Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 211: Late Night Workout!

Am having a super crazy time at work. My new business is extremely complex, the issues are very challenging and I have a steep learning curve. And also because I will be travelling for two weeks towards the end of August, there is a lot to do before I leave.

Don't get me wrong...I am actually enjoying myself thoroughly at work. I find the new role challenging and exciting but the fact is that I don't have the same amount of time as before for the little one, or my mom who is in town. Nor do I seem to get time to squeeze in some exercise.

By the time I get back home it is late at night and all I want to do is eat and sleep.

But today I was determined to get some exercise no matter what.

So after I returned home at about 9pm at night, I forced myself to do my DVD workout.

It was tough, I admit, and I really had to repeat to myself that it was mind over matter.

But good news is that I somehow managed to complete it.

I was incredibly exhausted afterwards but it was definitely rewarding!

Now to keep this up! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 210: Love Letter!

The hubby and I had a fight.

It doesn't matter what the fight was all about, but what is absolutely crucial to note is that we both agreed that the fault was entirely his.

Then, doesn't that solve the issue, you may ask. After all, the culprit agrees to his crime.


Because I was of the viewpoint that he gotta make amendments for his actions. So I asked him to figure out how to make things right, than just agreeing that the fault was all his.

Now, if you might have come across numerous "jokes" and such on social media that when a girl asks a boy to "figure it out", he most certainly will not be able to do so. It is something to do with the inherent male psyche, I believe.

And that's what happened here too. I asked him to "fix it", and he was baffled for a good few days on how to.


After waiting for a couple of days, I gave up because after all, you don't really want to be in a fight for too long!

So I told him that I am willing to forgive and forget provided he write me a nice note. Something that would "make me smile and feel happy about."

This time the brief's clear, I hoped.

And looks like it was! Within 10 minutes, there was a nice long email in my inbox where he said some really sweet things that indeed made me smile and feel super good about!

So yes, today I received something that's close to the 'love letter' of the yore, from my man, who otherwise is rather weak in the "expressing emotions" department.

Sure, one may argue that this one had to be extracted out of him by force, but still a love letter it is and I loved it!

Needless to say, we are back to being the awesome couple that we are!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 208 - 209: All These Wonderful People!

Over the last two days, I had two sets of visitors to my place.

First, it was the hubby's super inspirational ex-boss and his family of a beautiful wife and two adorable girls. While I knew a lot about the big boss from the hubby, and have met him a couple of times before, it is always heartening to see how down to earth and chilled out a guy he is. It was also fun to see the great rapport he and his wife shared... and I had a really good time chatting with them. And my own little one seemed to have a ball of a time playing with her two "big sisters" as well.

But that's not it. Honestly, whatever I have written above will do no justice to how awesome these people are. So I think the following will showcase it better.

When they were at our place, it was tea time, and they were discussing what to do next - maybe a movie, maybe straight to dinner, maybe go back home and so on.

Instead, I realized that they  proceeded to an event supporting cancer patients, and the dad and the oldest daughter (around 11-12 years old), both shaved their heads off to in support for the cause!


That's not something one does instead of watching a movie or going for dinner. And the little girl did it too, when she had long, dark tresses before.


And really, really, wonderful!

Second visitor was my friend from college, now based out of New York, who had come down to Singapore with his girlfriend, just for a day. It was super nice to meet him again, after a long gap of three years, and it was absolutely delightful to meet his lovely girl friend too. Our usual college gang met up with both of them at my favourite hangout Canopy, where we had a long, fun conversation over some great food. Then all of them came over to my place, where we continued the long, fun conversation over some great dessert wine (at 3 in the afternoon, I must add). The last time this friend came down from the US, this conversation took place. This time, his contribution to our lives was a tale about how he convinced some American friend that a certain maple syrup was a Rajasthani maple syrup, when it really was just ordinary maple syrup.


And as usual, it was wonderful to watch his excitement as he narrated the maple syrup story.

It was rather sad when it was time for them to leave but then again, at least I have all these wonderful people in my life! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Days 206 - 207: Neram & Chapters!

I squeezed in two Malayalam films to my schedule over the last two days. Once I put the little one to bed, I plugged in my earphones and watched them, late into the night.

And that turned out to be a pretty good decision.

Because both were extremely well made, had the true Malayali essence, something which seems to be missing from most of films these days in the name of being "new age" (whatever that means!), and throughly delightful to watch!

The two films - Neram and Chapters. Two late night happy movie viewings! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 205: Yoga Goal - Done!

I had written here that I had an exercise goal for the year - 100 days of exercise out of which 50 needs to be Bikram hot yoga, which is what I consider the gold standard for all the different types of workouts I get.

I had completed my 100 days of exercise for year then and as of today, I have also completed 50 days of yoga! 5 months all too early!

So proud! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 204: The "Look"!

I had written here about how we are planning a whole new publicity approach for Aravindum Aarumughamum and how several ideas are floating around.

I discussed this with my cinematographer cum editor, who is currently based in India, just yesterday and today I woke up to several examples for the "look" of this new publicity approach, waiting for me in my inbox!

It was so exciting! The ideas are already coming alive and am thrilled to see my team's proactive commitment to the project!

We have a long way to go still, but this is an exciting and promising start! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 203: Congratulatory Lunch!

Remember that offsite that I kept on writing about? The one which I had the led the organization of and which was a phenomenal success?

Yup, am gonna write about it one more time because today, our GM treated me and my team to a fantastic lunch to celebrate the success of the offsite!

And he spent a few good minutes recounting all that he loved about it and congratulated us on a job well done!

Very happy, proud and thankful to have such an appreciate big boss! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 202: Shopping Sunday!

It was my dad's last day in town and we realized that we haven't done any shopping together. It's usually a routine - we go shopping together at least once on each trip of his, but this time, with the little one around, more time was spent indoors than walking around in malls.

So to catch up with lost time and shopping opportunity, we set out for Orchard and spent a few hours walking and shopping in the malls there, with the little one tagging along.

Shopping on this trip - check! Now I can happily let him go back! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 201: Rehearsals, Publicity, Parties!

It was a packed, exciting day!

It started off with a rehearsal for Aravindum Aarumughamum. It was a good rehearsal where both my actors showed tremendous improvement. Considering that it was only our second rehearsal, it was very promising. They have already begun to live the characters and that's always fascinating to watch!

Post the rehearsals, we started brainstorming for ideas on the publicity materials and I believe we have struck a few new themes that are different and more exciting than the previously planned posters and such. The new ideas will involve more work but I think it is all for the better. Looking forward to seeing the ideas come alive now!

We also had a lot of discussion on potential themes for future films, plays and stories. In short, it was a rather creative morning!

In the evening, it was time for a house party with the usual gang, at the brand new place one of them had bought recently. And that was fun too. The house was great... it was so new that it didn't even have furniture... so we all sprawled on cushions and bean bags on the floor...which was awesome! Over a lot of food, a lot of conversation and a lot of Hindi-movie-song watching, we had a wonderful time!

A good day, indeed!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 200: The Story Before 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'!

It all started with me feeling completely torn within, on a Friday. 

On one hand, I badly wanted to go for hot yoga because I had not done any yoga the entire week. Note that  this doesn't mean that I didn't exercise. In fact, I had exercised every single day of the week with kickboxing, cycling and circuit training but was not satisfied only because I had not hit yoga. In fact, I felt rather overly miserable about it. 

On the other hand, I felt exhausted - probably from working out too much, lack of sleep and increasing workload on my new assignment at work - and all I wanted was to go watch a movie  with my parents, and then go home and sleep. 

The only movie worth watching was the Hindi film 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' - which had pretty good reviews but was slammed for being more than 3 hours long. If I were to watch the film, then yoga is definitely out of the window. 

So I kept thinking and thinking about it through the day. Yoga or movie? Yoga or movie? 

And then it struck me. Why am I being so hard on myself?! 

When I started this year, I had set some expectations for myself. One of them was to exercise 100 days in the year out of which 50 days should be hot yoga, because that is my golden standard for exercise. I had thought then that this is a good target to hit, given that I have a baby, a job and I have other goals like travelling, writing scripts, spending time with family etc. Even when I didn't have a baby, the max I have exercised in a year was for 124 days in 2011 (yes, I keep track of everything). So 100 days this year was a reasonable goal. 

Now, the fact is that I already completed these 100 days by Jul 18th of this year - i.e. with 4.5 months to spare - our of which I had done 48 days of yoga! That, I believe, should be something I should feel insanely good about. Instead, here I was, turning into a complete mental wreck simply because I couldn't decide between yoga and film with my parents, on this one day! 

Once the above realization hit me, it was easy. I skipped yoga, and I went for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the supper that followed, and the evening of relaxation. I felt it was well deserved, and I felt happy. 

Sometimes it is good to cut oneself some slack!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Days 194 - 199: Kickboxing, Cycling, Poster, Friends & Family!

I just realized that I have not written a post for an entire week almost! Just about missed my promise of writing a weekly post! Blah!

But then, that's how busy I've been.

Quick list of one highlight per day:

1) On 13th July - I had the most wonderful evening with our usual gang of close friends coming over to our place. First the hubby and a friend went for tennis, then all of us went to the pool together with the little one and everyone one had a ball swimming or watching her trying to swim. Then a few took a steambath and that was followed by drinks, dinner and a LOT of mindless conversation. We hadn't done something like this in ages, and it was great fun!

2) On 14th July - After introducing the parents to Din Tai Fung where authentic Chinese food was served, it was time for enjoying Ichiban Boshi, where authentic Japanese is served. Just like how they loved the former, they loved the latter too! The excitement over wasabi, edamame, miso soup, sushi and katsu don was infectious!

3) On 15th July - Another partner workout - this time with kickboxing! Super fun!

4) On 16th July - As of today, I have completed 100 days of exercise for this year! That was the target I had set for myself at the beginning of the year, taking into consideration my new found role of a mother and the demands of having to juggle exercise with work, family and leisure. But I had never expected to complete this within just 6.5 months of the year! So proud and happy!  

5) On 17th July - I made the teaser poster for "Aravindum Aarumughamum", by accident. Yup. It all started when I was doodling on my iPad, using an app called 'Sketchpad' for those of you who want the details, to make a reference sketch for the poster. I wanted a illustrated, minimalist poster for the film and I was planning to sketch out my idea for it and send it to a friend who had promised to help me with the actual illustration. After completing the doodle, I asked the hubby what he thought of it. He said the doodle, with its crooked lines and uneven blotches here and there, serves the purpose of a teaser poster just as it is. First, I was surprised by that reaction and didn't think much of it. But with his encouragement, soon I was convinced that instead of being just a reference, this could actually be the teaser poster for the film. And thus the first publicity material, a teaser poster, for my new short film "Aravindum Aarumughamum" was released! (And by "release", I mean, it was put up on Facebook). Yay!

6) On 18th July - I took on cycling again. For those of you who had followed my 1000-day blog, you would know that cycling is an activity I had picked up only last year. It was one of the things to do on my before-30 list and I got to it with just 9 months to spare. But as soon as I pretty much got the hang of it, I discovered that I am pregnant. Since then my bike had been lying discarded in the storeroom. I didn't get back on it for this long because I wasn't sure how it would work with the pelvic pain I had sustained post pregnancy. But now that the pain's almost all gone, I got back on the bike today. After a lot of nervousness and some initial fumbling, I could ride it! Sure, I still need to get more controlled but it was great to be able to ride a few hundred metres without breaking any bones! Special thanks to my dad who was my teacher for the day!

Few happy days! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 190 - 193: Olay, Tae Bo, Workout Partner and Din Tai Fung!

It's been a fantastic week - one filled with work and workouts!

Let's do a quick list of highlights.

a) Work - Even though the official effective date of my new assignment on Olay is from August 1, I had already started on pretty intensive onboarding and my calendar has started to fill up with Olay meetings. This is probably the most exciting part of any asssignment - when you first start on it. The learning curve is steep and it is always exciting to learn about a new business, its strengths and its challenges. I have been thoroughly enjoying myself so far!

b) Workout highlight 1: Tae Bo!
There were a few interesting highlights at the workout front, so am gonna put them into separate points. So the first highlight is that I discovered Tae Bo - which is a form of aerobic exercise that combines Taekwondo and Boxing, found by a guy called Billy Bankers in 1976. I believe kickboxing is a modified version of this because Tae Bo itself is trademarked by Bankers. Now that I had a fantastic kickboxing workout last week, when I discovered Tae Bo videos online, I wanted to try it out. And what could be better than a Tae Bo workout video led by its founder, Billy Bankers himself! So yes, I tried this 48-minutes high intensity cardio workout. And it was deliriously awesome! I loved all the moves and the pace but more than anything else, I loved the way the supporting Tae Bo enthusiasts on the video kept chanting "1-2-3-4...." throughout the 48 minutes. It was almost like some military drill and it really added a good kick and punch to the workout! Totally love this new discovery!

c) Workout highlight 2: Partner!
I got a partner to workout with when I do my DVD circuit training. None other than my dear hubby. He happened get home at about the same time I was starting on the workout, so I invited him to join. After some initial resistance (he is not a big fan of exercising), he join in. It was so much more fun to go through the routine workout with a partner than doing it all alone. Throughly enjoyed it!

d) Workout highly 3: 10 in a row!
As of this day, including kickboxing, Tae Bo, circuit trainings, Yoga and walks, I have worked out 10 days in a row! So proud of myself!

e) Din Tai Fung: Din Tai Fung is our most favourite Chinese restaurant in Singapore. We go there pretty often but the highlight this time was introducing it to my parents. Sure, we had to queue for an entire hour before we could even get seats, but the wait was well worth it! My parents LOVED the food! We stuffed ourselves with Steamed bean curd in honey sauce, Oriental wantons in chilli oil (both were new discoveries, and extremely fantastic discoveries at that!), Duo Mian in garlic (a kind of green leafy vegetable),  Xiao Long Bao (dumplings filled with minced pork and soup - I love the feeling when the dumpling breaks open and the soup fills your mouth with a rich a taste, once you bite into it!), steamed vegetable and pork dumplings, as well as egg and shrimp fried rice. So satisfying!

Yes, great workouts, great food, great time at work, great week! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 189: Astray!

'Astray' is a collection of short stories by Emma Donoghue. I had no clue about the book or the author until I chanced upon it in a bookshop and discovered that it was one of the cheapest books available (Singapore is ridiculous when it comes to prices of books!)

And I must say I am really enjoying reading it.

I love her style of writing. Not too complex, not too simple. Just nice.

I also love that she has put together the collection based on snippets of news headlines from the 19th and early 20th century. Every short story is followed by the details of the news clip that triggered the author's imagination and it's like visualizing a whole story behind the random names that come up on the newpaper. Fascinating!

Now I totally want to read all her other books!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 188: Parents & Authentic North Eastern Thai Cuisine!

This morning, my parents arrived in town. And with that began another round of glorious pampering of the little one. I can safely say that she is about ten times more spoiled that she was before, within a single day. I can already sense her confidence rising. When she whimpers, she knows that she is gonna be picked up and cuddled. When she screams, she knows that she is gonna be picked up and taken out for a "walk". My poor dad went out on about five such walks today.

Oh well.

But they are happy. Over the moon in fact, with their precious grand daughter. Their excitement and her excitement at all the attention was pretty interesting to watch.

Once it was time for the little one to hit the bed, I finally got both of them to myself. Together with the hubby, we went out for dinner at our new favourite Thai restaurant 'E-Sarn' on Thomson Road. According to their website they serve authentic North Eastern Thai food. And I can assure you that authentic North Eastern Thai food is mind-blowingly awesome! We stuffed ourselves with Tom Ka Gai, Steamed Seabass, Kailan in oyster sauce and Green curry prawns. YUM.

A fitting end to a beautiful day! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 187: Friends, Celebrations & Eco Gourmet Cafe!

Fantastic day of celebrations!

First the hubby, the little one and I met the hubby's work partner, his wife and their cute, little two-year old boy. In other words, the partners met each other with their respective partners and kids. The occasion was to celebrate all the recent successes, small but significant ones, that have been happening at the husbands' business venture.

The venue we chose for the celebratory brunch was the super duper lovely Eco Gourmet Cafe. It seems to be a pretty new place and I discovered it online by chance. And I fell in love with it! It was located in midst of heavy greenery giving a feel of dining right in the middle of a jungle. The decor was pretty nice with wooden flooring, cane chairs, huge bell lanterns and a lovely seating area. It was not crowded at all and the food was good too. I ordered the regular brunch with poached eggs, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, rosti, green salad and an orange-lemon-cranberry juice which I enjoyed.

So yes, the venue was great and our meetup was awesome. I had a great time chatting and catching up with them and playing with their little one who is a really smart, young chap! A beautiful brunch it was!

The next celebration was that of a very close friend's 30th birthday. Over dinner and drinks and cake-cutting, we celebrated his birthday in style! Another one joins the 30s club!

A good, celebratory day indeed! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 186: Four Weeks of the Regime!

A few months ago, with great pomp and show, I had talked about starting on a Diet & Exercise Regime. I even wrote a happy update 10 days later where I had apparently lost 3 inches.

The reason why there were no updates post that was because, well.... I didn't follow the so called regime afterwards. Maternity leave ended, sleep became harder to find, exercise became irregular, and things went downhill. At one point in time I had even put on the 3 inches I had so happily seemed to have lost, and also half a kilo in weight to add on to the celebration. 

But let's not fret. 

 I started on the regime again after a break and as of today, I have completed exactly four weeks of watching what I eat and exercised on an average of four times per week.

The weight hasn't gone down at all, but a couple of inches have. It's not great but what I feel really good about is the fact that I stuck to something for four weeks straight. That hasn't happened before, so it's definitely something to feel proud about!

So yes, I am proud of myself! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 185: Kickboxing!

I discovered a fantastic workout video on Youtube today. It was a very intense 40 minutes of kickboxing!

I had missed yoga and I was in no mood to do my usual walking or workout video and wanted to try something different. I prefer cardio to strength training any day and when I bumped into this particular kickboxing link, I was excited to try it out.

And man, it was intense but SO MUCH fun!

Felt totally awesome after it!

I see myself doing this a lot more times in the days to come! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 184: 24 Hours of Inferno!

I don't think I have managed to finish reading an entire book in 24 hours, for a really long time now. And definitely haven't managed it post pregnancy. And absolutely not on a weekday.

But as of today, I read Dan Brown's 'Inferno' in less than 24 hours!

The little one woke me up really early in the morning and I didn't feel like going back to bed. So I started on the book while I had my morning coffee, continued reading it on my commute to and from the office, continued it post dinner and very late into the night. And in less than 24 hours, I was done!

Amazing experience! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 183: Molly Aunty Rocks!

'Molly Aunty rocks' is a film in Malayalam. While the name doesn't sound very impressive, the movie itself was a pretty sweet one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was also nice because it is one of those few films that I have managed to squeeze into a weekday evening. It's a total win as far as my post pregnancy routine is concerned, all thanks to the little one who co-operated throughout.

So yes, 'Molly Aunty Rocks' rocks! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 182: 100,000!

As of today, my short film 'Inganeyum Oru Katha' has garnered 100,000 views on YouTube! 

Who would have thought!