Wednesday, December 16, 2009


It is sad to see print being taken over by web. This year my company decided to save money by sending out their holiday cards electronically instead. I would have loved to see my design in letterpress though.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Joy Ride

As I was reading this post by Amit Varma, I could not resist going back to the recent conversations with friends about their sexual harassment experiences back in India. It was funny that it was one of the topics in discussion during our ladies night out and most importantly all of us ladies had more than a couple instances to share. Most of these instances had a common venue –buses, trains and auto rickshaws and also a common outcome – the girls were too shy to voice their disdain.

Back then all it needed was a ‘dada, ki hocche ta ki?’ (dude, what the hell are you doing?) to solve the problem. All eyes would then be on the guy and in most cases they would dissolve into the crowd or voice a protest like nothing was the matter. In both cases the problem would be solved. Even that was too bold of a move by many girls. So they shut their mouth and discussed it later with friends while some guys kept this ridiculous practice alive.

A lot of this had to do with how we were brought up. Topics on sex were always hush hush. I don’t think many parents even discussed it with their children. Sex was something that happened only between married couples. Hence some guys grew more curious and frustrated while the girls were crushed under the burden of upholding their “family names”. Or else why would someone want to poke and prod a random breast in a crowded public bus and why could the owner of the breast not stop the action immediately? I still wonder…

Some of these girls grew up and laughed about such incidents when they looked back, some learnt a lesson and were finally able to stand up for themselves and some remained the same – still unable to speak up. To all my friends in the last category – its high time you changed that!

Monday, November 02, 2009

I like…I like…

The thumbs up icon in Facebook is probably my most favorite tool. Considering the increasing amount of friends on Facebook, it is getting extremely hard to keep up considerable amount of communication with all. In fact I think I was much happier not knowing what half of my high school was up to. Information overload!

That’s where the ‘I like’ feature comes in so handy. I don’t have to write any comments or even pay as much attention to a thread by half a dozen people I don’t know. I can just like the photo or post or whatever and still let my friend know:

a. I saw the post/photo
b. I’m still an active friend
c. and the best of all - I don’t have to say what I REALLY feel :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

Its afternoon and the heat is seeping in through the windows. I lie in my bed staring at the old fan that sways and creaks at the same time. I think of my summer vacation being spent in an air conditioned apartment and wonder why I could not have lived there forever. The room has taken the color of its curtains and I cannot remember if it was pink or blue. The radio plays old Hindi classics. I hope to fall in love with someone, somewhere at some point of time. I am oblivious to my legal sized notebooks full of class notes barely fluttering to the breeze from the fan. I need to read those if I want to do better than merely passing. But merely passing is fine with me and so I continue staring and listening.

Several years have gone by. Our house actually has air conditioning and the weather is cool. Yet I somehow feel I’m in that room with the fan and it’s so peaceful. The earphones plugged into my ears still play old Hindi classics. The only difference is in the notebook that has been replaced with the chapters in my life that dare not take me to oblivion.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oh Crap!

Today’s FB status update that generated the most number of comments for me, needs mention on my blog: Mala Paul forgot something on my way back home last night - MY DAUGHTER...oh crap!

No kidding. So this is what happened:
I left work and started driving. I had a lot of stuff on my mind. I was thinking how I was in need of some ‘white space’ in my life and was one light away from the freeway when I realized I was actually able to listen to myself think in the peace and quiet of my car. Something was off. I NEVER have peace and quiet in my car. Oh yah, Evani wasn't jabbering behind me—I had forgotten to pick her up from daycare! Thankfully I was within 5 mins of driving distance and was able to make a u-turn.

So all these days of being astonished by cases where parents forgot their kids in the car or somewhere else—now I know. Your mind just shuts off and you experience a moment of bliss.

I am soooo not having another child…
I love you doll and will never forget you ever (or at least will try not to)!

Happy Friday folks!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Now THIS is something I would like to wipe my bottom with! Who knew the evil king Duryodhana who ordered “Cheerharan” or stripping of the saree would end up in a toilet roll - AWESOME!

Courtesy Indian By Design.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Evani turned 2 last Friday. As soon as that happened, someone turned the ‘terrible’ switch on since she has never been crankier. She manages to throw a temper tantrum for almost everything now. The mornings are worst when I’m trying to get us both ready and out of the door.

Both me and Shomeek aren’t too big on large b’day parties. We like keeping it small and personal. In fact, we plan to eliminate b’day parties all together and go somewhere fun on her birthdays starting next year. In fact last weekend we were supposed to take her to the aquarium at SF, but due to her cold and bad weather we stayed put. Friday we celebrated with a close group of friends and family. It wasn’t the usual kids party though. Even though they did have tons of fun playing with each other and there were balloons and bubbles (bad idea!), pizza and cake, there were no life size Elmos or clowns for entertainment. Neither was there a Dora or Princess theme. I just don’t want Evani to be fixated with such characters and would like her to appreciate the company and attention, the simple concept of being able to play with friends and have a good time. That being said, we did have a great party where kids and parents enjoyed alike.

I sometimes cannot believe it’s already been two years. I cannot imagine my life without her anymore. She talks in full sentences now. Can count up to 20 and can say most of her nursery rhymes. She has a sweet tooth and sucks her thumb when she’s tired (that we are trying to get rid of). She has traveled to Calcutta, Toronto (twice), Montreal, Vancouver and Seattle and we are looking forward to her fist camping trip this May. It took her three months to adjust to daycare and she is totally a mommy’s girl. We love her more than anything!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mala Designs

As I was organizing my files I came across this invitation that I designed for the Bangladeshi concert last year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love & Laughter

...a card from daughter
...a card and spa gift certificate from Hubby tasting
...long stemmed rose found friends at winery
...good times with old friends martinis
and Russell Peters...

...I still cannot stop laughing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

(Fun x 4) + 1

It was time for the McNulty Quads to visit the Paul's this last weekend and what a treat it was. I was meeting the quads again after their first b’day (I know, I’m LAME!) and it was amazing to see how much they’ve grown into little individuals. Each of them has a distinct personality. Conor and Gen are the world’s best parents and the kids are a delight to be around. As soon as they left, Evani picked up her toy phone and started calling Russ. I DIED laughing! Here are some pictures from that evening.

"anymore dogs in there to put in the oven?" - Libby & Ally

Molly, Libby & Ally with their prized possessions

Russ taking a break from the girlie stuff

Evani thrilled to have company who share same interests

Finally Russ gets in

"I want MORE popcorn!" - Russ

The McNulty Family in action

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My Friend, Sancho

I recently entered a contest for designing a book cover for Amit Varma's first book 'My Friend, Sancho' and even though I did not win, I thought I'd share my design anyways since it was a lot of fun to be working on something that was not "WORK". You can view the winning cover here. I'm happy to have been mentioned on the post atleast.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Stay-home mom remedy

Caller: As a stay-home mom I sometimes feel overwhelmed and don’t have time to take care of my needs. I’m always exhausted and end up complaining about it to my husband.

Dr. Laura: Quit complaining. That’s not what men want to hear. Put your kids to bed, apply perfume in strategic areas and tell your husband when he returns home – “Honey, I’ve had a very tough day. Can you please make it better for me?’ You do know what the strategic areas are, don’t you?

Caller: * Silence *

Listener (me): WTF????

Me listening to Dr. Laura on Talk Radio: Double WTF????

Friday, January 23, 2009

Which one are you?

This came at a very appropriate time (thanks to my sis-in-law) since I seem to be working with ‘The Wafflers’ and am currently on my seventh round of revisions and ready to tear my hair out. TGIF!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life is too short

That is what I have been telling myself over and over again these past couple months, ever since we found out that our friend Poonam was detected with a rare cancer called Leiomyosarcoma. She was one of the healthiest persons I knew, taking care of what and how much she ate and exercising regularly. I was jealous of how fast she was back into her normal size after the birth of their daughter. I wasn’t very close to her, and we met only during certain get-togethers, but having to attend her funeral is something I had never dreamt of.

The whole time I sat there in disbelief as to how fast things had happened and how totally it was beyond anyone’s control. Two months ago she was fit and full of life. They were trying for a second child and hence did not pay too much attention when the nausea set in. Only after the pregnancy tests came out negative, they got more tests done to find out the cause of her sickness. That’s when she was diagnosed with the cancer at its very late stages and two months down the road she left us all. Today all her friends and family gathered together for one last time at her funeral to pay our respects.

At his eulogy, a very good friend of both Poonam and Prabhu, said something which is going to stay close to my heart for a long time to come. He mentioned that even though they were such good friends, they did not meet as often as they would have liked to. Life was just way too busy for them both.

That is so true in all our lives. We are always too busy to spend precious time with those whom we love or do things that bring us fulfillment. Somehow are jobs eat up most of who we are in the quest for having the means for a decent living and providing for our children. I hope we can all get out of this vicious cycle and open our eyes and heart to things that matter the most, cherish the good things we have, live our lives in a way that makes us complete.

To Prabhu, Jiya and the parents, may all of you have the strength to continue on in your lives the way Poonam would have wanted you to.

This post is in memory of:
Poonam Gaur
September 6, 1974 - January 16, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bollywood Debacle

After much hype over Slumdog and Indians fuming over Boyle for showing slums and even more slums, I think it will be interesting to shift our attention to the recent big banner Bollywood releases those depict 18th Century Rab in the 21st Century, Harvard MBA grad who writes handwritten diaries and draws his own tattoos with both hands, Gay couples getting their green cards in a year and to top it all Chinese people speaking Hindi. Here are a few awesome reviews from fellow bloggers that are actually more entertaining than the movies themselves. Get comfortable and grab your popcorn. This will be worth it.

Rab ne Bana di Jodi

Chandni Chowk to China

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jai Ho!

Jai Ho to the team of Slumdog Millionaire and especially to A.R.Rahman. So well deserved. I just had to share this video though - I died laughing! I think we need more 'singing & dancing' in this world. :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2009 already???

Where did ’08 go?

We ended it in the perfect way. Well, not that freezing one’s behind is perfect in anyway, but Toronto was fun. It was the company that mattered and spending valuable time with my best friend and her hubby was very rewarding. This couple loves Evani like their own. At times we were confused as to who her parents were. She was treated like a princess and showered with love beyond any means.

True friendship is hard to find and when such a thing exists, you feel honored to be a part of it. That’s what I share with Sapto. Having known each other since 5th grade, we’ve been together through many journeys in life and have still stayed strong. However, it is her husband, Robin who is truly a special gift. For him to embrace his partner’s friendship with love, warmth and respect is extraordinary. We love you Robin & Sapto and are extremely proud to have you in our lives. 2008 couldn’t have ended more perfectly.

However, nothing in life is ever perfect. The year also ended with a friend being diagnosed with stomach cancer that will have her leaving us very soon. A miracle is what her family and friends are waiting for now. This New Year I could only wish for strength and courage for her three year old daughter.

To all my friends and family, I wish you good health in 2009.