Monthly Archives: January 2009

>My unwritten New Year resolution

>

… Will be written down in a few seconds!

It’s too late for a New Year resolution, you say. We’re already one month into 2009! But I’m not making this resolution now, I’m just disclosing it now.

My unwritten New Year resolution for 2009 is to do new things. I don’t believe in new year resolutions because I rarely remember them beyond the first week of the year. And this resolve to do new things is not bound by dates, months or years. It’s just something I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve lived more than a quarter of my life and if I still haven’t done so many things I need to begin now. I don’t want to do life altering things, but if my life alters, I’ll be willing to accept that.

I’ve adopted an attitude that will hopefully last me longer than this past month. I hope so because this attitude makes me happy. It satisfies that urge within me to do different things. I’m easily bored and I need to do things out of the box to keep my spirit alive. I feel alive right now.

The whole of last month I did very small, very new things:

  • I went to a flower show after more than two decades. I clicked pictures of roses there and I love the pictures more than I loved the roses.
  • I clicked pictures at a handicrafts mela because I loved the colours of all things there.
  • I shopped at a second-hand goods market I would be ashamed to enter.
  • I went to The Guy’s ancestral home for a holiday with my friends.
  • I started a new blog.
  • I arranged a sisters-only coffee meet.
  • I bought kites, I bought a doll.
  • I drank a full bottle of Choya (a Japanese liqueur) by myself.
  • I slept in the sun after a long, long time.
  • I loved winters, like I’ve never loved them before.

I feel like I lived life.

If well begun is half-done, then I hope January would have set the tone for the rest of the year for me.

>Shoe Shot

>A blog on my party escapades is all the proof you need to know what my weekends (and days) are made up of. And one of the reasons I love partying is because I love dressing up, more than anything else, my feet!

I think shoes speak louder than words. Even louder than clothes. If I’m checking out a guy or girl, I’d judge them totally by their shoes. Clothes don’t impress me much. That’s just me.

No prizes for guessing that I have an expansive shoe wardrobe. No, I don’t have Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos or Guccis in my shoe wardrobe, not yet, but it’s got a lot of stuff that I love. And I thought I’d give you a visual peek into my shoe wardrobe – one pair at a time.

Hopefully, it would be no torture for you if I can package it right. So what I’ve come up with is a weekend shoe shot that should speak at least a few words about the kind of weekend I had. Every Friday I’ll be sharing with you my last weekend’s shoe moods (you didn’t know that thing existed? Aww, c’mon!) Comments are welcome – about the shoes and the moods. Share your foot fetishes if you want to! And tell me what’s your latest shoe buy. Anything, as long as it’s about a shoe.

I’m starting the series with a pair of golden Guess sneakers that are oh-so-comfortable, snazzy and make the subtlest style statement.

A closer look:


I wore them almost all of the time last weekend that I spend at my family house in a small town some 120km away from Lucknow. And like the picture says, it was a super relaxed weekend where all I did was put my feet up, literally, and have fun!

(Cross posting this at my other blog as well)

>The party or the politician?

>Let me begin by making this very clear that I am ill-equipped to comment on the nuances of Indian politics. However, as an Indian citizen living in Lucknow, I feel more than equipped to comment on the candidature of Sanjay Dutt by Samajwadi Party for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

There are varying degrees of disapproval on most blogs, but Goofy Mumma’s campaign seems to have picked up momentum in the blogosphere and there is consensus on one thing – that we cannot allow people with criminal records to contest elections in our country.

No arguments there. I support the cause wholeheartedly. No arguments also about the inanity of Sanjay Dutt’s remarks about the status of women, married women in particular, in India.

Yes, I’m with you in condemning a party’s choice when it comes to fielding someone with a murky past like Dutt. But once he’s been declared as their candidate, can we expect Lucknowites to not vote for Sanjay Dutt without examining the credentials of the other candidates contesting the elections? Do you know whom else they can vote for?

I have a huge case against anybody who thinks he can comment on the intelligence of the people of a city or state because they choose to vote for someone. Remember, Lalu Prasad Yadav was voted into power time and again by the people of Bihar and Gujarat chooses Modi each time. Makes the people of the states morons, right?! I read these comments about Lucknowites over at IHM’s blog and they really put me off, to put it mildly.

One comment read:
“So let’s see what’s in favour of Sanjay Dutt as far as the people of Lucknow are concerned:

1. He’s a criminal. I’m sure Lucknow is proud of that fact.

2. He’s a moron. I’m sure they’re even happier about this.

Do you see where my cynicism comes from?”

No, I don’t see. So tell me now this was not being said to me and if I don’t get it, it’s okay. But hey, I’m a Lucknowite and I take offence!

Another comment went something like this:

“Poor Lucknow! But then again, if they do let him win, well they deserve nothing less !!!”

Have you, dear blogger, cared to understand what choice the city’s voters have when they refuse to give SP’s cycle a pass?

Please do not misunderstand me – I’m no defender of Dutt. But I am a defender of choices. And the choice in this case could very easily be between the devil and the deep sea. Pray, tell me, what would you choose – the devil or the deep sea?

And that brings me to my other question: who would you rather vote for – the party or the politician?

In school, I used to be friends with a veteran Congress leader’s granddaughter who slammed the BJP without second thoughts. But she always maintained that Atal Behari Vajpayee was a good leader. It’s not an uncommon sentiment. Sanjay Dutt himself has admitted that he would never have contested elections against Vajpayee but he has no qualms in standing up against the party that Vajpayee belongs to.

Dutt’s opponent in Lucknow from the BSP – Akhilesh Das – has found an ardent campaigner in his friend, my uncle. This uncle of mine doesn’t care what the BSP’s agenda for the Lok Sabha elections is, he only cares his childhood friend should win from Lucknow. If he votes for Das (which he will) he will vote for the politician and not the party.

Let’s assume (ASSUME only) now that I support Modi as a prime ministerial candidate for the BJP. Should I not vote for the BJP in my constituency in that case? Or let’s assume you support the Congress. Would you be keener to ensure the party comes into power or would you be more bothered about the credentials of the politician the party is fielding from your constituency?

If I decide right away to not vote for Dutt, and I decide also I do not want to vote for the BSP, have I not made up my mind to vote for either the BJP or the Congress, irrespective of who their candidates are? Could that be wise?

I told you, the choice is between the devil and the deep sea. Would you rather be drowned than give in to the devil?

>I should be in a live-in relationship…

>…because I did not take on my husband’s surname.

No please, don’t ask me an explanation for such convoluted logic. Ask Manyata (not-yet-legally) Dutt. Not only has she supported her husband’s sexist remarks , she’s gone ahead and made some stupid ones of her own. Like this:

“Having married a man who takes care of all my needs, I’d like to accept his name with full honour and take charge of his home and accept his family as my family. If you can’t accept your husband’s name and family then why marry? Go in for a live-in relationship.”

Really Manyata? So marriage is all about the man’s family and his surname? And what about the woman and her family?

And what does she mean by “a man who takes care of all my needs”. A husband is a provider and therefore you should take on his surname – is that it? She talks as if she and her husband live not in this world but in a vacuum. Has she never heard of women who earn? And who are capable of taking care of their own needs? Or that there are women can manage more than the home?

And by this logic, is it that a woman whose husband cannot provide for her should not change her surname? Say yes, Manyata, please do, because then there would be so many more women retaining their maiden name.

Also, please tell me I’ve got this right: that if it were not for Sanjay Dutt’s surname, she would have had a live-in relationship with him. The only reason we should marry is because we want to take on our husband’s surnames? Yeah, right!

“His home,” she says. The woman lives either in her father’s home or in his husband’s home. Care to answer, where exactly is “her home”?!

Please, someone explain to me the imbalances in a marriage.
Manyata, please don’t volunteer.

>Privacy Settings for Couples

>How do you set your privacy settings as a couple – Low, Medium or High? And where do you think others ought to set them?

Why I’m asking this is because I perceive the relationship between a husband and wife to be made of stuff that I categorise as extremely private. If I fight with The Guy, I like to keep it within the four walls of my bedroom. I hate the idea of either one us being loud enough to be heard by anyone outside our room. I hate also the idea of our reason for fighting being analysed and judged. Because in an argument between a husband and a wife, no one’s ever right or wrong. I hate the idea of what transpires between us becoming fodder for anyone’s thoughts or comments.

Not that I want to put up a charade. Not even that I want to portray us as a couple who never fight. But I believe that as two mature adults we can handle our difference of opinions, we can resolve quarrels and we can do without mediators. And if we can’t handle a quarrel, well, what can we handle? The day I have to bring out an issue between me and my husband before others, that would be the day I need to re-think why I’m married to The Guy.

I do not suggest that if you have a rough marriage, you keep it under wraps. Go seek help if required – counselling, therapy or whatever else will work for you – but don’t make a spectacle of yourself fighting like cats and dogs before the rest of the world.

Those are just my thoughts. I know of couples who are more than happy to bring their fights out into their living rooms. They even look to their family members to take sides and lend force to their argument. And sometimes that can get really ugly. The husband and the wife may reconcile a few hours later, but who wants to watch them wash their dirty linen in public while they’re at it? And seriously, to be stuck in the middle of two warring factions isn’t the best place to be in.

And a fight is not the only thing I deem private between a woman and man. Swing the pendulum the other side and I’m quite uncomfortable with blatant display of affection in public as well. Just as heated arguments before a reluctant audience are not part of my privacy settings, so isn’t making out in public. I’m pretty okay with a kiss and a hug or holding hands just as I am with a little dissent between couples, a brief flaring of tempers in full public glare. But keep the details of either your fights or fondlings to yourself.

Entirely my point of view, this. What’s yours?

>What bad times feel like

>Not that you need to know, but I need to tell.

It feels like you’ve been socked in that part of your body which hurts the most and you’ve fallen flat on your face, probably rendered unconscious by the blow. You gasp for breath and close your eyes to the world, just wallowing in the painful sensations and struggling to lose it.

It takes days, even weeks, to get over that sensation, to scramble back to your feet. You’re injured here and wounded there and still reeling from the shock of the attack. And when you stand, you still feel a little dizzy and wait for your breathing to fall back into a comfortable pattern that you’re used to. The view is still hazy as you try to take stock of the situation, get a clearer picture of things and through the blurry-eyed vision, try to regain your composure.

You clear your head and shake away the last vestiges of the blow. You begin to focus. The scrapes and scratches have healed and you decide to move on. Just then it strikes again – another blow – and you’re on your fours, fighting gravity before you fall flat again.

It happens in the middle of a ‘normal’ day, when everything seems fine but is not. It happens when you think you’ve recuperated from the last blow. It happens when you least expect it. It happens when you think you can carry on with life.

That’s what bad times feel like.

>In which I do nothing.

>This is one of the rare days that must be blogged about.

I’m tucked into bed with a warm blanket wrapped around my legs, the laptop before me, with nothing to do. What’s so rare about it? Well, it’s in the middle of a working day, and I am all by myself! It’s been such a long time since I wanted to be home, not wanting to run away, not wanting to seek refuge in some inane activity elsewhere. And to have gotten it in my way feels nice: without guilt, without explanations, without the kohl around my eyes, without even getting out of my tracks.

I took the day off from work to do just this. Don’t remember the last time I took an off to do nothing. Be by myself, to be more precise. I lounged and slept and slept some more. I would have liked to read a nice book, but preferred somehow to sleep. No regrets.

I’m a very social person but sometimes I find conversations tedious and people boring. I’m quite a talker if you’ve invited me to a party or I’m hanging around with friends or people I want to be with. But if talking is something you expect me to do, I clam up. If conversation is something I must create to fill up a long pause, I prefer silence. But with work and family, there’s hardly an opportunity to do that without offending someone or the other. So when this rare opportunity presented itself to me, I grabbed it.

I wish there were more days to be myself.