I have moved to..


Hello peeps,

I wanted to run and get a breath of air before typing here. It is ridden with such happy times – I will always have that with me. Yet, it will always be a riddle why I stopped making time for doing something I so loved – I had made so many friends here and even though some of us kept in touch for a bit, we have drifted apart with time. I cannot tell you how weird it makes me feel even though I am responsible for it. Maybe, it is because I am responsible for it. But I still hope I have not lost you all. It is with this hope that I share my new blog handle. I shall continue to write but I feel a need to start a new space. I, like most of us, have new opinions, newer thoughts to share. I may still repost some of the writings from this blog there but I feel like moving and starting afresh. I hope you will join me whenever you can and keep this blogosphere a familiar place like you always have. Until then,




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!





On Keong Saik Road, Vinayagar temple and dining at “The Study”

K and I are always on the lookout for new places to eat. Well, because I am vegetarian,  we also check the menu online or if we are just roaming around trying to get into a place that feels like “the one” (yeah, there is something like that because it happens to us), then we still look at the menu. Even if there is 1 vegetarian dish, I am happy. I don’t want my way of life to stop me from walking into what maybe a wonderful experience or even just trying something totally new.

So, a week or two back, when K and I were thinking of spending a cool evening out (now cool weather is a rare rare thing is Singapore), I suggested Keong Saik Road. It is funny how we have been to the Ganapati temple there but not walked further up and either spent time at a restaurant or something like that. After visiting the place, we wondered how many more such places we haven’t bothered to go to. Anyways, let me tell you a bit about where we dined and share some not-so-great photos that I clicked just to remind me to go there more often.



Keong Saik Road is near (err. in) Chinatown and is one of those places with a personality of its own. There is a Vinayagar kovil (kovil, in Tamizh = temple) pretty much at the start of the street. Being big fans of Ganapati, we have been here a few times. Also, we love the prasadam  there. So we first went to the temple, had our fair share of idiyappam and amazing sambhar and piping coffee and yes, we also prayed. Then we decided to just walk around the area and build a small appetite before we looked for a restaurant.


It was a Saturday and the road was bustling with all kids of people – families who had kids, people playing ping pong, people doing artwork on the road, entrepreneurs and food startups selling their organic or home-made products with zeal, teenagers on nervous dates, pretty girls in white dresses, lots of people eating by the road, children running around  freely especially because traffic is not allowed beyond the temple point and in all, the scene felt vibrant and hipster!

I am in love with these shop-houses, the ones that have a shop below and a house on top (I don’t think they are all inhabited) but I love those gorgeous windows, the colours of the walls, the lanterns, the effort they take to retain that rustic charm, how it all looks so vintage-y  and just the general hipster vibe of the place. We walked a bit, ogled at all the goodies on display and for sale – chocolates, organic honey, handmade greeting cards, milkshakes, coconut water in cute cans and a lot of knick knacks. We did not buy anything but it was a treat to look at the youngsters and also family set-ups so passionately marketing their products with a smile.

Walking around and watching other people eat, did sort of make up a bit hungry (does it happen to you as well? I get hungry when I watch someone enjoying their meal. Same for thirst! Am I weird?) Luckily, there were quite a few restaurants and bars to choose from when we spotted this.


Discretely located along the row of shop-houses and almost right the beginning of Keong Saik Road, we found this.  With its neon orange walls, a minimally visible doorway and windows with bars, this really called out to us. I mean, I am someone who also does a bit of research before going to a restaurant and especially if we are hosting friends but when it is just K and I, we are okay to get into a totally random place, even if it is slightly overpriced just for the sake of trying it out. And if it lives up to it, then we go back. So, when I saw “The Study”, it sort of reminded me of “The Library” which, I later read is a sister of “the Study” and is right by its side but was closed that day. “The Library” is a bar that prides itself on quirky cocktails with quirkier names like E = mc 2. One needs a password to enter it and the clues are released on the Facebook page every week. Sorry for digressing. Let me talk about “The Study”. Luckily, “The Study” was serving up some of the drinks from “the Library” that day, so I did have a peek at all those cool names.

“The Study” brings together a ” mix of local and British cafe culture giving modern twists to great classic comfort food from around the world.” I do not know much about British food so this seemed interesting. The Head Chef Daniel from Britain has worked in different cities of the world and brings with him some of those flavours in the kitchen.


The bistro is really unpretentious with really basic minimal furnishings. Only 3 or 4 tables were taken and we took a small table for two by  the window because well, sitting by the window is undoubtedly the best.


A very cheerful waitress who later told us that it was her first day, greeted us and gave us the menu. The dishes are categorised, interestingly, on the portion-size. They have small plates (really small portions), large plates (slightly larger but turned out to be insufficient for yours truly’s tummy), sharing (which I am assuming are larger) and then a section on desserts. So, you can only get a big size of dish A but you won’t find it in small size/portion. When we looked at the menu, I saw that there were exactly 2 vegetarian dishes – Vegetable, local harvest vegetable and charcoal mayo (?!) in small plate and Polenta, goat cheese, tomatoes and pine nuts in  large plate. I forgot all about I don’t like goat cheese and went ahead with ordering the large plate (because I don’t do small and especially not when it has pine nuts).  K is not a vegetarian, so of course he basked in the innumerable options he had, asked the waitress for a recommendation and chose some hoity-toity chicken dish.


I honestly felt the portion was small. I eat a lot, my pet name is black hole but still, this was really small. I cannot say if it was well-made, I have never eaten this before, but I did like it. I kept the goat cheese aside though. I like polenta, I think this is the second time I am eating it and I quite like the texture when it is baked like a loaf. The herbs gave it some flavour and I loved the crunchiness of the nuts. I wish there were other vegetables and not jus cherry tomatoes. It does get boring after you finish all your pine nuts and then you are left with tomatoes. It was an okay-decent dish.

We also had a go at a selected drinks menu from “the Library”. I wish I had taken a pictures because I cannot remember the names at all now except E = mc 2. I went with a non-alcoholic mocktail with watermelon, lemon, and basil. K went with E = mc 


Absolutely loved our drinks. I did try a bit of K’s drink as well and I must say it was really good. We got a complimentary dessert from the chef and it was the best of all. I mean, I don’t like ice-creams much and they must have known because they served us a cake-icecream scoop in one of my favourite cake flavours – banana walnut. The ice-cream loving K was also happy to get his scoop of favourite vanilla ice-cream.img_5719

That cake you see at the bottom and the caramel syrup you see on the ice-cream – absolutely gorgeous!

We did like our time there and we realised that we haven’t done much British food with contemporary twists/ local twists and would love to try more of such cuisine. For any Singaporean residents reading this, people who have been to similar places, we are all ears!

So, how was your weekend? What was your latest dining experience like? Where did you go? Tell me all 🙂


I’ve got my ..

nose buried in quite a few books. This year has started on a reading high even though my reviews hardly reflect that. Sometimes, I just feel so lost in the book and the million thoughts that loom over my small head that I fail miserably to makes notes of it. How do I note down a gazillion questions that don’t find answers but give rise to more questions? Anyhoooo, I better gather the scattered thoughts  and start writing about my reading experience before I close this window for another day.

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

I chose this for 2 reasons: the title (Tquila mockingbird from To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee) and the phrase “literary twist”. Yeah, I choose books like that. It sounded so tempting that I bought it on my Kindle at 3A.M. one fine morning. To summarize in one word: I loved the book. I loved the wit, the precision, the information and just the way it has been brought together in neat little chapters that have brilliant wordplay with literary gems and end with food/drinks. What’s not to like, right?


The book consists of 5 parts namely, Drinks for the dames, Gulps for guys, Bevvies for bookclubs, Refreshments for recovering readers and Bar bites for book hounds. Each drink recipe is assigned a very witty name associated with a particular book e.g. Love in the Time of Kahlua is a wordplay of the book “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez. Each recipe comes with a satirical description of the book it is named after followed by the recipe and measurements. I don’t enjoy alcohol and I am the one who orders virgin everything or sip on some wine occassionally. Nevertheless, I loved this book. My favourite section was ofcourse the one on bar bites. I actually marked a few recipes. Read it for the wit, read it for the unique way it has been written and for the sheer joy that the names of drinks such as The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose, The Last of the Mojitos, Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Romeo and Julep, A Rum of One’s Own, Are You There, God?,  It’s Me, Margarita or Vermouth the Bell Tolls, all named after books, brings. Go on, read this one. One of those rare times when you can have your drink and read it too!

The man who was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K.Chesterton

I picked this up to read on my Kindle as well because I loved the intrigue and curiosity that the title created in me. Plus, I love Chesterton. I grew up listening to Bernard Shaw and Chesterton’s wit by pa.


The book begins in the most interesting of ways. Two passionate poets argue  about the society, its good and bad.  The focus is on whether chaos should reign the world or order be the true characteristic of mankind. Starting from this, we are drawn into the heart of anarchy characterised by several events and people where none can be expected to be who he is. The main protagonist, Syme, a policeman/poet joins a bizarre group of anarchists. These anarchists each have a name of the week as their title and Syme is given the title of Thursday. The events leading up to this itself are very amusing. However he quickly discovers that it may be harder to hide who he is in the group  as he discovers some surprises about the anarchists themselves.

I was piqued to know the ending, to say the least. But the ending I must say is not easy to comprehend. It wasn’t for me. I tossed and turned in my sleep because I wanted to find answers. The book is an allegory. It is also a symbol of fight between law and order vs. anarchy. While the book was written more than a hundred years ago, the question still holds true today. Apparently, when Chesterton wrote this book, the threat of anarchist movement was large. Even to this day, we have a lot of forces that fight law and order/ go against it. But different readers feel differently about the ending the true meaning of the book. There are several explanations offered – Christianity, Communism, experiencing pain to reap the good and so on. But I never really understood the book in its entirety. What started off as a good James Bondery expressed in unique detail with superb wit (as always!), turned out to be one seductive web that threw questions about life and society. What I also inferred was the masks people wear to hide/protect themselves from others. We aren’t what we show ourselves to be.

The book is written beautifully. The story moves in and out of locales and yet does it with such finesse and fluidity that not many can boast of. I loved Chesterton’s language and the ubiquitous humour. Sample this:

His respectability was spontaneous and sudden, a rebellion against rebellion. He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realisation; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene.

I wouldn’t recommend this book for everyone. If you enjoy an allegory, some drama, some mystery and a blend of the remaining genres all in one, do read this one. And when you do, please tell me what you make of it. I am yet to sleep in peace.

Day 19: Lost


The lonely wedding favour from a pair. Without a friend, he looks lost and yet beautiful, no?

P.S. Sorry for the delay. I wanted to click this yesterday but since this is on my office table, I forgot and had to do it now.

Day 14: Trash

his is not trash per se but for want of a more representational photo, I have posted this.  At monkey forest in Ubud that I will later write about, people and “caretakers” literally throw roots and monkey food so that it looks more like a monkey forest. Result? My father in law and other unsuspecting souls get attacked.

My Favourite Lines – 5

I had to see a doctor today from one of the departments in the hospital. When I was about to enter the department, I saw a lady in a flowery uniform standing at the entrance, with a smile so wide that anyone would think that they were visiting this really happy place.

As I walked past her, smiling back, she said the most cheerful “Good morning”. I wished her back, smiled and just went in. But I was really curious and so as I sat to wait for my turn to see the doctor, I kept looking at her. And that’s what she did for about half an hour, saying good morning with a smile to everyone who came there.

At this point, I must tell you that this department is one of critical care and so you do see extremely sensitive situations and people in pain as well. And I noticed that, everytime she greeted people, their really sad faces smiled back, sometimes with ease or sometimes with some effort; but there was a smile nevertheless.

I walked back to her and this is what ensued:

Me: Hey hello! So you stand here and say hello to everyone? (I felt so foolish after I asked this because I hadn’t taken the trouble to even frame it better).

She: Yeah, most of the time usually.

Me: Oh wow! I mean…. that’s… that’s just so beautiful! It sure makes people happy.

She: Yeah. I like that. (And flashes another of those awesome smiles).

Me: Thank you! You are really good! (Again, I didn’t say everything I thought of but I guess she understood)

I was there for pretty much the entire day. Except for lunch hour, she was there most of the time, sometimes attending to paper work and sometimes standing in her usual place, greeting everyone with a smile.

This definitely had to go into my favourite lines and one of my favourite people as well 🙂


Have an inspiring week, folks!


Reporting live from Kuala Lumpur – 1

I have always had this wish to write about a place right from the place as I am vacationing. You know what I mean? Like this.

Note: I did not post this because I hadn’t transferred photos. I wrote it like a diary account every night but just could not post it. So am posting it now with photos. But hey, I want to still call it live for happiness-inducing reasons, okay? Okay!

So if you read one of my previous posts announcing the grand news of us leaving for Kuala Lumpur, you’ll know why I am reporting live. Because I am HERE! I feel super super awesome just lazying and cozying up to K. The warm blankets, the coffee, the movies, the fantabulous breakfast (I can’t wait to see what’s for breakfast tomorrow) makes me feel on-top-of-the-world. I feel like this is how 4 days in a month should be. Atleast!

We loved the flight. We flew by Tiger airways and we were told that it would take us an hour to reach KL. A journey by bus would mean a few hours and we thought of just flying over. Typing that made me feel like some bird. Flying over indeed!

Apart from initial traffic, we loved the flight. No turbulence whatsoever. And we thought we had just taken off when there was an announcement that we were landing. I am not a big fan of long flights. I admit, I do get a bit scared. Everytime there is some turbulence, you can see me praying extra hard. And I look around to see if I am the only one getting scared or there are others as well. If I happen to find someone like me, either with an anxious face (that I am capable of presuming), I pray harder. So last night, when I was having a nice time re-reading their magazine, K told me that 80% of unpleasant events happen during take-off. I gave him the most loving look and started praying. I wish he’d let me be. But no. He said he had this funny feeling that the flight was in a slanted position. I, my dumb self, asked how and why was it so. I could have kicked myself for it for K’s answer was something like this – “The pilot seems to be a newbie. I have this feeling he is not sure what is happening” and yap yap and chappad chappad…. I wasn’t even paying attention for I started my share of praying with intense vigour.

Within a matter of minutes, we were landing. I gave K the most triumphant look of my life. He says that I am the most fun person he has travelled with. I decided to believe it (because it is true) and well, we were in KL!

Hilton had promised pick-up.  When we were waiting, I had an awesome time looking at people in the arrival hall waiting for their loved ones to come. I get a big kick by looking at people and inferring from their excited happy faces. It makes me think of how my parents wait for me at the airport and how Chintu walks about the length of the place as though the speed with which each step is covered signals an earlier arrival. It is so heart-warming to see people embrace each other. There are elderly parents, naughty siblings, chaddi-buddies, little kids, blushing wives who are repeatedly paying attention to the hair so that they look their beautiful best when their partner returns from a business trip or is home for vacation – it is a beautiful sight. And I totally love soaking it in.

We waited and waited. K suggested we call them. But, we had no coins to call and so decided to buy some OldTown Coffee. Trust me, they have amazing white coffee. I have had their coffee a couple of times in Malaysia (surprisingly, I haven’t had them in Singapore) and they seem to get better and better! I requested the cashier to pay the change in coins and he rummaged through his little draw and finally gave two 50 c coins.

We called them up and were told to come to the railway station anyways. I did not think much of it but K did feel a bit disappointed. I felt more let down because one of the things on my wish list has been that I want to see someone in the airport holding my name in big capital letters. Oh well, we always have a next time. We asked around and decided to take a bus. Turned out that we were the first to arrive for the bus in queue.  We had to wait for like 40 minutes for the bus to leave.

Finally, the passengers started trickling in and after about 40 minutes, we left. This airport is on the very outskirt of KL. It took us about 1 hour or so to reach KL SentralThe best part was that Hilton was right opposite KL Sentral. Yay Hilton!

On reaching the reception desk, we went through the formalities and K shared the pick-up hiccup. Result? Upgrading our room! Joys, I tell you.

I took our camera out and clicked every little corner of our room. I always do. It is a ritual for me; my way of capturing what will be our home away from home during our stay. And I love looking at these photos from time to time. This time, I thought of sharing them here.

Once we enter from the floor on the right, we are greeted by the tempting bed.

And when you get tired of lazying on the bed, you can hop over to the couch and nestle your head against the warm cushion and look out at the tall (really tall) buildings around. I especially loved the lamps. I love lamps with the lamp pull switch. I love pulling it on and off, on and off with every clink. It makes me feel like I am a character from one of the books or movies.

And the other side there are sliders that open up to the bath.

After clicking and freshening up, we felt so hungry. Though we had had one complete South Indian set meal at Ananda Bhavan at Changi airport, we felt so hungry. We pounced on the menu, fought over who gets to choose first (knowing very well that the fight will only delay everything) and then finally managed to share the menu. While K looked at the first half, I looked at the other and we finally managed to order something without eating each other off.

While we waited for the food to come, we watched some football game on TV. Watching football helps us work up our already ravenous appetite.

Ding. The food was here! The elderly gentleman who got the food for us was smiley faced. And laid the table out all the while exchanging little pleasantries. I love it when people do that!

I had ordered some pasta while K had a burger with some fries. They also gave us some biscotti and some awesome little buns to go with.

I am writing this after I finished the gorgeous pasta and stole some fries from K as well. My tummy says thank you. I feel a happy kind of sleepy feeling. K doesn’t seem to want to say bye to his football friends. It is 3 A.M. now. I better get some sleep. But not before bugging K.

Good night! 🙂