Showing posts from 2010

Turkish Delight by Abigail Mathias

SoundCloud Audio by Abigail Mathias
A travel piece on Turkey that also featured on the mygola blog...

Music holds the key to my soul. When it comes to a live music concert, I’m usually pretty kicked to attend. Hitching a train from Bombay to Bangalore for a Roger Waters’ concert with a bunch of office colleagues, including my boss, is certainly a memory I’m waiting to relate to my kids.

Eight years and two children later, one of the biggest acts in music history and certainly in my book, were headed this way.

I couldn’t believe it. U2 was in town. Ok so they weren’t particularly in my town but they were going to be somewhere in the vicinity. Actually they were going to be a four-hour flight away in Istanbul but hey, it was a great opportunity to see Istanbul as well, right. Luckily my amazing husband, agreed.

Of course a few people thought I was insane to take a five-month-old baby on a vacation. What they didn’t understand was that I needed the holiday…

The battle of the bulge By Abigail Mathias

I took my first Zumba class just two months after my second baby was born. It was time to face the outside world and shed the excess weight. I first heard about Zumba from my sister who attended classes in Canada. The idea was intriguing – burning 600 calories in one hour at a workout that’s aimed at being fun. I couldn’t wait to start.

According to the official website; Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program. It was first conceived by celebrity fitness trainer Beto Perez in the late 1990s and soon gained popularity worldwide.

It is probably no coincidence that my Zumba instructor, Amani Abassy has a permanent glow on her face. She’s a self-confessed Zumba addict who is constantly motivating her students and urging newcomers to give the class a try.

“I started my first class in 2008 when Zumba was relatively unheard of in the Middle East,” says Amani. The growing popularity of her classes in Kuwait is obvious from …

Four days without a laptop makes one weak

By Abigail Mathias

I couldn’t bear being apart any longer. I willingly sent my laptop for repair,
knowing pretty well that I was leaving it vulnerable to outside forces. Thank
heavens it is finally back home.

My laptop is about five years old which in computer years makes it way
past its expected expiry date. It has been working decently, contrary to what
many would have me believe. Yes it is super slow, but I’ve gotten pretty
used to starting the laptop and getting myself a cup of tea (or two) before
sitting down to work.

However I was getting more and more frightened of having the laptop
collapse at the very touch of a button. A few weeks ago I hesitatingly
took it to see if there was some hope of giving the machine a facelift
of sorts. Unfortunately the laptop’s been acting up since its return.

As I type this, the text keeps shifting in between lines without warning and
certain alphabets fall off without hesitation. Arggggh! Thank heavens spell
check still works. Perhaps the laptop’s got withdraw…

The eye in the sky is looking at you

Does God exist? I sure hope so.
I hate it when people shove religion down your throat - priest, parent or politician, its not always easy to practice what you preach. Its especially annoying to meet someone who's suddenly found God and expects you to drop everything and follow suit because you aren't living right in their eyes. Excuse me, but who died and made you God;)

Yes God is good and he or she is whatever you want him or her to be. God is in the eyes of a child who's intentions are pure. God is in a sunset. God is probably in every sunrise too. He or she is in every act of charity and in every storm that comes our way. And yes God is often dealing with fools who make up the rules as they go.

I think the lyrics of this song speak for themselves. Its not overtly preachy and makes a lot of sense. Gob Bless you Alan Parson and RIP Eric Wolfson.

Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of Chances before
But I'm not …

Idol Worship

Another season of 'American Idol' has come to a close. My husband is only
too delighted. After many months of finding his wife and son glued to the
television set every weekend, he can finally reclaim his family and the
remote control.
So what is it that gets us hooked on to AI? How do contestants for a singing
show become household names? Perhaps it’s the singing, the quirks or
Simon Cowell’s unusual remarks.
This year I was rooting for a 24-year-old contestant named Crystal
Bowersox. Not just did she have an amazing voice, (When was that the only
prerequisite for the show?) Bowersox seemed unlike previous contestants in
other ways too. She was bold enough to be herself and not get swayed by the
judges. She also happens to be a single mother.
It must have been hard to leave a child who is less than a year old, for that
one in million shot at winning a TV contest. Bowersox is no stranger to
hardship. Shortly after the finale she recalled life barely a year ago. As she
hoped to…

Children definitely from heaven

Watched a remarkable movie on the weekend. The kind that lingers with you long after the final credits have rolled. It didn't even have any special effects or mind blowing action sequences. But it did hit home.

Children of heaven is the story of two young Iranian children who's world revolves around the simple persuits of life. Nine-year-old Ali and his younger sister Zahra realise that their parents are struggling to survive. Their simple world is devoid of cell phones, Ipods and even coloured television.

In his attempt to help his mother with the groceries, Ali manages to misplace Zahra's shoes, her only pair to wear to school. Ali tries in vain to find the missing shoes but is left with the only option of offering his own sneakers to his sister. Though the shoes are too big for Zahra, she too has no other choice but to wear them. The siblings don't just share the shoes every day, they also share the anxiety of each other as Zahra rushes to get home in time to offer …

10 rules for writing

Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writing, The Gaurdian came up with 10 points shared by various authors. I'm sharing my favourite, Ms. Atwood's.

Margaret Atwood's rules for writing fiction

1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.

2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.

3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.

4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.

5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.

6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.

7 You most likely need a thesaurus, …

What happened to my city?

Yes Bombay is my city. Mine. I may technically not be Maharashtrian by birth or ration card, but yes Bombay is also mine. At least I made it mine when I was growing up in it. It shaped my thoughts and perceptions and allowed me to breathe. It is home and its even mentioned on my passport, so geographically and emotionally it is mine.

I never felt more attached to Bombay than when bomb blasts rocked the city during my tenth grade exams. The feeling heightened when riots ravaged the city like no one ever imagined they could. Many years later the same feeling came rushing back when terrorists hijacked the city and innocent every day people were held at ransom. I may have left the city, but it never left me. I guess when I left, I lost all authority of caring for the city. I'd like to think that's not true.

Bombay used to wake up to a multitude of voices that sang in harmony. Now anyone who stands up to bullies is almost certainly facing a lone battle. Has the city lost its voice? …