Saturday, September 28, 2013

8 - Married... on paper !

I haven't used this warning in any of my recent posts and I am very thrilled to say it now :). This is a long post. Tread on it only if you want to venture the risk.

Of all the roles I knew I would have to take in my life, the one of a marriage 'counselor' was something I was totally unprepared for. And to be honest, among the least favorite in my list too.

So it came as a bit of a shocker to me when I received this intriguing message in my inbox a few days ago, from a friend. Short and crisp. Point was simple. Somebody who has decided to embark on a journey for a lifetime and who wanted advice on how to handle this new phase in life. Who better to answer that than somebody who can tell you exactly on how 'not' to handle things in a so called marriage.

Combine this with my love to blabber anything verbally or in the written media, and voila !! I become the new master in this session.

After reading my pages long reply, I was advised to put it up here, as apparently nobody else could have summarized it this well. As flattered as I was (honestly the irony here simply sucks! To be complimented on being good in explaining something you were accused of being bad at !), I figured I do not want to put it all up here because honestly to a certain extent it is an invasion of privacy.

 However, there was one question in the reply which really intrigued me and I wanted to ponder over it. Again, it was straight forward and point blank 'Would you be open to trust someone again'?. Before I embark to find an answer to it, I would like to post a few lines here on my first reply to my friend.

The opening statement in it, I believe was as honest and frank as I could have possibly put it.

Marriage is not about being with the most perfect person. It is about being with that one imperfect person, who's every imperfectness you are absolutely happy putting up with because there is that one little aspect in him/her which makes you want to go back to them every single day.

The day you realize this truth is when you are ready to pave the path for a lifelong commitment of agreeing to live with that person under the same roof for the rest of your life.

But, and this is a very big clause here, you also need to be able to realize the difference between a pure plain imperfectness and downright brutality. No relationship is precious enough to taunt or torture the other, emotionally or physically.

Lay your cards on the table upfront, in the beginning itself. Don't wait to give any surprises after tying the knot. You are literally trapping the other person that way.

This is that one person in your life you should learn to be absolutely honest with. He or she is the one who is going to see you vulnerable, see your fears, hear your anger, wipe your tears, share your joys and have children with. This other person has every right to know what exactly they are getting into and what to expect. So ground rule.. BE HONEST, at-least with your spouse, even if you know it might kill you. Eventually these things have a way of working themselves out.

And please for the sake of harmony, it is always best to remember that this person had a life before you came into it. Friends, family, colleagues, hobbies, likes, dislikes. Don't try to change it all in a day or 10 years. Instead try to merge into.

Learn to trust. Question him/her when you feel you are getting lost. Appreciate when you feel you are trusted. Giving and taking..goes a long way. And it is always wise to remember that not every discussion has to be an argument.

This should be that one person you are happy waking up with every morning. Not somebody you detest going to bed with.

Last but not the least, forget every single bollywood masala you have ever seen in your life. These have a way of ruining your life in a way you would never expect.

No, marriage is not about having your husband calling you hundred times in a day to tell you he loves you. There will be no background music or colorfully clad beautiful ladies coming to sing and dance for you each time he does something romantic. He is not going to come home and swipe you off your feet every evening and walk around carrying you in the house. He would rather spend his time to ensure that he can provide for you and keep you happy under his roof.

For the men, no, your wife is not going to wake up every morning looking like aiswarya rai or priyanka chopra. She is going to have puffy eyes, stretch marks and frizzy hair. She is not going to walk around the entire day looking like a model in the runway. There will be days when she might even refuse to change out of her pajamas. But she would rather spend her time to maintain a neat place you can come home to every evening. To make sure you have fresh sets of clothes every morning. To ensure that you eat good food every day.

Every marriage works on one simple rule. Do not set individual expectations. Get together and make it a journey. Not a means to achieve some expectation you set when you were 18.

And yes, I know these are all easier said than done. But hey, haven't we managed to get along all these years doing things we didn't want to in the first place. Like I said, few things have a way of working themselves out. And few, let's just say is better when not worked out. It's a choice of being wanted or unwanted. writing all this here, I think I just aged 40 years ! Crap !

And for my answer.. I don't think I have one yet.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7 - A husband's wife

‘He’s at it again. I don’t know how you put up with it’
My 12 year old walks in to the kitchen with this declaration.

With hands elbow deep in the kitchen sink trying to clean up the remnants of the day’s breakfast, I turn back to give her a look.

‘You are not allowed to talk like that about him’ – I chide her.
‘Well, then somebody has to tell him he needs to change. I hate school, but I hate being at home more. I am just choosing the better of the 2 evils when I leave this house every morning’.

I guess it’s this taken for granted feeling that my mother had warned me about. Or probably my baby thinks that after the immense pain I suffered in bringing her out into this world, nothing she does or says could hurt me more.

With no further hurtful words, she left the house, to a world of her own.

I am still doing the dishes, but my mind wanders.

I could hear him upstairs, cursing and hurrying.

Maybe it is because he grew old. Or maybe it is because he grew old with me.

I wonder if he would have been like this had he been married to any of the other girls from the numerous names signed in his precious book collection. Each time I found him lost in thought, I had always wondered which one of those pretty faces he was missing.

I hear the front door slam shut. His way of letting me know that he was out of the house.

I couldn't have asked for a better start to my 16’Th anniversary day. A day forgotten both by my husband and daughter.

All it took was less than a minute for the water to go down the drain…in one swift gush.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

6 - Impossible....For us.

It was ideal. 

He liked her. She liked him. He made her smile. 

They could talk. And she wanted to. 
She hoped he wanted it too. Or so she thought.

He was in a new affair. A new face. A new name. Everyday.
And she wondered, if they were all very pretty and intelligent.
It bothered her so much that she never asked him, ever.

She was... well, out of an affair. 'Relationship', if you don’t find that word comfortable.

She enjoyed today with him. Tomorrow she stored up conversations to repeat to him. The day after existed too, but not very clearly. 

She dwelt on 'maybe'.

For a person who wasn't able to love someone whom she was in love with, being faithful had never been an issue. 

For someone who was self protective, he didn't want to love. And he wasn't sure if he wanted her to love him. He might be unfaithful. 

Everyone except the two of them knew it was love.

She really didn't know. She knew she could. She didn't know if she already had.

He didn't. Or maybe he didn't know. That's what he said. Or pretended. 

Looking was easy. Seeing was incomprehensible. 

Author's Note, 26'th september 2013
I saw this lying in my drafts folder. Tweaked it a bit and posted it here. Now I wonder if this was all entirely my work. Trying to figure out how and why it's been in my draft's folder for the last almost 4 years :(.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 - Chapatti and ice cream for one please

‘She will have one chapatti and the Dal. I will have 1 plate chicken Dum biriyani with 2 eggs and the boondi raita'.

I sat bewildered and before I could react, the petite dainty waitress was already on her way to the next table to take orders.

‘Are we on a budget here? ‘ – I ask him.
‘No. Why do you ask’
‘Well cause, I would have preferred to eat more than just one chapatti and 3 spoons of dal’. I couldn't hide the sarcasm from my voice. Nor the pangs of my hunger.

He started laughing.
I didn't see the joke.
He looked my way and he realized I wasn't joking.

‘Are you serious? Come on now, you are a girl’.
Now I burst out laughing.

He looked offended. Apparently that wasn't my cue to laugh. Nor was it his attempt at making a joke.

‘Do explain’. I urge him.

‘You know. Girls never have more than chapatti. In fact they cannot even have the one chapatti. In all my other dates, I have had the girls waste away so much food, I felt my fingers burn when I paid for it from my wallet. ’
‘Moreover. You don’t need to have a healthy appetite. You can do with a bit of dieting. After all, isn't it a fad among all girls to be on constant diets?’

He was proud in displaying his wisdom on what he assumed was unique to the species called ‘girls’.

‘So who exactly wrote this rule book that you are quoting from?’ I can never resist being sarcastic when it comes to any ‘Mr. Know it all’.

‘Hey! it’s general knowledge. Girls don’t like to eat. There is nothing for you to take offence on.’ He still stood his ground.

‘Well, I am not sure I understand your point, but are you telling me that being a girl, I shouldn't feel hunger?’  - I needed him to clarify.

‘Yes. Girls are all about being dainty. I am surprised you are even arguing with me on this fact. Girls don’t argue and girls don’t have a big appetite’.

For the rest of the dinner, I ate my 1 chapatti in silence.
As my reward, after dinner, I hear him tell the waitress ‘1 black-current ice-cream for the lady here please’.

I am not a fan of ice creams but I absolutely hate black-current.

However, I do know a lost cause when I see one. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

4 - Love at first sight

I was just taking a stroll in the aisle with no particular intention in mind. And that is when I laid eyes on the most beautiful creation, tucked away in a corner of the shelf. I am guessing no one had a chance to see it, cause if they were to, it wouldn't be lying there still..for me.

Love at first sight.. on the most beautiful bracelet I had seen. It had all my favorite colors. The pattern was delicate. 

The price was outrageous. But I knew I had to own it. At any cost. Even if it meant I go hungry for the next 2 days.

And that is how I bought my love home, even though the affair was just a few minutes in the billing counter.

The prettier it gets, the tougher it is to flaunt.

I spend the next 6 hours trying to clasp it on my hands. Desperately.

After the multiple futile attempts I decided to venture out and knock on his door.

'I need you to clasp this on my hands for me. Please'.

Apparently it was funny. Cause he couldn't stop laughing. 

He was still amused. Even long after I left the place, with the bracelet still in my bag.

The lady in the counter questions me 'But I thought you totally loved this piece when you got it'.

'Yeah. But you really should put a tag on it - Not suitable for singles/living alone'.

I think she understood. Without another word, she processed the returns and the money was back onto my card.

The bracelet was back in the safe corner of the shelf. Now I know why it was still there, all this while, despite being so beautiful.

I was just taking a stroll in the aisle with no particular intention in mind.

3 - Third time is the charm

As I hit the backspace key on my laptop for the hundredth time, I hit the table in frustration. It's been over 2 hours that I have been staring at the blank compose page of my Gmail and trying to get a start. I knew this would be difficult, but I had no idea it would be this difficult.

I had typed 'Dear'. But I knew it wasn't fair, not to me ..or him. I wasn't 'dear' to him anymore and now I wasn't sure he was mine either. But I didn't know any other way to address him. After all, we had been dear to each other.. until just a few days ago.

I wasn't given any rule book when I fell in love. I didn't know there were if's and but's. After all I hadn't planned on falling in love and least of all, with him.

But it happened, even if neither of us had planned for it.

I remembered the fun times we had.

Like the time he voted to cook dinner and made me my favorite green bean salad. I liked it spicy. He knew it. But the first bite I took was not the bean, but the big green chilli sliced exactly like the bean. After gulping down glasses of ice cold water, we both laughed over it for hours...even while munching on the take out pizza we treated ourselves to.

I was the one who taught him how to shop. I made him realize that there is a whole new world besides the one faded blue jeans. 

He was no drop dead hunk, but he definitely was a charmer.

I had been the envy of my friends for landing this dreamboat.
I had believed it too...until the first time it happened.

It was a day not different from any other regular day. But I had been late for a meeting with his friends. I got held up in traffic. Not my fault. I knew he would be pissed, but there was nothing my smile couldn't change. Or so I thought.

The extended arm was coming for a hug is what had occurred to me. But when I felt the heat gush up to my cheeks, I felt my head reeling and time stood still..for what felt like an eternity.

In the middle of the dinner table with his friends seated, in clear view of all the guests in the classy restaurant, he had slapped me..for being 20 minutes late.

My head and dignity told me not to stay on, but my heart bade me to pull the chair and take the seat beside him. To be a lady, his lady. Even if he was not gentle or a man now.

The dinner conversation continued, but I was not a part of it. Not anymore.
He walked out with his friends and I came home.

I waited the next 28 hours for his call. For an apology. He never called. 

Despite all the warning bells in my head, I still made the call. He answered and spoke to me like he would have..on any normal day.

It took me a while, but I conceded. After all, he was still making plans with me.

Maybe he was just waiting for an opening to break the rule or maybe be liked the fact that I didn't question him. But he believed that the harshness of his rough hands on my delicate face was a right which being in a relationship bestowed on him. 

A right he felt to walk away from, if I reacted.

Third time's the charm they say. That's when I knew there would be a fourth and a fifth and maybe a tenth too. This time, I didn't wait to find out or for him to walk out. I was the first to walk out.

And that is when I ended up alone, staring into my laptop, completely unsure on if and how to invite him back.

After all, he had walked out on me a thousand times, but the first time I walked out was when he decided to end it all.

Maybe this was a clause in the rule book they are given when they are born superior. 'It takes a girl to walk out, for the relation to end.'

I honestly don't know if it's the boon or bane of my species. But I do know for a fact that the pain and humiliation is no lesser than what they might feel too.

Anyhow, the email stayed on in my drafts folder...incomplete and unsent.

I knew the scar on my face will heal in a few days. I knew the pattern now. This wasn't the first scar. But I was finally glad, this would be the last.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2 - Oceans apart and ever so close

‘Ammaaaaa’  I shriek into the phone.

‘hmmmm’ she replies.

OK tell me. So how have I pissed you off today?

What on earth are you doing with your blog? What are you writing in there? Your blog is viral again. I am tired of replying to people for your actions.

Whaattt…? Sunny Leone can get away being a porn star. Poonam Pandey can get away with stripping in public? I cannot get away with a simple blog? Since when did life get so unfair?

I don’t care. They are not my daughters. You are. And with this blog of yours, how in the world are we supposed to find a decent alliance for you?

But amma, if I wanted an alliance I would be writing in and not And frankly, my blog should be the least of your worries in hitching me now.

"Paayaram parayalla ahangaari" (I had to put it here in the original dialect. It translates to ‘Don’ t talk arrogance’). I should have been spanking you when I had the chance. You wouldn't have grown up to back answer me like this now.

Well. You should be thankful I didn't know any child welfare society’s number as a kid. Else I am sure you would still be serving time for all the hits and miss during our maths teaching regime.

You should get a daughter just like you. I hope at-least she can teach you a lesson.

Ah yes ! So can I go ahead and adopt one.. pleaseee??

I don’t have the time for your nonsense now. Go find somebody else to irritate. I am off.

Without even waiting for me to say bye, she cuts the call. And as I sit in my car waiting for the signal to turn green, I could picture my mother’s face, from the other side of the globe, looking into the phone she just hung up on and smiling away.

My mobile beeps again. WhatsApp.

‘Drive carefully. Don’t eat Junk food. Don’t go out late’ and now I am smiling too.  
After all, it’s a mother’s heart.

I didn't have to hunt high and low for my guarding angel. I had found mine just around the corner, in the most beautiful place on earth.. Home! 

1 - The perfectly imperfect affair

I never look in the mirror twice.
I hate to see imperfections.
I can never stop looking at you.
I love perfections..
.........................Did I tell you?

Today was special.
I spent hours.
Putting on my makeup
and trying on clothes.

I never liked pink.
But I know you like girls in pink.
You think it makes them feminine.
Though you never knew
I loved sapphire blue.

I hope to catch your attention today
To tell me my efforts paid off.
That I am a sight not for sore eyes
But a sight to melt your heart.

"Trust no fair skinned woman.
She is easily led by temptation
too much of which comes her way."
My friends tell me you are a jerk
for entertaining a thought that astray.

My skin still stays fair
adorned by the pink I much detest.
And yet you never knew,
I loved sapphire blue
And a very perfect you.

365 days marathon

So here’s a thought that struck me today morning. Not original I admit. This is a tried and tested routine plenty of times. Not by me. But by others with as much free time as I have (I would assume). 

Anyways, here’s what I want to do with at-least an hour of the much wasted away time in my hands. Write a new story every day, for the next 365 days. As cliche as it sounds, I still prefer to call it the ‘365 days marathon’. And if I am going ahead, might as well go ahead all the way. So why declare it a 20 days marathon or 30 days marathon when I can be highly optimistic and hope to drag it on for 365 days !

I am hoping that this effort will give me some much needed discipline in my life and a focus so that I don’t go around roaming the entire day wondering what next.

Moreover, I do remember reading somewhere that if you do something for 21 days without a break, it becomes a habit. This is certainly a theory I am yet to fully support, so hopefully my new venture might give me a reason to believe it. That is, if I stick on to it for 21 days in the first place J.

I thought of waiting for a good date to start. I mean today is Thursday the 19th September. There is nothing significant about this date or day. I would prefer to start on a Monday or Friday or Wednesday or Sunday or a 20th or 25th … But then again, instead of waiting and postponing again, I am starting today. After all it is the 20th Friday in some part of the globe already. 

So here goes...either I turn out to be a woman of my words or a big fat liar or just yet another lady who loves to yap !

Disclaimer - I do NOT own the copyright to any of the photos published here in my blog. It's all from my ever faithful Google Images.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Writer's block

So I read an article today on which was very interesting. Turns out that not every famous author today have become who they are because they wanted to. Apparently most of them, like me, started out as a blogger, jotting their daily life events in a blog. The blog did the rounds, went on to be famous and bingo.. their first book is a best seller !

I don't dream of being an author, nor do I have the belief that any book I write is going to be a best seller, but I did get inspired from the article to do one little thing today. I have made my blog public again. I love to write. It's my biggest passion in life and right now, my biggest consolation too ! So why hide away something that I so absolutely love and am vain about? I have never claimed that everything I write in my blog is about me, or my life. A few yes, a few are just the outcome of my crazy imagination let wild..well hello..isn't that what writing is all about anyways?? And to add to the confusion, there is one aspect of my writing which I am trying to change now. I can only write in the first person. I find it more personal and makes it easier to let the emotions flow when it's a first person narrative. So if this gives out the impression that every post here is about me..I cannot argue there. But as the reader, it's upto you to decide how judgmental you want to be about me.

Am I going to lose friends because my blog is public? I say, no big deal ! I count on a few who have stood by me through thick and thin. As for the rest, it's your choice.

So here's to an open public blog again, inspite of all the roller coasters that life has been taking me through. I sure am going to miss the mystery I had created around myself. But then again, you can't win them all, can you?