Birthday Win

Celebrating Birthdays as “grown-ups” (BAHAHA) feels a bit weird to me. We’re too old to make a fuss and just write it off as we’re kids it’s what we do, and we don’t have children so we can’t throw ourselves giant birthday parties and pretend “it’s for the kids”. So here we are. Twenty-something (some of us more “something” than “twenty”) and unsure how to celebrate. Last year, Varun went with the stealth birthday–basically pretending it didn’t happen. This year, he went for Birthday Week. (Actually, when I suggested washing dishes yesterday he aptly noted that it’s Birthday Month. I have created a monster.)

On the day before Varun’s birthday, I decided it would be a great idea to start looking for his presents. Because I love stress. Because I am a busy woman.

After calling every sports equipment store in an ever-widening circle, I finally found “Punjabi Sports” near Toronto. Somewhere in the back of my head, I made a mental note to look up Something About Cricket Equipment. Like what the bat should be made of…or whether he needs two bats for a game (like Tennis) or one (like baseball).

Varun also requested poutine for his birthday dinner. Wanting to at least pretend to be adults, I threw in salad as a compromise. I walked to the farmer’s market to buy cheese curds only to find it was closed. Like it is every Wednesday. Much more walking confirmed my suspicions: not everyone in our town buys cheese curds. In fact, most people don’t. Sigh.

Fast forward to Thursday morning. I dropped Varun off at work so I could drive to the cricket store. About 10 km away I realized I had forgotten to look up anything about cricket. I mustered up what little knowledge I had (ball, bat, wicket…Sachin Tendulkar) and prepared myself for Another Awkward White Girl Moment. Then I had a revelation: I could pretend to be Australian. Because they play cricket. And that would be less awkward.

Thankfully, the woman in the cricket store thought it was totally normal for me to walk in clueless and ready to spend money. She helped me pick out a bat for use in the park, spring-loaded wickets and a “cute” (my words) red ball. She even assured me that No, I did not need to buy two of everything.

Somehow I smuggled the whole set upstairs and got it set up while Varun napped.

Keepin’ it suuuuper classy with the cardboard box and flower wrapping paper.

And guess what: He loved it.


And not to worry, I found cheese curds: YUM.

Oh look, salad AND carrots!

In all of the birthday bliss Varun said we should have poutine every week. Wanting to avoid massive coronary shut downs, I said the only sensible thing I could think of: “How about this? For every two weeks that you work out more than 3 times per week, we’ll have poutine.” Remember the part about us being grown-ups? Maybe by the next Rana birthday…

Self portrait fail X3

How do you celebrate? What’s your favourite adult birthday so far?


Birthday Love

Happy Birthday to my best friend, partner in crime and husband, Varun!

Since I would never reveal his age online, I’ll just say this.

Two things about Varun that make me smile

1. The never-ending stream of songs that he changes the words of: Christmas songs, advertisement jingles, hymns…the surprising twists keep me on my toes. And giggling.

2. Varun’s willingness to laugh: at himself, at mistakes, at traffic, at cultural mishaps. I never know what he’ll find funny, what door he’ll jump out from behind or what form of food he’ll hide in my curls (yeah, we’re six years old).

Fear not. That’s a water gun.

Eight things about Varun that I admire

1. Love for God.

2. Loyalty. Varun loves his family and friends fiercely.

3. Integrity. His commitment to truth and character is amazing.

4. Compassion. Except toward spiders, cockroaches and poorly placed pigeon eggs.

5. Generosity. I’m pretty sure Varun would give away our fridge if it weren’t nailed down.

6. Chill-ness. Anyone who can nap without setting an alarm has my undying admiration. And kind of stresses my time-conscious self out.

Some of us take cricket pretty seriously….

7. Intellect. Give the man any two numbers and he can add them, multiply them, divide them. And make a cogent argument for most political, scientific and religious issues.

8. Dancing skills. He had me at “Bhangra”.

Adventures of a Wannabe Film Aficionado

I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between the producer of a movie, and the director. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching movies. But I only know the most famous actors and would hardly call myself a film buff.

However, this weekend, for just one day, I was a pretend Film Aficionado at the Toronto International Film Festival. Geared up with contraband brownies and water bottles, Varun, my older brother John, Vasudha and I headed downtown to the festival. Because I am OCD careful, we arrived two hours early ready to battle throngs of people.

Only there weren’t any. Oddly enough, at 8 am on a Saturday morning, the streets of Toronto were more or less empty. Go figure.

After a frustrating search for the ticket pick-up, we made our way to our first movie, Goodbye. While on line (See! There was a line, it’s good we got there early. Never mind that there were only about 20 of us.) John offered to do a Starbucks run. As we gave our orders, a middle-aged man piped up behind us.

Man: Are you going to remember all that?
John: (Quizzical look)
Me: Of course he will, he’s in law school. He has a GREAT memory.
Man: LAW SCHOOL?! Why are you wasting your money on that?
John: (Shocked silence)
Man: I just read a story about these kids that sold a company for $130 million. Business. You should go in to business.
John: Well, if I thought that having $130 million would make me happy, business would be a great thing to study.

BAZINGA. Love that guy.

Anyway. Back to the movie.

It was about a woman in modern-day Iran who is trying to leave the country, but for political reasons, encounters great opposition. The stark colors, lack of music and slow pace set a pensive and sad mood. It made me incredibly curious to learn more about Iran and what life is like there. One of the Directors was there to answer questions afterward, the other was under house arrest in Iran. What a different world.

Of course after waking up at 5:30 and sitting through an intense movie we were all ready for lunch. We picked up shawarma’s and had a picnic in a park. Then, we headed to a patio and had a celebratory round (or two) for Vasudha’s birthday! Much Monopoly Deal was played.

The Birthday Girl and Me

Sangria and Monopoly Deal. Because we're big kids like that.

Varun and John, I think my sons will be a combo of these two.

Our second movie was First Man. A fantastic self-discovery film of a French man who grew up in Algeria and returned on the eve of Algeria’s fight for independence, it was colorful, simple, honest, and it had a great soundtrack. Moreover, it was in French and I spent two glorious hours listening to my favorite language. I was reminded to spend more time reading, speaking, listening to and writing in French. Je l’aime.

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