Monthly Archives: June 2009

>Better late than never

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And that’s why the award acknowledgement and the award giving ceremony is taking place today.

Long, long ago, Unsung Psalm honored me with this award :


Thank you, Unsung, for telling me that my “simplicity advocates humility”. That’s a precious compliment.

According to the rules, I have to pass it on to 6 people. Let’s skip the nominations and get straight to the winners. And the winners are:
1. Piper: Sometimes I cannot tell you how much your words resonate with me. And though I don’t know you at all except for your blog, I wish I could take your pain away.
2. Aneela Z: Still trying to figure out what about your blog, your life, your words touches me so much but something sure does.
3. Finn: Your life is so far removed from mine, yet your blog reflects my mental state of being more often not.
4. Monika, Ansh: For your simplicity and honesty.
5. Devaki’s Jottingsnmusings: Your posts take me on a trip within because they strike a chord with the person I am.

6. IHM: With the kind of variety on your blog there is, it’s difficult for anyone to come back without being touched.
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We now move on to the next category. Monika, Ansh (who said these nice things about me: “For her warmth and lovely blog posts that I always look forward to) as well as IHM gave me the Friends award!


Thank you! Let it be known that I’m fiercely loyal as a friend and you can bank on me always if I’m yours. I shall pass this award to: Goofy Mumma, Unsung Psalm, Avaran, Abha, Mystic Margarita, Just A, Devaki, Chandni, Roop, Piper, Aneri masi, Chakli and back to IHM and Monika.

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Monika also awarded me the Blogger with a Purpose award:

Thanks babe! I do everyone blogs with a purpose just that some purposes are more evident than others. Like Quirky Indian’s whose tongue-in-cheek look at current affairs is definitely award worthy! And Sraboney, whose blog is thought-provoking in its content, to say the least. Ditto for Chrysalis whose makes us think and question identities and stereotypes. How Do We Know, from whose blog you cannot come back without having learnt something – a philosophy, an idea, a little gem of knowledge. Then there are bloggers like Roop, whose posts always have a purpose – they sometimes will make you laugh, other time they’ll make you think.

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Then comes the Lovely Blogger Award from IHM, which, she says, is to be given to “bloggers we get to know through their comments more than through their posts! These amazing commentators, they are the ones without whom there would be little inspiration left to write.” This award is special for me because I do like to leave comments wherever I read a post that gets me thinking. And without the comments, blogging wouldn’t be half as much fun.


No wonder these bloggers are wonderful to have around: Avaran, Chrysalis, SSQuo, Unsung Psalm, Sindhu, Just A, Jira, I scribble here, Piper, Monika Manchanda, Monika,Ansh, GM, Indyeah, SMM, Patricia, Sangfroid, Spontaneous Mini, Soulmate, Abha, IHM, Mampi, DewdropDream, Mumbai Diva, Mystic Margarita, Chakli, Edita, my space and so many others! The new names I see in my comments section these days: Smitha, Ranjish, Solilo, Meira, J, Just Like That, Saima and Eram.

Thank you all for taking out the time to tell me what you think. It makes a difference to the way I blog!

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Another one of my fav awards is this one:


I like to think I am essentially a creative person – whether I create with words, pictures, fabrics or even pages (like I used to as a full time journalist). I’ve come across many creative bloggers and I draw inspiration from them: Finn, for her photographs. Roop, the only blogger I know who doesvideo blogging. Sirop deVanille, for her artful spinning of words. Maid in Malaysia, for being so economical and so clever with her words! OJ, for her pics and her poetry. Vineeta, for her excellent work that she shares with us. Archana, for getting me to think about my ideal home again with all her pretty posts!

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The next award is really interesting and was bestowed on me by, who else, but IHM again! The Triple Award, I learnt, is for “blogs of attitude and gratitude, a member of a proud sisterhood, and a best friend of all blogs.”

And it’s supposed to be handed over to 10 worthy recipients. Here goes the list of winners: 1. Goofy Mumma 2. DewdropDreams 3. Roop 4. Just Call Me ‘A’ 5. Devaki 6. Mampi 7. IHM 8. Broom 9. Sraboney 10. Chakli

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I received this award just by being on IHM’s blog! And I think it makes sense to carry on the tradition and give this award to everyone who is on my blogroll. They are there because I love their blog, right?

Are you prepared with your thank you speeches?

>Planning for our 25th Wedding Anniversary

>We must be growing old. Yesterday The Guy had a meeting with a life insurance agent and came back home to tell me about the different schemes that made most sense for where we were in life right now.

Now, my contribution to most discussions on financial planning is minimal – the max I can do is understand what’s being told to me. I think the side of my brain that deals with money management must’ve been paralysed at birth, because numbers and figures make no sense to me at all.

Anyway, I digress. So The Guy was explaining different insurance plans to me, highlighting their pros and cons for the numerically-challenged wife. We both agreed on one of the insurance policies which would mature after 20 years and make us quite rich if we paid our premium on time. I was trying to think like a grown up, like how that money could be used to take care of our child’s education or medical expenses and other such stuff twenty years hence when The Guy reminded me how we’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary the year we get this handsome amount of money! I thought he was pointing out the coincidence or some such thing but that’s not what he had in mind. “So we can use the money to go for a world tour to celebrate our anniversary!” he clarified.

I couldn’t stop laughing. You see, people go in for life insurance for various reasons: to save tax, to save up for a later time in life, for an emergency perhaps, but we’re different! We save up for an extravagant holiday! I still can’t stop smiling.

Maybe, we won’t use that money for a holiday after all. But just the thought is exhilarating to be planning not for the necessities of life but the luxuries. On normal days, we’re struggling so hard to be there that we have no time to indulge in the little fantasies of our mind. And then comes across a thought like this and you feel like you’ve been set free!

The world trip will happen in good time, but for now, we’re settling for a four-day break in the hills with friends.

Be good and be back 🙂

>Do Sweat the Small Stuff…

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…some of it, sometimes at least because:

…You can’t make yourself so comfortable in someone’s office that you rest all your weight on the glass-topped table and break the glass into two!
That’s what three boys did to a table in my office.

…You can’t not tell your guests what is the occasion for the party while sending out invites if it is as grand as a 50th wedding anniversary!
Yes, I went to a party without knowing it was being thrown to celebrate someone’s anniversary, forget about it being the golden one!

…You can’t stare at the girl sitting at the office reception so hard that you walk into the glass door with a loud thud and a bang!
That happened in my office again. I didn’t know whether to be scared for the door or the poor fella’s head.

…When you butt into a conversation with your two cents, you give away how you’ve been eavesdropping on someone. I’m still deciding which was ruder – the eavesdropping or the butting in!

…An ill-fitting bra under a tight t-shirt is not flattering at all!
How can they not get it?

…When you think something’s passing you by, it will hit you right in the face!
Like the damn recession! (Actually, that could be Murphy’s Law)

…If you spend too much time playing Monopoly, you’ll want more than before to go to Trafalgar Square!
And the swine of a swine flu will not make it easier for you!


What’s the small stuff you’d rather people sweat over?

>Happy Dad Day!

>Dear Papa,

I know you’ll never let me say this to you, because you say you already know how much I love you but you don’t know how.

You don’t know Papa that of all my childhood memories, I cherish most the ones in which you figure. You’ve been a father I’d love every girl to have. Despite everything we couldn’t have back then, you made me feel like a princess. You let me think I was the girl around whom the world revolved and you let me believe that at least one man in this world would do my bidding! You gave me so much love that I could go through life without anyone giving me anymore.

And while you were the Dad in shining armour, you were also man enough to cry for us – when we got hurt you would comfort us till you wept, when we wept in pain you sat in your room and prayed for us because you couldn’t bear to look at us cry. And I never forgot that when I cried, I hurt you more than I was hurting. You sobbed when you said goodbye to me when I got married and you didn’t care if the world was watching you.

You say we’re friends and I agree. You’ve been my friend, Papa, because you’ve accepted me for who I am. You knew when I argued with you that I loved and respected you just as much as when I nodded my head in agreement with what you said. You made me feel like a friend when you sought my opinion on things and I gave you an honest one. People laughed at us when you said I’d helped you make up your mind about Sh (my sister)’s choice of guy, but I love you Dad for believing in me when I told you he was the right guy. And I’m glad we both have nothing to regret! I know, Dad, that I could have told you what I think and that you wouldn’t rubbish it as a child’s babble. It made me respect myself the way you respected me.

I always wondered how you fielded queries about not having a son – am sure there must have been plenty of those when there were so many directed at us for not having a brother. But I do not remember even once having felt inadequate for being a girl. Thank you Dad for treating me as your child before you treated me like a daughter. I understand now that the confidence we grew up with was something you and Mom passed on to us.

Do you remember Papa how you made me your partner in crime – playing little pranks on Mom, smuggling me away for kebab-parathas in the middle of the day, plotting a surprise on mum’s birthday? You were a hit with my friends – always there to say ‘hello’, crack a joke, leave with a witty one-liner but never over-bearing, never intrusive, never inquisitive.

But you were not perfect and I knew that. However, I love you Dad because despite your bouts of temper, you didn’t shy away from saying sorry. I’ll always carry that lesson with me – that it’s okay to err before your child and it’s okay to say sorry. You’ve taught me the smallest and the biggest lessons in life – I learnt from you that no matter what happens, it’s alright – that nothing was big enough to lose your sleep over. I learnt from you that letting go isn’t the toughest thing in the world.

You taught us to take responsibility for what we do and the lessons started young. On those rare occasions when mom asked us to study, you told her off saying if we didn’t have the sense to study, we’d be the one flunking the exams! You never pestered us with what to eat and how. You never told us what was right and wrong and let us make our own mistakes.

Do you know Dad how much you’ve made us proud? More with your hardwork than your success, more with your honesty than your clout. I regret not having given you the pride of having your daughter be a lawyer like you, but I know you don’t hold it against me. And I know it still makes you proud to have daughters who’re doing well where they are.

There’ve been times when I’ve been very, very angry with you. I remember one time you and Mom had a fight and you wouldn’t have your medicine just because you were angry with Ma till I asked you to. I hated you for doing that, but you know what I liked? How you took my chiding for what you’d done. It was the last time you did that because you understood what I meant when I said you weren’t doing any of us a favour by taking care of yourself, that it was okay to quarrel but not okay to emotionally blackmail by causing yourself harm, that the next time I wouldn’t come to ask you to have your medicine. I’m so glad Papa, you could take that from me and never forget it.

I’m amazed at how much I’ve turned out like you! I know I’ve inherited your side of the genes more than I’ve inherited Mom’s. But as I grow older, I’m more and more surprised at how much of you I see in myself. It’s not just that I resemble you, it’s how I react to things, how I talk, how I sleep at night that makes me my daddy’s daughter! I know I have your flaws, but I also I hope I have some of your better qualities as well!

I hate to think you’re growing old Papa, because I have no idea how I will live my life without you. I have no idea how it will feel to not know you’re going to set things right if they go terribly wrong. Or how it would feel to not have your humour to lighten my day. And that’s why I need to tell you how much I love you.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love,
D

>Is enough ever enough to say "enough"?

>In a marriage, that is.

It’s a coincidence perhaps that three of the six-member team I have at office are women who are separated from their spouses. Girl 1 was married for a year to a boy who made her work like a slave in the office, treated her like a maid at home and raped her at night before she walked out of the arranged match. Girl 2 was married for three years, has a two-year-old baby and has just come back to live with her parents because she was scared her parents-in-law would torture her to death. Girl 3 was married for two years to a boy she chose for herself but who she did not know was an obsessive, jealous lover.

Perhaps this is more than a coincidence; it’s an indicator of how young, independent women can think of happiness out of the box called marriage if the box gets stifling to stay within. And while I don’t condone divorces, I don’t condone the idea of living in an unhappy marriage just for the sake of putting up a sham before society. If you don’t get anything out of a relationship, not even the satisfaction of giving some part of yourself to it, what good can come out of it? And what reason is big enough to hold you back from ending such a relationship?

Which brings me to the vital question that I always ask myself when I see women stick on for no apparent reason in an unhappy marriage: do we marry for social security or do we marry for happiness?

People argue how marriages these days don’t last like they used to in the times of our parents because Generation Now isn’t ready to “adjust” and they say it like adjusting to an unhappy life is a good thing when it clearly isn’t. Why should anyone stay with an incompatible partner, a disloyal spouse, a foolhardy husband or wife? What purpose does such a marriage serve?

I know people who’ve been unhappily married for decades and if you ask them why, it’s probably because they’ve never thought of ending their misery. I know a woman whose husband, after 15 years of marriage, is having an affair with a woman he says he is intent on marrying. He abuses here – verbally and I suspect physically too. They have two adolescent children who witness their father cheating openly on their mother and hate him for it. And though the woman isn’t even financially dependent on her husband, she is keen on preserving that which is already rotten. She is emotionally tormented and knows there’s no going back to where it all started. Yet, she will not walk out. Oh yes, give it another chance, like people say, but know when to say ‘Enough is enough.’

The children for whose sake couples often live in loveless marriages don’t benefit from seeing two estranged parents live under the same roof. I come from a happy home and I know how much it means to see my parents together. Yet, happiness is not about seeing your parents constantly sparring with each other or seeing your father flirt with his mistress on the phone while your mother waits in the wings. What kind of a home can such parents give their children? Unhappiness isn’t easy to live with and if you are dissatisfied in a relationship as important as that of a husband and wife, would you have the energy to bring up your child well? If you were so busy dealing with your own emotions, would you have the time to focus on your child’s?

To me, no reason seems good enough for a man and a woman to waste lives – theirs and their children’s – on a hopeless existence. But I’m open to understanding if you can explain otherwise. Can you?

>Let’s talk about birds and bees…

>…of the literal kind, just in case you were thinking something else.

With my days spent mostly at work, I’ve never been able to spend much time with the winged visitors that frequent my place (and there are quite a few of them, thanks to the open spaces, the trees, the bird baths that any puddle of stagnant water can be called). When it’s time for me to come home, the birds are already on their way back home too and I just catch a glimpse of them flying back. This Sunday, however, I wasn’t going to let them go without posing for my camera.

The pigeon was the most camera-friendly and ready to be clicked up, close and personal.

So was this black and white beauty whom I managed to capture on my camera with much ease.

But I wish I could say the same about these green-coloured, tiny, flighty birds who were so well camouflaged in the green of the trees they perched on that it was difficult to say where the leaves and the green wings of these birds merged. But I finally managed to catch them taking a breather on the bamboo fencing:

This noisy fellow was caught sitting high up on our Christmas tree. Is that an angry expression or what?

I wish I knew the names of all these creatures, but I’m bad with bird names. However, I did google to find that this common house bird with the yellow beak is the mynah:

Any idea what this pretty one sitting on the tree stub is called? It’s got a little bit of red on the top and little on the tail, a very pointed beak, a black crest on its head.

But I wonder what these two were doing on the cable. I played around with the pic and turned it into a monochromatic piece I’d like to title: “Et tu, Brutus?” But then, that’s me on my flights of fancy!

For you I’m also uploading a coloured version of this couple sitting on the cable:

And now that I’ve exhausted all my cliches for birds, there come the bees, just so that you know I ain’t just making up stuff about the bees when I talk about the birds and the bees in the title.

Edited to add: I did a little bit more of googling to find the names of these birds. The black one (second picture) is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Fancy name!

The tiny green birds may be the Green backed Tit and the angry-looking bird on the Christmas tree is probably the Jungle Babbler. And the bird with the red patches is most likely to be the Red-whiskered Bulbul, methinks. Tell me if you know better.

>Were you wearing jeans when you were eve-teased?

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Or a sleeveless/tight top or high heels?

You must be. Four colleges in Kanpur have banned girls from turning up in college in any of those to avert cases of eve-teasing! And by doing that, we suppose, we will have zero incidence of eve-teasing because a girl in jeans is asking for it – provoking with her denim-clad legs lecherous, whistling, ogling men. Because a girl in high heels and sleeveless top is provoking them to pass comments, make vulgar sounds, touch and go. And these men will do none of that to a girl in a salwar-kameez or a saree?

We never ask for it. Not when we dress up and decide to look anything but plain Jane. Not when we wear gloss and mascara, tube tops and halter necks. We’re not asking for it when we giggle with our friends, laugh out loud or when we talk to them nicely. What gives them the impression they can cross the line?

There’s not a girl I know who doesn’t have an eve-teasing story to tell and they are not stories about our jeans alone! I’ve been teased in my school uniform, in my salwar-kameez-dupatta, in sarees and skirts.

What were you wearing when you were eve-teased?

And to the men – does a woman ask for it when she wears jeans?