And the year happened

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And it’s the same time of year that I usually love.. there are carols in the air, a slight nip, buying and gifting of presents and glorious xmas and new year plans – everything is the same and yet everything is completely different.

This year tried me in ways I could not have imagined and though the strength of a person is defined by how they come out in difficult situations, I must say there were moments I didn’t trust my strength- I didn’t even trust myself. I just went on.

And strength came- from expected and unexpected quarters. They say God only gives you all that you can handle. He also gave me people who could handle me. I learnt that.

I lost friends. I gained more. I never thought it’d be possible to make new friends after a point- I was wrong.

I learnt how to give. Unselfishly. Proudly. I learnt that there is so much kindness in this world. In all the hate- there is also so much good. We should focus on that more.

I learnt about pain. I learnt that physical pain can be as debilitating as mental pain. And that they both need you to do the work to recover. Recovery is about you learning to take care of yourself.

I learnt in all my humour , I am also dark. In all my commercialisation, I am also art. In my madness there is sense. In my wild-child side, there’s a homebody.

Thank you for teaching me so much 2014. You were an education- hard and filled with examinations like school!

I’m now waiting for the college years 🙂 wild and with great parties … To 2015!

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Happy Birthday Aditya! Thank you for being mine :)

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Happy Birthday to my my husband, my life partner and most importantly to my best friend!

Aditya and I met years ago (he remembers the exact date) during the only Malhar Festival I participated in… He can tell you what I wore and where we were standing…I can only tell you that he was gorgeous then and even more handsome now! Aditya is everything I’m not- he’s polite, balanced, relatively calm and composed and well just all ’round a really nice guy!

Over our years of friendship and now marriage, I have met so many people who have known him from school, college or football and the one thing they all seem to have in common…is that they like him very much and respect him.

I love that. It’s wonderful to think that you have an amazing man by your side….but when so many others say the same… it just makes me beam with pride.

Everyone who knows us knows that Aditya proposed to me when I was in hospital, just diagnosed with ADEM. With left side paralysis, an incurable disease and on steroids – I was the last person you’d expect to be making marriage plans with. But Aditya saw what I didn’t see….he saw promise, he saw hope, he saw me and with his eyes I learnt to see me the way he did! He’s the best person in a crisis, the calmest person in the hospital and an absolute pillar of strength during any ill health (tho like my friend Michael says…”With you and your health, he has no option but to be calm!”)

Thank you Aditya. You are my favourite person to talk to, fight with, argue with,chat with, watch movies with, gossip with,watch TV show marathons with and do plays with!

You’re still the person who chooses my favourite pair of shoes; who fixes my belt on my jeans (yes Gaurav I’ve put that in…cos he does ;)), who loves me exactly the way I am- loud, a touch too honest,highly emotional and always stressed. You never asked me to change and seem to enjoy my erratic craziness.

You’ve taught me the value of a great friendship, the fun in a good debate and that we don’t need a million people around us to have the best time- we just need each other (and Cookie :))!

Sorry for all the times you were right… but you let me win any way… because I am NEVER WRONG :)!  (Since this apology only comes once a year…on the birthday…you might as well take it!)!

Thank you for being the best thing in my life ( yup you are better then a cup of coffee for me (for those who know me…that’s a very high compliment)).

I love you.

Aditya Hitkari. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai. 05/07/2006

p.s.- had to include you with pictures of your 2 girls… cos well both of us (cookie included) wanted to be a part of your birthday post 🙂

New Years @ the Vivanta by Taj President

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So I’d always wanted to do a relaxed New Years Eve! Check in to a nice hotel, have a wonderful dinner, party and instead of worrying how to get home and having to hire a river to get you back safely…just take the elevator up and collapse on a plush, well made bed in a room that’s just the right temperature!

So that’s what we did! This last new years eve Aditya and I checked in to the Vivanta by Taj President with my pet cocker spaniel Cookie. Now this is important- because very few hotels in India are pet friendly and it’s absolutely vital for the both of us to not leave Cookie home alone on the loudest night of the year. So bags packed we headed off to the hotel. I must confess we were way more excited about this new year than poor lil Cookie.

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We were checked in immediately and taken to our suite and Cookie , now slowly catching the excitement bug, smiled happily, found a new bed and then went to sleep…. A warm cup of coffee later, I was off to a relaxed tub bath and then had the time to do my hair and make up perfectly before our friends descended on us! We were all partying at Wink, the bar at the hotel and a table had been reserved for the group. As they reached, I headed downstairs, my feet in stilettos thanking me for the very short journey…:)

Wink was wonderful and the sushi perfect as usual and it got me to to thinking that the Vivanta by Taj President has some of the finest eateries in Mumbai. The Thai Pavillion is sublime. The Trattoria serves the most tasty pizzas and pastas and to get good food on New Years eve a long with some very interesting specially created cocktails was quite the treat!

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I did keep checking on my lil Cookie though and tho the hotel has a pet-friendly policy, the staff are still getting used to pets… They are not sure how to react or what to do… but I guess the fact that hotels are learning to treat our furry babies like family is a huge step in the right direction!

The evening was fun, raucous, loud and exhausting but  have to say that on January 1, when all the rest of my friends looked miserable at the trudge across town back home…I was still beaming…After all I was just a quick elevator ride away from my bed, my puppy and sleep!

MUST TRY-: Thai Pavillion for authentic, tasty , light Thai food AND Trattoria for thin crust pizzas with incredible toppings!

COST-: $200- $1400 (all inclusive with spa treatments included) per night…! For New Years, spending the night over at the hotel as opposed to driving home tired, with tons of drunken revelers on the street- the greatest idea ever!

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To a Happy Vishu and to new beginnings!

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So the night ended late with Vishukkani (the first things you must see on Vishu morning) being set up by me. Vishukkani literally translated is the first things you must see on Vishu morning) These are a collection of auspicious things and special things you want the year to be full of! So it is an exciting, wonderful and fabulous collection of flowers, work materials, new clothes, rice,fruit, vegetables, gold,silver and special mementos with lots of meaning. I set this up late in the night and the next morning before sunrise wake up and hope to open my eyes and see God and all these wonderful offerings as an auspicious start to my new year! I light the lamps and say my prayers and pray that the year to come will bring all my dreams to fruition!

After this I wake Aditya up and keep his eyes covered or shut and take him into the Puja (Prayer) room and have him open his eyes in front of God and he now says his prayers touching each object and then touching his head asking God to bless the object and him.

Then the 2 of us wake our sleeping puppy Cookie and she sits with us and marvels at the decorations and the flowers and while she prays (for us, because she’s just that kind of girl0; we pray for her and thank God she came in to our lives!

To new beginnings and scaling greater heights- HAPPY VISHU ALL!

Puppy prayers

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Risky romance!

Zdnet the most annoying web hosting server ever and so last week all the updates that I had made for the last 2 months were thrown to waste!!!!

This is possibly the third time in 2 years they’ve wiped out all updates and when I return to Mumbai I shall have to redo all my work- kind of like cleaning up a house and then some idiot throwing a kegger and then NOT cleaning up after!!!

WHEN I RETURN
 

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Currently I am in a private paradise celebrating my SIXTH anniversary with Aditya!

The day started with Breakfast in bed ( my romantic husband’s idea) followed by a Boxing lesson ( my idea) and now we’re on to more adventures! The boxing has been a step in the right directions as far as Aditya is concerned.My previous anniversaries have had us diving with sharks , jumping off planes and other mortally threatening romantic plans so boxing besides the high kicks and the mean left hook that I have was relatively harmless so far!!

That’s what marriage has taught us! What he likes and what I like our totally different- the trick is to do a little bit of both and (in my case) try to not kill him while I’m at it!


Things I learnt this year… (about me!)

As every year comes to an end we look forward to a new beginning…not really a new beginning because come monday morning and its just another monday morning except now the new year’s Monday seems to be even scarier than all other Mondays having the ridiculous responsibility of a full year in front of it…! But at the end of the year…we seem to press re-start…All pour dreams that we couldn’t fulfill or make time for now has another whole year to come true….its exciting, romantic and wondrous- the new year and all of its millions of possibilities!

But to give the old year credit…I did learn a few incredible things so here goes!

  1. You can never make enough time for the one/ ones you love because love cannot be measured in time….its value supersedes all…In the end of the day life is not a pay check or home address it’s the laughter and joy of families and friends and i am so very grateful for both!
  2. I have a wanderlust and want to travel everywhere…I always knew I was a wanderer but visiting Athens, Tasmania, the dessert and Udaipur makes me realise it doesn’t matter where…i need to wander, to learn, to breathe!
  3. I have learnt to partially control my bad days….I have bad days on and off because of my nuero illness…Accepting them was hard; going thru them harder. But now I know when to slow down, how to slow down and how to get back up and I am infinitely happier!
  4. I have the power to forgive…who knew!!!? Divya, the hard ass with the unforgiving temper can forgive! Forgiveness for me doesn’t mean I forget….it just means that I can open my heart out to you slowly again…that in itself is a huge step for me! And I’m learning to stop judging people on my harsh Divya scale…that only disappoints and its always nice to have friends. For all you know on their scale you might be failing too!
  5. I have learnt to laugh …full bodied , loud and God that relaxes me!
  6. I have learnt that the only critics you need are also your biggest supporters….please them and you’re doing ok!
  7. I have learnt that when life throws you a curve ball -stop blaming life and get on with the game…If you don’t complain …you’ll move on stronger and win!
  8. I’ve learnt its better to have an opinion than no opinion at all and it’s better to elicit opinions of others–good or bad…because the worst is if people are indifferent…Indifference = lack of caring and I need all the care I can get!
  9. Surprises are always fabulous! So surprise someone today! Make their day!
  10. Nothing makes me happier than a warm cup of coffee …! (hint, hint aditya!)

 

happy countdown to the new year all!

 

love byte(n) and already missing the bytes!

so the last month has been full of jet set getaways, 5 am flights, hectic rehearsals and even some outdoor shows! Yes! In summer! But it was also filled with tons of laughter, 9 people dinners, strange ‘dance’ movements, marco polo games in pools and tons of pranks! To say that this was undoubtedly one of my most ‘funnest’ (yes that’s a word now!) summers would be an understatement!

We move to the final weekend for the final show in Chennai of this tour of ‘Love bytes’ and I have to say i’m going to miss it all! I have done so many plays over the years, made so many friends…but this group has almost become like family!..so here goes

The cast comprises of Aditya my beloved husband and uber star when he comes for my productions…he needs sleep, rest and work out time! I love it I love him!

Gaurav, who’s petrified before he does his lines and before a show. He is also the person who most recommends the 5 am flights back on sunday mornings…

Rashi– who dances in her sleep …no I mean really…she comes into every hotel looking like she is sleep walking and yet she dances on the elevator music like a star!

Sanket– he’s done shows from A Personal War to Love bytes and a strong reason for his love for Balancing Act Productions is my uber handsome husband! No they just play trial pursuit and other silly games on his phone…what did you think I was talking about!

Chaiti- the newest member of the cast…always with the latest goss and the coolest places to hang out…chaiti is a Walking-Party-Pages (pun on yellow pages if you didn’t get it!)

Areesz-with his huge tattoos and his working out mania is eventually just a big ol’ softy!

Niranjan– he’s the Assistant Director & Sound guy in the show and takes our non-stop harassment and taunts…He also doesn’t know how to swim….something we learnt after we pushed him into the pool!

Michael– Lighting director extraordinaire–unless ofcourse he’s fed up of the scene and he blacks you out 😉

Things I’m gonna miss (in no particular order…and just a few of them)

  1. Watching my ipad 2 in the plane with Michael as he falls asleep. He pretends he’s watched but there’s no way he has …after all im the one lifting his spectacles and dropping them back on his nose every few minutes of the flight….if he didn’t pick up on that …he’s definitely not watching csi!!!
  2. Seeing Sanket in a shirt ( that messy sod comes in the same black t-shirt to every show…not superstition just plain lazy but quickly puts on his crushed shirt as he enters the hotel to impress me! i love the shirt– crushes n all!)
  3. Pranks on Chaiti (my goodness she is the easiest to prank and I enjoy it thoroughly….)! I’ll probably still prank her in Chennai and she’ll probably still fall for it!
  4. Almost drowning Niranjan in the swimming pool while playing marco Polo cos he couldn’t swim!
  5. Watching Gaurav finish ALL the water…there’s never enough bottles!!…We’re lucky the sea is salty!
  6. Areesz and his ironing!
  7. Aditya and his silly football matches and worse still conning us all to see it with him!
  8. Rashi, rashi, rashi….she had her foot in her mouth and ensured that it stayed there (mostly for sanket’s and my amusement!)…she was funny, is funny and wow- she made us laugh!!!

I’M GONNA MISS THEM & AFTER RASHI’S EMAIL LAST NIGHT…I THINK THEY MIGHT MISS ME TOO…

I love you guys…this has been an incredible summer, an incredible journey and some incredible friendships…

p.s.-: I’m no softy so you’ll still get the post-mortem of the previous show before Chennai’s finale! 😉