Unpacking January #GratitudeCircle

January dawned fresh as a gift this year – a present waiting to be unwrapped.

I love receiving presents. Especially when they come nicely packed in silver boxes with a big bow!

What is behind the big bow?

Luckily, January didn’t disappoint. It had some pleasant surprises in store for me.

Food and friends in January

For me, friendship is synonymous with meeting and eating. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as meeting friends and chit chatting over a good meal. This month I managed  to do this four times.

The first was dinner at home for 20 of us. This was in honour of a school friend who was visiting from Overseas. Since she is here for a bit, I was happy to have her and some of our friends over.

The second was a lunch for 12 for the family. I was a bit apprehensive about both as not only was I entertaining after a year, but I was also using my new, untrained, raw Staff. Luckily both went off well and if the flowing conversations were any indicator, they were a great success.

The third was the celebration of a friend’s wedding anniversary where I had the chance to feast on some amazing Mughlai cuisine.

The fourth dining experience was the Bohri Thaal . This unique experience was hosted by my friend F who is visiting from Zurich. And didn’t we get to enjoy the best of the best! Laal Raan or roast leg of mutton in a creamy tomato based gravy, chicken drumsticks fried to perfection,  and the ever so fragrant chicken biryani. In true Bohri style, the savoury was followed by a sweet and we got to eat a scrumptious pineapple halwa and hand churned Sitaphal ice cream. Words don’t do justice to this meal and one can only appreciate it after eating it.

What made January really special was the fresh green mustard leaves, strawberries, and red Delhi carrots.

Books in January

Image for books I read in January

The year began with the gift of two books. Both were heavy times of pure NON-Fiction. Sunder Advani’s story  ‘Even Against all Odds’ as a hotelier was fascinating. I never imagined he led such a life. Heavy was Sunita Nair’s coffee table book on ‘Indigenous Artists’ was quite heavy too. But it is well researched and beautifully illustrated so definitely worth the weight.

In retrospect, January turned out to be non-fiction month,  as the third book turned out to be the story of Vilayat Khan, the legendary sitar player. This book written by Namita Devidayal is a very easy and pleasant read which will appeal to non music lovers too!

Movies in January

Image for Movies I watched in January

Despite working around the hectic schedules of everyone at home, I managed to fit in two movies. ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ is worth seeing because it truly reveals the behind the scenes intrigues in Indian politics.  I saw this with my movie friend Jo.

The other movie I wanted to watch this month was URI. And wonder of wonders, Hubby Dear accompanied me to see it!  This was another enjoyable movie, well made with just the right amount of thrill factor and brilliant acting from all the cast.

Events in January

So it would seem that January had many opportunities for me beyond the household kitchen sink. Daughter No 1 persuaded me to attend a discussion Sense & Sensibility: Culture & the Conduct of Life. This event held on the lawns of the CSMVS by the Asia Society was a once in a lifetime experience.  I was indeed lucky to hear the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo MA speak and perform ( albeit briefly)  with the well known Carnatic Vocalist TM Krishna. Add to this, the ideas of  Nandita Das and Homi Bhabha and you definitely have the recipe for a magical. chilly winter evening.

Health in January

On the health front, all wasn’t too well. Both Wow Dinga and his brother became  skin and bone in week 3 with a terrible stomach flu. It was pitiful to see my two little devils lie listlessly on the bed and I couldn’t have been happier when the pillows and cushions were strewn all over the floor once more.

As for me, the last two days of January saw me sneezing with a 24-hour flu.

Another hiccup in my life this month was the MAJOR issue with my iPhone, Vodafone and Airtel. For two weeks I was running between Apple and Vodafone till finally, I switched to Airtel. That too was not as smooth as it normally is but luckily that’s all behind me now.

So all in all, January has been a bountiful month.

Thank you, January.

What was your January like?


Image of Bellybytes

Sharing this post with Vidya Sury’s #GratitudeCircle

p.s. Images for the movies and books have been taken from the net.


A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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15 Responses

  1. Soumya says:

    Laal Raan, I can’t look beyond that now 😀

    You January seems so filled with love and fun. Wasn’t URI just brilliant? I loved it!

    Wishing you a fabulous February!

  2. You have had an amazing January with friends and family. I wish you have an amazing year as well. I have to catch up on my movies and reading. Really lagging behind.
    Shubhra Rastogi recently posted…A Glimpse of the Past Month #GratitudeMy Profile

  3. Anjana says:

    Hiya. Your gratitude blog took me on a virtual journey of January with you. You have written the post so well stressing on how you sailed on the waves going up and down. Good job on the accomplishments you have achieved. Wishing you a fantastic Feb ahead,

  4. Sorry to hear about the health issues – it sounds like a lot of people have been falling sick in January! Food and friends always go well together. Sounds like a fun January except for the health issues. Hope Feb is fab!
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…January 2019 ReflectionsMy Profile

  5. Shilpa Nairy says:

    You really had amazing month. Gift , books, movies, friends and family.. everysphere.. wish you many more such in coming months as well.

  6. Shalzmojo says:

    Oh my whatta Jan! I am blown away by your gastronomical, literary and cultural indulgences – what a glam life you do lead Sunita 😉 The talk and performance must have been superbly delightful – I had the pleasure of hearing T Krishna during the Kochi fest and was just blown away by his voice. I couldnt understand a word of what he sang but the timbre of his voice – aaaah!

    The Bohri meal has me drooling and salivating – you can even begin to imagine how much!! It feels like I have been hungry for a lifetime!! You have some amazing food experiences.

    Ouch to the stomach bug and your flu – hope all is well on the health front now!!

    Wishing you a fantafabulous Februrary ahead!!
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#Gratitude – Beginnings in January 2019My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Dear Shalz
      That was a truly wonderful appreciative comment. Yes in retrospect, January seems to be a wonderfully glamorous month. In comparison, February has been a damp squib so far. But it is my birthday month so I am hoping things will pick around that time.
      Yes the T Krishna was totally unintelligible to me but as you said, the timbre of his voice just blows you away.
      I’ve been reading about how cold Delhi was and have been experiencing some cold weather here too. Hope you have enough shawls to bundle up in!
      Stay warm and stay happy.
      Healthwise I’m still struggling with the weight issues and stomach issues too….. c’est la vie

  7. Really happy that you managed to read books and watch movies. May you have a good health this February. Always looking forward to read your posts.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Comment on Choose Gratitude Every Day … #GratitudeCircleBlogHop by Vasantha VivekMy Profile

  8. G Angela says:

    Enjoyed reading about your dining experiences, reading this post in the afternoon before lunch time, increased my appetite. I watched a telugu movie which was comedy, couldn’t make it for URI as my friends were talking about it so much. food, friends and books bring in happiness.. . with full time work I have not succeeded in getting some books to read, most of the time I am reading books related to my work and continuing education. Wishing you a wellness and peace 🙂

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