Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrating 2013, being happy!!

Once again, the 365 days, are over. It's a year gone again. Another block of life. A hillock climbed, a paddock crossed. I am really excited to celebrate this new year. Not to ring in 2014, but to celebrate the accomplishments of 2013 - personal, professional and societal. 

So now, how shall we do that? Holiday? Party? Well, OK, Let's go for a holiday. OK. Where to? Copenhagen? Hamburg? Mora? Salen? Sundsvall? Where? Well any one of the above destinations could be like a 3 or 4 day break from Stockholm. 
Air? Train? Road trip? Ok, se we zero it down to a road trip. Hotels have rooms. 
Final question, keeping on mind V, my pre schooler. So- things to do? 

Amusement parks - closed
Nature reserves - closed
Santaworld - closed
Restaurants - closed
Most of the family options which come to your mind are "closed". 

What will we do at temperatures ranging from -2 to +6 degrees? Nothing? Yes, that's Europe. 

So here we are, watching back to back movies, with family, spending quality time with each other and with ourselves, happy. 😊 A visit to city centre for midnight fireworks will be a must. 

PS: Reminder set to grocery shop in the first half tomorrow, the world shuts done after 2pm (including supermarkets), to reopen on 2nd January 2014. 

Happy New Year

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wishlist for my child

Vihaan, my little bundle of joy. He is an extremely inquisitive and positively hyperactive 5 year old pre schooler. Being a first time mum was an overwhelming experience. Time has passed very quickly since then. As Vihaan turned 5, he has slowly grown up to be a boy from a baby. As most kids of his age, he is more independent, and likes to spend time with himself, his books, his whiteboard, his paints, his iPad, his games, his puzzles, and the list goes on. This has given me more time for myself including time for my hobbies and development of my thoughts for my boy.

Being a member of blogadda, I keep checking the prompts/ contests on the site, and try to blog my thoughts about them. HDFC Insurance contest was one such prompt which made me write this post, even though its the last day of entry today.

"5 presents which I want to gift my child in life" - well, I can list down plenty of them. Books, toys, new McQueen bed, or what not.. But the real present would be what will stay with him, forever. So here I pen them down. 
Every man makes his own destiny, but there are some factors behind his success and happiness. I would like to play my part as well. 

1. Good education. 

An educational institution (schools and graduate college) make the base of life. A school moulds a person to a considerable extent, not only with knowledge, but also with a personality which they carry forward in their life. That becomes the real you. 
I will enable Vihaan with the best education possible - best schools and best teachers. The definition of "best" may differ from person to person. For me, a good school is one which is many years old, which has brought out gems in the world, which focuses on making a human being and not just a career. (This can be discussed in a separate post altogether).

2. Enable him to tap his potential

I believe that every person on this earth, has a talent. Lucky are those who are aware of it. As a parent, I will help Vihaan identify his talent. This is easy. I will expose him to different options - physical sports like football, mental sports like chess, dance, drama, music - instruments and singing, books, writing, technical skills like helping his dad fix the car, cooking by helping me cook in the kitchen, and very many more, which again can be discussed in a separate post. I hope that this will help him understand his passion, which will be God's gift, his talent. 

3. Enable him to pursue his dream

What I love to do turns to be my life's dream. Some people call it your "hobby". Playing football or singing was once known as a hobby, a pastime.  Well, not anymore. One can and one should dedicate your life to what you love to do the most. 
Once step 2 is achieved, the important stage will come of nurturing it. Whatever it will be, he will have to nurture and polish it. If painting is what he wants to do, then he will need to learn the art of it. I will help him focus on the potential, instead of becoming a doctor/ engineer/ investment banker (if these are not his passion to be, ofcourse). 

4. Embed the virtue of fearlessness and being bold

Being bold in life is one if the important virtues of a human. Leading a fearless life is worth living. Do what you want to do, that, will make him happy. Having his own opinion without getting influenced, going forward and doing what is right without thinking of social consequences - will make him a satisfied man. And I wish to inculcate this in him. The world has many examples of people daring to tread a different path, and live a fearless life. 

5. My time, all through my life

This is the most important, and the most difficult being a working mum. But that is the challenge. Being with my son when he needs me - as a support, as a listener, as a teacher, as a friend, as a guide. In whichever way he needs - I promise him my time. My quality time. 

And this, my little love, is my wishlist for you, so that you fulfill your dreams - dreams of love, dreams of passion, dreams of joy. 

Love and hugs

This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Secret Santa loves his treats, @ Aishwaryaeats

Its that time of the year again - when the dark engulfs you at three pm and everything around you is snow clad. Along with the gloom, are the stars and lights in every window (almost like Diwali),  colorful scented candles at every corner of the room, cozy warmth of the couch, wine and warm food. 
And then comes Christmas, the birth of our savior, Lord Jesus. 

The joy of christmas is associated with happiness and love - hymns, mass, prayers, the christmas tree, presents, Secret Santa Claus, Rudolf and christmas dinners - turkey, cake, sausages, wine and lots more.  

This is a secret Santa post, the idea of which originated from, where I am proud member. Interested bloggers were allotted a blog to review. 

And I proudly present the food blog of Aishwarya Lahiri, the Masterchef and our very own Perky Angel Eyes indiblogeshwari-

The blog is all about the love of food, which Aishwarya carries in her heart. the blog has recipes, restaurant reviews, and some posts about "the rest". Each post has a signature, Aishwarya style. 

For someone with a sweet tooth, (I finished half a bounty and a bar of dark chocolate already), the blog is irresistible. Recipe posts focus on a lot of sweet stuff - all for the love of desserts and baking. (75% posts to be precise). The recipes are a delight to read, written in first person narrative and penned in a very easy to understand and easy to cook manner. Ingredients used are easy to procure. The posts are given full justice with elaborate and colorful pictures, watermarked as "Aishwaryaeats". 

There are some tempting posts of food, and my personal favorite is 

Coming to the restaurant reviews, it is important to mention here, that Aishwarya is a member of Bloggers table on the very popular "Chef at Large". The reviews are professional, supported with pictures of raw materials used in the restaurant kitchen, the actual cooking process, the presentation of food on the table and everything which would or would not pull the reader to the reviewed place. 

This maybe because for the love of my home town, dilli meri jaan,  Connaught Place and ofcourse the restaurant under review. 

Aishwarya has some personal reviews (non CAL posts), which focus on Pune and Delhi food junctions. 

A few posts, here and there, seem to speak the foodie's heart - with focus on the love for food and family - parents and grandparents. As they truly say, food cooked with love is much much tastier than any spread at any Michelin star restaurants. 

I, as a reader, would love to read a lot more posts from the talented Media planner who cooks with all her heart. I couldn't do much justice to the blog, but I hope the cheeky post title, will pull the Santa to your blog again and again and again..  

Wishing Aishwarya Lahiri all the best for a wonderful journey called life. 

And in the end I would love to say - 

Joy to the world,
The Lord has come,
Let earth receive her king,
Let every heart, prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing..

Merry Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And miles to go before I sleep..

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.. 

Robert Frost

Quite recently, there was a discussion amongst a group of bloggers, where I realized that it is high time I should think about my passion for life. What all do I want to do before I die? The list I penned down was endless, and impractical, sometimes way too optimistic. So I shrunk it, edited it, did some Ctrl - X, and wrote it down here. 

1. Work for children in India, for their education, for children with special needs. It could be volunteering or opening up an NGO. A small non government organization, or simply permanently attaching myself with some society for this purpose.

2. Travel every bit and part of India - cities, villages, towns, mountains, beaches. 

3. Write and publish a collection of prose and poetry - short stories, or a novel - fiction.

4. Own a small studio apartment in Mumbai - some 20th floor in South Mumbai AND Own a small cottage or an apartment in Landour, Mussorie. 

5. See my little boy, Vihaan, grow up as a well educated, well bred human being, excelling in whatever profession he choses for himself. 

Too much to ask for? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it - A birthday surprise!!!

It was A cold and snowy day in Stockholm. The flakes covered the city white. It looked beautiful from inside, but the temperature was hovering around -18 degrees. It was the16th of January 2013. That kind of weather was normal during those months. Mid noon, the sun decided to say hello, shine bright on the white. Trust me, I have never seen a more beautiful sight than that. It's like glittering diamonds scattered across all around me. 
In this part of the world, sunshine is taken as an opportunity to go out for workouts, walks, runs (yes, you read it correct, running on snow) etcetera. I was in the need of fresh air, i went out for a walk, 

A person like me, a birthday addict (my friends know this fact), just 2 days before my birthday, this one was walk down the memory lane, memories of my childhood birthdays, fun and frolic of the college days, birthdays with hubby darling, birthdays with bobo, and a lot more. I may talk about all that in a post next month, around my birthday ;). 
After an hour of day dreaming in the freezing col, walking around the frozen lake, my hands were numb inside the gloves, and my nose was pink and frozen. I decided to walk back home. 

Ting tong.. a super excited bobo opened the door for me, and was jumping with joy. Okay, what happened this time? "Moma, there is a parcel for you, with you name “Arpita Sharma” written on it. Open it mama, please…” 
I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it, and there it was, sitting on the centre table, a big brown cardboard box, totally non-fancy, with lots of labels and seals. i started opening it. The articles were wrapped in the page 3 of a top Indian daily, and a part of me was tempted to read the paper before opening it further. Anyways, I tore it open, not one, not two, but three layers of it. 
and out came three beautiful books, the latest bestsellers, and a handmade card - from my mom and dad. “Happy birthday betu”, and a few more words full of emotions, and blessings. 

This was one of the best gifts I have received on my birthdays, because of the two factors - they were books, the source of joy, and the fact that it was a surprise, and a extremely joyous one. 
Thank you mum and dad, for that and everything, always.. 
Love you!! 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The daffodil dance

When William Wordsworth penned it down,
Golden daffodils painted the town,
Was it the flowers or the flowing stream,
Was it the solitude or his dream. 

I cannot tell what poets do,
Inspirations, imaginations, or just a singing cuckoo,
All I know, my mind blinds off,
Starts galloping like a horse.

It takes control of my thoughts
Holds my will as a wrought,
Penning it down is the only aim
Nothing works, no excuse lame. 

Today was such definite day
Down the stairs, I pave my way
I feel the breeze in my hair
The sun shines somewhere.

Listening to the rustle of autumn dry
The white cumulus flocks the sky,
The moment of smile, a sigh of relief 
Tonite with sleep, I would do a thief. 

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar - My hero, I hail to thee!!

When Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar started playing cricket, majority of the players in the Indian Nathional Cricket Team were attending kindergarden.

Under the influence of the world, I used to cheer for SRT. It was world cup 1992 when i started understanding cricket. Sachin was Jersey number 6. I started following his games. I do not much technical understanding of the game, neither do i intended to. What impressed and influence me was the commitment. It was far away from his team mates, from his seniors. (90% of the team was senior to him).

And then came Sharjah cup 1998. Whoa, what matches. And the game which I will forever remember, which made Sachin my hero. The desert storm game. The storm starts, the players leave the field, no one near the pitch, and SRT standing tall, with his bat, on the middle of the pitch, waiting for the storm to end. Nature bowed to his dedication and will power, and the match continued, and the SRT store continued. Shane Warne did enjoy it the most.

That incident is printed on my mind forever. A very rare sight seen in today's world. I consider myself real lucky to witness this little man's great work.

SRT, just for the Sharjah Cup 2008, accept my standing ovation. You are my inspiration, for life. To have the willpower to win over all complexities of life, stand tall, and persevere to excel.
ucky to witness this little man's great work.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

As the ranking falls.. :(

Hello blog.. My sincere apologies for being away from you for so long. The ranking has tumbled down like Jill. 

Trust me I have longed for you. But the circle of 24 hours, oh how much i hate that piece hanging on my wall - the clock. How I wish (like most of us) that it had a few more hours. Some more time slots in my daily schedule. Then one would be dedicated to you my dear bloggie.. 

Once again, I promise I will try to talk to you on a frequent basis. Atleast more frequently than I have done in past months. For this to happen, I must leverage the next 4 months of vacation days I have. Yes, you heard it  correct - 4 months - One of the many privileges of living in Sweden. 

For every child living in Sweden, who is less than 8 years of age, the parents are entitled to 480 days of parental leaves. Even though Vihaan was born in India, I am entitled to the same. And so, I am utilizing those few days to stay with him, visit my home country, and more importantly, focus on my health. 

So my next few posts will have the same focus. This will definitely give me a kick. Apart from loosing weight (which is a definite), I will work towards a healthy mind, body and soul. I have some plans, and that will be coming in the next post.

Till then, I am rejoicing in  the glory of the 4 months of bliss.. basking around.. 

Till later!! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cooking, as it turns fashion...

The past 6 months have seen me trying different recipes. I must admit that 6 months sounds a long time, and I have not really tried as much as I could. But my love of cooking seems growing.

Like many other girls of my generation, when I got married I knew no cooking, simple no cooking. Studies and job had kept me miles away from the kitchen. And then the pampering mom to help!!

I started cooking for family when I shifted to Sweden. It was tough in the beginning. Tiring and boring. I used to get tired cutting vegetables and making masalas. 

But as the "cooking fashion" picked up, my interest geared up as well. Cooking fashion includes recipe  blogs, recipe channels, recipe videos, face   book groups - sharing, appreciating, cooking, sharing pictures, then cooking more.. and so on... 

Whatever be it about "cooking fashion", its a strongly recommended "stress buster"... FOR SURE!! 

 Sooji Halwa


 Garlic bread

 Baked Mathri


May many more come.. AMEN!!! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reminiscence with bobo

Your little fingers painted red and blue,
The paper carrying rainbow hue;
Confident strikes and imaginative figures,
And thus memories of my childhood triggers.

Cards and paintings for mom and dad,
Foolish acts of dancing rad;
Digging worms and filling the jar,
The time doesn't seem so far.

Sledging in snow
As you giggle and jump around everywhere,
I see myself smiling and gazing there;
I am living my childhood days with you,
Feeling fresh and all anew.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My dancing love.. ♥ ♥

Theme: The first time you told a non-family member that wonderful phrase, “I love you.” The lead up, and what happens after that.

"I'm never gonna dance again
guilty feet have got no rhythm
though it's easy to pretend
I know your not a fool

Should've known better than to cheat a friend
and waste the chance that I've been given
so I'm never gonna dance again
the way I danced with you"

-George Michael

Love, definitions galore. 

I believe that the meaning and feeling of love purely depends from person to person.  Morover it also depends on the person for whom you feel it. Love is ofcourse different for parents, siblings, friends, and ofcourse lovers.  

For me, love is songs, dance and affable friendship.. 

I have been a tomboy all through my school and college days. Spending the first 14 years of my education in a convent school (St. Thomas', Delhi), and then in a girls college (RCAPS, DU) gave me almost no exposure to boys/ men. This added on to my behaviour of being indifferent towards boys and love and the sorts. 

Varanasi, Year 2003. 

My admission to MBA in FMS, BHU, brought in a lot of apprehensions and excitement, both. I was a little protective girl of my parents, the only child. Living alone in a hostel, some 500 kms away from Delhi, was a tough call for my parents. Even though my father is a BHU alumni, and he has many friends as professors there, still, my parents stayed in the faculty guest house for a couple of weeks to make sure I settle down. My classmates and my seniors ofcourse noticed this. Surprisingly, no one made fun of me, rather, they assured my parents that they will take care of me, and they all indeed did. 

Amidst all this puppy love feelings, I started striking friendships. Some in my class and some in my senior batch. 

Rahul was my senior. He was a localite, and lived in Varanasi. He was a happy go lucky, free wheeling guy, who was always seen laughing and fooling around. His buoyant attitude made him the favorite of many - peers and teachers alike. Along with his carefree ways, he was noble, generous and benevolent. Politeness and respect was imbibed in him. He instantly became my favorite senior. With a few common friends (localite classmates) in between, we started knowing each other. 

Just like all seniors, he would help me with the notes, with books, with presentations etc. We also used to go around the city sometimes, where he showed me the lanes of Varanasi. I used to share my worries, and loneliness with him, and slowly stopped missing home. I was taken by surprise, when sometimes he shared his own troubles. Health of his parents, his business issues, and the likes. Well, trouble stories were just a small part of our fun loving friendship. 

Then the time came to bid the second years farewell. Every year, the juniors organized an informal party. And so did we all. And then started the dancing. 5 continuous hours, and still we kept partying, all of us. And then the song of the day - 

I do not know till date why Rahul and I started dancing together on the song, and it just didn't finish. After the first few lines, it was only we who were dancing. He was a true dancer, and he bend on his knees, and with me as his partner, danced like crazy, and so did I. 

That was the moment. 
Even though I was dancing, I had a strange feeling, and a surprised look in my eye, and I kept looking at my best "boy" friend. What was it all about? 

Post this, a couple of more songs were played and we grooved to the Punjabi music and Vengaboys numbers. Finally the party wrapped up. Rahul dropped me to the hostel, and we laughed on the way. I will never forget that evening. 

When he left college, we used to talk on phone and meet up sometimes. He was the same affable Rahul, but something in me had changed. I had butterflies in my stomach, and a dizzy feeling every time I met him. It was strange, I never knew what it was. I wondered maybe because I don't meet him everyday, I am rolling back into my shell. It was mere discomfort? Was it? Slowly, I used to yearn for our meetings. And whenever they were, I used to be excited as never before. 

For a few months, I kept quiet, trying to lie to myself. And then one day, when I was 3 months away from my farewell, I called him up. I distinctly remember the conversation. 

"I have something to tell you"

"Yaar, ab tu permission legi? Shoot ladki".. 

"What will happen when I complete my MBA and go back to Delhi?"


"Well, we will start with our long and tough journey called life. But why are you asking all this? What is wrong? Padh le, exams aane waale hain. Did you do the case studies of international business strategy which I gave you?"

"Rahul, can we walk together on this long and tough journey called life?"


"I have a strange feeling, unknown emotions. Rahul, I love you,"... 


After a couple of minutes of long silence, that seemed like a lifetime, Rahul spoke. 

"Shall we meet up? Its 4pm. Shall I pick you up at 4.30 pm from your hostel?" But I told him that I would walk down. 

In Varanasi, the ghats of Ganga are the usual evening hangouts. With chai wale bhaiyas and pizzerias around, ghats were abuzz with students in the evenings. That was where we usually used to sit and chat for hours.

"How I wish I could respond to you Arpita, and how I wish I could respond positively." 
"I have always loved you Arpita, since I saw you the first time 2 years back", the innocent smile made me weak in my knees. 
"But walking together in life is not possible at all." 

He did give me some reasons, which I practically I understood well, but my heart didn't accept it, and doesn't till date. 

I spent the next three months in the same way as the previous days. Rahul was always beside me, he used to come to the faculty to wish me on every exam day, and he used to be there waiting for me in the afternoons. We did spend those 3 months, in the best possible way, spending a lot of time together, just to soak in all that we could in the short span. 

May 2004

"You do not have to cry ever in your life, never ever, till you know I am alive" were the last words he said. 

The Shiv Ganga express slowly left  the platform, and he stood there waving. And I slowly hummed 

Till we meet like this again, 
God be with you till we meet again.. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Image Courtesy:
Videos Courtesy: 
george michael offical youtube channel

Sunday, January 27, 2013

And the tingling continues

Theme: You meet a random person and start talking… What happens next?

"Madam ji, last box, best box.. le lo.."

The little girl with the tinkle in her eyes, and a box of bright blue glass bangles in her hand, touched my elbow while I was looking at some kurtas in a stall. It was the annual diwali fete at Delhi Public School, Noida. My brother, who is a student there, sold me 5 tickets. So I thought of atleast using one out of them, and headed in the hullabaloo. 

"What's your name?" And the bright smile wrinkled a bit. 

"Pia... My name is Pia"... 

She didnt look like a typical bangle seller, with her neat clothes, and good vocabulary apt for her age. She was 7 year old, as she told me. I was very tired after checking all the stalls, and I had to wait for my brother who was DJ at the disco set up. 

"Pia, show me the bangles, I have to check the size. Would you like to come over to the bench, I would like to sit for a while"

"No problem madam ji..."

That was the first time I met Pia. I bought those bangles, they fit me perfectly well - size 2.6. Blue being my favorite color, those bangles had instantly caught my eye. I gave her the 50 rupee note, and she smiled at me. The same bright smile. 

Pia, as I had guessed, was not a bangle seller. She was a resident for Noida Orphanage. The children from the orphanage came to the fete to set up a stall. And they sold all kind of stuff, as per the wish of the kid. Pia loves bangles. The music of tingling and  jingling colorful glass bangles makes her dance with glee. I met the caretaker of the orphanage, Mrs Anand, who was there with the children, sharing their joy and excitement. I asked her about the utilization of the money they would make at the stall. She told me that the administration had spent money to buy all the stuff the kids were selling. And they were there to have fun, and make the kids happy. They were not making any money. Whatever the children would earn, they were allowed to spend it all in the next two hours at the fete. I was impressed. I could see Pia licking a lolly far away from the stall. I waved her bye, and she waved me back, and blew a kiss. My day was made. 

I started visiting the orphanage, once in a while, whenever I could find time from work and family. It was a modest set up. I donated some books, and asked my friends to give old books if they had any. Noida Orphanage soon had a small library. I used to read stories to the kids, or help them with their homework. All the kids were enrolled in a nearby government school, thanks to the school principal, Mr Thakur, who was an old friend of Mrs Anand. 

I started getting attached to Pia, and used to be particularly interested in her school grades. She used to do good, but not excellent. She was addicted to listening to Radio, and could not focus on her subjects. 

One day, Mrs Anand called me up, and said that she wanted to meet me away from the orphanage. I called her home, as my home was a mere 200 meters away. After a cup of coffee, and making her comfortable, I gently asked her whether there was some special purpose of her visit. Mrs Anand asked me whether I would like to be Pia's god mother. A smile as bright as sunlight spread across my lips. I agreed. This meant taking care of Pia's all needs - like a family member. Now, apart from Pia's grades I started looking for hobby classes for her. I got her enrolled in a dance and music class. And whoa... Pia had a inborn flare for music. 
She learned the notes in amazingly short time, and started playing the harmonium. She also started taking classes for Kathak.  

Today, I can proudly say, that Pia, the little girl with the tinkling smile, is spreading the tingling of her bangles across the world, as she performs Kathak, and sings brilliant self-composed songs on international platforms.  She is a part of the Young Musicians Society of India, who collaborate with World music societies and exchange the music and dance culture across the world. 

I am so glad, I bought those blue bangles. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

All characters are fictitious. 

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