Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yes I am!!

It is confirmed now - all the hours my mother spent in the puja room fretting over our lack of religious fervour has borne fruit. God got fed up and granted her mod children the power of religious bond though subtly and quite late in the day. I realised yesterday evening standing among a melee of  Bengalis in CR park , with the strains of Rabindra Sangeet wafting in the air along with the smell of delicious egg rolls,  that this is who I am. A hard-core non-veg Bangali!!The pursuit of happiness in a soul-sucking city like Delhi has not been able to kill my Bengalipana. The atmosphere in CR Park actually  transports me back to my good old Cal days. We used to go pandal hopping after 10pm and every durga mata murti and intricate lighting arrangements just fascinated us.

The CR park pujas do not have that kind of glamour - but what they lack in that department they make up with a crowd that is actually holding up the Bengali tradition lock, stock and barrel. They have no fear of long queues both outside the pandals and in front of the food stalls. They dance to the dhaker bajna and just revel in the fact that they are Bengalis. For a brief moment I feel sad that Shayan will probably have no clue what I am talking about - but then i turn around and see him standing in front of matadi with his hands closed in prayer and eyes shut tighttly. There is hope yet!!

Will be going to the GK and Noida pujas in the coming days. Hopefully will have more to share. Do check out the Shib Mandirer puja in CR - the white idol just takes one's breath away.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ANJIE'S BLOG: Am I still a Bengali?

ANJIE'S BLOG: Am I still a Bengali?: For all those following my gym trials - well I am still struggling with inertia and leechy men but the good news is that the weight is defi...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Am I still a Bengali?

For all those following my gym trials - well I am still struggling with inertia and leechy men but the good news is that the weight is definitely going down.

On a completely different note , I just realised with a jolt the other day that my children are getting cut off from the culture that I grew up in. And although we were pretty secular(My dad went to the Brahmo Samaj and Mom was the quintessential hindu rajmata) my brother and I were pretty iffy about our religious inclinations. We both prayed fervently for 10 secs on the day of the examinations and we quite rightly felt that we had done our Godly duty.

Cut to the present. My son is 6 and daughter is 4. The former follows the dad to the tee- so he can spout the Gayatri mantra and seems to like having a chat with God before he brushes his teeth in the morning. He knows that Diwali means crackers galore and any other festival means that he gets new clothes and we eat like there is no tomorrow. But thats not all of it , is it?

So this Durga Puja I have decided to (a.) Tell him the story of Durga mata in the simplest Hinglish possible. (b.) Drag him to the pandals at aarti time and try and put the fear of the lady goddess in him. Shreya is still too small to appreciate all these efforts of mine,  but I am sure the sweet prasad will please her to no end.

So to all the Bengali gals who have married into other cultures hoist high the flag of  the Bengal Spirit minus all the negativity, with great pride!!!

Pujor hawa laga!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 3 and 4 - Losing 40 kilos and definitely losing my mind

Day 3

Went to the gym pumped to the core. Had a day's rest.  I made a resolution when i got onto the walking escalator - Tune out the world, tune into the music and just walk. Its easier said than done - but i needed to remain positive.
Pinky the trainer/tyrant was in full form. 3 minute walk , 3 minute running - she barked. Before i knew it i had spent 20 minutes on the treadmill. When i later lay down on the mat , i actually felt hot air coming out of my ears. I am never eating junk food again, i promised myself fiercely. But there were more sinful tortures awaiting me outside the gym.
It was a holiday for the kids , so we ended up going out and landed in Nirula's. There began my gastronomic torture- the Shammi kebab on the visual menu was calling out to me- eat me , i am delicious, it was saying. The chocolate sundae was saying i am delicious-how can you resist me? God , food was talking to me. I was on the edge of hysteria. Then suddenly the phone rings. Its the exercise mafia moll. She of course does not believe in social niceties - Madam, she yells, khane pe control!! Is she phone stalking me/? Whatever, but her call brings me back from food heaven's door. I grab the kids , jump into the car and drive to Top Breads. There i eat salad and corn croissant-whatever that is. I mean i don't even eat corn , let alone corn patties!!

 Two learnings- you don't need to starve if you go to the gym- eat home food, avoid junk and cold drinks- and you are safe.
if you are temtped , just close your eyes and think of all the sweat you shed , in the gym- it will kill all food urges.

Day 4

Today was a bad day. Woke up with a severe back ache.  Pinky was unsympathetic. Exercise kar lo , baad mein thik kar doengee. But i was really tired and actuually dragged myself through the floor exercises. But she kept her word. After , the push ups on the mat, she actually massaged my back properly. I felt much better .

In between all this sourness  and pain, some local stud, switched the music to some romantic sunil dutt and sadhana song. My BP rose by several notches. I mean, we are exercising man- we need pumping music not whiskeywaley gane. He was probably trying to impress someone in the gym or was a majnu!! The head trainer , who is quite petrified of me, put on FM hurriedly. Then he walked up to me and said, Madam, close mouth and exercise. Ok boss, i get it , breathe in and out through my nose. Open mouths are not wanted here!!

One learning: Don't be scared about falling off the wagon. You will.  But once you do, you have to pick yourself up and soldier on. Dar ke agaey jeet hai!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 2 Deja Vue- Losing 40 kilos

Work up with every muscle in my body aching and crying for relief.  Flexon did not work. Nor  did the ice that i rubbed all over me. And don't let the Hollywood ice rubbing scenes fool you- this hurts big time. I am not going today , said the sloth in me. You can't give up all ready- i mean you have three more new t-shirts to try out. Hey , i am getting good at beating myself up. You so need this to drag yourself to the hell hole.

Once there something even more crazy happens.

After the treadmill and cycling sessions, the trainer and i do spot jogging. So my D-cups are flailing gloriously in the air-and all male eyes are exercising with me. The gym goes quiet - people just gawk. I suddenly realise this because i am working out in front of a huge mirror- and i am or  more accurately my boobies are the cynosure of all eyes. Wow!  Mallika Sherawat could learn a thing or two from me about stopping traffic fully clothed!! Femme fatale at 40 , i think to myself. The head trainer disagrees . He comes rushing and says, madam , dhire karo. I am shocked out off my self-adulation. He wants me to jog in slow motion???

I stare at him disdainfully and say, dhire karongey toh fat kam hoga? I mean what the hell- here i am sacrificing my morning cuppa and newspaper reading hour to sweat my guts and brains out and he is more worried about me attracting attention. Hey, if the men come to exercise but would rather do other things  thats their problem. I am going to do all it takes to lose my fat.

He realises he is up against the Great Wall of China, literally and figuratively. He recedes back and Pinky and i continue working out like we are the only 2 people in the gym. Three cheers for women power.


Stay tuned for Day 3..

ANJIE'S BLOG: Losing 40 kilos - Day 1 and 2

ANJIE'S BLOG: Losing 40 kilos - Day 1 and 2: "So whats the first thing one does after enrolling into a gym- shop of course for trendy sportwear- that will fit you. So, i hit the Westside with vengeance. The Gia aisle beckons me as always. Hey maybe in a few months i will  be able to shop for normal sizes. I am actually so far away from that aisle right now.

Day 1

I hit the gym dressed to kill. Pinky the trainer pounces on me like i would pounce on a Mac chicken burger. We start off with what can be best described as PT exercises that we did in school. How one has regressed. Worst was to follow. I clamber onto te walking escalator called the treadmill nervously. 15 mins walk karna hai, says trainer/tyrant. 15 mins, i squeak - can't do even 15 secs. Pinky- Walk karo aur munni pai dhyan do. Yes , we talk of the great munni badnaam hui song. So the song is actually an inspiration for burning calories. Talk of girl on girl action. So i tear my eyes away from the treadmill clock, blank my mind and follow the beats of munni getting badnaaam bollywood style . AND IT WORKS.  Sheila ki Jawani follows and i am walking vigorously .

Not bad- survived an hour in the boot camp, crawled to te car and took the lift to my first floor apartment. JAI HO

Monday, April 11, 2011

ANJIE'S BLOG: Losing 40 kilos and definitely losing my mind!!

ANJIE'S BLOG: Losing 40 kilos and definitely losing my mind!!

Losing 40 kilos and definitely losing my mind!!

I have always been fat and a foodie. Bred on Shiraz's biryani  and Badshah rolls - no food was  too high on calories nor too heavy to digest. Thums up flows through my veins like blood. Don't get me wrong- i was happy .  While other girls in my college were dieting to get into the latest LBD, i never lacked for male company despite my girth. It helped that i had a nice creamy cleavage and a  great sense of humour!!

Cut to present- on the face of it i have it all great family , fantastic career and general bonhomie. Every weekend is a blast and sometimes on a weekday  , my hubby and i sneak away to catch a matinee show. So why am i standing in a gym on a saturday morning  feeling like a new recruit in school? Well i'm 40 and not in the pink of health. I have the usual thyroid, BP and diabetes combo  and i think my body parts are all in general decline. But thats not brought me to the door of this sweat hell. Its my son Saieesh .

He innocently said, Mom, you stay home and read a book , Baba and i are gooing to the club to play badminton. And suddenly , i saw the rest of my life just fly past me- me sitting on our flowery divan reading a book,  with  my sleek specs sitting on my nose and about 40 kilos of fat sitting on my hips. I would probably need a maid to move from the divan to the chair in front of my system. Believe me , it was not something that i aspired for. I always laughed and made fun of people dieting , exercising , watching weight..... they were sucking the fun out of life , i said. Its better to eat rather than abstain- i mean what if i died tomorrow - my soul would yearn for the kalakandh i could have had.. People envied me for this attitude of mine - but i was wrong.

So i am losing my mind about how to lose 40 kilos. I weigh 97 kgs. Its a long haul and i know myself . I will go for a walk maybe for a week and then just give up and go back to sleep. I am good at falling off the wagon. Hubby backs me- he's a health freak anyway - so he can't wait to recruit me on his team. Maybe he will succeed this time.

So the search  for a gym starts. i go to a neighbourood one  evening with great enthusiasm. I walk in into a small dingy room and all the janta actually stops what they are doing and stares at me.  Somewhere Sheila ki jawani is blaring and i guess my dhalti jawani is attracting a lot of unwarranted attention. Hubby walks in and everyone goes back to benching in great haste. A really fat guy materialises and introduces himself as the trainer. And i am like , really!! this fatso wants to give me advice on losing weight. No way. I need a rocking trainer whose going put the fear of fat into me. This guy does not stand a chance with me. Hubby is of course thinking in his mind,"Please God - get  my wife get out off this gym- this is a fish market."

The second option turns out to be mush better. Its a govt run facility  and is huge. I walk in and stare at the people running on treadmills. They look like a bunch of out of shape robocops. A  small five feet tall girl glides to me. Come and join, she says. I look at her in total disbelief- she is just 18 and she is for some reason not sniggerring at my fat.  Will i survive here? Of course, lose bhi karoge madam. Like the faith though not sure it will happen but my curiosity got te better of me.

So did i survive there- will fill you guys in on Day 1 tomorrow!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The American Born Confused Desi' sAre the Ideal Sanskrit Students

The Reading Habit is Alive and Kicking!!

The Jaipur Literary Book Fest 2011 was the breeding ground where intellectuals met Page 3 glamour and co-habitated beautifully. The fair was also a testament to the fact that book reading is not going to be out of fashion anytime soon  “ India has a very strong intellectual curiosity and , and a superb spirit for making arguments” declared John Makinson , chairman and chief executive, Penguin Group, and Pearson India Chairman , at a talk on “Why Books Matter”  at the Jaipur Literary fest. This actually soothed the fears that book lovers constantly have, that is reading going out of fashion.  In fact if anything, the Indian readers penchant for reading will actually serve to push up sale of digital books online. Kiran Desai, a part of this panel , said quite categorically that while an IPAD or Kindle can supplement a book it won’t replace it. Expanding on this Patrick French said that yes, while travelling long distances , it is nice to have your books loaded on to a nice slim book-like gadget. But it would not replace a book at all."

In fact it is fairs like these that see a lot of book sales. Despite being dogged by accusations of being elitist and  fashion-hinded, such faurs i think should grow and prosper. Where else can we humble sould rub shoulders wit the likes of Pamuk and Martin Amis in a lunch line?