Posted in Musings

Mundaneness of Everyday !!!

Have you ever tasted a food and it just immediately whisks you away to a long forgotten memory. I am going to share an anecdote from today to explain this.

Today was my first outing of 2023, which was not to a hospital or for a doctors appointment. Yeah !! Yeah !!I am whining!! I have tried to embrace the chaotic side of life,without necessarily putting a positive spin on it. Fracturing my toe just before Christmas was not perfect, and in fact is annoying. I was listening to a Philosophy podcast yesterday, which reminded me nothing is good or bad, it just is. So yes I am whining, but it is not necessarily bad, and it is not good either. So where am I going with this ? Not entirely sure. I was definitely looking forward to going out of the house.

The outing was for grocery shopping, nothing exciting. The groceries were specific Indian Groceries, so required the visit to an Indian store.And along with the shopping we decided we could have a pit stop over at Saravana Bhavan for lunch. Saravana Bhavan is an Indian food chain which specialises in South Indian food. I have visited it many times in India while growing up. It s sort of an ritual for us at London, whenever we go for Indian grocery shopping,we stop over at Indian restaurant for a bite.

A wonderful friend meanwhile called to catch up. Having been unable to move around for a while and most interactions being over phone, the idea of meeting her in person sounded an exciting proposition. I invited her to join me for some exciting grocery shopping, so we could have a tête-à-tête while shopping. Walking around the aisles of the shop , while searching Tur Daal, tamarind or Pudina, and sharing some interesting insights over our daily life, made the mundane less boring. So off we drove for some grocery shopping.

On the journey to grocery store I remembered this Icecream parlour which I have been meaning to go to for a while. I would hear the advertisement of the place on the radio ever so often , 📻 while listening to the Bollywood songs. The unique flavour being mentioned often would pique my interest.

After tucking in the meal, and having chatted about our compelling work lives, and exchanging our views on the shows we were watching on Netflix. We walked in to this icecream parlour, determined to The place looked like your regular icecream parlour with variety of ice creams and colourful cubicles to sit and enjoy the treat. Yet for us the place sounded extremely exhilarating, with flavours of the ice creams are unique and inspired by Indian desserts or fruits which we were used to eating while growing up in India. There was Chikkoo,Sitaphal, Tender Coconut , Guava flavoured ice cream. Then there was Raj Bhog, Pan and Shahi Gulkand ones.

There is something about of Ice cream which awakens the childlike enthusiasm in me and makes the world a colourful and a place full of wonders. We chatted animatedly about which flavour we should try , we seemed to be squealing in joy just looking at the names of flavours.

The lovely persons at the counter looking at our indecisiveness offered a taster on a small little spoon 🥄 with Guava ice cream served with a sprinkle of salt and chilli powder, just like how a Guava is eaten back in India.

The spoonful of icecream transported me to streets of South Mumbai, years ago , to a sunny afternoon of a workday, outside my workplace, where I would buy Guava from the hawker on the street at lunchtime, and the hawker would Cut the fruit in to four .


I would nod my head absentmindedly thinking of some mundane task waiting for me at the desk

He would sprinkle some masala between the cut fruit , rub the cut fruit gently to spread it evenly.

I would bite in to the fruit ,the spicy chilly with the fleshy sweet fruit creating this delicious blend, bursting with flavours in my mouth. It would just make me stop to enjoy it’s deliciousness. I would be standing amidst the the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, with the traffic flying by, office goers rushing in and out of the buildings, the flavours making me forget the rush, and bringing about a moment of calm in the busy streets, like there was a rhythm in this mad rush around.

I would head back up to my desk slowly savouring the moment, biting and chewing the delicious fruit . I would place the rest of the fruit on my desk and get ready for the next part of my work day.

And my colleague would peak at my desk from her cubicle , watching my happy face biting in to the fruit.

“ I am going to get some Peru. Where is the hawker standing ? “

Guava in Marathi is called Peru.

Such is the power of nostalgia!! A small bite of ice cream brought such immense joy and brought flooding back beautiful memories. What seemed so mundane to me then years back, is not so mundane after all. All the mundane of today perhaps has some not so mundane moments of tomorrow.

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

Posted in Musings

Reflections on being a Child Free!!

I am beginning this blog with a quote from Maya Angelou. It is one of my favorite quotes. I find it very inspiring and it resonates with me a lot.

I am enroute. I am still enroute.  I don’t know when I know enough. I know, I know a lot and I am grateful for that. I know I know enough to try to live what I know. That’s a lot. But I still don’t have it all.

I have been very quiet on the blog for a while. I believe to some extent it is attributable to pandemic blues that I had been feeling. I found 2021 to be more difficult to handle than 2020.  I have been out and about in London, had a few staycations but yet the pandemic and the news about variants looming about ever so often and working from home has been keeping me preoccupied. And whatever little energy I have left, I have been directing towards posting stories and scrolling on Instagram.

I am trying to shake away the slumber and get back in to blogging regularly again this year.

So, I thought I would begin this years blog with a reflection on my Childfree Life. Now when I began the journey of childfree life with my husband, I had no clue that there was a term called ‘Childfree by choice’. I happened to find the term when I researched a few years back , to write a blog about it.

I wanted to voice myself and once for all and put an end to this conversation. I thought it will be cathartic . In my naivety, I thought that was the end of the conversation. Once I would publish the blog, we would carry on with our lives.  What I had not realized I had opened a Pandora s box and for some unknown reason I had declared myself to be this alien on a public platform, perhaps even to an extent an evil person. I would be that wicked aunt who loves her pets, lives alone in a big old house, being unkind and resentful.

Since then I am still having conversations ,chats and trying to break the stigma and myths associated with Childfree life. This post is part of one such conversations.

Let me start by introducing myself with some facts

  1. I am Usha, I am originally from Southern India and currently live in London with my husband, who says I am a creature of habit.
  2. I get easily distracted with simple things in life and often spend my time musing about such inconsequential things and banalities of life.
  3. I am a bookaholic, love books, bookstores, and libraries, curiously enough I have not shared much about books and reading on my blog.
  4. I am a history buff, but I am not a historian
  5. I am a mental health champion and take action to raise awareness of mental health and challenge the stigma associated with it.
  6. I am an introvert and value my solitude and peace , but I am not lonely.
  7. I have a family which is complete, which consists of me and my husband. We are childfree but we don’t have pets.
  8. I cannot say I have an extraordinary life, but I am certain I have a happy life.
  9. I am peaceful and content with my life.
  10. I identify myself as a Childfree woman, yet that is not my only identity. I am a wife, daughter, sister, and a friend. I have a 9-5 job. I am a soul searcher, blogger, traveler, and an avid reader. I dream someday I would write a book. So that also makes me a dreamer and aspirer.

I believe I am much more than a Childfree woman. I am all of the above and much more than that.

When I started the journey of Childfree life, at some levels I had accepted that I am going to have to be answerable to or explain for the rest of my life as having made a very different life choice than what the society had taught me. Yet I do not accept that it is correct to have to explain my childfree life choice. It is a perfect example of dichotomy of life.

It is tiresome answering constant barrage of questions and managing unkind comments and treatment. Some of it can take a toll on the mental and physical health and sometimes it can also invalidate me as a person and all that I have achieved.

One of such comment which bothers me a lot is “I am so sorry for you/ I am sorry you don’t have kids”.  

I am not sad, and I don’t feel a void. I have a perfectly simple life; my husband and I have made a choice for us, and we are content and happy about it. It is the unwarranted question and assumptions that make things difficult. They are at times unkind and often are border lining on being offensive.  

I am not entirely sure whose quote it is but I believe it would be good if we can remind ourselves of it before we speak

“ Is it True? Is It necessary? Is it Kind?” 

My personal favorite is the last one. Is it Kind? It is said Kindness does not cost much. So let s be kind and mindful of what is being said.

Recently I had an opportunity to voice my self on my Childfree journey on a podcast “ We are Not Kidding”

This podcast is hosted by Anna Marie Olson is devoted to sharing the stories of the childfree and breaking the stigma

Recently I had an opportunity to voice my self on my Childfree journey on a podcast “ We are Not Kidding”

Link to Podcast
Posted in Musings

My Blogging Journey!!!!

At the beginning of 2021, WordPress very diligently reminded me that it was the 5th year anniversary of my blog. It made me wonder, what prompted me start this blog. I had no rhyme or reason to start this blog, I had no strategy and I had absolutely no planning or thought process behind organizing the blog.

Continue reading “My Blogging Journey!!!!”