Friday, May 31, 2013

Days 148 - 151: When the Going Gets Terrific!

Contrary to the previous post where I had to deliberately get myself out of a mental slump, I am feeling absolutely topnotch right now. Yup! Music in my ears, music on my lips, a hop and a skip in my step, that kinda stuff.

Reason? Well, not exactly known. I mean, I don't think it is one big reason but believe it is a combination of a few factors over the last four days. Now, maybe the below really warrants a complete post per day vs. the summary, but well... this will have to do because I do have other important things to attend to like catching up on my sleep.

On Tuesday, my team for my next short film 'Aravindum Aarumughamum' was locked and loaded. Now I have my three actors, editor, music director, cinematographer and also photographer for the stills. I also kickstarted the scheduling process, which is going to be the biggest challenge for this project because my editor cum cinematographer is based out of Mumbai and will be flying down just for a few days, my music director is in Chennai and the rest of the cast and crew are involved in everything from full time jobs and MBA classes to Odissi lessons, family lives and baby rearing (the last one being me myself). But in spite of the complexities, just getting the scheduling work started means I have taken another step towards making the film, and I love that! Am super excited about it!

On Wednesday, I hit yoga after almost a 4 week gap. I had skipped the last four weeks due to illness, lack of sleep (with me back at work in full swing and without my mom in town anymore to look after the little one at night, sleep has become a rather rare luxury), and general lethargy. I had still been doing DVD workouts every other day but I had completely ignored yoga for so long. Today, in spite of still being sleep deprived and lethargic, I somehow dragged myself to class. And man! It was probably the worst class I've ever had! I felt that everything - food, water and organs included - were about to come out of my mouth. I wished I would just die but then took that back because dying would mean being born again (as per us Hindus), and that would mean having to practice yoga again which in turn would mean I would have stuff stuck in my throat, ready to pop out, every time my stomach contracts. Sigh. Yup, it was terrible but...the good news was that I survived and I felt totally kickass about it later! I felt so... so... good and also so very stupid for taking such a long break! And the best part? I think I had one of the best nights of sleep. Sure, the little one woke up about 4 times at night but I slept really well in between unlike my usual tossing, turning, disturbed sleeping self.

On Thursday, I went for yoga again and this time, had a kickass class! Not in terms of quality of my postures, but more in terms of my stamina and my disinterest in wanting to die, unlike the day before. In fact I felt very much alive and wanting to live post it! So much so that I got back home and after spending some time with the little one and putting her to bed, I got on to the long overdue editing of my friend's novel. I had done a chunk of it a while ago, and had not gotten back to it post the India trip because I got caught up with work after that. But today I felt super energized and I started working on it again.

On Friday, the nicest thing happened. I was getting out of work when I bumped into this girl at the lift lobby. She was not from my company and I had no idea who she was. But as soon as she saw me .. she was all smiles and told me that she knows me. I was confused, how? Much to my surprise, she tell me that she knows me via my good friend from school. Apparently this mutual friend was the girl's roomie! What are the chances... bumping into someone like that in the lift lobby at work in Singapore and also for her to recognize me, possibly from Facebook pictures or something! Just as I was about to dish out the cliched "Oh the world is so small...." line, she said. "I could recognize you right away. I have read your blog. It is amazing." What. Woah. Now I was really, really surprised! Here is this girl, who was room mates with my childhood friend, who has now moved to Singapore, works for a company which works with mine, is at the lift lobby on the same floor as me right when I am there (my company occupies about 10 floors in that building), has read my blog and actually liked it, had seen my pictures before and recognizes me and gives me a compliment on my blog. Seriously! Before I could gather my thoughts and thank her properly, she hurried away to the meeting she had come for. Wow. Needless to say, it totally made my day.  God bless her!

Like I said, it has really gone from tough to terrific in no time. Totally gonna enjoy it while it lasts! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Days 144 - 147: When the Going Gets Tough!

OK, so let me be honest.

It hadn't exactly been easy the past few days. I seemed to be rather low on energy, partly for known reasons such as lack of sleep (all thanks to the little one) and partly for unknown reasons. Nett, I have been feeling fatigued, lethargic and not exactly "oh my God, everything is so happy and beautiful"!

So much so that I felt that I had completely wasted away a perfectly nice long weekend. It was a public holiday on Friday, giving a good three day break from work, the kind I would usually fill up with activities and make it productive and fulfilling.

But this weekend passed by without anything much to show. Sure, I had a couple of good dinners, an outing with the little one, some movie-watching, some exercising and some sleeping. I even helped the hubby a little bit on his work by getting back to coding, something that I had not done in the last eight years (FYI, I graduated as a software engineer but never really pursued it post college). I did all of that, yet I ended up feeling.. well, empty.

And then, realization struck. Wait a minute... did I just say that I spend a whole weekend with "a couple of good dinners, an outing with the little one, some movie-watching, some exercising and some sleeping" as well as "coding" and I feel "empty"? Huh?!

What the hell is wrong with me?!

These are exactly the things I would have gloated about if I put them in a different perspective.

Think about it... in the right frame of mind, that list would have been something like the below:

"Excellent long weekend! Am rather tired and tied down right now, so let me do a quick summary!  
a) Discovered a wonderful new joint called Artichoke selling Mediterranean cuisine and with some excellent customer service as well as made my first trip to Fosters in Holland Village which had some really good live music. 
b) Caught up with the hubby over some yummy dinner on two days of the weekend.
c) Watched the little one in fascination as she did a new thing and grew up a little bit every day. For example,  both of us caught an hour's sleep on Saturday afternoon. I usually can't sleep in peace when she is lying right next to me, because I keep worrying whether she would roll off the bed. So I was simply lying down with my eyes closed. She woke up after an hour and wanted to wake me up as I pretended to sleep. First she tried to wake me up by running her little palm all over my face. When that didn't work, she tried scratching my arm again and again. When that also didn't seem to work, she started to pull my hair. And then, when that too failed.. what did she do?! She bulldozed her little head into my face! That definitely got me to stop pretending. I couldn't help but be fascinated by how babies figure these things out! 
d) I watched half of a super lovely film called "Annayum Rasoolum" in Malayalam. It has one of best acting I have seen in Malayalam cinema in recent years, especially one that is so consistently good among all the members of the cast. It also has the best sound design, which I realized has managed to even win the national award. Totally deserving! 
e) I coded! Yes! After a gap of almost 8 years, I went back to being a software enginner for a while, as I coded a few simple things to help the hubby with his work. Felt oh-so-good!

Excellent weekend indeed!" 


It was all in the head!

Somewhere over the past few days, I had stopped to appreciate things. I am not sure why. But I had.

And it took me to write this blog, before I could realize how stupid it all was. Really, what was I so upset about? Sure I feel sleep deprived and tired and am not feeling like I can do much and haven't even exercised in two days.

But that is OK.

When the going gets tough... you realize it is all in your head.

And then the going gets less tough... ta da dish dooosh!

Smug. (Feeling so much wiser)!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 140 - 143: All Things Small and Beautiful!

It's been a rather interesting few days. Nothing out of the box has happened but I have been pretty happy, over a number of small things.

These include:
1) Enjoying a few different collections of short stories that I am reading, both in English and in Malayalam.
2) Discussing "Aravindum Aarumughamum" with my working team (yes, it does look like I will be making this somewhere in the near future - and by that I mean in the next 1 year).
3) Being asked by two different film makers whether I would be interested in writing screenplays and dialogues for them! One of them was the mainstream director I had written about here, which was pretty cool!
4) Further finetuning my holiday plans.
5) Watching the excitement of my parents as I share my plans for our holiday together.
6) Feeling oh-so-proud when the little one could float, chest up, in the pool with only her head supported, during her swimming lesson.
7) Enjoying my first presentation to senior management after getting back to work post pregnancy.
8) Enjoying my workouts which are primarily only the DVD workouts as I still need to try and figure time to go for yoga, which has taken a backseat for a few weeks now.

Like I said, all small but pretty beautiful!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Days 138 - 139: Planning for Holidays!

Two holidays are coming up  -one in August and one in October and I spent the whole weekend planning for them. Flights, accommodation, transport, itineraries at the destinations, all of it. One is just with the three of us - the hubby, little one and I and one with the three of us together with both sets of parents. Both are gonna be super duper fun!

The days of planning for a holiday are as much exciting as the holiday itself, I believe!

So I am indeed very excited! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Days 136 -137: Aravindum Aarumughamum - Scripting!

"Aravindum Aarumughamum" is a Malayalam-Tamil bilingual short film that I am working on currently. I had been having the concept in my head for a while but couldn't really get myself to work on it until now. Usually when I write a script down, it is only after the whole story, including dialogues, get fully clarified in my head. And for that I need time and mind space to sit and think, which are both hard to manage these days.

But finally, it's been done!

I put in a lot of thought to the story over the last couple of weeks during my commute to work and over the last two days, I have finally managed to actually write it down!

In other words, I have a complete script for my bilingual, "Aravindum Aarumughamum"! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 135: When the 'Industry' Speaks!

I am what you call an amateur film maker. I write, produce and direct films with absolutely no knowledge or training on how these things are to be done. Most importantly, I do it without even the remotest connection with the actual film industry that exists out there.

So when I get feedback from a person in the industry about a film of mine, it means a lot. Like, a LOT.

The last time that happened was probably in Dhaka... when I represented my film Mausams at the Dhaka Internation Film Festival in January 2012. Then I had received very encouraging feedback from professional film makers - from Bangladesh, India and even Japan. Needless to say, that had made feel over the moon.

Today, I received feedback from a film maker from the Malayalam film industry. He had watched Inganeyum Oru Katha and dropped me a congratulatory message on Facebook.  That was already pretty nice of him but later I  saw that he had also shared the film on his own profile which led to surge of views and following comments, many from other assistant directors, digital media artists, scripwriters and others also from the industry.

It took me right above and beyond the moon! It made me feel like real film maker! God bless them all! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 134: Then the Sketch Happened!

Yesterday the pencils happened, today the sketch happened.

A sketch after so long that my hand started to hurt about quarter way through! Sigh.

But a sketch is a sketch, after all! Pretty happy about that!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 133: Art Friend!

Art Friend is this really awesome shop in Singapore that sells art supplies. And by "art supplies" I mean every single thing that one can even remotely relate to art! I just love...absolutely LOVE.... visiting Art Friend! 

Thanks to an absolute absence of drawing or painting or any other such artistic endeavours in my life for the last several months (or maybe years), I had not been to Art Friend in a really, really long time. 

Yesterday evening I had this urge to sketch some thing but discovered that I don't even have basic necessities like pencils! So I decided to pay a visit to Art Friend so that I can equip myself with pencils in anticipation of a sketching bug that might bite any time. 

And really, visiting Art Friend was like visiting paradise! I was just amazed at all the stuff they had! On top of everything related to art that I am already aware of , they had things like water soluble oil paints (!!) and erasers that you can mould into any shape that you want to enable precision corrections on your drawings! Wow! 

I spent half an hour there, dreamy eyed and going dizzy looking at everything around me. It took all my will power to not buy anything that I was certain I wouldn't use immediately. So I forced myself to walk out with just the pencils I had gone in for. 

But those 30 minutes were just mind boggling! Art Friend - what an awesome, awesome place! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 132: First Mother's Day as a Mom!

It was my first Mother's Day as a mom. I don't believe at all in Hallmark created special days and was not planning to celebrate it at all. But then it turned out to be a pretty nice day on its own!

It started off with brunch at my dear brunch place Canopy and this time, amidst the greenery, the pet dogs, the lovely food, the company of the hubby and the little, there was also the company of a dear friend who had joined us. It was nice catching up with him and the morning passed by in a jiff.

The afternoon was spent on sleeping and recovering from the long, tiring week. The best part is that the little one co-operated as well and had a siesta along with me for a couple of hours - a deed she had not done for at least a couple of months now! So am guessing it was her little Mother's Day gift for me!

In the evening, the hubby insisted on taking me out for dinner at our favourite place Da Luca in order to celebrate Mother's Day. Like I have mentioned, I don't believe in celebrating all these special days that seem to have sprung up from nowhere over the past few years, but given that he seemed rather keen about, I played along. After all, who can say no to some good food and a glass of wine?

So there it was ... a simple but very happy first Mother's Day for me...! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 131: Back to NUS!

It was a friend's birthday and the birthday dinner was organized at NUSS, a club within my alma mater National University of Singapore. So there we were, the usual gang, most of whom are from NUS, back there on our dear campus, together.

To make the most of it, as soon as we were done with dinner, we took a nice long walk, introducing the various places to non-NUS friends who were around. Post this sightseeing and memory-raking trip, we further postponed any plan to return to our respective homes and instead, visited our popular haunt there, the Nikki's Cheese Prata shop, also lovingly called Abang. I had my all time favourite drink, Teh Halia (Ginger Tea) while the others ordered the different types of Prata and Milo Dinosaur the place is famous for. And more memories were revisited.

Needless to say, it was a beautiful evening! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Days 129 - 130: The IOK Phenomenon!

Over the last couple of days, there was a surge of messages from people who have just watched my film "Inganeyum Oru Katha" on Youtube. Ever since I had put the film up there, I had been getting messages regularly but nothing like what I witnessed these couple of days.

There was a new one coming in every ten minutes or so through the day and I was finding it incredibly hard to keep up and respond to the messages! These are people who watched the film online, searched for it on Facebook and was kind enough to drop me a message to tell me that they enjoyed my little film! I was so overwhelmed by the response and happily so!

When I went to Youtube and checked, I realized that the film had garnered 13,000 views in just two days! I have no idea how! But am not complaining. I love the fact that more people are watching it and love it even more that they are enjoying it!

Feel oh-so-good and oh-so-thankful for it! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 128: Baby, Work, Work Out, Script!

Yup... it is like a humungous milestone!

I am back to scripting after getting back to work post maternity leave! It's a bilingual in Malayalam and Tamil and am super excited about it!

Until today, I was not sure at all whether I would be able to get back to this but I have. And that too, after squeezing in a 30 minute DVD workout today! Awesome!

Sure, I could manage to write only a single scene which itself took an entire hour because I was also managing the little one on the side. And am most certain that I won't be able to make this combination of work, baby, exercise and scripting a regular one.

But any progress is good progress, so am extremely happy about it! Looking forward to more such days!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 127: First Swimming Lesson for the Little One!

Today the little one had her very first "swimming lesson"!

Now, I had always thought that kids learn to swim only when they are much older but recently got to read that even infants can get over fear of water at a very early stage. They are used to being in the womb, submerged in water for so long and hence have an innate ability to be in water. This wears off as they grow older and then need to learn it all over again. In the infant swimming lessons, what they teach is the baby to be able to submerge head into water without panicking and also to develop the skill of breathing in out of water and breathing out inside water vs. actually swimming.

I wanted to try it out. Just a few lessons to see what exactly they teach and whether it is worthwhile.

So early in the morning, our helper, the little one and I took a nice long walk to the swimming complex in our area and met up with the infant swimming coach I had booked. It is necessary for a parent to accompany the baby into the pool. In fact, much of the work is done by the parent under the guidance of the coach. So after changing into our swimsuits, the little one and I entered the pool. The coach taught me how I should be entering the pool while holding onto a baby which in itself was super useful, I thought.

The coach had come with plenty of toys and teaching aids in bright colours, much to the little one's fascination and mine. And then the lessons began. And by that I mean, the singing began! The coach would sing one rhyme after the other and get the little one to kick and splash and watch bubbles being blown, all according to a rhythm. We got her used to water being poured over her head, getting her to go in circles in the pool, sway left and right, get out of the pool on the board with a hand-elbow-tummy-leg routine, fake jumps into the water and last but not the least, submerge her head into the water until her ears are covered. It was all so fascinating! Best part - the little one loved the session too and went to her crying cranky mode when she was taken out of the water half an hour!

I don't know who had more fun - the little one or me, but fun... a ton of it... we had!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 126: Good News!

When Indian aunties ask of the "good news", it pretty much means they are asking whether you are pregnant or not. Today, I got the good news from a very dear friend! She's one of those ladies who I am certain would make a terrific mother and to hear that she was expecting was just such a not good, but GREAT news!

I met her over lunch and shared the joy with her! We had an awesome, exciting and happy lunch together!

Of course, I also imparted much maternal wisdom, since am already quite an expert at motherhood at six months postpartum. That gave me some joy too.

I am super happy for her and her huge, great news totally made my day! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 125: Dancing with the Star!

I love dance and I love "dancing" with the little one. I love singing a song and shaking my head with it for her to see, I love holding her hands and making her dance, I love picking her up and moving about, I love it all.

So today, as we danced together, I asked the hubby to take a picture so that I can keep it for memory sake because I am not sure how long I will be able to carry her and dance around, as she becomes older and bigger.

And this is what came off it!

I got the picture I wanted as I danced with the star! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 124: Discoveries, Again!

It was yet another weekend of discoveries, but this time that of new food places, which of course is a hugely important part of my life.

Discovery No. 1 was this awesome brunch place in Bishan Park. Canopy is our usual hangout there but given their questionable service quality over the last couple of visits, we decided to try something different. Thus came, Cornerstone. Excellent breakfast, great ambience, lovely location, friendly staff, super comfortable seating (i.e. the couch with a million cushions) and plenty of space to push a pram around. What more can one ask for! I see this as a potential regular hangout for the future. Completely loved it!

Discovery No. 2 was a Russian place called Buyan which has iPads for their menus. Yeah, fancy! Now that I have discovered Duxton Hill after spending 14 years in Singapore, I made a second visit there and the hubby, who is a much cooler person who has been here before, recommended Buyan. Over some Russian wine, Bakliki (aubergine and tomato starters) and Cheese breads that oozed with ton of...well, cheese!, we had a lovely conversation. The iPad was cool, the wine was good, the food was great, the conversation was awesome!

May the discoveries continue! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 123: A Day of Fantastic Opportunities & Great Progress!

It was indeed a day of progress and opportunities.

Firstly, the little one has managed to say "mum" and then "mum-mum" when I was teaching her how to say "mummy". Great progress!

At work, I made major headway in a project that I am handling, which gives me immense pleasure!

Then I got an offer for a very exciting assignment. The background is that post my maternity leave, am currently on a temporary role with specific projects for a couple of months, before moving on a to more permanent role. There have been a few discussions on what that new role would be and today, I got to know more about a potential one which seems to be a great fit for me. So that's an opportunity I am looking forward to taking up.

After work I hit yoga, and got a "Good one, Shilpa" for my Eagle Pose or Garudasana. It's the first time am getting a "check" on this particular pose postpartum, so that's great progress in my yoga practice as well.

Then I went for a very close friend's dance concert. It's my first concert post pregnancy and my first solo trip to a concert in a really long while, both of which I take as progress in my social and personal life.

And last, the icing on the cake with cherry on top - I have a producer for my feature length film! A dear friend from India, who had recently turned part-time movie producer, was in town and I met up with him together with the hubby. Over a good dinner from Mirchi @ Esplanade, we discussed various topics until he asked me where I was with my script-writing, especially the one that I had worked on during my maternity leave. So I gave him a rundown on the theme, the production requirements and how it can be marketed and before I knew it, he was saying that he was keen to produce it! He immediately called up his producer-partner and asked him to get details on how to go about this given that my movie is meant for the Tamil industry, while they had experience producing films only in Malayalam and Hindi so far. He was insisting that if this film gets made, I should be in the director's chair and not just be the writer. While that won't be possible for me right now given my work and family commitments, am definitely excited about the opportunity for my script to be turned into a film!

What a fantabulous, exciting day! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 122: Weekday Morning Swim!

Today, instead of yoga or the DVD workout, which is what I have been doing often, I decided to hit the pool in the morning, before work. It's probably the first time I am hitting the pool in the morning on a weekday, and it was a great decision!

I completed 12 laps (50% more than the previous postpartum swim) and finished off the workout for the day in the morning itself, leaving the entire evening free to spend with the little one.

So happy! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 121: Iron Man 3!

It was the first public holiday of my postpartum working life and it had to be spent in a "meaningful" manner. So after priorities like spending time with the little one, exercising and sleeping, we hit Iron Man 3!

As my Facebook status later said,
"Cannot possibly love Robert Downey Jr., Shane Black and every single person behind Iron Man more. MAX love already!"

It was a meaningful public holiday indeed!