As I desperately try and catch a glance of the “pitter-patter” raindrops through the corner office window (to which unfortunately I have no claim) and insanely try and sniff the intoxicating earthy smell of rain that has expectedly failed to make it past the glass windows… I start humming in my head. The mesmerizing rains, the freshly washed greens and the buzz in the office (of which fortunately or unfortunately I am not a part of) often have this effect on me. As I hum “these are a few of my favorite things”, the lack of any (in) consequential or (un)productive work has inspired me to pen down the list of my favorite things. So Ladies and Gentlemen here goes the list:
- Waking up in the morning 15 mins before the alarm goes off to gleefully realize that there is still sometime left before I am pushed unwillingly into the “hum-drum” of everyday life.
- Unexpected phone calls from friends far away. The heartfelt “just felt like talking to you” brings a toothpaste commercial worthy smile to my face every time.
- Summer vacations, only the fond, lazy and absolutely scrumptious memories of which remain in my heart now. I sit at my desk and curse the corporate world and all its trappings for having snatched away from me on4e of mankind's best inventions. I would like to take this opportunity to warn students of all varieties that the corporate world is not called “cruel” and “heartless” for nothing.
- All Enid Blyton classics. Like true love there is no sane reason why at my age (no, I am not telling you my age) I still louve all, I mean all, the works of Enid Blyton.
- My husband’s stupid jokes. He is funny, he cracks me up and no, I cannot for reviving your lack luster life retell his jokes through this blog, you have to be there to get them. But what I love more than his jokes is the involuntary bout of giggling that grips me when by some bizarre twist of fate I recall his jokes in a serious business meeting and the futile explanations I try to give my bewildered colleagues on why the giggle.
- Lending my artistic interpretation to songs and garbling up lyrics while I sing along at the top my voice to music being played irrespective of whether I am in the car, the loo, the living room, film theatres, restaurants etc etc. And yes, years of practice has made me view the dirty, pained and angry looks of friends and strangers with a pinch of pity, “tch tch poor plebeians”, after all no one understood Picasso while he was around either.
- The spring in my step, the glow on my suitably reddened face and the sweat in my armpits after a good workout. Like all good things in life this is also a rarity. Inspite of having promised to myself and declared to the whole world my solemn (and may I add rather desperate) pledge of exercising at least 4 times a week, the reasons to not exercise are galore. With each passing day the reasons (ok excuses) get more colorful, imaginative and completely original, but that’s for another post.
- Aloo ka Parathas (now you know why the desperation): I just love them. In the hallowed messes of IT BHU I learnt exactly how to savor allo ka parathas with loads of butter (sinful) on a leisurely Sunday morning. The hot, steaming and thick parathas with generous fillings of Aloo & spicy chilli with dollops of butter floating on them make my nerve endings tingle with delight even as I write this. This was the only thing served in the mess that was loved by one and all in our batch. The Sunday morning Allo ka Paratha (ok parathas) had become such a tradition that the very thought of not having them on the Sunday Menu for even a single Sunday spelt combined disaster for the mess in charge. Even as I finished a romantic, candlelight Saturday night dinner at a fancy (or what we thought was fancy at that time) restaurant I started hallucinating about the “parathas”. Years have gone by but the taste of those parathas remains firmly poised in my memory. (The number of words devoted to this point as opposed to the others is testimony enough).
- The winters of north
: The cold biting winds that hit my face always succeed in de-cluttering my head. As I rather loudly chatter my teeth and rub my glove clad hands everything becomes clear my in head and heart. The delightful woolens at United Colors of Benetton always add that extra color and zing color to my winters. I miss all of it, children packed in woolens with dry faces and red noses heading towards school early in the morning, warm roadside fires, peanuts, pleasant late morning sunlight, fog, gajar ka halwa and hot sweet roadside masala chai. I long for the winters as I stand in humid India asking me my mom in January “kitni thand pad rahi hai wahan” Bombay : My love for oranges is legendary so much so that once amused by my unfaltering obsession with the fruit my mother declared that it would be best if I were married off to an orange orchard owner. My friends and colleagues know that I am extremely possessive about the fruit and when there are oranges involved my usual generous, amiable, friendly, well natured self (yes I am allowed to brag about myself in this post) jumps out of the window and a highly suspecting, possessive and competitive personality takes over as I zealously guard the oranges I have bought for only my and I repeat only my consumption. To celebrate my engagement (fortunately or unfortunately not to an orange orchard owner)My friends presented me with a box of oranges for obvious reasons. I gushed at their love and will never forget the thoughtful gesture. Oranges
- The Sea: The vast expanse of blue green waters, the sound of the waves against the shore and the sight of the small fishing boat in the distance calms me down like nothing else. I think people who live by the sea are the luckiest; the fact that you can turn your back to the world and all its inanities, to gaze at something so beautiful and boundless is priceless. It immediately makes life’s immediate problems seem completely trivial, silly and more often than not extremely solvable.
The ghatsof Banaras: I remember my first visit to the ghats courtesy some very kind seniors who took all of us on a boating trip during the monsoons. As we made our way through the teeming crowds wading through all the mud and slush we just could not fathom the adoration all had for the Ghats. But soon all of it made sense. I know it sounds corny but the ghats were spiritual, the evening aarti and the floating diyas with the gongs complete with hippie foreigners, devout pilgrims and scary looking sadhus adds mystic to the city that is Banaras. And as a wise woman once said “the river looks different at different times of the day and seasons”. Visiting the ghats was like going to a completely new place every time. There were times when a boatman sang an earthy raag or folksong from his boat halfway across the river while regulars took a holy dip in the cold and really dirty waters, children ran gleefully flying kits and playing cricket while we sat on the sidelines enjoying a delicious aloo papad and hot masala chai while gazing at the river dance around in the sunlight.
So these were a few of my favorite things… what are yours????????????????