Monthly Archives: May 2009

>I’m not a bitch!

>A diet, three ulcers and some scratches. That kind of sums up my life in the last fortnight.

If I were to talk about what’s going on in my life, I could give you a 7-day food chart for the GM diet that I followed diligently and have come out of feeling quite a winner. I’m fitting back into my clothes that had grown uncomfortably tight in the last three months, weighing lesser and feeling lighter. How many kilos have I lost? I don’t care, I’m just feeling good and that’s what matters.

After the good, comes the bad – the three corneal ulcers that had me writhing in pain. And since the darned ulcers weren’t visible to the naked eye, it was left to my imagination to come up with plausible reasons for why my left eyelid had to be prised open like an obstinate new can of preserved-something till I could reach my doctor. And I spend a whole night imagining stuff like going blind before I managed an early morning appointment with the family doctor (the doctor is actually family) who diagnosed the problem for what it was: three ulcers in my left cornea and a few scratches as well. Don’t ask me how I managed that; I’m still clueless but the doctor says it was my lens misbehaving with my eye.

That was last Sunday and I haven’t still fully recovered. Which means that for the last so many days I’m learning to look at myself without kohl in my eyes. I don’t remember having ventured out of my house without my eyes lined with kohl in the last 9 years now! But this time I had to, though I haven’t been to work since then. As for now, the kohl and kajal pencils are out of bounds as are the lenses!

The eye problem meant that I could’t spend long hours on the comp, or watch TV or read books. So I just slept off the red, swollen, watering eye. And in the boring intervals I spend awake, I logged on to the internet to find out what an eye with corneal ulcers looks like. And the images that my dear Google threw up for me convinced me that I was living a dog’s life. Why? Well because the image search only came up with pictures of dogs with corneal ulcers. Not a single human eye with the problem was to be found on the world wide web! The ophthalmologist thankfully has pics to convince me otherwise. I have the doc’s verdict: I’m not a bitch!

>We are childless. So?

>I’m 29. I’ve been married long enough to have children. But I’m not a mom yet. Does that look like a problem to you?

I’ve had kids around me since I was 14, when my first niece was born (remember, I lived in a joint family?). I’ve seen plenty of kids delivered and reared and I’ve never claimed to have felt anything like a mother to them, though they do seem to me like my own children. I have cried when my niece cried with pain the first time she was poked with a needle and I’ve cried with joy when I saw my newphew performing at his first annual day in school. I know I haven’t carried a child in my womb and I know I haven’t felt the physical pain of delivering a baby, but I can still understand what it must be like, can’t I? I can understand that it’s incomparable, because I’m a woman if not a mother. How can you not understand that?

To have people throw it in your face like it makes you inept to understand life is unfair. I don’t tell you that you can’t see things objectively because you’re a parent. I don’t tell you you’re blind to your child’s faults because you’re a parent. Because I understand how parenthood makes you what you are. If I can appreciate your point of view without being a parent, why must you negate my opinion because I’m not a parent?

I don’t want to get into the reasons of why after 5 and a half years of marriage I’m not a mother yet. But understand what stupid part of me would go around reading momblogs and playing with my friend’s kids. Understand when I take out time to reach out to my little nieces and nephews what it means. Understand that it’s not nice to be excluded out of things because I’m not a mother. If I can share with you the joy your child gives you why can’t you share with me what it means to be childless yet happy? No thank you, I do not want your sympathies, but I also don’t want your cynicism.

I have friends who tell The Guy and me about their financial planning and when we don’t agree with them, they say it’s because we are not parents. We are not, but we aren’t dumb either that we may not be able to envision a future with kids.

When I talk of my career aspirations, my friends tell me I won’t care for all these things once I’m a mother. Perhaps, I don’t deny the possibility. Perhaps not – how would you know? Are all mothers cast in the same mould? What if I do care for a career post-motherhood too – would that make you a better mom than me?

I tire of hearing how I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m not a mother. And it hurts when a fellow blogger tells me she wouldn’t get what I’m trying to say because she’s a mum and I’m not. It hurts because it takes away from my argument not because my argument is weak, but because I’m not a mother.

I cannot look at my mother anymore without reading in her face the question mark of why I don’t have a baby. No, it’s more than a question mark – it’s disapproval. I have friends telling me I should think of having children even if I spend my nights thinking of whether I’ll last in this house another month. I have other friends telling me they sympathise with our parents because they aren’t grandparents yet. I have well-wishers telling me rickshaw-wallahs also have children even though they don’t have financial security and that there is some logic in it. And all this when I’m not even saying that I don’t want to children. I am supposed to understand why your lifestyle has changed because you have a child to take care of, but you can’t understand that I am happy with or without a child? Does that bother you – that we are so happy as we are?

>An Indian Summer

>The flowers of amaltash
Yellow like the lilt
Of the ‘l’ before the ‘t’
When the tongue touches the lip.

The red of the Gulmohurs
Against a faint blue sky,
The unripe mangoes –
Pompous, pregnant, poised.

The koel’s coo-coo
Through the dust-laden Loo.
The wet smell of the khus-khus
In air cooled rooms.

The hot pink
And the papery peach
On brittle branches
Of bougainvillea trees.

The fragrant white
Of jasmine buds,
Strung together,
Wound so tight.

The glazed green
Of pruned kochias,
Like blobs of a colour
Tamed with the scissor.

The purple-stains
Of faalsey on my tongue,
The ochre of bel
And the pink of watermelon.

My freckles blush
A darker brown
In the spring of my affair
With an Indian summer.

>When I fell in love with a wobbly-kneed Uncle

>Miracles do happen. If I can wake up at 5 o’clock and go for a morning walk, there’s no reason to not believe that.

Having said that, let me get to the point of the post. Hear out this conversation I had with a wobbly-kneed uncle on the walk. I’d just satten – I know there’s no word like that, but I think there should be! Okay, so I’d just satten myself down on a bench to catch my breath after a 3.5 km walk when a friendly octagenarian Uncle started chatting with me.

Uncle: Tired?

Me: Ji uncle. (Yes, Uncle).

Uncle: Roz aati ho beta?

Me: Not really uncle.

Uncle: Achcha, chuttiyan ho gayi na… (Okay, the vacations have started now…)

Me: *Keep mum and smile*

Uncle: Kahan padh rahi ho beta?

Me: *Look sheepishly* I’m working Uncle.

Uncle: *Wide-eyed, jaw dropping, pupils popping out* Achcha?! *Looks at me disbelievingly* Lagta nahin hai! Tum 16-17 saal se zyaada ki nahin lagti ho… Kamaal ho gaya! (You don’t look older than a 16-17 year old. Wonderful)
*That’s the point I fell in love with him!*

Me: *Smile ear to ear*

Uncle: Bahut achchi baat hai beta, bahut well maintained ho! Kahan kaam kar rahi ho? (Very good. You’ve maintained yourself very well. So where do you work?)

Me: ABC (I just tell him the name of my company. Didn’t have the heart to tell him I actually run my own business. Was afraid his eyes may just fall off their sockets).

Uncle: Very good, very good!

Me: *Getting up with renewed energy, an extra spring in my step and ready to sprint to the next 1.5 km mark* Thank you Uncle!

Now you tell me, if being judged some 15 years younger than what I am is not healthy for my ego, what is? Could Santoor (remember that ‘Meri twacha se meri umra ka pata hi nahin chalta’ ad for the soap?) want me for their next commercial?!

>Alphabetically speaking…

>

A is for Apartment Therapy that I’m OD-ing on these days. My day starts and ends with checking for great home décor ideas there.

B is for all the birthday gifts I’m enjoying: clothes, shoes, clutches… It’s a good life!

C is for my first SLR camera that I also got as a gift from my mum on my birthday. Am loving it!

D is for D or me. How many more people have started calling me D in real life is unbelievable!

E is for excessive – partying, shopping, eating. My life right now.

F is for friends. This year, the family’s been on the back burner as The Guy and I spend all our free time with friends.

G is for guiltless living. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about so many things I used to. It’s fun to live without regrets and guilt.

H is for the heat – too much, too soon!

I is for the indelible ink on my index finger. Which means I voted!

J is for JLT: Life, as it is right now – just like that.

K is for kitsch – the design flavour I’m into these days.

L is for lost – my diamond bracelet and Espirit watch. I don’t know where they vanished from my room!

M is for movies that we aren’t getting to see any of because of the dispute between the multiplex owners and film producers.

N is for ‘No’ – my answer to a job offer from a newspaper. It was a tough decision but I don’t want any half measures now and won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve.

O is for obscure people who have been sending me friend requests on Facebook ever since I changed my profile pic!

P is for photographs. I want to click more of them and get more of mine clicked. I want to frame them, gift them, blog about them.

Q is for questions about my future that are becoming increasingly difficult to avoid.

R is for rumours in the journalistic circles about whether I was or wasn’t taking up the job offer!

S is for status quo on the home front. There’s no news on the home acquisition bit and as they say, no news is good news.

T is for Twitter that I’m still trying to get the hang of.

U is for unwell – how The Guy has been almost the whole of last month.

V is for the verve with which I live my life, most of it at least.

W is for work. It’s peak season for us work-wise and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well.

X is for xeros, Greek for dry. Just what describes my skin in this weather.

Y is for all the yelling that my domestic help has been getting from me ever since I realised my things were going missing from my room.

Z is for zzzzzz… Enough is not enough for me these days as far as sleeping goes. I blame it on the weather.