From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Saturday, December 17, 2016


It was lovely...
You and me..
We went on long walks..
Listened to music that played in our hearts ..
Walked at the ocean shore..
Till the setting sun just hugged us tight..
And when the crescent of the moon shone, you just took me home..
Me and my gypsy ways..
I love our little nest at the edge of the brook...
Its close to the woods and the  mountains that I love..
We took our own time, we had some wine..
While I lit candles all around our favourite tree ...
We don't need a place, the wilderness is home..
Its where we belong..
Two wild hearts , so crazy in love..
We know what it means, to have what we share..
It does not define who we are or label us, it does not matter, a piece of paper, a metal ring, we really don't care..
It just lets us be..
Infact I feel the most free, when you have your arms tight around me ..
I don't want you to stay and I also don't want you to leave , nor do I want you to keep me in your arms forever , but I want you to hold me now..
Our arms are not our abode, they are home..
I love us..
I love what you do, to the deepest part of my soul..
And I know by the touch of your fingertips, the softness of your mouth, and the light in your eyes..
I'm your magic..
Your last thought before you sleep, whether you like it or not..
And you too yearn for just another day ..
And so we sat , fingers entwined, your heart-beat near mine, your breath mingled with words softly caressing my skin..
We spoke of the places we needed to see, together and the ones we need to traverse alone..
And then you looked at me , and asked me to walk across the bridge with you into the thicket of the forest..
You walked ahead , and held out your hand..
And before I could tell you what I wanted to ...
I woke up..

Maybe till another time..
Till we meet again, on the other side of light..
You and me and all the magic of the universe insight ..

Friday, December 16, 2016


The most beautiful part of life is that you can love.
And that by far is the most honest thing you will ever do.
Because you are what your heart feels and you are made up of the secrets you keep.
And this is what actually exudes on your face.
There is more often than not, no real reason anyone can give you , as to why they  love someone, There are no explanations.
I have really done a deep self analysis about why I love who I do, and I'm sorry I cannot help you..
I'm as clueless ha ha ha

Except for the fact, that love makes you feel more alive that probably climbing to the top of a mountain or diving into the deep blue.
Ask me I have done both.
And love wins, by the widest margin, all the time.

The best part is , it can be done without anyone's permission or any restriction.
You are free to love who you want and as much as you want .

But the thing is this, the object of your affection may or may not feel the same.
And even if they do or dont, let me say this..
Actually let me not say anything..
Its nice when you find your own path..

We all come from different spaces.
We all go through life, carrying so much in our hearts.
That sometimes it's best , if you can stop trying to figure whether you are loved back or not .
Even if you did know the answer to that, would it change the intensity of your feelings.
I don't really think so.
We all love .
There is not a single person in the world who does not...
It's just not possible...
If you are alive , you will love...
It's a given .
It's like Einstein's equation E=mc2 ..
And now, just stop trying to question it..

So no matter , how inquisitive or how crazily and deeply in love you are.
Just remember this , sometimes searching for answers, just leads to a huge waste of time.
There is a lot of power and healing in Love.
So use all the love in your heart to do good and help yourself or someone else.

I was once told .
That people who are not together in the same space..
Can sometimes just feel the person they love, in every breath..
Now if that is not love..
I cannot understand it better..
It's because..
It's an energy so powerful , that it permeates through the universe and touches the ones you love.
So can you just imagine what it could do  to you .
There is so much good that comes out of just loving.

But with loving , comes great responsibility..
We all like to catch it, hold on to it and never let it escape..
The thing is this, Love is actually a free bird , and does not need any one's permission to stay or fly away..
So as you walk through life, you will get to know love better..
And if you don't learn fast..
Love will take you on a whirlwind dance , so that you do understand, how to tango, waltz, cha-cha , hustle, street style jazz ballet or just simply sway your hips...

And it always leaves you richer..
You discover you..
Love helps you realise your dreams..
Pushes you to achieve them..
Makes you bold enough to reach for the stars..
Because it teaches you to love yourself first ..
Not in a I,me,myself way, but in a wholesome beautiful way..
It makes you less judgmental ..
It makes you realise, we all carry tides of feelings not expressed and ranges of emotional baggage, And we all go through life , and operate from that plain, peak or valley that we are in ,at that point of time..
More often than not, the ones who laugh the loudest, carry tears in their hearts..

So yup ..
When you meet love..
Look him in the eye, laugh with him, listen to what he does not say and listen keenly to the music he plays..
I know, you will learn a lot..
The best kind of love, is the kind that actually pulls you out of your deep slumber, and peels off the layers and leaves you bare..

So today I watched La La Land..
And yup, as expected, I totally loved it ..
It explained, love to you in the most poignant, melodic, fluid and heart-breaking way.
It showed you the truth of life..

And yup, like Mia said to Sebastian  in the movie..
It is true, some people you will just just love for the rest of your life..

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


"Where do I begin", like the words of that beautiful song from the film Love Story by Andy.Williams.
I just don't know if you feel this too, but December always brings magic with it.
It's the month of pure unadulterated, unstoppable,impulsive, crazy,wonderful Love.
And this for me is the best part of the year.

This year has flown by and with it I have been part of a whirl wind romance with life and all its offerings.
This year on the 8th of December, I turned the right side of life .
I did a lot of amazing things , but like any true blue Sagittarius I did plenty of the stupid stuff too, and you know what , I'm bloody happy I did, or my life would not be as sparkling as it is, life is all good, and a few risks here and there or leaps into the dark, won't kill you, it may just about bruise your knees, or then sometimes your heart.

Our life was never to bed a bed of roses, and if it was, please do know, that as soon as you do lie down, you will have thorns that will greet you.
So knowing that would you lie down on your bed of roses.
I think yes, because, that is the truth of life.
Life is always a heady cocktail of good mixed with the bad, joy with hurt, love with heart break, friends with tears , puppies with torn and ripped "everything', kids with sleeplessness, lovers with distance, hope with failures, happiness with fears, real with fake, mountains with seas, expectations with disaster..
You are getting the drift right.

And yet, as soon as December comes visiting, life on "Planet Maria" changes.
It changes to the softest colours , twilight and me have ever seen.
And everything that has happened to me through the year, plays out like a beautiful nostalgic film and somehow, life just is again full of love and hope and brand new paths.

I know that the truth of life is that you are actually alone in this beautiful world, and you are given souls to walk with you through your life, to help you discover your true self.
And so the more accepting you can be of what happens to you, in retrospect, you will be a shinier person.
Some will teach you how to nurture, some to have fun, some to take risks,some to be calm , some to be practical, some to have patience,some to look after yourself, some to love deeply and some to let go.
And we need to be thankful for all the experiences , the year has to offer.
You will always find at the end of it all that you are richer inside you and have more resilience and more love than you have ever imagined.
You will learn bitter truths about yourself and others that you may or may not like.
And you will behave obnoxiously or not in certain situations.
The thing is , don't be too hard on yourself or on others.

And definitely know, that the reason we have so many altercations in our life, is because sometimes, some people have to leave , so that you can make space in your heart for what is real and is actually meant for you .

Yes if you have been chucked out of someones life , you may go out kicking and screaming , fingernails making scratch marks on a door, or then sometimes you will just kiss them good-bye.
You may even close the door never to be opened again , and then sometimes become a monster of silence.
Just remember, you may have knowingly or unknowingly chucked someone out of your life too.
And Karma has come for its annual visit.. ha ha ha ..dammit.

The thing is , please don't try deciding, or making plans , because plans have never ever worked out.
In life, some things fall apart and some fall together and it is because , it was meant to be that way.
So I guess, we need to embrace life and all its possibilities and wait for the world to unfurl its dreams and plans for us.

Having said so, yup, it may just have been the most difficult year of your life, and you know what, maybe its now time to climb out of that valley and face the sunshine of your New Year.
Somewhere between, believing in happy endings, and accepting the reality of life, this year has gone by, you cannot out-smart getting hurt, just like you cannot decide whom to love or who will love you , you basically accept your truth or your variation of it, whatever works for you .

So to everyone , who love December, like me, also because its my birth month..

I would say, dance to the songs you sing in your heart, this is just the beginning of the ball of your life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I found a me, from long long ago...
When I looked at her..
She looked so different from the me of me now..
She looked like she was searching..
And waiting and hoping..
And had a smile on her lips and a sparkle in her eyes..

I just wanted to tell her..
She will be just fine..
Infact much more than just fine..

Her fears will dissipate..
And she will walk tall, in all her '5.2' frame..

She will fall in love..
Not many times ...
But will fall in love with a passion ..
That will forever spoil the person, she loves..

She will fall in love, sometimes with someone she has unknowingly loved..
Sometimes with the one that awakens her , from deep slumber..
Sometimes the one that heals her heart, and stays the song in her heart..
Sometimes, with a soul that sparkles like hers..
And sometimes they could all be rolled into one..
And yet be different lives ..

But fall in love she will, with man, woman, child, animal, mountains, plains and deep oceans..
And all the magic, this universe holds within..

She will make mistakes..
She will fall..
She will get up..
Wipe the tears off her face , and bravely walk on..

She will meet many people..
And travel, physically and spiritually..
Till she knows, its actually all inside her..
But, stop, she will not, because to travel, is her rest..
Her destination of Zen..

She will have children..
And fiercely love them..
Like a lioness loves her pride..
She will love and be loved..

Because between 'then' and the 'now' that's , all that really matters..

I wanted to tell her..
Her heart will be broken , and broken many times..
By the ones that she loves..
But aren't they the only ones, she lets in..
And maybe, they are not to blame..
Her heart is not their place, and so they break out, smashing and leaving torn , the walls of her being..

I just want to tell her.
Her heart will melt, capsize and smash to smithereens..
And every time, this happens, rest assured, she will discover a new piece of her, that sparkles brighter..

She will keep that sparkle in her eyes..
Maybe its tears, maybe its wonderment..
Maybe its just plain love..

And that's what I see today..
I see eyes, that have loved, lost and loved some more..

The rest , in my opinion , just does not matter..
It does not really count , in the long run..

Love does not ask questions..
It seeks no permissions..
It has no boundaries..
And definitely no ego..
Its just simple, and kind, and permeates all through the hearts of mankind..

And I have learnt , you don't have to teach anyone lessons..
Or hit back at a wrong..
Karma serves us all..
It gives us what we dole out..
It always comes and pats us gently, on our most vulnerable spot..

What I would actually tell her..
Is that, nothing in this world matters...
Expect how much and how well you love..

I'm happy ..
That through her trials , tribulations and falls..
She has stood still..
Maybe she went crazy and wild inside..

But she managed to keep her heart..
Beautiful, childlike , trusting and full of sparkle inside...

So I'm just going to look , straight at me , and say this to myself..
Continue to love..
Try and not expect, anything in return..
Its going to be the most difficult thing to do..
But love nonetheless..
Till it sears and burns..

Sunday, August 28, 2016


And there you were ..
And there was I ..
And it mattered not..
How we suddenly met ..
You said hello first..
Whether you walked first towards me or not ..
Whether I just shook your hand ..
Or you hugged me ..

What mattered is what you said , when your eyes met mine ..
Something transpired ..
Something that shook the very core of our beings ..
Something that made us stop and wonder..
Something we knew, our familiar , slightly changed...
What were we till then ..

Oh yes,we knew the other existed..
But this moment on..
We lived..
We lived with a knowing..
That something was unearthing the ground beneath our feet..
And yet..
It felt serene..
Turbulence felt sane ..
This felt like it was to be..
There was comfort in balancing on a rope , blindfolded..
I just knew that if I did fall , you would catch me..
And I would just not let you go ..

And then life happened..
And we began to question our normalcy..
Life saw our turbulence and decided that this is not how it should be..
Chaos and confused and totally happy in the thought that , this is what love may be all about ..

Who on earth said love is peace..
Peace is acceptance...

It's not love ..
Love is turbulence...

It sets off the Richter scale to a degree of non conformity..
You cannot measure it..
Nor can you explain it..
Now that's what we share..
That's what we have..

We never ever need to talk about love..
It just is ..
Wrapped around us...

In the brown of your eyes..
In the silence of your laugh..
In the touch of your mouth unhurriedly searing my lips..
It's a knowing that this moment..
This space is ours..

I have your name tattooed under my skin..
And I know you inhale the softness of my name, whether you want to or not..
We don't need to shout from non existent roof tops..
We don't even have to whisper..
We just have to be ..

And I just know..
I feel you and you feel me..
In this world of ever..
Turbulence, you and me...

Thursday, July 28, 2016


And so I have realised that no matter who you are, where you come from, what you do , regardless of your sex, colour of your skin, frizzy or poker straight hair, straight or crooked teeth, dimples or pimples and philosophies in life .
Your heart will be broken .
That's a no brainier .
You are safe from no one...
Man , woman, child, animal, place, thing and even fish..
Do'nt laugh, I'm serious...
In this case its about the fish in Maldives that I cannot meet because my son (who also incidentally, keeps breaking my heart) is not upto mark with his school work and hence , we cannot bunk school.
And so I'm heartbroken about the fact that I'm not going to be diving into that beautiful blue this Independence day with my dive-buddies and will miss meeting all those  beautiful shoals of fish..

I'm gonna really miss me diving with you ..
So lets get back to heart break..ha ha ha
One day your rose tinted glasses will shatter ...
And you will feel like , an under-wired delicate lacy bra, put in a washing machine on a double turbo rinse cycle without your lingerie bag as shield.
Yup ..

So what happens next...
You will be put out to dry on a line with all the other clothes whether you like it or not, your under-wire maybe be a little twisted wrongly and your lace , looks like you were put at the front line in a war zone , so you look a bit battered .
And the rest of the clothes will figure your plight, they may snuggle up close to you or pretend they never saw you ..

Well the fact is this ..
Too bloody bad ..
For me , for you and for whoever else standing with pieces fallen around you .
Sometimes you make the wrong choices..
Sometimes you don't read the signs..
And sometimes you know , this may never work...
But all your nerve endings are screaming out...
"No no go for it..
One life to live .."

And of course you must listen to all your nerve ending and all the voices in your head , because they are so smart..
And you must tie up that tiny little feeble "voice of reason", in the corner...
Gag her and hang her upside down..
Stupid cow..
Has the adventure quotient of the eye of a needle , and wants to tell me what to do .

And so we do go ahead ..
Hair flying in the wind, cheeks flushed pink, big smile on your face, some times a cape on your back and beautiful sparkling dancing shoes ..
And march into the unknown of a place you think you know, but it's really foolish , that you can even think that you know, the Unknown , because the Unknown is unknown for a reason..
It is supposed to stay Unknown ..
Ha ha ha ha..

Anyway ..
So post finding the Unknown and exploring it..
You realise...
That what wants to stay a secret..
Will always stay that way ..
And you and your bloody flying hair and cape , can take your shiny dancing shoes and bloody well leave..
Because there is nothing to be found sometimes in the Unknown.
Except you alone..

So while I do think ..
People who are in love ..
Live on love and fresh air..
And people who are heart broken live on love and despair...
I need to eat..
And am hungry regardless..
In love or heart lying in smithereens on the floor ..
And all my blah has made me really hungry..
So let me share with you , this lovely  recipe that I made just recently ...

I'm trying my luck at being Vegan..
And today is my 11th day ..
Why am I trying my patience with being Vegan ..
Because I'm testing myself..
Testing my self control..
And more than that..
Sometimes you need to clean your insides ..
And so yup..


Zucchini -1

Oil -2tsp
Garlic- 8 pearls diced
Oregano- a sprinkle
Basil- 4 leaves
Chili flakes - according to taste
Salt- according to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Mulagapodi powder also known as gun powder ( introduced to me by Nikhil Chinapa) and delivered to my by my really artistic under-water photographer Anup J Kattukaran


Add oil to a non stick pan..

Add the garlic and let it sear and roast a bit..about a minute
Add the Chili flakes and the salt to taste..
Then the spiraled Zucchini , which now looks like long strands of pasta, it takes just about a minute to cook on a really high flame, do not over cook it , or it will lose its bite or crunch..

Throw in your oregano and torn pieces of Basil..
Its ready..
Serve piping hot..
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with as much Mulagapodi powder as you like..

So while I was spiralizing my Zucchini, I was just pondering about the fact..
That I never ever in my life thought, that one day , this would be my healthier option for pasta.
Now who does not love pasta.
I definitely still do..
Especially Aglio olio in pepproncino..Oh my Gooood..
But I did realise that pasta made with flour is not really the healthiest thing to eat, pasta made with wheat flour does not suit me and I'm not too fond of pasta made with rice..
And so I finally realised that spiralizing Zucchini is not just a healthy option but it really does taste awesome ..

And frankly in life, it always makes sense to reach for what is good for you , and makes your insides happier and healthier.
We all have a choice in life..
We all have a right to choose between what we want in life and what is really good for us, emotionally, spiritually , physically and mentally.
Because our wants may be few, but what we deserve is actually the very best of lots..
Well let me say this, yes I love pasta , beautiful 05 Spaghetti cooked with love in olive oil , garlic and chili flakes , it emotionally fills my soul with peace...
But the gluten in it , makes me so sick , that after about an hour, I'm really wondering why on earth I had it .
Similarly in life, I think the choices we make , really affects how we feel on our insides.
I know that there is really nothing wrong with loving anyone or not..
That's a personal choice..
Who you love (or don't) is your problem and no one else's...
Which means , you have allowed that person to stay in your heart or out of it..

What you do with love in your heart or lack of it..
Is what dictates the path of your life..
Sometimes you may be in love with pasta that feels oh bloody damn good , but is horrible for your insides and messes you in the long run .
And sometimes all the stars align and you fall in love with  Zucchini pasta, which just makes you glow inside out ..

And in the interim period , where you have not yet found , what works for you ....
Where nothing works..
What do you do ..
Do you throw your self in despair ..
And give up on food ..
And live on nuts and berries and drive yourself crazy for a bit ..
Errrrr ya ..ha ha ha
After all we are all just homo Sapiens , and according to Darwin's Theory of Evolution , came from primates...

So yes , we go back for a bit, but then life has a way of moving forward , if you can have your cells regenerated ..
And come back..
A whole new person..

And that according to me is just the most amazing way to live ..

We have to make peace with the fact..
That we will have our hearts broken..
But somewhere sometime, we must have broken someone too..

And that's how the world actually, in a very twisted way , becomes a better place..
It's only through brokenness..
That we find our selves..
It's like what Rumi said ..
The wound is the place , the light gets in..

Oh yummy ..
My beautiful zucchini is ready and sitting on my plate..adorned with just simple Extra virgin olive oil and mulagapodi powder ..

HELLLLLO Zucchini ..

And as I bite into it ..
I feel..
A burst of freshness , like never before..
Ofcourse its a far cry from what my palate is used to..
But then the only thing constant in life is change, and if it is change for the better..
Then you better grab it with both your hands..
Infact a few days ago I also made Khao Suey with a vegetable broth, and used Zucchini again as my choice of Noodles..
I actually left them raw, because they do cook up in the steaming broth..
I made chicken, lamb and veg condiments on the side, for the rest of the family..

A bowl of unadulterated  funnnnn....

But I was really pleased with the flavour of my zucchini pasta..
Its a small change, and I'm loving it ..

The fact is this..
There is not a chance in this life , that I would ever regret taking a chance on food and love..
You just always have to..
Just remember , what is good for you , will eventually find its way to you ..
Do'nt ever doubt that fact ..
Just believe it blindly , trust me ..
I always know what I'm talking about ha ha ha ..

The slight crispness of the al dente Spiralized Zucchini is such a comforting wholesome tasty bite ..
And feels so so satisfying ..
With just the right zing of naughtiness from that crazy Mulagapodi powder..
I love it ..
You just have to try this, with tonnes of love from , "Maria's Kitchen'...

Monday, May 9, 2016


So it's been a really long time ..
Since I wrote..
Or was excited to do something new..

Mostly because I have become just plain lazy or then , nothing was really exciting me enough...
Till Vivaan called me one day and asked me to make him a Nutella cheese cake ..
Now the thing is , Vivaan is not just someone, I really love..
He is someone I know since he was a little embryo in his Mama's tummy..
I have seen him from his diapers to his cool shorts.
He is adorable, full of manners, has swag , is a nimble footed foot baller ..
And he has an added advantage..
He is Mini's little boy ..
And that's an advantage he will have, for the rest of my life..

I was seriously tickled pink that he called me, and very politely asked, if I could make him a Nutella cheese cake..
I was so happy, that he felt that he could just call and ask, like you would with someone , you treat as your own..
It made me feel really really happy..
Like Mini and me have done something right together.
I have always maintained that kids are the best and purest part of any relationship..
And that's the part, we have to always keep free from all outside influences..

Well I had never made a Nutella cheese cake before , and so I was game.
This had bloody better be damn good, because kids are honest with what they like or dislike and , I think it's best that way..

So I googled a bit and finally found two three recipes, that made sense to me and , so I decided to do a trial before his birthday, so there are no last minute shocks or disappointments..
I sent him half a cake for tasting.
While the other half was devoured by the ZZ's and my parents.
Vivaan called me a day later, saying he loved it..
And so I was given the complete pleasure of doing Vivaan's 13th birthday cake.
Which I really want to share with you, its easy, a bit lightly complicated, but just follow the instructions..
So sometimes in life you need to follow the rules, most other times, if you do , you miss all the fun...

So here is Vivaan's 13th Birthday Cake..
For a little man, who is just the nicest little fellow I know..
And thank you for waking me from my kitchen slumber ..

Vivaan Kabir...

HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY VIVAAN, stay blessed and happy...



8 digestive biscuits
4 Oreo  or Bourbon biscuits
3 tbsp of melted butter

Put all the biscuits in a zip lock bag and with a wooden rolling pin, crush the biscuits together , they will be kind of sticky because of the cream in the biscuits.
Pour it out in a bowl , add the butter and mix till it looks like wet sand.
Taken a pan and line the sides of it with a little butter and then grease proof or butter paper, this makes the un-moulding  process easier.
Press this mix at the bottom of a spring form pan , one that has a removable base .
Press it down with a spoon , so the base is nice and firm..
Put this into the fridge for a minimum of half an hour..

Filing for the Cheesecake
12 gm - gelatin leaves or sheets
180 gm - cream cheese
90 ml - Amul cream
2 - eggs
1 tsp - Vanilla essence
80 gm - sugar
I small box Ferrero Rocher's chocolate
290gm -  Nutella

Mix the cream cheese and the Amul cream together, till soft and batter like..
Dissolve the gelatin crystals in 2 tbsp of boiling water, add it to the cream cheese..
Keep it aside, stirring from time to time, till it is about setting.

Place the egg yolks , vanilla essence and 50 gm sugar in a bowl, and cook it over a Bain Marie or a pot of hot water also known as a double boiler, till it becomes a pale yellow colour, and is nice and thick, take it off the fire, and continue beating it till it becomes cold, add this to the cream cheese mix.

Now in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites really stiff, then keep adding 1tsp of sugar to the stiff egg-whites, till they convert to a meringue consistency. I did this because I liked the texture and the consistency , its thick yet very light.
Add this to the cream cheese, egg yolk and gelatin mix, fold it in carefully.

Now take the base out of the fridge and add the roughly chopped Ferrero Rocher's chocolates on the base, pour a little of the cream cheese mix onto it.
Then pour half the bottle of the Nutella on to the mix, and stir it around with a tooth pick.
Then add the remaining cheese cake mix, and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then take it out pour the remaining of the hazelnut from the bottle onto the top of the cream cheese cake, put it back in for 10 minutes, then with a fork, just very lightly, whirl the Nutella into the cheese mix very lightly.
Now let it rest in the fridge for at least 5 hours , till the cheese cake is firm and ever so slightly wobbly, and can hold its shape, so that's its easy to slice.

I made this again a few days later, and while I was alone in my kitchen, I was thinking to myself, like I often do...

I feel in life, that NOW is just always the best time ...
To learn or do something new...
To say sorry...
To say thank you...
To say please... &...
To say "I love you" ..
I think now comes with its own "Super Power"
It's like the Star Wars Saber sword, that lights up with amazing amount of energy that makes things happen...

But I also realise that if you are in the now, it's not necessary that the person you are addressing all your energy to, is on the same page as you..

So Newton's third law of Physics , does not apply here..
For every action, there has to be an equal and opposite action..
This applies to motion .

But in Life, its a bit different..
For every action there is an equal or unequal amount of reaction, or then sometimes nothing at all..

So lets figure this out, together..

If I want to learn something new, me and only me can make that happen..
Like I want to learn Kashmiri food..
So I'm trying my best to make that happen..

But if I'm going to address my "please, sorry, thank you and I love you" to someone else, then I am expecting , an acknowledgment back ..
Right ?

Like a perfect scenario ,would probably feel like like this ..

1-please may I ?
- yes you may/no I'm so sorry you may not !

2-I'm so sorry for
- it's OK don't do it again/ it's not OK at all, I don't want to have anything to do with you..

3-Thank you so much
- Oh , don't mention it / that's really nice of you to thank me, very few people do.

4- I love you
- Oh my God, I love you too / err I love you, but not in the way , you love me ..
So on and so forth..

So these are ideal situations , and yes I feel that that's how we would like situations in our life to unfurl..
But then what if it does not ..

What if no one responds to our "please, sorry, thank you and I love you" ?
Are they bad people... ?

I don't think so , I think their "now" is not coinciding with our "now", that's all...
And no matter how hard it is to make sense, you are just going to have to make peace with it...

Have I confused you enough..?
Great ! Because I'm confused myself..

So while I was sitting alone at night and eating a fully loaded piece of acceptable sin...
I was thinking of what my very wise and practical friend Mini once said to me ..

She once told me , that sometimes I have a Calvin and Hobbes relationship with some people...
(Frankly I totally love Calvin and Hobbes, and one day I will build myself a transmogrifier and ..
Well the rest of the plans I'm absolutely not sharing with you ha ha ha)
Well if you do not understand what 'A Calvin and Hobbes relationship is..
Let me decode it for you..
It means that , the other person is not real and what he/she says to you or how he/ she behaves with you, is just a figment of your really fertile imagination...
Which basically means
1.You are nuts..
2.Have lost your marbles
3.Probably need help
4.You are cuckoo, but not the feathered variety.
5..Just need a slice of this delicious Nutella Cheese cake..

So then if you want to ever figure, a relationship status,  you need to apply the "Now Formula", to save yourself time for bigger better things that are just waiting for you ..
This helps you figure , in the words of an amazing funny fellow Sagittarius Jaaved Jaffrey, if that person in your life is "Real or Na-Real' ha ha ha ..

So depending what situation you are in or think you are in..
You say Please, Sorry, Thank-you or I Love You..
And wait, if your now is not coinciding with their now, you may be able to deduce 2 things..
1. Maybe you are not priority.
2. Maybe you are again reaching out to Hobbes, who is alive only when no one else is around and so safe to say, is not part of your real world, and so is Na-Real..
Ha ha ha ha....

I think it's just better to eat cake sometimes, than try to figure life.
If any of you out there, take part in the 'Now' , I hope it goes all fantastic..

I meanwhile , am just going to hang a while longer, with my really yummy, delicious, hazelnut filled slice of heaven..
With lots of love from "Maria's Kitchen "...

Vivaan Kabir's 13th Birthday Cake...
P.S. I don't have any picture of a cross section of this cake, as it was devoured..

Sunday, April 3, 2016


So what's so difficult about love ...
Except for the fact ..
That it may just be, a figment of my really fertile imagination ..
But that ,we both know, is not ..

Love to me is you ..
It's all you ever say  to me ..
All you ever make me feel ..
All that you make me want to do ..
Even without me ever wanting to ..

No it's not about ..
Staying together forever ..
And all that jazz..

It's about you and me ..
About acknowledging what we had, have or may have..
Without any pretences, or veiled words..
Infact sometimes , just without any words..
It's about all the places I want to share with you ..
It's about your heart opening to mine ..
It's about what you write and what I understand ..
It's about me not being yours nor you mine ..

But it's about something ..
That does not let me let you go ..
It's about you always knocking on my window ..
It's about a magic that we feel..
Even if we did not intend to cast a spell ..
It's about you holding my face ..
You kissing my lips ..
And me not being able to  figure ,whether this is the start or the end..
It's about the fact that no matter who , where and how..
I live under your skin..

The thing is this...
We can run...
We can hide..
We can behave like all we have..
Is just a lie..

But we somewhere know ..
That this love ..
(Or just let us not call it that and complicate things)
Its not leaving us in a hurry.. 
It has really nowhere to go ..
Till we both open the door..
Let it come in...
Live a bit ..
Walk through us, sleep cuddled sometimes or make beautiful love..
And then decide , what it really wants to do ..

I just know ..
That I'm good ..
I have open windows and doors...
And have walked on beautiful and dirt tracks ..
And love always has just the same to say ..
You and me have a long way to go ..
So if you want to join me for a bit ..
Come along ..
Don't think too much ..
Just walk now, and if you want , it could be slow..

So yup..
Think about it ..
I'm never gonna ever drag you with me..
That's not me..

But come join me for a bit ..
Close your eyes..
Hold me in your arms..
Let me breathe into your scent at the nape of your neck..
And don't be as afraid as me , to feel , what I know you feel ..
It's just love..
At the end of the day..

It will be what is meant to be ..

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


There is a longing in my soul..
That never ever goes..
That keeps me walking through open doors...

It makes me seek out things I was always scared to do...
But now,
That's all I want to do...

Some people say,
It's an adrenalin rush..
To me it's just love ..

I often look up into the cobalt of a night sky..
And wonder if every time I wish upon a star..
They figure all in my heart, that I'm keeping..
And send stardust my way , while I'm sleeping ..

Do you know what it feels like ..
When your heart is so full of words, you can't speak ..
And your head is bursting with thoughts , that you should not think..
And feet want to go a way ,that you should not stray ..
I guess not ..

But every time I am lost.. ..
I'm actually bursting with molecular,  shiny , high energy dust..

A shift in my soul ..
A bubbling beneath ..
A smile on my face ..
A beautiful memory to keep ..
They say true love happens just once in life ..

Well who is to say what is true or not ..
Only you ..
Always only you ..
And who is to say ..
It may not be true for that passage of time ..

They say a broken heart lets the light in..
And I'm completely in sync with all that Rumi, thinks..

A lost heart..
Knows no fear..
Will walk up mountains to meet , sunrise..
Will dive into seas, that may give them a fright..
Will smile at shooting stars passing by..
And know that in every stranger, you will meet a friend in a while..

Who says you cannot fall in love, again and again..
I feel that's the only way , you will ever be sane..
In this world where the earth appears to meet the sky..
And the sea appears, out of the sand..

What appears to be, may not always be true..
Sometimes you just need to listen to your insides, that probably make no sense..
If you want to  feel love, in its true essence..

What I have learnt , is that love needs to be set free, you cannot keep her captive..
Or expect her to never disagree..
She may walk with you,but not go with you, where you need to go ..
But she is always sitting with you,and if you close your eyes, and just sit still, you will feel her softness, as you breath in..

I know that love is unexplainable..
Though I can only try to decipher it for me..
Its fire on ice..
A brook babbling about places, it has been and where it is flowing to....
The sun , streaming through the foliage of a really old tree..
Coral on a wreck deep in the middle of the sea..
The deep blue that lures you , with tempestuous waves..
And birds that sing of really beautiful pathways..

Don't worry about what tomorrow may , or may not bring..
Don't confuse your insides..
Don't question why..
You cannot win a battle , with you heart, no matter what you try..
Because it does not understand how to hold a sword...

It just holds love, that is like molten gold..
Shimmers and shines and flows..
Till maybe your heart turns cold..
Then she stays still , but does never lose her essence..
And when she finds the right goldsmith, who knows her worth..
She melts all over again..

So I met a pair of eyes that looked like a love, I lost..
I peered into his beautiful brown depths..
And they peered back into mine..
They were beautiful , and told me of new paths lit by the sun, that I have not yet run..
So maybe in time..

But I feel, its easy to love , if you can give time , some time..
Its never going to be the same .
Even in all the intensity..
Every time you feel it, it will always be a different kind of insane..

They say in life , no one is ever not irreplaceable..
And that maybe the truth..

But don't try to replace what you love..
That is never possible, because these ties are already made up above..
So love each day and every person , you connect with deep..
We have just a few moments together in this vast Galaxy..
So don't waste it on ifs and buts..
Swim with the tide , if you feel strong enough..

And no don't compare what you have with different times..
Just be in the now..

And don't measure love...
Don't even try..

Because it was always meant to run away with all that you feel..
Just like you cannot out-run, the waves on a shore, you cannot protect your heart from feeling, just a little bit , more..
I may be wrong ..
I maybe right..
But don't follow me..

Find out for yourself, you will know when it feels just right ...

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I completely believe, that there is always a preassigned plan, to why people meet.
And what ensues , good , bad or mad, is what makes our life always richer, no matter what the experience.


And so somewhere in November, I met Nikhil after years for a dinner, at a brewery called The White Owl, where I collaborated on a menu with Chef Dinesh..
And Nix, was able to make it, it was a small sit down and so all of us were able to have a nice conversation with one another, without pushing through a crowd or being drowned by loud music.

So I was trying to catch up with all thats happening with him in his life, and in the middle of all this, he tells me about his brother Nitish's company Fleetfoot Adventures, that does these amazing dive holidays in the Maldives.

And as I was anyway going to do my Open Water PADI in the Andamans over New Year, this seemed like a cool idea.
And so I asked a few of my girl friends, and then finally Radhika and me along with our kids, were booked to go diving in the Maldives, and would be bunking two days from school ha ha ha ..

JANUARY 22 ,2016,
So Zeke , Zene and me wake up at the bizarre hour of 3.30am, because we have a 6.15 am flight to Bangalore, Well even though they were excited about the holiday, they really were not jumping out of bed at that time, so I had to drag them out of bed and they crawled back in..
Then I was told by Zeke, that he has to bunk school and that's not good, so I told him , well it's his choice, if he wants to stay back , while Zene and me dived in Maafushi-Maldives.
 I think that worked and he was up brushing his teeth.
In a bit we were off to the airport, where we met up with Nikhil, Jay, Radhika and little Dhruv..

YUP...checking in , so early in the morning is really exciting, specially when we were all going on holiday, so we did our little chaotic number at the counter, and then proceeded.


Zeke and Zene were quite kicked meeting Nikhil, but were playing it cool and not yet asking for autographs and photographs yet ha ha ha, I told them that Nikhil is a VJ and we used to work together, and the best DJ India has, and he has the coolest job of playing his favourite music.And they proceeded to have a discussion with me, about how they play videos from YouTube...

The Mumbai Gang...

We all got onto flight, ate a yummy litchi and broccoli sandwich, courtesy Radhika, and passed out.
We reached Bangalore , and there was a buzz in the air...

We met the rest of the gang..
Anup.J.Kattukaran - Insta @anupjkatFantastic
Chief Optimist at 1st December films, Underwater photographer and explorer (even better than Dora ha ha ha)
If I ever have to do a funky photo shoot, he is going to be the guy..
Sudhir.Makhija- Director at Doctor films, Passionate-Chef, Foodie  and super-Dad
Mia - All of 13 , very well behaved , super fun , wise and an amazing singer.
Ahmed Mohammed - Naturalist and owner of, Wayanad, and will hook a fish soon ha ha ha..  (I'm going to walk though this beautiful forest soon )
Jay Punjabi  - insta @JAY_PUNJABI ,Artist manager at Submerge and my Advanced Open Water PADI Buddy and total Rock-Star..
Radhika Sawhney- insta @radhikasawhney , ad-film producer and super-girl.

We all finally said hi to one another, over our dosas , Idli's, filter coffee and general chatter, and in a bit boarded our flight to Male.
When we hit Male, the blue of that water just did something to all of us..
The kids all just started playing together "UNO', the supposed adults picked a bite , got down to just hanging ..
And we could be called the "ADULTS"...

And what ensued was three days of completely balanced chaos and madness at sea.

We checked into our hotel, and then hung around a bit, then went to the dive shop and got our wet suits and fins in order, and then proceeded for dinner.
And because we were a big bunch of talking laughing people, it took some time before we all were able to order.
The guy serving us, was quite amused to see us all laughing, and was sharing his observations with us,since it is the Maldives, yup, its a honeymoon destination, and he said most of the couples are either being extremely romantic or then fighting ha ha ha .

Well as none of us there were on a honey-moon, we were all generally having a blast..
And then before we walked back to our hotel, we went to the shore to sea baby rays in the moonlight.
I was just thinking, I have never been so very happy and comfortable with a bunch of strangers in such a small span of time.It just never felt like we had just met a few hours ago.
Well tomorrow was a long day, and so 5 minutes post wishing Jay a Happy Birthday, I crashed.

JANUARY 23, 2016.
We woke up really early, and everyone slowly poured out of their rooms, some sat on the beach, some for breakfast, the kids were really excited, Zeke was going to be doing his Certification for Open Water PADI along with Mia, Radhika and Mak.

Open water PADI Certification ..

Jay and me we going to be doing our Advanced Padi.
Ahmed was going to dive and fish, because thats what he loves.
Zene was allowed to do her Bubble maker as she is just 8 and Dhruv his Introduction to Padi.

Mia & Dhruv  

Nikhil was our Zen bringer, motivator and the guy who just did everything right .

And so started our three days of under-water bliss, sometimes scary , filled with adventure  and wonderment.

As I was doing my Advenced PADI along with Jay , our first dive was a Deep dive where we went down to 30 meters, ha ha ha ha .
And everything is OK...

Well if truth be told, I could never have even imagined me doing something like this, say about as recent as a year and a half ago, but it just felt so smooth and effortless.

Our first dive was at DM Giri , we went down 30.8m , the visibility was about 15-20m , It was Jay's 223nrd birthday, I really don't know too many 23 year old's, who would bring in their birthday with a dive, and somewhere in that blue, Nix opened up a lovely banner for Jay , I think it was such a beautiful way to celebrate , and we were up in 46 minutes, beaming from ear to ear, everyone surfaced from their respective dives at the same time.


And after getting on the boat, we were all so sick, I just kept wondering what the hell am I doing, on this boat , rocking in the high seas, and through this my little Zene slept, more because she was really upset, she was not allowed to dive.
Sleeping beauty

We were all quite queasy and trying to find our sea legs.
I made a mental note to just have ,bananas the next day ,and not a proper breakfast.
I was not liking these rough seas, but I was loving the company on board, It was a mad-house of extremely talented and crazy people, and through all the complaining about how sick we were feeling and blowing our noses to clear our sinuses, we all got to know each other better.

I just have no words...

We were all feeling bloody sick, we all almost looked like sea-kelp, but our next dive was a wreck dive, and  hell, none of us were going to miss this one,we were diving at Kudagiri, and as soon as we all jumped into the water and dunked our faces in , everything started to calm down, the wreck was beautiful and filled with fish and beautiful coral, tons of fish, we went down 30.7m, and everything was peaceful and pretty, time really flies under-water, and by the time we were up, 47 Minutes had passed.

Its wonderful to watch the expression on every ones faces, when they come up from the blue, there is a sparkle in the eyes, and a big bright smile on the face and as soon as the regulators are out of our mouths, everyone starts talking, despite all the salt water getting in , because no one has quite reached the boat.

It was a sequence now, suit up, hold the regulators and mask in place, big step into the ocean, dive, come up chatter , feel sea-sick repeat.
It's always better when you dive with friends...
Our boat took us back to land for lunch.

I don't think I have had a more exciting time than this.we all were so hungry, and full of stories, about everything we saw and felt.
I was not looking forward to the evening, I had a night dive.
I'm horrible in the dark, in my own home, I hate to sleep alone.
And this diving into the unknown in pitch darkness, was really not exciting me in the least bit.
But I also knew , that I was never going to bail out, I was in for the terror ride ha ha ha .

As we boarded the boat, Nix was a picture of calm, making videos posting it, Jay was chilling, on the stern with the wind in his face, Ahmed who had decided that this would be the right time to catch some fish, was very busy, with a knife in hand and a chopping board, cutting fish.

My heart was pounding, but on the surface I kinda looked calm.
What the hell was I even thinking.
I really was not looking forward to this, but I suited up,
and told my Instructor not to leave me alone.
The only reason I think I actually dived , was because Nikhil and Jay were also diving with me,.
If I was doing this course alone, at this point of time, I think I would have just , stayed on the boat and fished with Ahmed.

You know the fact is...
I'm not as fearless as I portray myself to be.
But that's my front for the kids.
Inside me there were nervous Casper the friendly ghost bubbles bursting.

Anyway it was a beautiful full moon night, and I was trying to distract myself with it.
Well we dived at the wreck again, so it was kinda familiar ground and yet, the night brings its own sense of suspense.
I realised two things, I may never do this again and I probably am a more mountain and forest person..
Because a night on a mountain with just stars for company , is for me the most magical experience.
(Like I had at.Mt.Kilimanjaro)

That dive under water for me was actually not as scary as I imagined it, now that I think about it, but its just that my mind was not helping me relax, there is a lot more action under the blue at night, you see even more fish, you can watch them hunt , and they look scarier than they are.

For me the coral I saw, I think that's what made my night dive spectacular, the coral on that wreck was the most luminous colours of mauve, blue, green , yellow orange and white.
The looked like bunches of flowers arranged for a beautiful evening, and a beautiful full-moon night it was, and every time you hold your torch against you, to block the light and look into the deep, you see the flash-lights of the other divers, its actually very very mesmerising.
And in retrospect, I think I am still bloody a Poochie-Tiger, but given the chance and the right company, I will do this again.

At 5 meters , which was our safety stop, I for the first  time in my life, experienced first hand,  'Bioluminescence"..
That for me was most fun and just a stunning experience, I was just thinking, while I was moving my hands to see them light up, is that, there was really no need for me to deep dive, I could have just waited here and had a magical time ha ha ha
I felt really lucky that I got to witness this, because this happens just in Puerto Rico, San Diego and the Maldives,
Basically this is plankton, that have evolved to glow in order to startle or distract potential predators.
Well , let me just say, I was not a predator and I did not not get distracted..

Once we all got back on that boat, we just sat on the deck with the wind in our faces and chatted in the moonlight.
Life is good.

We went back and then got ready for dinner, but by the time , we all reached the place we wanted, it was shut and so we finally had dinner at another place , and it was really tasty, fish curry rice, fried rice, garlic butter prawns chicken curry, by the time we were finishing, the boys came over to join us , from there happy land, and little Mia, got a birthday cake organised for Jay, whose birthday it was. Little Mia went to the kitchen and got the chef to freshly bake this for the birthday boy, how cool and totally enterprising is that.

Happy Birthday Jay, I don't know another 22 year old quite like you , and I'm really happy to have met you and dived with you and Nikhil on your birthday..
You really do SPARKLE..

The Birthday Boy..
The kids were passing out, so post singing for Jay , and biting into a piece of his cake, we left.
I think all the nights I just slept like a baby, I think we all did.
It was the sea and the salt, the fresh air, the wild waves and the calm of being under the sea

JANUARY 23, 2106.
We were all up early, messaging one another good morning, and lets meet for breakfast, and by 8 am we , our kids , bags, chocolates and food were all speeding , for a fun morning dive to Guraidhoo Corner..
I was really excited about this dive, it would be the first time I would be diving to see sharks...ha ha ha .
And I was excited and bloody scared and nervous all simultaneously, I was secretly hoping that there would be none.

Hello from the other side ....ha ha ha ..

Zeke , Radhika, Mia and Mak were also diving here, but not the same place, so we went our way and they went there's.

We went down to 29.3 meters and then to the edge of the reef , where the sides plunge down and held on to the reef just before the big blue, and as we were kind of finning our way, to station ourselves, when Nikhil makes the shark sign and points to one sleeping, right in front of us..

Shark, Shark, Shark,Shark....

I did not react , like I imagined I would..
I was most calm and so fascinated looking at this feared Fish.
And as we were finning closer, I had a few voices in my head head talking to me, 'Like really Maria, you are actually finning towards a sleeping shark, ha ha ha, you have totally lost the plot, or then maybe you never had it..
And Nikhil and Jay were behaving like they were just about to meet friends, it looked like the most normal but abormal kind of scene.

I was both amused and bemused by what I was doing, and then Thuthu my instructor, signalled me to hold on to the reef and "rubbed his thumb against his fingers " which was some sort of a distress signal , and alerts the sharks.

And slowly very slowly, they all started swimming out of the blue to where we are, I can't even for the life of me explain how surreal this all felt, I think we saw about a dozen or over of grey reef sharks, and it actually felt fine, my heart did not race, I was not stressed, I was just really fascinated to witness their gracefulness, in their natural environment, will I ever do this again 
Oh Bloody Yes.
I was also told that they don't just randomly attack people, like you watch in films, and by the end of my three days, I had seen white-tipped sharks, black-tipped sharks, grey reef sharks and eagle rays.

It felt exactly like when I met the white lions in their playground in Africa, that same feeling of thrill and absolute respect.

And then as my oxygen tank was getting used up, I realised that I was ascending to the surface, because I was getting lighter, and the weights I had carried did not seem sufficient and everyone was still down, I kept trying to go to them, but I was not getting to them easily, damn crap..

My only hope was Anup, who does brilliant underwater photography and moves around like a dolphin performing a ballet, well I was hoping that he turns around, and to my luck he did, as soon as he was turned with his eyes looking up, I just did the most ungraceful flapping of hands and legs together ha ha ha , like a frog trying to do Jazz, but failing miserably, but it worked.
Anup saw me, and helped me get down again..Like I said, he also is an amazing life guard.

Anup the mer-photographer..

I stayed on the boat, for the next dive, Zene and Dhruv were on the boat yesterday , and Radhika took them snorkeling , while I was diving.
"Im gonna get that fish", "THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY ?"
So today the rest of the group dived, and Ahmed was now fishing , since he had not yet managed to catch any fish ha ha ha ha ….
He is gonna kill me…but can't because he lives too far... (Claps her hands and laughs even louder)

So as soon as everyone dived in, Dhruv, Zene and me , also got into the water, and we just stayed in between the reef and the deep blue, we were quite happy there on the surface, with Zene and Dhruv, putting there head's up every one minute to discuss the fish we saw..
All was flowing and floating really well, the current was really peaceful , when all of a sudden, I saw all the fish , pass us in a great rush to our left..

I held both their hands and peered into the blue onto my right..
Nothing..Absolutely nothing..
But I did not feel too safe, having dived from about , close to this spot ,for sharks…
So I convinced the kids to get out, and as we dried and came up to the stern of the boat, what do I see, Ahmed, with his pieces of fish, and hook and thread, dunking it into the sea, that's why all the fish were rushing to the other side..
I wanted to push him in…

Well, the kids were most happy to join him and the captain of the boat in the whole fishing process, while we waited for Nikhil, Jay, Mak, Zeke, Radhika and Mia to surface,
Meanwhile Ahmed decided that, they all must jump into the water from the top deck, because its fun,so that's what everyone started doing ha ha ha ..


I have never ever done this in my life, neither had Radhika, but we all did this, I think it was the deep blue and the crazy company, then Nix and Jay did amazing back flips, while Mak and Anup took photos and recorded it..

Jay and Nikhil flip out ......

Then Nikhil and Jay, were throwing the kids into the water amidst many squeals and laughter.
It was just too much fun..
Something I will do with this crack group again if we manage going all together..
Well we all went back laughing and smiling and really hungry.
Zene enjoys her little fling...
Post lunch Jay and me did our Peak Buoyancy dive in the Maafushi reef, while the rest went diving in the deep .

Dhruv enjoying his fling...
The kids were busy dancing and showing Mia what all they can do.
After our dive, I picked them up , and they went for scooter rides and then jumped into the aqua-green sea, it was just so much fun, the water is transparent and warm and inviting and you just feel totally yummy.

Sunset here was absolutely we just sat and watched it .
And then a made the kids sit for a photograph, and for some time, I just did not tell them that it was done ha ha ha I'm a Witch sometimes..

Watching the sunset...

Post that we showered and went for dinner, a nice big dinner , a buffet dinner , stuffed ourselves and laughed our way home..

25th January 2016
We all got into a wonderful flow, wake up, chat, eat together, talk rubbish, poke fun at one another, laugh at one another and at ourselves and go diving.

Today was a really exciting dive, we were going to Kandooma Thila, which is a huge reef under water, that you first have to go down to, and from there proceed to dive lower down along the wall of the reef, and from there is where you see the big ones..
Thats where the action is Thuthu said..

Ha ha ha what on earth was I and everyone diving here thinking...
You need to be a little nuts to be a diver..
But I realised a year ago, that I liked being on boats and diving, and even more that that, the kind of colllection of aqua loving atoms..
I think I found one more kind of "my people" , besides the mountain and forest people...

It was the open Water PADI Certifications, fun dive too , so we all went into the blue together.
Mak, Mia, Radhika, Zeke, Nikhil, Jay, the instructors Thuthu and Sohay and me.
I now had stopped hesitating about that "one big leap" into the sea..

The moment I got in, the first thing was the colour, this shade of blue was very very different from anything we had dived into yet and it was the most deep blue, but not dark blue...
There was no reference point , no wall , no bottom , just hurling waves, we could see from the inside, with the sun streaming through..
It was my prettiest dive...

We were in at 27.8 meters with a visibility of 40 meters and in a bit of time, about 14 minutes, we were actually lost, the current was so strong that day, that we had been pushed off the reef, and so just could not find any reference point to start our dive.

At which point of time, I just held onto Thuthu , for dear life and immersed myself in the blue and the shiny plankton. I can try and describe this blue with plankton , but I may not be able to do justice to what I saw , ok it felt and looked like, the softest and prettiest shade of mesmerising blue mal, adorned with the tiniest and the sparkliest diamonds, of the perfect cut , clarity, colour and weight…


I was calm, the sea is not my best friend, never has been, but with Nikhil, Jay . Anup and Thuthu, right there in the deep blue, everything felt LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO.

So we had to abort the dive and come up to the surface, where the waves were so rough because of the current , that we were just being hurled around, our boat was nowhere near us, and Thuthu signalled for quite some time, finally even I began to use the whistle on my BCD, I started laughing, and really felt a bit Kate Winslety ha ha ha , I had officially lost it..

We had just aborted a dive, we were far from our boat , and everyone was fine and smiling, like we just landed on the moon..
Im thinking its probably narcosis, and if you don't know what it is , please ask @nikhilchinapa he does a wonderful explanation.

Well we finally got back on that boat, Just in time  to see the other team emerging, with huge smiles on their faces and so excited, telling us about sharks and eagle rays, and you should have just seen their faces, they were alit , like millions of plankton had settled on them , they were filled with wonderment , awe and happiness, Oh damn, this has to be done again..

So we changed cylinders and Jay, Nikhil, Anup with his camera , Thuthu and me got back in..

We were back in that beautiful blue, I was feeling a bit nervous , but every time I saw everyone with their fingers in OK, I calmed down.

We were over our reef, we went further down from there and went to the edge of it , and were soon facing the deep blue, and swimming right there were sharks, just calmly going about there sharky business, not even bothered about us, in the least bit, now in retrospect, I feel the time we spent in the deep was just too little , but I guess that is good enough a reason as any ,to want to go back there, which I do.

And then when we came back higher , we also met a turtle, My day and trip was made, infact this was not the first time here, Everyone feels happy when they see a turtle, and Jay was also having a full conversion with the little fellow,which actually made me quite jealous ha ha ha in a good way.
And ofcourse Anup always went back and told the kids that I chased the turtle and it was no more, and the kids actually started believing him..
Well , I'm waiting for his son to grow up, so I can spread stories about his dad...ha ha ha

And then while we were doing our safety halt at 5 meters , these boys started fooling around with the spare regulator , and there were bubbles everywhere, so this I guess is what you do , when you are comfortable in the water, about to ascend, and have enough of oxygen in your tank and you are nuts..ha ha ha ..
I started giggling, but was also a bit worried about losing my regulator, damn this whole diving holiday was ending too soon..

We  got back up, and then all of us were going to be diving at Biyadhoogiri, that felt really awesome, smiling happy faces, all sun-kissed , mad chatter , laughter, that's what filled that boat, and if I could do exactly this again I would.

We all went back in , for the very last dive together, Ahmed, decided to fish , as he had already dived in the morning.

Zeke Zidaan.
This was the last time I was going to be hearing, "All right divers , hold your mask and regulators, and splash, splash, splash..everyone was in.

We went our separate ways, both the groups and then suddenly met one another somewhere mid-wall of a reef, and we behaved like we had not met one another in ages, much bubbles and plenty of hand signals later, we were suddenly all posing in the water, for photographs, ha ha ha , it felt so comfortable and weird simultaneously.

Nemo & Mama...

Radhika & me...

We did a lot of posing in the water, and at one point, I was trying to strike a pose, which was just not happening, buoyancy issues, its the same like boy-Friend problems on land ha ha ha ..

But the good thing is that I made Nikhil , laugh under water, he giggled and Jay heard him, and so its fine, I'm a slightly buoyant finning comic ha ha ha , I will find this perfect buoyancy one day, and when I do I will have much to say, to him , till then, I'm Ok swimming like Dory..

Well we were told before getting into the water , that we need to follow our own instructors, and so I did..
And you know what, I was the only one.
Which brought me back to a fact of life..

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.."

By the time I realised, that Anup, Nikhil and Jay had not followed, I was far ahead, and I wanted to go back to meet them all, so I signaled to Thuthu, that I want to swim back to the group, to meet my little boy, but my sign language really sucks , because, he showed me clown fish and sea anemone, ha ha ha , by the time , I found them , we had to go back up , and it was madness again with the bubbles, there were smiles and there were giggles under water. we all surfaced , completely satiated, I could not have asked for a better time, we all got back on that boat , saw dolphins and just had such a joyous time over the most beautiful waves..

Thuthu with his students..
We all had lunch , and then Jay and me, went to finish our final dive, which was our Navigation dive, which I was begging Thuthu to do on land, because I was so sleepy, but I was not convincing enough..
Well we finished that really quick , because we dived into the house reef, and that was that.
Jay and me finished our Advanced Open Water PADI Certification yeaaaaah...
We were done.
The thing is now, I just need to keep diving , so that I get more and more comfortable with myself and my gear and the temperamental sea, with every dive.

We went and joined the rest of the gang doing water sports, and then Zeke, Mia, Radhika, Mak and Jay , filled theit dive books, post which we all went for yummy dinner, the kids were really tired and went of to sleep.

And the rest of us, decided to go and have some fire water ha ha ha .
I think the moon that night was the most beautiful I had seen , it seemed like it had a rainbow around it, something about Mercury no longer in retrograde, said my friend Jaya.

I don't know what it was , but it was just quite magical.

JANUARY 26, 2016
We all travelled back to our respective cities and homes.
Amidst much missing and separation anxiety.

The thing is this, I never imagined that I would meet a bunch of strangers ,that I would completely, be in sync with, this does not really happen to me often, infact never.
And I don't remember laughing so much and always having a smile on my face twenty four seven.
I guess the fact that there were no pretences and no masks , made a hell of a lot of difference, well I did try and put sun-Screen , but that really does not work for me.
We were all feeling sick, blowing our nose and sometimes puking, it does not get any more real than that, I guess.
Also when you dive with one another, there is a sense of trust that builds, you look out for one another..

I did things I have never done before, and I'm not talking about going under water 30 meters, or hanging in shark territory, or diving in a dark sea.

But we jumped off the boat from the top deck, Radhika, Zeke, Zene, Dhruv, Mia and me dived into the sea, we had never ever done that,
I actually saw an angler who never caught a fish ha ha ha...But who never gave up and was always laughing regardless...
I met a pirouetting underwater photographer.
I saw Nikhil snap chat from the middle of the ocean because there was such "FantaAstic" network.
We all just had a smile on our faces perennially , and the life I led for those three days felt completely normal.

So coming back to reality is taking some time, and I'm not really wanting to..

Some combinations of people and places are magical, and may never happen again, but I'm happy to have been part of the magic dust..
Lets see what the future has in store for all of us..
But as a very dear friend of mine wisely put it, "Till then drift dive"

I want to thank a few people for making this holiday so darn special..

CHENGS_- for organising this crazy diving trip , and putting us all together, I must tell you that you have shuffled our normal lives a bit and dusted off a lot, I hope to dive with you really soon.
Please get well soon.

John & Kiera

JOHN and KIERA -I did not get to spend a lot of time with you guys, but John, I wish you all the best,and since you can so comfortably dive, you can now explore swimming ha ha ha , and Kiera, I really hope you can dive soon, because I know, you really really want to, stay happy guys

MAK- It was great getting to know you , you are such a trooper, Thank you for all the food, will hopefully have a meal with you the next time we are in Bangalore, and your soup was bloody outstanding. For someone just about doing there PADI , you were so comfortable with your camera in the water and such a fun person to hang with.

Sudhir A.k.a Mak...

MIA- you are just a smart and fine little 13 year old, so well behaved, with it, funky and such a beautiful voice, in Rihannas's words, 'Please don't stop the music"


ANUP - And I mean this from the bottom of my heart, You could be part of an international, synchronised swimming team, and I mean this not as a joke..but absolutely seriously, you are like poetry finning.
I don't know too many, who can get into the water, handle a heavy cameras and have  perfect buoyancy.But the thought of you in a one piece swimsuit and a swim cap with glitter on it and a smile plastered on your face , with toes and finger tips pointed and doing a pirouette…aaah ha ha ha ha , that just made my day..

No , but all the laughter aside, you are just an amazing underwater photographer, fearless, perfectly buoyant , also saves lives, does not hurt coral and knows the names of most of all the fish we saw, and besides that you are just a funny and good human being, and I hope you don't mind staying friends with me, given the fact that once in a year, I may just get featured on Page3, if I agree to pay for it ha ha ha... 

Ahmed the Angler
AHMED - I don't know what to say to you, will laughing hilariously suffice, you are a mad , crazy person, and i'm happy to have swum in the Blue with you,  well you made even sea-sickness fun, that scene where you were cutting fish bait into precise pieces with a blunt scissor, is forever etched on a huge screen in my mind, with a laugh track ha ha ha ha ..
I really wish that Poseidon is nicer to you the next time around, or then I suggest you start sending pretty gifts to Thalassa , maybe that will work, or maybe then learn to play the flute like Pan..
I'm just making suggestions, but you please feel free, to do what you have to , to get you that fish on your hook..

Jay having a heart to heart ...
JAY - I'm so happy to have met you, and was really lucky that you were my buddy for our Open Water Advanced PADI, you are the prince of cool.
I was happy that we could laugh together at the various situations, that we kinda caught together ha ha ha .You are just so sorted, and such a lovely human being and such fun company,you are brave and kind, that is just such a beautiful combination.Please swish your magic wand over my kids., so that they grow up at least half as sorted as you. Oh and lest I forget, please stop wanting to spend time with Moray eels, I really think there are prettier fish out there, or then turtles ha ha ha

Radhika the mer-maid..
RADHIKA - I love travelling with you and Dhruv, its always comfortable and fun and easy, and I know we will be doing many more holidays together, we have done some mad stuff and have many more crazy things to do, and thank God we broke the jinx..
To trying to party with sleepy kids, to many flights, car journeys and boats, surfing, diving,to sun-rises and beautiful sunsets, to sand, sea, cycles and rain-forests..
Stay your lovely self always, you are the hottest diver I know and are beautiful inside out..

Nikhil the Zen-Master
NIKHIL - Yup, you have always guided me the right way, from handling a live audience, to introducing me to Baz Luhrman's- Everybody's free to wear sunscreen and how it should be part of life, to diving into a dark sea.
We have both come a really long way.
And yes doing that night dive was a bloody 'Fantaaastic" idea, and I'm in the next time we go diving, you please stay in touch, because if I do get Alzheimer's early, I won't remember who you are, because we did not meet often enough ha ha ha ...
And that wont be nice..
And thank-you for the music..

Zeke the Certified Open-water PADI Diver..
ZEKE, ZENE & DHRUV - I love travelling with you adventure seekers .
You are the Power Rangers, Dora and Diego, Peppa pig, Zack & Cody , Avengers, Fantastic 4, Chota Bheem and Hanuman all rolled into one..
Zene my little fire-fly..
I love hanging with you guys, though sometimes, I want to pack you in a suitcase and just courier you really fast back home.
But holidays through your eyes are the best..

Dhruv the musicical groover

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it....

And now that I have finished my speech..
Can someone please present me with an Oscar ha ha ha ha ..

P.S. Just remember in life, never hold your breath...
Breathe in..breathe out..
Everything will be much more than just OK..