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Archive for January, 2010

Goa and back -in 15 minutes

Posted by Sowmya on January 27, 2010

I really really need a vacation. Like, right now! I have soooooo much work at office to do and so many things to take care of at home that I am completely overwhelmed. I need a break.

And the worst thing that can happen to you at such times is that people around you go for a holiday. I so detest such people even when one such is my own sibling. Of the random few GTalks I have had over the past week, all I hear is of people’s vacations. My cousin went to Bali, my brother to Goa and some friend to Andaman and another to Kulu Manali. One friend even went on work to Shimla. Can you beat that? Why? Why does everyone go on a vacation and not me?

So that is why I came up with this ‘practical solution.’ Currently due to various reasons I cannot take a vacation but nothing ever stops me from imagining one. So here I am, sitting in my office with a pile of work on either side and dreaming about my vacation.  Firstly I will have to settle on a place to go to. Actually I would love to go to Pondicherry and have a French breakfast but it is tough to imagine anything else about that vacation since I have never been there before and I am not in a googling mood right now. So for easy dreaming purposes, I am vacationing in Goa.

Goa –the place that God created for the times he got world weary; a place where you can truly know what ‘taking it easy’ means; a place where you are left to yourself and not bothered about; a place which is in no hurry to get somewhere and is not bothered if it does not get anywhere. I have always visited Goa during the off-season and have liked the solitude. December in Goa, I heard is fun but way too crowded and that is totally not my scene for an ideal relaxing vacation.

I would wake up to the sea in the morning and feel the breeze play with my hair. I would take loooooong walks on the shore and sort out my life in my head. I would pick pretty sea shells and put them in my pocket. And I would do all of this at nine in the morning. Then I would go for a leisurely and sumptuous breakfast with a variety to kill for. Some juice, parathas, omelets, scrambled eggs, fruits, toast, rolls and then to finish off, some more juice. Few things cheer me up like a good breakfast does. My ideal vacation is always brunch hopeful. Then I would wander about in the resort or outside it depending on my mood. Well, the first day would be at the resort. I would take fun pictures of Sri and me, explore the surrounding areas, curl up at the poolside with a book, have long meaningless chats with Sri, an afternoon siesta and some television would complete my first day. The second day, I will take hubby dearest around the city / state of Goa since he has not yet been there (shudder!) I’ll cover the famous beaches of Aquada (and the fort too), Colva, Benaulim( not famous but a favorite), St. Francais Church and the Mangesh Temple. I’ll also drag him to a cruise on the Mandovi River and some kaju shopping at Panjim. I’ll also tick off Dona Paula on our tourism checklist.  He could taste some local cuisine and sample the famous fenny (Coconut for me!).  I would also take him on whatever water sports we find including scuba diving, para sailing and water skiing. All of this could happen over two days which would make us very tired. Therefore on our final day in Goa, Sri and I would go for a relaxing, therapeutic massage followed by a lazy afternoon. Our vacation would be full of fun, laughter and happiness. We will kid around, make faces and enjoy poking fun at anything and anyone. We will talk to all of my heart’s content and come back with a blissful smile on our faces.

That is all I ask for.

I was wrong. I thought dreaming up this vacation would make me feel better but it only makes me want to go all the more desperately. To add to it, I have just received word that I would be working this Saturday too. Boo Hoo!

Ticket sponsors please drop a line. I will be eternally grateful and maybe name my car after you.


2009 -a recap

Posted by Sowmya on January 22, 2010

I have never been the one to do year end posts mostly because I never found much to write on my year. Most days passed in a blur and were too similar to the other. But this time, as I sit and think there are many things that have happened this year and some that I have done. Maybe it should be put to paper somewhere for posterity when I want to know where my life went and what I have been up to all my life?

This year started out great. I had moved to Mumbai last November since the recession shut down my office in Chennai. It was not the easiest of decisions to make. Sri in Chennai and me in Mumbai was not the happiest of things to happen but quitting a job at the depths of recession also did not seem like a smart thing to do. Sri was his usual supportive self and urged me to keep my job and some hopes of a career still alive. Armed with his reassurances and my in-laws unequivocal support, I set off to Mumbai in November. I was not in a celebratory mode last new year since I was not with Sri and suddenly things seemed incomplete without him. It felt strange and weird that I could live more than 27 years on my own and be perfectly happy but a year with this guy and nothing was the same again. But then, that is what a marriage is all about I guess. It struck twelve and I ushered in the New Year gaping at the television when suddenly the doorbell rang. Imagine my surprise when I found hubby dearest at the doorstep! It is an unforgettable moment, so unbelievably true. For a guy who does not believe in the frills of the relationship, this was a huge step to take.

Work had improved significantly since my return to Mumbai. I found I was learning new stuff daily and that due diligence was not as bad as I thought. Handling two assignments and two seniors was a task in itself but fun nevertheless. Arguing over every single issue and rethinking and redoing a job till it was perfect were pleasure and gave me a well earned sleep each night. Sri visited another couple of times and I visited Chennai too. I can tell you that long distance relationships totally suck especially if they are so early in the marriage before you have had time to settle down and get used to the other. 

I got a job in Chennai in May and I moved back in June. I was hoping that it would never happen, that I would never need to get back to the darned city but destiny had something else in store for me. I quit my job, left an almost promotion and some salary and came back to Chennai. On one hand it seemed like a crazy thing to do. I was giving spiels about having a career and not just any job and here I was quitting and maybe, in a way moving one step lower in the chain. But life did not seem worth it without Sri. Staying with him meant more than everything else and so I took the call to switch my job and get back to staying with Sri and making him pull his hair out in frustration J

So in June I joined my new company where there were about seventy people working but not one in my department. I was the first and only one and it was up to me to do something about it. It was a challenge along with the very different work environment. I had to get used to a lot of things which I had not heard of before. Chennai, and in particular my company, believes in a lot more formality and protocol. Coming from a place where everyone was on first name basis including the boss, it was initially very weird. Protocols again are not my strong point and I struggled in vain trying to follow it. Eventually I have managed to establish some kind of middle path with the people here whereby I can breathe comfortably and offend no one. That should count as one of the achievements for the year. Being new and starting a vertical by yourself meant many days of intense frustration of not doing anything, of trying and not succeeding and of trying to rid myself of the feeling of futility of it all. I missed my brainstorming sessions, my intense work pressures and the joys of trying to learn something new every day. I missed having people around who I could talk to about things that mattered and who understood what I was saying. Being one to think in English, conversations in Tamil were an effort. Yes, it is my mother tongue but I have not spoken in Tamil so often, especially outside the confines of home.

A huge responsibility then fell on our shoulders. We were building our own house. It started sometime in December last year when I was in Mumbai and so could not involve myself in it completely. But since I was back, I started getting a feel of it. It was driving everyone at home totally crazy. There was nothing on which Sri and me could agree on and if we did, by mistake, my in-laws did not like it. Life was at it chaotic worst. Or should I say best? Being involved at every stage of the house is a nerve racking experience and I would prefer buying a ready-made one any day.

In July, I made one of my bigger decisions and my biggest purchase as yet –I bought a car, a lovely new shining grey i10. Driving made some part of my life easier since I could do away with bargaining with the auto guys every day morning but it brought other complications with it. I now know why some people swear so much. They obviously drive around a lot in Chennai. This place is a driver’s worst nightmare coming true every minute he is behind the wheel.  Another challenge I overcome, not unscathed. My car has more than its fair share of bruises and beatings in these past six months. But a car gives you a feeling of freedom which you don’t get otherwise. I still plan to explore the city with my car. That is yet to happen as I only commute to work every day and catch the odd movie some weekends. An exploration, a long drive is definitely on the New Year agenda.

I made a very brief visit to Mumbai before Navratri when I helped mom set-up our annual golu. I, then finally met J and S, my closest friends who had been blessed with a pretty little girl in July. I became an aunt all over again. Seeing J with her little one was an overwhelming experience. It feels good to know there have been people with you since college about ten years ago and we are still there for each other.

Work was still erratic till October and my frustration levels were going up few notches every day. Add the house construction to the equation and there was complete incompleteness all around me. We had decided to forgo our annual vacation and I had nothing to look forward to in November and December.  Life seemed very boring and bleak. Every day was filled with making budgets and cutting costs and looking for increasing revenues.  In a bid to make life interesting I entered the NaNoWriMo contest in which I had to write a story of 50000 words in the month of November. To my utter astonishment, I completed it. I am someone who completes everything up to 90% and then quits. Somehow I do not finish anything fully. It is not something I am proud of but the truth it is. So the fact that I completed a story of 50000 words was a huge achievement for me. I hope to get the final draft out this year and who knows, maybe get it published J I finished the year with an awesome New Year party with some of Sri’s friends.

All in all, I can say 2009 has been a happening year in my life with its many twists and turns and roundabouts but overall a fun year.  Welcome 2010

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