Monday, 19 December 2011

The HR Round

(This post is relevant for only those who knew their to-be-converted-to-spouse as a friend/ lover/ alcohol buddy prior to the marriage)

Couple of weeks back, a friend lamented (while discussing her HUSBAND, of course), “I don’t believe this is the same guy who used to call me at least thrice while we were dating; who used to compliment me on my dress/ hairstyle when we met for lunch/ dinner, who got me 100 red roses on my birthday (she should have been ecstatic that he remembered it, but then not everyone has miniscule expectations), who would hold my hand during scary movies (I mean why watch them in the first place if you need hand holding, but anyway that is my opinion)”…blah blah.

You know, how these raving sessions are; women just can’t stop once they start the saga of how cool/ cute/ nice/ lovable the man in her life was till she married him. These lamenting sessions are like opening up the floodgates; the frustrations pour out like a swelled river out to crush everything in its sight.

Honestly, I had no idea that pre/post kind of advertisements are not a fiction of imagination but real, heart rendering stuff, till I got married! It’s like a different guy who dated you and a very different one who is now married to you (though the DNA and physical attributes mysteriously remain same)!
Err, I am also kind of on the same boat these days. I mean this is the same guy? He was like a zillion times cute and nicer when we were alcohol buddies. Where did all the niceties vanish?
So I thought of getting THE husband’s perspective on the same. After all, he is the changed man; he should be able to throw light on it.

Here is what he had to say (AND, this is just one topic of annoyance am discussing here!!).

THE Husband: “I may have promised (though I definitely cannot remember) that we will have a wedding in some quaint little place, where we will sip champagne and dance to “Strangers in the Night” with candles all around us and a few really close people – an intimate and romantic affair, post which we will go to Venice for our honeymoon…, but well you see all this is not going to happen. A lot of other things I may have promised may also not happen”.
 He had the grace to sigh while saying, “Sad, but true”.

FYI: We had a very traditional bong wedding with absolutely no dancing, monotonous Sehnai in the background, typical wedding hall lighting (lots of tiny bulbs hanging all over which is very, very unromantic) and some hundred people milling around whom I have never seen before in my life! So, you can gauge my annoyance level at being mislead!

THE husband further added, “Let me tell you an incident. Couple of years back, my so-and-so friend went for an interview. Friend was thrilled with the way HR closed the deal. Package, perks, accommodation facility, multi cuisine food court, blackberry/ Macbook get the drift…a lot was discussed in minute details. The friend served his notice period and joined the new company, gung ho with all that he was promised. And well, post joining he realized that though the package offered was indeed same, a lot else that was offered / discussed, never happened / happened after prolonged hate mails going up and down”.

I was a bit well, umm.., why exactly am I being subjected to this tale?

THE husband elaborated, “You see, the promises were made to him when he was being courted for the job, he took it up and became an employee. And the whole world knows that the rule book is different for prospective employees and existing ones.
Similarly, while trying to convert you from a friend to a wife, I had to make tall promises. That was the HR round. You are now a part of the organization. Forget those conversations ever happened…it is a different, very different view from here. You are now a wife, being taken-for-granted comes with the territory”!

Well, now I have been enlightened; guess I should do the noble thing and pass the wisdom gained.


HR Speak (Just to give you an idea)

What it means - People who still live with their parents and won't mind our internship-level salaries.
What it means - We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.
What it means -Those who missed the last round of layoffs, that is.
What it means - We have no quality control.

Monday, 31 October 2011

From the desk of the war veteran

Now that I have been married for nearly 3.9 years, I think I am in the war veteran category. With the wisdom gathered over the past years, I felt like jotting down basic tips for a “long lasting marriage” or if you want a more honest phrase, tips for “staying calm in a continuously maddening situation”. Yes, you can accompany them with your regular meditation and deep breathing exercises for better result.
The pearls of wisdom are listed chronologically according to importance. We are serious about implementing them in our house to bring additional (haha) harmony.

Tip 1 - Separate TV (A MUST)
I have reached a conclusion that you can NEVER survive a marriage for long with only one TV in the house. It seems that the stronger partner in a marriage is not decided by who amongst both of you is more emotionally balanced, polite, responsible, affectionate, has a better looking salary slip blah blah. The clear winner amongst a couple is always decided on who can grab the MIGHTY remote first. It is similar to owning Tipu Sultan’s sword or the Armour of Achilles, once you have it, you realize your power. The ‘power’ to freak out and disturb your co member’s mental peace for an entire evening, by simply turning on your favourite channel and refusing to switch channels even during those godforsaken commercial breaks.
I cannot explain in words the snide, killer looks that is directed at me while I watch re run of old episodes of “Sex and City” or the movie “The Mirror” (Zafar Panahi incidentally is one of my favourite filmmaker) or programmes like “Jhalak Dikhla Ja”. THE HUSBAND thinks I watch too many ‘art films” (his lingo, not mine) for my own good; he also is of the opinion that  ‘Sex and the City” is made by and for mad women and that reality shows especially dance shows are there to induce trauma. Rude comments if you ask me!
He is of the notion that TV was invented for the sole purpose of airing cricket. You know that strange game which a bunch of guys keep playing the entire year round? Test matches/ T20/ Champions League – yaar kitna kheloge? Go home, take rest. And give others a rest too. But no, either they play a match or some stiff shirt sits in a studio and analyses earlier matches while few other stiff shirts keep nodding. While 98% time is reserved for the revered and respected “Cricket”, rest 2% goes watching news those that THE HUSBAND thinks is life altering. He actually diligently sat through the entire parliament proceeding regarding the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The “who should watch what and when” fight has reached epic proportions in our home; we have decided that non violent measures such as buying another TV is of prime importance. And it needs to be done ASAP before serious bodily injuries are inflicted.
PS: The fight for TV also includes the best viewing seat in the living room! But am not getting into that because we will very soon have separate TV setsJ

Tip 2 - Separate Bathrooms (DAMN IMPORTANT):
I don’t dig Katherine Zeta Jones. No one except Meryl Streep is worth dying for in my humble opinion, but well I do appreciate Ms. Zones for letting the cat out of the bag. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that having separate bathrooms is a vital ingredient for a successful marriage.
There are too many soul churning questions that plague me each day on this issue. Why can’t the toilet seat ever be down? Why is it only my job to clean the bathrooms used by both of us? Must it look like a 5 year old has splashed water all over every time THE HUSBAND takes a bath? Why can’t the brush be used to sweep away excess water that gets spilled while taking a bath? Whose responsibility is it to clean the perpetually overflowing ashtray in the bathroom? FYI- I have given up smoking ages back, so now you know who is responsible for those cig butts.
Also, I am not fond of questions like, “What do you do with all these bottles in a bathroom?” It is like asking why is the earth round in shape.
Seriously speaking, do men believe that washing hair involves just one shampoo?
Have they never heard of mixing shampoos? What about the scalp cleanser that needs adding for extra shine? And what about the various conditioners that is utterly important when you have coloured/ tinted hair? Look, am trying to think of ways to minimize the bath salts and after bath lotions. One does not like the same fragrance everyday…and you seriously cannot do with just one face wash. Here I refuse to budge. Face masks needs altering and well THE HUSBAND should try being a little more considerate about the efforts I undertake to look presentable. And if you don’t try out new products how will you know which suits your skin best? Agreed that well, err maybe my having two different toothpaste – one for morning, one for the night is a little over the top.
But anyways it is NOT a crime and hence I will not be bogged down. Separate bathroom is indeed a tempting idea. I have even thought of cutesy nameplates on respective bathrooms ;)

Tip 3 – Separate Bedrooms (NEEDS CONSIDERATION)
Yes, albeit with connecting doors. I remember reading certain romantic Victorian era novels during my green days, where the Mater and Mistress of the house would have separate bedrooms with connecting doors which I do think is a sensible idea. For me it gives me the option to read till 3 in the night (there are books which fall in unputdownable category) and have chocolates on bed while reading without “ah, uff, when will you turn of the lamp, how can you eat chocolates on bed” etc kind of disturbing noise in the backgorund. THE HUSBAND gets the option to smoke umpteen cigarettes uninterrupted with the ashtray lying tilted at a dangerous angle on the bed (can you imagine?) and listen to his all time favourite Top Gun / Lethal weapon OST like a lullaby. Or watch some movie clip with has some cool air chase scenes. Yes, apparently car and aircraft chase sequence helps induce better sleep. … so much for soothing music etc; but then each to their own. I agree that cuddling your spouse to sleep does have its merit but then so is doing what you like to do to unwind before you fall asleep on certain days.

The skeptics may wonder why stay together at all? Let us not get melodramatic. Are you not sharing the portico, garden, living room, kitchen, terrace, balcony, bills, pets, children, parents, vacation and sundry other responsibilities? That is a hell lot of things to share and nurture together. At times, yes even within a short span of 24 hours, one may look for some “me” time. And if giving each other a little space, lessens ridiculous arguments am all for it. Marriage is not about becoming real life examples of “Fevikol aisa jod lagaye’ to prove togetherness, it is about practicing the theory of “Live and let live” and be happy being together!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Random ramblings - part 1

Why must I always have cool titles for each post? Have decided to chuck whatever little formality that formed a minuscule part of this blog till date. Stuff that needs jotting down right now, falls under ‘random ramblings’.

THE husband has stated he will sue me. He thinks that am gaining popularity by making fun of him and other such fellows. I have no idea what he is referring to as “popularity”. Since I am clueless about the ‘catch phrase’, I will not react. But seriously God, when will he finally grow up?

Eye opener of the quarter:
Last Sunday, THE husband’s, Distant Friend visited. As I approached DF’s car parked outside (we were to pick up few stuff before the drunken evening started), the whispering got louder. HUSBAND and DF looked sheepish; highly suspicious behaviour, if you ask me! Well, it turned out that the discussion was on:
a)      What should Mr. DF gift his wife on her birthday which was like less than a week away?
b)      Whether they should seek my expert help?
c)      Will I end up informing the lady that her husband has decided to seek external help in selecting a gift for his wife of 5 years?
After some debate (women can never keep secrets type silly conversation) they decided to rope me in. Incidentally, Mr. DF was roaming aimlessly for the last 1 hour trying to think of a gift; THE husband was very sympathetic. So now I know what men do while zeroing in on a gift; they expect an apple to hit them on the head while the aimless walk is on, so that they can have their own ‘eureka” moment!
We all landed up at the nearby mall, to select gift for wifey. Post discussion, conferencing, dilly-dallying, finally the gift was purchased.
Mr. DF asked skeptically, “Will she be impressed”. Fair enough, one can feel little jittery.
THE husband’s famous rejoinder, “Oh, she must be already impressed with you, otherwise shaadi hi kyun ki?’
OH-MY-GOD! Does, he think I married and am still in the marriage because I am ‘impressed’ with him? Really?

Irrelevant but interesting episode:
A school teacher friend was in an extremely important session with her students appearing for their 10th board exams. She realized that there were five missed call from her husband. A trifle worried, she excused herself, went out to call back.
H – “I felt like going a little late to office”, on picking up her call.
W - “Is that why you called me”?
H- “Nah, I went to the market and got some keema which you can cook for dinner.”
W – “Is this the reason I have 5 missed calls?”
H – “Err, no..I called to tell you, I have kept the keema in the freezer”.

She was so exasperated, that apparently she was speechless for next 2 minutes. She was sounding exasperated even while narrating this high IQ conversation! Where are you supposed to keep keema that you brought home at 10.30 am which will be cooked only in the evening? In the living room sofa? Or, maybe the window sill where you have some potted plants? The bookshelf is not a bad idea either!!

Bye for now, while you think of better alternatives.J

Thursday, 25 August 2011

In Sickness and in Health:)

A close friend had once narrated an anecdote.
Once long back, her mom was diagnosed with some illness which required complete bed rest. The doctor and the elders in the family had advised her happy-go-lucky dad to take leave from work, stay at home for a couple of days and look after her. The well meaning advice backfired. Happy at getting leave from work out of the blue, Mr. Dad went ahead got himself crates of beer and called the friends who were available on a weekday to give him company. Besides creating ruckus with his male bonding act, he also managed to irritate aunty by waking her up from her medicine induced sleep every hour to ask “you are doing fine, right?” He would then vanish before she could muster a reply!
Her mom had finally bolted the bedroom door from inside after being woken up thrice and the next day she freaked at the doctor and her mother-in-law who promptly took back their earlier advice and uncle was requested to “not look after aunty” and get back to work with immediate effect the very next day!

We had all laughed hysterically on her dad’s twisted Florence Nightingale act! Little did I envision at that point, that once married I will land in similar territory.

What is it with men and tending to the sick? Why are they so completely at a loss? I am sure they mean well, just that while executing the kindness, somehow they land up doing exactly what is NOT required. Let me share my own very recent anecdote.

Last Friday, 8.00pm IST:

Being unable to walk for last 2 weeks because of swollen feet accompanied by excruciating pain, I finally decided to take medical help. The GP + the ortho (two different docs, if you please) asked me to get a series of tests done. One of them was to check RA (rheumatoid arthritis) factor. Being a Google addict; on reaching home post check up and tests, I promptly read up on RA and discovered that it is incurable and although medicines do regulate the pain, one basically lives with pain and side effects caused by the medication rest of his/ her life.
Overall, not present a pretty picture, at all.
I pondered about this and visualized myself as a stick/crutch dependent person, shunned by society, not able to work, in dire consequences etc (my imagination has a habit of running wild) and since there was nothing else to do except croak in pain, I decided to get depressed.
Suitably depressed, I rang the HUSBAND. On hearing my grief /panic stricken voice on phone, he for once did not say something irrelevant (Ex- I forgot to have my lunch today; I just saw two MIG’s flying over my tech park etc. Yes they are not co-related AT ALL, but then you don’t know my husband).
He actually came back home early to offer me his shoulders to cry on.  Pouring himself a large peg, he advised that till we actually find out what is wrong, it is no use getting worried. Logical and sensible advice, after all the evening had just begun.  My pain was manageable at that point.
The second drink, of course brought out the emotion. He claimed that no matter what happens to me, he will be there. He also assured full support on behalf of our fat four legged friend. Furry friend of course, looked the other way round and yawned, he did not seem very keen on supporting me in my illness.
Then as the third drink made its way, he mentioned that science is taking giant leaps, a possible cure will definitely find its way in the next couple of years. Which effectively meant that by then even he believed that I may be in for some trouble which totally contradicted his statement post drink No. 1.
By then the pain had increased manifold and I decided to have my dinner.
By the time the fourth drink was over, I had dozed off. I was tired and sick and wanted to sleep it off. I was suddenly shaken awake; THE Husband looking at me with a confused expression. Anyone who has had four large pegs in quick succession knows the expression I am referring to.
And I was informed, “I think I am little high, can you please serve me dinner?”

There you go! Who was ill? Who needed looking after? Who needed TLC? Who should have served whom dinner? These thought provoking questions never get a satisfactory answer; my friend….and life goes on.

At the Hospital though, we were confronted with a different side of the coin.
A couple was sitting with their back towards us waiting for the same doctor. The woman kept whining that her shopping time cannot be compromised on. The man replied “I have never stopped you from going out”. Woman cribbed, “But you promised you will accompany me”. Man sighed; deep, sad sigh. And then as they got up to leave, we realized that the guy in question had crepe bandage over his ankle. The HUSBAND stated gravely, “Man, having a wife who insists that you accompany her for a shopping spree while semi limping is a real sad situation.”
Was that the moment of truth/ acknowledgment that there are real pain-in-the-wrong-place kind of wives on this planet and that he is lucky NOT to be associated with one?
I am yet to know.

PPS: Oh by the way, in spite of four pegs he was up on time the next day to accompany me to the doctor.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Why Don Juan will never make a good husband!

FYI: This blog is not an online version of ‘comedy store’. Seriously! I have been getting feedback that junta is finding it funny, LMAO, ROFL etc. You know how everyone talks in acronyms these days, which if you ask me is very weird. Anyways, the point I am trying to make is this is a forum to discuss and decode a very, very serious topic like ‘marriage’.
Do read the rest of the entries with a somber expression! At least try. I mean if you guys can’t take something like marriage seriously, what hope is left!!
LOL. Now that I am done, let’s proceedJ

An old friend visited earlier this week. We were meeting face-to-face after a long period and hence there was a lot of gossip that needed trading.
Conversation veered to old friends who are still unmarried. Yes, we sounded like protagonists from Ekta Kapoor stable; discussing very aunty-like, boring and nothing-better-to-do-with-life topic. I admit, am a bit embarrassed to broach the subject but definitely not ashamed, mind you. While at it we realized that all the common friends who are nearing mid 30’s (God, we are indeed getting OLD) and are single and available and not happy with the single status are the ones who always had a penchant for the quasi Don Juan types.
They somehow had this tremendous self belief that they could convert Mr. Cool-and-wild to Mr. Responsible-and-domestic. Nadan bacche! I am not being patronizing; I truly think that it was one of their biggest miscalculations while they got into one relationship after another presuming it to be the “THE ONE”.

Description of Quasi DJ: suave, charming, kind of intelligent, well dressed, well read (some are), earns enough dough to take GF’s for dinner/ lunch at fancy places, some are fancier and actually offers international vacations, tad bit over protective (at least they definitely enact that part) can flirt, a little wild side to them, drives car/ bikes faster than usual, thrives on being impulsive, experimental in bed etc etc. In a nutshell, lots of qualities to sweep you of your feet!

Point is, while these types may seem very attractive during ‘dating’ phase, they invariably back out when it comes to finally tying the knot. Various reasons – commitment phobia, hypocritical, does not have the balls to stand by their decision are a few that I can think of, right now.
I know quite a few, who eventually stated while dumping their GF’s that while going around with girl / s who are smart, attractive, a lil wild on the side like them was fun,  but ‘shaadi ke liye to papa-mummy ke choice ko bhi include karma chahiye’. Papa-Mummy of course had a very different idea of what ‘bahu’ should be like. Tch, tch. Unfortunately, by the time this wisdom struck these guys, the girl in question was already heartbroken. Of course, there are a few who went ahead and got married but more often than not news of their still being wild and attending convenient business meetings at wee hours in the night in the company of women does its rounds! Bigger joke is that their wives actually pretend to believe them!! And it not hearsay, I actually personally know such couples.

Looking back, my selection criterion for my first boyfriend was – tattoos, bike and well...he did have a noticeably good physique. I was 21 and one has every right to be vain and like guys because they look delicious. But never in my dreams did I think of marrying him. OMG, he was nice, sweet, bought me chocolates etc but very irresponsible. Trust me, even he used to admit he is irresponsible! And that is a hell of a criterion while one selects a husband. You may want a hot guy as your husband but you would rather if he is responsible!

What we both concluded is that there needs to be different criterion for selecting a boyfriend vis-à-vis husband. And unfortunately a doting boyfriend does not always convert himself into a doting husband. I agree it is the IDEAL situation, but alas ideal seldom takes place in real life. Women need to get a grasp and understand that while making choices they need to be a bit more practical.
Our respective husbands may be a bit of a goofball, semi forgetful (does confuse birthdays, anniversary etc), refuses to go for a manicure (in other words not always well groomed) and have given up riding bikes (except while visiting Goa) but well….they are around when needed. And yes, they do remember to pay the electricity and phone bills on time and does massage your feet if you are terribly fatigued at the end of the day, albeit with a sulk!

So here is our pearl of wisdom. Girls have fun, while in your 20s. Be with the Don Juans, let them woo you, check out ‘how to have fun” road. But know when to back out. Life is not about “Lived happily ever after”. Life is about making choices that help you lead a meaningful life. So if you want a regular marriage (watching TV in the evening, going grocery shopping over the weekends etc) then opt for the sensible, responsible men in your circle. Don’t keep waiting trying to convert Mr Juan to someone he cannot be. Learn to move on, there is definitely someone who may not be able to fulfill all your crazy fantasies but will definitely try to make you happy in his own way!


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Gift (Not of the Magi!)

During a particular period every year, THE husband looks stressed; very stressed in fact. His frowns deepen (he does frown from time to time; it enhances his personality!) and he goes into period of deep meditative silence (he is anyways the silent, thoughtful type). I even get suspicious looks from time to time as if I am responsible for all recent terror attacks.
No, it has nothing to do with his yearly appraisals or annual health check ups of immediate family members including him. And I presume you did not take that terror attack line seriously anyways.
It is that time of the year when there is a week or at the most 2 weeks left to my birthday!

Finally and invariably he asks the boring question of the year, “So well, umm…what is it that you would like as a birthday gift?”

And at that precise point I start looking stressed.

I mean why? Why cannot men guess through some infra red ray or whatever jargon these sci-fi thrillers mention that can transmit my wish list from my mind to his? My women friends never ask me these questions, they always KNOW! Yes, they remember the lovely lilac bag I wistfully looked at while window shopping 6 months back; if not lilac they at least aim for a similar shade. That’s what you call the art of gifting. Remembering what is required and making it a point to acquire it. Not like some task that has to be done.

Most of my guy friends and that includes THE husband has this whole “Let’s look at this as a compulsory boring activity” approach to birthday gifts. And no, they really don’t mind if you do not remember their birthdays or don’t get them a gift. The worrying part is they expect similar behaviour from you!
A very, very close guy friend (he was nearly as close as a girl friend, so you will understand why I was so disappointed in him) once got me a packet of Ferrero Rocher as my birthday gift. Really, how unimaginative can one get! I absolutely hate those chocolates! I was so mad at him for being so predictable. And no, please don’t expect me to understand and appreciate his gesture etc. I really do not care that “so many unfortunate souls do not have birthday presents”; on certain occasions especially like that of my birthday, I can be very selfish. Okay self centered. That sounds so much better!

Look, like all regular 18 -20 year olds I have read enough Femina, Cosmoplitan and other ‘women centric’ (whatever that means) magazines while spending time at the salon or while waiting for a train etc. Yes, at college, I used to travel by train post vacation back to mad-fun hostel life! In these magazines THE husband always springs a surprise; and here I am referring to the good, caring type husbands. They plan a secret gala party of take their wife to some exotic locale and have the best champagne under moonlight. Come on, you guys watch TV; not only women centric magazines but even regular ‘homo sapiens centric’ advertisements showcase these ideal scenarios.

So every year I am asked the same question and every year I get cheesed off and say, “Never mind, since you cannot even think/ remember what I want”.
At that point an argument breaks out and last two years it has been resolved in the form of “Lets go for a vacation somewhere”. Yes, I have even been taken on a vacation in December and told that this is a belated birthday gift. My birthday is in August for God’s sake, how belated can one get?
 I must give some credit though; in 2010 the lovely, blissful sea side vacation actually happened in SeptemberJ

Few of my married women friends, the ones who have been married for more than five years have given up hope on exotic presents. They are elated if their birthdays are remembered at all! Situation is so bad, that someone I know last year bought her own gift, asked the shop guys to wrap it nicely and keep it and then sent a sms to her husband reminding him to pick the gift up!

This weekend, someone who was referred by someone came to showcase few beautiful sarees. I do wear them occasionally and I was gifted a few earlier this year by while I visited relatives in Calcutta. Hence, I was clear in my mind that I don’t need another one, but well since he was referred I agreed to check his collection. Enters, THE husband. He absolutely insists that I must buy one. “That one and this one looks good; very classy..why don’t you check them etc etc?”
 It was surreal! Why was this fellow suddenly taking so much interest in checking sarees and nearly forcing me to buy one? Okay, so I did like one in particular and gave in to cajoling – both from my husband and the saree seller. And then, something even more strange happened. The husband insisted that he will gift this to me. Why this sudden excitement in giving me a gift? Mostly he gets into selective hearing mode whenever we discuss gifts.
And then, later that evening it hit me. On being asked point blank, he said with a casual shrug, “This opportunity was God sent. Now, I don’t have to bother about what to gift you for your birthday”.

Task completed for 2011.

My early Christmas wish: ‘Dear lord, let some brilliant publishing house bring out a Men’s magazine where they dedicate one less page to cars and instead have advice on “15 exotic gifts to give your wife on her birthday and make her feel special”. I will definitely gift a copy to THE husband!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

JLT -1 (For the uninitiated it stands for Just Like That !)

Went to see a new born baby today, four hours post her arrival on this planet. I was very excited. The last time I saw such a tiny baby was when my one of my nieces was born and that was twenty years back. The child had such cute, toy shaped hands and feet. They were pink in colour and perfectly formed.
Guess what The Husband did entire time we were in the fancy cabin where mom and baby was? He fiddled with his new phone. His logic on being reprimanded can-you-stop staring-at-the-damn phone was “This is new; I still need to understand a few features”. Dude, the baby is new too; did we not go all the way to see her?  How can a mobile be more interesting than a new doll like baby?

Men, if you ask me, are pretty weird!

Since I am on the ‘men are weird’ state of mind, let me discuss another incident. Few days back, I was unwell. My BFF was running high fever, so she called to chat and feel better. Well, you must be aware that talking and simultaneously giggling with your soul sister can immediately make your day better, no matter how sick you feel inside. So we both tried that therapy to cure ourselves. Once done with the half an hour (ONLY) conversation, I called The Husband to remind him of something. I did mention in the passing that not only me, but even my best friend has been feeling unwell. It was just one of those not-really-important-but-you-still-mention-it kinda statements. Guess, what the reaction was?
“You have no clue how badly I have hurt my hand while lifting so-and-so thing sometime back”. Let me tell you, this is not a one off instance, every time you mention that you are unwell, instead of empathy what comes in your direction is ‘my situation is worse than yours’ sulk. I of course did my ‘Oh-ho, you must take proper care blah blah’ mommy act and disconnected the call earlier than I wanted to. And then, promptly called back my BFF and we giggled heartily over men and how they never show signs of growing up!

Monday, 11 July 2011

For God's sake, get up, stand up!

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
 Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight’
                           - Bob Marley

What is with men and violence? And with women who want to play the victim? Seriously, can’t either of them get a life?

A friend recently mailed me a link; one of those forwards where people want you to be a part of a movement by clicking on the link and showing your unconditional (well, whatever) support. So this cause, is for a deceased lady who was a resident of some fairly up-market place in Gurgaon who seems to have either committed suicide or was forced to do so by her philandering husband and indifferent-to-her-woes in-laws.
By Jove, this is an educated, working, woman-of-the-world person we are talking about; not the dozens of women who languish in remote parts of our country, who neither have an education nor means to support themselves and hence has no choice but to put up with mental, emotional, sexual abuse in a marriage. What left my mouth agape was when one has the option to support oneself (maybe not grandly but yes one can definitely manage a basic accommodation and three meals) by working, and in this case the lady had a job which means she was capable of earning her own living, then why was she taking shit from her husband for the last few years?
Why not walk out on a marriage that is anyway full of abuse? Why wait for a loser who is anyway disrespecting you by conducting an affair while being married to you and adding physical violence to the marriage and generally behaving like an oaf? Is it not obvious to these women that their husbands are not going to turn back and become the ideal husband; someone who can kick you, beat you and cheat on you was never an ideal human being in the first place, forget being an ideal husband.
And then, there is always the classic argument put forth by a whole lot of women who are in an abusive marriage. “How can I get out of the marriage, my child needs a balanced environment”; dude in an ‘environment’ where dad is hitting mom or insulting her in various other innovative / age old ways, how can any child grow up ‘balanced’?

Alas, feminism, it seems has not been able to teach what it was meant to. I can empathize with women who were burnt at the stake in the name of Sati or the ones who are still being killed in the name of honour/ dowry etc. But seriously, isn’t it time women stopped whining and started taking concrete steps to combat abuse hurled at them? Why keep pining for help from others? What about self help?

However, not all is lost, it seems.

Two weeks back, I and my husband spent 3 hours running between a local police station, our home and that of one of my friend’s. She had already filed for divorce and that particular evening, her soon-to-be-ex-husband landed up at her apartment, broke open the door and physically assaulted her. He has an anger management issue and there have been a couple of nasty situations in their marriage earlier too. Then one fine day, she just decided that it is indeed enough and went ahead and took a call to go their separate way. Yes, she has been feeling low (no one I know was ecstatic while filing for divorce), things looked very bleak, she does not have family or close friends living in the same city hence is more vulnerable emotionally, but then one cannot go on depending on others to fight their own wars. So yes, some of the women are finally taking a stand and sticking to it; truly admirableJ

I strongly feel that it is high time for women all across the globe specifically India, to wake up from their victimhood slumber. High time they took control of their life in their own hands and realize that one of the damn important ingredients that helps one become a good wife and a mother is to have ‘self respect’ – a good dose of it. Oh and by the way, women who have self respect are not the same as women with ‘ego’ and ‘attitude problem’!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The unromantic evening

Day before yesterday was Sunday. It started as same shit. You know, breakfast kaun banayga (we have this discussion with the same end result every damn time; me getting irritated and doing it rather than wasting any more time), whether we should call on some common friend whose house is so damn far that we have been avoiding the house visit last few months, whose turn it is to take clothes out from washing machine for drying  etc. This saga of normal, routine, urbane, boring Sunday continued till say 5ish. 

And then something wonderful happened.
It started raining. And suddenly me and THE husband were back to being the fun friends we used to be. We giggled and chatted while having coffee in the porch, took silly pictures of our four legged child who was so very bored with photoshoot and then we decided that it was time for some more adventure.
Out came our sneakers and scraves and windcheaters and we sauntered on to the nearby market. Roamed, faffed and bought charcoal roasted, lime and kadha coated 'bhutta' (corn) and took a walk in the rain....holding hands and sharing the bhutta. Dahi papdi chat and kachoris followed. Basically all the yum snacks that has been missing from our lives:)
Flowers exchanged hands too - white zebras for the glass vase that I adore and my Sunday was not boring anymore!

I realized that one does not need candle light dinners, couple spa's and the sundry other boring nonsense the Femina's of the world prescribe for a "good couple time". One just has to be spontaneous and look for fun in everyday things. And you can turn a regular boring Sunday into a fun filled 'great couple time' one!

FYI: The kadha for great bhutta experience is made out of mixing dhaniya chutney, pudhina, mirchi and adrakh in right proportions. Its one killer combo. Must try when it rains again:)

Monday, 6 June 2011

The baby dilemma

Had this insanely irritating conversation with an old classmate and had to vent out my feelings - right here, right now.
Do you have any idea what it is to be 30+, married and not have a child in India? Its just one step short of nightmare!
Trust me, I am in the same spot, I know what I am talking about. Forget relatives, in-laws, neighbourhood aunties, ex-neighbourhood aunties (yes, they still haunt you when they bump into you at some common arena) old classmates, parents of old classmates, these days I have a gut feeling that very soon the stray dogs whom I interact with while serving them their daily glucose biscuit snack will soon join the club and enquire the dreaded question “Isn’t it time you plan a family?”

Tell me, why do people keep referring to babies as ‘family’? For me the immediate connection is Mario Puzzo. You know “the family”…sounds so very ‘Godfatherish’ for God’s sake!
This “why am I not having a baby” has reached such mammoth irritating proportions that last month while I was on chat with this guy who was my official boyfriend when I was a giggly 20 year old, had his opinion (totally unsolicited of course) on why I should get serious about planning a child blah blah. Just imagine ex boyfriend, who was total juvenile type also thinks he has a right to lecture me on this topic! Where is the world coming to?

Don’t get ideas; I love kids. It’s just that my husband prefers puppies! No, I am quite serious. He is always terribly happy when the discussion is around dogs, but mention a baby and he starts sulking like one. And I am not sure whether this is a trend amongst guys these days, but I actually know a few couples who are in the same place – the women think babies are great, their husbands think the pets they have are greater!
I actually wanted to have a baby even when I was a baby. Like when I was seven year old types. Of course, then I used to think that all you have to do is request God and he will ensure that the next morning there will be a cuddly chubby baby on our doorstep. At that age everything looked simple!
Alas, then you grow up and realize that amongst various other problems that will plague you ‘not being able to have a child / make up your mind on having a child’ will be of utmost importance – whether you like it or not.

There are issues pertaining to health / finance / work-life balance etc that one has to take into consideration. The stark realities of life.  
Am sure most of us who are in the ‘so when do we finally take the big step’ mode will have a child one day..but till then, please let me breathe and stop hounding me with these inane questions. And no, I do not feel like discussing the condition of my ovaries and fallopian tubes and the other complex reproductive mechanism stuff with all and sundry! Don’t people have a life?  Or is the situation like a school friend of mine summed up the other day, “Babe, the only reason why I am asking you to have a child is because I am so hassled with my 3 year old and his non stop tantrums that I would love to see you in the same situation” – so much for being your OLD friend;) You expect love and kindness not perversion from them!

I am aware my biological clock is ticking, I am aware that with age managing a child becomes more difficult and the various other associated  pitfalls for having a child late in life; but all said and done I will have a child only when me and my husband (the puppy prefer-er) think it’s the right time!
Till then you inquisitive nosy fellas and motherhood, hold on to your horses, I say!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Introduction to the holly molly ride:)

These days I am on a pleased-with-myself trip. I finally seem to have a solution. Umm, not exactly a concrete one but what the heck as long as it works for me, I have every right to call it a solution. Well, in a nutshell what I have decided is that instead of spending hours chatting (physical or virtual hardly makes a difference) with my very sensible (V-E-R-Y) girls gang, I will also pen down thoughts and feelings on a very intriguing, mind boggling helluva topic called “Marriage” in a diary format! Twist is it is a diary written like a letter addressed to all the souls who will care to read it – thus ‘blogging’ is the solution that I have been looking forJ
Look writing a diary at my age (when you cross the 30 mark, you feel as if you have earned the right to keep using the phrase “at my age” at every given opportunity) may seem well a lot of things to a lot of people. But I have always appreciated diary writers and I have a sneaking feeling that when I read it years from now - the trivia, trials and tribulations, I will have a hearty laugh over my favourite drink.

Little background:Anne Frank was an inspiration. Like whole lot of school girls I have tried following her footsteps by maintaining a diary, but then when you are 10-11 year old, there is only that much that happens in your life! There is a limit to how many promises you make for doing your homework on time and secretly wish for your friend’s special talent in catching grasshoppers. Being a little imaginative amongst my friends I had even wished for a small scale war or semi apocalypse (well a full fledged version seemed too ghastly) and also a baby brother to be delivered in my doorstep (wrapped in a lovely pink blanket in a wicker basket) but thank God, those were just crazy 11 year old thoughts! Actually, when I suddenly found my long lost diary and actually read that part, I think I was confused whether I wanted a baby brother or a puppy – descriptions for both seems to have merged!

Since I plan to jot down and share my thoughts on the interesting institution (INSTITUTION – just hear the damn sound of it) called ‘marriage’, I may as well start with the very topic itself.

Look, this is not going to be one of those “12 ways to tell whether your husband loves you” or “20 tips on how to make your husband lust for you” types, this is about finding humour in a very serious scenario (come on dude, marriage is serious business!) and discussing marriage and men (my only gay friend is yet to marry so this is mostly about heterosexual experience in marriage/s) in a realistic manner. Realistic translated in simple words mean, this can partially be treated as a forum where one can crib (to one’s heart’s content) about THE husband/ in laws/ men and their irritating habits which you come to know only when you start living with them etc etc. Okay, just so that I not sound like a ‘Mahila Mukti Morch’a type, I plan to include (in bits and pieces) my male friends observations on their respective wives or married women in general.

You see, till about three years back, my sole reaction to ‘marriage jokes’ - the ones your married friends keep smsing and mailing you incessantly was a ‘smirk’. I did not find them that laugh worthy though I was aware that the intention was to crack you up. I believe we need to be honest (at least 80%; I mean after all there is a difference between a diary and a confession box!) so let me be frank; I never really understood the ha-ha quality of the aforementioned jokes, so ‘smirking’ was the best I could do.
But that was then.
So much has changed in these three long (long= zillion) years. Situations have changed, I have changed and of course my sense of humour has evolved. Oh yes, ‘evolved’ sounds so much better than catty! Ahem, I have been married for three years.

These days I wait for those stale (they seem new every time I read them) jokes. They make my day. Nowadays when I read them, I holler, giggle and indulge in full throat-ed gurgling laughter, depending on their fun quotient. Regarding the real funny ones, I even call close buddies (only the married ones) and read them aloud so that one can indulge in collective high pitched laughter.
Man, it is only now that I have joined the bandwagon that I truly appreciate them. They are indeed funny. True slice-of-life stuff.
I marvel at the talented people who sum up this institution with appropriate one liners. Let me share a select few whopper one liners.
My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met’. (Hahaha)
‘Marriages are made in heaven. But, then again, so are thunder, lightening, tornadoes  
  and hail’.  (Hahahahaha)
 And of course a killer one – ‘Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry  
 women hoping they will not’ - Albert Einstein.
 ROFL. His jokes are as good as his inventions. Bless his soul.

You basically get the picture. You need to be married (at least once) to fully decode the above lines and laugh realizing the situation (‘situation’ is way better than ‘mess’, if you know what I mean) you are in. Have you noticed that married people laugh the loudest in a stand up comedy show when ‘marriage related’ sarcastic, merciless jokes are cracked? Its because sitting in the dark while someone else’s leg is being pulled, we -the married ones, empathize with all our heartJ

There are days when I think my husband is cute. No, cutest. And I also think he is funny (in a goofy way) and caring and honest and gosh so much better than so and so. There are days when I sincerely wish that he should go unaided to the terrace and jump from there. On his own. Be a martyr for freaking me out! There are days when I feel at peace being in this marriage and there are also days when I feel I am in a total mess and wonder “will it be better if I walk out’?
Dude, marriage is the scariest roller coaster I have ridden till date. I am yet to visit all the theme parks across the globe, so let me know if there is a scarier ride in one – will keep it in my to-do list before I kick the bucket!  My conclusion is that maze called marriage will either kill us or liberate us – am yet to understand which direction mine is headed.

But then I also look at the brighter side. The learning's stuff. Marriage has truly been an eye opener.
Till I was married, I had no inkling that men have immense capacity to sulk. They can, they do and also succeed in getting their way while at it! I never thought that a guy can find cockroaches eeky enough to pretend (like my husband) that he did not see it crawling in the kitchen sink, lest he is expected to take care of it. I did not realize that ashtrays and toilet pots are same; that both are used to sniff out cigarette butts. Or that towels need to be dried on the bed. Or the fact that asking someone to accompany you to weekly grocery shopping gets similar looks as if you have asked him to join real Mafia (not the stupid FB game silly). Or that ‘watching a cricket match’ and ‘meditating’ are totally similar; not meant to be spoken to or disturbed at all while one is doing either!

I also did not realize that if you have a bad dream or felt scared in one, all you have to do is wake up and roll over and hug the person next to you. There! And go back to sleep knowing you are safe. Or know that someone will make you chicken stew while you are working on an important presentation middle of the night and have no time to even move from the laptop. Well, the soup may be served in a non-soup bowl (my husband has no clue or so he says about placements of things in our house including utensils) but it will be warm and what you needed at that point to keep going! Or that you can call each other by mindless pet names and giggle over it (sharing top secret kind of giggle) or that someone will wait up for you when you come home late from work; even if all the cushions are piled on top of each other rather than where they should be and the house looks like a mini tornado said hello to it sometime back!

But, all said and done, I believe that when we marry we make a choice. A choice, to grow up and be responsible, not just for oneself, but also for one’s spouse. You see, its not just age but even marriage that is contributing to my wisdom these daysJ.
So, mighty reader accompany me while I navigate the twists and turns of the massive marriage maze …am sure its going to be one holy molly fun ride!