Saturday, September 13, 2014

Art of Preserving, or, LOSING….my mind?!


I come from a lower middle class family. We had minimal stuff. Growing up…we had just enough stuff at home for a family of 5. Almost like in the case of “The Three Bears” home. Even they were fortunate enough, to each have a bed to themselves. We had to share at home.

In the kitchen, we had 5 plates in the plates rack, 4 very small ones and then a larger one, for the Papa Bear, and then, there was a spare one, that was bigger. I guess it was for those days that, we had a guest? Not sure. Maybe it was GrandPapa Bears’. 

Then, there were about 4 small steel tumblers and I think a couple of bigger ones, that was for Papa Bear, my Dad, of course. The spoons was the most enviable part. I don’t remember having more than 6 spoons in the kitchen.

I grew up and one day, I got married.  I had my first chance at having my own dishes and spoons et all. It had felt awesome to get that first Oneida set of 16, spoons, forks and knives. It had felt even exciting to receive another set for a gift.  I used to take care of them very gently. I never put them through the agony of going through a wash in the dishwasher. They were well preserved.  They were my Silverware!

Then the kids came along and so many more spoons and forks and knives came along. Colored, metal, and, as the little Bears grew up, the colored ones disappeared, well, most of them. The metallics remained. Some had long handles and small pretty face, perfect for deserts and ice creams, while another set had this huge round bowl face…so perfect for soups, some were small all over, and so many more.

In the course of bringing up 4 children, I lost count of the cutlery, we had. I knew it had filled up the whole draw at one point.  I gave up on checking if all of them belonging to a set, were in there. A few times, I caught myself throwing a disposable bowl in the trash along with a spoon from a set.

Well, those were the times I recovered them. I’m sure, there must have been times when I must not have noticed too. The kids could have added to that effort too.

Still, In every face, I did keep up my practice of not putting my cutlery through the torture of having to face the dishwasher.  Even on the days when I’d been dead tired, when Hubby dear had loaded the dishwasher for me, I had requested him to leave my SKF alone. I mean, the spoons, knives and forks. That I ‘d take care of them in the morning. But, he’d never remember and they would end up taking on the dishwasher’s wrath. Come out still looking unwashed.

Today, I’ve given up..Now my children had joined in to add to the misery. Now, there’s more confusion than there was before…I hand wash stuff and put them in the dishwasher to dry…the kids will come and in an effort to help me…they’ll rinse stuff in the sink and load them with the others, into the dishwasher…and it hasn’t been turned on yet…Ok.

Now, Hubby dear comes…with the intention of helping OFCOURSE, he unloads the dishwasher and puts the washed & unwashed vessels in their respective cabinets.

I’ve been trying hard to bring a discipline to this chore of dishwashing that has totally gone haywire.  My washed dishes…mixed with the dishes the kids put in the washer , and all of them..are put back in the cabinets.

None of us are in sync!

Now, I have to wash all the dishes in every rack, in every cabinet, to fix this. 

To add salt to my wounds…Hubby dear has found a new use of my precious cutlery. He is using them as can openers?! or as a wedge to open tight lids?! Well…he must be having some good intention…I told myself when I saw a fork in this condition.


He has even managed to put my delicate spoon through the insinkerator!  We use the kind, that needs one to put a lid like switch on the garbage disposer, to turn ON. I mean, how careful can one get with the Insinkerator?! 


After a few times of this..After broken plates and bowls…I have come to the point that I don’t need anybody’s help!  So, people of my home, I am so happy with your intention to help me…only, I find dishwashing is a chore that brings so much joy to me..

To that end, I request all of you to KEEP OFF (I am screaming here!) from washing any dishes in my home. 

Somehow…the art of DELEGATION…never seems to work at home.  Its back to square one. 

Monday, September 8, 2014


Dressing up is a chore. Well, I mean there is a big difference between being tidy and dressing up. And the later is a chore. Especially if it’s a Sari! I have come to a phase of life where this feels like a chore. Who would concur with me on this?  By the time I am done, I am tired! 

Having said that…it doesn’t feel the same when it comes to buying a few. I  love Sari shopping. Now, who is with me on this one.?  What can you do, Indian Sari is such an amazing attire. It does that to you. The colors and the variety. It is my favorite too!

Every state has its own ethnic sari to boost about. Each one as special, and alluring, as the previous. Recently, it was Onam…and I did miss having a Kerala saree with me. Still recall the year, with such fondness, when we all friends had worn a Veshti Mundu for Onam and Vishu, in college.

So, most times when I do dress up in a Sari, Hubby dear will make sure to record it! To mark it. To let me know that I should be dressing up as many times, in a Sari, as many as I shop for them,

These pictures of me taken recently reminded me of a lot of things.

_DSC0778w PIC 1


_DSC0783w  PIC 2


_DSC0787w  PIC 3

1. Posing feels awkward for me..I’m never ever going to get comfortable about being photographed, even if its Hubby dear clicking. Also, its cumbersome, in the sense, that every pic he takes, I need to check it and suggest changes he needs to do. Its not easy because only, he knows what he’s looking at…How would I know .. this angle suits me?! So,Its better to be on the other side of the camera.

2. As I looked at my hair,  it reminded me of the advice my youngest daughter R, always gives me.

“Mama , you look like a boy…if you tie your hair up. Let it down!”

When ever she is with me…she will make sure to open my bun and let those few strands I have left, hang down.

3. It reminded me, how the angle of the camera can make you look bigger or slimmer than you actually are.

These shots have been taken, by a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. On the outset, it is not the most appropriate lens for shooting a portrait. Longer focal lengths are good for portraits. Ideally an 85mm. But, I chose the 50mm here, for the space available in the room, and the 1.4 aperture that it allows, for high key shot. 

Some angles make the midsection, looks wider and in some they look slimmer. The nose appears bulged or longer in some and in others it doesn’t. It all depends on the angle you hold the camera, the focal length of the lens and how far you are from the subject. 

Perfect time to echo this from Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes Photography

So, if  all you seek is the truth, in a photograph….You are not going to find it.

4. Recently, we had a Sari Tying workshop at one of our GNO. I was wondering … How much I would have gotten out of 10 for this?

Actually, the point made was very good that I concur with. To some, Sari tying is an art, it comes naturally, while to others, it’s a skill. It needs to be developed.

It’s a sin to just wrap a beautiful Sari without giving the respect it deserves.. You got to take your wear it proper. It can highlight your curves..make you look slimmer than you are.  Otherwise, all that effort the weaver puts into making that beautiful fabric is LOST! 

(Having said all these..there are many Opinions on the right way of wearing a Sari, isn’t there? Myself, I like hanging the Pallu carelessly over the shoulder, looking like a women I am today, a mom of 4 children.) 

All this talk about wearing a Sari to look slimmer,  reminded me that its no different from the concept that Calvin made clear about Photography! Its how you hide and how you show.

Now, if this is the point, then, I have a point too, as a photographer.  It’s a sin to not take a good picture of a woman who has taken the pains to wear a beautiful Sari, perfectly! All you spouses and photographers who are going to take pictures, of your wives…learn to take it right.

So, Did my Hubby do a good job here. Sure!

And this picture…it has a story of its own.


I’ve been careless about my Phone. All summer I had my kids with me and Hubby dear could reach me on our Home #, if needed. So, I never needed to have my mobile on me. I lost my phone umpteen times. Turned out misplaced..every time.

At one point, when it was more than a month that I was without a phone..we bought a new one, the Samsung S5. Cool pics it takes uh!! 

If you find a white Samsung with a Message permanently beeping on it..

”This phone belongs to Gayatri. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx. You can be sure, it would be mine and do give me a call back at the number mentioned, to return my phone. Smile

Its September, the festival season is on us..I’m already planning to shop for a few Saris. I don’t know if I will wear them..but, shop I will. What will you choose to wear this festival season?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Google thoughts..?!


Many times..I’m bitten by the writing bug..and I love indulging in it. My content, always revolving around my family, my children.  It helps me reflect on my life, to put my life in perspective, to weigh what is important to us, as a family.

All those little joys of life that make it so beautiful. To appreciate what we have, helps me discount, brush off, the insignificants. Most situations are common to every family, what one endures or,enjoys, about parenthood, about life in general.

It sure gives pleasure to one particular fan…Hubby dear. He loves to read what I write. He enjoys the style. It gives him an opportunity to look at simple things in our lives,from my perspective, a Mom’s Perspective!

So, here I am on any normal day, on a walk, or, washing the dishes, or, doing just about any daily business,  I’m left with a mind full of thoughts! Don’t we get lost in our thoughts in a jiffy?! Its so easy. An amazing thing this mind is.. the way it flits within a fraction of a sec, from one thought to another. So mercurial, so inconsistent. Happens to everybody. Some thoughts, they are just passing, ephemeral, while some of them are just reminders Oh-I-need-to-finish-that-today. But, what if, you’d want a particular thought to stay.

I get a lot of them…that I’d like to write about.

It feels important! Maybe I realize,  I can make an epic of this string of thoughts.

Like say…when

I remembered, the instance when Hubby dear supposedly said something mushy to me..( did seem like that to my 12 year olds!)

N, one of the triplet,  immediately remarked…

”Ewwww….I’m scarred for life!”

It reminded me of the episode from Modern Family where the children are discussing their parent’s grosses in the same context and then realize…

“Isn’t it nice that Mom and Dad are into each other…rather than being divorced or something else”

So, they are ready to bear up with all this..rather than face parents who are not interested in each other.

This made for a very interesting topic for me to write about. We all face this in our lives as parents, don’t we?

Or, the other time when Hubby dear talked to me about meeting an old Friend who had moved away after going through a very tragic event in their life.

I had asked …”How is their family is doing?”

And he had replied…”No .. I didn’t ask . I couldn’t!”

It reminded me of that quote that I had come across recently. A global world’s take on the old world cliché “Silence is Gold”

To be able to speak in many languages is,  a Valuable Asset.

To be able to keep your mouth shut in all languages, Priceless!

I got me thinking if, taking refuge in that saying made more sense or, avoiding the topic ,at the risk of appearing indifferent to their situation is?!  There is no right answer in this situation.

I’m inundated with thoughts, everyday, every moment. We all are. It’s the nature of our being. It would help us to save, many of them.

But, most times, it never gets to that point, does it?! Maybe you never got a chance to write it down, or use it, because, by the time, you can, you’ve forgotten about it, you digressed, got diverted with something else.

While they occur, while they happen, in your mind, these thoughts, they seem, so well expressed. So coherent. The whole thread makes sense. They fall into place in a proper sequence, doesn’t sound gibberish at all. But, don’t they flow so fast?

Most times, I don’t know where a particular thought will lead to. Sometimes, I start to like a sequence, as it flows. I realize, I want to write this down, But, I forget what this whole idea was conceived of, its origin, what was the thread that led me to think, what I am thinking now.
Oh..feels so clear and well connected but, what was its inception?! How do I come to that point?!

It feels frustrating. So helpless. Oh…I’ve lost it. Now, I cannot dwell on them later, I cannot share them with others and ask for, their take on the subject.

That’s when I got this visual in my head, of something taking notes as our mind wanders. That it would be great if we had a peer for Google Glasses, we could call it, say, Google thoughts!

A gizmo that can record our thoughts as they happen.  Sure there are voice recorders, but, for that we'd have to be thinking loudly, soliloquizing, don't you think?! But, who can talk as fast as can you think?!

Remember that story from Mahabharata, in which Yudhisthir, the eldest of the Pandava, is put to a a Yaksha.  He has 3 questions to answer. If he’d answer them correctly, he could live and save all his brothers too. One of the question asked to him was..

What is it that is faster than the speed of light?!

His answer:  The mind!
The speed of mind..incomprehensible, invincible, to say the least. Would there be a way to record our thoughts onto document or something?!
There are many times that you think of a topic but, don't have a pen to put them on paper. I'm sure most writers face this.  I miss it so much. It reminds me of Dumbledore's Penseive!

Someplace, where you can just place a particular memory or a thought, to be saved! Maybe you would want to visit that at a later time, to retrieve it!

Our mind is a penseive in itself.  isn’t it?! Like Dumbledore’s Penseive!

Ideally, it is supposed to do that for us, isn’t it?! But, not all of us have this advantage of being able to use it to its potential, do we?! That’s when such gizmos become essential. And I miss such a gizmo! I want something like that..

Now that I have imagined such a gizmo to exist..I couldn’t help but, think of all the complexities, as a result?!

First of all…We’d be breeding a generation that would be thought lazy to start with. There would be mind Gyms! A la Alia Bhatt’s recent viral video!

This may sound trivial in front of this next one.. Imagine if somebody can get hold of that PENSIEVE! A pensieve full of your thoughts, some of which you may not want publicized!!  How about it getting into the hands of “Big Daddy”… “Big Brother”?

Then we will end up with the concept of “Thought Police”!!

That…maybe the government would want to stop crime before it happened. So, there’ll be a database of everybody’s thoughts and they are being monitored. So, you could get arrested for thinking something bad. You could have police at your door because you child was thinking of pulling some prank that was not allowed. And the speed with which thoughts can travel..there is not limit to the possibilities.

Shouldn’t one have the independence of being able to exercise their mind as they might choose to? They could be as wild or smart or anything in their mind. As long as they don’t transform those inappropriate, reprehensible thoughts into actions, who cares what one thinks..

Still…it was an amazing thought. Smile