Teri Bindiya re …


The word bindi comes from “bindu” which means a dot. The origin of Bindi is dated back to the mythological times and was traditionally sported by both men and women and was called “Visesakachhedya” that is painting the forehead for beautification purpose. The place of the bindi is of a great significance as well as it is supposed to channel the agni or the 6th chakra. This is the chakra which is said to control various levels of concentration attained through meditation. Tantric traditions also believe that this to be a potential point for the release of the latent energy in the human body.

Over time, the bindi transformed into a tilak for and more fancy cosmetic accessory for women. It also somehow managed to transform itself into one of the symbol of marriage along with sindoor, malipu and mangalsutra. Trust us to tie anything beautiful in a women’s body to her marriage and the man.

My relationship with a bindi has seen many ups and downs. At one point of time during college I used to wear those detailed hand painted bindis, remember those boxes of Shingar liquid bindis in all colors, there would be new designs we would discuss and would challenge each other for. I was in love with those bindis, so much so that my title at one of the farewells was “Teri Bindiya re” (gosh yes I am old, do they still do titles?). From there I moved on to those tall thin and lanky sticker bindis. I briefly flirted around with those stone and sequins bindis for functions but soon realised they were not meant for me. And then slowly as the outfits became more western and the attire more formal my affair with bindis, died a slow death.

But all through my love affair with Bindi, one thing I always shied away from was the big bengali style round bindi, always feeling it is not for my already gol gappa like face, and then Ritika Mittal happened in my life. I distinctly remember that day when I was walking into her second or may be third exhibition at Vermillion house wearing a MORA by Ritika creation, she and Melvin looked at me picked up big red bindi and put it on my forehead. There was nothing I could do about. But I also remember how I smiled to myself after that, how I wondered what took me so long and since that day till today saree equals big round bindi for me. Infact I have put it on many more people post that includingSwati Raman Garg, Pallavi Purani, Archana Doshi and loved how it looked on each of them, so here is to Bindi and awakening my 7th chakra ;)



PS: Have you guys checked out the #100sareepact. I am doing it and posting all my sarees and stories on the instagram account. Follow me there to get updates. Currently on the 63rd saree :D

Dear Badi Mummy : A letter to my Granny


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Dear Badi Mummy,

It is almost been 14 years since you left us and I realised I have never written to you in these years though I don’t think there has been a week which has passed in which I haven’t had a conversation with you.

Last week I was in Delhi, enjoying the Delhi winter, eating the food that I would eat sitting next to you every December, food cooked by you. Gajar ka halwa, the pinnis. I was remembering the sunny afternoons where we would all sit in the verandah of your house and eat moongfalis (peanuts) and how I would blackmail you with the look in my eyes and you would give me the peeled ones. How every evening, you would give us money and we would walk to the nearby shop freezing and rubbing our hands to get samosa and jalebi to eat. I remembered how I would cuddle with you to get warm.  When I saw O grating the carrots with mom to make gajar ka halwa, I felt a strange stab in my heart. I wanted it to be me again sitting with you and making gajar ka halwa. I smiled when I looked at them happily bonding but somewhere the heart gave a cry of longing for you.

I remembered the days gone by, on how I would come from school and rush to hug you. On how I would tell you every small thing that happened in school. On how I shared about my first crush with you and you looked at me with wide eyes and said “moyi marjaani, dhyaan rakhin” and then the warm smile spread at your face and you gave me the best hug in the world. On how, when I hid that I have flunked in one subject in school from mom-dad, I came and told that to you and how you slowly and gently made me confess that to mom. On how it was you I told about my first boyfriend ever, it was you I shared my fear of mensuration, on how it was you whom I came and told my nightmares and my dreams. Both the ones I saw in the day and night. For me while growing up you were my friend, you were my mom and you were the force in my life, my strength and that one person who would drive me. Who I would look upto, who I would search for in happiness and in sadness, in clarity and in confusion.

And then that day 13.5 years ago, on a Diwali night when I got a call that you are sick, I remember every turn of the foggy Delhi roads, every thought that came to my mind that evening and I remember reaching there to be told that you are no more among us and I remember feeling nothing. And then ofcourse the tears came and they went. Life moved on, we all moved on but somewhere you left a huge void in my life that no one has been able to fill.

So much has happened in this past 14 years, so much that I would have loved you to be a part of. I married a person who understands me, supports me and loves me. Ofcourse we fight, like you used to say if two people living together don’t argue, they are drifting apart. But we also have a bond that I saw you and daddyji sharing. A bond of love and trust, a bond of togetherness.

I am now not a software engineer, who just sits in front of computer doing god knows what (though to be honest, I still sit a lot in front of my laptop). I now work in the food industry. It’s a love I have picked up from you and taken to next level.

But more important than anything else, I am now a mother of a 7 year old boy who I would have loved you to meet. In whom, sometimes I see your spunk, your zest for life, your stubbornness and my eyes wet because there is nothing more I would want than to see you and him bond. The joy of my life and the most important person in my life. I would give anything to see you hug him, to see you bless him.

Early this week, I went to meet daddyji who at the age of 93 is so different from the grand-dad image I have from my childhood, he is ageing, he is frail and he remembers you. He often says “Tu te chali gayee, mainu chod gayee” and I see that sadness in his eyes. My heart broke to see him like that, asking the same question nth time and forgetting he has asked it before. I remembered the man who would bring us all fruits, always the sweetest ones, and cut post dinner. A man whom everyone was slightly scared of, a man who commanded respect and love in every action. Old age is evil, old age is harsh and I could see it in him. If you ask me, I saw that in him the day you passed away. He has never been the same after that but this time it hit me that daddyji who 10 years ago shocked everyone by dancing on my mehendi is now an old man.

But you know what badi mummy, you know what I felt the most when I met him. That where are you? Why aren’t you around? I feel terribly selfish thinking about it but I wanted you to be there, I don’t have the heart to see daddyji anymore without you. I miss you today and everyday.

Yours Khasma-nu-khani,


Things I never want to forget about N #4


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And I did it again, the number 3 in this series was posted on 14 and today is 19th but God promise in my mind I had written those 5 posts and scheduled one for everyday as we were traveling on a short anniversary celebration break (more on that in the next post hopefully) but today morning when I logged into the blog and saw there were no published posts, neither there were any drafts saved. I don’t know where those posts went but I promise I wrote them and right now my heart is crying on losing not one, not two but 5 posts. Sigh but I will attempt them again. Hopefully they will be close to the ones I wrote the first time

Things I never want to forget about N #4

His dedication towards fitness

Everyone who reads this blog knows, how many times I have attempted and given up on my weight loss program. Many times I have achieved some results I agree but always give up. I am just not dedicated enough. Sigh but N he is the total opposite, dedicated and inspiring.

I look at him day on day, working out and taking his health and fitness very very seriously. Planning his runs, his long cycle rides, every day gym and being very very cranky on the day he misses it.

Dear N, know that I love you for this and respect you for this and someday, someday I hope that I will get inspired enough to become like you here

Things I never want to forget about N #3


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Things I never want to forget about N #3 : That he loves to travel, that he loves to drive

One of the earliest memory I have of N is from our first or second date, we were lunching at Ebony and generally chatting about life in general and somewhere came up the topic of cars and driving and I mentioned how I would love to one day do a Delhi-Bangalore drive and without skipping a beat he looked into my eyes and said, “we’ll do it together one day”. We were officially not even dating at that time.

And that was a starting of a lifetime journey of many many trips that we have taken together, including two drives to Delhi and back in the car.

I love how we both get excited at the name of a long drive (though offlate he has taken more to the bike and it’s breaking my heart a bit), the planning starts. Xls sheets are made, time log kept of each destination, each pit stop. I love how you and me fight for the wheel, for the chance to drive and I love how we now have our own sweet way to sort those out.

I love how we both get itchy to get out of the city every few months and I love how you want to discover a new road, a new route every time we head out

Here’s to many more journeys we take together, here’s to many more roads we discover and here’s to you loving the car more than the bike again ;)

And here are two songs which almost ours when I talk about road travel

Things I never want to forget about N #2


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Things I never want to forget about N #2 : That you dance like nobody’s watching :) 

I still remember how early on in our dating period may be our second or third date, that era where Bangalore used to have more discotheques that we can count on our fingers, me and N had planned an evening together at a pub called “Sparks”. It used to be one of those happening pubs at that time and how after a couple of drinks you asked if I would like to dance and frankly that was the last thing I remember clearly of that evening. After that I was in an imaginary world, a world where we did much swirling and twisting around. In a world where that first casual touch while dancing felt something else. But what I clearly remember about that evening is thinking oh this guy knows how to move and well. You danced like a dream that day and I might not remember anything else from that day but I do remember the dance.

Fast forward the scene to almost a year later, it was our mehendi evening and considering there I was marrying somehow from South of India, we had invited N and his family to the mehendi function. Now if you have attended mehendi of a punjabi wedding you know what a riot they are. I had a gang of young cousins who were literally meeting N for the first time that evening and were ready to jump right into the saali-jija mode, jokes about dance and south indians vs north indians were also predictably making the rounds as were couple of glasses filled with things you don’t mention in front of the family. I was at the corner of the hall sitting like a good bride to be getting mehendi applied on my hands when suddenly I saw one of the cousins pulling N up for dancing, everyone was prepared for resistance and shyness but thak he came and he took the dance floor by surprise and then he came to me and pulled me in to and we danced like a happy couple. Surprise, happiness, glee and hoots in shining on everyone’s faces and that was the time he truly made his first entry to my big mad punjabi family because if you don’t dance you can’t be a part of the punjabi family you see.

And then a year or so after marriage I remember getting excited and joining a dance studio, where we learnt together Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Jive and a couple of more dance forms for about 6 months or so. So much fun every Saturday evening going for the class and then coming back and participating all that has been taught. I remember that Goa trip where we Jived a little on the live band that was playing in one of the beach shacks. I remember that time for about 2 years or so where we would break into a quick salsa or cha cha cha as soon as we would get the beat of it in any song. It would be like we have the beats playing constantly in our heads “1 2 cha cha cha, 3 4 cha cha cha”.. “1 2 3 4 5 6″ and as if on a que we will suddenly pick it up start dancing. I loved those days of dancing of connecting on that level so intuitive.

Fast forward 8.5 years later, at my sister A’s wedding and how you pulled everyone on stage and then let go, danced like really nobody’s watching. I then had my uncle come up to me, give me a gentle hug, keep his hand on my shoulder and say “Mona, yeh apna ho gaya, bilkul bete jaisa” (he is become ours, just like one of our sons). My heart smiled that day and then I went and did one number dance with you.

Here is N on my sisters wedding

Appu Reception

And here is one of my favorite songs from favorite movies about Dancing ever

and another one because no talk about Dance can be over without Time of my life and dirty dancing

Things I never want to forget about N #1


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So I had seen this on Revathi’s blog sometime ago and made a mental note about doing this for 10 things as a countdown to our 10th Anniversary but life always has other plans, I got a sudden work assignment which had me burning midnight oil along with something else that kept us even more busy. N’s granny who is 86 and lives with us suddenly fell very sick about 2 weeks ago, she couldn’t breathe and we had to rush her to emergency. One week in the CCU about 10 days in hospital she is now back home. Still not fully fine but slowly recovering, as much as she can at this age. Old age is tough, you are the person struggling with being dependent on someone and everybody around is usually used to being taken care by you and not vice versa. It’s tough to see them suffering and feel helpless because all doctors tell you for every problem they have is that “It’s the age, We can’t cure her. We just have to make her as comfortable as we can”. We all know it’s the truth but it’s the truth that hurts. The past 2.5 week have been a struggle but now slowly life is coming back to rhythm with granny also settling with a full-time attendant taking care of her and like doctors say we hope to make her as comfortable as we can.

Anyways, back to the main topic of this post.

So the man and me have been married for 10 years (well almost) and we have known each other for a year or so before that. We have our good days and bad days. Days where I can’t stop hugging him and there are days when I want to have nothing to do with him or even see his face for a long time to come. As people we are as different as two ends of magnets, two opposite poles could be but yet we bring balance in each others life (or so I would like to think and believe). Friends have often teased us on how they look at us and start believing that marriages are indeed made in heaven else we wouldn’t have chose each other and hence Revathi’s idea of listing a few things that I will never forget or never want to forget about N really stuck home for me.

I wanted to do a 10 day countdown to the 10th anniversary but I know have only 7 days to go to the big day nevertheless I think I will do the 10 day thing and continue it post 17th too and here is the first post.

Things I never want to forget about N #1

He brings the stability and much required slowness in our life 

In the world we are living in right now. We are all in a hurry, hurry to tick off the to-do list, hurry to reach from point A to point B, hurry to catch the latest restaurant in town, hurry about everything. And to top it all everyone who knows me, knows that I am the compulsive doer. Someone who always needs a project on hand, needs to go out, needs to cook, needs to read, needs to organise, needs to… Essentially I run on a fast forward mode and always need to do something. So if left to me our life would have been a bundle of hurries and does.

N on the other hand takes his own sweet time even to buy a shirt. It’s not the indecisiveness we are taking about here, he has pretty clear thought process when it comes to making decisions, it’s just the general pace of living, I am talking about his ability to steal a relaxed moment even in the middle of madness, I am talking about his desire to enjoy everyday of life slowly. His pace to take life slowly as it comes irritates me sometimes yes but when I look back at the 10 years of my life I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. It is brought a rhythm to our life, a sense that I really can’t begin to describe but only feel. It has also made me stop many times doing what I am doing and ask myself “is this really what I want to do, is this really important” and then throw back my feet and just chill out, curl up next to him and do nothing. Our friend V jokes, when we talk about you guys we always take the average pace in mind and that is how much it works for us.

For me, living with him is like every moment of what this song is talking about and I am so glad of the slowness he brings to my life in the times of rush everywhere

PS: I do hope and pray that I finish this series, I am known to start a series on this blog and then abandon it after a couple of posts :\

Gratitude Journal Part 1


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Some days ago a friend tagged me on twitter/FB to do a 30 day gratitude journal. Just be thankful for something everyday. I think its bringing a lot of people in my life. 16 days down I thought it might be a good idea to collate of all those notes on the blog. Here are the first 15 days in Part 1

So Aparna Jain tagged/nudged me into doing a ‪#‎GratitudeJournal‬ For next 30 days I will be posting two things I was grateful about that day. I think it always helps to reflect back and pick on the small joys each day.

Day 1

1. Ojas who amazes me with the change of character and understanding he shows every time N is traveling. The fact that I am doing it all alone somehow makes him so much more calmer that it surprises me

2. Friends that move from being buddies to working partners so smoothly, yes I am looking at you Swati, we started working on the “Flavour Bombs 2014” today and I can’t tell you how excited how I am

Day 2 #GratitudeJournal1. the handsofindia exhibition currently running in Bangalore. Lovely handloom stuff, skirts, pallazo and tops. Smart fits (and in bigger sizes too) and good Indian fabrics and yes I bought a lovely orange pant from them. Go folks if you can
2. A lovely Friday evening spent. Great food and lots of conversation around food with the chef and a friend….Some Good wine, is there anything else one could ask for 

Day 3 #gratitudejournal1. I am grateful for technology which helps me to be connected with friends and family. Did a google hangout with my mad bunch of girl friends this morning, many counties and cities and yet it felt like we were together. Girls I am also grateful for you all. You help me maintain the balance in my own madness and sanity 
2. I am grateful for Saturday evenings, family, drink and some good music.

Day 4 #gratitudejournal
1. Friends who understand the joke sometimes before you have even said it
2. Good food and drinks
Today I am grateful for my support system at home, my mother in law, the househelp and the ofcourse the man himself. While I am sitting here in Hyderabad for work the child went to school, was fed, did homework and is already in bed. I couldn’t have been sitting here enjoying my work if I didn’t have that support, if I didn’t know he was well taken care of, yet my mind was in Bangalore all of evening  The needs of a working mum and the guilt of motherhood.. Bittersweet just like most moments parenthood has brought along

Day 6 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

Grateful for the plants in my garden which have survived even after being ignored for 4 years, I am yet to tend to the garden after I have come back to the house but every now and then a flower, a fruit pops up to make me smile. Some smiles I saw a couple of days ago



Day 7 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

Grateful for books to read and the friends who reco them. Grateful for my kindle which helps me access books with ease and carry many at a time everywhere On an aside, I realised at about 9pm that I was wearing two different Jhumkis in my ears all day. So grateful for my ability to laugh at myself

Day 8 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬
I am grateful for blogging, it has given me a lot including opening doors to my current career but more than anything it has given me so many friendships. Brought so many people in my life. Today caught up with one too. Also grateful for red lipstick, there is something about wearing red on lips which is liberating, happy and sexy at the same time

Day 9 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

So I skipped posting yesterday, it was one of those days when I was feeling like nothing is right in my world, that everything is going wrong and there is nothing I want to be grateful about, and then this morning when I went for my morning walk and saw people sleeping on the road I realised that no whatever goes wrong in our lives, we still have a lot to be grateful about. So today I am grateful about what life has given me. Today I am grateful about life itself.

Day 10 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

Today I am grateful for FB, Twitter, whatsapp and other social media places which have made sharing my thoughts, moments and more so easy. Because of which I feel connected to many new and old friends. Be it the cousin miles apart, friends in the different continents be it fb messaging, the wall or a whatsapp group … Thank you social media

Day 11 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

Today I am grateful for cellphones and the ease of communication these days. Ojas has high fever since yesterday and I am thankful for the fact that I could be on the phone getting updates sitting so far away, that I could do a quick skype with him in the morning to calm myself. I can’t even imagine the time when we had one landline phone in all of the street while going up. Wonder how our parents used to cope up

Today I am grateful for the colors that Indian festivals have, the joy and the food. Can’t wait to get back home to do my bit

In the picture, utbt’s super awesome golu. I am almost tempted to keep one next time

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Day 13 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

Grateful for food books and the friends who gift them  Preethi Vemu you left yours behind

Siri Pulipaka thank you darling


I realised I missed posting day 14 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬ and it was only because I was too busy absorbing in the love I was showered upon after the 10 day trip.. The child, the man and the dog.. Even the house help… So today I am grateful for the love in my life… It does keep me going

Day 15 ‪#‎gratitudeJournal‬

So the recovering child told me he wants to bake and I decided to keep the sulking aside He searched for what to bake in my books and then we sat and wrote recipe for some whole wheat almond and choco chip cupcakes… Totally yumm they are and then fluffy decided he is feeling totally left out and begged and emotionally blackmailed the brother into feeding him some muffins. Grateful for baking and having found what I love





6. Letter to a stranger


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I will keep this short and sweet because thats what is on my mind today

Dear Housekeeping guy at the hotel,

Thank you for serving me a with a smile, thank you for the morning tea, the dinner and the number of requests I make to you.

Thank you for fetching me those biscuits when I told you I can’t have the morning tea empty stomach and thank you for doing this with a wide grin.

You make staying away from home a little easy

A grateful stranger


Day 5 : Letter to My Dreams


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Dear Dreams,

Well what do I write to you. The fact that most mornings when I wake up the first thing I do is try to remember what you showed me last night and this has been the habit since I was a kid when badi mummy told me that “sabko sapne aatein hain, subah uth ke sab log unke baare main bhool jaatein hain”. There are times when you put a huge smile on my face early morning, I love those and there are a few times when I have been grumpy all day because of you, please do reduce those kinds. In some you have taken me on a world tour collecting people from various stages of my life in one go and in some you have made me cook for people I hardly know.

In some you have shown me a future so bright and nice that I am scared to reach out to it zest it gets disturbed, in some you have shown me the love and care that I normally overlook when I am awake

In some you have also made me realise my mistakes and shown me a path that I should take instead

Dear dreams, you have been kind to me and I can’t wait to introduce my child to your world. Hopefully he will have the bond with you too, hopefully you will be kind to him too

With love and anticipation of many more dreamy nights


Day 4 : Letter to Siblings


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Dear P Didi,

I could have written this letter to A or I but from the first time when I read that I had to write a letter to sibling I knew I had to write this to you. My first ever sibling.

I know the world thinks that you were a cousin but you came in my life when I didn’t knew what a sister is. You came in my life when I was little and you became the elder sister I never had. You became to me what I can only dream to become for my younger sisters. A hope, a strength.

I know life wasn’t as fair to you, I know you didn’t get what you deserved. But you know what is amazing that in spite of it all you brought happiness to so many people. You touched so many life is with your kindness and your positive attitude that no one from the outset could tell that you are struggling with a terminal illness, that every doctor you see is more or less surprised on how you are walking. Your smile was always so wide that no one could tell that you are dealing with so many personal issues in the house.

I draw my strength from you, I draw my will to be happy in spite of it all from you, I draw my inspiration of life from you. Everytime I feel low in my life, I think of how you managed it all without cribbing, of course you cried to let those feelings out but you were smiling much more than you were crying and that is how I still remember. Rushing home to meet me the day I reach Delhi irrespective of how you are feeling and giving me the warmest of hugs.

We lost you two years ago to that dreaded illness that you fought for many many years. But didi you are still in our hearts, in thoughts smiling as ever. Hardly a week passes by when I don’t think of you. Every little happy news that I get, specially the wedding of your darling little sis A that you were so looking forward to, every little achievement I have I want to share with you and I do in my heart.

We love you, We miss you didi and I speak not just for myself but for all of us.

Stay peaceful wherever you are because more than anyone you deserved the peace

Yours little



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