Life Lately #1

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Of late, I have been feeling like my blogging has got a bit mechanical – a bunch of book reviews (usually done way after I have read the book), the occasional restaurant review, but I think the earlier personal note has started to go missing. Partly, because somewhere along the way I started doing book reviews for publishers and food posts for restaurants (meaning I have a deadline), and basically the blog has started feeling more business-like, than like a personal blog.

I can’t say I can go completely back to the old tone and content as i no longer feel like I am writing solely for friends and family. But I also don’t want the blog to exist merely as a database of places to go, and books to read. I don’t know how the new style will evolve but I plan to have a little more about my daily life and routines, things I am thinking, what the kids are doing/saying to me, and so on.

Let’s see how things evolve. Old readers, I hope you will like my going back to more of what made you read my blog read in the first place, newer readers, I hope you find reading about the person behind the blog as interesting as the blog itself.

Fingers crossed and hoping.

The past couple of weeks have been interesting (and terrifying) to put it mildly. Snubnose started writing exams for the first time ever (in her school, exams start only from Grade 6), and it hasn’t been going well. All this while, she has been reading to understand a concept, but now she has to read, understand, and memorize enough details to be able to write her tests.

She’s had her nose to the grindstone, and has been working herself to the bone. And I’ve been going nuts keeping track of exam schedules, syllabus, and supervising her studies. Last week, the results started trickling in, and we realized that our efforts are just not paying off. She needs more help, and we need to see how to offer that to her.

A glum Snubnose on Independence Day

A glum Snubnose on Independence Day

Independence Day came and went without much fuss or fanfare. Snubnose had a function at school to attend, so I saw her off, and then spent a pleasant couple of hours cuddling with Piglet and playing with him. We were supposed to go for a flag-hoisting, but neither of us were feeling it, and so we just chilled playing dinosaurs, house-house, and other similar games all morning.

Independence Day decorations we saw at a mall last week

Independence Day decorations we saw at a mall last week

Reading and blogging

I also caught up with some reading and blogging. I finished with The Night Watch (it took weeks) by Sarah Waters, and it was ok. I preferred the drama of The Little Stranger better than this quiet, character-driven, slow boil of a story. I then embarked on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and have been simply zipping through it – very interesting, and very readable, with some unique insights into the race question – very topical read, I must say.

I blogged about my experience reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. It seems I don’t have too much to say about it, but I really liked the novel, and recommend it highly. However, be warned that it doesn’t work that well as a thriller, I preferred it more for the literary feel of the book than the suspense.

Into the Water

Into the Water

In the mailbox

One pleasant surprise this week was a package from Nyassa. I had accepted a couple of samples from them a long time back and forgotten all about it. Then they turned up in my mailbox smelling fragrant of mogra (jasmine). I have yet to try the soap but the skin cream is lovely, not too thick, and perfect for hot summery days. Now, I am looking forward to trying the soap.

Check out this brand on Amazon India. They have some really pretty gift sets too!

A jasmine soap and body lotion from Nyassa

A jasmine soap and body lotion from Nyassa

Food

This week also marks my second week of clean eating. All the food blogging I did this year left me feeling heavy and lethargic. Last week I decided that apart from food events, I would eat clean and in limited quantities. It’s been working surprisingly well (I am not known for my self-restraint) so far. Out goes the Maggi noodles, pasta, chips, beer, and coke, and in comes the vegetable juices, salads, oats, and protein shakes.

It’s amazing the difference just a few simple tweaks can make. Fingers crossed I will be able to continue this generally healthy eating pattern till the end of the year.

Movies

I saw a couple of movies as well recently – the short 4-day work week gave me a lot of free time. Caught Interstellar on Netflix – a movie I’ve meant to watch for ages. I simply loved the movie, but the experience itself was meh. I was distracted by work and errands multiple times, and found myself having to rewind and forward to understand where I left off. It’s not one of those moves that you can watch with half a brain. The visual effects were stellar, but lost in the small screen of my laptop. How I wish I had watched this movie in a cinema hall.

Another movie that I saw was State of Play (again on Netflix). It’s a typical Watergate-style journalistic yarn about a couple of journalists from the Washington Post investigating murders that may be tied to up an up-and-coming representative in the house. It stars Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck and made for a nice if slightly predictable movie. The acting was good though, and Ben Affleck, jeez, he looked like he was born to the part of a sleazy, cheating politician. I wonder why that is? 😀

Shopping and Social

Over the weekend, I visited Eka – a very artistic housewares store in Ulsoor. To celebrate the upcoming Ganesha Chathurthi festival, they had a range of Ganesha idols in stock.

I just went around the store amazed by all that I saw. The amount of detail and the way each piece is coloured is amazing. I also liked that they used organic colors, and materials for the Visarjan Ganesha – the one we have to immerse in the water.

I loved their range so much that I picked up one for our house as well – a small one costing Rs. 500/- (which is the max that I am willing to pay for something that will be immersed in a very short time). It came with an equally cute Gauri. If you are looking for some seasonal Ganeshas, do check out Eka, they have some absolutely beautiful pieces. Plenty of non-Ganesha themed homewares as well. Watch out for an upcoming photo post with all my clicks of the event.

Beautiful Ganeshas available for sale at Eka

Beautiful Ganeshas available for sale at Eka

Monday night was spent bringing in Neel’s birthday at Bak Bak Bar. There was a huge crowd, lots of food, and drink, and we had a blast! Reeled in home past midnight (which is another reason our Independence Day holiday was very quiet).

This weekend, I have an invite for lunch and drinks at The Yellow Submarine in Bannerghatta Road. Schedule permitting, I may drop in for it.

Was I talking about clean eating just a little earlier? Writing this post makes me feel that maybe the clean eating was more in my mind than in reality.

How has your week been? What did you do over Independence Day?

  • Pingback: Reading /Listening lately + Mini-review of Bijnis Woman | Nishita's Rants and Raves()

  • Love the post. I feel quite similar to you at the moment – it feels like my blogging has become forced and I am not enjoying it as much as I used to. My current approach is to just blog about things that I find interesting and to hope it works out for me.

    Best of luck with Snubnose. I am sure you will succeed with her education, it sounds like you are working extremely hard at it. Such a lovely photo of her as well.

    • Nishita

      @natashastander:disqus I think it’s that we’ve been blogging for a long time, and somewhere at least for me, I felt like I was phoning it in. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue with a more conversational diary style of writing, which is what I want, and which is how this blog started. Let’s see if I am able to continue with it.

  • Nishita, this is so silly but I teared up seeing that picture of Snubnose. She’s such a young lady! How did she get so big and so grown-up? What a fantastic girl — I’m sorry she’s having a hard time right now academically, but I know she’ll master it and emerge from the other side an even tougher and more awesome kid than before (if that’s possible).

    Also, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, please do your best to seek out the British miniseries version of State of Play. It is so, so good, starring Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald and James McAvoy, and just gorgeously put together. The writer apparently wrote the scripts as he went along, so when they filmed the third episode, he still didn’t know what was going to happen in the final one. You’d never know it to watch the miniseries though. It’s WONDERFUL — if I had to pick five DVDs for a desert island, the British miniseries of State of Play would unquestionably be one of them.

    • Nishita

      @readingtheend:disqus She’s really shot up over the summer. She’s as tall as me, fits into all my shoes, and some of my clothes. I just don’t know how or when that happened.

      Thanks for the tip on the State of Play mini-series. I”ll look out for it on Netflix (currently the only way I watch anything these days).

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I like blog posts with a more personal feel so I like the way you’re heading. I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do to help your daughter.

    • Nishita

      @ber@bermudaonion_kathy:disqus Thank you! We are spending more time with her on her weak areas, but we are also giving her this year to sort out things. She changed school boards and the sudden jump in curriculum has been a shock for all of us.

  • Karen

    hope you find your way back to blogging the way you want to. Those Ganesh models are quite cute – more interesting than the wooden one I have

    • Nishita

      @disqus_gmoXW9BOB2:disqus I’ve never seen a wooden one!

      • Karen

        I bought it in Mumbai

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