Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Interview

When I was in India, my friend Deepti suggested that I apply for AISEC. I didn't know anything about it, but I was curious and decided what the heck, let me go. Well, little did I realize that this organization wasn't just any organization, it was more like a secret sisterhood/brotherhood type of society where you had to qualify for becoming a member. There were only 50 seats nation wide, and thousands of applicants.
Now we're talking!! It didn't take me long to make up my mind, and I knew I just had to get in.

So, I filled out the paperwork with a rigorous fervor, making sure every 'i' I dotted said something about my personality - afterall, my reputation was at stake. Maybe they liked my perfectly dotted 'i' for I passed the first round and was called for the second one - the interview round.

To be honest, I did not know then what it meant to give an interview back then. To me it was more like a debate competition that I used to religiously take part in (and win) and so I approached it like a competition. I was ready to fight the 100 odd applicants to win this competition - even if it meant that I had to dance with no music on. And, I still remember this interview like it was yesterday.

The interview was held in a school on the other end of the city, and after 2 buses and three hours, I reached there all exhausted and tired. To regain my vigor, I started doing breathing exercises - inhaling and exhaling in controlled long sequences. As I was doing this, I approached the huge iron gate of the school and announced myself to the guard. The guard looked up at me and gave me a weird look, and asked me to repeat my name. I stopped my exercise and repeated my name. He nodded without looking up this time from his name register and let me in through a small gate inside the huge iron gate. It felt as I was entering a palace.

When I walked in, it looked more like a deserted fort with lots of rooms and no signs of humanity. I looked around and saw a sign screaming "AISEC" with a poignant arrow pointing in the direction I was to go. I dusted off my skirt, tucked my shirt a bit more and pushed the loose ends of my hair around my ear and walked confidently in the said direction. Then I saw a woman standing with a checklist in her hand, she looked at me and smiled. I told her my name, and she said "You're early, please sit in this room until your turn comes." I walked in and saw 4 more candidates, and my heart skipped a beat or was it that it thumped loudly against my chest. I just felt as if all my confidence was about to drain from my body. But, then I regained myself and calmed myself by thinking that maybe they were feeling the same way too. So, it wasn't all that bad. I think I actually smiled at one of them - you know the nervous silly smile!

My name was called after like 20 minutes and I followed the woman with the checklist to the end of a hallway and into a room. I noticed 2 shadows, and as I was about to say "Thank you", the door behind me closed with a slam, sucking out the life behind these words.

One of the shadows, now a full blown lady appeared in front of me, shook my hand and asked my sit on the chair in front of a table that she was to sit behind. "So," she said, "tell me about yourself." And, I remember going, "Huh?" so she repeated herself. Now, nobody  had asked me that question so it was kinda' weird talking about myself. Should I tell her how I loved crocheting or that I was a good dog walker or I could write with my eyes closed? I decided that was too risky, so I talked about my school, my major subjects and my hobbies. When I stopped to take a breath, she said, "Well, that's pretty interesting.  Why do you think we should pick you for AISEC?" I promise, I probably looked at her as if she had sprouted 3 hands and was doing some sort of a rave dance step. What kind of question was that? I know they wanted me so why these silly questions? Anyways, I smiled a little and went on an answering spree. After I finished, she nodded, and then got up and I saw the second shadow, now a full blown man stand in front of me.

He smiled and held up his paper, put a stapler in front of me and asked "Tell me 10 uses of this stapler other than the obvious." Ok, this is really crazy, I remember thinking to myself. But then I pushed myself to think! And, said whatever came to my mind.

Three weeks later, I got the call that I was selected to become AISEC member. They liked one of my answers, especially the one to the stapler question, and here's the winner, ladies and gentlemen..."Use the stapler as your own personal defense tool - aka the  nanchuk!!"

Aaahh, I still remember this interview like it was yesterday.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


2 pictures - 2 very different takes on advertising/marketing...

This is a small burger and fries truck - with a rather long lunch line! Best part, its parked right in front of McDonalds! So, what is their strategy - come, taste the home-cooked meal, and spread the word! Love it!

Now, on to the second one, an ad I found stuck on the subway map in one of the train cars...

Did you just see? Did you? It said "Flyer Distributer" and "Interview" on the same sheet of paper. Hmmph!!! Let's also understand its strategy -  for the part-time position and for the kind of job, its a) paying a high salary b) talking about training c) referring to an interview d) showing the scarcity of the positions available

Now, I am not judging either of their strategies, all I am doing is pointing out two very different ways of getting the word out. Well, I could give you my view, but I want you to decide which one's making a stronger impact on you.

Happy Thursday! And, ofcourse, big warm hugs!! :)

ps. I sneaked in time to write this as the Yankees vs. Phillies battle it out...go Yankees!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Oh, how sometimes people amaze me with their antics!

The weather was yucky as I walked towards the train (well, honestly, the weather was like that all through the day). Rain was everywhere - in the hidden street corners of downtown, under the huge canopy of Autumn Blaze Maple trees that lined the streets, around the edges of a scaffolding - if you wanted to escape it for an inch, you couldn't possibly do that. Inspite of a heavy duty umbrella hovering over my head, big droplets of water found a way to splash on my tender cheeks, on my already frizzy hair and on my semi-soaked trench. Yes, rain was everywhere! And, then the wind, I forgot about the wind. The clever, slimy wind - snaking its way under my clothes, through a tightly wound scarf on my neck, and freezing the very core of my being -verrry sneaky wind! So, while I was putting on a balancing act of holding an umbrella with one hand, and pushing away tendrils of fallen hair (thanks to Wind) on my face with another,  and holding on to my handbag (heavy with a lunch box, water bottle and an extra pair of sandals that I had to carry today)  with a non-existent third limb... a sight caught my eye. 

Walking past me was a man young man, letting the rain cling to every inch of his body, while he used his folded umbrella to scratch his back. Sccrraatch-ssccraatch - yeah, thats the sound the umbrella made when  I crossed him. Rain and wind had nothing on him!

Did I mention - people amaze me with their antics sometime?


Monday, October 26, 2009

To the Man after my own heart - Happy Birthday

When I first saw him, I liked they way he had matched a formal blue striped shirt with faded jeans When I first spoke to him, I liked the smooth slow way he talked, as if every word out of his mouth had to be crisp, cool and meaningful. When I first went out with him, I liked his chivalry and his manners. I was smitten in the most perfect way and there was no looking back.

In the years that I have known him, I have only grown to love him and respect him more with each tick of the clock :) He is so kind and thoughtful that I am amazed everytime he offers to help someone with moving and packing boxes, with dropping them off to the airport or picking them up, with helping them plan their financial dreams...if you were to ever call him with any question/concern, he would just drive up to your place and sort it all out for you...not hemming & hawwing or skirting the issue with excuses. Yup, thats Kartik! At times I pray to God to imbue me with some of his qualities because truly I want to become a better human being like him...someone whose heart and soul are so pure that there is just love and more love emanating constantly!

Today is Kartik's Birthday and I want to take this blog space to give a huge shout to my fabulous, handsome, loving and adorable husband for being such an inspiration, such a true friend and such a wonderful life partner!

Happy Birthday Kartik - may God shower you with his finest blessings because truly, you deserve only the best. May all your treasured dreams come true and you continue to prosper and be healthy all your life! I love you soo much and these wishes come from the bottomest bottom of my heart!! I am very proud of who you are, what you have accomplished and where you are headed in life, and I am so glad that I am a part of that journey as well! :)

Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Looking new!

As you can probably tell, the blog has a new template! Well, I hope you like it. I have to admit, it took me a while to pick the template. And then once I settled on this old world charm-ish look, I played around with different colors for the post title - should be red or brown or something that pops! For now, I chose this subtle blue that kinda' pops but not that much. Oh, and then sidebar colors were a work in themselves. If you have any suggestions, please pass them on! Would love to see what combinations you think would work!

So, where are we with Banno Raani - you probably would also like to know. Shikha and I have been throwing quite a few ideas at each other, and will definitely let you know what we settle on. Its kinda hard sometimes because the craziness at work takes away our attention from Banno Raani - what would have been a 1000% dedication, gets reduced to 100%. But, not to worry. We are dedicated to our mission of making Banno Raani the numero uno choice in wedding boutique! We will continue to give our 100% effort at every chance we get and after 10 rounds, guess what - it will add up to 1000%!! :)

Oh, and since quite a few of you emailed us on setting up a website - yup, we heard you and are working on that as well. So, watch out for that announcement as well.

Its Sunday evening now, and the week will start to emerge on the horizon in a few hours, so I leave you with the following thought as you get ready to hop on a new day:

As soon as it begins, take control of your day. Decide in detail what you intend to do and commit to making it happen.
If you sit around and wait for events and circumstances to pull you along, you'll end up getting nothing accomplished. If you have no firm and resolute plans, you'll waste all your time on meaningless distractions and interruptions.
Certainly unexpected situations will come up that require your response. Yet you can choose to respond from a position of power and control, rather than from a position of weakness and ineffectiveness.
Decide what you will do with this day, and get busy doing it. Make a difference, establish a positive momentum, and get your goals accomplished.
Time is here, right now, for you to use. Transform the passing time into lasting value by making effective use of it.
This day is filled with great possibilities. Choose certain, specific ones, and make the effort that will make them happen.
-- Ralph Marston

Have a super duper week ahead!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Do and be

I firmly believe we all have huge potential to do and be whatever we want to do and be. Any and/or all restrictions sits in our minds - if we think we cannot, we won't work as hard and so really, we would not! We generally are not prepped to exhaust our full potential unless the going gets tough...and that really is the case.

On Animal Planet, there is a show called I Am Alive, and that show exhibits precisely this power, the will to not give up. I love this story...a young man was being mauled by 3 huge lions, the paw of the head of the pack sitting right on his face, while the other 2 sweetly tugging on his leg. But, he knew this wasn't the end of his existence. He knew he would make it through. And to cut long story short, he not just survived, he truly became alive. And in his interview, he admitted that the minute he made up his mind that he would survive, everything else just fell into place.

I wanted to share this with you as an example of the power of your mind...wanted to showcase the strength you possess. This is just uno example , but if you look around you will find plenty.

I am also sharing this because it serves as a personal reminder to me that my full potential lies in my willingness to believe. Yes, it is me who needs to come out of any self imposed restrictions I may have to do and be whatever I want to do and be. I am also putting this out here so I am accountable for taking small steps towards some big changes in my life. :)


Thursday, October 22, 2009


I stood impatiently waiting for the light to become red so I could cross the road. As I jumped up and down on the balls of my feet, I noticed her standing next to me. I was blown away for I never knew what it meant to stand next to her.

Her face was strong, with deep lines extending around her eyes as if they were forming a multi-linear graph. Her hair, pulled back in a ponytail, a rough shade of gold with batches of white around the ear. Her nose, long and straight, flared because she was breathing hard. I then noticed her rough hard hands resting on her belt, right next to a well secured gun. Yeah, those hands have cleaned up a lot of dirty work...those hands have seen it all.

Thank God for people like her.

Police Officer Anonymous (since I couldn't get her name) makes me proud because a) she is a woman in this crucial job and b) she works tirelessly in making the city safe. I felt so honored standing next to her and knowing that even though her expression was all serious and rough, it could not hide the beauty and passion within.

So mesmerized I was that I didn't even notice the light had changed back to green. And there I stood impatiently again, jumping on the balls of my feet to cross the road!

Happy Thursday!!

{Side Note: Kartik is away on a business trip, and I am really missing his comfy shoulders to rest my head on as I watch TV. I am also missing his funny comments on hair regrowth commercials and crime shows. Oh, the silence in the house is really deafening. Miss you darling.}

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eavesdropping a Teddy Bear

I was exhausted by the end of the day today, so when I was waiting for Kartik at the train station, I just let my mind wander and mix in with the surrounding. A 'big' and healthy guy was seated next to me on my left and he was talking to a girl. The station was a bit quiet after 2 trains that left, taking with them the raucous hammering of steel wheels on iron tracks {Thank God!!}. So, I just sat waiting in silence and could almost hear what the big guy and the girl were talking about. No, I wasn't eavesdropping darlings, I just couldn't help their words from taking a house in my ears.
So, what were they talking about? Class, homework, what to eat, where to know the usual stuff you talk about when in college. But, with the way the girl was talking, it seemed that they had just met. Then just as I thought their conversation was ending, the girl blurted, "You are a big guy. You are like a teddy bear. I like that. You know I have 68 teddys at home, and you are like one of them. You are a big guy." And, then she laughed with a snort. O-no-she dien't!!! She didn't just say that to a guy whom she met for the first time!!! And, then snorted!!! Oh, mercy mercy mercccyy!! Follies of a young heart! I couldn't help but smile to myself, and I think I may have let out a lil' snort of my own :)

Subway, I tell you, is a sweet place for eavesdropping without even trying!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Meaty Mammoth

I confess, I am on a reading binge again! And here's a snapshot of what will be stuck to my hands and frozen in front of my eyes for the rest of the week...Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

Gregory (the author) escaped from a prison in Australia after being arrested for multiple robberies and then found asylum in Bombay (now Mumbai, India). While in Bombay, he joined the underworld mafia, killed people, opened a free medical clinic, fled to Germany and got arrested there again. Shantaram was born out of a tumultuous and torrid love affair of life with death in the grim cells of Germany.

Do you feel the nerves here?? Oh, this is going to be awesome!

I can't wait to start and finish this novel so I can share my views with you. In the meantime, Ladies and Gentleman, feast your eyes on this meaty mammoth...

brain farts

So, when do brain farts really happen? I get them when I am stuck between 2 new people and can't find a word to say. Should I talk about the weather? {Boring} Should I tell them about the latest episode of The Office? {Hmm..that would a nice ice-breaker} Or, should I talk about how weird a mohawk looks on a 50 year old? {yess, thats it!!}.

I also get them when I am asked to do an impromptu presentation to the business without any prior information on the project.

And, sometimes, these uber cool brain farts sneak in (or is it out) when I am trying to have an a-ha moment.

Well, I just hope these farts are silent and do not smell.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday quote

I leave you with this (read below) as you begin your awesome week...

Whatever you do again and again turns into a habit. And your habits have a profound effect on the quality of your life.

Look honestly at what you do each day. What things are moving you forward, and what things are you doing that keep holding you back?

Your actions are yours to control. And your habits are yours to develop or abandon.

Though habits rarely come or go overnight, you can indeed choose and control them. Add an empowering habit, or get rid of a destructive one, to dramatically improve your life.

Even a small positive habit will make a big difference. Because each time you do it, you steadily add more power to it.

Think of what you can do, beginning right now, to add a habit of success to your life. And watch as that small success, done again and again, turns into plenty of big achievements.

-- Ralph Marston


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Deepawali

Every year when Deepawali or Diwali (as commonly known) rolled around, I was one happy kid. It was time for a new dress, new bedsheets {not that I did not change them regularly, but these ones were extra special and extra colorful} and ofcourse, new hairdo. Life was just smooth during this festival, and the whole world, a better place! :)

The day usually started with mini prayers at home, and then we got busy in cleaning the house. Shikha and I took joy in arranging diyas on the balcony sill, around the staircase and in every room. Then we went crazy decorating the house with beautiful and bright marigold flowers - aaahh, marigold! They always managed to make my heart smile. Then Ma took out 'new' utensils that were, until then, packed up nicely in clearwrap and stored in these huge steel trunks. Yes, there were things that were purely Diwali special, and came out only once a year.

During the afternoon and into the evening, Papa would take Ma, Shikha and I to our relatives and friends place for sweets/gifts giving. I really enjoyed this part for it allowed me to meet soo many people in just one day, and to also be treated to yumm sweets and more (Note: 2-3 days prior to Diwali, we were the receivers of such sweets/gifts).

We usually would be done around 5pm ish and on the way back home, Papa would buy us sooo many firecrackers. I remember, I used to go crazy picking different types of firecrackers - anar, golabumb, phooljhari, chakri, 3000 pathaka ladhri, black snake. Then, when we got home, and it had gotten a bit dark, Shikha and I used to rush out to light up all the diyas that we had placed earlier in the day. Such light...such joy!

After formal Diwali prayers, we would have dinner (often we had few friends or relatives over for Diwali) and then we would run downstairs to burst crackers until dawn! Yes, thats how long and loud the celebrations lasted. And, I l-0-v-e-d every moment of this!

It used to be the same drill every year, but I found such warmth and comfort in this consistency! :)

Although, Diwali is not as intricate or as loud as it was in India, I still love this festival. Something about the combination of marigolds, diyas and sweets puts me in a very good mood.

Wishing all of you and very Happy and Prosperous Diwali !


ps. will post pics soon!!

*** Update: See below for some pics from Diwali

Uncle, Shikha and Dhruv - prayers

Papa - having a laugh at a joke his friend sent..

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Thai

Friday wouldn't be Friday without some Thai food thrown in-- so Kartik and I are hopping off to My Thai in Elmhurst -- feel free to join us. Trust me, their food will rock you! :)

yummy Pad Thai at My Thai


ps. ...oh, these cool wind gives me terrible constant goose bumps!! stay warm y'all :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Why is it so hard to ask for something - explicitly? I go through a whole rigmarole of ...what if they say no or what if I don't deserve it or what if I will sound silly or what if I come across as selfish. Gosh, darnit! Why can't I just ask??

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mela part deux

This past Sunday, Shikha and I took part in another Diwali Mela, and this time around it was in the burbs of New York. But, the drill was the same - excitement, crossing off the to-do list, nervousness, singing amusing songs to self, happiness and finally gratitude.

We kicked off in the morning around 9 and reached our destination around 10:30 {picked up Aunty and Uncle on the way - yes, they offered to help again!!}. At the Mela grounds, the truck was unloading the tents, tables and chairs - and there was chaos everywhere. I was antsy to find the organizer to figure out where our booth would be set up. After having multiple back and forths with multiple people, I finally nailed the booth location and off we went on the unpacking and decorating spree. My heart kept giving out a big thump -- like it was beating against a wall -- yeah, I was that nervous! :)

The event started around 1pm, and we were all set to showcase our best. This event was a lot different than the South Seaport Diwali Mela - where the crowd busted with energy from the minute the clock hit 12pm. I couldn't help but do some comparisons, although it wasn't fair to do so. But, I guess because the Seaport Diwali Mela was our first - I just had to keep coming back to it for references.

Anyhow, the make up of visitors at Hicksville Mela was a lot different. For one, it was full of family type groups, as opposed to independent minglers and secondly it had more men than women (strangely). But, hey, that did not stop us from being our best.

Shikha and I took our spots behind the counter, and greeted all lookers, prospective buyers and even passers by with a genuine smile. To us it wasn't about selling, it was about inviting them to the booth and then letting them make a decision once they had viewed what Banno Raani had to offer. And, boy, did they make a decision or what!! The response was awesome and we really got some great feedback and future clients! :)

We did get some nay-sayers as well who scoffed at our products and prices, but that did not deter us at all. We knew with confidence what we brought to the market, that our products were unique and that our presentation and services were truly above par. Nothing could shake that - if anything, it only made our commitment stronger! So yeah, in a way, we were thankful for such nay-sayers.

Well, keeping the essence of gratitude alive, we would like to take a few lines here and thank all the fabulous folks who visited our booth this past Sunday at Hicksville Diwali Mela. Thank you for stopping by and for taking a dekko at our collection. We love what we do and are honored to be given an opportunity to pass on our love for classiness, elegance and oomphness to you!! :)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Janamdin Mubarak

I think I felt jealous of her when I saw her. We looked nothing like each other. I was dark with thick black hair, and she was fair skinned with light golden hair...almost like a doll I owned. But, this doll moved and made far too much noise. And, because of her, mom had stopped giving me her undivided attention. Something did not feel right. Did she belong in our family? Who was she? Why was Dad holding her like his own. Confusions of a toddler. Yup, that was me then, trying to understand and accept the birth of my younger sister.

Through the years, our relationship has traversed its own sweet phase...or rather phases.

When we were both young and she had just begun to speak, I was the only one who could understand her "made up" language. Mom and Dad used to look at me for direction - was she asking for a candy or her new barbie...was she hungry or did she want to play? And, then when her speech became clear, she did not waste a minute to telltale on me. I used to hate her for being mom's pet, and did not share my toys with her.

In high school, we focused on very different things, and had very little in common. Yet, we were these silly girls who laughed on each other's stupid jokes, played pranks on Bauji, wore trendy outfits and oiled each other's hair. We were close in our relationship yet far apart in our emotions.

In college, we were each other's back and totally shared our struggles and successes. We just couldn't manage without each other --hey, we even ended up working in the same office! She was more like an elder sister to me for she had answers to the questions that plagued my existence. She always made it better for me, and we still remained silly girls laughing on each other's stupid jokes!

So, why am I writing all this? Because I want to catch these memories, put them in a glass jar as if they were light bugs and stare at them for a little while longer. Because I want to retrace how my lil' sister has grown into this gorgeous, smart and inspirational woman whom I am so proud to be associated with. And, because today is her birthday.

Shikha, Happy Birthday sweetheart -- you are wonderful sister and an awesome human being. I am so lucky to have you and I cannot say enough how you have made my life better! Janamdin Mubarak!!! Wishing you the very best that life has to offer!

Umm, and yeah, you know that I am still kinda' jealous of you {in a nice way ofcourse!} :)

Much love and Hugs!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Buzzing and Zipping

While the world whizzes past me, I sit in silence, reflecting on my life - where I am and where I would like to be.

Today was one of those days which required me to do such an introspection. I had to calm my buzzing mind and my zipping nerves to focus on where I was strolling with this life. I would be lying if I told you that the answers came to me with the ease of a pre-approved credit card junk mail - CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE BEEN APPROVED TO MAKE ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!! JUST SIGN BELOW AND MAIL BACK WITHIN 30 DAYS FOR A SMALL ANNUAL CHARGE OF $85....Thank you, LIFE BANK Co.

Oh, if I had gotten one of these offers in the mail, I would have signed and mailed it in a heartbeat - not caring for the charges in the fine print. But, life is no junk mail. It is a registered post sent to you by a very important and sacred person up there.

So, what did I do to honor today's introspection? I took out my notebook, tapped unrhythmically on its empty pages with my pencil, then hemmed & hawed for a few seconds and finally jotted down my goals for the remainder of 2009 as well as for 2010, because I knew if I wrote them, I would in essence write my destiny and work hard at making it come true. I almost felt like a protective parent, making sure that whatever these loud words/long sentences wanted, I would give it to them.

And just as I ended the final sentence with a poignant, deep and almost perfectly rounded period - the buzzing of my mind and zipping of my nerves resumed. But, I did nothing to stop them - I just sat there... feeling a bit free, a bit happy, a bit overwhelmed and a bit blessed to have come this far :)

Ok, its getting a bit cold now, so here's wishing you a warm n' cozy night...and Thank God for fleece pajamas!!!


ps. I know Monday's are a Weekly Wish list day - but I am taking a break from it for a lil' while. I promise I will resume this feature soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

...Your corner of the world

I read this and had to share with beautiful and how true...

Be good to yourself by seeing and connecting with the goodness in life. Look on the bright side, and make it brighter.

Nothing is gained by feeling sorry for yourself. Nothing is gained by spreading misery or despair.

Sure, life has its troubles. Yet the great thing is, you don't have to let any of those troubles get to you.

Give your energy and awareness to the best possibilities of the moment. You can make something good happen today, so by all means do it.

Offer a healthy dose of joy to your situation. Feeling positive will take you much further than any alternative.

Be the brightest source of goodness in your corner of the world. Choose to feel great and truly you'll do great things.

-- Ralph Marston


Beautiful colorful things that make my heart smile

I don't know how, but I stumbled upon this lovely blog that made my heart smile and flutter, and I knew I would follow it religiously.
{Side Note: I think I was living in the dark ages of design before I chanced upon this blog...}

So, if you want to know, understand and see what creativity is, please click and be transported to heavenliness here ---> Oh Joy!.

The array of design patterns, colors, illustrations, and textures presented is just adorable, neat and totally inspiring. Infact, you can tell that the owner of the site, Joy Deangdeelert Cho {aka Joy} really loves what she does. If that's not enough to keep her busy, she also spearheads her own design studio -- Oh Joy! Studio. You have to check out her notebooks and folders...and oh, just about everything!!

Thank you Joy for doing a fabulous job with your site and for making my day everytime I visit it for a lil' inspiration or if I just want to dream about pretty little things! :)

Here are some snapshots of the stuff she puts together from all over the country... breathtaking, ain't it??

sensory mix

intricate packaging on a soap

floral arrangements

flower power


{all images courtesy:}

Friday, October 9, 2009

Smartest thing

Ah, weekend's here. I love Fridays - they have such a comfy soothing vibe that even if you are in a bad mood - just as the clock ticks 5pm - that mood gives way to a relaxing, calm and golden disposition. You know, the kind of feeling you get when you are soaking up the sun while laying on the cool sand of a beach. {collective: aaaahhhhhhs}

Today was a hectic day at work, but it didn't deter me from having a good time. I reveled in the joy of ticking off my projects one after another-- lil' productive me! But, then I got so busy working out issues like a silly formula that just wouldn't work in Excel, and I forgot to eat lunch. When the growls in my stomach reached a deafening decibel {ouch, so embarrassing} I grabbed my wallet and ran down to get some chicken on rice from the street halal cart. Thank God for these saviors who hover around until like 3pm while everything is closed at that hour...yeay for chicken-on- rice wallahs!

While I was wrapping up the day, my friend {from another department} called and we started chatting. After discussing cool movies releasing this week and awesome eating out joints, she suddenly asked, "Hey, what is the smartest thing you said today?" And suddenly my mind went blank. Said - smartest-thing! Did I do any such thing at all today?? I told her I needed to reflect on it and get back. So after I hung up, I sat back in my chair and looked up at the ceiling in a moment of reflection. And, then I realized maybe the smartest thing didn't have to be a sentence, it could very well be a word or even an expression. Oh, that was easy then.

The smartest thing I said today was "population check."

And, here is the coolest pic I took today...well kinda' sorta :)

via iPhone

Happy Friday and cheers for a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Boy, did we rock or what?

I know I know I have been late in giving you updates on Diwali Mela - so here I am all ready to dish out the details.

The night before, Shikha and I had packed all our inventory, packing materials, banner and display trays just so we would not panic and pant at the nth error...but, ofcourse the frenzy of a first ever expo kept running constantly through our minds. "Could it really be," I kept second guessing myself!

Morning came and I literally jumped out of bed. I had to get ready, count and organize my stuff before Shikha and Dhruv arrived to pick us up. I kept screaming my list out loud, and Kartik kept checking it off with a scream back to me. Phew! What would I do without him!?! Just as I assembled the last package in front of the door, I heard the horn and it was time to go.

Kartik and Dhruv loaded the stuff in the SUV, and as I was getting in, I noticed two additional figures sitting - blinking I realized they were Dhruv's parents!! Aunty and Uncle had gotten up early and to not only support us but also help us -- awww thank you soo much Aunty & Uncle for joining us - it was truly a delight having you both around!

The traffic was light at 8:00 am on Saturday - so the ride was smooth. Yet, the heart was beating with these intense trepidations. We finally reached the mela area after taking some wrong turns and not so obvious streets, and although a lot of vendors were already there setting up their booth/stall - it was insanely quiet - almost zen like. I felt a little calm, and I looked at Shikha and could tell she felt the same way too. Kartik, Uncle and I got off the car to ask around where our booth would be and so we kept going in every direction to track down the organizer. Finally, we found her and then our booth location, and one word Jackpot! It was in a perfect location - right between the main performance stage and the eating area. Dhruv got the car in the loading area, and we finally unloaded our stuff and took it to our booth.

Oooh, can't even begin to explain to you my excitement --- we will now be booth owners, yeay...that's what I kept singing to myself in my head. I think if someone saw me smiling to myself and bobbing my head side to side, they would have figured out what that meant. So, we were done setting up everything in like 1 1/2 hour - and then were all set to rock and roll!

Boy, did we rock or what?? At first it started slow, and then it picked up insanely. We got such a good response (ahem ahem) and people just loved our collection. They bought our stuff and then went back and brought their friends/family to buy as well. Thank you Ganeshji for such a great time and feedback at the mela. It was a blast!! Ofcourse, we had our share of nay-sayers and customers who came, looked and walked away - but, hey, that's totally OK! We know the type of clients we want to attract - and we got that share just fine!

That's it for now sweets -- enjoy the pics...

Uncle and Me - receiving future clients :P

It got really busy -- you see Shikha's bump?Cutest ever!!

Yup - thats us - rock n' rolling!!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Dearest Bauji

Ram Ram Bauji*,

I cannot tell you in words the pain inflicted on me with your departure to the Heavenly Abode.
I got woken up at 3 in the morning by a frantic call from mom, who announced to me in very very sad tone that I haven't heard before that "he is gone, no more" and I just blanked out. Yes, I remember when I heard these words echoing from the other end of the phone, my eyes still groggy with sleep suddenly began to pour and my emotions went numb. After like 10-15 seconds when I regained myself, I realized that this cannot happen, no it definitely cannot- how can you leave, go and be no more just like that. Nooo, my heart and eyes screamed with sorrow that shook me to the core.

Bauji, I love you and miss you so much. Like a slideshow, all the memories of childhood now flash in front of me - how you made breakfast for Shikha and me in the morning, how you wrapped us in your gigantic blanket-shawl when you stood by us waiting for the school bus during those cold winter mornings, how you always told us to focus on God and doing the right thing. There is no one like you and it hurts sooo much to know that I will never hear your voice again. It hurts real bad.

I wish you a very happy after life and pray that God takes care of you in the bestest way that you truly deserve. I know you are happy where you are. I do, however, would like to apologize for anything I said or did to you that hurt you but because you were my dear sweet Bauji, you never said anything. I wish I could turn back time and hold you in my arms, hug you and tell you that you mattered to my existence, and to our family. You guided me in ways that no one can. You touched not only my life, but lives of so many people, who felt better human beings because they illuminated by your knowledge and guidance. I do not know how you took out time to do this, but you always called and checked on everyone to make sure they were doing fine - always.

Shikha and I really miss you Bauji -- our heart aches because you are not tangible anymore, we cannot touch you or call and speak to you. You are a dearest memory - something that we can only recall and visualize, but not touch. Yes, that really pierces our hearts with pain Bauji, and leaves it with a deep hollowness that cannot be filled.

Forever your obedient and sincere grandaughters,
Shivika and Shikha

   Bauji and me in India, March 2009

*Bauji: Grandfather

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello 4Q

Happy October everyone. Yes, and in the lingo of a typical corporate citizen - hello 4Q!!

October is a busy month. Ok, so you have the announcement of the location of next Summer Olympics (Chicago should win), 3Q results, year-end processes' preparations, Hindu festivals, birthdays of the most important people in my life - Kartik and my sister, and also of my lovely Aunt, my cousins and quite a few of my friends, Halloween, Karva Chauth, fall colors for a wonderful drive, shopping for winter weather, stacking on see its busy, verrry busy :)


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