Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A vote of thanks to life.

There is no point in grinding axe with life,  even when life makes you grind your teeth in exasperation.
It helps to be kind to life and embrace it with affection than look at it with some sort of vengeance and be sour in your heart about it .What did you think ……life was your mother in law or what? Life, just by its sheer existence is doing something called service to you  because if it did not …you would not be here  breathing  and reading this wonderful piece of bunkum   logic.

As long as life decides to favour you by being with you , you can decide to do this or  that or nothing but,in the absence of life you can not decide to do even  nothing except may be once in a while turning in your grave although I have no experience to substantiate this . And ,to be able to decide is a wonderful feeling even if it is turning in  your living grave of moronic beliefs.

 I have decided to be thankful to the life ,as it is given to me. I am thankful not only because it has allowed me to move  myself each day literally and figuratively    with the experiences which   it has been   keeping  on the shelf for me relentlessly. The simple inane looking experiences which only a nincompoop would choose to   ignore and stay uncorrupted one in its  original form.

 I am indebted  to life foremost  because so far it  has not taken me very seriously, just like many  other uncountable souls in my life,  and did not implement any serious plan to teach me lessons. There were  of course some small  doses of learning here and there but,they were plainly and solely on my own accord. Some lessons were learnt the hard way , some in the passing but it was never  the life’s serious  plan to teach me. What I learnt- I learnt owing to my own initiative i.e.  whenever I agreed to learn from those experiences.  On my learning path ,life  just agreed to not interfere or stay absent.

LESSON 1:  Love is not so easy to detect
So the biggest lesson I learnt is that love does not come packaged in shiny wrapping and blue ribbon.  It bloody comes in disguise and you should be trained better than  a security person in any Indian mall or theatre  who looks with utter disinterest   in a woman’s bag to detect a gun or a grenade. Never think of a place as impossible  to find love. A couple of days back  I collected the  honey potion of  love  from an old aunt from my childhood neighbourhood. She  was very upset with me that I  have sent my son to a hostel when there were options to keep him at home. Her complaint  was a trash but her love was  worth her   my weight in gold.  Her actual words were ( bade ayee jo apne bacchhe ko hostel bhej diya  which literally translates as –what did you think of yourself to send him to hostel) If her authority  is not love then what is?

LESSON 2:  Count your blessings and name them one by one
My another lesson is ,it’s Ok to make mistake in counting money but never make mistake in counting your blessings because banks anyway depend upon counting   machine  but blessing counting machine ,sorry boss ! you have to install it yourself in your heart. Feel blessed that someone called you JUST LIKE THAT, someone noticed your hurt despite your dry eyes, someone hugged you for nothing, someone kept that small little piece of kaju katli for you.

LESSON 3: Tit for tat is  a  bad  idea
However convincing it may sound but I have experienced otherwise. Tit for tat is a good idea only if your family and friends are criminals   ,and your neighbours are terrorists. For all other  regular angry people without ammunitions around you , folks! do not get into the spiral of titting and tatting. If you go on a spree of tit- tit -tit for every tat , someone does to you then I am afraid  you do not have focus to do anything better which might or might not be seen as tat by them. Move on I suggest. There is more to do in life than TFT game.

LESSON 4: Same window different picture

I do not know if you have experienced this before or not that two people stand in front of the same window yet see the different pictures.  If some people in the world have a proclivity to see everything  southwards ,you can not go on tilting their neck to make them see left right and centre. You are giving them spondylitis and yourself  heartburns.   See what you see and just shut up. Do not tell them what you have seen is different or what they missed to see. Bloody who appointed you to be their   cicerone (I am here to give you gyan on life and not to improve your word power, see the link for yourself to know the meaning –all you ignoramous folks. The   Chinese battery of my  halo is dying ,can’t you see?).
LESSON 5:  Always  look for the best pair of legs in life
 hold on! hold on !!  I SAY, HOLD ON PLEEEZ! I never mentioned JeLo or Beyonce’. Nope! Never! Ever! It was only your dirty mind. I have nothing to do with it.I am Still focused on the lessons .
Breathe deep ! Inhale ……SO,I was saying that there are many types of legs we come across in life.
The ones which kick you on ,you know where, for the job not well done .Although you did all the leg work of the job  ,they use theirs to kick you.
The ones which fold towards the stomach type  ie ,instinctively these legs take side with people of  their own  clan. No rationality ,no logic ,no sentiments  they only ingratiate.
The best ones are the ones which allow you to pull theirs and take the liberty to pull yours.
People, Look for these legs and keep pulling them until they are  a mile long and give  Julia Roberts a  good run  for her legs money.
And now, you can exhale!!!


Monday, November 3, 2014

About kissing , dissing and hissing .

Instead of feeling enraged I am somehow feeling amused to hear the news that police of state and moral police together did not let KISS day happen in Kerala.
 One can not blame  my misplaced feelings because ,I have learnt to find my entertainment to survive in the   society paranoid of   vulnerability of traditions.
Today you allow these morally bankrupt people to kiss in public ,tomorrow there will be a kiss fest on roads.
Its one thing to  allow  pissing , spitting   or littering  on roads , but  allowing kissing   is totally unacceptable   because , kissing on road  is against our culture  while pissing ,spitting and littering  is not.
Who will  more importantly ,manage the crowd of bystanders   voyeuristically watching the assassination  of   great Indian culture of 5000 years  , which is interestingly inclusive  of  rape culture but  bars the kissing culture, by the hands of two  random stupid youngsters hign on   oxytocin?

 When Amir khan  in 3 Idiots was baffled if nose comes in between while kissing ,he was not asking merely about the mundane protruding inhaling device on his face .It was a huge sociological question he was delving into, whether   kissing  is  a private matter between the two consenting adults  or we as a Indian society  poke the nose to desist the kissing on road as a tradition .

 The message from Kashmir to Kerala is unequivocally  loud and clear by all religious,  moral, social police that one can not get   kozi  cosy in this country in public.
As a couple one   can walk together, eat together, dine together , laugh together  but ............ Kozhiiing together  No!!!!. finally there is a limit to which adults can be given freedom, consensual is not so important , potentially sensual for others is .
When BJP youth wing,  Shivsena and some  muslim religious group decide to come together for a cause the youth desirous of kissing, as  responsible citizens of the country,should not  attempt to KISS in public spaces  for the following  reasons;
ONE- these groups coming together is a hallmark of religious integration and it should be honored and respected by obeying to their whims  wishes and see it as a beacon  of hope for  communal harmony to prevail in the country. In fact a nation wide movement should be set in motion to commemorate second November  as a  AKCHOO day i.e. Anti Kissing Communal Harmony Observing Occasion.

TWO, we are a nation of extreme complexities . We can not just condone anything which calls out for Keeping It Simple Silly or the more popular acronym KISS. We are a nation where we are NOT OK with public display of affection between youngsters . We pretend that two strangers  meet with the intervention of  parents , parents have some give and take of dowry  , the  two dancing clans eat ,merry and bicker and exactly after nine months these not so strangers by now, produce a  proof of their asexual union without so much as kissing. PDA is  definitely  not in our culture ,its an affliction from west and kissing has absolutely no part to play in our lives.

Let the smooching be limited to Karan Johar movies and let  the Imran Hashmis of  Bollywood pull it off without being worried about causing a threat to Indian culture, let the Crores of moolah be spent in  making and selling  synthetic kisses but we can not let an original one get by without some   serious protests because it is not a delicate act of  lips brushing someone's object of affection on head ,cheeks........ ,  it is  a horrendous act of having the potential to annihilate the  entire Indian culture  in one single brush.

Speaking of protests of kiss of love ..........of course the moral keepers have a right to thrash all these protesting and agitating kissers because if they are kissing just for the sake of protest ,it's not very difficult to imagine what would they do if they decide to  sit on Dharana or some serious agitation.

when culture is at a stake , one can not argue or tell logic to its protectors. Finally one has  to choose between  forgoing a kiss of passion  or embracing a  kiss of death. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Moving Experience: Lock ,Stock and Barrel

There are times in everyone’s  life  ,even if they have been  the side kick of Dawood Ibrahim   all their lives  ,when  Bhagawad  Gita  starts sounding true and one regrets not having taken its teachings seriously  , specially   while inside the temples of  consumerism called malls.

I have been having these pre -enlightening moments every time we decide to shift house. In last 8 years I have   set up  and wound up  house at 5  different places and each time being in a different phase of life. Each time Hubby and I  start  up with   a delusional   WOW , pretending to be two great travel   enthusiasts  of NAT GEO willing to survive on a backpack  , but as things start progressing we are  reduced to two house holders, prisoners of our own attachments to worldly things and trying to preserve the material things of our house  which would bring even a Magpie to shame.

Once  we decide to move  ,for initial few days the conversations  revolves around   “ should we keep this or chuck this?” This  phase of chucking things brings a great sense of achievement .We throw  expired medicines, old magazines , clothes and shoes . These decisions are actually easy to make as they are about  the things anyway out of use and are just lying  around for a long time as there was no urgency to make a decision.

There are  too many deliberations before some  decisions based on ground realities whether to chuck  , dispose ,sell or give away  certain things .We may  have  had some heated arguments prior to chucking things  but once  we are  in full agreement about  chucking certain things  and  show them the door ,we are pleased as punch to look  at the cobwebs  underneath them in the  empty space they  have created. After all ,it wasn’t a mere material thing chucked ,it was  a victory  over our   tendency of  attachment to material possessions.

The  sight of dust and cobwebs  never disappoint us. We gleefully hug  each other after each small thing sent out of the house. Out go his old study table and  technical manuals and I hug him ; out go my old magazines and physics books  and he hugs me back ; I remember so very distinctively that our most passionate hug was  when we threw away  a  bag  full of video cassettes .Yup ! the  video cassettes of movies we have always been planning to   see together some day . The darned  technology did not want to wait until we got our leisure. Only one  decade more and  both kids would be in college ,we done with changing jobs and places and then all we needed to do was  buy chips ,curl up in bed and watch those movies which we had selected  so carefully. On the hind sight  we   were not throwing away our dream of togetherness , we were chucking   only  the store keeping job  associated with it  plus the possibility of chips being replaced  by  metformin  cannot be hushed away.

A time came to chuck a plethora of  old mouses , a UPS of our very first PC ,many  wires and USBs.  We had contemplated very deeply about  giving the monitor and key board away to someone who needed it but the search for the ‘right candidate’  has always been very difficult , ( you do not agree?  go ask Congress party).

We still have our  very   co owned molded  ,non wheeled suitcases which had travelled   with us on our honeymoon  and  now  leading  a retired life housing  old mosquito nets and bed sheets for two decades . Once the honeymoon was over ,as an  integral  part of our household  those suitcases for a long time symbolized  romance in our marriage .Being   on the loft, forgotten  , catching dust yet  still usable  and reachable .While we were paying school fees, EMIs and entertaining ourselves with kids’ annual functions ,the romance was  waylaid for attention  dumped  inside those suitcases. We are keeping these  suitcases till our last breath for the sake of nostalgia  ,this is one of the rarest points  of agreement we have reached .

I found it easy to give away usable stuff like kids’ blankets, old bicycles, school bags ,toys, CDs etc ,happy that some other kids would use it .But  one has to be a real brave heart to throw useless stuff . I have no definite answer to what to do with kid’s scrape books ,their school projects and few  letters , containing  sonorous   sugary feelings,   exchanged  between  hubby and myself which now both of us are apprehensive to revisit or  even show to each other for the fear of them sounding like election manifesto.

Mom consistently added to this dilemma by every year knitting sweaters for her darling son- in -law who never could find a job in a hill station . His oil career  took him to  various sea shores and deserts and, with every job change I resignedly buy copious quantities of moth balls to preserve her love knit in wool.

You think from heart and allow to get yourself emotional ,take it from a veteran  yours truly that you will end up carrying even the plastic tubs and mugs and brushes  from your washroom but if you let Bhagwad  Gita’s  philosophy of “ only soul transcends the body and material” rub off  on you ,you would just float in the   superior surreal  state of trance and would tell yourself that  you can take only as much with you in your suitcases and rest is the soft copy  in memory .    


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vision forty -fied

My eyesight has cheated on me  all along.  Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I have a myopic sight, I can  not  see something   beyond my nose . When I was to get married, all I  could see was  a house to live for me and hubby to be  able to be under the same roof . In my dream I always saw  a house with green  sprawling  lawn , foggy weather, white  garden chairs, checked  white and  red cushions on those chairs, a  white china tea set ( matching the chairs ) filled with golden tea  but by any stretch of imagination I just could not see beyond the garden and  fa├žade  of house,  let alone  the existence of Kitchen in the house, so when we actually entered the house  my shock knew no bounds and I almost screamed with horror  to find a kitchen  looking and    bidding me with  its sooty  eyes  to deck it up and run it.   I realized my  own  near sighted ness and the meanness of people around me to never mention it  to me .
Same goes with my job . When I picked up my job of teaching  to under grads in a college , I imagined meeting people, sitting  in  a staff room  which was always  away from  my  realm as  a student  , meeting young students ,  wielding  command over the students , dressing maturely  but I just could not foresee the regular preparation of lectures,  exam duties,  checking papers , setting up lab ,taking readings, ……….as a part of regular routine work I was expected to do .
And then,  I had this  motherly itch to hold a cuddlesome , warm, wooly bundle of joy , rub the cheeks against the baby’s  , put the baby in pram and  stroll it  and  my stretch of imagination stopped right  there. This is the best I could  foresee about my future life, roughly about 15 months from  then  . So , when the baby started growing beyond 6 months,  it came as another surprise to me . I   had never imagined and hence never was prepared to deal with  inoculations ,  Colic,  HW,  PTMs, being  interrupted in the middle of  any conversations, taking him  to loo in every single  place  I visited,  be it  hotels, roadside, on trains, planes, gardens, in a moving ship ( when I was feeling motion sick myself).
 If I had known better,  would I  have  balked  away from the idea of getting married, taking up a job or  adopted a Teddy instead ? I feel ,  I  would have probably still treaded the same path with little less element of surprise and  may be little more preparedness and, I guess  life would have been a little less adventures  more organized  .
Whenever I wanted something badly I just plunged  into it and later on dealt with its nuances. That’s the rule for me.
But myopic eyesight never converted me into a bespectacled person ,  how much ever I obsessed about the mature look enabling  glasses . Each time I visited the ophthalmologist ,I was declared  having a sight 6/6 , so much for being short sighted  all my life.
The wisest looking girl  in my class used to wear  oversized , oval rimmed glasses in black plastic frames . BOY! Didn’t she look full of wisdom and maturity ?  Right from the time I was in 9th grade , I hankered for   glasses like hers  secretly  but since my vision betrayed me  by being perfect 6/6, I had no choice but to wait until 40 and get a FORTY-FIED vision aka reading glasses  .
It felt wonderful to have those OTC  glasses resting  on my nose and  suddenly reading felt like a child’s play. Yup!  The letters looked huge enough  as though I was reading Enid Blyton stories for young readers.  It kind of rejuvenated my love for reading once again. Just before I got these glasses I had given up on reading because most  letters kind of looked like the statutory warning written at the bottom of a cigarette’s  packet  and who reads and takes such warnings seriously ?
Anyway ,having lost the battle of foresight , braced with  myopia ,I decided to look at  life with a hind sight vision which seems to be better cooperating and giving me some semblance of wisdom acquired in my Forty -fied   vision.
As I am  treading  the path of life with all its twists and turns ,as I meet people with all their idiosyncrasies and angularities in behavior , I have  started growing some kind of understanding and  perspective. I have started detecting love  and kindness around me . I see the inspiration radiating  from people working hard , living lives for causes, keeping their cool despite challenges , dealing with unknown with calm ,having faith and patience to pursue  goals .
This hindsight has an advantage of being able to get you down from the tight  rope you think you are walking on . You realize its not a tight rope but a tenterhook  which bothers   you most. It’s the uncertainty which causes anxiety .  My hind sighted wisdom tells me that most often things fall in place, we  rise to the occasion, we  worry more in contemplating  the problems than actually attacking them.  when  the situation arose  I most often found myself having no time to mull over  and had to spring into action whether I was prepared for it or not.
No amount of foresight would have helped  me to know in advance that some people in life would look at me for support , I would be responsible for their  well being , I would be anchoring their lives .And what I once   felt were mere words  would be sought by some and from some by me (words like  “don’t worry , I am with you , everything will be fine” ) and we would have unwavering  faith on those words.
The fortified vision has enabled me with a hell lot of reassurance about myself. I care less about opinions of strangers .I know they have better things to worry about like catching a bus , paying telephone bill on time or  fixing  a leaking tap at  home  than paying attention to my looks.
Now I know that   when  my husband insists on Corn flakes being kept always in its original cardboard box  and never be  decanted into another plastic jar , he is just being  he ,  a husband having some innocuous  maverick idea ,he has absolutely no disrespect for  my Pearlpet jars.
Now I know that when husband asks me to  “ go get a proper hair cut”, he is not undermining the freedom of looks of  entire feminine  population  , he just means it about me because he can not stand  my disheveled hair look.
 Now I know  that whenever  kid -2  has some HW to do , he needs a  washroom break  within 2 minutes of starting up and I am patient because I know , he is being he , a 9 year old  whose motor controls are better at video games than holding a pencil and he is absolutely not against forced learning.
Now I know that when parents worry about my not calling them up often enough , it's none of my business to teach them  not to worry  but understand that  they are just being  parents .
Now I know that when I worry   about my hostler  son who does not respond to mails , takes phone calls in the ratio of 1:10 , I am not supposed to get angry ,he is just being a young fella surrounded by others his age and has a whole new world open to him to explore. Also , I am not angry  with myself because I can not  help  feeling anxious about his unresponsiveness  because I know that I am being ‘me’ , an extension counter  of emotions my parents are.
The hind sighted vision has taught me to not try to read  too much out of people or situation. Read the plain and simple ,  consider everything else is written in Chinese .

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Board exam-who is appearing for it,anyway?

Folks, This is exam time and 12 th standard CBSE exams are going on.Yeah! the same mother of all school exams. Until your kids reach this level or your kids are well past this level ,there are all worthy reasons to give this exams a royal neglect. But if your children are appearing for this exam then I am sorry to say that you may damn, cuss,rant against this exam and, if you are particularly feeling flustered you can generally mix up your feelings about this exams and about  Kapil Sibbal, (you will feel a lot better to have a  human face to crib against ),but Heck NO! you can not neglect these exams. At least  for the whole year ever since your child passed his/her 11th grade exam and is promoted to 12th grade you are doomed to be obsessed with the 12 th standard .
The entire year of 12 th standard exam preparation goes like-
When a mom calls up her daughter whose kid is appearing for XII standard CBSE exam  and asks the daughter  to visit her ,the loving daughter replies like this-" I am sorry Mom I can't .you see Rahul beta is in 12 th standard now. I can't leave him alone."
When a friend asks the mother to join her for a picnic  she says" I am sorry sweety I can't .you see Rahul beta is in 12 th standard now. I can't have any fun this year.my child is afterall working so hard."
when the boss of the mother asks her to accept the promotion she says" I am sorry Sir  I can't. You see my child is appearing in 12 th standard exam this year, I can't afford to be busy since  my presence and moral support is required to him."
When the husband after coming back from a stressful day's work   proposes to his wife in the night like," shall we , errrrrrr, ummmmm.............?" the dutiful and beautiful wife instead of saying - not tonight sweetheart I have a head ache says inadvertently " not this year  sweet heart ,our son is in 12 th standard"
Horrified husband asks her " you mean , emmm , errr , uhhhh , ummmmm like the whole year? "
to which the wife replies with a  no nonsense tone -" yes he is in 12 th standard  for the whole year and if he does not get good marks he is considering repeating in 12 th standard next year."
Husband is speechless and  secretly counts the number of days for the exams to be finished.
The entire year can be called an year of denials. Parents decline invitations to parties, deny the guests who intend visiting, forgo TV  watching, forget dining out, postpone tours, in short they deprive themselves of every  lively moment in their lives.The usual life is completely stalled. Rahul baba    beta and Ishita beti who are appearing for the exam  feel the pressure of parental sacrifice and work even harder. The parents feel as though they are only studying in 12th standard with a minor difference that they do not have to study and do not mercifully  have to  appear for exam.
The mother applies a long leave from her job, wakes up with the kid , sleeps with the kid, gives him a healthy breakfast, hot hot lunch , dinners at any ungodly hour when the kid demands,sits through the night with her beta/beti for the company sake, forgets her own self and gets focussed on exam and result no less than the  mother goose sitting on her precious eggs.
Since the mother is all consummed by the 12th board exams ,she naturally starts losing appetite, she has given up partying,entertainment,socialising and every conceivable fun possible  from an already slim list of fun ideas  an Indian mom of grown up kids is allowed to have.To kill time she resorts to pining about her kids career , pooja path and mannats at every temple and giving regular reminders to her kid to work hard for 12th board.
Daddy dear however is going through the standards of the day and time to time reminds mom to remind kids to work hard as he would not like to  pay for kid's mobile and petrol bills all his life.
Following the advice from her husband mom takes up the job of giving reminders gentle or otherwise.
when kid demands a pizza ,she says " yes but you promise to score 95% marks in board exams". When  kid asks for going out with friends ,she says" yes if only you study for 23.5 hours in a day"
when the kid asks her to hand over the towel in bathroom which he/she forgot to carry she says" yes darling I will get your towel if you promise to be in the merit list of board exams" . The kids are flustered less with umpteen books and  scary numericals than with infinite expectations.
Parents are systematically investing in their children's careers lives.Some day when these kids grow up and want to have their way which might antagonise the parents , a  cliched statement like- how could you do that to me , I carried you in my womb for nine months? can be replaced by -how could you do that (read- marry inter cast/reject a job in USand take up one in India/ leave your job to pursue your hobby/ stay independently.......) ,I carried the burden of  your 12 th standard year and exams.
Once the exam date is declared , the scenario changes entirely. The kids are into their own world, studying , revising,memorising,calling up friends and discussing problems online.Parents are just left wondering if they have any role  to play in their kid's career.
In front of exam hall , all 12th grade examinees gather.They  discuss problems, reassured to see each others and geared up to sail through exams while parents are on needles and pins ,clueless and petrified.Kids are looking forward to exams and parents are thanking their stars that  they are done with their school pass out exam loooong back.Since kids are busy with their exam preparation parents are left to fend for their own worries and woes. To fill in the vacuum parents check up the time table again and again.Middle of the night a sweaty mom would see the calendar and time table to make sure that there is no goof up in dates. She has nightmares that her kid's physics paper was yesterday and she by mistake sent him on next day.
After a series of exams and results , the kid has gotten into a good college. Mom has just heaved a sigh of relief  and daddy dear is boasting to all his friends and colleagues about his kiddo's great achievement.While the kid is sent to college with a great sense of achievement ,father relieved to have a normal life resumed ,guests happy to be welcome once again , other members in the family overjoyed to reclaim their TV watching , in short everyone is feeling  just like kashmiri people would be  feeling after a long drawn curfew lifted .Its only the mom who looks at her empty nest and secretly counts the days for her kid's first vacation home.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We are for Men's day!

Recently I received a mail which ofcourse  has a humorous overtone yet I thought it  imperative to respond for the sake of non trivialising the women's issues.
The mail goes like.............

Who is a MAN?

A man is the most beautiful part of God's creation who starts
compromising at a very tender age.

He sacrifices his chocolates 4 his sister.

He sacrifices his dreams 4 just a smile on his parents face.

He spends his entire pocket money on buying gifts 4 the girl he loves
just 2 see her smiling

He sacrifices his full youth 4 his wife & children by working late @
night without any complaint.

He builds their future by taking loans from banks & repaying them 4 lifetime.

He struggles a lot & still has 2 bear scolding from his mother, wife & boss.

His mother, wife & boss all try 2 control him.

His life finally ends up only by compromising 4 others happiness.

Respect every male in your life.
U will never know what he has sacrificed 4U.

Worth sending 2 every man 2 make him smile & every woman 2 make her
realize his worth!!

Agar aurat par hath uthaye to BESHARAM,
Aurat se maar khae to BUZDIL,
Aurat ko kisi ke 7 dekh ker ladai kre to JEALOUS,

Chup rahe to DARPOK,

ghar se bahar rahe to AAWARA,

ghar me rahe to NAAKARA,

bachho ko dante to ZALIM,

na dante to LAPARWAH,

Aurat ko naukari karane se roke to SHAK KARNE WALA,

na rokey to BIWI ki kamai KHANE WALA,

Maa ki mane to CHAMCHA,

Biwi ki sune to Joru ka GULAM...
Na Jane Kab Aayega,


 My reply is-

This  post may be a day late but atleast not a dollar short as the  objective of this post is to assure  those among  the rest of the 50% of population who does not get covered by  8th March celebrations ,who feel being short changed by not having an exclusive ‘men’s day’ declared by UN and no hullaballoo on their empowerment that we women are also for EQUALITY.
 Dear  all those men if you feel it is only unfair to not have a dedicated men’s day for you ,please know that  we women are willing to give you  one ,infact two (since you guys are so used to getting a larger share of everything from food  to education to attention) if for the rest of the 363 days you agree to play a ‘fair game’ .So , is it a deal that one day in a year we are in focus, our issues and concerns are addressed , two days yours and rest of the days in a  year  we share everything 50-50? Would you learn to be thoughtful about  the needs and   feelings  of  other sex?
 Do you promise that everytime there is a guy violating a girl , instead of some of   you joining him and forming a gang you would instead try to stop him?
Do you promise that you would not sneer at the jokes cracked on a woman’s anatomy? Nor would you make or encourage lecherous comments on any woman ?We promise even we would refrain from the same.
Dear guys, who can understand better than us  the feeling of being ‘left out’ so yup there has to be men’s empowerment  too . Your financial freedom , your  freedom to choose a partner, your need to dress up the way you want, your choice for a job -everything is as important as ours . So by same logic , our job, our education ,our freedom, our financial freedom is also equally important .We are ready to fight tooth and nail for your rights but would you fight for our rights too? Next time when your people  suggest that we don’t wear a jeans or stop working or hand over our entire money to them and be financially crippled ,we assume that you would see it wrong and oppose. We will also tell our parents in no uncertain terms that your dressing, your food choice, your earnings are completely your business .Deal?
Patriarchy hurts, stings and is at times killing  for both the sexes. Neither we like  to get a raw deal from family, society and its tenets  which are almost always askewed in favour of men  nor do you like to be the default  bread winners  for the family or have the  burdon of being the man in the shining armour so let’s decide to have a level playing field . You earn, we earn, you cook , we cook, you  wash the bums  and change the diapers of the baby and we do the same ……….but please, please don’t grudge on maternity leave issue .We promise if you become pregnant we women will fight for your right to maternity leave too.
Stop griping about being called as' joru ka gulam ,ma ka chamcha' etc because if you see it carefully ,these name callings are almost as much to women as to men  .Its a negative comment about a wife who tries to tame her husband or a mom who mollycoddles her grown up son .
If you are tired of treating us women as ‘objects’, if you feel sick that women are oppressed and are seen as your property ,if you feel that it is unfair to not allow a female child to be born, if you feel for the girl children who are forced into domestic labour,as sex workers,deprived of education expect to walk kilometers and kilometers to fetch water,abused ,subjected to domestic voilence,  then you do deserve a men’s day .
 Lets try to respect each other’s  right to live,individuality  , preferences for life styles and tastes. Let’s promise to treat each other’s as people. Nothing more nothing less.Deal?

Friday, August 31, 2012

The ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ Contest

Eversince I came to know about this contest on YOEN's blog , I have  been thinking very hard about some funny incidence in  early years of our marriage .It was fun recalling many incidents of past which had been lost in the labyrinth of  time(I have been married for 2 decades now) .I read some wonderful accounts of newly married people . The stories of  newness , discovering each others(their idiosyncrasies) , new place , new life has such mesmerising appeal that each story feels very close to heart . while i immensely enjoyed reading all these stories , here's mine
A Date which was quite an Antidate.

It seems like yesterday  when Hubby(yet to be)  and I were sitting before Havan and waiting eagerly to be pronounced as husband and wife.The Panditji asked S to chant Gayatri mantra and he candidly confessed "I don't know" and I registered the first -Oh ,  so he doesn't know this . Next day  we were invited at my mother's place for  Satya Narayan Pooja  where again the same panditji had come to direct the pooja  and when  once again he asked S to chant Gayatri Mantra, S just murmured something under his breath which got passed as Gayatri mantra and, I was thinking -----
Oh my God! This man is faking Mantra.
 If love is blind then  marriage restores the vision .
But I did not know that  envisioning happens so instantaneously  , like , within a day of marriage?
And from then on a journey called -discovering each other began . Although before marriage we both thought that we knew each other pretty well  it was only later that we experienced  the fair share of surprise in the deal .
We both almost instantaneously started making our  secret mental checklist of - 'to be changed', in each other. While he thought he married an immature , incurable romantic who was  domestically impaired I was bemused (in fact, flabbergasted is the right word) to find  him romantically challenged ( before marriage I thought I was marrying Richard Gere + Pierce Brosnon combo.)
while he was put off to see me hanging my duppattas on door ,shoes always outside the shoe rack , I found it a big surprise that my man -mechanical engineer by profession could not use a single domestic gadget , Gas stove  lighter included.

Before marriage he conned me to believe that he was working  in a place  very close to Mumbai and I assumed it was a big city with all the advantages(read - availability of stuff for setting up new home) and I was suitably disappointed to find  a satellite township for stay , some 150 KM from Mumbai.
The real incident is our very first " DATE" after marriage. I was stuck in the township for almost 4 months now and was longing to go have some urban ,polluted, sky scrapping experience.
So , one day when   hubby got this one day tour to visit some industrial area in Thane to inspect some part of some machine used in his  plant and asked me to join I was in raptures. I imagined walking with him hands in hands, in a big city where nobody recognised us ,buying things for the household, eating in a decent hotel, not having to cook , if possible watching a movie and returning in the night .All this with the basic assumption that he just had to inspect some stupid part of some useless machine in his darned plant which would get done in a jiffy.
Next day when we were getting ready he told me that he preffered to go by company bus rather than company car so that after the inspection he did not have  to bother about car or driver and we would rather have our freedom to  roam the streets of Mumbai at own will. How Romantic! I instantly thought, I wasn't so wrong about him after all (in the hind sight ,I really wonder what was I smoking to believe in his words).We boarded the bus and took the seats on 2X2 side . I took the window  seat and he took on the aisle side. Just when I was contemplating holding his hand , I saw him  exchanging  smile  with an  elderly man  who boarded the bus  with his wife and young daughter .They took the seats adjacent to us with the fatherly guy sitting on the aisle seat . My husband introduced me to him as his Senior manager in his plant  .Husband and his boss chatted animatedly ,passionately ,engrossedly about the plant , the inspection , and how the indigenously made part was a huge saving to the company . I of course abandoned the idea of holding husband's hand in presence of 'local Father in law' and kept looking outside from the window. I was only at 2 on 10 ,on disappointment meter and was anticipating great time together for the whole day. Sometime later I saw the local FIL doze off, hubby started reading Indian express .I lost hubby's attention to some  unnamed ,non descript  leopard which had entered the Borivali suburb and was caught by the  guards of Sanjay Gandhi abhayaranya.
We got down at a station closest to Thane and caught an auto Rickshaw ,some 100 potholes and 50 speed breakers and about 39 rumbling strips later we reached a  place called Thane Industrial Estate .It is a huge premise with hundreds of small scale industries set up inside . The auto stopped at the gate and we walked inside . Husband promptly took out the map which he had got from someone who had already visited the place before and, like a true self-respecting man , he marched purposefully according to the directions on map. I was  ambling with disinterest and looking around. There were  small factories which made -God alone knew what and why, the workers were mostly wearing dirty , torn vests and wrapped a chequered towel at the waist .Husband did not ask the way to anyone and walked resolutely while I all the while hoped to reach the place fast and get done with it faster.  Many left and right turns later I decided to eat the humble pie(ask someone for direction) ,obviously Hubby did not want to concede defeat in his superior mental  GPS .Hunger , thirst , disappointment ,anger, humidity had taken its toll on me and teary eyed I told him  I did not want to walk any further.  we suddenly found a man walking towards us .He was  in charge of the factory we intended visiting .Thankfully , he recognised my husband and took us to the inspection site. It was a very noisy workshop where  many Lathe machines  were kept and a strange shaped part was shown to my husband . He checked it in his hand , looked at it as if it was a piece of art work . To the Factory incharge's disappointment Hubby found some  major  problem in the piece and rejected the part . The man tried to convince him in vain . The more he tried to convince my husband , more arguments he put forward to reject the piece. The man looked at me helplessly ,I gave him a sympathetic and understanding nod as if to tell him that " I know this man is very fastidious , he can instantly find faults but it is not his mistake , what else do you expect from a man whose mother and mother in law were teachers?" .Finally  it was agreed upon that in next two hours they would make changes in the part and get the design approved and fresh piece will be made according to new specifications.
We decided to stay on till the time part was made and approved . They served us  kerosene flavoured tea in small glasses . It was already 2 pm and rumbling sound of hunger was competing with the noise of machines in the factories around. One guy from factory  showed us the canteen where they served vada pav and tea. I summoned all my guts to eat that vada pav which tasted like -burning charcoal covered  in soggy newspaper. We loitered around the place  and  husband educated me about all the machines used in various factories.  My disappointment was 4 on 10 , at this juncture.
I most probably, being the only woman in the entire Industrial area got many eyeballs darting at us which discouraged me enough to hold my husband's hand .He of course was not even toying with this idea . All he was praying was to hold the cold , black, odd shaped metal piece which  right now  seemed to be the sole source of his happiness. By this time my disappointment was 6 on 10 with the Date.
we reached the factory again , the work was in progress, we (?) watched the metal piece  , husband looked at it once again carefully and wrote some instructions, drew something to explain , waited some more while I shifting my  weight from   one leg  to another . Finally , the job was over and we were out of the mechanical madness .
Hubby dear was still talking about his assertion , his experienced eyes to find fault( despite my disappointment ,I could not have agreed more).
After we were safely out of the factory influence , I had some axe to grind with him about wasting our together time .The romantically challenged man in my life looked all confused and said: "but weren't we together all the time?" the score on disappointment meter was 10 on 10 .

On our return journey , we both were dog tired , annoyed with each other . I called him inconsiderate , he called me demanding .
 I  being prone to motion sickness just decided to sleep keeping my head on his lap , not bothering about his embarrassment or anger (or the premonition of dealing with  wife who was ready to throw up anytime). I thought it was a fitting reply to this man.