Thursday 28 January 2010

Being in control...

Recently a friend who is getting married had put up a status saying that she is loosing all control over her life. I checked back on my getting ready-for-the-wedding posts and most of them bemoaned the fact that I have lost control of my life! What is it about us new generation Indians and marriages that make us feel that way?

For outsides who think that Indian women are the most deprived lot, living below the poverty line, facing domestic violence, not getting the chance to go to school, well there are a percentage of Indian women who are not so. We are educated, brought up without discrimination, are independent, fly the nest and live independently, mostly pursue careers, do the dating scene, smoke, drink and have sex, finally marry in our 30s and that too those men whom we choose and generally do not take kindly to interference in our lives.  After having done all this and more, when we decide to marry and let our parents know about our decisions, life kind of takes charge making us feel unwanted and out of control. It is a bit like till so far we were the main character in our lives, we were the all important heroine without whom life would not go on. But once the marriage ball starts rolling, the centre of gravity shifts and multiple characters start stealing the limelight-- the parents, the would be in-laws, the rituals and norms of the ceremony and of course society at large. It is like finally the flood gates are opened and  people get the chance to poke their noses into our lives and how they make hay out of this opportunity!

Everyone is an authority on marriage,(it is a natural talent freely distributed among Indians you see), they have ready made mental lists of dos and don'ts (gigabytes long) and dictate it to you anytime, be it a social occassion or a chance meeting while shopping. It must be said that women relatives are the more nosy and interfering sorts than the male relatives. The men are more passive in this regard and mostly cringe with embarassment when their all-knowing mothers or wives launch into an uninvited, impromptu lecture on marraige. But however much their husbands cringe and the would be brides yawn, these ladies will not stop.

Mariages in India are still open to advice/tips/suggestions from just about anyone. I guess we modern Indians have figured out a way to live our lives our way...but when it comes to marriage, it is not yet done. That is why all these being out of control feelings. But the best part is that the countdown to a wedding is far longer than the marriage itself, so take heart and grit your teeth and enjoy your wedding. It would soon be over and you can soon get back to your normal life!

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Tears & Smiles...

A friend's status message reads "you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling"...my imaginative mind has taken a leap and I am very tempted to fill in probable scenarios befitting such a line...


These following scenarios are figments of my imagination...

I have found myself a younger partner...she is young, sexy, a little wild, a lot of fun, does not nag, definitely not that...with her I feel years younger and more alive than I felt in a long, long time...in fact when I am with her, it reminds me of you and me, when we were wild in college...with you I have been feeling the pressures of domesticity...mortgage payments, bills, bills and more bills, parent teacher meetings, birthdays, anniversaries...visiting old folks...drudgery of middle age...almost no sex, dieting and restrictions, less alcohol, no smoking...I know, you and me,we have built a family for the last nine years...but it has gone on too long...I do not want all-responsibility-no-fun-life...so I am leaving you....yes for her...you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling...I was smiling because I am going to live, have fun and enjoy life all over again...

After years of hard work, I finally got the opportunity. I am finally being sent to the land of opportunities....yahoo I am going to be in the land of dreams and I am going to get rich. I am leaving you back, only because your commitments will not allow you to come with me. I promise once I settle there...you and me, we will continue our relationship through voice chat...I will come down once a year...I am sad to be leaving you but I am so happy to be going that that excitement over rides every other emotion...you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling...land of dreams here I come...

You had bullied me for ages....you abused, misbehaved and mistreated me...you thought I was weak because I never protested...oh well how mistaken you were...I was waiting for my chance...yes patiently, very,very patiently...I never do anything recklessly, I never loose my temper...I wait and plan...and the right time did come...you did fall down from your high and mighty throne...do not expect me to forgive you or show even one drop of sympathy...you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling...of a revenge well taken...years of patience, minute planning and neat execution....now no one would dare to call me weak....ever...

You were always the winner and me the looser...yet we were best friends...it suited you all the winning...oh well loosing did not suit me...but I had no option...the more I tried the more I failed...so somewhere I gave up and pretended that I did not care...you know being an under dog kind of helps...no one expects much from you...so when I enrolled in the competition...most people laughed...you did not care cos you thought I would never make it to the final....yet I shocked the whole world and defeated you in the final round...oh what a sweet pleasure victory is...you were stunned, you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling....lets see if our friendship survives this...

You had faith in me when no one else did...you lavished your love on me...I did not have many things in life...you were always struggling to make ends meet...but I felt I was the strongest kid since I had your unconditional love...others laughed when I wanted to write...you stood by me...I knew I was doing the right thing...and now with my first book published...when I showed it to you, you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling...yes Ma together we did it...

I had loved you since I was a little boy of four or five. Yes I know it is way too young to fall in love...but one day while we kids were playing in the school ground...you walked by...you were a vision of loveliness....since I was new, other boys filled me in saying that they called you the princess cos you look like one and also your dad is one of the richest men in the town...my dad worked in one of the coal mines your dad owned...but that did not stop me from loving you...I watched you grow up from afar and every day fell a bit more in love with you...you were my inspiration to work hard and win a scholarship...I went away to become rich....I came back years later to see you sadly widowed...slowly I got to know you....today when I proposed marriage...you had tears in your eyes and I was smiling...finally the princess is going to be mine...

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Christmas Celebrations...


We went to celebrate our first Christmas here in the UK with friends in Milton Keynes. K and A are a lovely and warm couple and have a great home and our celebration extended to well over 4 days. Reaching on the Christmas Eve, we first saw 3 Idiots. On the Christmas day we had a feast for lunch. The traditional turkey with cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts with bacon, warm bread and potatoes and then we had some yummy chicken biriyani cooked Andhra style.  Some other friends of theirs had come over... after stuffing ourselves at lunch we all sang songs. Yes even me. Thankfully it was karaoke with music to bolster most of our tuneless singing. Then it was time for some card games, involving good natured cheating, ribbing and a lot of laughter.

On Boxing Day we went to check out the sales. But back home it was time for some more yummy food and games. The next day  was went along the same lines-- good food, laughter and games, oh yes we also saw the movie Rocket Singh: The Salesman of the Year.

Could not capture the fun, but some glimpses of the good food we had.

Hope you guys also had an enjoyable Christmas too.


Monday 4 January 2010

Which guys to avoid in search for the 'eternal soulmate'...

Disclaimer: This post is written in fun without any intention to hurt or harm or offense to anyone. Please do not take it seriously or personally.
Dedicated to: All the women in my life and the men too.

Scared: I am a little scared of men and their women and their reactions to this post. O men and beloved women please do not attack me with swords or sticks....I am kinda harmless!

Few days back was talking to a friend about how to choose a guy to settle down with. Both of us, in my friend's language 'have hit the jackpot'...but there are other single ladies out there who are close to us and whom we want to see happily settled with the right guy. Now had this been 2007, I would have said there are no right guys, men are rotten bastards on the whole...so no hope for us single women etc etc etc. But out of no where my Mr. Right did pop up, so I have shed off my cynicism, taken up optimism and hoping that the right guys would pop up for the rest of my gal friends.

Every girl knows the sort of guy she wants-- smart, kind, honest, loyal, responsible, presentable (TDH-- reference for men T for tall, D for dark and H for handsome), settled, well educated, with a good sense of humour etc etc etc. I am not going into that. Instead I am writing about the kind of men to avoid in your search. This little list is made from the purest of pure grains of golden experience of a gaggle of my friends and yours truly. Have a good laugh. HNY.

Top 5 types of men to avoid while in search for the 'eternal one'...
  1. The fence sitters: Oh these are all around us. It is not that there guys are unkind or uncool or unsmiling...it is just that they are indecisive. They can be in a relationship for 2/3/4/5 years, they can be lovely dovey, dutiful, mushy, tender, understanding...but they will not settle down. If the girl is hoping after 3/4 years of a steady relationship for a romantic proposal, a ring and the question....she will be left hoping. It never comes, finally the girl frustrated beyond measure, pops the question herself, deluding herself into thinking that maybe he is too shy. So she is taken by real surprise when he says he is not too sure. Not sure...but the relationship is 3/4/5 years old...oh yes, and he loves her...but. This but is here to stay in the relationship, grows like a baby and settles between them and refuses to go away. I have seen girls in such relationships starting to question themselves and the whole wide world in their quest to know why their men are not settling down. The other million rupee question in their mind is how to make the man get down from the fence. Oh well short of an earthquake, you can use dynamite but you have to impeccably plan so that the man falls on your side of the fence. But ladies please do remember what happened to Humpty when he fell. Jokes apart, will not say that these men should all be shelved. Know of one guy who after ages of waiting, finally settled down with the girl and is in 'happily ever after', rest are all waiting for the 'but' to melt. The pace at which global warming is happening, maybe the 'but' would melt soon in a hundred years or so. But one thing is for sure,though these guys never marry you, but at the same time they never leave you! Bingo so we already have the eternal, waiting for the soulmate bit!
  2. The indecisive ones: I know no 1&2 sound synonymous but there are vast technical differences. And that is, even though these indecisive ones float their profiles in bharatmatrimony and shadi.com, register themselves in dating agencies.. they do not know whether they want a relationship or not, whether they should trust a girl or not...the list goes on and on. At least the fence sitters get into a relationship, these indecisive ones are stuck at the initial contact stage.  God forbid if a girl shows interest in them. Trying to establish contact (please mark my choice of vocabulary) with them is like playing a game of snakes and ladder. For every step the girl takes, the boy would go back two steps. So you must be thinking why doesn't the intelligent girl just stop trying. I wonder the same thing as well. Then finally in my experience these kinds of guys stop communication with these girls on some flimsy excuse and the girl is left wallowing in hurt. A must stay away in my opinion. See an indecisive one and run a million miles. Good for the figure and the soul!
  3. The MCP: Reference for men, MCP matlab male chauvinist pig. At the risk of sounding cliche, I have to include the MCP, cos otherwise this list would never be complete. This variety also we see all around us. Though their domination was high in previous generations, in our generations their numbers have lessened but not vanished. So beware girls. For the uninitiated, innocent girls, a MCP is any guy who thinks way too much about himself, infact self importance often makes him puffy. He has never heard of women's liberation, thinks feminists should be hunted down along with terrorists and put under lock and key. Thinks women should sit at home while he goes out to earn the bread. He expects to be served hand and foot and cooked dinner, would never lift his hand to help at home. Sometimes they even have fundamentalist ideas. Then life for the women in his family gets restricted under ghunghat or hijab. These men do not bat an eye in having sex with different women while finally marrying the girl from his caste choosen by his parents for a huge dowry. In his moral code, he can play the field while married, but heaven help if his wife, so much as looks at another man. Women usually fall for them because on the surface they seem suave and sophisticated and even chivalrous. Please girls do not make that mistake. This is serious warning.
  4. The mamas boys: Oh well all men are more or less so, but some go over the top in being mama ka gullam. Indian mamas have full arsenal of tears, sentiments, stories of sacrifice pain, tyag, sufferings to control these sons. Once the sons get married, their momas never stop crying or falling sick or being dukkhi. So becahree beete jai bhi to kaha jai. On the whole if the son is not  a total whimp or the mother does not interfere into the couple's personal space or son's career or daughter-in-law's dressing......these men are safe bet. Special warning for the Bong women, any man who is called babu, bubu, bubun, bulbul, khokon, khoka, shona etc etc etc...please stay away. Their umbilical cords were not cut properly!
  5. The career men: There are some men who are wed to their careers. Come what may they work. They are workaholics and in office if they are the boss then they are after the whole office to become workaholics too. In home they enjoy their women just like they enjoy fine whiskey or cigar-- occasionally and in moderation. Known wives who have spent their lives waiting for the workaholic husbands to take a break and take the wives for a vacation or spend some time with them. Nah almost never happens. Instead expensive gifts come two days after missing yet another anniversary or birthday to appease a sulking wife so that the home is well run again. These men also often neglect their children.
  6.   
    This list can go on and on--the flirt, the flighty, the pathological liars...but I do not want to dishearten all those single women out there.So ladies please go out and search sensibly for your Mr. Right and I am confident that he would pop up from somewhere or the other.