Saturday, 25 December 2010

Anushka's 1st Christmas!

She is just 4 months old, and she is not yet dreaming of a white Christmas, but her mother is already making big plans for her when she grows up! Yes, this is what mommyhood has done to me! 

Last Christmas, Joy and I were in Calcutta (it's still Calcutta for me, unless some political group starts to threaten and beat up people for calling Kolkata Calcutta). Getting back to last Christmas, both of us wanted to spend the evening on Park Street. I went to Park Street on Christmas Day after at least 11 years!

We first went to Music World and picked up a collection of Al Pacino movies, then strolled around Rippon Street, visited the Archies Gallery near New Market, and finally went to the Oxford Book Store; nothing that we hadn't done before, thought this time was laced with a lot of beautiful memories.

At the Oxford Book Store, we went through a lot of books and even bought a couple. Then we did something that we hadn't done ever before in Cal. We went to the cafe upstairs called Cha Bar for some tea. We are not tea drinkers at all, but the sheer excitement of drinking Darjeeling tea at the Cha Bar was something we didn't want to miss. We spent quite a bit of time there before we went to Roxy at The Park which was the main plan for the latter part of the evening.

Sumit and Rila were performing at Roxy. To our great fortune, the two of us were the only guests who stayed through their entire performance. It almost seemed that they were performing for us! From  Brothers In Arms to Yesterday to The Winner Takes It All to many more, Rila's beautiful voice and Sumit's out of this world guitar playing left the two of us mesmerised. Needless to say that it was one of the beautiful Christmas evenings of our lives. 

Looking back, Anushka was already in my womb, and she was as much a part of the entire evening as the two of us. Isn't that wonderful! And, as I write this, I am sitting with Anushka and Joy and sipping on my Bacardi. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Childhood travel dreams and memories!

My husband went to my Kolkata home a couple of days ago and I wanted him to bring some of my old books from there. While packing the books he had no idea what he was bringing, and what pleasure will I get out of one of the books. When I started unpacking the bag I found my first atlas. It was bought probably when I was in class four or five, a few centuries ago (kidding, I am not that old!), and I can't believe that I still have it! This is the twenty fifth edition of The Oxford School Atlas, and is not quite relevant in today's times as the maps have The U.S.S.R., West Germany and East Germany in them. But, this particular map above is a special one as this is where my dreams of visiting Europe began.

While learning the names of the countires and their capital cities I used to quietly tell myself that I will visit these countries someday. My first attractions were Italy and Sicily probably because of their shapes.  At the age of thirteen I guess that was a good way to choose favourites! My father taught me that Italy was the boot and Silcily was the football. 

While going through the pages of the atlas a lot of memories came alive. It was fun to note that I have visited six countries in Europe already, and my dreams are still alive to visit the boot and the football!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Worcaholic… who?!

Someone who works very hard with a lot of passion is supposed to be a workaholic. Please note, the word is referred to people working at work places only. It is okay to shun your personal life and the responsibilities attached with it if one is a workaholic. In fact, it is a matter of pride to be one. What will you call someone who works like crazy at home, as in, household work, taking care of family, home, the garden, etc? A maniac? Why is there a discrimination?

I know many people who hardly work at office, but spend a lot of time pretending to work, and they are often referred to as workaholics! There are some more that bring home work and spend a lot of the work time on blogs, facebook, twitter etc, but they are those famous (read infamous) workaholics! Those housewives, retired people who love their homes and take extra care of their household are hardly given any credit, and are hardly appreciated. An aunt is often asked to consult a psychiatrist because she cleans her house several times a day because she loves a neat and clean house. She is not a proud workaholic, but a maniac! Isn’t that funny??

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Durga Puja... on a different note!

October 13

Today is Maha Shashthi. Durga Puja begins today. Like every Bengali I am all excited and enthusiatic about Puja. But this time, my Puja celebration will be different. Instead of going out, pandal hopping, eating out, I'll spend most of my time at home with Aanya. This is Aanya's first Puja, and I hope I'll be able to take her to the Puja pandal for a bit one of the days.

Since I won't be able to go out of the house leaving Aanya alone, my mother has made the offering to Maa Durga for Shashthi Puja on my behalf. It's a little odd that I am sitting at home instead of going out, but I am not one bit upset. There was a time when I used to be in tears if I had to stay at home during the four days of the Puja. Now, for Aanya, nothing matters but her! Guess this what motherhood does to women.

Today started on a good note though. I went to a Goonj volunteer's place this morning to drop some clothes and shoes. Giving things, reaching out to people is my way of living. What could have been a better way to start my Puja celebration?

The next 3 days I will try and blog besides spending some 'quality' time with my little one! Tomorrow is  Saptami... what fun! 


Saptami is almost over, and I have finally found some time to myself. Aanya took her vaccines and polio drops this afternoon. She hasn't been cranky or anything but she sure feels a little pain; after all she had to take 2 pin pricks! She chose to be in my arms rather than sleeping on her own bed. 

Tomorrow will be different. I am going to the Puja pandal at Lokhandwala, may have some Bhog also.        

October 15

Maha Ashtami! I had many plans for this day, but they had to be altered. Never mind, I am going to make it all up tomorrow. The good things... I did have some bhog as Ma brought home some for me. Later in the evening I went to the Lokhandwala pandal for a bit, and guess what? Aanya went too! Just that she did not enter the premises, but stayed with my mother in the car. 

The Puja pandal looked as beautiful as ever, and I particularly liked the 'Pratimas' (idols). I also liked the yellow and blue lights hanging from the ceiling. In one of the Bengali news channels it was mentioned, that this time the Lokhandwala Puja is displaying works of Murshidabad, right from the decor to the dhakis. The sound of the dhak has a dizzying effect on me, and this evening it did help to set the right mood; I had goosebumps!

That was about Ashtami. Aanya turned 2 months today! And yes, we had another cake cutting celebration, and as usual, Aanya was fast asleep during the cake cutting and the photo shoot!       

October 16

Maha Nabami. Today it felt like Puja! My Mashi, Mesho and cousins arrrived this morning to spend the day with us. It's wonderful to have family around during Durga Puja. 

I got up rather early considering that I went to sleep past 7 in the morning. Aanya is a night baby and a morning baby, hence I am up almost all the time!  Anyway, I got Aanya ready and then I wore a saree (my once a year schedule), and then rushed to the Puja pandal with Joy. As we reached, we heard the announcement that the next Pushpanjali was to start in 5 minutes.

Pushpanjali is one part of Durga Puja I like the most. I feel it's a way of connecting with the Almighty. I am not a religious person, nor do I believe in doing Puja; however, there is something about Durga Puja that makes me think and feel otherwise. This is one ritual I have performed almost all of my life. The last 4/5 years Joy has started embracing this ritual too.

Aanya came to the pandal a little later with Ma, and then after a while she became the centre of attraction. Thanks to my mother's many friends in the Puja commitee, Aanya got to seek blessings from Maa Durga by getting on the podium and being there right in front of the Pratima! Almost all eyes were on her, everyone wondering who this kid was, while Aanya slept peacefully through the entire event!

Joy and I chose to skip Bhog as there was a huge queue, and it was extremely hot and sultry. After a short while we came back home, just my Ma and Mashi stayed back at the pandal.

Today was a wonderful day in many ways. Though I was tired and sleepy I enjoyed every moment of the day. It is Dashami tomorrow, the end of Durga Puja. I still feel sad when Puja gets over just the way I used to feel as a little girl. From this year on, Durga Puja will have more significance as I have Aanya in my life!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

For the 35 plus first time mothers to be!

A little warning or a piece of advice, look at it the way you want to. Chances of a premature delivery is very high for the 35 plus first time mothers to be. I hate stereo typing and I chose not to read that particular page from my pregnancy guide book which discusses this problem. I had a premature delivery. The good thing was that it was detected early and my baby was only under weight. She was kept at the NICU, Neonatal ICU, just to ensure that everything was fine and that she gains weight; and she did.

Around the seventh month of my pregnancy my blood pressure started shooting up. That is an indication which I realised after my child's birth. Though I was taking pills to control BP, it was not coming down. And, 1 month and 5 days before the scheduled delivery day I had a C Section; fortunately, there was no complication. A friend had a similar situation but her water bag broke and dried up before the delivery. Poor thing, she and her son suffered quite a bit. By God's grace, both of them are doing fine now.

My darling Aanya is almost 2 months old and she is doing fine. I have been extremely careful with her from the time she came home, but now I have started treating her like any other normal baby.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Many years ago, when I was very young, I used to spend Durga Puja vacation with my maternal grandparents. That's when I grew up listening to Mahalaya - Durga Bandana on the radio. Not that I understood much of what I heard, but there was a thrill about waking up at 4 in the morning and listening to the radio with everyone else in the house.

As I grew there came the days of the television, Mahalaya on Doordarshan, and I found that more appealing than the radio. But, as the years progressed I started losing interest in waking up early in the morning to tune into the radio or the television. Perhaps the significance of traditions, conventions have been reducing in the so-called modern times.

The past few years, in spite of my sincere interest, I miss turning on the television on time. I just can't wake up! This year it was worse, it didn't strike me that it was Mahalaya yesterday, though my cousin sent me a beautiful text message. Guess I am becoming increasingly forgetful or my mind is too preoccupied, whatever...

I was going through some blogs this morning. Thanks to KG aka Aparna, that I realised that YouTube has videos of Mahalaya! She posted a beautiful video 'Dhak'; just loved watching it. These modern ideas will definitely revive the spirit of Mahalaya for those who have lost interest in it. 

Just thinking, with the ever changing technolgy, one hardly misses anything anymore!  Just go through the life cycle of Mahalaya... it was the radio, then the television and now the YouTube videos... what next? :)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Those self proclaimed photographers!

Everyone's a photographer these days, thanks to the digicams and phone cameras. Till a few years ago only those who took interest in photography clicked photographs. Today, it is an easy art, rather it's hardly considered an art, hence everybody is clicking!

I know a few people who are praised and raved about for their interest in photography and their possession of fancy cameras. In fact, a couple of them don't wait for others to praise them, they do it themselves... braggarts! Sadly, if you see what they click with their cameras you'll be shocked 'cause more than half of the photographs are either out of focus or blurred! Most of what I click are not too bad actually, maybe the light and the focus are not always in place, they are not blurred at least (you can see the photos on my blog if you don't believe me!)

I met a professional photographer a couple of years ago, a friend's friend, and boy, in what style he clicked our photos. I didn't realise how bad they were until I saw them on my computer screen! I once trusted a relative to take photographs for an occasion at home, and this person has a variety of cameras. Most of what she clicked were so bad that I can't put them up anywhere, in fact, it's embarrassing to show them to people. The worst part is that I can't complain because I don't want to hurt her, but the fact remains that those occasions are one-time and those moments will not come back in my life anymore. 

This blog may probably seem like I am complaining, maybe I am. People should know what they are good at and what they are not. It's important to acquire skills and practise well before claiming to be an expert; otherwise, it's an insult to the art. And, those self proclaimed photographers, it's about time that you guys take lessons in photography from the real experts, and stop bragging and making a complete fool of yourselves!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010

After the shoddy CWG 2010 preparations the opening ceremony was spectacular! I, like other proud Indians, have been left breathless!

Bravo Indians!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

What kind of a traveler am I?

I read many articles, blogs etc. on travel and travelers and this question came to my mind a few days ago. How do I describe myself as a traveler? Well, the answer isn’t quite easy. I am not a backpacker for sure and I’ll never be one. Globetrotter, not just yet! I don’t think I’ll ever have that kind of money to travel in a lot of style. I want to see the world at my own pace and interest with a good amount of comfort and leisure, yet at a fairly economic price. Hmmm, how does one do that? Don’t know the answer to the last question now, but I might figure it out one day. 

I travel a lot in my mind; maybe I can call myself a mind traveler, eh that’s a bad one! The day I have enough resources to go wherever I want to, I’ll sure coin a name to describe myself. As of now, I know that I cannot go anywhere with my one and a half month old daughter. I am just waiting for her to turn a year old; I have of couple of travel plans worked out in my mind already! Hopefully the plans on the mind will turn into real travelling experience with a little bit of luck! In the meantime I am on this wonderful journey of life, called 'Motherhood'!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Joy of Giving!

Joy of Giving Week starts today. I am doing my bit, are you?

I have been giving old clothes, cloth, shoes and chappals to Goonj for 3 years, and I am going to do just that this week! My husband and my mother have also packed some stuff to give. I am glad that we as a family are doing our bit to reach out to people. Nothing can be more satisfying than this!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Anushka - Aanya... the joy of our life!

Our little princess arrived rather suddenly on August 15, bringing with her all the joys of the world. She is a little premature, quite obvious, but she is full of life already. I can't wait to bring her home!

Looking back, the first two days weren't easy. Staying away from the new born, not getting to see her at all... I was fortunate to see her for a few seconds right after her birth, thanks to the modern day surgeries where one is not made unconscious. Though I had a very comfortable delivery with no labour pain, practically no pain in the surgery process besides a few pin pricks, the pain of staying away from my little one was unbearable. She was taken to the NICU from the OT.

I went to see her on the third day and I couldn't hold back my tears. Though the doctors constantly told me that she was fine and it was only because she was under weight that she was staying at the NICU, I wasn't convinced. I kept feeling that it must have been that I had done wrong during pregnancy that my baby is suffering. It took me a couple of days more to understand and accept that baby was  doing fine.

Yesterday, I took her in my arms for the first time! I don't think I can explain in words how it felt but I know all mothers will know how I felt. I have started feeding her, another high in my life!

It's a new beginning in my life, and I have set sails in this wonderful voyage of motherhood....

By the way, she is Aanya to the family and close friends, and Anushka for the rest of the world!

Here are just a few of the countless memorable moments - 

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday, 11 June 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010 started today amidst unprecedented anticipation and excitement. Can India ever be a part of it, besides Salim Sulaiman composing music for the event, or John Abraham and the likes giving their expert comments for the Indian audience (in India)?

I feel the only way we Indians can be a real part of this grand event if we manage to host it as this is the only way a country qualifies automatically. I may be a pessimist, but I don't see any other way how India can qualify for the world cup in the near future.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

It's 'still' a man's world, in cricket too!

The title of this post is particularly apt in the Indian scenario. In almost every field men still dominate the scene. When it comes to sports, India and Indians have a massive soft spot for the 'Men In Blue', now what they are often referred to as Dhoni's Men! Whether they win or lose, the cricketers are the 'forever favourites'! No other sport in India get attention as much as cricket, and this point is hugely debated in the past 2 or 3 years in almost all channels of media. I don't think I have anything more to add with my limited knowledge of sports.

But what came to me as a bit of a surprise yesterday, and particularly today is that, finally the women's cricket team is getting featured in our newspapers and news channels. Well, the reason is obvious. After the men's team's disastrous performance at the T20 WC, and that the women's team have fared well so far in the T20 WC and have a chance to lift the title, it is but natural that the focus has shifted to the women's team. So all ears and eyes to the 'Girls In Blue'! 

I have briefly been following the girls' team performance for a couple of years, mainly on the internet, and they have been performing rather well through the years. But who cares? How many people know the team? Leave aside the entire team, how many people know who's the captain of the team. Not only do we know MS Dhoni as the team captain, we also know about his other achievements and personal life. But poor Jhulan Goswami, she has to go a long way to let the Indians know that she is the captain of the women's cricket team. Some people know Mithali Raj's name, but I can guarantee, if people are randomly quizzed, 70 to 80 percent of the people will not know who she is or what sport she plays. That's the sad story of Indian sports, particularly the women's teams.

Will the sports bodies, media and corporates please wake up and do something now, or will they still continue to remain indifferent towards the women and other sporting forms? It cannot be said whether the 'Girls In Blue' will lift the T20 WC title or not, but if they do I hope the authorities will take note and bring in a revolution. Till such time, I am going to wait and watch, and hope those who are reading this post will do to! :)

Monday, 10 May 2010

How our icons are politicised!

Celebrating Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary, and how the different political parties in Bengal are using this day to prove a point to the public to win their hearts! For once I did not quite oppose to this idea too much as the selfish intentions of the political parties in a way promote Tagore once again to many people. 

Sadly, Tagore has become a statue, an idol who to worship. Not too many people engage themselves to know and understand what made this man an icon. And it is sadder to note that Tagore needs to be promoted. Most of the people I associate with have no interest in Tagore, and I haven't been able to build any interest in their lives. Therefore, if the politicians are doing something to preserve and restore Tagore's legacy, my votes go out to them!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary

Today is 'Pochishe Boishakh', Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary. Like thousands of Tagore loving Bengalis I woke up with a feeling of celebration. But the spirit of celebration drowned within moments as I found myself to be the only one to feel that way. I live in Mumbai, hence finding too many Bengalis around me is not a possibility, but the ones I know are too 'modern' or maybe indifferent to know about Tagore. To them, he was just a great poet and artist.

The past 3 months I have been regularly searching the internet to find any program or event to mark this day in Mumbai; I found none. Today's newspaper has extensive writings on Mother's Day, and how celebrities celebrate mother's day, but there is not a mention of Tagore.

The whole day has gone by and my only connection with Bengali and Tagore has been courtesy 2 Bengali channels, 24 Ghanta and Star Ananda.

Is Tagore only for Bengalis? This has been a question on my mind for a long time, but after today, my question is, are the Bengalis forgetting Tagore?

Monday, 29 March 2010

My First Trip To A Desert

Desert Safari at the Dubai - Sharjah border...


                                                                                    I look parched and baked!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

When to have a baby...

In India, having a baby within a couple of years after getting married is normal. In case the period goes beyond that, thousands of questions are asked by family members, relatives, nosy neighbours, and friends. Some will ask you if there is a problem, some will suggest remedies without even asking if there is a problem or not! Those who cannot ask questions directly would normally discuss you when you are not around and jump to conclusions.

Eight years of marriage and not a baby yet, there has to be at least one problem. Yes, I am talking about myself. I wouldn't say that too many people have asked me why don't I have a kid, but some have asked my mother and also suggested that she should convince me to have a baby. To that my mother completely shut them up by saying that she does not like to interfere in anybody's personal life. Thank God, that I have such a supportive mother to shut those stupid people up! Almost all my trainees have asked if I had a kid after knowing that I was married. Wonder is it compulsory to have a kid?! An ex-colleague once called me a DINK (double income no kid) couple with a hideous grin. What was itching her I don't know, chose not be rude so I did not respond. A couple of so called friends (read acquaintance) asked if I had a problem... well I didn't even know if I had a problem... I didn't care to find out because my husband and I did not want a child then.

What always bothered me was the mental set up of people. Why is it that that a couple needs to answer to questions asked by almost inconsequential people about plans of having a child. Why is it anybody else's business when it is supposed to be only the couple's business?

It's not always about a career, it's sometimes about the maturity of the couple that delays them to plan a baby. My husband and I did not want to rush into bringing a life into this world when we ourselves were not good enough to take care of each other. We just didn't want to have a decent career and have a baby. We wanted more time for each other, we wanted to travel a fair bit. We did not want to struggle all our lives and give up our aspirations just to please the society.

I am 3 months pregnant now, and I am thoroughly enjoying my break from work after 13 years. I am sure many people who know me have assumed that I have had major problems and I had to go through treatment to get pregnant. God and life have been kind... I had things happening very smoothly so far. And I know that with all the love and blessings I have got from those who care, nothing will go wrong in the future too.

Whether to have a baby or not have one should be a couple's decision and nobody else's. And, how and when they want to time it should again be absolutely the couple's business.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Nepal 20 years ago

The trip to Nepal was very special as it was my first trip out of India. Back in those days traveling abroad was not a very common thing among the upper middle class families, maybe one world tour after retirement was all they managed. So, the idea of Nepal at that age was definitely a great thing for me!

Well, writing about the trip after so many years is a little difficult, but I want to write about it as I still have very distinct memories of some parts of the trip. As I write along I am sure my memory will keep getting refreshed.

I don’t distinctly remember every detail of the airport formalities. We took our flight from Calcutta Airport. My parents helped me and my sister with the boarding cards, I don’t remember how the security checks happened. I remember how excited I was to board an aircraft, as it was my first time. We clicked photographs before boarding the aircraft and then some more inside. Photography was allowed at almost every phase, fortunately!

It was a 45-minute flight. I enjoyed every bit of the trip on board, especially, the food that was served. As we were nearing Kathmandu we heard an announcement asking the passengers to look outside; we were flying over Mt. Everest. What a wonderful sight it was! It was amazing to see the pristine beauty of the mountain peak outside our window. It felt great as I was looking at something that I read about in my Geography text book, feeling rather proud that I was the only one from my class who could claim to have seen Mt. Everest! Soon after we could see the valley of Nepal as we were descending towards the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

I don’t remember anything that happened after disembarking from the aircraft. The next thing I remember was that we went to check into a hotel. The taxi driver helped us find this hotel and I remember vaguely that my father got a discount on the room tariffs. This is where I learnt the word ‘tariff’.

We took 1 double bed room with an extra bed as my sister was quite small and I couldn’t sleep in a separate room. I have very faint memory of the hotel and the hotel room. I remember, we were very hungry and we ordered for some fried chicken. A very cute little boy who was a waiter came and served us the food. My parents spoke to him for a bit. We were so hungry that we finished the plate in no time, so we had to order for some more. It was so delicious that believe it or not, I still have the taste in my mouth!

We hired a taxi for the city tour. A very smartly dressed driver in a Toyota taxi, very common in Nepal, was waiting for us outside the hotel. It was a very unusual and exciting experience to get into an international brand of car. He took us all around Kathmandu. We went to Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, a very pretty garden, no clue what it was called, also don’t remember in what order we went to these places.

Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu

We had told our driver, who was also our city tour guide, that we didn't want to visit too many temples, only the famous and distinct ones. He took us to the Budhanilkantha temple. We were not too excited to go there after visiting Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath, but he insisted saying that this temple was unique.

When we got there a rather funny thing happened. My mother and my sister went in first and my father and I reached a couple of minutes later. The moment my father and I were about to enter the temple area an old man literally charged us with a stick and started pointing towards a notice board. We got a a little scared for a moment but then we were in splits when we read the notice, it read that foreigners were not allowed! That old man thought that my father and I were foreigners and non Hindus. What gave him the idea, God knows! Both of us, from no angle looked or till date look any different from my mother and sister. Anyway, after the little confusion my mother came out and managed to convince that we were a family, and then the cracked old man allowed us to enter.

This temple was indeed unique. There was a pond and in the middle of it there was a huge stone figure of the Lord Vishnu floating. This huge statue of sleeping Vishnu is believed to be carved from the single block of black stone of a type not found in the valley during the 5th century. Had my mother was not around my father and I would have missed this lovely piece of work, thanks to the mad old man!

Besides going to sight seeing places we went to a mall one evening. We picked up a lot of things only to realise later that most of the things we bought were made in Bombay (Mumbai)! The idea of shopping malls was rare in India back in those days, and the display of such variety of things was very tempting. So, without giving any thought we shopped with huge excitement.

On another day we went walking around the hotel to get a feel of the place. We went through narrow lanes, some were quite dirty. But the mixed culture of Nepal was very apparent, even to a young girl like me. We bought some music tapes that were not available in Calcutta, one of them was a collection of Roberta Flack songs. I picked up "Killing Me Softly" from this tape.

On the streets of Kathmandu

We went to Dhulikhel and Bhaktapur, though my memory of both is very faint. Dhulikhel was was very beautiful and we spent most of our time in a hotel garden which was situated right at the edge of a mountain. I remember we met a big group of tourists who came from Denmark. All I remember of Bhaktapur is that it looked very ornate, very beautiful. One could feel the rich culture of the place. We bought some really ornamental souvenir from there.

Nepal today as we know, is very different from what it used to be for a variety of reasons, but I do hope that in spite of the changes that are inevitable, it still holds the beauty and uniqueness that it used to 20 years ago.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Why hypothyroidism worries women!

I was detected with Hypothyroidism quite accidentally. I was suffering from a throat infection for a long time and I had to get well as I had a gig lined up in a month’s time, and I was supposed to sing. My friend, who was also a part of the band, was so tired of my sore throat, that she took me to her doctor friend to get a check up done. The doctor prescribed a course of Azythral and a set of vitamins. I had them for a week but nothing happened. I went back to the doctor again and she asked me to repeat the course. While talking to her I casually mentioned to her that lately I feel very tired and sleepy without doing much work. On hearing that she asked me to get Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test, along with T4, T3 tests done. I used to be so scared of the needle and the pin prick that I just ignored her advice and did not get the blood tests done. The day of the gig was nearing and my throat still felt terrible. I was not worried about my health; all I cared was that I had to get fine to be able to sing. Therefore, I popped in a few more Azythrals; this was the third round though.

The gig went off well but the throat irritation would not go. And I knew that continuing with such strong antibiotics would not be a good idea at all. With no choice left I went to get my blood tests done, and as expected, my TSH level was high, which meant I had Hypothyroid.

I have Hypothyroid for six years now. All I need to do is take a pill of Thyronorm everyday in the morning. I live a very normal life. I haven’t bloated. The little fat that has accumulated around my tummy is just the result of eating unhealthy and not exercising. Besides that, I am 34 years old, and it’s ok to have a little tummy; this is just my way of consoling me for the tummy that just doesn’t seem to go in!

The only thing I suffer from is periodical bouts of cough and cold. But in India, who doesn’t? Thanks to the pollution and poor eating habits we all suffer, don’t we? The degree of suffering may vary from one person to another but the suffering is very much a part of normal living.

Some doctors say that Hypothyroid slows down the system slowly. Initially, when I heard this it did scare me a little, but it didn’t affect me too much as my mother has it for about 25 years, and she is just fine. I am sure there are some negative effects of Hypothyroid on the body, but it varies from one person to another. I very strongly believe that a lot of pain and suffering can be reduced by staying active and happy. My body ache may have gone up a little because of Hypothyroid. I am not sure about the body pain bit as it was told by one doctor I consulted once. Many doctors in India tend to shift the focus onto something else when they realise that they cannot help their patients heal from an ailment. So instead of going back to understanding the symptoms as common sense would suggest, they recommend a different course of treatment. As far as I am concerned I still jump about all the time; a mere body ache cannot stop me from doing what I want to do!

It is also believed that memory gets affected because of Hypothyroid. When did I have good memory power anyway? I used to forget almost everything as a 10 year old; I am sure I did not have Hypothyroid then! Coming to think of it, I forget many important things, but I do remember a whole lot of things, even those things I would rather forget.

My suggestion to all the women with Hypothyroidism is to stay calm as there is nothing to worry about. Eat healthy, exercise a little, get blood tests done once in three to four months, take the tablet regularly, and stay active and happy.

An Angel Called Sachin!

Today was one of those chaotic days when I had to attend to multiple things at the same time. Joy called me amidst all this mess and asked if I was watching TV, I said no, and cribbed a little before asking why was he asking. While asking why, my instant feeling was maybe somewhere there was yet another bomb blast or some fire accident or something as scary, but no, he said, Tendulkar was on 190 and was still batting! For a moment I thought how my mind has got conditioned to expect bad news only.

Sadly, I could not turn on the TV to witness the magical moment when Tendulkar achieved yet another 'first time' record to score a double century in a one day match, but the news channels compensated by repeatedly showing that unforgettable moment. In times of chaos, of almost every kind, all around the world, this man helps to give such tremendous joy with his achievements that one can forget the worries of life for some time.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, hats off! From the core of my heart I wish and pray that this wonder man achieves many many more records!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Grammy Awards - Then and Now!

Last week, while surfing the TV channels, I found that the Grammy Awards programme was about to start in a few minutes. I was mighty thrilled! In that moment of excitement I completely forgot that there weren't too many my kind of musicians who perform anymore. Nevertheless, I still wanted to watch. After watching the programme for a while I felt so dated; I hardly recognised any of the artistes. And, even if I did recognise some faces, I was clueless about their music. By the way, Beyonce Knowles was the star of the evening with her 6 Grammy awards! I still can't figure out what do people find in her music, she whines instead of singing most of the times, but gyrates very well; that sells I guess.

I still remember the times when Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and their kind of musicians used to sizzle the Grammy stage with their heart warming renditions. Today, most of the singers cannot sing in pitch, which includes multiple Grammy winner Taylor Swift! The little relief was to see glimpses of a few of my favourite old time musicians such as Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi performed for the first time on the Grammy stage; they have also changed a little to keep pace with the present world.

I am a little confused about what is happening in the music scene around the world. Though there are still thousands of good musicians still performing, yet there is a huge dearth of good new music. Are we heading towards a time when good music will become history?