the heart of a sapphire, the flame of love, the law of the universe and the beauty of life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

strawberry fields

have you ever stood in a field of strawberries?

aesthetically, it is not terribly impressive. the plants are very short, bunched up close to the ground. but the scent of ripe strawberries all around you is wonderful.

when you're picking strawberries, remember to go for dark red, firm berries. they should still be on the stem. the field may have very prickly leaves in it, so be careful of your hands. it's not easy to see the strawberries from above; they are often hidden by the thick leaves so you'll have to really look. and once you start looking you can't stop. as you walk around you'll automatically keep your eyes open for that glimmer of juicy red.

living in the suburbs, i could have gone berry-picking many times. there are plenty of farms that are not too far off. but i never have til a few days ago.

i ate one berry straight off the plant. i figured a little bit of dirt wouldn't hurt me. it was delicious - it had the taste of sunshine on it, something you don't get from the grocery store.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

once upon a monday morning....

as the attendant turned the key in the ignition, with the screams of the car alarm assaulting my ears, i couldn't help but think, "i can't believe this is happening." people have car trouble all the time, i know. especially if you buy a used car. (or even a brand-new kia!) but my car, is a gem. sure it's got some dents and yeah, i busted the tail-light myself, but that was not my fault. i mean i hit something, but i did not want to be on the road in that time and place anyway. that however, is another story altogether.

but how often, does a garage attendant set off an alarm that you didn't even know you had while trying to adjust a battery terminal during a routine oil change? these guys at jiffy lube do more than just change your oil, they kinda poke around and check a bunch of things every three thousand miles. well, they noticed one of my battery terminals wasn't sitting down properly - i guess it had been that way for awhile because later on we found a bent penny jammed in there as band-aid to the problem i guess.

as for the alarm, i'm not stupid, i did suspect that the car had had one installed at one time. there's a small red light on top of the steering wheel. but the people who sold it to me never mentioned any alarm, certainly never gave me any means to shut on off if it sounded - so i assumed it had been disabled before i got it. and in the nearly two years i've owned the car, nothing happened to prove i was wrong about that.

ok you're wondering what's the big deal about a car alarm going off? yeah it kills your ears for a minute but then it stops right? well...this one had a kill switch. it completely disables your ignition. so there i was, at jiffy lube, and i couldn't start my car. and everytime anyone tried - and trust me these guys tried everything to try to turn if off, the thing would go off again. starts with a clicking that becomes gradually louder and then there's horns blaring with a screaming banshee for accompaniment. ouch. the other customers kept glancing my way, wondering why the hell i didn't turn the thing off. or at least why did we keep setting it off again.

so the very kind elderly black guy, leonard, who's the main attendant, said what you need to do is take it to an alarm shop. they'll get in and disable the wires. i protested in my squeaky voice (it gets higher when i don't know what to do), that how am i going to take my car anywhere if i can't turn it on? (tow trucks are way expensive and i need to get to work that day too!) did he know anyone he could call, i asked? (don't mechanics all know each other?) someone who could come here and fix it. hmm, leonard thought, let me see. let me talk to my guys.

it turns out that the garage next door, a midas, has a guy filling in that day for someone else. his forte is electrical stuff, isn't that something? he looks at it, does a lot of cursing (he hates alarms, just buy a club he says) and i try to innocently protest that i had nothing to do with putting the alarm there. he just looks at me. the jiffy lube guys push the car outside, on the road in front of the midas,and he gets work.

i wait outside, sitting on the curb. he's under the dashboard pulling out all sorts of wires while i sip my free jiffy lube coffee. it takes him almost an hour. the car starts! yay!!! i smile at him but now he just drives the car back into the garage. he says we still have two problems. the first one is the battery terminal still needs to be fixed. secondly, all those wires he pulled out, would take him hours to reconnect. however, he says, we can just replace the panel of the dashboard and pretend like none of this happened. the car starts, i should not have issues. this makes me nervous but he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. anyway what choice do i have? i gotta get to work.

eventually, he saves my day, and doesn't charge me much either, on account of my "great personality". ha! i guess he didn't hear me on the phone, refusing to be cheered up by my bestest. hehe. what a day! remember, when you buy a used car, even if it's a wonderfully preserved toyota, just check to see if there's an alarm there. if so, remember to get the switch for it.

oh yeah, and i called the used dealership where i bought the car, to chew them out. guess what, they are no longer in business!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the fractured prune

the best donuts ever - hot and sweet and thick. mmmmmmm!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Canadian invasion

I must say there's nothing like family to make you more cheerful. Our home is currently under what I fondly think of as the "Canadian Invasion" aunt and uncle, a cousin and cousin-in-law with three teenage kids staying at our house. With my sister and brother-in-law and nephew added in, it's a loud and fun mix. I'll be sorry when they leave, but in the meantime, I'm actually feeling much better :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

life as it is

i consider quitting my job everyday. i rarely get enough sleep, never want to wake in the morning. i have circles under my eyes that won't disappear for about another year, when i finally live with my own husband. not to say it's all bad - thank God for my family and friends and especially my brother who makes me glad i can be home to spend time with him, even if it's just to watch an episode of "so you think you can dance?". but i definitely haven't been living these past couple months. i feel like i'm just dragging along; not really getting anything meaningful done. the best times of my week are when i can go to bodypump at the gym and inflict some satisfying pain on my muscles. but you know what the worst thing is? i'm finding comfort in reading cheesy romance novels. i really have sunk close the to the bottom of the sea - not completely; i still don't watch soap operas - but it's pretty close, isn't it? at the same time, i feel rather guilty for feeling this way too. aren't believers supposed to be cheerful in adversity? my faith hasn't changed, i know this is temporary, but i still feel tired all the time. and it's not because of bodypump.

Friday, June 08, 2007

my husband's home

so i just came back from my first visit to his hometown. here are some of the experiences i remember the most:

landing at midnight...with only half my luggage.
annoying airport officials.
seeing him, waiting for me.
when we dance, by sting.
a small detour....
arriving home at 3 am.
seeing his house, my inlaws.
toast with mixed fruit jam.
insomnia, for three nights in a row.
waiting for him to come home from office.
sitting in the garden with the family and meeting neighbors.
my adorable new nephew.
feeling weird about servants, as usual.
heat! humidity! sweat! during the day.
even more humid at night. (lots of cool showers.)
meeting a friend of his and a friend of mine at a bookshop.
i think i love bookshops all over the world.
r.k. narayan and hari kunzru.
fresh lime soda, no salt.
the magical properties of coconut water.
the tablets i was supposed to take daily, and i did not.
lots of aquafina.
pomegranates and...chikkus?
meeting his friends...
me eating the icecream and his having the cone.
sizzlers. interesting.
getting married! thane. not happening. but very happy.
no non-veg on mondays.
western ghats, the awesome drive up to khandala, the old route.
arguing about smoking.
why did the chicken cross the road?
coziness. tea and coffee in our room. the step down, the balcony.
the game.
him falling, me being useless. it still makes me laugh!
white wine.
the annoying tune in the elevator. lift, i mean.
chikki. it was ok, but something new.
a crowd gathering to watch the sunset.
learning family customs.
meeting his grandmother. orthodox tea.
staring at family members speaking in marathi, as if my eyes could translate.
shopping. shopping shopping and more shopping.
jewelry, wedding clothes, music, dvds. souvenirs for my office.
more clothes! fabindia and cottonworld and pantaloons!
looking all over phoenix mills for ethnic slippers. (she loved them though.)
driving through slums. it doesn't seem like the same city.
the McVeggie burger, and vada pav. don't ask me which one was better.
his patience, again.
the beautiful bridge. paying the toll.
the flame of the forest.
the scary lady on the billboard.
pictures of unattractive politicians all over the place. (monster trucks.)
pyar ka signaaal.
and the down song.
metro. national geographic's megacities.
having to look the opposite direction for oncoming traffic.
spicy lamb. very good. misal, not so good.
south bombay - gorgeous.
not going to rhythm house.
having to pay to use the toilet. ok it was just one rupee, but still!
headaches and stomaches. luckily brief.
the vicious circle.
the most crowded temple i've ever seen.
cold coffee drinks. sooooooooo good.
the best night of my life.
the engagement ceremony. glowing, happy.
the gang. being teased...because of my non-indianness?
lots of pictures and jokes.
dipping out before all the guests leave.
the best date of my life, and that as a married and engaged woman.
chicken nuggets.
the most expensive but best-tasting cappucino at the taj.
our last night.
lots of tears, different reasons.
our last prayer together.
more shopping. delhi has better sweets.
my father-in-law's practical packing.
the art of living.
waiting at the airport. touching feet. telling him how much i love him.
our rings. his says: for life.

mumbai, until next time!


Monday, June 04, 2007

the journey

a lot of people have mentioned to me that i should write the story of my love's and my journey. i thought about that as i rode the shuttle into work today. we have had so many beautiful moments. from our first online flirting to our first embarassed but wonderful kiss. and finally almost three years later we stood in front of a registrar and vowed to take each other as husband and wife. but what about all those gaps in between?

months and months and months of waiting. six months from our first communication to our first meeting - which lasted only a day and a half. another nine months after that when he came to see me in delhi - again for a day and a half. ten months later he arrives in atlanta, this time for a blessedly long three weeks. after that another seven months until i finally come to his city, his home, to be his wife - for ten days. and now again we wait for seven months again, until finally, finally, we stay together.

what can i say about these stretches of time? i think this last time will be easier, i hope...because it's the last. and because no matter that we are apart we are joined, in mind and spirit and in law. but previous to this there has been desperation and frustration. longing and pure boredom. what is life with no salt? what is romance without any nights out, watching movies and holding hands, admiring the moon in her beauty, sharing life together? what's a relationship without looking into each others' eyes, feeling their arms around you and passing the small moments of daily routine? washing a sinkful of dishes is a chore alone, with him it's a lesson in love and generosity. these days of waiting are keeping yourself busy to pass the time, taking support in friends and family but realizing that the only person who really understands what you're going through is him. yet even that does not stop me from lashing out, wanting to hurt him for causing me hurt in this way, for making me miss him - even though i'm doing the same to him. i hope i have grown out of such insecurity; his patience humbles me.

so seven months to go. i'll see him again, as his bride again....this time, for life.