Knotty issues

Of late, I have had the chance to witness some recent marriages unfolding in their aftermath a series of changes in the personalities of the people that entered into matrimony. One of them is a marriage of a person, known to me through my husband. Although I cannot claim to have known him very well even before his marriage took place, the change in him is so evident that even a bystander can smell a burning issue. He has had an arranged marriage and was quite a disheartened soul during his bride-seeing days. I had often remarked to my husband about why he shouldn't or wouldn't take a stand or the initiative in looking for someone for himself. Even if the customary essentials of horoscope/caste/class/etc/etc had to match, there was sufficient scope for his intervention to make him the lead decision maker rather than just wait for the final event of bride-seeings.

Another instance is of someone I used to know. The girl was smart and well-educated and had a mind of her own too. She happened to be at someone else's wedding and apparently her (future) MIL saw her, liked her and immediately pressed for matters to be taken ahead. Things happened very quickly, the girl and the boy (who was an NRI) apparently never got a chance to speak to each other or even meet properly before the engagement. The wedding which took place soon after the engagement was all a rushed affair and the girl flew to the US with her husband to discover in horror that the guy had a psychological problem. The ensuing turmoil and hardships that she had to face is anybody's guess. That, she finally got divorced and is now happily remarried is another story.

Marriage seems to have different effects on different people. The effect is quite proportionate to the amount of expectation or thought that has gone into it. The more one has thought independently about this aspect of life, the more he/she is equipped to deal with the after-effects. Marriage is the biggest event after graduation, sometimes even before, in India. Yet, unfortunately, not much of a thought goes into this life-altering event. Either by the parents or the concerned bride/groom. A large number of marriages still take place by the intervention of parents and sundry relatives without any regard for the preference or criteria in the bride/groom's mind. But the worse, I have seen is, a lot of the youth have no idea of the kind of life-partner they would like to have. They haven't explored the possibility of thinking it out on their own, handling over the reins to their parents in entirety. Parents, howsoever attuned to the offspring's nature/personality/tastes, cannot and ideally should not be the deciding factor in something that will impact a whole lot of equation between two set of individuals.

Agreed. Everyone does not fall in love and sometimes arranged alliances do turn out well. However, even if the alliance is a seeked out one, the search criteria should be set by the person to be married and the final decision needs to stay with the said person. A criteria that is not influenced by the norms of a patriarchal society. Something that has evolved out of one's personal thinking, attitude and values. Alright, that someone was suggested by a distant relative. But, the job of that relative ceases then and there. Isn't it vital that the concerned two sit down and discuss at least important topics that will affect their married life, for instance, career, finances, values, children, expectations from both sets of parents, outlook towards life? Should lives be pledged upon the mere fact that the heavenly horoscopes matched and the prospective bride and groom liked each others' face, height and colour in the brief encounter during the seeing ceremony amidst a jingbang of sundry people? How can seemingly smart and educated young people do this to themselves?

No one can guarantee the success of a marriage. Marriages need to be worked on to make them successful. Things can go horribly wrong even with a person who was not a stranger before marriage. There are several instances of happy marriages where the bride and the groom interacted very briefly and were pretty much strangers before tying the knot. That, however, does not mean you should leave all to destiny. Whichever way you wish to get hitched, spend some time thinking about why you are getting married and who would be a likely candidate with whom you'd be ready to spend the rest of the life. It is not possible to have a perfect picture in the mind but there needs to be some shape however hazy to get a sense of ownership. Without ownership there won't be the will to plough the marriage through the weeds and thorns. Sometimes, life has a way of handing over lemons, one way or the other. But isn't it stupidity to set out to buy sweet limes blindfolded and then crib about landing up with lemons instead?

Do we need a Women's day?

p.s. I know, Women's day is long gone. This was lying in my drafts for some time now and I didn't want to delete it.

Why should you celebrate Women's day?
And if you must, why limit it to a single day?
Why the need for a particular day?

An occasion is cause for celebration
But a woman? She is a person
holding humane qualities like anyone
just being the reason of her creation

We were created all for a reason
God never preferred one over the other
Why then do some rather
 be a man and not woman?

We all have some of each other
Neither is complete without the other
Every woman has a man in her
A man in himself is complete neither

Neither is superior
neither is inferior
the world wouldn't be fair
if one out-weighed the other

Man and woman; yang and yin
have qualities of being
both: masculine and feminine
let us hence cherish every being

Not just on a special day
but every breathing day
so that a person does not
remain an occasion
to warrant an occasional celebration 

They asked and I answered,hence I ask and you answer

Nancy and Me tagged me to answer 11 questions as a Tag. The rules are:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post & then create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag 11 people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

I got lucky as both Me and Nancy retained the same set of questions. Imagine 22 set of questions on the other hand. It's been long since I wrote a paper but questions give me  heebie-jeebies even now :-0
So, if you want to harrass make someone think, then you must post 11 new questions each time and then tag the person multiple times. Muhahaha....

So, here are my answers...

1.)      If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I would free this world of hatred, corruption and inept leaders. I would just raise my palm and and sweet water would flow down the rivers, there will be food for all, man and woman would be treated equally, everyone would be safe and happy.  Yes, for all the above to happen, I would have to have some superpower. I wish!

2.)      What was your favourite childhood television program?

Well, I used to religiously watch the Mickey Donald series, He-man and Duck tales.

3.)      Have / had any celebrity crushes ?  

Any movie with Amitabh Bachchan in it had me in smiles for a very very long time. His movies could (almost always) lift even my down-in-dumps spirit. I still like him but have moved on from those goofy smiles his presence would elicit. Not sure if you can call this a crush or being a BIG fan.
But have had some real-life crushes ;-)

4.)      If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

For a long time I have been nursing the desire to travel around Europe, USA, Australia, the  Far-east, you get the drift, right? Now tell me, how can I just pick one?

 5.)      Name 1 thing you miss about being a child.

As a child I was unsure, awkward and shy. I kind of like the life I am living now. Childhood was good but this is better.  So I don't miss much about being a child.

6.)      Name the one comic/book character that you loved the most and why?

I was not much into comics. Started to read Archies only late into the teens.  I loved the Enid Blyton- Famous Five series. I related (then) more with the character of Anne, though I also adored George.  So they are my favourites.

7.)      What is the one thing that you are dying to try but haven’t had a chance to do so yet ?

I would love to try water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling. I don't know to swim but I think I do not fear water. I would love to try these if I got a chance. 

8.)     Do you have a role model – someone you want to emulate? Whom do you admire the most?

Someone who is not worried about what people might or do think of her. Someone who is self-motivated to continue doing good work and not influenced by appreciation or criticism. Lofty ideals, no?

9.)      What do others make of you? 

I don't know. I wonder the same thing. You tell me. 

10.)  Have you ever gotten into a fight or punched someone ? I wish! The closest I came to was when I was around 6 yrs, I had slapped my classmate. But I really wish I had the courage to bash up anyone that deserved to be bashed. 

11.)   For Girls – If you woke up tomorrow to find out you are Brad Pitt, what would be the first thing you’d say upon looking in the mirror??? I have to answer this????

Now for 11 new questions

  1. Which was the recent book you read and what is your take on it?
  2. If you were to choose between the Epic characters Karna and Bhishma, whom would you choose and why?
  3. Which was been your most memorable trip so far? Any incidents or anecdotes you'd care to share?
  4. Mountains or the sea?
  5. What is the one thing (dream/ ambition) you would like to accomplish yet?
  6. What according to you makes a good writer/blogger? Do you consider yourself as one?
  7. What is your favourite outfit?
  8. Who is better: Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid?
  9. If you had the power to change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
  10. Are you in touch with your best friend from school days?
  11. What was/is your favourite subject in school/college? why?
I tag:

Now guys go, get down to answering these. Easy paper, no?

You are to be blamed

Gurgaon government sent out a strong message by ordering all pubs and mall owners to not allow women employees to work beyond 8 p.m. I am impressed. what a solution!
 How I see it, the message is:

If you happen to be out on the roads beyond 8 p.m. and get assaulted, then of course it is your problem. Who asked you to think that your city or country is a safe place? That you are ruled by a democratic government- a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh! shame on you to think that something like that is for real. How naive!

Who the hell you think you are? how can you even think that the government will ensure the law and order of the state and in turn ensure your safety? Are you some one even important? Duh! You are just anybody on the road. Anything can happen to you. Government has more important things to do like pocketing scores of money from people like you and stashing them away elsewhere. Cha! and you thought they are there for you.
And how dare you flout the rules and come out in the open after dark? If jackals in the garb of men attack you then, who else but you are to be blamed. Poor jackals were only doing their job. How are they to be blamed? No. it's you and only you.

Serves you right for getting educated and working outside home. Serves you right for thinking and speaking for yourself. Hell! serves you right for even being born. How many more attacks and assaults you need before you realize your place?

In this case, will the government ensure safety, law and order until 8.p.m then? Maybe if we start carrying guns, we'll be safer. Anyway there is no law and order to protect women, we might as well take responsibility to be safe and gun down all the jackals in this country. Jhansi ki Rani, anyone?

Amazed at how people we call our representatives think and work. If we were to apply this solution to all the problems, imagine how powerful this country will be shortly. From small time thieves to smugglers, rapists and the mafia, everyone will be free to exist and multiply and soon, the average stupid people who have been working hard and honestly and harping on good values will be extinct. Maybe that's what the government wants ultimately because they are on the side of the thugs.

Buying dilemmas

I have never been a sure shopper. Oh! you don't know what a sure shopper is? I just coined that word. It means knowing exactly what you want to buy. Sure, I know I want to buy clothes: Indian or western, kurtis or jeans. But that's about it. I can get completely lost in a shop liking a whole lot of stuff, indecisive about what to choose. And, I simply do not like when the helper there comes in almost immediately after you enter the shop asking you what you are looking for? Should I tell them I am looking for a green tunic with red dots, preferable with a turtle neck???

The queue outside a (ladies) trial room can put to shame those serpentine queues you once had to stand in to pay the electricity and telephone bills (in an erstwhile era). I instantly feel guilty about the number of clothes I am carrying with me to the trial room. But given the crunch time I have been allotted by the husband who is in charge of a hyper-active toddler during my shopping escapades and also given my shopping escapades are (now) not so frequent in nature, I have to capitalize on the particular chosen day. I can't understand my own guilt. When I am inside the trial room, I make sure I come out as fast as possible. I don't like the feeling of people with sad, frustrated and long faces outside the room waiting for the person that is in to come out. It always feels as though the person who is inside takes an eternity to emerge out when you are in such a queue. And, if I haven't come to any conclusion by the end of the allotted time, I experience the panic situation of an exam student furiously writing away with the hope of completing the paper even as the supervisor has begun collecting the papers. So, in the midst of  such noble intentions and near-panic situations, I invariably land up with a thing or two that I would regret buying in the days to come.

Many times, I end up using the outfit a few times just for the sake of it. Other times, it has happened that I have carelessly discarded or misplaced the bills only to realize LATER the need for an exchange. I have got an earful from the better half on such occasions. Now, we generally schedule my clothes shopping on a Saturday. To account for the not very unusual eventuality of me having second thoughts about a piece of clothing and the resulting need for an exchange. The next day being a Sunday proves very helpful, doesn't it?. And, now I also guard the bills safely.


"Me" of Privy Trifles awarded my blog for the most "Adorable blog" . She recently completed one year of blogging and to mark the anniversary, she created a set of awards, taking time and effort to prepare the logo and award each of them to the blogs she thought were worthy of the said tag.

I am touched and honoured by this sweet gesture and since this also came by on my special day, it will be cherished even more. Thank you, Me!!!

This award will now be proudly displayed on my space:

Thank you, Me (Privy Trifles)

Our Journey!

Stars destined that we meet,
a lot was spoken, a lot left unsaid.
A joint decree we gave albeit,
you and I are a match indeed

We merged our paths in the know,
sealing our lives with a solemn vow
to be together in high and low
matching steps to learn and grow

Stumbling on many a block
taking our time to rise and walk
journeying along a little unsure
hopeful, but, of the future we were

Some journey this has been,
of building our cozy haven
surviving the dark and the lean,
seeking sunshine from within

As, we go down memory lane
and reminisce past times again,
there are no remnants of pain,
only a sweet fragrance we retain

Let us make a vow again
to overcome every stormy rain
with love, patience and restrain
in the hope that spring will reign

On being together

ETA : Looks like I have miscommunicated. There are still a few days to go for our anniversary. This is just a countdown to the D-day

As we near the completion of 5 years of togetherness, it seems a good idea to look back at how these years flew by. The fact that we feel that the years flew past is an indication of good times spent together. A pleasant companionship that has not been riddled with insecurity and bad vibes- things that usually make the marriage a burden to shoulder. The good has definitely out-weighed the not-so-good and hence has made the journey so far a fairly easy one.

Does that mean we do not hit on bumps? Of course not. Which happily married couple doesn't fight? Healthy fights are in fact necessary I would say to fine tune the relationship. The husband and I have our share of fights.Ugly ones too. But we do make it a point to talk to each other about what exactly in the significant other bothers us . Does that mean that the annoying reason is then automatically and magically  removed? Far from that. The irritating habits persist, the bone(s) of contention still remain. However the open channel between us to address them, the freedom to show displeasure without being misunderstood as a person, without the fear of losing goodwill built so far has determined the beauty of this relationship.

I know for sure that once the dust of the bickering settles down, we will be back to our usual friendly selves; the easy camaraderie will be back. Having said that, it took us a while get to this state of equilibrium; the journey gradual. The initial period was a time of treading with caution, of testing waters, of discovering the others' inner qualities, weaknesses, pet peeves and a period of dealing with all of them.Once the trust, the love and the respect were sealed, facing the unpleasant sides to one another became easier. Moments of anger, frustration, hurt and remorse were easier to tide by.

We would often listen to this song and hope this is how we remain:

On my own

I've been trying to drive the car in the absence of hubby, so that I gain in confidence and become independent. Two weeks ago, the husband went out of town for four days that included the weekend. Co-incidentally, my friend's(A) husband was also out of town, so we girls decided to jam up and have a good time. The plan was to meet up at her place Friday night, and spend the Saturday at leisure with the kids. A works full-time and was supposed to reach home by 7 p.m. We decided that she would pick me up on her way home.

All the while when the plan was being made, part of my mind was telling me to drive down to A's place on my own. This was my chance. But the other part sounded doubtful, citing the evening traffic and other reasons of keeping safe, especially when the hubby was out of town. Finally, 15 mins prior to when my friend was supposed to pick me, I went out of my complex to gauge the traffic. There was some traffic but it was not choc-a-block. I made a quick decision and placed a call (before I had a chance to reconsider) to A and told her that I would come on my own. A and I have known each other since our High school days. She is well aware of my self-doubting nature and initial reluctance on my part to take bold decisions. She was more than happy and supportive of that fact I was making the effort.

I strapped R on to the back seat, instructed him to sit quiet, strapped myself, made the necessary seat and mirror adjustments, took a deep breath, started the engine, put the car into gear and glided my way through the gate out into the traffic. My first solo adventure with the kid, an evening drive, along with other crazy people on the road. I was shivering from within. I kept muttering a prayer in my mind, eyes on the road and maneuvered my way to A's house which is a good 2 kms on a traffic-filled road. I handled the traffic at times jerkily, at times deftly, but on the whole I didn't do badly. I heaved a sigh of triumph and relief when I reached A's parking lot. I had killed a few demons and that too without external help :-)

Later during the weekend, I grabbed several other chances to drive my way around the town within a radius of 3-5 kms. Although, I did struggle many a times and wished I hadn't put on such a brave face and ventured out, I felt empowered and satisfied in the end. After all this is how everyone learns and I too have to. The primary reason I wanted to learn to drive was to be on my own and not depend on hubby or anyone else for little errands or even to chauffeur R to and fro from his school when the need arises. During the last week too, I had to visit R's pre-school a couple of times and had to depend on my driving skills. I was a bag of nerves each time. I faltered many times. I am still jittery at the thought of driving alone to a place but I want to do it. I have to do it. For myself.  

Life's philosophy

The husband is a practical man. While I might wax eloquent about this and that and still struggle to keep my emotions in check, the man says very little but is a rock of Gibraltar, come adversities. Little things make me upset. Plans that go hay-wire can make me a miserable being. I hate to be proven wrong and left feeling inept and inadequate. The man on the other hand has no qualms accepting what life has to offer him. He is ambitious but at the same time content with the state of affairs.

A song that he mentioned to me as a way of his philosophy during our early days of marriage when I was upset over something.

 Whatever has to happen, will happen. Why fret?...

A task accomplished

It's been a busy busy schedule for me since a few days. Although I've been reading my favourite blogs on and off, I haven't been leaving comments. I have been making mental posts but am unable to translate them on the blog. Lack of time or enough interest and energy is something I haven't yet figured out. Thought I should break the jinx by just writing an update about what's going on.

I am on a strike-out spree. I have crossed out yet another major item off my 2012 list. Isn't that great? We have finally finalised a pre-school for R , which he would be joining this June onwards. It is a Montessori, something that I had always preferred over the more popular or regular playschools. Parents of children who attend a Montessori would empathise with why anyone would scour their neighbourhood for a lesser-known school (Montessori-es in my observation are not very popular. At least around where I stay) when there are so many regular and well-known names staring and screaming their presence in your face. In a complex where there are easily 500 odd children, I did not hear any word-of-mouth reference for a good Montessori. At least the ones I spoke to had never sent their (older) kids to a Montessori nor were in the process of looking out for one (in case of R's peers). Anyone I spoke to only gave out big names as their preferred choice. So, I had resigned myself to sending R to one of the regular KG (Kindergarten) pre-schools. However, fate had some other plans. A friend of mine had a chance encounter with an acquaintance who was seemingly happy about a Montessori school in our vicinity and recommended it. My friend knowing my preference for Montessori-es, promptly alerted me of the same. As luck would have it, by the time we approached the school, the admissions were already closed. The director with whom I corresponded over email was firm but kind. Upon my request, she suggested two other schools in my neighbourhood, out of which we chose one.

I had read up a bit on the Montessori way of teaching and was convinced of the many benefits that a Montessori provides over the regular KG approach.  Aparna (Life as a mom) would be able to empathise and explain much better, IMO. Do read her post which talks a bit about this wonderful method.  As for me, while I mostly had nothing major against any of the pre-schools that catered to the mainstream KG environment, the one thing that worried me was the practice of initiating writing Alphabets at an age as early as three or even 2.8 at some schools. Why does a child as young as that need to learn to write first? Also, most KG pattern does not follow the phonetics as a method to teach alphabets. The stress is to first start off writing Capital letters, spell words and then write cursive, in that order. The Montessori method in contrast teaches phonetics first and then the Alphabets. This encourages children to use the language correctly and develop a love for reading. Montessori way, I've read, also tackles the child as an individual also provides an all-round development by instilling life-skills like independence, discipline and respect for work in the children.

Of course, one needs to find a good Montessori and not just pick any school that claims to deploy these methods because then it carries the proverbial clever enemy being better than a foolish friend risk. The school we chose, apart from having the usual Montessori tools and Montessori trained teachers, is aesthetically very appealing. The rooms are spacious and naturally-lit. They also have an in-house library where the child (if the child is very young, then the parent) is allowed to pick a book to be read and returned to on the next day. I fell in love with this feature for it means that the children are encouraged to read books and not just repeat some rhymes as is the norm in the regular pre-schools. I just hope that we have chosen a genuine one and it proves to be a right one for R.