Happy 2017

I declare February 1 to be the start of 2017. After having had a crazy November with lots of travel and work (had to leave the blogathon midway), a tense December that ended with a lot of happiness and a terribly rude shock on January 1st with K’s mother’s unexpected demise, we haven’t had a chance to even think of anything remotely celebratory. I am/was very close to her, so it was really hard. Now, back in Singapore, I still feel like she is back home in India and just a phone call away. We hate how we have to remind ourselves that we will never get one of those warm hugs but rather she will live on in us in the things we do and the principles we live by.

I see people summing up 2016 and eagerly welcoming 2017, but I haven’t had a chance to think of what I want from this year. Like always, I will let the moments guide me and give me the strength like they always have. I am going to take this week to bring myself together and look forward to 2017. A year that I sincerely pray will be good to you and us.





Friday fodder

Psst. I have written this post in spurts through the day. I had no idea where I was going with all this (and still don’t) but these were some thoughts running in my head at some point.

We came to apply for a visa to Australia today. Our appointment was at 1 PM, so once we were done with that, K and I had some lunch together. If you are interested, we had kadhi pakora, kadhai paneer and rice. We were so hungry and it was absolutely delicious. Since K has work for another 2 hours, I decided to wait at Starbucks and work here and then we can ride back together. So, well, here I am.

Let me order a latte because I cannot apparently sit in the cafe and write a post without ordering something. Wait for me, will you?


Got one. Now, where were we? Clearly, this is going to be a ramble. I have no clue what to write today. It is only the fourth so it kind of gets scary. I want to say so much but then I am not in a mood to write about them. Does it happen to you ? I mean, we all have so many stories to tell but somehow they will be told only when “the moment” comes. I am not talking of writing blocks, that happens. I mean like topic-specific inspiration. Let us say I want to share the story of my summer holidays. I cannot do it until I get all nostalgic or am really in that zone. And when I force myself to despite it, the words never say what I want them to say. Sometimes, I read some of my own letters or posts and then I think, “Wait, I couldn’t have said that better!” or “What am I saying?” So that bout of inspiration and mood that people talk about exists.


I got an invite to a party at a Professor’s place. The rule of the party – “No small talk is allowed” But of course! One thing I can never get myself to do is indulge in small talks.  I have always sucked at small talk. I can talk for hours but never small talk. Even if I have, I doit very very unwillingly because someone has initiated it. Sometimes, small talk can take the guise of being important talk and that’s when I dislike it more. I really really think that if people gave up on small talk, conversations would be richer and relationships would last longer. Agreed, everyone cannot dive into a rich conversation. But we don’t need to reach for the low hanging safe fruit a.k.a non-controversial, least opposed or rather uncomfortable topic, right? I can be kind but I don’t really care much for what you think of the mall by the street atleast not until why you think so, where those feelings came from and what makes you so opinionated about it. But the problem is nobody talks that strongly. Correction. Not many want to. If we know someone closely, sure we discuss things more freely and more openly. But when you are in a newer group, there is a tendency to pick a relatively pleasant topic (which is still fine) but then just talk at the surface level never wanting to be too strong in your words even if you absolutely disagree with your conversation partner’s  point of view, right from your gut. One just doesn’t want be off-putting. Which is sad because it is only when you scratch the surface, you really know people better and then can decide if you want to spend time with them or not. I think it should be some kind of a rule. People should be banned from it and then maybe they can talk about whether small talk being banned is a good idea or not.

Which brings me to J, one of the people I adore in my lab. J is from Spain and he asks the most random of questions to people around him, no matter how familiar (or not) he is with them. I remember one of the first questions he asked me was when we were queueing (I hope I got that spelling right, lazy to google) for a buffet lunch at a talk. It was my second day at university and he was right before me in the queue. All of a sudden he goes, “Hey toffee! If I tell you that I have forgotten my favourite pen upstairs and I want it, will you give up your position in the queue and get it for me?”. Now I must give you some context. I was deep in a conversation with someone when he tapped my shoulder and asked hurriedly. I was like, “Ya ya, tell me! What do you want?” Then he goes, “No no, I just wanted to know what you’d do. So tell me, one day you wake up in the middle of the night and you realise that K has turned into a horse. Would you still stay married to him?” I know I tease J, but I love love the way he can ask the most deep of questions and the silliest of them with the same eagerness in his eyes and yet not intimidate the other person. Like a week back, we had the monthly Friday tea party in one of the departments. J, a couple of others and I were chatting away when a post-doc fellow we haven’t met walked over to us and just introduced herself and was like, “Hi, I am L. I am working with …. ” And the first thing J does is, “Hi, I am J. Can I ask you one thing?” and L was like, “Sure sure!” J goes, “Tell me, are you truly happy? ” L was a super sport and said, “Umm yeah, I am happy. I like to think am happy. Are you?” and J was like, “Umm depends. What makes you happy?” Such conversations are for another day. I love J for this. While some of the questions he asks have no semblance of sanity, I love them for that very reason, their insanity. It is so refreshing, so endearing and so honest especially because you can immediately know that he isn’t judging. It is just his way to knowing you better. No “Where are you working? Who is your advisor? How long have you been in Singapore? Oh, this cheese tastes a bit funny or is it my tongue?” None of that. I want to say so much about him but I have to go now.


It is 10:33 PM in Singapore now. I had a nice day, a really nice one. K and I decided to go to try out a new Mexican place for dinner at Duxton Hill called Lucha Loco. I shall definitely write about it with some photos. We then walked around a fair bit and spotted a supremely cute cafe where I had waffles (no ice-cream please I had to specify) and K had ice-cream. This guy, he and his vanilla ice-cream. I think he would choose vanilla scoops over me anyday. Ah but he makes up for it by being extremely patient while I dilly-dally, push my food from one corner to another (when am full but don’t want to waste), so all if forgiven. I am home now and had to post whatever little I had written. Somehow, I seem to get so many ideas to write when I am driving or taking a ride, so I tried something new today. I just recorded my ideas as a voice message in my phone. It will be fun listening to it tomorrow and see what I make of it. I know I would totally sound like Random Rangamma.

Okay, am calling it a night and hitting publish. If you have stayed with me through all this, I salute your patience. Wish you all a lovely weekend and hope you have the best one yet. what do you plan to do? 🙂

Stay awesome!