One Year Later


Wow. It’s been 442 days and two birthdays since my last post on MAdo. Last time I pressed Publish on my WordPress dashboard, I was 22.  Now I am Three Million and One :P

There is so much to share that I am unsure of where to start! One year of life in a new, bigger city (Mumbai), one year of my new job (making me an engineer-turned-teacher-turned-editor), the quarterly visits home (bringing with it such adventures as checking into the wrong airline and This is your captain speaking. We have a slight delay as we are unsure where our co-pilot is—we’ll get to that :D), and much more.

I’ve been wanting to get back to writing regularly here at MAdo and over at Summer in Breswana since quite some time and strongly since August 2013. It feels wonderful to know at least a few people like what I write and that I get occasional nudges to get back to writing. But alas, procrastination; quoting a good friend: Write, Lazybum! So, to the same friend, I handed over the ‘responsibility’ of making me write my first post this year. Has any famous person said Information is Power? No? Yes? I don’t know, but it is. Two weeks later, the aforementioned nudger, Potter*, is withholding key information (related) from me :\ This is the ransom. Hehe. 1000 words (are we there yet? :P).

I’m not much of a ‘birthday celebrator’, but turning Three Million and One (24) this year (August 24) was quite special for several reasons, not least of all for all the amazing gifts. When you’re in a new place, settling in, making new friends and trying to keep existing relationships back home from withering away, more than the physical act of receiving a gift, it is the warmth and thought behind the act that makes you appreciate the people in your lives. As Maria Geography* and many others already know, I find it so difficult to throw away even the smallest piece of paper with even the slightest share of emotion attached to it. So if you ever do give me a Thank You! or more likely a I hate you! note, you should know that I’m going to save it forever (or until I die, whichever is earlier). In this post, I share a few of the amazing personalized gifts I have received this year :) If I’ve not shown yours, may be I’m too selfish (P.S. Jack Donaghy* is teamfish :P) to share it with the rest of the world :) <7

One day before my birthday, my team surprised me with this COFFEE-CHOCOLATE-HOGWARTS cake :D I love coffee. I love chocolate. And of course, I love Harry Potter. And when you mix all three, you get this:

Hogwarts Cake

<7 The heartmelt-y cake was baked by my amazing colleague Anthea (Jeanette’s Cake Studio) :)

The same day, ‘birthday eve’, I was given a gift bag by Potter, with clear instructions not to open any of the gifts until midnight, when I actually turned Three Million and One (technically, that would be around 3 PM, the next day :P). I did wait until midnight; the gift bag contained a chocolate bar, two pairs of scissors (! :D, We’ll get to that story :) ) and an envelope with a very familiar seal 0_0

Hogwarts Acceptance LetterWhat coincidence that my flatmate and I saw a white owl on the tree outside my bedroom just hours before I opened this. At point I actually said, Hoot hoot, give me my letter! :P Take that Vanderbilt :P Hogwarts, Michigan State, Rutgers and Strathclyde (Glasgow), all the wonderful places I’ve got acceptance letters from. Hehehehe. :D

On my birthday, when I turned up at work, I found this wonderful birthday card on my desk. What a wonderful way to begin a day! :D MOAR Harry Potter:

Harry Potter and Batch 27

Part of my work involves training, and during my birthday, I was involved with the training of the 27th batch of editors. I love how Track Changes has been incorporated into my card :D Much like the cake, When fandoms collide… :P This is the inside of the card. The front had a Slytherin (<7) crest, and the back was signed by the six editors in the batch :) Even without this gift, Batch 27 is my ‘favourite’, along with Batch 24! :) (I love the rest of you too! :P I really do! :))

Harry Potter and Batch 27 back

Shortly later that Saturday, Potter, aforementioned nudger, gifted me these cupcakes! :D MOAR HARRY POTTER.


FF: Felix Felicis! :) The socks because I tend to (used to) work late and too much, like Dobby. Hehehe. I CAN IS FREE!!! Note “And one” from the “Three Million And One” in the below image! :D Many heartmelt-y thanks to Shubha Varier at The Bake Lounge for the cupcakes :) <7


The last one I’m sharing is more a farewell gift than a birthday gift. Artistically Amazing Alisha Aranha (Maria Geography :P), who almost single-handedly runs Scribble Foundation, drew me, with all of my ‘awesful’ characteristics :D


More than a paragraph, Alisha Aranha deserves at the very least an entire blog post dedicated to her and her efforts at Scribble Foundation. In my next post, I will write more about Alisha <7 and Scribble Foundation, and how you can help :)

(I can explain everything Alisha has written in the caricature :P We’ll get to that! :P)

It wasn’t over with just the weekend gifts. I had the best start to the following week. MOAR chocolates greeted me when I walked up to my workstation the next Monday. Homemade chocolates <7


I’m sure all I need to do whenever I feel sad is to visit this blog post to know how lucky how I am to have such wonderful friends! :) <7

It feels so good to hit the Publish button after so long. I promise the next post will be much earlier than 442 days. Hehe.

*MAdo aliases for actual people. I do call them that in ‘real life’ too :P :D Stories behind their names—we’ll get to that :)

Thirties are the prime time. It’s like the twenties, except with money. ~ @czesooeSummer in Breswana

(Yes, I just quoted myself :P)

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. ~ Hubert H Humphrey



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