Monday, July 26, 2010

No wonder the English are grumpy!

It just doesn't stop, the rain in Bombay! You know how people love the smell of wet earth when it rains...here it smells of muck.
Sometimes it is nice to look at the rain from the house...especially since we have a good view. We have our own little waterfall in the city. Unfortunately, the constant construction on it has caused a mudslide in the adjacent colony, rendering six families homeless. Ah the callousness of power and money! The government blame the builders and the builders sit on their hands leaving the effected to deal with the whole thing on their own.

This would be my first monsoon in the city as an adult (read: with responsibilities), so I'm having to learn the hard way about mildew and wet laundry. Since we never thought of buying a dryer, the laundry needs to be dried under the fan all day and all night. The mildew is a whole new level of problem. I had to dilute some bleach with water and clean the wardrobes to get rid of it. The same for the furniture. The shoes have been only dusted for now. Every space is now filled with naphthalene balls making the use of perfume a necessity in everyday life.

I don't drive..rather drive only automatic transmission...which leaves me at the mercy of the auto rickshaws and the rain if I need to go out without Husband. By going out, I include going to the gym. It has been pouring with a vengeance with strong winds to boot. I know it is not a great excuse, but there it is. No regular gym. I try to make up for it with some yoga at home...but just barely.

It is gloomy weather and it looks like it will continue. For all the skeptics, the constant rain does make you melancholy at times. You need to go through it to believe it. I never thought I'd miss the sun.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mini Celebration

I weighed in today...I've lost 1 whole kg. YAY!

Celebrated by sharing a piece of sweet with Rummy who has perfect control over his diet - except when he smells chicken...then he goes berserk!

Starting from my current 68.8kgs, my target weight is 55kgs based on my 5ft3in height. After that we tone and maintain. The journey never ends .

It's funny when I hear my parents and their parents say that when they were young it was unthinkable that someone would need to reduce their food intake. Lack of unhealthy options kept everyone (well...almost everyone) in their ideal weight zone. At one point I was nicknamed 'Cigarette' because of my cylindrical shape. Then we discovered pizzas and burgers and Oh! the French fries...all delivered to your doorstep.

I know someone who has given up all junk (read: yummy) food including chocolate since she couldn't bear the thought of all that unnecessary food in her system. I think it is safe to assume I will never get to that stage. The most I can do is make an extra effort to have home cooked food (including home made pizzas and burgers with lots of veggies and minimal oil), and then wait for the weekend to indulge, just a little bit. Then on Monday, sweat it out for an extra 30 minutes to make up for it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thou shalt not indulge

As soon as you are told to not do something, the desire to do it becomes more powerful than ever. I have been told to lay off the fired and the sweet stuff, and practically every other good tasting stuff for two months to stop my hair from falling off in bunches. It has been three weeks since the Doc told me that, and I have had nothing but the 'taboo' food all this time...more than I would have had normally.

Plus, last week I went to the gym only twice! I have to seriously become much more disciplined in both these areas for the sake of good health and hair. Here's to a month of salads, sprouts, and no sweets.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Big City!

When presented with the opportunity to move to Bombay...excuse me, I meant Mumbai...my husband and I were skeptical to say the least.

As a child, I had lived there for a while (most of it in the Central suburbs before they came in demand). As an adult, I could not survive 6 months when I came for work. I blame the commute by local trains most of all for making me flee. My husband, on the other hand had always been used to the space and the 'Nawabi' attitude of Hyderabad. We didn't stand a chance of survival. However, the job offer was really good, and the prospect of me finding better job opportunities propelled our decision to make the big move. Worst case scenario - we can always relocate elsewhere after a year.

Everyone we knew told us we're making a huge mistake, and that the city would gobble us up in no time. The prices are so high that even with the two of us working, we'd never save. The city is moving at such a pace that all you do is work and have no time for fun. Everywhere you go it is so crowded that you can barely put in your foot through the door. And God forbid if you have to commute by train! And how will you make it through the monsoons?

I don't know if I believe in luck, and the fact that whatever happens, happens for the better. But, all the above mentioned things being true, we have been in Mumbai for 10 months now...almost a year, without thinking that we should relocate soon.

Before we moved bag, baggage and furniture, we moved in with relatives with just a suitcase. We had chalked out a plan of how I would go looking at apartments alone during the weekdays, and together over the weekend. We wanted an unfurnished, 2 bed-room apartment, which was met with shocked response from Mumbai-ites. "But you are just two people. What will you do with so much space?" "Two families live together in 2-bed room apartments. You should save money and look for a smaller place." Land is a precious commodity here.

We arrived early morning on a weekend and set out house hunting with a broker we met through a contact. We told him our budget, and the area we were looking at (Goregaon East since my husband's office was located there). Saw a few apartments (insisting on a 2 room flat) that were super expensive and badly maintained (I cannot even begin to describe it). Many but property here with the sole purpose of renting it out, ensuring a steady flow of income that can only increase with time. Most people are so glad to find a place to live that they ignore the cleanliness completely...it's all part of living here.

As I was beginning to feel dejected, the broker said he'll show us a new flat which is above our budget, but it would give us an idea of what is available. And that was it. Once I saw it, I refused to see any other place. I could clearly hear a 'click' when I saw it. My husband, the shopaholic that he is, wanted to see a few other places before settling on one. I said he was free to do so on his own. That is how we moved to this view:
This was so unlike the Bombay we were used to. Spacious (two bed) rooms, brand new and hence clean, great view, no view of the slums (at least on our side of the building). We both wanted a place we would enjoy living in...we didn't want to 'survive' but 'live' here, even if it was only for a year. It feels great to wake up to the hills in the morning. The apartment is well-ventilated and gets good breeze all day so much so that my husband thought we could survive the summer without an AC. We couldn't.


The rains have transformed the hills into a beautiful lush green meadow. It is great to watch the rains pour down while I sip hot coffee in the balcony. We even have a baby waterfall. The builders keep blasting rocks off at regular intervals to make room for more construction...I hope it takes as long as possible for them to complete.

As for expenses, yes, they are high, but then we were paying the same in Hyderabad where we would only shop at premium stores for convenience (who want to haggle after a hard day's work?). The commute is not too bad since my husband's office is about 5kms away and he doesn't need to use the train. I got a great opportunity where I can work from home. We are in the middle of the rainy seasons and nothing tragic has happened so far...but it's a pain to walk the dog while it's pouring.

One of the best things about Bombay is that you can easily get away for the weekend...we have done that just twice so far, but more trips are in the offing. We haven't really had the time to explore the city since we only get the weekends to do so. After the grocery shopping, and the traffic, there is not much time or inclination left to go explore. But it is on our To Do list.

I guess we're staying here for another year!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Day I was Found, and Just Like That I had a Home!

Last year has been quite eventful. We've moved to Mumbai and adopted a dog. My husband was given the responsibility of naming him...so now we have a dog named Rummy! No one gets it at the first go - people always ask to repeat or spell his name. But the point is that the dog answers to that name and so we're happy.

Here he is on his first day home (pre-wash). He had been abandoned and the kids in our complex found him roaming about in the garden. For a month we resisted getting him home, since both my husband and I were working outside of home. Moreover, My husband didn't want to "cut off his wings" like his were on the day we got married. But Feb 6th we went looking for him, found him sleeping under a car, got him in the car and took him to the vet. He checked out OK and this is him now:


Initially, he would get very upset when he was left alone at home and would tear up anything he could find...shoes, slippers, cushion covers, paper, books, tissues, table mats, etc. We just had to learn to keep everything in its place...shoes in the rack, papers in the store, everything else out of reach.

As soon as we left, he'd take his leash to his mat and wait for us to return! He still doesn't like it when he's left home alone (which dog does?), but he copes better with it now. I have also started to work from home, so now he doesn't get up to much mischief.

He sleeps most of the day, chases flies and feathers, stalks pigeons that wander into our balcony, and barks at the vacuum cleaner. He is very possessive about his house. He does not allow the maid to touch any item, and has to be locked in a room when she's cleaning. He is quite popular with the kids in the building since they used to play with him earlier. And like a proper celebrity he ignores them completely now that he has left the streets.

We also got a trainer who would train us on how to train him. He wanted us to hit Rummy... hard...if he didn't obey. Tried it for two sessions and then stopped. The poor dog didn't know what hit him during those sessions...literally! He now understands Sit, Down, and Stay, but he's very selective on when he wants to obey.

He is due for a neutering appointment any time now (much against my husband's wishes). Till then, we endure his repeated territory markings, and sulking over a bitch in heat.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

...and we're back!

It's been over a year since my last post during which I have made more attempts at fitting into my clothes. The most I can say for the past year is that at least I haven't put on more weight! I recently joined a gym...so the saga continues.

I still look for motivation everyday to stay on track. Intake of junk food has reduced...not been eliminated. It's a start though. Target is to lose 15kgs by this time next year and at least 2 by this month end .

Diet wise, I am making an extra effort to have a proper breakfast everyday, and to not give in to the smell of donuts and burgers when I walk by the food court. I have NEVER been on a diet so this is difficult. I don't know how people manage to live on celery sticks and carrots for a month.

Hope this works!


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