Saturday, October 25, 2008

Can You Believe...

it's been two months already? The Guy is on his way back right now, and will be home tomorrow. And we'll have three glorious days together before getting back on the treadmill.

It was difficult, these last two months, but not quite as difficult as I'd feared. I went shopping and watched movies with friends, worked with FoC, and generally had an okay time. I also overcame much of my fear of driving - that in itself would make this worth it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Sexism on Cooking

I was at lunch with two colleagues yesterday, both male. One of them expressed a wish for food typical to the region the other was from. The other immediately, graciously, invited him home. The first then questioned who would cook. On hearing that it was the second colleague himself, he promptly refused. "Tumhare haath ka khana nehi khana. Tumhari ma ya biwi aaye to bulana." ("I don't want to eat your cooking. Call me when your mom or your wife is here.") The guy who offered is a bachelor, but that's besides the point. He said he didn't cook that bad. The other persisted that it's not what he wants. Then he reminisced fondly about eating at someone's home: "That was perfect." He went on to say that he'd eaten his fill while his hostess - the wife of his friend - had cooked and served fresh rotis.

Does it say more for my forbearance or my hypocrisy that I didn't say a word?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things We Want

  1. a bigger house to live in
  2. a nice cupboard/almirah
  3. a sofa
  4. a proper queen-sized (if not king-sized) bed
  5. a new fridge
  6. a dining table set
  7. a dinner crockery set
  8. an AC
  9. a bookcase (Just one? what will we do with the other boxes of books?)
  10. matching curtains and furnishings for the entire house
  11. a better microwave
  12. Worldspace radio
  13. a nice audio/home theatre system
  14. a bigger TV
  15. a better DVD player
  16. paintings to put up on our walls
  17. a diamond pendant and earrings set for me
  18. a better car
  19. a foreign holiday

You think a year is too less to get all of that?

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Memories

This tag is from Emma.

My oldest memory:
May I say, I don't remember?

Seriously, how do I sort out which is oldest? This feels like it: me hiding behind the door, waiting for someone to find me. After some time, my parents start looking. No one thinks to look behind the door. My dad - or was it my mom - goes out to look. By this time things have become too serious and I am scared to come out. I think I slunk out eventually - and with the patience of a child, it can't have been that long. And I think my parents were so relieved to see me that they didn't scold.

Ten years ago: I was seventeen and sat for my 10th exams. I then had three months of vacation when I got very bored, spent some time with my friends in that little town, and took a typing course (though I didn't bother to take the exam). Then I went to another town for college, and stayed in a hostel, away from my parents for the first time. I felt very grown-up, but I was actually very immature (though I would have laughed at you if you had said so to my face).

My first thought this morning:
I don't remember, but it was probably, "What time is it?"

If you built a time capsule, what would it contain:
I'd be too lazy to bother. If I'm gone, who cares what someone else finds?

This year:
...has brought a lot of changes. A new job, our first home (almost done, by the way - we're hoping to get the keys soon). I've been spending much more time - and getting a lot of satisfaction out of - blogging and working with Friends of Children.

14 years from now:
(Why 14 in particular?) I'll be over 40! I have no idea what else. Having fun with the Guy, I hope!

I tag: Usha, Banno, Indian Home Maker, Chandni, and @lankrita.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Remembering My Father

For the last few years, I have been particularly depressed for a few weeks between mid September and October. Four years, actually. Four years ago, my dad died on 15th September, just a week before my birthday, on the morning of the day I was to return to Delhi in the evening, for my impending exams. I had said goodbye, had told him, in one of his few lucid moments then, that I was going back. He promised not to die while I was away.

He didn’t. He died that morning instead, while I was still at home. Did he just give up, that day, tired of fighting, aware that his family was around him? Or was he finally defeated?

I hadn't been able to celebrate my birthday since, without remembering him… My birthday had ceased to be something to celebrate.

It affected me powerfully for over a year, his death. I found it difficult to come to terms with, even though it had been expected, was almost a relief. Yet though I wore this cloak of bravery that seemed extremely convincing (so much so that a roommate chided me for being too stoic), something within me was wrong, empty.

And since then every year at this time memories would assail me and weigh me down. They did come at other times too, but more frequently at this.

I found it unfair, even. After all, when he had been around, I hadn't agreed with him much. At times I felt like I hated him. Why then should it be so difficult?

Yeah, I rail against my parents sometimes – mostly in my mind. They made so many mistakes, I feel. As Philip Larkin said,

They fuck you up, your mom and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

Yet, here I am. I act stupid – and lazy – much more frequently than I would like, but overall I am not totally delinquent. They can’t have done that badly then, eh?
This year, for the first time, those memories did not come. It was my dad’s birthday yesterday, and I was not depressed.

Maybe at last, I have reached the end of my mourning. Maybe now I can look back dispassionately, forgive him for what I think he did wrong, forgive myself for not loving him enough, feeling pity and understanding for all that was missing and made him unhappy, and acknowledging my gratitude for all that he did do right.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Want More Time
  • Read more. I've mostly been sticking to really light stuff like Agatha Christie's or "chick lit", because I'm too tired after work to do anything more serious. I never did get past that first chapter of The Second Sex.
  • Rest more. I never seem to be getting enough sleep these days. I go through most of the day wishing I could get in a nap.
  • Learn to cook properly. I'm bored of my limited repertoire. But this is something I can only start when the Guy is back to appreciate it.
  • Take care of my skin and hair. I need a pedicure. A haircut. And when was the last time I put on a face pack?
  • Finish up all my pending errands. As of now I remember them, feel guilty and move on. I guess I'll just keep doing that till the Guy's back and takes care of them for me. (But seriously, it's not any less work - housework and errands - for one person instead of two, and I have one person less to do it.)
  • Write. Apart from the stray blogging, emails to the Guy, and what my work requires, I haven't done any writing in months.
  • Exercise. I want to get healthier - and looking better wouldn't hurt.

If I haven't done any of this while the Guy's away, how am I ever going to find time when he's back?

Positive or Negative?

Most of us are a mix of both. We laugh, get excited, get cynical, exude irony and live with hope. We try to treat other people with respect and not get them down - though we may fail without meaning to.

Positive people are wonderful to be with. I have one friend who is extremely positive, which is the biggest reason I love hanging out with her when she's in town - though we barely keep in touch otherwise. Not that she doesn't have her bad days. But if I give her any bit of news about my life, she is always excited, optimistic and supportive. So when she was here, she was the first person I would usually talk to when I had something nice to share: just witnessing her exuberant response would make me feel even happier.

And there are some who are so effortlessly negative. Tell them you had a fantastic dinner last night and they will respond, "I bet you didn't cook it!" Have them over as a houseguest and the first thing you're likely to hear in the morning is "Good morning! So you're finally up!"

All of us do that kind of thing once in a while, especially with people we are close to enough to speak our minds. But for some, the negativity overshadows the rest, even though it doesn't seem to get them down. Maybe it's a sign of insecurity. Maybe "that is so out of fashion" translates to "I'm better dressed, even if she is better looking". I don't know.

I do know that I don't want such people in my life. And I'm glad that I don't have any, any more. If I want someone to criticize me, I have the Guy, thank you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Watched Welcome to Sajjanpur

and loved it. I have to thank Pallu for suggesting we go there.

The movie was satirical, witty and funny without completely letting go of realism. I don't know much about village life, but the sets and the characters looked very authentic. And for a movie set in a village and showcasing traditional and narrow-minded attitudes, it dealt with bold subjects like widow remarriage, superstition and - of course - dirty politics.

If you haven't watched it yet, please do!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Weird Old Me

The Indian Homemaker wants to know my quirks and addictions. And so does Aneela. I thought those must be pretty obvious to you all by now!

The obvious ones are of course, the Guy, books, blogging, reading blogs and articles online. Let me see if I can dig deeper.

I like quiet. I like to be left alone, especially right after I wake up. I remember my mom used to ignore me for some time after I got up - either in the morning or from an afternoon nap - because I would be cranky and ready to snap for half an hour or so. The Guy usually gets around it by hugging me and putting me in a good mood. But I still need my alone time every day. I get annoyed if there's loud or prolonged noise around me. Very loud and prolonged noise is plain torture.

I like bland food. I can't eat food that is very hot or spicy. I don't like much oil, either, though I love salty fried snacks. I love cheesy, buttery concoctions though. Figures that my favourite foods are Italian and Punjabi.

I love the colour pink. But usually avoid wearing it because of the stereotypes associated with it.

I hate cleaning. I notice if things aren't clean though. Not the happiest of combinations.

I flare up very easily. But I usually have the self-control not to show it. Which means that the people closest to me face the brunt of it.

I am overall very quick and extreme in my emotions, unlike the composed picture of myself I like to present to the world. I might have one interesting conversation with someone and end up day dreaming about them for a few days. I might have one disturbing conversation and rant about it for hours. I stay up at nights worrying when something goes slightly wrong, and flushed with excitement when something is more right than usual. All that makes me a volatile person to live with, and it is to the Guy's credit that he doesn't complain.

I think I've bared my soul sufficiently now. Let me pass on the baton - or is it the beacon?

Despite the Guy's abhorrence for tags, I'd like to know what he thinks of himself. After all, I've always maintained he's pretty weird!

I'd also like to see Pallu, @lankrita and Roop doing this.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

An Open Letter to the Guy

I can count the days now, till you will be back. It is three weeks - only three weeks, when you think about the fact that we have stayed apart for six weeks already. It seems a little less than forever. Which means I can write now about all that I miss about you, that I'd put off writing about because I didn't want to dwell on it.

Yet what do I write, where do I start? What do I not miss? I miss your very presence, the physical space you fill. I liked, at first, having the whole bed to myself, but now it seems too empty, and I miss your body staking out its claim... on the bed, and on me. I miss your smell, that I can't describe and don't even remember very well but that made me feel at home, snuggled up to you. I miss, yes, I miss sometimes having breakfast ready when I get up in the morning, or my lunch cooked and packed - did I tell you I still can't manage to close the lunchbox right? I miss perhaps most of all, having a bad moment - or an exciting one - and not being able to call out or call you up right away, because I don't want to disturb your sleep. I miss not being able to rest my head on your shoulders at the end of a weary day, and to let my tears fall on your body. I miss not being able to reach out and touch you, to pull your cheeks or your ear, to stroke your arm, to hold your hand - do you realise how often I do that?

All this seems almost like a dream, a faint memory... have you been away that long?

I miss sitting by you while you drive and I think or talk, or dance or sing along to the music. I miss spending most of the weekend talking to you, usually arguing over nothing, over ground we have walked over and agreed upon long ago.

I won't miss you any more than usual tomorrow - after all, it's just another day. As you always say, it wasn't on this day that we got married, it was on the day that came many months before when we decided we wanted to share our lives with each other.

Forgive the incoherence of this post - I'm a bit befuddled by drugs and theGuysickness.

The Things that Blogging Teaches

Without my blog, I wouldn't have known, for instance, that the Maldives celebrates Teachers' Day today. How do I know? Because quite a few people in Male landed up on my blog after searching for "teachers day words" or something similar. Probably landing on this post.

Well, I hope it helped you. And have fun celebrating Teachers' Day!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I've Been Busy...

being sick. As if the Guy's being away wasn't enough, I had to go fall ill to remind me exactly how much I miss him being around. And I took myself to the doctor yesterday, for the first time in my life (that is, I've been to see doctors before, only never alone), after some gentle nudging from the Guy. And Cee Kay, too, was kind enough to urge me. (See? I did go!)

On a tangential note, why is it so difficult for someone as educated as a doctor to understand the concept of "Ms"? When she wrote down my name, she asked, "Miss or Mrs.?" I said, "Ms."- of course - and she still wrote down "Miss". I tried to correct her by saying I am married, but she thought I was saying I'm not. I had already spent over half an hour in the waiting room and was dizzy so I decided not to argue the point.

Until later, that is, when she started asking questions about my sex life. Then I explained to her again that I am married. And once she understood, of course, she immediately changed the "Miss" in her notebook to "Mrs".