Catch up

Sorry for the long absence. The past couple of months have been terribly busy. I finally joined my new job. I was very under prepared for what was in store there. I thought I would get time to familiarize myself with the new surroundings and get a lot of time to learn the product and the technology behind it. But no! On my first day itself they put me on the product development team and assigned me a few defects to fix! So for the first few days I was running around and trying to take in as much knowledge as possible. I must say though, things have improved quite a bit now.

Oh, and I got married! The wedding deserves a whole new post, if not a series of posts. It was very stressful, as all weddings are, and also a lot of fun! I spent the entire month of Feb gorging on wonderful South Indian and equally awesome Mumbai food 🙂 Needless to say, I put on many pounds (8! 😦 )

People have been asking us where we are going for our honeymoon. Well, we really want to take some time off as I have been very very busy the past month. So guys please give me suggestions! We have already been to Switzerland, Germany and France (though I wouldn’t mind going there again :D) A few places that came up during our discussions were –

Peru (Machhu Pichu etc, maybe make a detour and explore a bit of Rio and Brazil)
London (many many friends and relatives there)
NZ (lord of the rings ftw!)
Hawaii (Not super keen, but convince me!)
Cancun or the Bermudas
No vacation, reserve leaves for next India trip
No vacation, enjoy summer in NYC (Sam’s suggestion, Booooringggg)

What do you think?

The end of an era? A new beginning?

Today is the last day of my job. I belong to the probably rare breed of people who really love their jobs. About three years back, I had just moved to NYC with my fiancé after spending a year in a terrible job in upstate NY. I was apprehensive about the new job. What if I hate it like the previous job? What if I dislike the people like I did my previous colleagues? What if they don’t like me and throw me out? How will I pay my education loan off?

I still remember the first day of work. I was introduced to F, who was supposed to be my mentor for my first project. I met with him in the morning and the first thing that struck me was that he’s so friendly! He treats me like an equal, not like a member of the workforce. It was almost unnerving how different he was than the colleagues I had in the previous job.  

As time progressed, I learnt a great deal too. My colleagues actually liked me! And I them! Some of them were my personal friends too! I was treated so well there. My opinions were respected. I was given time to learn. My inputs were considered and brought into execution. Most importantly people treated each other like equals irrespective of their positions. 

I have learnt a lot here. I have had my ups and downs, for sure, but have learnt from my mistakes. I have had a lot of opportunities to prove myself. Have gone a couple of rungs up the ladder. Have mentored other people. Have spoken to clients. Handled end-to-end development of a couple of projects as well.

And now the time has come that I move on. I am emerging more confident about myself than I was three years back. Will I love my new job? Will my new colleagues be just as friendly? Will I be loved and respected as I was here? Time will tell. For now, I am taking it one step at a time. Have to attend my send off today, catch a flight, go home, get married, come back and join my new job. It definitely is the end of an era. I hope everyone who made my life easier in my old job does really well in life and is happy wherever they are.

To the end of bachelorhood!

People who have known me for quite some time know that I have always been commitment-phobic. Don’t get me wrong. I have always been faithful to the (3) men I’ve been in a relationship with, but the idea of spending the rest of my life with the first two always got me rattled. Probably deep down inside I knew they weren’t “the one” for me. All this until I met Sam. A couple of months into our relationship I knew he was the one. But to my closest friends, it came as somewhat of a shock when we announced we’re engaged. And the last weekend a few of them threw me a great bachelorette party to usher in the new era. 

N called me and asked if I was free Saturday and Sunday. I was free the entire weekend as Sam had his bachelor party the same day. His bachelor party really involved the guys going for lunch at Saravana Bhavan, followed by watching a Tamil movie – Vishwaroopam (which he strongly disliked) and then an evening of bowling at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, with a dinner at Mamoun’s Falafel. When he announced his plan to me, I casually asked, “Umm and when are you going to the strip club?”. I received a very dirty stare in response and I let it drop. And then he asks me, “Do you want to come?”. Sigh. The idea of a bachelor party is lost on him. 

Anyway so I met the girls for lunch which N whipped up. Consisted of kadhi khichdi, rice, aloo parathas with achar and raita, homemade spinach-paneer samosas and the pièce de résistance  was her “paneer patiala takatak”. All in all a sumptuous spread. After stuffing ourselves with generous helpings of the delicious food, we left for an afternoon spa session. Had a wonderful time pampering ourselves with mani-pedi, followed with a deep conditioning and hot oil treatment for the hair and ended with coloring and styling. 

Feeling refreshed, we went back to her place, decked ourselves in our evening wear, covered it all up with thick winter wear as an afterthought (it was -15 outside) and left for dinner. Dinner was at a Sri Lankan restaurant called Sigiri in SoHo which K picked. The food there was delicious! Even after our super heavy lunch at N’s, we had Dhal Vade and Sri Lankan spring rolls as appetizers, Kotthu Roti and egg Adai appam with dhal curry in the main course. The restaurant was BYOB, so we carried a Merlot red wine with us. 

After dinner and drinks we headed to this elusive dessert place called Spot Dessert again in SoHo. We’d heard of it a lot from many people so decided it was the right day to try it out. And boy were we glad! It was a teeny tiny place, almost a hole in the wall. We ordered a honey toast thing with ice-cream and strawberries (oh so delish), a green tearamisu (passable, not for people who dislike green tea) and P wanted to stay simple so ordered a plain vanilla with chocolate pearls and syrup (simple and awesome). Washed it down with some vietnamese coffee (strong and ideal for a cold day). Bottomline – if you happen to visit NYC, you have got to try this place. Check it out here – http://www.spotdessertbar.com/

After dessert we headed back to N’s place. She recently became the proud owner of a 60 inch TV, so put some movie (I don’t even remember which) and I went straight to sleep. All in all a great bachelorette party, filled with great food and awesome conversation with some of my best friends! Oh and here’s a pic of some of the dessert we ordered there.

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Wedding frustration

The past few days passed in a blur. My parents realized that my wedding is barely 2 months away and they haven’t done as many preparations as they would have liked to. They started prepping with a vengeance, and all the chaos inexplicably reached us here in New York. You’d think being 2 oceans apart would be enough, no?

Anyway, my in laws recently got out the first drafts of the wedding invitations. I thought this was the easy part. Boy, was I wrong! I am apparently “Son of” parent 1 and parent 2. And I don’t have a surname. The second part I understand, as in their culture they use the father’s name as their surname. And they know we don’t do that. So I am surname-less. Also, our educational qualifications and even professions (!!) are written along side our names. I have no idea why. I requested to get all that removed, and correct all of the above, along with minor grammar and spelling errors.

Then came the issue of dividing time between staying with my parents and with in laws. This was very tricky as we have 2 new homes, one in Pune and one in Chennai, and need to perform house warming for both. So time spent in Chennai after the wedding is going to be barely 4 days after which we fly back to Mumbai for the reception and Pune house warming. The in laws protested and told us to fly back to Chennai with them after house warming and then back to Mumbai for the flight to New York. Finally a compromise was made after a lot of deliberation. They will be staying in Mumbai a week after the reception with us.

I am sure there are going to be several such problems in the days leading up to the wedding. I just hope we are able to preserve our sanities till its over. On that note, here’s the front page of the wedding invite. Please let me know if you happen to read it and find any glaring mistakes (I already know of 2 :P)

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