Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snowy Netherlands...

Ok Ok, i remember that i said break for a few days... but then thought why not to share some of the beautiful pictures of recent snow.... and i am going to schedual this post in a week i am away, on vacation :)

This one is captured in the morning, first day when it started snowing.... We slept and when we woke up everything was painted white ! Amazed were we !!

In front of my office.... it used to be green !!

A rose in our garden....
And then started snowy days....snow, snow and some more snow....
A view from our backyard, look at our poor chair !
A view from our backyard....
Our home front yard....poor garbage bins turned in snow stands....
Some foot prints in our home front yard....
Our lil snowman, resting on chair :)
And now is the time for me to rest and you take rest too.... have a nice time... Enjoy the New Year eve and wish you a very happy coming New Year !! :)... Have fun ! :)
Photos : Snow in Netherlands from 17th Dec to 21st Dec'09.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vacation time...

Okay so I will be off blogging for 10 days while we go on Christmas vacation.
( Yeyyyy )

Ya, ya I know that's nothing when compared with frequency of my posts now a day, but deep inside a part of me is always crying to me, urging to me to be regular !
And so I have been trying sincerely to be regular and hence I do not want anyone to point at that gap, so precautions by informing you :o)
(Smart ;o))

So where are we going?

Our Itinerary is something like this...

24th Dec, Thursday early morning we are flying to Prague, Czech Republic.
We will spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Prague.

Last week was -15°C there, but now for coming three days forecast is showing Max +5°C to Min -3 °C So I am hopeful, I just wish it doesn't rain that much and we can enjoy one of the most beautiful cities.

Then from Prague we are flying to Rome on Saturday night.

We will be there in Rome for 4 nights exploring Rome and Pizzas ;)
Yeah and not to forget Vatican city :o)

On 30th December, we will take a train to Florence. I have heard so much about Florence and we have a hotel near the river. It has to be good as we are spending New Year there and it's also Ashu's birthday ! So with all the reasons I am very excited !

From Florence, on 2nd January, we are flying back from Pisa.

A few concern areas,

- This is the first time I have done all the bookings for trip, Normally I help in planning and booking remains Ashu's area but this time itinerary, planning, booking everything I have tried and so I am just crossing my fingers that there are no last minute surprises!

- I never knew Rome would be so expensive this time, Hotel rates in Christmas week are triple the normal rates. So for the first time we are going to try Bed & Breakfast at Rome ( at a cost of any 3 start/ 4 star hotels in normal days ) and I have my fingers crossed for that experience as well.

- We are taking train from Rome to Florence, and i have heard it's packed most of the time !

- No booking for from Florence to Pisa airport may be same way we will take train or taxi. We have kept it open for time being, need to take some risk at least.

Last but not the least Weather!!!
This past week has been full of snow, and coming week forecast says rains! I am hoping we have some nice weather at least a few days to enjoy our trip, and it doesn't snow or rain too much in those days. A little snow and rain is expected and accepted ;o)

OK so I am OFF packing now!!
See you soon... Merry Christmas to all of you...

Image Courtesy : Google Image

All pictures are from Internet, If any of them are copy righted let me know, i would be more than happy to provide due credit.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time to keep words...

Okay so here goes the video as i had promised HERE, this much delay in posting it because it didn't turn out as good as we had expected, i was kind of avoiding to face it and so was waiting for your memories to vanish !!! hehehe I hoped that you forget that i was to post something, Aaaah but but but whom was i kidding !!! And anyway even if everyone forgets i was going to remember that I had promised right? So here it goes....

Now my work is done, and your work begins..... spot me in the video before you reach the end of the song ;o)

P.S. For those not from India, It is a song from Bollywood movie "Mission Kashmir"

P.S.S. If you face any problem watching this video, you can also watch it on youtube by clicking on this URL.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A book that made till morning !

I am talking about a book; my very best friend gave me as a good bye gift, when we visited India this year.
(How things changes... I used to call it a home and now I refer it as “we visited”, and what we used to call “visit” now we call “home”, yeaah life! )

“Can You Keep a Secret?” By Sophie Kinsella

I didn't get much time to start with this book and so it was lying on the shelf for more than 2 months. I finally picked that up to read in flight when I went to Paris last week.

This is the first book of Sophie Kinsella's that I have read and so I had no pre-notions to compare it with some of her earlier work.

To be honest when I started with it, I found the book okay in my first half an hour reading, didn't know that time it will make me change my opinion afterwards !

(Normally it takes hack out of me to change my opinion based on first impression, they don't say it without a reason that first impression is the last impression ! )

The story is narrated by and from the view point of main female character Emma Corrigan, after a run-of-the-mill business presentation, on which she was depending and dreaming to ask for a promotion as a Marketing Executive, runs amok, Emma finds herself on an unusually turbulent plane ride next to a handsome aloof stranger.

As she contemplates the business meeting having few vodka drinks at air-port she fears will end her career and the plane ride she fears will end her life, she aimlessly blutters her deepest secrets to the man by her side. Within a matter of minutes she divulges everything about herself, she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even with her conscious self.

Is this possible in real life? Why not if you are afraid to ride in a plane, if you like to be on ground and not in the sky and if you had a really bad day, and you are going through depressing feeling that nothing is going right in your life, and you have messed up badly ! Anything is possible, isn’t it?

Then I got busy and during my return flight I picked up that book again thinking it is not possible that my friend would give me a book with recommendation if that is not interesting, and also I have to find out who is that guy to whom Emma spills all the beans.

More I read more I liked the character of Jack Harper, a stranger turning to not so stranger as the story developed. I would not go on writing about what happens next and who he was as for that one needs to read real book! Hehe (No, I am not getting paid for marketing the book!! Ohh Gosh I wish they would be!! )

Then I was home. It was Friday night and so not having to go to office next morning I decided to read for a while, and I kept on reading. The plot is a bit predictable but still I didn't feel bored. It is not one of the most romantic books, and it is not even romantic novel, but still what I loved in the book was "romance”!

One could really relate to the main character Emma at one or other point and pretty much all the situations on the book looks realistic making you feel this can happen, you never know!

And then I realized it was 7.00 am, it was already morning! Yes I didn’t even realize that I read whole night and I didn’t even feel tired reading, even with the fact I was tired due to travelling! I don’t remember when was the last I did the same, may be back in university days! (Of course never for studies)

Thanks Dhara, for the wonderful gift, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (And by the way Belated Happy Birthday to you Dhara ! J )

One thing for sure is, after reading CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? You will filter while talking to your seatmate on airplanes, trains or other mass transit!

I actually quite tried to imagine who the person sitting next to me might be !

Good thing, I was so busy figuring it out, I didn’t try to talk; good for me to avoid Emma situation in real and other thing until now I haven’t seen him around making me realizing a Stanger not so stranger!

Never Mess with a Rabbit in Helmet !

I have seen this cartoon previously and have heard it couple of times as a joke, but still today when i saw it in my inbox, couldn't stop myself from posting it here !
Whatever brings smile, is worth it :o)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Twilight - New Moon... arrrr No Moon !

Being in the Paris on my own and not having to cook or not having to worry about any household things is giving me more time to ponder upon things which i wouldn't otherwise. Given time, this post would have been up two weeks back, but yeah life, It can be busy sometimes !

(What if all what kept you busy was reading a book or watching movies !! They are enough to keep you busy, right? So I can call myself busy !!)
I wanted to watch Twilight the day it got released, but then Ashu was not here so i waited until Saturday but surprise !!!!.... He got that same book for me on the way back (knowing how crazy i am about books) and then i was no more that eager, as i wanted to watch the movie now after
reading the book!

So i finished reading the book in 3 days with late nights and sleeping in office schedule.

Ohh boy, ask me ... was he happy?

At first yes, as i started reading book soon as he gave me, so may be a happy feeling knowing i liked what he got me but then as i read all the time, a bit annoyed at times with more of those.... will you sleep now? please sleep. Please put book aside for a moment.... I am sorry Ashu, for all those things, but i would't have slept at ease even if would have , You know how reading can take you at times!

So as soon as i was finished reading the book and even though it was a weekday and we had office next day we ran to watch the movie.... Aaah and what a disappointment ! One who has not read book won't get what is going on and will be confused what's going on. ( Or may be it's a tectic to get people read the book ! You never know marketing gimmicks hehehe)

Ok so back to the movie, It was confusing as there are many chances that you even might have forgotten what was in first part, trying to make you remember and link it with what was going on to understand. Just in 5 mins i knew this is going to be a difficult one.

I was looking at Ashu's confused face and smiling, i tried to explain what was going on but how much you can without disturbing others?

And most disturbing part was, while reading the book at some moment you feel sad, at some part you feel the intensity of feelings /pain each character holds. But unfortunately in the movie it was opposite, when those parts played on screen whole audience laughed, ya even including me whose heart had ached while reading it ! What a contrast, isn't it?

I understand they have to wrap up a story detailed in hundreds of pages in a few mins picturisation..... something which took me to read more than 14 hours in 2 hours ! I understand that is difficult but .... I never imagined this was outcome.... A total disappointment to me !

Anyway, whatever...that is not going to stop me from reading next books in the Twilight series and even from watching subsequent parts of movies whenever it comes !

P.S. With courtsey internet and google god i found out what is New Moon, Apparantly it has nothing to do with the movie, New Moon is a name given by fans to new sensation with his perfect biceps and six-packs " Taylor Lautner " aka Werewolf !

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some things ...

They say, things change with time.... and also say some things never change!

Which one is true.... I do not know....

Seems like I am getting philosophical here.... unlikely to expect from me, seeing at my posts here until now. But then what do I know, or what does anyone know!

Okay thing is that I have to be at Paris for a few days, no not for vacation but from office for work.

When that was asked to me, I felt really happy, a nice feeling you know.... but that lasted only a few minutes and as soon as it sunk in, I didn't feel that good anymore.

Thing is, I remember last year we were at Paris, it was so much fun, one of the most memorable trips and this time it's not with him!

He just returned from Canada and now I have to go. We hardly stayed together this month. I know we live together but I still miss him!

Is that weird? Or may be some things really never change!

Year 2005, When he had to got Singapore for work, I cried for days and days, not because I was not happy but because it was unbearable to live a single day without him.

I didn't feel like eating, I didn't feel like doing anything. All I did was wake up, go to college, attend classes with absent mind, go to internet cafe on the way back, come home, and try to sleep. I remember one week I didn't eat anything for 4 days at a stretch, not because i wanted to prove something but because i didn't feel like... i didn't feel hungry or may be i didn' t feel anything. All what i could feel was that i missed him, i wanted to be with him. I felt empty and constant pain in my heart.

Then looking at me my friends could make it out what was going on ( nice friends, huh ) and they came with me after college and denied to leave until I have something, and that day I had sugarcane juice after 4 days of having nothing.

When he was back, I had all my trousers hanging on me... I know I know that's bad, and I should never do that, but I was immature that time, now I have grown up ;)

But then once he was back after 35 days, I was all happy and it was a wonderful feeling to feel in shape...lol

I have got better over time; I learned what to do when he had to travel. I learned to manage time in a wiser way and I also learned that it was time to catch up with lots of things I was not getting time for otherwise.

Now after marriage, and as we moved here things are even better, when he has to go somewhere. I don't cry. I do eat properly and I started feeling things change!

But that was only until he was going and I was staying back... until I had to go. Now when I have to go, I feel same again. I don't feel good. Even though we live together I want to be with him.

May be waiting for someone we love is easier than leaving behind someone we love..... but then what do i know !!

So may be some things never change...

Or May be this will also change ... matter of time may be.... who knows!

P.S. I do eat now.... and this is first day here and i had a full meal reaching here. So don't worry guys that way :)

So may be things do change !

Picture coutsey: http://www.flexy8.com/

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Auto – Story….

Back home we always called it car !
And at times to be more sophisticated even "four-wheeler" but now after moving to Europe it is called "Auto" …
Of course we would not try calling it back home else in stead of a "four-wheeler" we would be riding in a "Three- wheeler" !!
Yes, our own "auto-rickshaws"we call them "auto’s" with love and in style! ;o) hehe
On the left - World-wide Auto;
On the right - Our version of Auto - Indian Auto !

So while we are talking about Auto's, there is something on my mind these days... Let me start from starting ! After moving here when we bought car here, we used to live in an apartment and we had underground parking. But then a few months later we moved to our own house where we have a private parking space in front of our house. Just a few days and we saw there was a big long scratch on side of car... :o(

Our hearts cried of course, but what can we do right? So we just wondered about what can be the reason; did we park in a wrong way? But that is not possible considering that we parked in front of our house in our parking area, then what?
Again a few days passed and one of our neighbors saw that scratch on our car and commented "ohhh, you got a scratch on car too. I have got same on my car and I know who do that, there are some mischievous teenagers, they do that."
And we nodded, may be... whatever... we don’t know!!

A few days back we were driving back home, Ashu has been to client site whole day and then suddenly he tells me "Do you know what? Today I was at client's place. His car, ohh sorry auto, has got the same scratch as on our car. He saw it and commented that most of the French cars have it as there are some people here who just hate anything French especially French cars and does that, and he had same brand of car as we have"

Now this made me wondering... Is this possible? First of all can this be true? And if that is at some level, does that stop people buying those automobiles !?!?
Picture Courtsey : Internet / google

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cam-Day-Dreaming ...

This is a post that has been in my draft box for a few days now!
So today is a lucky day, finally it is seeing a day light of this beautiful day.... Grrrrrr it is a bit grey, raining and no sun... but whatever, at least it's a new day, at least there is some light.

( A new day, new beginning that is what people say right? OK OK trying to sound optimistic in this dull weather that's it, accepted)

17th Oct, Sunday evening
We had a party today at home, One reason as it is next day of Diwali and our New year and other reason we haven't had any parties after we moved in this house. So double reasons!
We had a good time, socializing, eating, singing... and I was trying to take some pictures also in between all this as well.
Now I am sitting, tired, relaxed all at the same time and going through some of the pictures I took during the day and same time wondering, is this time to buy a new camera? May be time to move ahead of P & S and go for SLR!

Next day evening, 18th Oct, Monday
We are at MediaMarkt, and Ashu is looking for something (he is always looking for something there; I guess he can go there everyday, every evening, it is his favorite stop in whole market!)
He is trying to move me ahead from this particular section containing cameras and I am glued there, this guy sees that, comes to us and asks if we need any help.
Ashu... No we are just looking...
Have you done your home work?
At this point, I jump in-between interrupting conversation...
No, but we are just starting to do that.... ummm hmmm which one is better??
19th Oct, Tuesday
Ashu, I want a new Camera.
I want a new camera, Ashu...
Okay which one...
I don't know :o( But i want one !!!

20th Oct, Wednesday
Ashu, I want a new Camera.
Okay you do some research on which one you want.
I have googled everything about it; I want either Nikon D90 or Canon 50D.
Okay, how much it costs?

21st Oct, Thursday
Confusion phase
Whether to spend that much on camera? We are not going to use half of its functions and it will be our first SLR so why not to go for lower configuration?
But then we are not going to buy our next camera very soon, why not to invest in a medium range that will last for few years!

I discuss my confusion even with G at work. (Obviously as that was all, i was able to think about !)

22nd Oct, Friday
All what I can think about is Camera.
Ashu, can we go to MediaMarkt in evening? (As I know, he never says no for that, how smart I am!! hehe)
Ya okay....
One more round to MediaMarkt.

23rd Oct, Saturday
G sends me camera comparisons to make my search for the perfect one easier, but that only adds more to my craziness!

24th Oct, Sunday
Ashu, I couldn't sleep well today,
Why, what happened dear? Are you alright?
Yeah, but all I could think about in my dreams was my new SLR. Didn't let me sleep properly.
Haha you are going crazy
Okay tell me which one?
I don’t know whether to spend this much... but I badly want one.
Make up your mind....

25th Oct, Monday
Morning, while driving to office...
I want DSLR.
Yeah I know...
I really want one...
Okay tell me which one...
But I am still confused this one or something of a bit lower cost range.... Or we can buy camera with lower range lens and then after few months I will buy other lens with higher range so that will save us on budget right now.
Are you sure?
Ya ya whatever, but I want a SLR.
What OK?
Ya, what you just said.

Evening, while driving back from Painting class...
I don't like anything
Why dear, what happened?
I don't know, just....
I want camera
Do you think that will cheer you up and you will feel better?
Ya, I think so...
And how is that?
It is like you feel many times, when you hear about a new phone and want it (about every few months, minimum twice a year), the way you feel, you know? I don't feel so for anything like that normally, but for this I have a similar feeling, now you understand it?
Yeah, got it... so if you get a camera will you feel better, your mood will change?
Ya, I think so...
What OK?
Ya Okay, we will see.


Upon reaching home...
I go to bed and see a covered packet on my bed... and without looking at what it is, I jump....
You got it?
Got what?

*** No reply!!! ***
I look back and find him standing there with that very same smile; I had fallen in love with from the first day....

Open the bag...
Ya??? ohh yeah...

I come out of my trance state and open the bag.....
And there it is !!! My first SLR Nikon D90....

Yeyyyy ….
I hope today you will get a good night sleep.... :o)

And I surely had :o) (Of course only after playing with my latest possession till 2.30am in the night, and that too as i had office next day !)

Love you sweet heart for that and many more wonderful moments you have gifted me ... you are the best :o)
Photo Courtsey : Google/ Internet - http://www.sylviarimm.com/article_childgifted.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eat, sleep, breathe…dance!

I am not feeling very good, with the fact that I am not able to manage my time properly, I am not able to accomplish many thing on my "to do" list including blogging !
Yes, i can be busy but i have to learn taking out time for things i want to do, right?
Ya easy to say than to do ! But still here i go, with my tries to catch up.... yeyyy ...hehehe

Well one of the reason out of many keeping me busy ( Okay okay not really but contributing a bit ) was this function at TUD. ( TUDelft, Delft University of Technolody )
As i have already blogged, last month was Diwali but it was the bad timing for students studying at TUD, as they were having their exams.
So they postponed the program on 15th of this month, yes this last Sunday.

I participated in one group dance on the song "Bumro Bumro" from a Bollywood movie "Mission Kashmir".
And I am happy that i did, I danced after almost 3 years and it felt so good.

Practice sessions and then that sweet muscle pain when you are dancing after years !
That steroid rush you feel when you step on the stage !
And that lost in the transition feeling while performing, when you don't think about anything else, you don't feel anything else than the lights, the moments and a feeling that THIS IS IT !

There were some other interesting performances taking us back in time, yeah good old days !
Travelling to Delft for practise might would have been a pain, but i am so grateful to Ashu for all his patience and not complaining ever.

I wanted to blog about this post with a video of our performance, but i still don't have it :o(
And i could not wait further to post about it, will update the video when i have it, promise :o)

"Dancing's lots of work. You can't call it work"

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

( I don't know origin and hence say anonymous, if one knows origin let me know, i will acknowledge and give due credits )

Image Courtesy: http://isadelft.wikispaces.com/Diwali+2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Project SBS !!

Last week we gave a surprise baby shower to one of our colleague :o)

It was so much fun and also how we started with the idea and went on with planning that was also a lots of fun….

One of the days, around 2 weeks back, we went for walk and some snacks in lunch hour.... Me and 2 of my colleagues. And while talking it came up, aren't we giving S a baby shower? Yes we are, but then she is going on leaves in 10 days... not much time left and we don’t know all whom she will like to have there!

While we were discussing our plans and what all can be done, We saw S's man walking ahead of us (he also works in same office, and that is were they met...how cute: o))... so we ran to get hold of him... thought wouldn’t be able to catch him so rang him on his mobile but he kept walking obviously lost in conversations.
Now as we were running shouting his name, we did attract quite a few eyes... (May be people wondering who are this crazy females…. Running, shouting, laughing Hehehe ) I even met one of our new friends who live near our house who was returning picking up her kid from school and sure would be thinking ohhh this is what they do in office... roam out, run like mad and behave crazy and have fun...haha

Anyway finally we could get hold of him, and we asked him for guest list S will like to have and to keep it to him as we wanted to give her surprise. And while discussing we decided there won’t be only females but all interested male colleagues also can be there. And this was fun as no male colleague had ever been to a Baby Shower, some gave a surprising look saying “Isn’t it American?" and some even didn’t know what is Baby Shower !!
Tough task indeed, but later we realized it was good as then no one had any expectations, to have some expectations you have to know what to expect…hehehe

We booked one of the conference halls for extended lunch hour. Delegated work among ourselves and sent out Invitations. (Which also explained what baby shower is, with Wikipedia link not to have many to and fro of e-mails asking questions about it!)

While all this process as we were exchanging quite a few mails for planning, we named it Projects SBS (S’ Baby Shower), so it doesn’t catch attention making our surprise a flop-show! (My idea ;o) hehe )

On that day we all brought our parts preparation, when she went away for some work from her desk we all went downstairs and decorated the room. Then we decided in the lunch time me and N will ask her if she wants to go out for lunch or wants to come down to restaurant and bring her there somehow. Now it happened that her man K asked her to go to Stadshart thinking he will take her down and so when we asked her and she said she is going out with K. Aaaah last minute change in plan…again some mails and K mailed that he didn’t know our plan and thought he will ask her as many time they do… so okay, anyway doesn’t matter, all we want is to have her there…. we went downstairs and joined others in waiting.

After a few minutes they came.... K asked her needs to check something n brought her to Conference room, and …… She wouldn't come in, saying "Niet voor onze" (Not for us) and K almost have to carry him inside saying go, go... and then she realized what it was... looking at decorations and banners.... Aaaah precious expressions, luckily we could catch them in camera :o)

Later on she told us that she saw few finance people and finance manager and thought it was some finance meeting going on there and then she saw all the balloons, and banner and realized it was not!

We had some games for them... To be Mom and Dad had to compete to be Super-Mom and Super-Dad. (K didn’t know anything we planned apart from that there is going o be a baby shower so games were surprise and new for him too)
First one was to prepare milk.... They didn’t know how much milk powder, how much warm water or even what was milk powder and what was milk thickening powder (or what was it? I don’t know what it is called… How am I supposed to know…? Do I have a baby??? hehe ) and so there were lots of R & D and laughter then finally a guy, a new dad himself helped them with what needed to be done…. and K won it... but there was a consolation for S that no prepared milk is going to beat breast milk :o)

Second game was to taste the baby food and guess which flavor was that, of course they were blindfolded so that they don’t guess it looking at color. And this time S won this one.

Third game was to sponge the baby and change dress and diaper.... and it was really nice how they treated the dolls... S was really so careful as she will be with a real baby and so does K but same time he behaved how a dad will... he was quicker but same time was playing with a doll, making voices in try to divert baby's attention so baby don’t cry and making faces and jokes to make a baby smile and it did brought lots of smiles to everyone!

Diaper cake prepared by one of the colleagues :)

We had some snacks, kind of potluck by Project SBS committee, which comprised of four of us. I had brought some Indian snacks... there were some Indonesian snacks and some cup cakes …. ! Everyone had a nice time :o) Worth the efforts put in.

But something I loved the most was expressions and happiness it brought on S' face! :o)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Festivity time...

I know that it has been long and I need to update my blog, i have been so busy to post anything...
First it was Navratri and then Diwali, This is Indian festivity month... some thing or other going on... but i did miss blogging !

We visited Diwali fair at Amstelveen last week on 10th Oct. It was nice seeing so many Indians at one place, but i guess presence out-numbered their estimation !
There was a long queue for entering the tent, long queues at food stalls and it was difficult to watch performances, it being so busy in the tent. It is my guess that only people who were early and lucky to be standing in front could actually enjoy them ! ( but then it is my guess as we couldn't, hehehe )
But I loved it in a way that at least there was something which made us feel in festive mood. I knew there was fireworks too but we left early and missed it. Came to know later that it was really good, and again very much crowded like almost whole town gathered there, we missed it!

Being away from home and missing all local festivals wasn't making me feel very good. ( ya but obvious, who will feel good about it ! ) But this was a nice change !

Then this week was really busy, we did some shopping for lights and candles, finally got our couch delivered. Had nice meals on Diwali nights and had a Diwali party at home yesterday ! And it was fun ! Love it !

It is our New Year today... Wish you all a very Happy Diwali ( though belated) and prosperous New Year with lots of love and happy smiles !

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mind ... again at it's best...

Aaaahhh I was suppose to write this post on Tuesday... but a busy week!
This is about my painting lesson on Monday. This was second lesson (as you might already know looking at how i keep mentioning them) and we were doing 'still painting' in black and white...

Now it happened that this time I didn’t go for coffee break and kept painting.
I wonder why I would need a break in 2.5 hour class, ya I would need if anything else but not when I paint. I can forget to eat or to sleep for hours... and even when I don’t paint for so long there are chances that I lose my sleep even... (Don’t believe? I had written about it here - second para.)

Ok so I preferred continue painting and it happened I was the only one in studio left then!! But what does it matter, right?
After few minutes break when all started getting back to studio, it happened so that many of them came to have a look at my painting then directly going to their Aisle. I felt a little surprised, but then thought it might be out of the curiosity as I was the only one present in studio so may be they wondered what was I upto... !

Soon I was able to guess when at the end f lesson we arranged out paintings in a raw and we started discussing each painting. It was in Dutch and I could not follow everything but then I heard my name and I couldn’t stop myself asking someone standing beside me that what it was about. And she explained me that he said your painting is of advanced and higher level and it will still take time and we have to work hard to reach there, and there I stand confused and embarrassed that why did I ask her !!

Anyway, then came turn of my painting and this time he talked in English ( yeah good, i need to understand everything atleast about my work !)
As he stand there, he looked at me, he smiled... everyone smiled... and the words came out ...
Well.... what can I say Lopa..... you are good. I can already give you the diploma.

Aaaaah can you imagine how I felt? Out of the world... I felt so happy, even in my sleep/ dreams that night I felt so happy.
Even right now remembering that moment is bringing a smile to my face.... yeah i am blushing ;)

But then there was this other day and mind game began....
human mind again at its best!!

Now I feel confused, I had actually gone there for the advanced class, right??? (I had mentioned it here in last para), what I wanted to learn was oil painting, But response was it is an advance course and as I haven't done any course there, I cannot join it directly! After a meeting (Which I mentioned here in later half of the post ), we decided to start with this intermediate course skipping beginner level. Now they say I am on advanced level than them, but then why did I start with this level?

I enjoy painting in any form and anywhere and so I do enjoy my classes too but would I be wasting my time and money with doing something I already can? There are 30 lessons, and out of that only 4-5 contains oil painting basics which I need to go to that advance level I wanted to learn!
I can ask them to shift me to advance class, but then I don’t want to feel stupid not even knowing how to prepare canvas to how to mix oils! So I do want to learn basics, but for that 4 lessons I am taking 30 lessons and that will enable me to attend that level next September, so that means 1 year of waiting!

Ohhhhhhh forget everything it's weekend ... no worries....

Wish you all a very happy, eventful, fun-filled weekend... Enjoy !!! :o)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is what happens when ...

This is what happens when you get lazy and ask a guy to shop for veggies when he is out ...

Can anyone suggest ways to utilise them before i have to throw them away?
- No we don't have a party this week.
- And we are just two.
- Arrrrr... Do i cook everyday??? No.
- We don't have king size diet either !

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finally....It started...

I finally had my long awaited painting lesson yesterday..... about which I had mentioned here and here.

If I were in India, I might be the eldest in such kind of class (I mean may be), so it was a surprise to me when I entered the class that I was clearly the youngest there!!
Well, the class was in Dutch (pat on my back, please) and I don’t need to mention here that how good I am with it. Hehehe

For the first few minutes I really thought to withdraw my name from lesson but then as I tried to pay attention, I realized I can actually make out what was being instructed! When I went to instructor, and just on hearing my "excuse me" he replied, you want me to translate as well right?? (Funny, I don't say it without a reason that somehow it’s written on my face ;o) hehehe)

Everyone who was there speaks Dutch so it was not possible and even practical but they all were very considerate, whenever they saw me with a point blank look on my face, someone will ask me if I didn’t get it and will explain.
I loved the way even painting lessons they were taking in couple, something I would consider for a dance class, but it’s great when you have same interests with your partner, isn’t it?
When I mentioned this to Ashu, he reacted saying ... so he can take those lessons as well, and we had fun visualizing how he would be standing there with brush in one hand looking at my face in a hope of some help which I won't offer... hehehe... I think he is better with his first love, his work and computers ;o)
Okay back to the class, They thought it was brave of me and must be very difficult to be among them when I don’t speak the language.
But I think I could understand it a bit, and painting is more noticing and practicing than theory explanations, and everyone was so nice to offer me help saying I can ask them whenever I don’t get anything, and I think it’s a bonus as listening to more Dutch will improve my Dutch too, so I think I am going to continue with it! :o)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Okay M'am, Anything else.... ???

I have already mentioned that I can be crazy at times, haven’t I? (Of course I did, otherwise how would a tag named Crazy me exist!)

Okay so it goes like this….We moved in our new house few months back and only then we realized long delivery time it takes here for any furniture we order, so after a few months of we started living here, we still do not have furniture more than” MUST” ( and by must I mean, kitchen or mattress ;o) )

Two weeks back we got Dining table delivered. It has a glass top so both of us (or is it only me?? ) are very conscious right now not to make spots on that already. Also it has to do with the fact that we still haven’t done house-warming party (we wanted to, but where guests would sit if they come???) and when we do we don’t want it to appear as if we lived here since ages ;o) hehehehe
So most of the time we end up eating not-on dining table ;o) I think it will still take some time before it sinks in that dining table is meant to be used for dining ;o)

Now we still await our couch delivery and meanwhile we made temporary arrangements for sitting, which looks like …. Ok let me share a picture to be clear…

Now it takes so much effort to make it look wrinkle-less. Today while I was cleaning and tiding up the room, after I was done I instructed Ashu;
Now don’t sit on this….
He smiled….
I gave a confused look and response came …
Ok so we don’t sit on dining table….
And we don’t sit there also….
Anything else m’am? :oD

There is a reason why I call myself crazy sometimes … or feel that with my age I am becoming Monica-ish (yeah I am talking about F.R.I.E.N.D.S)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That's how we are here ...

Yesterday it happened so that I read a few of the blogs I follow in my free time, and ironically they sounded similar ... missing days back home, family, friends.
But at the same time I see everyone (including me) passing through new experiences, enjoying them, sharing them, trying to make a place here and trusting their blog buddies enough to share how they feel.

It is fantastic the way we know each other, through blogs, through what everyone has to say about their experiences, thinking, and life over here, everyone is so different and still we all connect in a way.
I read Droomvla's post and it made me realized I haven't written much about how we are here and why we are here !

We moved here last summer, June 2008. Ohhh I think this is the wrong start; I have to rewind a bit more.

I met Ashu through common friends when I was pursuing my MBA. After 4 years we decided, this is the right thing to do and got married last year in March 2008.
Ashu is in software industry and his projects made him living in between India and Netherlands for quite some time.... flying here and there. He had offer to move here which he didn't consider at that time for about two years. After marriage, very next month he was here again. Considering the fact that normally in one year, 6 months he was staying here, we thought to give it a shot. After all we didn’t get married to live this way, half of the time missing each other.

Then came the difficult part. As this meant I had to resign from my job and start a new career here. Lots of anxiety, on would I get as good a job and company as I had, would I have to start my career all over again? Part of myself asked me if I was taking right decision, what if this is a deadly decision for my career.
But it's said love conquers all, and it did!

We moved here 15 months back. One day we were invited for a dinner at one of his colleague's place. So nice of her. While talking came to know her husband works in engineering project Management Company, and in their company they have a similar function, what I did in my last job and actually they were looking for people for that position. I applied, got call for my first interview here in Holland and that's it.
I was working again before I knew, in less than a month's time!
I felt lucky and same time felt I would have taken a break for some months, but I am happy.

It made me feel good that I didn’t have to struggle.
It made me feel good that I had a market value.
It made me feel good that I didn’t have to go through frustration period, which I would have apparently looking at my nature, sitting at home.

So this is my story... That is how I am here. Don't know how long we are going to be here, but for this moment I love it here.
We have a home here now, we have more time to do things we always wanted to and could not.

Staying here has taught me so much. I have learnt to understand and accept more of differences which come from different cultures. Most important I have learnt to appreciate smallest things, smallest joys that life brings along it.

Right now when i think about it I feel happy that we made that decision.
I am happy that we came here.
I am happy that we met, I am happy that I started blogging ! :o)

Picture Courtesy : Google Search engine

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is it just me or....?!!?!?

Okay It happened again today... i gotta write about it...

I been to a wedding today morning. At the end of the ritual, was standing in the queue to wish the newly married couple. Wished them in a perfect Dutch way. (with 3 perfect kiss-cum-touch on cheeks)

Now there stands family and relatives, I tried to observe what others were doing and yes every one ahead of me were greeting them as well. So I keep walking, I do not know what to say, and I see everyone ahead of me in the queue making a conversation.

*Come on Lopa, you can do it*
*Yes i can* *No choice*
* Confused smile*

I shake the hands, say hello, wish congrats to a few and keep walking to avoid making conversation, as that is something I am worst at!
But my luck!!! ( How did i even think i can get away that easily !!)
Gorgeous lady walking ahead of me stopped. ( As obviously she was good at it, not stopping, at talking.)
So I had to stop too. (Aaaah why why why?? :o( )
I think it was groom's dad or may be uncle or may be.... I do not know. I shook hand, said hello and then unsure what to say next I stared at him, surprisingly he stared at me too.

( How?? why?? Or was it on my face that this stupid girl does not know what to say next, or may be I have a look on my face that people get confused what to talk with me, or may be I have an aura that makes other person forget how to carry a conversation!! He was perfect with all ahead of me, so definitely it has something to do with me !)

Looking at the odd moment I opened my mouth to say something... and nothing came out...
*More confused look *
That gentleman also felt it and he opened his mouth and nothing came out as well...
* Awkward smiles*
And finally he found something to talk....
He: met collega?? (English translation: with colleagues?)
Me: hmmm, ya...
* A big smile*
And thank god!! That very same moment - Queue moved.

I ran and didn’t stop anywhere till reached the open space to have some air!!
Why does that happen to me? I feel so anti-social. Sometimes it is so annoying; it is not I do not like to talk. I can talk endless. But not with everyone and not everywhere. I feel very quite when strangers around.

But I used to talk with strangers as well back home; here I think it might be language.
I understand a bit of Dutch now, but I do not speak and when everyone is talking Dutch around me I feel lost. I can understand a conversation only is it is pointed to me, one to one conversation. When everyone was talking and making laugh, I feel lost, my mind stops!

Yesterday I was talking with my childhood friend. She told me that she feels at times that she has forgotten how to make friends and that is exactly I feel now. I have forgotten how to make friends. I have forgotten how to carry conversation ahead of Hi, hello, How are you doing? So where are you from?? Aaaah nice. FULL STOP.

I wonder is it just me or it happens to others too??

P.S. From the comments I am getting on this post, it appears that everyone takes me too seriously :o)
I wrote this post in a light mood, just to make a laugh of a situation :o)
So don't worry guys, I am not being hard on me. And i am sure i will have better with my improving Dutch knowledge ;o)

Image Courtesy: Internet - Google Image

Monday, September 7, 2009

Aaaah, New notice in the office !

There is a new addition to notices for employees at my office....
Ahhhh but this one is not on a wall, to be precise on the door... yeah you guessed it right....

I found it funny and couldn't stop myself from clicking and posting... arrrrrr but i don't want to think about what prompted it to be there !!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A trip to Zaanse Schans

This Sunday we visited Zaanse Schans. I wanted to visit this place since the day I heard/ read about it but somehow it could not happen and finally we managed it this weekend. It is in neighborhood of Zaandijk near Amsterdam on the banks of River Zaan.
It is a nice place for a day out, its old age windmills showcase glimpse of Dutch life in this rural riverside region in the 17th and 18th centuries, a good introduction to the Dutch countryside, its people, and their traditional way of life.
When we reached there, by mistake we took the turn at river side of the place and were confused how to park as all were reserved parking, and then one kind lady instructed us that there is a bigger parking for visitor just few meters away... so here we go. So main entrence to the place is around 300 meters away from river.
There you can see tourist buses and cars parked and the Museum. There is no entrance fee to Zaanse Schans, but there is a small fee for the museums and mills. For parking, if you stay more than 30 mins (which you are going to) then day fee is charged which is 7€.

Our first impression was, its so beautiful...those cute old age windmills, which we keep seeing in pictures/ posters and river. Fortunately it was a nice sunny day so a cold breeze touching you with a warm sun ! Nice feeling !
Zaanse Schansis made up of various buildings, some of which are original to the site and some which have been moved and re-erected here. The area was named 'De Zaanse Schans' after an entrenchment which was erected in 1574 to hold back Spanish troops at the beginning of the Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and Spain. The dikes were probably built as early as the thirteenth century; the first villages were built along these at a later date. Until late in the last century these were typical 'dike-villages'.

At one time there were over hundreds of windmills cramped into relatively small area, lining the banks of the Zaan, and were the reason that this area became so heavily industrialized. Now they are reduced to a handful. A boat tour on the river Zaan offers a particularly wonderful view of these mills, though we couldn't take one.
Surprising part was there are still people living in the Zaanse Schans. You can see people working in few operational mills, some houses which they have converted in souvenior / antique shops. The open-air museum also features a wooden shoemaker, a pewter factory, bakery, cheese and dairy farm, and a century-old grocery store.

At Zaanse Schans you can see and visit The windmills, De gekroonde Poelenburg - paltrok windmills/ sawmill , De Kat - a mineral mill, De Zoeker and De Bonte Hen - Oil mills, De Huisman- mustard mill, De Hadel - This drainage mill, Museum Het Noorderhuis, a restored home that features original costumes from the Zaan region.

One of the Highlights include the Albert Hein shop (Dutch 7-11, now one of the biggest retailers in the world, owns shops in Sweden, US, Portugal etc.) and the shop where they make wooden shoes.
The nearby 'Schoolmeester' (Teacher) is the last remaining paper windmill in the world. For many centuries, paper produced in this region was considered the best quality paper in the world. We even came to know that America's 'Declaration of Independence' was written on paper from De Zaan !
I would say it is a beautiful place, only disappointment was not as big as I had assumed from reading on internet and its website. But when you live in Netherlands, you probably shouldn't miss it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are you afraid of living below the sea level ?

It's shaking to I think I am writing this sitting 5 meters below sea level right now and my efforts to learn swimming are going in vein! But question is for a change consider I am a good swimmer, and the need arises, how much will it help me !!

But thanks to the precautions taken, learning from past flood history of the country, and thanks to this project "Delta Works", I don't see the fact of having ocean as a neighbour and leaving below sea level bothering me too much to live here !

Last year after moving here, my boss in my last job (yeah same I wrote about here) included a few lines as below in his e-mail to me...
"Holland has implemented very innovative ideas for protecting the land from Sea as the Sea is higher than land at many places. The country is also one of the largest exporters of dried milk powder etc."

I knew what he was talking about and so much I wanted to know more about it too ... yes I am talking about "Delta Works".

It was on our list to visit as Ashu had already been there and me being an engineer (That’s how people perceive it, though the fact that I never worked totally on technical side), he thought I will like to visit it. But just that fact that how people recognize this project made me more curious to visit the place as soon as possible! After all I didn't want to reply negatively to people asking me whether I visited it or not, living in the country!

So we decided to visit Delta Park . It was such a nice time learning and knowing so many things about this project and history of this project. It is a nice place to visit once while you live here.

The day turned out quite memorable in other aspects too considering we were new here, hardly understood a word in Dutch, we had to take so many public transport connections to reach there (to be precise we had change 6 connections to reach and 6 on the way back so 12 in the total) and it took 3 hours 32 minutes each way so about seven hours. We were so tired on the way back that we both fell asleep on bus and only woke up when bus-driver spotted us in the empty bus at last stop ! (Fortunately, it was the last stop where we were suppose to take other connection, so lucky we, didn't have to travel back )

Something about Delta works... If you tell me that you live in Netherlands and don't know what I am talking about... arrr....ummm....hhhhh.... I am speechless! Dutch are proud of this project and they have a reason for it.

It's the engineering excellence which this small country has achieved, with about 27% of its area and 60% of its population located below sea level, to protect itself from sea and floods.
After the North Sea flood of 1953 destroyed 4500 buildings, drowned 10,000 animals and killed 1835 people, the Netherlands began work on the world's largest flood protection project,
Delta Works (Dutch: Deltawerken).
According to the Discovery Channel 15% of the total budget for the Delta Works was spent on fundamental research. Today Delta Works consists of over 16,500 kilometers of dams, 300 structures and 1,650 sq. km. of reclaimed land... (Wikipedia Page)

You can find the details, history and some interesting fact about the project on many websites, I have noted down a few ...
Delta Works
Water Land
Discover the Netherlands
Modern Holland

Wondering how suddenly it is on my mind today? Because we are planning to visit it again with some visitors. And I hope this time it will not be that tiring as we won't have to take 6 different connections to reach there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book which made him read....

I love to read, and I am not that choosy about what i read. I read everything ... fiction, science-fiction, thriller, romance, non-fiction, self-help, motivational whichever comes my way and whatever interests me enough to continue reading on first few pages to get through it.

I had ordered few random books. One of them was "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham. It was still waiting to be in my hands for a few months now, So I thought to take it with me on my vacation to read on flights.
I took it out from my bag to read while taking seat on flight and Ashu asks me if i have any other books in spare which he can read.
Now he is not one who loves to read. He likes that i have this hobbie but sometimes when I am too busy wandering in my imaginative world he complains that I get so indulge in other world that sometimes I forget everything around me. I do not dely the fact but now I try not to indulge myself in books especially in day time when there are other peoples around or things to be done, not to behave totally lost.

But now he asking me for a spare book, that is a big surprise!
So for the first time I did that... I handed some one a book to read which I had just started and hadn't yet completed ! ( Yeah I know, I had just started so had gone through few pages only, but still !! !)

That made me come face to face with the reality, I could see why he complained when I was reading, as he kept reading whenever he could sneak out some time, also at nights until he would fall asleep. And yeah I understood the meaning of "what you give away, come backs to you" in a funnier way! hehehe

And man, could I be any happier when he asked me for some other book on completing that one !
He started reading "Who Will Cry When You Die" by Robin Sharma and was loving it. Unfortunately we missed bringing it here with us!
So next book I have given him is "Winning" by Jack and Suzy Welch. I thought it will be a nice read for him, getting into groove as he is starting his executive MBA from this January.
But this book needs to be taken in slowly as it is not a story, So far he is saying he likes it, to be seen when he actually finishes that one.

I hope he continues with readings now developing it in a hobby, he always appreciated but now it is great that he appreciates my reading love more!

By the way it did surprise me with no end when I saw him sticked to a book and actually completing it !
I was wondering what was that, and soon realised ahhhhhh FOOTBALL !!! Aaaaah, He and his love for sports !

Life as it goes on... | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL