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Excerpt from an email Mayank wrote to his friend who was kind enough to look after our cats Noodle & Dopey while he was out of town for 3 days last month.

 

“…..Here’s a guide for handling Noodle and Dopey:

 

0)         I’ve filled the cat food dispenser to the brim, it should last for almost 3 days. If you find the food running low on the third day, please refill it to the brim. Cat food is located inside the lower cupboard in the passageway, the one that has a chair propped against it. The chair is there to keep Noodle out, else she opens the door and helps herself to the cat food. Both these cats are kept on a strict diet, lest they get overweight. A small cup for measuring food is kept on the left of the microwave. To refill the food, just take the black rectangular cover off the top of the dispenser (might be slightly tight), add food in, and fasten it back.The water should be enough for a week.

 

 

 

0.5)      The two boxes of litter in the closet should be good for 3 days, you wont have to do anything. It might smell a bit after a day or two, sorry. Noodle has the unpleasant habit of not covering her droppings after she’s done her business, since she’s the boss cat of the house. Poor Dopey has to do it for her.

 
1)         Please be careful while opening and closing the front door, the cats might try to escape. If they go outside, they don’t know their way back.

 
2)         If you can’t find the cats anywhere in the house (particularly Noodle), good places to look are under the bed in the bedroom, and under the recliner, inside the cloth on the underside (heaven knows how they get in there). I’ve kept a small flashlight on the dining table, it’s useful for locating black cats hiding in dark corners. If all else fails, rattle the food in the cat food dispenser, and they’ll come running.

 
3)         If you find Dopey running around, it’s because he’s excited to see you. If you run after him, he’ll go hide under the bed.

 
4)         The cat toys are all kept in the second drawer in the chest of drawers in the bedroom. They’re in the second drawer because Noodle is smart enough to open the top and the bottom drawer on her own. She’s smart enough to go to college. They like the big read cat tease most of all, and Dopey likes to run after the small silver ball of aluminum foil. Noodle might act a bit pricey at first, but she likes to play as much as anyone.

 
5)         Please *do not* leave any sort of yarn/thread around Dopey, he always swallows it, and it can be fatal for him.

 

I hope you have a great time with these two!
Oh and there’s a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in the freezer, please help yourself to it! Or anything else in the fridge, for that matter.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mayank”

 

 


If you have 5-30 million dollars in spare cash I know of several incredibly beautiful beach properties that you can buy. Even better if you fancy playing golf by the ocean. What more you can also charge people for driving past your home oohing and aahing at the views that you would see daily from every window.

 

It was a cool, crisp and sunny day yesterday and Mayank & I decided to bike the 17 Mile Drive along the Pacific Coast from the town of Monterey to the village of Carmel by the Sea. The road hugged the Monterey Peninsula, a place of astonishing beauty, screeching sea gulls, rich marine life and spectacular houses. Thanks to the efforts of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary & Aquarium, people are careful not to pollute the water. As a result, the ocean is a beautiful clear azure meeting an impossibly blue sky.

Our trip started at the centre of Monterey only a few hundred metres from the ocean’s edge. A shared pedestrian path/bike lane runs all along the water’s edge past the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf where otters and sea lions lounge around, Cannery Row and finally joins the Ocean View Boulevard which as the name suggests was right beside the Pacific. Much of the foreshore is covered by a kind of vine with triangular leaves that looks like grass but isn’t. The tip of the leaves were red, giving the impression of a carpet of red flowers.

I started to get my camera out. Mayank was alarmed. We had not covered even half mile of the 17 miles and I was changing the settings in my camera. At that rate it would take an entire day to cover the distance. As we left the bay and rode onto Sunset Drive, the waves got bigger and the ocean more restless.

The road then passed the white sands Asilomar State Beach where surfers waited for the perfect wave, people walked or simply lazed on the beach. It was the absolute holiday picture- peaceful and uncrowded.

 

We then entered the 17 mile drive proper through the Pacific Grove Gate. It’s free for cyclists and we overtook the cars with a smirk as they waited to pay an entrance fee of $10. The road twisted and turned through the tall woodlands, and swept by the white sand beach of Spanish Bay. It was fun to race down to the ocean with the wind on face and the sun on our backs. The only grouse I had was that we could not ride side by side. Since it was a shared road, we had to ride in a one file and thus did not do much talking while .

Point Joe & Bird Rock came next. Due to my numerous photo ops and the fact that I huffed and puffed while going uphill on my bicycle we were doing rather poor on time and hence did not stop at these overlooks. I am quite certain there was something wrong with the silly gear settings on my cycle. There were two sets of those and I had no idea what they were for. I just randomly kept changing them till it felt right, for the moment that is. I am sure I would have a much better job with my Atlas bicycle.

We stopped for lunch at Seal Rock, a point with picnic tables on the shore and glistening water a feet away. I had packed us a picnic. That saved us time and $$. I was warned of the atrociously expensive restaurant that charged something like $20 for a pile of lettuce.

We passed several golf courses including the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Right on the shore, I suppose the joys of indulging in golf is at a different level all together. The road then turned away from the coast and climbed  into a thick grove of Cypresses, windswept by the ocean winds. Hidden among those trees are mansions with manicured lawns and windows with the views we had come to see. Through the twists and turns we could see the ocean below. The trail still buried in the trees,  led us to the Lone Cypress. Standing on a cliff, the tree has withstood the Pacific storms and winds for over 250 years.

We crossed the Pescadaro Point, the resort of Pebble Beach. Our 17 mile bike ride was coming to an end. We headed down to the Carmel gate to the small but definitely upscale village of Carmel by the sea.

The place was full of pretty boutique shops made prettier by the natural beauty that surrounded it. This is where we returned our bikes and took the bus back to Monterey.

Morning Glory

There is something magical in seeing the sun rise every morning, albiet from the kitchen window as I wait for my tea to heat up in the microwave. The world seems to be at peace. Even the cats for once are somnolent. This hour and a half before breakfast is the time that I really like, it’s totally mine. That and a hungry cat (Dopey) is what makes me get up each morning at dawn despite the incredible desire to shut off the alarm and sleep in. Some one rightly said, there is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

What do I do in that time? I grab my huge mug of green tea, my mac and slip under the bed covers. I like to be warm and cozy while I do my reading.  A daily visit to the New York Times for some serious news, and the Times of India for some tabloid stories and the latest gossip in B’Town. I religiously follow the editorial & opinion pages of NYT, Paul Krugman & Thomas Friedman’s articles and the fashion section. I almost never read the sports section unless it made it to the front page.

I have noticed a marked change in the websites I visit. From being one of the first websites I opened in the morning irrespective of the time, Facebook has now gone way to the bottom. It’s place has been taken up by blogs. I feel incomplete if I do not have my daily quota of blogs on organization, productivity, travel, cooking, personal finance, photography, technology (gadgets mainly, nothing too technical) so on and so forth. Lately, cooking has become my passion close to crocheting/knitting and taking pictures. So I have begun to stock up my pantry with all exotic spices & cheese and you can find pans of all shapes & sizes.

I admire those blogs for their content, clarity in expression, beauty, the amazing pictures and the inspiration they bring to me. I feel privileged to be able to have a peek into their lives or a part of it. There is so much to learn.

But as all good things come to an end, so does my morning hour. Hunger pang kicks in. The hubby is happy to eat cereal 365 days a year so I don’t have to worry about fixing him a breakfast. But the cats demand their second breakfast. It’s time to begin my to do list.

Easy Paneer Recipe

I am big fan of home cooked food. It does not matter what the food is just the thought of home made food makes my mouth water. Mayank on the other hand prefers restaurant food. Oh that poor ignorant man!

A few years ago, I was more like him, loved eating out, in particular fried and junk food. I still have a soft corner for all things buttery and fried to a crisp. But two years of sales work in Hyderabad eliminated all the love I had for “outside” food.

So when one of Mayank’s school friend who is a great cook invited us over for dinner last Saturday, I was pleased as a punch. The recipe below is what she had made. I made a few tweaks to make it a little simpler for daily consumption. With a vegetarian husband, we do end up eating a lot of paneer/cottage cheese and it always helps to try out new recipes.

Ingredients:- Paneer-cubed, tomatoes – blanched & pureed, onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies(the more the merrier), cumin-coriander powder, garam masala, whole cumin, kasuri methi, potatoes-cubed (yes, I am bong. We add them generously), vegetable/canola oil.

Method: –

1. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil in medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the paneer & potato cubes. Once they are golden brown remove the panner cubes and put them in a bowl containing warm water. This will ensure that the paneer pieces remain soft. Remover the potatoes and keep aside.

2. In the same oil add whole cumin. When the seeds splutter, add onion, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and saute till the onions turn pink(when using red onions).

3. Soak the all the masala powder in a little whey/water. Add it to the pan. Fry till the oil separates stirring continuously to prevent sticking. Sprinkle a little sugar.

4. Add tomatoes and fry till the raw smell and taste goes away.

5. Next add the potatoes and fry it for a few minutes. Add warm water depending on how much you want. Sprinkle salt. Cover and cook in medium heat until the potatoes are almost done.

6. Add in the paneer pieces after squeezing out excess water. Taste for salt and add if more is required. Cook for 5 minutes.

7. Sprinkle kasuri methi and remove from stove. Serve hot.

Traveling with Dopey

It was the longest 3 hours and 25 mins flight of our lives. Both Mayank & I have had our share of terrible flying experience but were never as stressed out as we were last Saturday. Our cats, Noodle & Dopey were flying with us from Austin to Santa Clara. Southwest Airlines was kind enough to have a pet policy that allowed certain pets inside the cabin.

Knowing what a spoilt brat Dopey is, we had begun training the cats to stay inside their carrier and get used to the sense of motion. We took them out every evening for a drive in preparation for last Saturday’s journey. As the days went by they acclimatized or so we thought.Our biggest worry was them playing the escape artist during security check when we would have to take them out of the carrier and through the security check. Mayank would handle Noodle while I would wrestle with feisty Dopey.

Dopey does not suffer in silence. Period! He will ensure everyone around him knows he’s unhappy. From the time we put him in the carrier early morning to the time we got into our new home, he complained. He pleaded, cajoled, cried, threatened, fought, pushed, wailed and bit. He sunk his claws and teeth into the carrier mesh every now and then, trying his level best to tear it off. He rubbed his nose against the mesh which made it turn red as a beet. If this was his “calm” self after the stress relief medicine we had given the cats, I shudder to think what he would have done otherwise.

Noodle on the other hand was a Buddha. Not a word from her. Perhaps she was contemplating digging a tunnel and escaping. Or plotting our murder while we slept.

Winter boy

After much anticipation I have become the mami (not mummy :P) of a handsome boy. My nephew was supposed to be a January baby but I guess he could not wait any longer and out he came into this world in the last week of December. The fragility of a new born fascinates me. It’s incredible to think a small helpless thing as a baby would grow up into something as large as a human. I feel the same when I see new born kittens with no hair or eyes no bigger than a rat. Desperate for warmth they cling to each other. Even then they are unbelievably adorable. Off I go again with cats, kitten, puppies, dogs, etc etc……

Ok, welcome back. So now that I have all the privileges of being a mami and non of his mom’s duties, I think I shall spoil the boy horribly. Mayank often proclaims I am a pathetic parent to the cats – spoiling them no end with zero discipling and complete pampering. As a result Dopey has become a whiner.

Anyways, I made this new born gift for my nephew. I found all the patterns online. The kimono is a simple straightforward knit, front open, perfect for a quick wrap around the baby. The cap and the baby booties are crocheted.  The wool is 100% Andean wool, perfect for freezing Delhi winter.

And here’s the matching beanie cap and booties to go with it.

Every other day, Noodle and Dopey have a sparring contest. The reason could be anything- Dopey in a playful mood, Noodle in a foul mood, Dopey getting bored, Noodle snatching Dopey’s toy. In short they get into a fight very often. At times several times a day. It’s not a playful kitty scrap. Even though it lasts briefly, the vehemence with which they attack each other is not lost.

A typical Round I match begins by Dopey attacking Noodle from behind, thus having an unfair advantage. But in no time, Noodle’s shaken him off and he’s lying on his back. From then on he’s lost the round. Noodle rains blows on him left, right and centre. Dopey can barely manage to save his face. And after a knock-out punch Noodle haughtily walks away while Dopey is left to wonder where he needs to improve upon next time.

A long journey on road often brings out people’s story telling capabilities. And no story is more interesting than a “true” ghost story. Narration of someone’s experience with the other world is met with rapt attention and intense discussion afterwards. Often one “true” experience opens the door for other “true” experiences from others leading to a cascade of ghost stories. In no time hours and miles have passed.

This a different kind of ghost story narrated to me by a friend. Something that happened to her friend 🙂

This girl lives in Bombay and on a regular day she took an auto to go to a friend’s place. This friend lived in a regular Bombay apartment complex. So just as this girl saw her destination arriving she asked the autowallah to drop her off. He could not hear her over the traffic noise and continued driving. The traffic however slowed him down to a point where the girl, in great hurry, jumped out of the auto assuming the auto wallah would stop shortly. But the auto driver continued driving for a while, looked back at the passenger seat, saw no one and drove away like a bat out of hell shouting “Bhoot …….Bhoot”.

Yesterday was the ninth day of Durga Puja. I had harangued Mayank about the importance of the puja and how we should visit the pandal for at least a few hours. A non-Bengali that he is, he does not know the place Durga Puja holds in a Bengali’s heart and mind. The meaning of the sound of dhak, Aroti, Dhunichi naach every evening, Prosad, pandal hopping, gorging on street food is completely lost on him. I was determined to educate him and get him to experience Durga Puja in the best way we could in Austin.

So I looked up the place and timing for the Puja on the internet. It was being organized by Central Texas Bengali Association. Since we are in a phoren land, Indian festivals are mostly celebrated over the weekend. Compare that to five days of non stop fun in India. Just the thought depresses me no end. Anyways at least something’s better than nothing.

Austin Durga Puja was being held the coming weekend, I discovered. And we were ready to go. I had dressed up as I would have back home and got Mayank to do the same. Just before leaving, he went online to check the address of the location in order to feed it into the GPS when he discovered it was for the Puja— but three years ago in 2007!! This year’s puja was already celebrated the past weekend.

A Cowl of Flowers

After I completed my last crochet project which was the Catherine/Pin Wheel stich baby blanket I told myself I would not pick up the crochet hook for a month at least. What an underestimation of  the addiction called crocheting, that was! Three days later, I ordered a new set of yarn. And while it shipped I began making a simple cowl using the same Pin Wheel Stitch I used to make the baby blanket.

I used regular yarn from Walmart, actually leftovers from a previous bag project. It’s 100% acrylic so I am a bit unsure of it’s use during the harsh winter months. Here’s how it looks. The supermodel in the picture below is yours truly 🙂

Taekwondo belt test

Mayank and I used to go together for taekwondo classes before his knee injuries brought him down. He hasn’t outlived his usefulness as my taekwondo coach though. So when it was time for my first proper belt test, I needed my practice partner more than ever.

The morning before the test day:

Me: Fretting. I have to memorize the sheet that has the Korean names, words and meaning of what I have learnt in Taekwondo until now. When are you coming home?

Him: Go ahead. Also practice the forms, kicks and blocks. I will go over them with you at night. Remember you will have to break a wooden block tomorrow.

Me: What! I will never be able to do that.

Noon before the test day:

Me: Okay I have crammed the sheet multiple times. I also practiced all that I had to. When are you coming home?

Him: Good. Practice some more. I will come as soon as possible.

Afternoon before the test day:

Me: I have revised everything multiple times. What if I fail tomorrow? And when are you coming? I need you to go over my kicks, blocks and forms.

Him: Will be home soon.

Evening before the test day:

Him (surprised at the state of the house- the living room looked like a war zone) : What have you been up to?

Me: Nothing. Just cramming and practicing. Let’s have dinner.

After dinner

Him: Content and happy. Let’s watch some TV.

Me(Hovering in front of the TV) Are you doing anything important? Let’s practice for tomorrow’s test.

And practice we did till it was time for bed.

Cone of shame

What a Sunday it was!

Responding to a medical emergency we rushed to the hospital and had the patient admitted.  The doctor went over his abdomen and sure enough could feel something stuck. Hmm, she was 90% sure but needed an x-ray to be so completely. The patient would also need IV fluids and would have to be “under observation” for the next 12 hours. In case his condition deteriorated during that time, surgery would need to be done on him.

The patient was our 7 month old kitten Dopey. The dog that he is, he had swallowed a 3ft long piece of yarn the night before. Blissfully unaware we realized the misdeed only when Dopey vomited his gut out the next day and we could not find the yarn in the drawer(it’s usual place). It had to be Dopey. It was his nature to swallow everything within his reach.

So even though, the culprit showed no signs of illness due to the ingestion, online resources warned us of dire consequences of the intestine folding around the yarn, of the yarn cutting through the intestine and other horror stories. A call to the hospital confirmed it was indeed an emergency. I had visions of what that horrible yarn was doing to my kitten’s intestines. We took off to the hospital like a bat out of hell.

Twelve hours in the hospital did nothing to dampen Dopey’s spirits. The hospital staff had to put on a “cone of shame” around his head to prevent him from tearing apart his IV drip. Several hundred dollars poorer, we were advised to wait and watch when we came to pick him the next day. Within an hour of reaching home Dopey pooped out the whole yarn. What relief!

But now I can’t find the safety pin! Darn that cat!

Ninja

Noodle loves to fool people with her looks. But I know that behind this ninja look lies a very timid and good natured cat. She’s afraid of loud noises, the sound of running water, sudden movements, clothes hanger, CDs, in short everything that looks unfamiliar. Her avoidance tactics include sinking deeper into her cat bad, hiding in the closet among clothes from where only her eyes can be seen or going into the fireplace(no fire of course) where she is perfectly camouflaged.

The past few weeks I scoured the internet looking for some news on the CWG 2010 that was balanced and temperate. To my utter dismay my search returned a zero. Even the New York Times seemed to have ditched their usual style of reporting in favor of sensational news, a la Times of India, CNN-IBN, Aaj-tak, Times Now and what have you.

What bothered me was the clear bias in reporting in context of the CWG. While the media was falling over each other in a rush to report what was not working they conveniently forgot to mention what was working. Pictures of garbage dump, filth around the village collapsed bridge etc were telecast on special news bulletin every 30 minutes. The TV channels and newspaper prints cried hoarse what a shame was about to befall India. Nothing was ready they said. And so there were no pictures of progress they could share with their viewers.

My search finally bore fruit. I chanced upon a picture album online in Facebook that showed the other side of the story. It had pictures of sparkling rooms, superb food arrangements for the athletes, magnificent view of the games village from outside, resplendent Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, elegant the wrestling arena, cycling dome and so on. We were indeed ready to host the CWG. However, non of the pictures appeared in any corner of the Indian media.

Cut to the opening ceremony. Putting all the bad publicity, charges of corruption, missed deadlines behind, the organizers put forth a show that was one of the best opening ceremonies. Vibrant, colorful and breathtaking, it showcased all that India was and is. As expected, the next day the media reports spoke of a grand opening ceremony with much less enthusiasm than what they showed while predicting doom for CWG 2010. They still could not get over the bashing habit as they contrasted each good word with a bad one. They complained about the minor inconveniences that people faced on a new Delhi Metro line on their way to the opening ceremony. Conveniently they forgot to report that the line was opened five months ahead of schedule.

Criticism is good. But not at the cost of crushing the morale and spirit when they are needed the most. This was destructive criticism at it’s worst. It was nothing short of having a loser’s attitude and belittling India in a hysterical, shrieking and frenzied way. They played on guilt, fear and shame.All this drama to increase their viewership by working up a mass hysteria. It’s not that their one month old coverage of CWG turned the tide for the better. Interest in the Games, maybe.

Image courtesy: The New York times

There seemed to be an inverse relation between the time at my disposal and the portion of a baby blanket that remained to be crocheted. For the second time in a row I was rushing to finish my blanket project. While in the first case the baby decided to come out a few weeks earlier, this time, I wanted to hand over the finished product to one of Mayank’s uncles who was visiting his brother in Austin and who in turn would hand it over to Mayank’s dad or sister in Delhi. No the baby(my nephew/niece) isn’t due anytime soon. But why take chances?

It took me five days to complete it from start to finish. As is always the case I started off with a feeling of having ample time. But by day three I realized I needed to put in more than an hour daily. Measuring 150cm* 100cm, the blanket was a lot bigger than the usual baby blanket. It was Mayank’s input. Surely, I would not make a “lungi” that the baby would outgrow in 6 months!

The wool was from Turkey. Soft and colorful it was ideal for baby projects. I used two shades for the pattern to stand out. I must acknowledge it’s one of the best crochet patterns. The possibilities of using that stitch are infinite. There are two variations of the same pattern, one calls for 12 stitches and the other 10. I used the second one. This pattern is also known as Pin Wheel stitch. There are many videos available online for both the patterns.

This is how the blanket looks. I was in such tearing hurry I could just about manage to take one picture from my 50mm lens. Hence the cropped look.

I had to keep my eyes peeled to protect the yarn from the mischievous cats. While I could shoo away Dopey and easily distract him with his toy mouse, a string, a shred of paper or whatever, Noodle the wily cat was difficult to give the boot. She sat beside me with her nose a millimeter away from the yarn but did not do anything else. I suppose she didn’t want to give me a chance to scold her but the instant I looked away she chomped down on the yarn. When I looked back she immediately released it. Only when I came across to the wet spot(s) of yarn while working on it did I realize what that crafty little cat was up to.

Fall is just around the corner. After days of searing heat rainy days are at last here. In a week or two fall would officially have begun. This hardly means anything in a state that remains pretty much the same throughout the year. Non the less there are two places in Texas where one can see fall colors. One of them called Lost Maples Park is about 4 hours from Austin. We plan to go camping one weekend in November. Continue Reading »

Gender Bias

I see a clear bias developing in the cats. Noodle who spends most of her time ignoring my existence is suddenly transformed into Mayank’s girl the moment he comes back from work. Without giving him a moment’s rest she attaches herself to Mayank’s legs, looks up at him and demands to be petted rather loudly. More so when he’s working on his physiotherapy exercises at home. Noodle just won’t rest until he’s petted her and picked her up. She also stalks him to the kitchen and demands her share of whatever he’s having. Which he gladly obliges. From my seat I can see her arched back, raised tail and constant weaving in and out between Mayank’s legs. A spoilt girl she is.

Dopey on the other hand is my ardent follower, even to the bathroom. A bundle of energy that he is, he often does not let me do much other than play with him. So I have to lock him out of a room often. And thereafter begins his piteous meows. As if he’s missing out on all the fun. Every morning like a clockwork he starts his meowing ritual outside the bedroom door. Once let in, he immediately jumps on the bed and begins to head-butt me on my face-his way of saying “wake up and pet me”. Shortly, he collapses very near to my feet and does not wake up until it’s breakfast time.

Eating humble pie

Today morning’s run was supposed to be a 10km trail around the Town Lake. It was all good until I reached the loop where I supposed to take a U turn and head back. Once there, I asked my jogging partner what now? She said we could just take a right and continue jogging down a great downhill slope all the way to the other side of the lake. Fantastic! So off we went. The thought of taking a U turn and catching with the rest of the people came to my mind but the great downhill slope beckoned.

But what my partner had forgotten to mention was that there was a terrible uphill before the downhill. Puffing and panting I scrambled up the slope. At the top it was a tad bit flat and I found my rhythm again. Pleased as a punch I contemplated what a glorious day it was, how light my legs felt, what a smooth rhythm I had fallen into. I was in the “zone” I thought. I could just run and run. Ah, the delight.

And almost immediately, there was a loud thump. My foot was caught on a corner of the pavement and down I went. Out of the zone completely with a bruised knee and palm. I was so intent on admiring the handsome golden retriever running in front of me with his owner, that I missed the raised pavement.

I suppose I have to wait another day for running in the “zone”.

Dopey, the dog-cat has taken to a new dog habit; that of panting like a dog – rapid, shallow respirations accompanied by open-mouthed breathing and protruding tongue. During such times it’s really difficult to believe he’s not a dog. A short chase after his favorite toy mouse or string and he’s transformed to a dog. He runs, jumps, pants and then slurps water noisily from his drinking bowl. Noodle, the snooty cat gives him a disgusted look. Like a dog, Dopey doesn’t care.

Gym partners

Mayank and I are members of 24Hr Fitness. Twice a week we go there; I to shrink my tummy and Mayank to develop his hamstrings so he his 50 year old knee does not buckle the next time he plays soccer. How nice is it to be gym partners too we thought!

I see little gain in doing push ups, lunges and squats each of Mayank’s favorites. And I refuse to tire my body out while doing chin ups. So Mayank has to bear the brunt of my weight going up and down the machine all the while shouting out encouragements. I am obsessed about my abs and so try to pack in as many crunches or ab exercises as possible, something that Mayank tries to avoid. And while he labors on his chin ups with my “support”, I am busy checking out the dance class in the training room.

I hope one day Mayank and I will work out in tandem. Until then we must keep trying.

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