) at Palolem beach. The only problem here is the extensive menu which can make choices difficult. We had some honey shrimp & fresh strawberry daiquiris here that were spot on 🙂

What's a Beach without Umbrellas?!

There isn’t much to do in Patnem itself which didn’t bother us coz we went there to do exactly that – Nothing! Palolem beach which is a few minutes drive away, is much more developed with the mandatory touristy market, completely uninteresting to us locals 😛 I last visited Palolem in 1991 during my internship, when it was undiscovered and virgin and we felt like we had truly arrived in Paradise 🙂 Now it’s a sad shadow of its former glory, such are the ravages of time 😦 C’est la vie! Our first night at the resort we had a power cut – this is Goa after all – so we took the opportunity to lounge on the terraced roof of my cottage, sprawled on dew-laden mattresses and bean bags, playing cards and placing bets! Although the heat was pretty unbearable at first, a cool sea-breeze soon fanned our sweaty bodies and when the lights came back on two hours later, we were so engrossed in our game that we just stayed up playing until the wee hours of the morning! I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until 4 am – stayed up having fun I mean 😉

Yoga on the Beach! One way to Nirvana I suppose, although Mojitos work for me 😉

Day two was more relaxed and we just lounged around at the resort and Home next door. On the whole – a wonderful time was had by all – good food, drink, and company. The children were exceptionally well behaved (for a bunch of hyperactive 4-yr-olds ;-)) and we not only survived but emerged refreshed 🙂

Bottle on the Beach 😦

Can’t wait now for May, when I’m planning a trip to the Hills up north with friends! This is fast turning into an addiction!

The “Oscar” Lady!

The pictures are from Google. The collage is mine!

I have had a happily busy weekend and so haven’t been able to watch the Oscar’s yet. But if I must confess…don’t know that I would have watched them if I had known they were this weekend 😉 What can I say…the Oscars have long since ceased to excite. When I was younger, I would wait with bated breath for “Oscar’ night – to see all the ‘Stars’ in their glamour, the fantastical gowns, the crisp tuxedos, the over-the-top jewellery – all so far removed from my mundane, gown-less life!! For that one night I could and would pretend to be a part of their world, shake my head wisely at the nominations and clap knowledgably when the winners were announced, as if privy to the results long before the rest of the world of us mere mortals 😛 I think the appeal was so strong because for the longest of times, the show wasn’t available here in India. My Mom (they lived in Singapore then) would record the shows for me and my brother and I would sit and watch them together with the mandatory ‘coke and popcorn’ when I visited Singapore for my holidays. Those were happy days indeed. With time, glamour ceased to be the potent hook it once was, perhaps because it became ubiquitous where once it had been exclusive, or perhaps because it’s definition changed with time. More often overt sexuality (not that I have an issue with women flaunting it), was interpreted as glamour and crass humor as wit, which just wasn’t my thing. Call me old fashioned but I missed the days when Billy Crystal used to host and the humor was sharp but witty; when it was hard to predict winners coz all the performances were truly formidable; when ‘Stars’ would truly shine. Still do. Or perhaps it’s just that over time the appeal of Hollywood has dimmed and Awards (of all kinds) have become less important to me!

Whatever my feelings for awards in general, my admiration for Meryl Streep has endured over the years. How can it not? She’s my kind of Diva – a Sun in a Galaxy of Stars 😛 I remember watching Kramer vs Kramer at a time when I was too young to appreciate the finer nuances of anything, much less adult relationships or marriage. It was only in retrospect that I understood how good she was, coz she made me hate her so much in the movie! I haven’t watched every movie she’s ever made, although I probably should (coz what an education that would be), but I’ve watched a few over the years, and have never been disappointed. I’ve recently watched Mamma Mia and Julie & Julia (a huge favourite) and her appeal remains as fresh as ever, her talent – phenomenal as ever and her light shining brighter than ever! She’s my kind of woman, intelligent, talented and always modest about her achievements without seeming arrogant. She’s played Margaret Thatcher in her latest and indeed who better? Her ability to disappear into the character she plays is legend and I think that’s what I love most of all – I forget I’m watching an actor ‘play’ a part as she effortlessly ‘becomes’ the character! And she’s 63 people! Look at her!! She’s so gorgeous – my kind of beautiful – classic, quiet elegance, a warm open smile and intelligently expressive eyes. Add to that her formidable talent and filmography – what’s not to love?! I’m so glad she’s won again after all these years (17 apparently. That long? What were they thinking?!), coz although I haven’t seen The Iron Lady yet, I know she must deserve it.

So here is to Ms. Meryl Streep – A true “Oscar” Lady!