Saturday, September 24, 2016

This is a very graphical rant, so stay away in case that’s not your style…

Sometimes, the sorrow is soo deep that its easy to fake happiness. You act as if everything is normal. You wake up, do your duties, go to work, laugh with colleagues, check whatsapp, type non sense in it and giggle for good measure…

And then you wonder what the hell were you doing with 36 years in this planet, if you are all alone at 3:00 in the morning feeling faint in a pool of blood in the bathroom while your hubby is happily snoring in the next room. How come there was not even a single human being to hold your hand then?

You ignore the physical pain that ravages your body and carry on the act of appearing normal…you even fight about the same silly things…knowing fully well none of it matters any more…but that’s the best you can do…’cos the only other alternative is to end up in the mental asylum. Any rational analysis will only take you there…

They say time heals…they forgot about the scars left behind..which permanently reduces the beauty of your soul…

You look at your hands and only see the Shakesperean heroine…

You hear a small voice asking “Amma, why didn’t you give me a chance?”

You feel the small finger then wipe away the tears that well up…

And you wish you did not snuff out that life… you wish you could have used the chance to share the same universe … You realise you have been a coward..and everything you stood up for…all your good karma…all of it was still not good enuf…

And you realize that you have been your own worst enemy…the cancer of your soul…

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Decluttering - Mind and Matter

When I moved to my current home back in 2013, I had dreams of keeping a beautiful house – replete with a vegetable garden, beautiful paintings and bed linen, reading nooks, an amazing wardrobe and drool worthy cutlery. 

Well, then life happened! Shuttling between multiple cities, a major illness, pregnancy and child rearing, back stabbing by colleagues and non-co-operation from one side of ‘family’,  saw all dreams – both professional and personal – crumble into dust. My house turned into a pig sty and I turned into a person I never wanted to be … I was overwhelmed by the lack of space – in my house and in my brain. I initially thought of moving into a bigger house, but realized that it would have to wait – at least another couple of years.

Last month, I celebrated my younger one’s second birthday and I realized that I no longer have excuses to postpone spring cleaning – within and without.

When I started taking stock, I realized that I had unconsciously already started the process of de-cluttering – I don’t enjoy shopping much anyway and being a highly sensitive introvert meant that it was easier to not stay in touch with people. Beginning this year, I had shunned all contact with people, except for professional reasons. Most weekends, my phone would be completely switched off. I weaned myself off social media and drastically reduced time spent on Whatsapp. I hadn’t purchased anything for myself or my kids either – except the mandatory back to school shopping! Hubby did gift me material stuff for birthdays and other special occasions.

I had already thrown out a lot of my clothes which I had put aside hoping to wear someday! But, now I know that going back to a 26 inch waist is not going to happen any time soon..

The other day I gave a lot of old stuff to my maid – beds, storage units and so on. I felt immensely happy that I have at least made a small start on de-cluttering my space. I still have miles to go, and I have promised myself that I will not buy anything till I throw away every useless thing in my house.

De-cluttering the brain is even tougher. But, last couple of weeks gave me time with two dear friends and cheered me up… There is still a long way to go before I reach the stage of crystal clear clarity on what I want out of life and razor sharp focus on achieving it. But, at least I have started taking baby steps. And just as a baby will fall several times before walking becomes second nature, I know it will take me quite a while to reach the zen stage I aspire for…The trick is to never lose hope…and curiosity…and persist in the search…

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Magic of 7

Ever since I learned about the 7 Wonders of the World, I have been enamoured by the number. I always believed in the magic of that number, and by God, when I knew about your birthday (incidentally, much before I knew you) I was thrilled…That was 1996 – seems like a past lifetime now!

Much water has passed beneath the bridges, but there has never been a July 7th since, when my heart wasn’t filled with thoughts of you !  Now, that’s some magical charm you’ve woven in my heart. So, my dearest magician, here is a huge thank you for all the new experiences you have enriched my life with! 

In no particular order, here goes…

Thank you for introducing me to the pleasures of:

1.      English Music & Movies
2.      Parenting
3.      Travel & World Cuisine
4.      A Warm Hug
5.      Perfumes
6.      Water Skiing; and finally…
7.      The Magical Trips to the Moon !

         Wishing you health, happiness and all the amazingly enjoyable experiences you could ever wish for !

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Misogyny, Marriages and More...

My dear friend Anu, has been writing quite a bit about these topics and although I am usually lazy to link up, here is a link that I would recommend. Being a feminist is not an easy tag to wear and mostly it is used to denote (wrongly) a woman who does not believe in the traditional institutes of marriage, is too inflexible in her views and is someone who hates men. This is highly unfortunate...'cos feminism is just about doing the right thing. Yes, generations of doing the wrong thing means that sometimes you have to stand in the roof top and scream. Pulling out a weed is far easier than uprooting a giant tree with deep roots - obviously, it is a slow and ardous process. But it has to be done - for the human race to survive !  So, let me talk at some length on some common misconceptions about feminism.

Myth 1: Feminism and Marriage Can't Go Hand in Hand: Your views on how women should be treated (whether you are a man or a woman) is just one factor that determines the success of a marriage. People who say that women who are willing to bow and bend will ensure the success of a marriage, do not know what a successful marriage is. Two people staying under the same roof is not what constitues a successful marriage. A successful marriage is one where both partners are happy and play as a team. It is only common sense to realize that the true potential of a marriage can be achieved when both parties treat each other with respect and dignity, care and concern. A feminist may or may not have a happy marriage - but if both parties in the marriage are feminists then the chances of a successful marriage are far higher.

If you have been through a divorce, read this and watch the video. It shows you that there is life beyond. Beyond the anger, the hurt and the sorrow, you can and will survive !

Myth 2: Feminists are Rigid in Their Views: No, they are not. Most feminists I know stand up not just for themselves, but for their sisters whose voices maybe too feeble to be heard. Naturally, they have to put across their point of view repeatedly. They speak up, and that is essential for change - accepting status quo is not an option. While they speak up, they are also willing to engage in dialogue and hear, and analyse other points of view. But, they may not accept a chauvinstic point of view, no matter how loud or strong the view is...That's not 'cos of being rigid - its just that unless you convince me you are right, I will hold on to what I believe is right. That is true for any argument, right?

Often, it is said that you need to speak up for your daughters...for them to have their freedom, for them to be able to realise their dreams...Well, I have over the years, come to realise that when you speak about women and their rights, you are trying to make the world a better place - and the benefits will accrue to future generations - regardless of gender. So, every time I speak up or work towards changing attitudes and mindsets , I am doing it as much for my son as for my daugher. I want him to enjoy the laughter of the women around him ! 'Cos I want to free him from the burden of male superiority, I want him to feel the comfort that tears can offer him, I want him to smell a baby's poo and I want him to experience life in its fullest and not just through the narrow prism of male chauvinsm.

Myth 3: Feminists hate men: I can only laugh at people who think this way...Hate is too strong a word; and the opposition is to a misogynst point of view; and not to a gender.

These are just a sample. In every day life you come across several minor and major incidents where women are mistreated. I have had men ask me "If you believe in feminism, why do you want seats reserved in the bus for women?" Well, the answer is this: Feminism is about treating women with dignity. It is not about wiping away or ignoring the differences. Economic, social, geographic and other factors ensure that humanity is a diverse mix. Gender is just one variable. In an overcrowded bus, reserving a couple of seats for women ensures that atleast the ones with babies can travel safely and not worry about being thrown off guard when a sudden brake occurs. Till such time, we don't teach our children to stand up and offer the seat to a more needy person, we would have to continue reserving seats for women, old people and the physically challenged.

Ultimately, for those who say patriarchy has its benefits and that men and women can never be equal, for those men who believe that being macho is about suppressing fellow humans, for men and women world over who have the emotional, social, economic superiority over another human(s), all I have to say is this; "With great power, comes great responsibility. Act responsibly."

P.S. This is my blog and my writing, so naturally, all posts including this one is based on my world view !

P.P.S: There is far more to write on this topic, and I hope to write more follow up posts. Expect a post soon on "Women are a Woman's Greatest Enemy"

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

10 Yrs

...of being married ! My rational brain is quite surprised that I managed to survive this long in a relationship :) My emotional brain of course fiercely counters - "I am still madly in love with him !".
However, if there is one thing I have realized over the past 10 years, it is this - the success of a marriage has no correlation whatsoever to the amount of love you have for each other ! Better predictors include the nature of your profession, the relationship you share with your in-laws, and your ability to tolerate nonsense of various kinds. 

 We did celebrate this achievement by sneaking away for a weekend to Maldives - surprisingly, hubby missed the kids far more than I did ! It was a lovely resort and a much needed break.

We've had our ups and downs and it's been a roller coaster ride...the memories and experiences though have been priceless !

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Uniforms and Gender Equality

A couple of weeks back, my son's school sent a notice that from this academic year onwards, girls would wear maroon t-shirts and maroon skirts on Wednesdays instead of maroon t-shirts and white skirts. It went on to clarify that the uniform of boys would remain unchanged - maroon t-shirts and white shorts. There was a round of cribbing by moms who had already purchased the uniforms for their kids about the economic loss.

I was surprised that no one seemed to be worried about what to me seems a clear step backwards - why is menstruation such a huge taboo? I was even more disturbed by the fact that educated people in my network told me that this change could have come about 'cos parents specifically asked for it !

As a parent of 2 kids - one boy and one girl, this is what my utopian view of a co-ed school is:

There needs to be enough awareness among both boys and girls on how menstruation is a natural process. Boys need to be taught that, yes, it may not be regular in the initial years and hence they may find a classmate bleeding into her uniform. They also need to know of the physical discomforts that accompany it. They need to be taught how to be of use in such situations and not giggle among themselves or turn their faces away in embarassment and confusion. They need to be made aware of where emergency pads can be obtained and how they can help their friend get access to a change of clothes. Girls need to be taught that there is nothing to be ashamed of about the whole process. If a girl falls down and bleeds, boys don't bat an eyelid before helping her. Why should menstrual stains be treated any differently? Why hide behind maroon skirts? If neatness is the concern, then the change has to be gender neutral - my son comes home with dirt caked on his white trousers every week !

Surprisingly, many moms I spoke to also said that while 9-10 may be an appropriate age to teach a girl about menstruation, it is too early to teach a boy about it. I find this ridiculous and intend to teach my son all about it over the next couple of years. In fact, he is already exposed to the fact that there are days when his mom is more tired than usual, has seen a menstrual pad and is in general more aware of the reproductive process than most kids his age.

I am ashamed of myself that I didn't have the guts to raise the issue up with the school management - 'cos my rational brain told me to choose my battles wisely... 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thoughts - Some Random, Some Deliberate

The other day, couple of my male colleagues were discussing how important it was for them to reach home early when their spouses are ill. A strange wistfulness filled my heart and it took me a herculean effort to supress it from outpouring into my face ...that was a random unexpected thought.."I wish my hubby was like that". Given the nature of his profession, and his own nature (and mine too), he hardly comes home early "just 'cos you are not feeling well".

And then I deliberately thought about it some more and realised that it was just a case of grass being greener on the other side...My hubby is quite a hands on father and though he might not come home early when I am sick, he will make sure I am cured...

The last time I threw myself behind a truck, he didn't come rushing to me...but, he did say "If you bleed from your ears or nose, come to the hospital immediately...else just relax, put some ice on your bruises and take it cool !"

Practical and pragmatic advice...

Then, the other day I went for my routine blood test and asked hubby "Should I check my ESR levels?" They were haywire the last time I fell sick, and I thought checking it now made sense. However, he surprised me with his response, "I don't think you need to, you look perfectly healthy !" I mumbled to myself on why he was not concerned, but nevertheless chose to go by his professional gave my blood for the routine tests and went to work. He called back a few hours later and said, "Your ESR levels are normal. I got it checked ...I just didn't want you to worry about it. "

Sometimes, love manifests itself in such strange ways, doesn't it?