I love storage … yes storage !

Everyone does – right? What’s not to love? It appeals to my sense of order and helps me to find things quickly.Well, that’s the general idea. It’s the physical extension of a list. And I love a list or two or three.

As an Indian I became aware of the importance of storage and the variety available to us quite early in life . Other nationalities also use storage … ofcourse they do. Everyone loves storage. Wonder which nationality is the most OCD? 🙄.. There were three categories of goods that seemed to dominate our house.

1.Clothes

Only suitcases would do. The yards and yards of materials involved in creating just one saree meant a simple wardrobe just didn’t cut it ! Not forgetting the punjabi suits and the matching chunnis and the beautiful shawls. Suitcases were the way – which also meant most women were able to casually hide numerous outfits!! 😂. My mum was no exception. It’s at this point you think how efficient a black dress is as an item of clothing😱. And where do you put all these suitcases I hear you ask? Within easy reach and out of sight I’d say. No no no they go on top of wardrobes which then needs a technical team to gain access.But at least their presence up there adds to the decor. And who can honestly remember where the green sari with the gold border is in the pile of cases. No labelling going on here which makes me shake with irritation. Slowly the fitted wardrobe craze hid these cases for good. Not in our house , suitcases were piled up on the sideboard – for easy access you understand 😉. I’ve graduated from these old fashioned ways and hide the suitcases in the eaves and play Tetris with them once in a while. I haven’t gone to the extreme of vacuum packing yet 😂.

2.Cooked Food

All Indian households cook too much food. It’s because we are always planning for unexpected guests. A jumble of empty yoghurt pots and butter/margarine tubs 😂would always be hiding in a cupboard somewhere. These robust quality containers would be washed carefully, dried and stored. We were never allowed to throw them away. They were used to store away left over sabjis (curries) and anything else in the fridge. They always leaked if transported. But we kept using them and even used rubber bands to make them secure – silly people.Then there was the constant drama going on in the fridge of opening several butter tubs to find the real butter!! How we were in need of these fancy leak-free, easy lock, secure food storage items that can be labelled !!They migrate from house to house, these carriers of love , which really means home made food.

3. Dry goods

Spices, Lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans … no one used tins in those days. I remember deep wide units with big jars (sweet shop style) filled with every variety of daal you can imagine / there are more than just tarka daal and daal makhni 😂. My dad even did a chart with a layout on the inside of the cupboard door because he thought he was helping . I thought it was genius (I have inherited several amazing traits from him 👍🏽) but my mum couldn’t understand why he had wasted his time 🤦🏽‍♀️. We seemed to store food for the whole street ! Big bags of chappati flour and basmati rice. Now I feel embarrassed buying the smallest size that’s available. Herbs and spices from the Indian subcontinent, some that were probably only used on a rare occasion but you knew they were in there… somewhere.

I love storage ideas and space and am taking over as much as possible within the house. That may also be connected to my shopping addiction. 🤷🏽‍♀️👠👢👡👜🎒👗

When Simon returned from his recent trip to Japan he discovered he had lost some of his space- you snooze you lose!! My need was greater. SO many ways to utilise under the stairs. What a clever space.Flat dwellers you are missing out. In the old days it used to be the only place the atta (chappati flour) drum could fit. This space has created an industry that was made for me. How many ways to utilise the under stairs …..wow!

So if you want to make me happy please come and create more storage in my kitchen. I accept this is a #first world problem but I dream of a clear counter.

But for now you’ll occasionally find me in the utility room opening one cupboard in particular where the tubs seem to go down in numbers but the lids seem to multiply and pairing requires patience. And if I didn’t know better I’d think they were trying to escape 🤔….

Think storage has become an art form with the likes of Muji et al. I have a funny feeling that this is for people who actually have nothing to store 🙄.

🙏🏽

Seema

29.10.18

Karva Chauth- moon hunt

(Hindu festival where a wife fasts for her husband’s wellbeing.) I do try to educate as well … with my little knowledge as a Brit Asian🤔🤷🏽‍♀️.

Within India there are so many festivals and religious days; so many of these suggest/insist/incorporate fasting. There are weird and wonderful combos that go from eating no salt, only fruit, drinking only water and eating specified foods. Only mums, aunties and the pandit (Hindu priest) and not forgetting Mr Google know the form. And so many are undertaken by women. Wonder which man thought that up that little gem? 👏🏾 Please ladies this is not another diet advert.

That brings me nicely onto Karva Chauth one of the main ones in the calendar. After waking before sunrise to eat something sensible you then don’t eat or drink until you see the moon that night. From my understanding it’s mainly a North Indian affair. It may just be linked to women coming together or related to harvest time. Unmarried women can fast too for their husbands to be !! I remember fasting even before being married – it was just a thing that you did. I must have been good because I got two husbands 😱.I did it for my first husband and now doing it for my second husband 🙄. I am consistent if nothing else. Your mini sacrifice is to protect them from harm and give them long life. As a fairly staunch feminist and independent women I have followed some debates where many say this is old hat and it’s not fair to the women. I am all for choice and nothing should be forced. So ladies if you don’t want to fast – just don’t.

You must be thinking what’s in it for the woman. Well the husband is supposed to shower them with gifts. I have educated Simon on this fact and we are currently negotiating the value of a day’s fast. We’ve established quite early on that it’s not quite a handbag. The negotiations continue. We are not supposed to do any housework and rest our under nourished bodies. We are supposed to dress up and newlyweds can actually wear their bridal gear again – that improves the cost/wear ratio somewhat. Then the icing on the cake is that you meet up with other women .All this may be sounding a little shallow 🤔. But seriously those who live near a temple will go and take part in prayers or gather together with family/friends. Southall temple comes alive at Karva Chauth. There are soooo many women looking beautiful in red shiny sparkly outfits with gold jewellery dripping and bindis adorning their foreheads. Doing the pooja and connecting with other women and the ceremony ofcourse is being conducted by male priests. I always had a chuckle over this.

Then as night approaches the women are thinking thank goodness 😅 and the search for the moon starts. We’ve all seen the beautiful moon this week in clear bright skies but oh no not on Karva Chauth. I think he intentionally plays hide and seek just to tease us. You silly women I’m just messing with you but not for too long. Phone calls are being made “have you seen it yet”. The next phase is to just walk up and down your street. The hangry point is “right we are getting in the car and searching further afield”. 🧐. Then on spotting the moon a pooja/prayer is done and you finally break your fast . At this point you also give your mother in law a gift.

So my day went something like this ..

5.30: alarm goes off . On Saturday morning ??

5.40: I am boiling milk and adding feni (vermicelli) so I can eat ! (For those of you that are wondering , I did indeed roast them the night before. )Although I am so stuffed from the night before that I struggle to do this justice.

6.00: I am back in bed

10.00: I finally get out of bed. My throat is parched but I remember I can’t drink.

10.15: I go downstairs and watch Simon and our house guest wolf their way through porridge/ croissants/coffee and fruit. I pretend not to care.

11.00: I feel the first rumblings

The next few hours pass by. I feel so weak that I stay on the sofa 😅.

4.00: I get ready. Not in a saree but dress and boots to get to the smoke for dinner.

6.15: arrive at the bar. No I don’t want anything thankyou.

8.00: get to Indian restaurant. Don’t they know what day it is? Why are they even serving food before the moon is out!!!

Official notification from temple is that 8pm is the go live time. I add on another few minutes for safe measure. Simon thanks me and we get on with dinner. The hunger pangs are all forgotten within seconds .

On a serious note as someone recently said let’s not forget the women who don’t have husbands for whatever reasons and are excluded from the celebrations. We salute you on this day where you may feel excluded.

Traditions are wonderful – even random ones that involve hunting for the moon!! Adapt and improvise- so although in town I ensured we were eating at an Indian.

It’s what’s in your heart that counts … right ? And as far as I’m concerned anything that brings women together , allows a bit of dressing up, gifts and then food can’t be bad. And who says that the men can’t join in?

And Simon know how I love eating and what a huge sacrifice this is for me 😉.

🙏🏽

Seema

(Source: someone who knows more than me 👍🏽Karva Chauth is a one-day festival that falls on the fourth day after the full moon.Karva is a word for a type of clay pot while chauth means four. )

I am vegetarian 🌱

For those who know me … you know that food is my number one love. Sorry Simon.💕

I’m a vegetarian. I’m the variety that doesn’t eat meat or fish. I’m not a vegan because I eat paneer (Indian cheese and I’m not giving that up for anyone), have milk in my tea, eat ice cream,have rice pudding and butter my toast. I am not at the stage where I can invest the energy to find replacements. Actually I think I’m just too lazy but have given up eggs 👊🏾. I’m not a pescatarian because I don’t eat fish, I couldn’t cope with the smell or those eyes even if did want to eat “seafood”🐠🦀🦐. And I’m definitely not the vegetarian that just eats chicken 🐓🤔. I have managed to be a vegetarian for my entire life but I’m not looking for a medal. It’s really not a big deal and it’s not because I am Hindu. But I thank my lucky stars I’m Indian with a love for spicy and flavoursome food.

My mother used to keep separate pots for cooking the meat for my brother and father. However this pot division slowly faded – not sure what changed. Perhaps we got better at cleaning? I’m married to a man who eats anything that moves and I’m pretty sure there is nothing that he wouldn’t eat. And at the other end my daughter is a vegan. So our fridge is constantly confused. All this translates into expensive shopping baskets that are filled with weird and wonderful ingredients and brands along with brightly coloured fruit and veg. I still find random ingredients in the cupboards that were bought with care, love and lots of money but were used just once. Who knew you could make butter out of so many things? And chia seeds can be sprinkled onto oh so many things. There is always an abundance of avocados 🥑 and hummus 👍🏽 and my fave vegetable the aubergine 🍆 here.

It pays to like fruit and veg when you are a vegetarian. Seems pretty basic right but there are some out there for whom this is not the case. Along with a strange fascination for some vegetarian foods to mimic meat. Is it just me or is that all a bit weird. Anyway if it makes you happy who am I to comment 🙄. Confession time – I gag at the thought of fresh tomatoes and celery. I can’t explain it and please don’t judge me.

Let me share some of the more ludicrous situations that I have endured as a vegetarian 🌱….

⁃ There was the time in France when I was given spaghetti and olive oil for dinner. Just yum 😋.

⁃ There was the time , oh in France again where the chicken on the rice came back without the chicken. Yes, of course the same plate.

⁃ And oh it’s my French friends again.. imagine two boiled eggs rolling around on a plate for lunch; they could at least have sliced them🤦🏽‍♀️. (I wonder why I rarely go to France).

⁃ And then there was the Paella in Madrid.

“Sorry I ordered a vegetarian paella .”

No problem I will just stand over there

(so you can see me 👀) and slowly

take out all the good juicy yummy

meaty bits. And bring it back.

⁃ yes I will be happy with just a plate of beetroot , who wouldn’t be? Why do you ask ?

When I say I’m vegetarian I expect you not to serve me with the same spoon you’ve just used to serve meat or fish! When I say I’m vegetarian please don’t say “it’s just chicken”🙄. Not having beef doesn’t make you vegetarian.When I say I’m vegetarian don’t worry about the lack of protein in my diet. When I say I’m vegetarian don’t assume that I don’t have a healthy appetite. Stop giving us such paltry portions. When I say I’m vegetarian don’t give me bland tasteless food (or get used to me asking for extra chilli). When I say I’m vegetarian don’t go into a meltdown when you’ve invited me for dinner. When I say I’m vegetarian don’t assume that I’m super healthy – chips and samosas and pani puris are all vege foods👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽. When I say I’m vegetarian don’t think I’m trying to convert you… it’s not a cult you know.🤦🏽‍♀️. And I really don’t mind if you eat meat and don’t need to hear “it was bacon that made me come back”. Jeez you haven’t been into outer space.

Happy eating people whatever your orientation 😂. I salute the restaurants’ guide to vegetarian signage ;Vs and 🌱. So you know what to avoid. And how they’ve matured from a diet of cous cous and goats cheese. Some even let us have our own menu; we’re all grown up now.

Me , I choose to be vegetarian. I survived those years of nut roasts and omelettes. I have done my penance. I cannot be turned. 🥦🥑🍆

🙏🏽

Seema

Downward Dog in Tuscany 🧘🏽‍♀️

Come to Italy 🇮🇹she said…it’s a retreat she said….all that pasta and pizza I thought. It’s Italy I thought. I’m vegetarian I thought. What could go wrong I thought. Just forgot that four letter word YOGA. ..thanks Nitasha !!!🙄

Here you go my list …Yes just a list ….in no particular order of my memories.

🔹6 nights

🔹Many places

⁃ the intellect of Pisa, the brides of Pisa, the babies of Pisa, the virgin mojito of Pisa and lets not forget our friends the mosquitoes. The yoga may stop the tower leaning ? Let’s get Professor Brian Cox on it🤔 (those who know just know ).

⁃ the hot springs of Bogna Vignoni in unspoilt Tuscan hills. Forget you read that – we want to keep this gem to ourselves. Those sexy swim hats for the spa. Fab dinners with food that kept coming😉

⁃ the handbags of Pienza … sorry the walled Renaissance town of Pienza where old talents of sketching were reawakened and pecorino cheese was tasted.

⁃ Tower of Tentennano …on top of the world (knee and thigh breaker). An adventure all the way there anyway. Coming back was more interesting , Italian farmland and google maps a bad combo and throw in 2 engineers that speak no English =lost numpties🤔. All hills and villas start looking the same in the hot sun.

⁃ Volterra … a city for prisoners and torture and hidden ruins .A city with yummy food. Who knew about this incredible place. Is it ok to do yoga in a monastery? We did🤔.

🔹Not enough hours of 🧘🏽‍♀️ . Some may argue that 5 hours/day is plenty 🤔.

🔹Too many cases of water bottles

🔹5 km walk (whoops it’s now a 16km walk….only the strong and sensible shoes survived )

🔹4 red wines🍷🍷🍷🍷

🔹Numerous cappuccinos and double espressos

🔹?? Mosquito bites 🤢

🔹1 doctor 💉

🔹1 put out local yoga teacher

🔹1 random couple wanting to befriend us

🔹Several stolen figs

🔹Kilos of grapes picked 🍇

🔹2 Prickly pears

🔹Italian Methi

🔹Verbina

🔹A few sour apples 🍏

🔹3 hitch-hikers

🔹Many tight shoulders and knobbly knees

🔹Several litres of balsamic

🔹Several litres++ of olive oil

🔹Long lingering breakfasts in the sun

🔹Tonnes of Healthy minerals

🔹Hours of sunshine

🔹Minutes of rain

But most of all a group of beautiful people who cared and shared and laughed together. We let each other be and not make judgements. And if we did it was only to observe and support. Come and meet the gang ..

The Guruji 🎓👢

I’ve only done 7miles uphill, my yoga, some emails, talked to some friends and it’s only 5am… anyone want to go for a walk? This guruji is a hard task master but a rather stylish one in Yellow boots.

Don’t mess with her or eat those dreaded chips or you’ll get the look! Did you get it? I did 🤫. Who knows where we I’ll find her in a few months time but hopefully still helping us to be the best we can be. Drop your pin on WhatsApp  Nitasha so we can find you !

Segolene – the assistant!

Be grateful that you can get to your mats and after little sleep. Little does she know that we were all scared of her or was it because we wanted to hear her say nice/beautiful/gorgeous in her French accent. So young,wise and natural -especially when she laughed with gusto. A guru in the making.

The high achiever but scatty one 🙄. 95% only-but in my world it’s at least a ‘shabaash’ (translation =well done). Her routine was I’ve lost my swim cap, I’ve left my sunglasses , I’ve left my pyjamas at the hotel, I lost my earring during my fall (but no tears!!)…Oh and by the way  I’ve broken the safe but it’s ok just passports in there. Don’t panic everyone I’m going to smile through it all and sketch our way out. That’s her … doing everything at a pace to squeeze the most out of life. 💕

The Queen of Deet 👑

Short but sweet and kind. Our entertainer for the week. Even the mosquitoes wanted a part of her or was it the wine. And then they told their friends the ants who chased her too. We know she came on the wrong holiday … thinking she’d bump into old Montelbano. No such luck…watch out Sicily!! Psssst…make sure you take me.😉

The next Yoga teacher ..🧘🏽‍♀️

Interpol are searching for a storm of ninja mosquitoes who attacked this British lady in a quiet courtyard in Pisa. It is unclear why they chose her  ….we have inside information  that it may have been her gentle kind blood. How rude of them.Brave lady kept her calm and showed us how classy an umbrella looks in the sun.Nitasha and Segolene may have created another asset for Bedford.

The Glam One 🕶

What was she worried about! She had all the gear – Sweaty Betty now have a stock shortage! Always looking glam even during a bloody downward dog. With those fabulous support pads she worked through the pain. Not missing any eye candy even in a monastery- 20 Hail Mary(s) for you!!

The engineer 📈💻

Do we have a process for this week?Have you timed the distance between the bedroom and the spa…what is the most efficient way?If not I will create one. We have to be prepared for everything everyone. Is the angle on this stretch correct ?

The one at peace “all you need is stylish love”💕lady and her delightful husband.

The patience of a saint as he became our professional and nominated photographer. A proud family man that was always jolly and ready with witty one liners.A great walking partner and hunter of sticks. Full of wonderful anecdotes that made non-yoga time more enjoyable. She was just too cool and we all wanted to be her. The living example of “in giving we receive”.

The English 🌹

She’s saying she can’t do this but has her leg around her neck and is sketching at the same time 😳.Cool,calm and collected during yoga whilst outstretching us all. She can’t accept her talents but is actually terrible at decision making 🙄. Beautiful inside and out. A new friendship – she can’t hide from me now!

Me well… I just love eating whilst shopping 👠👜

Packets of dried mangoes/nuts/any snack type you may wish for appear from my bags at regular intervals. A bikini for each day … it’s Italy.

My job is done.

My thighs need a holiday now.

My shoulders are grateful.

The parathas are calling. What no Indian good for a week. I’m surprised I’m still alive. 🤦🏽‍♀️

See you all soon.

Namaste🙏🏽

The Sari or The Saree

(A traditional garment worn by Indian women that showcases the midriff.)

Is it sari or saree? Does it really matter; after all it’s just a piece of long cloth.Well not quite. Good thing too otherwise this would be very short. 🙄

Let’s deconstruct this item of clothing.

⁃ firstly a saree is nothing without the petticoat. A tad impossible actually😉. The key point to note here is that the petticoat must be tied so tight that it nearly winds you and causes a deep indent around your tummy. The sari will cling onto the petticoat.

⁃ The blouse does what it says ; keeps you decent. But be prepared to go short,backless,sleeveless but try not to opt for the back closing ones. I can’t keep warning you.

⁃ the saree can be anything from 5-9yards in length and 2-4feet in drop (source Wiki and mum’s collection). However to a newbie wearer it can feel like a 100yards😂.It can be available in anything from cotton to chiffon to silk. Most regions of India 🇮🇳 have a type. I can think of Bandini and Benarsi 🤔.

⁃ The ‘fall’ is a protective border that gets sewn onto the bottom and underside to protect the sari and give to some weight. Many an hour was spent following mum around looking just for the right shade to match the sari. Let’s also not forget the fabric quality of the fall. And then the sewing on of fall onto the sari. It was a ritual that went on and on and on.

⁃ The palla is the glamorous element. The section thrown over your right shoulder(in most cases other than if you choose to wear it Gujrati style…don’t try this at home without a Gujrati friend). It is often the most decorated section as it swishes behind your exposed sexy back.

⁃ The pleats . These are the gathered bits at the front that make you look fatter than you are! But look wonderfully elegant if straight and even (fat chance unless you’re an expert or have had them sewn in!). This is also the part where the first safety pin is applied , if you have any sense.

I thought I would remind you (well some of you) of the first time you put on this item of clothing. In brief the sari is going to get tucked into the petticoat and then wrapped around once; followed by making some pleats;these will get tucked in around your bellybutton(Safety Pin 1);the remaining fabric will get casually thrown over your right shoulder (expert wearer) or get secured onto blouse (Safety Pin 2).

There are three scenarios that can take place.

The first is that all the above happens in about 5 minutes and you’re off to the long awaited function.

More likely the second scenario features you and your partner (how very modern of me not to say husband)standing about 6 feet away and the dialogue goes something like this …..”

Don’t move .. I’ll come towards you… no just hold the fabric taught… I’m trying to hold the sari carefullly between fingers and thumb and creating folds 🤷🏽‍♀️shit…that’s not enough pleats …carefully move back just one step. Got it. Now give me the fattest safety pin – yes the one I gave you earlier for safe keeping 🤦🏽‍♀️. Ouch no I didn’t mean to stab myself. Now to hide the tummy and throw the palla over. Right now for other safety pin , no not a big one. Yes I can walk in this, but just pigeon steps though. Let’s go before it all comes undone “.

And the final scenario would be with an expert Draper( normally mum, aunty or smartass friend who knew everything 🙄). This scenario would involve you standing like a statue with your arms up whilst you were dressed – holding safety pins.

Mum and so many women made/make it look so easy as an everyday item of clothing and not saving it for parties and special events. I am that person,but I would like to turn up to the next Sales & Marketing Meeting in one 😉. Wedding red and widow’s white will forever be in our minds. It’s the garment that gave us Mahabharata (those who know just know) and the amazingly beautiful Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sunderam (who cares about the first kiss).

Wanna try … come along and we can explore my collection. The beauty of this garment …. it’s one size.

🙏🏽

Seema

The Garba Letters

(garba is a form of dance originating from the state of Gujarat. Comes alive during Navratri)

Haalo garba ramva (come on let’s play garba)

Dear Council Jobsworth

Following on from your original note to Ms Aanal(below) I thought I would respond to your rather pointless note and reassure you that yesterday evening was just fine.

Well, who needs Harrow Leisure Centre, Brent Town Hall, Greenford Town Hall, Granby Hall or Demontford Halls…. we have Bromham Village Hall! We even had a doorman, come bouncer with a box of sticks.Sneha you’ve trained him well. But that didn’t stop a whole bunch of non Gujaratis sneaking in. That includes a 6’2” Simon😂 and even a Punjabi mother and daughter. The latter had bought her visiting mum from India to show her how we were keeping it real away from the motherland . Jai Hin 🇮🇳. Mr Modi would be proud 🤷🏽‍♀️.

The ladies came garba ready. Vivid colours,mirrored ghagra and cholis, classic sarees , countless bangles and bindis and let’s not forget the security of the safety pins .Shameless exposure of bellies and backs but still managing to look elegant if not a little sexy .I have to give the best dressed prize to Tejal I think 👏🏾… now don’t get upset the rest of you. We all looked great 😉. I wore my beautiful lengha from Baroda thanks to my resident doctor Vinita. I don’t think there was a colour that I wasn’t sporting. But Swarupa in her classy gold and black tells me “you’re missing black darling”. Manasi in her stunning fusion combo. And it was great seeing Rekha in a saree and not in her yoga gear although with all that sweating it may have been more suitable . Then the beautiful Nitasha arrived in black & orange ; even with her crazy schedule she knew she couldn’t miss this event. The children were super smart and the boys gave the girls a run for their money on this occasion. Yash wins the prize for the most handsome young man.

We can finally put into practice all that clapping Aanal taught us. Ek, be, teen, chaar , paanch- I’m making it up now. It really did work and her students did her proud including the children. Garba was great with wonderful music from the live band (how rude of me not to get the names, think Sanjeev was having great banter) who kept drifting into Hindi film songs. Parul and her gang were too cool for school – so good at every dance. I want to be that cool!! Great entertainment during what I will term “freestyle”. Then the main event – dandiya . Not easy getting people coordinating feet, hands, sticks and others 😂. The ever patient Aanal even managed to teach Simon how to play; had nightmares thinking he would hit a child 🤦🏽‍♀️. But don’t worry you Health & Safety freaks there were no reported injuries but just a few broken dandiyas. The only complaint I have is my poor poor dirty sore feet. Ofcourse I washed them before getting into bed.

I caught Ritu and Maya in the toilets – no not smoking but fixing the safety pins and outfit of course 😉. An Indian event wouldn’t be complete without an adjustment or two.A certain someone (an auntie and doctor and whose name begins with Dr K😉) wondered why they weren’t serving alcohol. Does it go well with Maataji’s songs ? We stuffed our faces with yummy food and yes I did eat a whole gulag jamun.😇. Who knew that £5 could buy such a big treat …you’re wondering now . There was bhatura and chana, samosa, spring roll , alloo tikki and one piece of mithai . Typical Gujarati food 🤣 all on one plate !!

Brings back memories of my first ever garba with old school friends Bindi and Kailas. Must have been Greenford ?? It was the place to be where the maasis looked for daughter-in-laws and son in laws . I had a lucky escape but then again I was only fourteen 😍.

Thankyou to the Hindu society and especially those were working behind the scenes. Even the location was perfect allowing Nitin (Swarupa’s husband- yes naming and shaming) and Simon to sneak off to the pub whilst we warmed up the dance floor.?

Thankyou Maya for the ever ready supply of water ! 😊

Lovely seeing lots of new friends.

Aaojo

Seema

🙏🏽💃

——————————————————-

Garba practice 5/10/18

Dear Ms Aanal

I understand from our sources that you held an illicit garba dance class yesterday here in Bedford. There was even some information about Navratri. You were trying to encourage some non-Gujaratis to join in. I suppose it’s worth a try!! 🤷‍♀️ Not only that you had ladies , children and one gentleman (I’ll call him Dr K to protect him and his wife Vishali bhen 😂). I applaud your efforts.

It appears that a certain Vinita Manjure was there under false pretences- we know she can do this type of dance. We have video footage from Varoda where she was rather wild wearing backless blouses and dancing nine nights on the trot and even spoke to boys!! Why was she there ? 🤔 But we are glad she was – a teacher’s assistant is always useful when you have students such as myself , Swarupa, Manasi, Praveena and Aparna. I also think Sneha was there to have fun but was a great support and filled in gaps in our knowledge.Simantee was graceful as ever and having shown her skills at Bengali dance she is surely the next garba queen.

Mayaji was ladylike as always and for some reason does not want to do dandiya with the boys – just too rough apparently. Swarupa … dandiya is dandiya and garba is garba 😂and thee is no you know what🥂. 🙄

So onto the actual dancing … or was it a maths class 🤔 Ek taali (one clap), Be taali (two claps)… you get the drift. Grab the dandiyas now and feel the rhythmn – one , two, three, four. five. One two three four five. Again one two three four five. 😂😂😂 now we have the basics try any of the variations, clicks , no claps , turns , jumps, bends. And don’t forget the hips!! It’s all too much and apparently they were sweating and laughing and the kids were all happy. Perfect 👌🏽

Well .. we will see how your students perform on the 20th October. I hope you have warned them about the dress code … chote chote blouses and gher wale ghaghra. We will all be there to check on their progress at Bromham Village Hall.

I think I’m supposed to say Thankyou to you at this point on behalf of the community.

SeemBeema 💕

The Auntiji – a very brief introduction

The model auntiji takes time to perfect . Years of attending functions, parties and poojas to perfect the look, the barbed comments and the oh so insincere concern.

Let me introduce you to our favourite non-relation relation , my auntiji. We all have one or scarily might be in the market to be one 😂. She can’t help it – we’ve allowed her to be this way . We’ve furnished her with false praise and information that’s allowed her to flourish.

The auntiji’s standard questions range from the following categories and sub-categories. Note these are not the Advanced Level variety. Be warned and warn your children ( by popular demand I shall be holding seminars and post auntiji therapy sessions). Because you know you won’t walk away from them 🙄. You’ve been raised proper. So let’s begin …

1. Your weight.

You’re looking very well and healthy- code for you’ve gained weight . Is something wrong – code for you’ve lost weight.

2. Your marital status

How old are you now – code for isn’t it time you were married and btw look at your poor mother ageing with the pressure.

How is your husband – code for I know you’re not together.

3. Your post marriage status

How long has it been – code for isn’t it time you had children.

Anything you want to tell me whilst rubbing her hand on your tummy ( seriously 😐 did I say you could touch me )

4. Your post 1st child status Just repeat above in early days . Don’t they think some of us did want more kids but it may not have been possible.

5. Your post children’s post school life Don’t bother to answer it’s just a ploy to extol the virtues of their offspring.

Let me not bemoan all auntijis because as per the norm 99.99% are perfectly fine and just yummy especially in 2018.. right? But for some reason we love the drama queens. These are the loudest ones with the brightest saris and suits.They are the ones who are able to hold an audience. They are the ones that love their children unconditionally whatever they may have done or indeed not done. And the forgotten uncleji … think he’s got his headphones on an watching some news channel.

I’m going to break this mould and will make sure to ask the young people if they’re having fun and what their favourite tipple is and when they are going to introduce me to their girlfriend/boyfriend. Look look I didn’t mention what they are studying 😂.

I may not graduate from auntiji school but it’s ok to fail on this one.

See you soon beta … 😉

🙏🏽