Friday, 30 November 2018


~ 98 weeks to my 'Tees' (30th) ~

The highlight of this week was the celebration of Happy Marketer's 10th year.

What started off as a one-person business, founded by Prantik's good friend, Rachit - had over the years become one, big happy family! Prantik had joined a few months prior to opening of it's Bangalore office in 2012. That also was when Prantik and I became friends and soon enough, started dating, while I was still studying in college, not too far away from their office space. So, I've sort of seen it grow exponentially over the years from then to now; and parallelly, so have we all personally... So, to actually take a step back and witness the gala celebrations was surreal, to say the least.

I joined them on the evening of day 1 (after my mock exam, headed straight for the airport, pretty much empty-handed) - I actually changed in the cab on the way to the beachside seafood restaurant :D Meeting everyone, was like flipping through pages of the past - quite some fun memories were refreshed, while enjoying the 'Ikan Bakar' and the sea breeze. I still remember, meeting Siljith to send some things over to Singapore; the #HMTribe dancing to super crazy fun songs like "Fevicol" and "Gandi baat" on our Sangeet evening; to hosting them over at our first, humble abode in Singapore, catching up over Pizza and some beer. The HM folks were overtly kind and thoughtful, when the first Happy Baby, ie Ayaan was born - they turned up at our place with amongst other things, a 'diaper cake' :D. Mela, has always been a sweetheart - when Ayaan turned 6 months old - she came over with home-baked cupcakes and a self-knitted woollen quilt; Terrence and his wife, had gone the length to create a DIY scrapbook of sorts, which I've been using to preserve Ayu's leaf collection over the last couple of years...
There were so many memories that sprung back, any direction I looked - and so, I decided to just take it all in and just enjoy the present, for now. We called it a night after the 'Beer by the Beach' party, under the gorgeous moonlight.

Day 2 started early, with all of us in our #HMX tees, all set for the Amazing Race Bali. We had been divided into groups, each in 2 vintage Volkswagen cars, driving and running across Ubud temples and museums, in search for answers to the clues provided. The last task actually saw us don sarongs in the picturesque setting of the Holy Spring temple. The race was thrilling and tiring at the same time - thanks to the overhead sun, so when we finally arrived, at the lunch restaurant - we all ate to our hearts' content - the special 'Sambal' and Bintang combo was to die for!
In the late afternoon, the employees had a workshop, while I chilled with my bro-in-law, Saurav by the Kuta beach, enjoying a beautiful sunset; later, moving to the pool. We were a tad bit late for the Chinese dinner, but oh well, after filling our tummies yet again, we were off with a gang to La Favela, which was just a few minutes away by walk. The interior decor and lighting was simply amazing (for lack of a better word) and the Instagrammers including myself couldn't stop from clicking many a snap, before even checking out their menu.

I had to leave early next morning, and the HM folks had workshops all day. What I terribly missed was the Gala dinner later that evening, at a beachfront restaurant, Moonlite overlooking the horizon. The set up was heart-warming & mind-blowing - the photobooth, floral arrangements etc. I had left them with my little gift too - a nostalgic video (link: showcasing their journey from when Rachit and Prantik were just friends back in college, to growing Happy Marketer together, to an award-winning company; also, showcasing some snaps from weddings, festivals and such fun times to more personal scenes, like commencing on the adventure of fatherhood. This, as well as another video montage of congratulatory messages, compiled from dear friends and family - left the boys all teary-eyed. I wish I was by their side, hugging them and telling them, how bloody proud I was of them - but for now, this will have to do.

Their journey so far, has been nothing short of inspirational. And so many years down the lane, the most precious thing remains their friendship. Seldom does one get to see 2-4 men, not only have such a thick bond of friendship and mutual respect, but also a strong, business partnership - this makes me really proud and happy for these guys. If the past 10 years are anything to go by, the future decade is going to be epic - but that night, none of that mattered, I gather - there were those 60 odd people under the Balinese skies, dancing and singing their lungs out until wee hours of the next morning- toasting (some even joined in virtually!) to each other, for being such an important part of the enviable #HMTribe, and the story thus far. Upwards and onwards ... Stay happy, stay awesome you guys!
Wishing you all the very best :)

Friday, 23 November 2018

Health is Wealth

~ 99 weeks to my 'Tees' (30th) ~

Clearly, a late post - because not unexpectedly, I've been rather busy.

But I want to rid myself of excuses and blog however little, every weekend!
(So the next post shall come sooner than next weekend and then hopefully, I'll be on track henceafter)

The last week - a lot of focus was on health actually.

I was down with sinusitis; the husband had just returned from a work trip in Manila with a stomach bug and then I had just returned from a morning shift at the Children Emergency (CE) to find that my toddler had started vomiting non-stop too.

I wasn't too bothered initially but when he couldn't keep even sips of water/ORS down - I decided it was time to take him to the CE to get a dose of anti-vomiting medicine to arrest the puking. So that's what we did. Thanks to me working there, I could go in right away and my consultant could attend to Ayaan - within a couple of hours we were headed home. The next day I stayed home and attended to the little one, thankful that his spirits were still high, and he wasn't bogged down from all the times his diaper had to be changed thanks to the diarrhoea that had begun too.
But in a day or two all of us were back to normalcy.

And that's when I spotted the TIME magazine cover at the 7-11 stand one afternoon- and flipped through the pages.

I often share with my family about the sick kids (maintaining patient confidentiality throughout) I attend to at the CE and how strong the parents I meet are ... and how every day, I only feel more grateful for the relatively unperturbed lives we lead (touch wood)

This year in fact, on occasion of Ayu's travel-theme birthday, we sent monetary funds in aid of children refugees. Last year, it was a panda theme party - so we had donated to the Save Pandas fund (under the WWF banner). Little drops - but they say little drops make the mighty ocean - so we got to keep at it.

But just seeing this, made me sick in the tummy like nothing else. Seeing how children, who should be attending schools, playing on the streets and enjoying their childhood (the way we did)- all from the same family infact, were victims of war - some crippled for life, and stuck on hospital beds or wheelchairs, in much agony.

I remember discussing with the husband, how we must seriously think about how we can do something, however small, for children like these. We can't stop crime and war, but nothing should stop us from being peace crusaders! It was a nice chat, with a lot of wishful thinking, as we chased sunset, on our unusual ride together post work, headed home.

On the positive front, this week saw us celebrating some good health numbers too. By numbers I mean those on the weighing scale :D So the husband was down by 8 kgs since he first started hitting the gym with a personal trainer and watching his diet, lowering his carbs intake and upping the protein content specifically; while the father-in-law was also down by 10kgs, thanks to a month-long retreat at an Ayurvedic centre, which comprised of strict diet control with only plant-based salads etc for food and a lot of yoga, breathing exercises etc in addition to some herbal medications. Without any conscious effort, I realized I was 3kg away from my own weight goal too (yes! I still had my pregnancy and post-partum weight on me :D)

Coincidentally, I also happened to attend to a friend's daughter at CE and they were very grateful and appreciative of how I spoke and managed to calm their nerves. That was reassuring obviously, for what makes a good doctor isn't just medical knowledge but as the friend said, how you make your patients and their families feel.

So by last weekend, we had come a full circle - from reversing roles by being the patient's mother to being the kids' doc on other days; from recuperating from sickness to celebrating small victories on the health & fitness front. As a doc and mother - I cannot emphasize more "Health is indeed Wealth" - so let's be more mindful of how we treat our bodies and as the husband says, if we can spend money on other wordly things, shouldn't we invest so in our health as well, instead of spending much more later when sick? Wise words eh?

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

100 weeks to my 'Tees' (30th!): Resurrecting the BlogSpace

So, Nov 14th is celebrated as Children's Day in India.

I honoured my own toddler and spent the evening playing, cuddling and singing "Row, Row, Row your boat" with him and Mr. Husband.

I was grateful for the heartwarming time spent together, despite our busy schedules and so I sat back later at night, only to realise that it was exactly 100 weeks to my 30th.

Previously, I've done many countdowns: right from 25 weeks to my 25th; 2 weeks to our 2nd wedding anniversary; T-10 to Ayu's 1st and then T-24 to Ayu's 2nd (#24Citiesin24Months); #100HappyDays, daily "Awesomeness", monthly "rewind" emails to the family etc.

I started blogging right before my 25th as well - did a weekly chronicle for 25 weeks until I hit the 'silver lining' - so I decided to get back to blogging, and resurrect this space by trying and blogging every week until I turn 30.

To begin with, I did a simple makeover and changed the theme/background of the blog to give it a new look.

Let's see what the next 100 weeks have in store for me and us!

This is a way of getting more disciplined hopefully, documenting more in the written form and not just by means of umpteen photographs (that are getting drowned amidst 25k others) but more importantly, seeing the extraordinary in the seemingly-ordinary days, weeks and months that pass by and being earnestly grateful, along the way.