About Me

My photo
The meek shall inherit the earth after i'm done with it! I was a bored Brahmin bschooler who ended up marrying another one :) and now here we are enjoying the natural progressions of life....traffic, inlaws, bosses, kid, electricians, plumbers and money matters.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Of Paper and Pen...

I miss paper. The pen. The discipline. The thought which had to be well-defined before it was put down. The silence needed when one had to pen-down a few lines for someone.
It isn't like that with email. There are too many distractions. The google ads. The urge to check other emails or another page in the middle of composition. The pressure to craft it perfectly with those  quotes and nuggets of wisdom freely available over the internet. And worst is that its all so easily deletable and redo-able. Very unlike the scratchings of the hand written letter which would make the writer's muddiness apparent to the reader.
I'm from the old school. I wrote to my cousins and friends till I was in college. I dearly keep and read the letters and cards received over the last 15 years. I believe in making birthday cards than buying ready-made ones - a culture that I've proudly passed on to my siblings. We had telephones, but I preferred paper. The envelopes. The stamps. And the sweet ritual.  
The eccentricity remains till date.
I abhor digital prints on walls. I love wooden furniture and find laminated furniture repelling. While I'm not able to exercise my choice over everything, I can't make terms with these. A lot of people question and ridicule my belief. But I think there is a difference.
A wooden table is way better than a laminated one because it will weather with me. Years later, when I sit for my cup of tea, the contours and the scrapes will have stories to tell. A mark left by the molten candle which fell off a birthday cake or scratch during house-shifting.
A table with synthetic laminates will stay new for too long and will probably mock at me when I grow old.
Sadly, I haven't recieved many letters after 2007.  I have emails. Long and short. Emotional and argumentative. From family, friends and bizarre acquaintances which I prize but cannot grow old with.
Because there is a feeling about an old handwritten letter, a feeling which an email can never impart. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I worry which half.

I have always preferred one on one conversations to large gatherings. So I pick up conversations with people whenever I get a chance. Parties, airports, trial room waiting areas in shopping malls. Also, as a part of my job, I get the opportunity of going into people’s homes and spending time with them. Thanks to the dissimilarity this country has to offer, I have got chances to peek into homes of different strata, religion, culture, language.
While I do take notes on what is relevant for my category, I am human, and can’t help but compare my life with those I meet. Recently, I have had a chance to meet a lot of children because of the part of business I handle. I’d be lying if I say that some of my experiences have not left me wondering if I am out of date and too similar to my mother.
I grew up in a middle class joint family in Jaipur where I was the eldest daughter and my father the only working member. I have a sister and a brother& we lived in a beautiful bungalow facing a park. There were 3 bedrooms in the house but the kids didn't have one to themselves for a very long time because it was a joint family with frequent guests. Or maybe the concept of having a room for kids never existed.
My maternal grandma’s house was close by so whenever I needed some study time before my exams I was dispatched there. The need for some space never occurred to me! I found the concept of being alone futile and boring. There were two places in the house which were mine, the corner in which I put my school bag and a cupboard which had my dolls and a piggy bank.

It was only when my father got a job in Indonesia and I went to an international school, that I realized the concept of space. I was 12 then. While the house had enough space to host a gathering, our mother insisted the ‘girls’ share the room as too much privacy could spoil them. I wonder where she got all these ideas when she herself was brought up in a joint family of 4 uncles and 3 aunts and their kids and spouses and second and third cousins.
When I meet young kids today, I get slightly perturbed. 
An 8 year old boy recently told me that Saturdays evenings are meant for parents but Sunday afternoons are for friends so that he can unwind before he goes to school the next day. Apparently, a 12 year old girl speaks to her mom more on whatsapp than in real conversations. Reason? She has 5 tuitions (Maths, Eco, Hindi, Engligh, Science) and 3 hobby classes (Swimming, Badminton, Dance) in a week and meets her mother only for a few hours in the day. ‘I can choose to neglect some parts of the conversation if it is on a message. The phone gives me freedom to choose my thought and answer as and when I feel like.’ She likes contemporary dance because it gives her inner peace. (wtf!)

I stand speechless. I didn't understand words like unwind and neglect and inner peace till very late.

Another horrifying epidemic is the need to look awesome and up at all times. The number of accessories that kids have today are probably equal to what I wore on my wedding. While schools have strict uniforms, kids find a way to prove their fashion consciousness through neon earrings, watches, kohl eyes, wrist bands, pendants, temporary tattoos and even hair color. An 11 year old girl once told me that show enrolled for swimming class so that she could force her mother to take her to the salon and get a body wax.

All these conversations happen in homes where cupboards are stuffed and chaotic like overfed roosters in a coop. You’d pull out a handkerchief and a huge pile of clothes would fall on you. The bedsheet has infinite creases where they are sitting surefooted, happily BBMing. The computer table which they use everyday has coffee mug stains. Stains so old that there is a thick dust lining.  A number of times, I attend interactions where I don’t get a proper chance to look at their faces. Because they are looking into their phones while answering my queries. 


Dear parents, where are you ? You just can’t keep the kids busy in numerous hobby classes and feel satisfied? Where will they learn cleanliness, respect, honesty and other virtues?

I can’t help but recall my mother’s jingoism for cleanliness. Each time our family had to go for an outing she’d make us clean the house before we’d leave, set the cupboards, wipe the kitchen slab. I could never understand why but funnily, I follow this principle till date. 
She said (and still says) that the bathroom floor needs to be dry at all times (At all times!!). She made us clean the computer with a dry toothbrush and the combs with boiling water. When on a bed, she’d constantly keep removing the creases from the bed-cover. She taught us the 4 steps of putting the bed and how to use Brasso polish on metal statues.The sequence of setting a dinner plate (salad, chutney, subzi, dahi, left to right) and books (height-wise starting left. If the width is more than average put it flat). When a guest comes, offer atleast 4 snacks with tea because 2 is too less and 3 is an odd number.

Unfortunately today, I don’t follow half the things that I learnt from her. I’m a working mom and probably don’t spend the required time with my child. My son is 2 years old and I’m already shortlisting hobby classes for him to keep him busy and ensure that he has something to talk about when he grows up. I’m pretty sure that he will start using words like privacy much sooner that my generation did. While he watches me put the bed and clean the book shelf, he also watches me faking a response to him while I am surfing internet on my phone. He also watches me order pizza when the cook doesn’t turn up. Like me he will also imbibe only half the things he sees.
I’m worried which half.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Single for too long?

A lot of B-school grads today are increasing falling prey to LOOS (Lack of opportunity symptom).

What I see is the problem: -

· They were attached/ slightly attached/ had one-sided love in college. Hence, the mind-status on love life continues to stay in the exit-college condition.
· A decent pay package and a big brand name behind them conditions them to think they are the most eligible singles from college and re-ignition of old flames will happen soon (statistics say 96% B-schoolers try and woo their old connections once they reach a self satisfying stature, financially)
· All they fail to realize is how most of their batch mates would be feeling the same way
· They think its no time for flings because they are 26-27-28 and its time for shaadi.
· Companies they work for have put them in Jabalpur, Kanpur, Coimbatore, Cochin where they can find no one who matches their ‘mental frequency’
· They are so bored of staying alone but having nothing to spend on that they surrender to the idea of arranged marriage

The worst part is that that they don’t realize that they are desperate. It happens when you’ve been single for too long.
What I see is the symptom: -

· You get drunk and bask in glory of those days when your (X) girl friend got jealous when you spoke to a brunette who came to visit the campus for a few days as a part of exchange
· You still frequent the orkut profiles of your EXs
· When you see them green on gtalk, you think for a split second, ‘should I , should I not start the conversation’
· When in a bar/ coffee shop without company, you order a drink and start calling your friends
· When you are cribbing too much about work
· When you realize you haven’t refused a party invitation in last 6 months (you definitely wanna get noticed, get hooked)
· Before a train journey starts, you frantically hope that may someone interesting occupies the seat beside you
· In a gathering you suddenly come up with the announcement, “I wanna go to Leh alone. I need to spend some time with myself”
· Suddenly after reaching your hometown, you feel like a lost puppy coz no one else is single anymore!

What I suggest: -

Sit for MTV splitsvilla auditions

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A talk lay buried

I wonder why sometimes
I feel there is something amiss
When there is everything I ever wanted
Why is there vacuum in the abyss
Why do hopes from cherished ones
Translate to discontent later?
Or is the inability of the other
To comprehend greater

A talk will lay buried
Words will remain unspoken
Odd manifestations and
Dismal smiles betoken
As thoughts sometimes are
Like undying blemishes
When emotions divulge
Only the world relishes
Wounded is the one who hears
Wounded is the one who says
Silence comes by wisdom
Have heard the same always

So should true feelings die a slow death?
And sentiments lodge in the unknown?
Isn’t it then unfair to call it love when
It is sorrow in the heart sown
But kept hidden somewhere
Expecting this too shall pass
Hoping things will change
Collecting inside a grey amass
Which one day might explode
With exasperation and tears
In willows doubt and question
Is what one fears

So why is the other unwilling
To make way and understand
The silent spasms each day
And lend a warm hand
Then why let the talk lay buried
And why should words remain unspoken
Emotions make a lot of noise
Why lie when time is to be woken
As compromises are like
A dissonance cove
The more you judge
Is the less you love

PS: Wick, I ain't being judgemental:P it doesn't matter..i still love you.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Retold into existence

I ponder a lot over things that lack in life. Lack of public transport in Gurgaon to lack of time to go to the parlour for a wax. Lack of personal life, lack of impetus, lack of lacs in my bank account, lack of……..
Then I spend a lot of time chewing over these lacks and converting them to major gaps in life.

“ Lack of public transport in Gurgaon……How unlike Mumbai..…Oh Mumbai…How much I miss it…Gurgaon is just not the place for me…I must shift to mumbai…this job wont let me…I should find another one…This isn’t a good enough reason…I don’t know what I want from life…I’m an indecisive trudge tangled unnecessarily …..blahh..”

“Lack of time to go to the parlour....everything can be managed, I’m the one procrastinating since long.....think I’ve lost the desire to look beautiful…..how sad is such a thought at the age of 23…..am I going through some kind of depression??…..Should I go to the Himalayas?....omg!!”

After such gigantic troubles in life its easy for anyone to breakdown when life pushes one more bit. So life came to an end when my water purifier broke down.
Alas!! How could a girl at such a tender age, living all by herself take the burden of getting a water purifier fixed??
And then again, everyone from my parents to my bosses expect me to act perfectly normally. I should be equally cheerful when I call mumma each morning and I should respect all my deadlines irrespective of the hurdles I cross each day while I secure basic necessities (like clean drinking water)of life for myself.

To top it all there are incompetent unreasonable plods working for you who can’t manage their time, don’t know how to work efficiently, who nod even before listening to you and basically do a good job of fucking the chore well. Methinks I should steal their school graduation certificates and drop them somewhere in the pacific ocean.
Ghhhhh….Life is more unfair than ever!

While taunting him at his work and spurning at what little was left of his ego, I ask one of my new recruits if he’s feeling lucky to be in the company he is in. He nodded meekly. I asked if there was an issue.
“Madam, I was a Cricket player. I was in the team when Harayana won the Ranji Cup. Then I had an accident and couldn’t play anymore so had to change my field. But you please give me sometime. I will do a good job and not disappoint you.”

I felt a huge ball roll drop from my heart to my stomach.

I shouted at my bai, Paudha, a few days back for being minutes late as I was getting later for work.
“Didi, my younger daughter has not eaten anything since 3 days and pukes whatever I force in. This morning I sent her to Kolkata with my mother as I don’t have time to take care of her. If nothing else, she will be in Bengal if she lives. I went to the station to drop them and I definitely won’t be late tomorrow.”

I felt dry inside. And small. While I was busy in self-pity over my water purifier she nonchalantly fought for continuation. I wish I could turn into a fly and hide under the carpet she was cleaning. And I wish Paudha would unknowingly squash the fly with her foot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hi Mom, will you for once listen to me?

At the core, I am a non-listener. I listen till the topic of discussion isn’t leading to infringement of my basic fundamental rights. That is why, listening to mom is a slight hitch. Firstly, she still thinks I am incapable of making right decisions, venture out in the open all alone, open the door without being advised by her to do so, stand straight without her instructions like I were still a 2 year old (I can see Chotu and Manu nodding in agreement in Jaipur.."arre yeh toh hamare saath bhee hota hai.."). Secondly, we would always topple upon something where she would succeed in coercing me into changing the way things have been (read – encroach my personal space).
Her propositions are detailed and demanding and need a paper and pen to start with. Plus if you follow them, you’ll feel 84 by the time you are 32.

One can’t possibly eat everything she suggests as breakfast in one light year (Shaktiman can go to the moon and come back and I’ll still be having breakfast) ….milk, fruits, muesli, yogurt….. (if you are staying alone, like I am, she’ll fill you in with timesaving techniques like: while you cutting fruits, you can boil the oats)

I don’t think I’ll have time to sleep or shit or earn if I follow the lifestyle she suggests "…take a while in making your bed, 20 mins kapalbhaati, 20 mins pranayam, 20 mins walk early morning, evenings should start with 20 mins of….. "

And I don’t think I’ll have any social life left if I listen to her all the time as: One, I’d have no time on my hands after breakfast! Two, she insists on calling ALL my friends home, ALL the time because ‘…kya fayda hai bahaar jaane ka..tum log 150 rupaye ki coffee peete ho….’. And three, without trying to show how curious she is, she’ll try to know all about your personal life… ‘Chotu toh keh rahi thi tu pichle weekend ghar pe nahi thi, maine bola office mein kaam hoga..’

At my age, if you can cook, earn, keep a clean house, wash clothes and also have a personal life, you gotta be a super girl. To my understanding, I am one. But mumma dear refuses to recognize my talents and recommends something or the other which to her understanding will take me one step closer to her picture of a perfect 23 year old indian marriageable spinster. I end up listening to her because otherwise, people at home have to face repercussions..... Papa would be wincing at the sight of green healthy – gheeless food, Manu would squirm at the sudden cut-down on hours to be at play and Chotu would cringe at the questioning looks given to her while she’s on her cellphone. All three would blame me as if i were the mastermind behind the plot leading to their miseries. Very submissively I would agree and apologize and do something I hate doing – Obey!!

Mummy darling, please find below the proof (today’s breakfast):

I hope you and the world around you is slightly happy now.

Now I guess, shewill agree, I’m the world’s best daughter and trust me with other decisions I am planning to make in the near future :)