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Testing the waters

I always wished to learn swimming some day in my life. But I realized that it was more of a need than want when we booked a Snorkeling tour a few years ago during our Goa trip but could not get into the water as the coordinators warned us not to try if we have don’t possess this basic life skill. Imagine going on a boat to snorkel, where rest of the folks enthusiastically dived into water and we were sitting inside the boat like stupid dumb spectators killing time by watching others do it. That day I decided that I will learn swimming some day. Like a lot of other things on my checklist, this one was forgotten soon. Well, there weren’t many opportunities to learn when we were in India. We moved to Sydney, got our kids admitted to swimming classes and inquired for Adult classes. Unfortunately there were advanced classes for adults but no basic ones. Last year our local Aquatic centre launched Beginner lessons for adults. We kept procrastinating as there were other priority tasks (as is always the case). One fine day when Abbas went to renew Mantam’s swimming lessons, he called me and said “We’ve been pushing this to the backlog for ages. I’m getting both of us enrolled. Let’s do it.” I was shocked, “Whattt? We can’t afford it now, we have too many things going.” Abbas “Arey, we will always have too many things going. Let’s do it.” Me replies “Errrr, if you say so, fine! Let’s do it then!!”

 

Each group has 4 students and one instructor and they conduct 30 minutes class every week. Abbas and I were in the same group and two other men. I missed the first class! Abbas came home and told me that other two guys are also not complete amateurs. I was a nervous wreck before my first class. Abbas could float and also move ahead in water, although he didn’t know the techniques. In my case, I could hardly even stay under water for more than a few seconds. The D day arrived and when I spoke to the instructor, she asked me where should she begin from. I told her that from the most basic level as I have never ever done anything in water! She tried to hold my hand and drag me forward, and told me to lift my feet from the ground. I was worse than the kids who learn swimming. My feet refused to budge. She gave me a pool noodle but nay, my feet were as adamant as before. She then procured a kind of waist band that helps people float from somewhere. With too many gears to lean on to, in my first class I learnt just lifting my legs from the ground but they were still diagonally immersed in water. Phew!

 

We started going on Saturdays to practice. We bought a pool noodle for me to practice. The fun part about going over the weekend was that a lot of other parents came with their children to teach them. In our case, the roles were reversed. Mantam were my teachers, strict ones at that. I was the tantrum throwing child saying I just couldn’t do it. They would comfort me, encourage to do better, applaud when I did better. I thoroughly enjoyed being a kid to my doting daughters. These practice sessions helped me so much. I let go of the waist band in my third class. With due progress, I learnt to float without any clutches. I was on cloud nine the day I floated by myself, without any help. I missed one more class due to flu. Altogether I took about 7 classes, at the end of the term, I was able to float and swim the distance of a metre on my own. We have decided not to go for any further classes. We need to practice more and more with our patient, in-house, loving instructors.

 

Any of you who has been thinking of learning some new skill, but never got to do it due to fear or other commitments taking priority, I insist that you do it on a whim right away. Trust me, tomorrow never comes. Live in the moment and make the most of it.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Driving diary – Part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2:

Practising with Abbas pretty much came to an end after that incident. Then came the month of March and I picked up the phone to call the driving instructor my friend had recommended. It was a landline number and nobody answered my call, I left a voicemail with my number and requested to call me back. A few days passed but there was no response. I called back in the second week of March and Mr.H picked up. he said tht I was too fast in saying my phone number that he couldn’t comprehend my phone number, gah! Unfortunately I was too late and he was going to be out of the city the following weekend. And I could only take classes over the weekend. So I booked classes in the 3rd weekend of the month.

In the first class, I drove quite decently. I asked H if I should postpone the driving test as we hardly had any time to prepare as there was hardly any time to practice.It was too early for him to say anything but Abbas told me that there is no rush and it was better for me to reschedule the test. We moved the test date to 11th April. With some breathing space, I took 6 classes in all over three weekends, 1 hour class every Saturday and Sunday. H’s way of teaching was so plain and simple that I could easily grasp. I grew more and more confident with handling the four wheeled demon.

On most Saturdays I would drive like a dream. H used to say “You are really smart. Well done” And the veyr next moment I would make one mistake after the other. It was funny sometimes all the silly errors I would commit. Once H told me to take the right most lane and I had the right indicator on even after changing lane. I was under the impression that he wants me to take right turn. H said “Why don’t you turn the indicator off?” I retorted with “Because I want to turn right”, And guess what, he pointed towards a couple of big bright signs right in front of my eyes that read ‘No Right Turn’. I was always good at 3 point turn and kerb side parking but sucked at Reverse parallel parking. H taught me an easy way to reverse parallel park and I started doing it perfectly. And guess what! That day he made do a kerbside park and I did a totally crappy job.

H was a funny man, he would sometimes get stressed when I made mistakes but immediately try to lighten the moment. If I ever sped up and exceeded teh speed limit, he would say “If you like pushing a lot, don’t push the accelerator, push me out of the car”. If I rotated the steering wheel more than necessary, he would say “The steering wheel is not your husband. Control your emotions”. There is this one place where the speed has to be less than 40. As soon as the 40 zone ends, H would say “After this sign, you can increase the speed. But that doesn’t mean you can push accelerator to 100. Keep it below 50”. It might not sound funny when I write it here but when H spoke with his Iranian accent and his dramatic expressions, it was hilarious. When I would crack up, he would say “Are you laughting (read laugh-ting) to me?” H would keep telling me that I either stop my car too close to the stop line or too far. I started working on it and was getting better. Once at a traffic signal, I stopped at what I thought was the right distance from the stop line and at the very same instant a car came to my left and stopped way ahead a of me. I asked H “Have I stopped at right distance?” He nodded in agreement. I asked him “What about the car to our left?” He instantly replies “He already has the DL. Once you get yours, you can also do that!”

In between the classes, I drove a couple of times with Abbas and even he could feel the difference in my driving. But his passenger vision had not gotten any better and he still thought I drove too much into the left side of my lane. And the very next class I started intentionally placing the car towards the right and H freaked out and asked “What happened to you?” When I told him why I was driving the wat I was, he said “Don’t drive with your husband any more” Hahaha. As days passed, Abbas started saying things like “You might get your DL in second attempt”. Nobody, known to us, had ever passed the driving test in our suburb in the first attempt as it is known to have difficult routes. Abbas had passed at his 4th attempt. The day before the test, Abbas said “In the remote likelihood that you get the DL tomorrow, I would be doomed for life”

So folks, the D-day finally dawned and I had taken the day off. The test was to begin at 10 AM. I hadn’t had a good sleep the previous night. H came at 8:45 to practice for an hour before the test. I drove well by consciously remembering all the mistakes I had done in the previous classes and not repeating them. Though I committed a few new trifle ones instead. When we reached the RTA at 9:45 and got out of the car, I had a stomach-churning feeling. I was very nervous. But I observed that H was even more stressed than I was. When my name was called out, he accompanied me. The officer my signature on a form and said go to your car, I’m coming. H wished me good luck but he was visibly worries for me.

I got into the car, put my seat belts on, started the car, officer did the customary indicator checks and got in. He just said that we will drive around the local area today. Whenever I ask you to turn left or right, do so. If I don’t say anything, keep driving straight. He did exactly that like a robot. I kept telling myself that I will not forget anything, and give my best shot. I drove at the right speed as per the road marking, used indicators diligently, didn’t miss a single shoulder and mirror checks. I might have stopped a bit close to the stop line once. And one mistake I did was during the 3 point turn (which apparently was my strong point) after going forward, coming backwards and then I was supposed to go forward. I used the indicator, did my head checks and observations but guess what I forgot to change gear. As I slowly let go of the brake, I felt that the car was slightly moving backwards. Immediately I changed gear and moved forward.

After we came back, I parked the car. The officer and I went back inside RTA. H came almost running to know how the test went. I told him that I was alright. The officer called out my name and I had butterflies in my stomach. He said, with the same robotic expressionless voice, “Congratulations, you passed”. Believe me, it sounded too good to be true. I just couldn’t wait to tell Abbas and make him fall off his chair. H was finally relieved and was very proud. That, my friends, is how I succeeded in achieveing what I thought was not my cup of tea.

PS: For those curious, Abbas is still not able to believe that I got the licence.

PPS: I have kept my precious I-got-my-DL-in-the-first-attempt trump card to use in occasions if and when he tries to show me upper hand while driving

Special thanks to all you lovely people (you know who you are) for the encouragement. Wouldn’t have done it without you.

Love,

Seema

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Driving diary – Part 2

Continued from Part 1 here:

After my initial goal of getting my driving license flew out of the window, it left us alone till I turned 31. That one year went by with endless running around over the weekends for house hunt, selection appointments and tonnes of other commitments. As the next birthday dawned I realized how I had one item on my checklist before I turned 30 but a whole year passed by without me sitting behind the wheels. I wondered if I would ever get that box ticked ever in my life (Yeah, I can get a bit dramatic from time to time). Whenever I would look at women driving on the road so confidently, I would tell myself how I had failed at learning this life skill and had to always be dependent on Abbas. I had given up the slightest hope of driving. Let alone aiming at getting a license.

And then the universe conspired to slam me with so many of my friends and acquaintances getting their driving licenses. Although I was happy for all of them from the bottom of my heart, it drove me nuts and made me feel like a total loser. I slowly started asking Abbas to let me drive and practice when we went out together. But husbands, I tell ya! Abbas would pant, yell, sigh, scream, hallucinate in the passenger seat and make me go bananas. He once shouted at me thinking I was driving too much towards the left that he thought I was going to bang all the parked cars to my left like some Rohit Shetty movie. We would then return to our designated seats to regain normalcy.

One of my friends informed me that she had got the DL on her 5th attempt. She told me how the officer almost yelled at her saying “You will kill me”. She insisted that if she could do it, anyone could. The only key is to not give up. It stuck with me. Also there were posts by RM and DM about how they got their DLs and the thought of getting DL started haunting me. One of my friends M got her driving license in February and told me how her instructor was amazing and gave me his contact number. I declared to Abbas that I was going to book my driving test first. I would keep procrastinating otherwise. If I had a date fixed, I would certainly work towards it. So we booked 31st March for the driving test.

There were almost 2 months at my disposal to get ready to face the demon (In this case the Driving Test Officer). We had too many things going in February, so I decided to start taking lessons from the instructor in March. I thought I would practice with Abbas in February. Abbas would let me drive only in quiet eerie streets as he would lose his mind as soon as he sat in the passenger seat. One evening when I was in high spirits about driving, I said that I would drive to our favourite restaurant. All was well till I did some silly mistake and Abbas yelled at me. I totally went blank and my mind wandered elsewhere. I jumped two signals, Abbas snapped! He lost his temper and I was too stunned to react. I don’t know how we reached the place. We parked the car and had our meal without any conversation with each other. We were only talking to Mantam and in our own heads. I kept asking myself how I could jump signals and that I had been a hazard on the road. One voice in my told me that I must never drive ever again in my life, the other backed Abbas and supported his reaction, and the last one calmed me down and asked me to get the keys and drive back home again or this incident would prove a major setback again in my driving journey. I had to overcome it by driving again at the earliest.

When we walked towards the car park, two voices in my head were battling with each other – to drive or not! As we reached the car, Abbas, who was silent till then, brought his right hand towards me and handed me the car keys and smiled. I grabbed it, I just had to! I drove decently back home although he had to park the car as I was still confused about the direction in which the car moves in reverse gear! Sigh….

To be continued….

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s up?

It’s been a while since my last post? This year after the Blogathon, I had vowed to be regular throughout the year. Almost everyday, I have had a blogpost drafted in my mind but somehow other mundane chores take priority on most days. On remaining days, it’s my slumber!

I just want to write down what’s been happening in our lives in my favourite bullet points:

  • First things first, We got the  much awaited council approval of plans for our home on 20th of Feb (Co-incidentally the same day 3 years ago we had got our Australian visa grant letter). Subsequently, we also received the letter of authority to commence construction by the end of February. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait for the construction to kick start. But as the old adage goes, “Man proposes and God disposes”, March dawned with heavy and continuous rains. There has been no breather since and it’s going to rain cats and dogs till the end of this month. In summary, we are just waiting while paying our monthly installment for a piece of land. Sigh!!
  • I have been practicing driving with Abbas (only to increase his blood pressure everytime he sits in the passenger seat). I have booked my test on 31st of March. I booked driving lessons too, just to be thorough with rules. Although I have no hope of passing in the first attempt (No human that I know of has passed in my suburb in their maiden test), I am determined this time to keep at it. Thanks to RM, Maya, TP, Roopa and some of my other friends here who were as scared as me but went ahead and gave the tests till they achieved that lucrative Licence. I am hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.
  • This year when we went to enroll Mantam to the swimming classes, Abbas told me that the adult beginner class has slots too and we grabbed the opportunity with both hands and got enrolled. I must write a separate post on our journey.
  • Mantam’s school music band conducts try-outs for kids when they enter Year 3. Mannu was sleected for flute and Tammu for Clarinet. Mannu had already completed her basic course in Drums and was so passionate about it, so we requested if there was an option for her to do drums instead of flute. Initially they denied but later told us that there is a spot available for drums. Tammu had also done keyboard last year but we saw that her interest in keyboard had hit rock bottom by the end of the year, so we let her go with Clarinet. They have lessons every Monday after school and rehearsals every Monday morning before school.
  • I had joined a bootcamp near office and went atleast twice a week but ever since the Monsoon season started, workouts have taken a back seat.
  • While we are talking about learning new skills, I have learnt to make the heart pattern on coffee that the baristas make. We have a professional coffee machine at workplace where we start from the scratch by grinding the coffee beans. After several failed disastrous attempts, I am now able to make the heart pattern and planning to slowly graduate to the leaf pattern.
  • Mantam are continuing with the gymnastics classes this year too. But they don’t have the same enthusiasm as last year. Abbas and I are wondering if we should let them continue or quit. We did ask them a couple of times but got very neutral answers.
  • Mannu got selected in her school’s dance group this year while Tammu got selected in the T-Ball team.
  • Too many things going on our lives and we are loving it. 2017 has been a great year so far and we hope it continues to be so

How have you all been? How’s this year treating you so far?

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Driving diary – Part 1

Started this with a part 1 as I know I will have many parts to follow.

The first time I sat in that dreaded seat behind the steering wheel was when I turned 18. My Annu (dad) wanted me to get a driving license. He took me in his car early morning one day to a barren land and asked me to try my hand. I still remember my first attempt at trying to do a U-turn, which went on to become an O turn as I didn’t even know that the steering had to be maneuvered back to straighten the wheels after the U is complete! I hated shifting gears to the core. The car would behave like a living being with it’s own mood swings as it would stop oddly out of the blue. My dad got me enrolled in a driving class to teach me how to tame the strong-willed monster. I finished my course and somehow got the license, don’t ask me how. I never drove again!

Marriage happened, kids happened, moving cities happened and we bought our first car Bulu in Bangalore when I was 25, which was 7 years after I had received my DL and had stopped driving. Abbas went to a driving school, learned to drive and got his DL. He encouraged me to go too and I obeyed. Again I went for a few classes and discontinued on the pretext that I wouldn’t be able to drive with such young kids in tow. (But actually I chickened out, I thought it was not my cup of tea). I would tell Abbas that if I would learn to drive, he would not be left with any responsibilities that he can’t easily shove on me.

Cut to life in Sydney. I was super happy to know that most cars here are Automatic. My biggest pet peeve with driving was shifting gears and the car shutting down while I did so. That fear was eliminated now. Abbas took his lessons and got his DL here at his 4th attempt. That did discourage me as I really admired his driving skills back in India. The fact that a skilled driver like him flunked his first three attempts was reason enough for me back out yet again. But Abbas encouraged me saying that it would be easier for me than him. Because he had to unlearn a lot of habits of flouting rules in India and then learn to follow them, while I would be learning from the scratch and he thought I was good at grasping and following instructions.

I went ahead and booked my Driver’s Knowledge Test (DKT) and passed it at first attempt. That was such a morale booster. Abbas encouraged me to quickly book some classes and get going. I must also mention Harvy and VJ who motivated, pushed, threatened and checked on me to grab the bull by its horns, errr steering wheel! I booked a class with the guy who had taught Abbas. He was an old man with a weird sarcastic sense of humor (or the lack of it). I really couldn’t follow what he tried to tell me. Every sentence of him was heavily loaded with oodles of sarcasm that I wouldn’t know if the rule he told me was for real or if he said it ironically. He was a bit chauvinist too in his thought process and I detested him to the core. I went for two classes and told Abbas that I would never go with him again.

Then came a gap as I had forgotten about driving again. Slowly when my 30th birthday was approaching, I told myself that I must get my DL at least before I turn 30. With a sudden burst of determination running through nerves, I enrolled yet again to another driving class. This time the instructor was a very patient guy who was very methodic in his way of teaching. I enjoyed the classes and went regularly. After a few classes, he told me “You are driving well. You know all the rules but you just need to practice more before going for the test. You have a car and your husband has a license. Why don’t you regularly practice with him? I have taught you everything but you just need to practice to get a steady hand and more confidence.” I really appreciated his honesty, unlike some other driving schools that try to discourage people and in turn make them book more classes. Happily, I thought I would practice with Abbas and book a test soon.

The practice never happened for some reason or the other. Maybe we didn’t give it so much importance. Once when we went out for dinner, I told Abbas that I would drive. He sat in the non-driver-seat in the front for the first time in many many years. He started yelling that I was going to hit all the parked cars on the left. His voice affected me and I just couldn’t drive as smoothly as I did with my instructor. I gave it back to him and thought we must try during day time in an empty area first. That never happened at all!! Because we became busy with planning our India trip. My 30th birthday flew past without any mention of my weak goal….

To be continued…

PS: If you are hoping that this series will end with me talking about how I finally got the DL, then I’m hoping the same as you. I haven’t yet booked my driving test. Started this series to document the journey and to receive some inspiration and encouragement to give the driving test.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Day 30 | Fitness funda

The titles of my post these days seem to be inclined to alliteration due to Mantam stressing on it lately in their stories. I digressed even before beginning the post!!

I am a person who had never even done simple stretches or danced in the name of workout. In Jan 2015, when I joined a new client I noticed that some of my colleagues there go to boot camp. On enquiry I learned that every week day from 12:15 to 1, workout classes are conducted in the park across the office’s street. My colleague Sups asked me to join her if I was interested. She told me that one week was free and that I could continue further if I liked it. By then I had put on so much weight that I grabbed the opportunity with all my body parts (pun intended!)

I still remember the first class that I attended, I could not even do 10% of what others in the class were doing. I was huffing and puffing and even before reaching halfway, I plonked myself under the shade of a tree giving up. The instructor told me to take it easy as it was my first class and told me a line that has stuck with me even now, “Don’t compare yourself with the other people in this class. They have come a long way to reach this level of fitness. In every class, compare your performance with that that of your previous class.” Although I could not continue that class, I laced up and showed up class after class. Tried to outperform the feat I had achieved till then with each passing class.

I was getting fitter, lifting heavier weights, mastering my boxing strokes, sprinting faster and longer, doing more reps of the same exercises that I could not even do initially. It was going great. But because I did not mend my eating habits, I did not see any significant change in my weight or inches. My other two colleagues and close friends Harvy and Sanyo volunteered for the “Member for the month” program conducted by the bootcamp instructor. They would take 1 person training class every week, for four weeks. Their goals before the program would be noted down, their weight and inches would be measured. They would be trained for the four weeks to achieve their goals. We saw the transformation in these two girls over the next one month and it was like magic. I too was tempted to try it out. I roped in Sups if she would like to ta along with me. I was not game for doing it alone. Sups readily agreed.

We signed up for the program, our instructor Dave took down our goals (which was mainly to lose inches), he measured out weight and inches, he asked us to sprint 400 metres and noted down the time we took to complete it and then we began our journey. Dave was amazing to check on us, monitor us, motivate us to stay focused. At the end of the four weeks, we had achieved some impressive numbers. Our running speed had increased. We felt fitter and better about ourselves. And then the India vacation happened, I came back and joined the bootcamp and continued for about 2-3 months. Then suddenly I developed neck sprain and the doctor advised to take a break from the bootcamp for 2-3 weeks. Slowly the fitness drive decreased inversely affecting the weight and inches. To add more fuel to the fire, I got released from that client and moved to a different location.

I did join a gym which was located in the same building as my client’s office. But I was asked to move again after a month. I lost the deposit I had to pay to get the membership, plus they charged me 4 weeks’ fee as notice. I felt guilty of wasting money and didn’t bother joining any other place. It was a good decision because they still had me shuttle between locations every now and then. But over time, I gained so much weight now that I am finding it hard to walk at a good speed. I pant for breath even if I have to briskly walk to catch a train. I have let the slumber damage my fitness levels alarmingly. I am trying to get back to track now.

Luckily, I found a bootcamp near my office just last week. And the icing on the cake is that it is free of cost. Because it is free, the classes have to be booked ahead and it works on first come first serve basis. The latest slot available was on 10th Feb and I made no delay in booking it. I also managed to book the whole of following week already. Can’t wait to get back to the groove and treat my muscles with delicious exercises. Did I tell you that my favourites, by the way, are boxing and strengh training (because my upper body is quite strong. My bootcamp instructor used to call me Junior Tyson 😀

Will be editing this post in a while to add some photos. 10 more minutes to go before the clock strikes 12. So I got to publish this post first.

Updated:

With pictures of bootcamp and also my first ever 14K marathon in Sydney. Sanyo, Harvy and I did it together and had loads of fun all the way because of one another’s company. Mantam and Abbas were super proud of me 🙂

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Boxing with Harvy

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Sups and I pumping iron

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The bootcamp scene

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What I came home to after completing the marathon

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At the finishing line

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My proud daughters

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Mystery Box & Signature Dish

You must guess by now what I’m talking about? Yes!!! I’m talking about the reality show Masterchef Australia. This is the only show apart from Spelling Bee that we, as a family, watch on TV. During the last season, Mantam also watched every episode with keen interest and started giving me comments on every dish I cooked as if they were Gary, George and Matt. What started as fun conversations somehow inspired me to apply for the next season when there were ads asking if you had it in you? On a whim, I sat down to fill up a big questionnaire consisting of 60 odd questions and submitted my application for Masterchef Australia season 9. I had read on one of the previous contestants’ blog that she had applied for consecutive 5 years to get an invitation for the audition. Hence I forgot about the application and went about my life as usual.

To my surprise, in a couple of days when I casually checked my mailbox, I received an invitation to the audition of Masterchef. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I thought I must be hallucinating. In the evening when I reached home, the kids came to hug me as Abbas had told them about the audition. They were super excited. I told them I couldn’t go coz if I got selected then I would have to commit a few months of my life to the show. I was simply not prepared for it at this stage when we have our mortgage on the cards and also no support from family here to help Abbas. Honestly, I was too nervous to go and cook on such a big platform. I cursed myself “What was I thinking when I applied for it in the first place?” Mantam started giving me all the advice that I have raised them with “Mumma, participation is more important. Don’t worry about the results. You must go Mumma” They even started talking about how they will help around the house and began taking up a lot of responsibilities around the house as if preparing for my absence already. I asked them “What if I really go away and when I come back, you all would say that I’m not required here anymore?” They hugged me and assured that it would never happen. Mannu even warned me “Mumma, don’t go and purposely cook bad food so that you don’t get selected and get to be with us.” Tammu asked “ Mumma, do your parents watch Masterchef Australia? If you come on TV they will be able to see you.”

One of my friends H gave me a very practical advice “Don’t worry about crossing the bridge before it is constructed. Just go and gain the experience and have fun.” With Abbas and the kids too motivating me alongside, I replied to the audition invite in affirmative. The first round was to be a Mystery Box challenge. All I had to take with myself was my ID proof. They would provide ingredients under the mystery box and I had to cook a dish which had at least one of the ingredients as the prominent component of the dish. It was a nerve wrecking run up to the audition day as I lost sleep over a few days. I had no idea what would be under the mysterybox and there was no way I could prepare for it. Forget about getting through, all I hoped for is that I don’t make a laughter stock of myself and make something presentable and edible by the end of one hour.

The D-Day came and I went to the audition. The best part was meeting last year’s contestant Jimmy Wong. He chatted with us about how he knew exactly what we were going through and shared his experience. He also motivated us and shared some tips and advice. We were inducted into the professional kitchen and standing in that kitchen was itself like living a dream. There were so many rules around working in that kitchen. There were cameras just like in the actual Masterchef show. When the countdown for 60 minutes started, we were allowed to open the Mysterybox. I had to quickly plan what I would make and get going. I think I was calm and composed and hence was able to coolly put up a dish on the plate at the end of the hour. I had two cuts on my fingers which I had got nursed in between.

When I was called to take my dish for tasting, I was anxious. My fears were completely brushed away with the awesome comments I received. One of the judges asked me for the recipe, the other said that it was one of the best curries in the audition. One judge said that it was the first time ever that she wanted to have the entire plate by herself. I was on cloud nine and it felt surreal. When the judges had tasted all the dishes, four people were selected from our batch and I was one of them. I was asked to come for the second round of audition after two days.

The second round would be to make my signature dish. I was too pumped up from the previous cook that I think I became over confident. I attempted to bring together an unrealistic amount of elements on the plate in one hour. Because I had taken upon myself a lot to accomplish in the limited time, I unnecessarily stressed myself out and made some silly mistakes under pressure. Even before the dish would be tasted by the judges, I kind of had a clue that I had messed up. And their comments confirmed my suspicion. I was disappointed not with the verdict but with myself for having done stupid mistakes and not playing smart in this round. The mistakes I committed kept haunting me for a couple of days. I have come to terms with it now and back to business as usual.

Although I didn’t get through the second audition round, the experience I gained can’t be expressed in words. I am sure to try my skills next year again. I have one year to prepare better and learn new skills, techniques to hone.

I can’t wait already 😀

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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