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6 Months and A Jar That’s Full

My 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' moment.

My ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ moment.

6 months. Yep, that’s about how long it’s been since I last wrote a blog post or recorded a Vlog for my own website. Phew! And a lot has happened. Let me try and give you the gist here… and these are my excuses for not writing / recording any sooner! And I even have a ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ moment to share from Punjab!

WEDDING BELLS IN THREE CITIES

Three amazing female friends of mine got hitched. All to the love of their lives – who happened to be all younger than the women! And in at least two of these weddings, yours truly had styling tasks and shopping tasks to support with.  And many weekends and weekday evenings were consumed in these efforts (and not without some grumbling about how much effort weddings can be and I hate elaborate shopping programmes!) Anyway, then came the three big days (all in three different cities) and all the pre-wedding effort was forgotten because each of the weddings looked and felt wonderful!

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Don’t you think these couples look beautiful together? I’m super thrilled for each of them!

And what an eye-opener for me about the whole older woman – younger man equation. I think all it takes is a great connect and emotional maturity. And oh yeah, a Punjabi wedding you participate in is one of the most funnest weddings ever! Bring on the dhol and Bollywood numbers!

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION… 47 TIMES OVER!

Team Red Bangle and I made more films. Like, lots of them. For GE, for SAP, for ThoughtWorks, for Microsoft Ventures, for NASSCOM 10000 Startups, for ChipperSage and more! Phew. That was a lot of back to back production and some travel too! And I think looking back, I count a total of 30 films. Woot! Hardwork all the way!

Here’s one I like a lot!

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30 DAYS OF TALKING 

Talks and Anchoring. Now, again, a lot there. It’s been the busiest season till date. Looking back at my calendar, I can count around 30 days of these and all over the place! Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Delhi… now I better not start counting the number of flights I’ve taken during this period – which has been the highest ever in my life and that’s a tiring thing! Of course I fell sick too: at least twice! Oh, and I also anchored 17 short videos for IBM! Here’s one video, plus a picture from the funnest event I anchored and the event I felt most honoured to talk at.

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6 STITCHES AND A NEW CAR

Well, firstly, a dental bridge needed an upgrade and finally after several evenings of having my face half numb from local anesthetic and proper surgery resulting in 6 stitches, a long-overdue dental upgrade is done! (No, I’ll spare you pictures of this although the dental surgeon has many to show off his prowess!)

And then there was my good old Santro that I had to move on from. Well, after 11 years with the car, and the increasing amount of driving I do around town, it was time to switch to an automatic car and finally get a music system installed. So, that’s what I did. A second hand civic and a brand new jazzy surround 7-speaker sound system with an amp seemed like just the right treat I had earned. But it was heart-wrenching to see the Santro go. So much so, I just packed him off to Chennai for the parents to use as a spare car. I just was not ready to part with 11 years of memories and the most reliable car yet!

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When my first pet, Beyknow, met Santro baby.

I mean, how can you let go of something that was your first, the car in which you drove around with your first pet, and also the car in which your dad and your sis learnt to drive? Not a chance. This Santro baby is family. So, he stays till he becomes antique (although my Dad thinks this is a stupid idea! But I’m not listening to him on this one.)

ON TIME TAXES AND A 30-YEAR PLAN

Yep, I finally did it. I paid service tax on time every quarter and in two quarters in advance on a monthly basis. Aren’t you proud of me? I also digitized all my business book keeping so it is easy to access and manage anywhere, anytime and to share reports with my CA. And oh, all my files (ALL MY FILES!) are now regularly backed up on cloud too. Can you see the bright and colourful feathers on my cap right now!? 😀

What I also set out to do as a resolution for 2016, was to make a retirement savings plan. And I did that in the very first week of the year. Yep, I’ve now got an excel sheet that has a projection for year-on-year savings and what the retirement fund should look like when I am 60. This idea was inspired by something I read in the Wealth section of Economic Times mid-last year. I think all of us should have such a plan so we have clear savings goals, lest we spend more than we should be saving for a comfortable retired life.

AND YAYY, HOLIDAYS TOO! 

Yep, time off also happened and I got to spend at least two long weekends at home – doing absolutely nothing except watching TV and eating a lot and catching up with friends. I also spent a weekend each in Ahmedabad, Bekal, Chandigarh and Amritsar. Three of these places I went to for the first time and I am really glad I am beginning to see more of India, my country!

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I went to Gandhiji’s ashram and the textile museum in Ahmedabad; I went to the annual Rose Show, ate a lot at Pal Dhaba and took a lazy stroll at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (missed the Rock Garden and city planning museum this time because of shopping and wedding work. LOL!); I went on a house boat for the first time, took a stroll around Bekal Fort and soaked up the beautiful sunsets of this sleepy town (oh, and I ate a lot of freshly cooked fish!); and Amritsar was the best: Jallianwala Bhaag, Wagha Border, Lassies, butter chicken, jilebis (I allowed myself a week of sugar indulgence here!), parathas, shopping in the local markets, a late night visit as well as a sunrise visit at the Golden Temple… all these have left me very thankful for this country. India is just incredible and inspiring!

IN CONCLUSION

You remember that allegory about a glass jar and how you fill it up with the big pebbles first, then the smaller stones, and the small pebbles and then the sand? Well, life is like that if you want it to be. Fill it right up and it looks and feels very exciting… like these last 6 months!

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