Monsoon Wedding, A Musical. . .

Looking for a way to feel upbeat and happy again?  Seeking some humor in your life?  Searching for fun and romance in a modern setting?  Go catch the Monsoon Wedding musical currently running to packed shows at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

It's been almost 15 years since the indie film Monsoon Wedding about a Delhi family preparing for a Punjabi Hindu arranged marriage broke records at the box office.

A Colorful Character. . .

It was always the rings I noticed on Lovely Aunty's hand.  There was the huge diamond ring on her engagement finger.  It could have been five or even ten carats.  Had she told me that I would have believed it because it looked gigantic on her right hand.  

Or maybe, it looked humungous because her fingers were short and stubby?  That was my older sister, Gurpreet's unkind observation.

Then there was the emerald ring on her left hand.  It winked and twinkled in the light from the overhead chandelier as Lovely Auntie looked at the deck of cards splayed in her hand.  She curled her lip in annoyance.  

"I'll pass on this set," she'd say with assumed delicacy like a mother would turn away from a child who'd been too naughty. 

MARRY ME, MARRY ME, MARRY ME. . .

Our deepest instinct tells us that joys are increased and pains diminished when we meet them two by two. . .like geese, like penguins we seem to be pair-bonding creatures.  it takes four wings for us to fly."  - Erica Jong

My friend who has two daughters in successful marriages gives me dating advice for my niece who at age 24, is considered of 'marriageable age".  My friend is Gujarati but an emancipated one because one of her daughters is married to a Punjabi boy.  Nearly two years into the marriage, the couple couldn't be happier, she says.

"I tell all my Gujju friends, 'let your daughters dare men of all ethnicities.  How else will they decide who they want to settle down with?' "

What To Know Before Your Next Colonoscopy

Dr. Smucny orders a colonoscopy for me and my Pilates instructor who at age 28 has already had one colonoscopy and one endoscopy sniggers and states, "Hah, I  don't envy you that experience."  Hmmm . . . I'm curious and mystified as to what's gonna happen, but I think I can safely check off the box that states, "Not going to be a fun experience!"

6 p.m., the night prior: I start drinking the prep liquid as instructed, followed by two 16 oz glasses of water to be finished in the same hour.  Whew! Why did nobody warn me this should be labeled 'Draino'? In other words, once you drink your prep, anticipate incessant bathroom runs.  Add to this that I'll probably still be having loose or liquid stools for a couple days after. . .yup, colonoscopy prep is the intestinal gift that just keeps giving!

FOOLPROOF COOKING. . .

Last night the waiter put the celery on with the cheese, and I knew that summer was indeed dead.  Other signs of autumn there may be—the reddening leaf, the chill in the early morning-air, the misty evening—but none of these comes home to me so truly. There may be cool mornings in July; in a year of drought the leaves may change before their time; it is only with the first celery the summer is over.

There is a crispness about celery that is of the essence of October.  It is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.  Moreover, it is excellent, I am told for the complexion.  One is always hearing of things which are good for the complexion, but there is no doubt that celery stands high on the list.  After the burns and freckles of summer, one is need of something. How good that celery should be there at one's elbow.

                                                                                 A Word for Autumn by A.A. Milne

In theory, I'm a good cook.  I have the recipes collected from Mom, sheafs of paper now bound in a frayed pink ribbon that's unraveling in a multitude of threads.

My Punjabi Puppy. . .

My days veer between being depressed and on top of the world.  I've always been susceptible to mood swings but this erratic behavior is unnerving.  My husband mildly criticizes the Tandoori chicken I made for dinner as being too chewy, and I'm flooded with tears.  After consoling me for an hour and assuring me that the chicken was delicious even if a tad chewy, he finds me rolling on the floor that night watching a rerun of 'Friends'.  He shakes his head, baffled and unsure of what to make of the ten-headed alien that's entered his wife's body.

Valentine's Day Magic. . .

Red hearts dangle from a classroom ceiling.  Kids huddle over desks covered with cardboard and coloring pens, busy at work making V-Day cards for their mom or a special friend.  Valentine's Day is around the corner and couples the world over are thinking of ways to celebrate their love.  

The origin of Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery, but legend has it that Saint Valentine sent the first Valentine's card while locked away in prison after trying to help Christians escape the brutal Roman prisons.

Can Weather Affect your Mood?

Bay Area Weather Forecast: Rain, winds on the way next week.  As most of northern California suffers through one of the wettest winters on record, people are asking the question of how exactly does weather impact our mood.  For example, does rain make us sad?  Do cold temperatures lead to depression, hibernation and isolating ourselves from others?  How about the converse, does life seem better on a sunny day?

1. Seasonal Affective Disorder Is A Real Thing

Write your chapter wisely in 2017. . .

"New Year -- a new chapter, new verse or just the same old story?  Ultimately we write it.  The choice is ours"  --Alex Moritt

A New Year brings infinite new possibilities. A clean slate.  A reason to erase past mistakes and start afresh. We all know that resolutions don't always stick. But for a shot at real happiness, try penning a set of personal commandments (an idea borrowed from best-selling author Gretchen Rubin).

I would suggest writing them down and keeping them handy. This may make you laugh, but I have mine scribbled on a post-it note stuck to an ancient, long-expired Bed & Bath coupon. Anytime I'm stuck in traffic, listening to Justin Beiber’s 'Love Yourself' repeat itself for the 4th time in a 60-minute window, I find myself pulling out my handy-dandy list and ruminating on what's important.

Here's my list. . .to help you get started on your own:

  1. More adventures.
  2. More creating.