>This is what a week that I began on the I’ll-stay-at-home note ended up as:
>your favourite header and make things easy for me. It’s probably irrelavant for you (is it?) but obviously not to me. And since I can’t make up my mind about which header is best suited for this blog, I’m going to go by popular choice.
#1: The first one literally was the first one I made myself! It’s about who I am and what I like to do. Decode the images and you’ll know what I’m talking about
#2: Just a little bit of creativity. Used a picture I clicked on my trip to Agra to make this one.
For one, the Hawa Mahal is situated right in the middle of this busy market place. For those who don’t already know this, the Hawa Mahal isn’t actually a palace; it’s just the facade of a palace. If you happen to take a peek at what’s behind, you’ll find squalid slums!
It’s a tiny window into the rich world of Rajasthani art and architecture. I was quite fascinated by these lamp posts that lined the dividers on the road.
They are lots of typically Rajasthani things to choose from as well like fancy embroidered umbrellas and multi-huded puppets.
The LMB -one of the most famous eateries in Jaipur – is also located in Jauhari. While the delectable kachauris that we snacked on did not make for such a great photo-op, this pile of phirni sure did!
By the time we reached the hotel, it was dark and the illuminated hotel facade looked rather impressive.
We were staying at Hotel Shiv Vilas and loved the grandeur of the place.
If a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, would a blogger by any other name write any differently? Perhaps not. But perhaps, a blogger who writes anonymously would write a whole lot differently. I’ve been in the blogosphere for a couple of years now and been around enough to know how different people are at different levels of comfort making public their real identities: some will safeguard it will all their might, others will make no effort to be known in the virtual world as they are known in the real.
Most people who read my blog know me as D and most others who know my name have chanced upon it by accident. I don’t think I’m any different if you know me by one name or another. So why am I at pains to remain D for the blog world?
I mulled over this question for weeks and months and finally came up with a coherent answer: I just don’t want any more relationships. I like meeting people, I like to make friends but I can’t labour to do either. If I meet people, good. If I make friends along the way, good. If I don’t, still good. Is that hard to understand?
In the real world that I inhabit, I have plenty of friends and plenty of family members around me. There are relationships I cannot sever even if I wanted to and there are relationships I do not want to sever, ever. Then there are people I meet at work, because of work, through work: colleagues, business associates, ex-colleagues… some people I can’t wish away and some people I do not want to wish away. Between all of those, where is the will to forge new relationships?
I spend a lot of time on the internet but I’m not here to be tied down by a new set of strings. When a regular blogger is away for a considerable amount of time, I do wonder if everything is alright with her. When a blogger goes on a vacation, goes on a new diet program, tries out a new dish, talks about her babies, I’m interested. I feel for bloggers I read. But I cannot go beyond that.
I have never tried actively to meet a blogger even though I haven’t tried to resist it actively either. But I’m conscious of the fact that once I meet someone, I’m committing to go beyond the blogosphere relationship. And once I do that, I will not step back. But am I ready for it? Am I ready to take on another relationship and everything else that comes with it? What if I do not like the person I meet or the person doesn’t like me? That’s going to affect our virtual relationship as well, isn’t it?
I hear all the time of bloggers finding some of their best friends in blogosphere. Perhaps, by resisting new ties, I’m resisting friendships that could be. But any relationship is about give and take – of emotions, times, energy. I have nothing to give just now that I already ain’t giving enough of to people around me.
Some people are great at managing a zillion relationships and managing them well. I’m not one of them. I have to labour at every one of them. And it hurts when a relationship goes wrong. I don’t want that hurt. Is there something wrong with that?
>You’ve got to be kidding! What makes you think I would be one?
• That I never seem to repeat my clothes and therefore buy more clothes?
• That when I can’t find a reason to buy things for myself, I find reasons to buy them for others?
• That I do not remember the clothes I have?
• That my shoe closet is spilling over and that my shoes now have to crawl their way into The Guy’s shoe rack?
• That I buy clothes not because I need them but because they need to be with me?
• That I can’t get over a sale?
• That I realised there’s more to bags than bags that you carry to work – like clutches and totes and travel bags and some more clutches?
• That since I travel frequently, I need to shop before every trip? Every place is different and has different wardrobe requirements.
• That I buy silk sarees in the middle of summer because I’m in Benaras and can’t come home without ’em sarees?
• That when I’m in Bombay I can’t come home without shopping for clothes, bags, shoes and such stuff that I can get only in Bombay?
• That when I’m in Goa, I must dress up like those tourists and therefore buy cheap cotton shirt dresses that I can never wear back home?
• That when I’m in Nainital, I have to raid the Tibetan market to find the most comfortable piece of nightwear I don’t need?
• That when I buy a dress, I need to also buy accessories that go with it?
• That my husband will not let me enter a crockery store because I may hoard more glasses, plates and platters for home?
• That I miss Delhi because I need to go binge shopping instead of just random shopping?
• That I genuinely do not have any more space in those stuffed to capacity drawers in my wardrobe?
• That I will make my husband and father shop because there’s an offer at the store that says free shopping for women for the amount that men shop?
• That I think it’s nice to have a choice of shower gels and different scrubs for different parts of my body in the bathroom?
• That when I feel low, I think a stroll in the mall can make me feel better?
• That I do not feel guilty for any of it?
Oh, come on, which one of those things do you think makes me a shopaholic?
>The childhood home
That favourite corner where I crouched in every game of hide and seek.
The cement and alabaster roof that burnt under our feet as we played hop scotch.
That tiny space under the staircase from where I dug out precious treasures flung away by the family.
The aangan where I squatted to suck a juicy mango as a three-year-old.
Nani’s room with Nana’s perfume and talcum powder on the dressing table.
The store room with the chest of drawers with Nani’s toiletries.
The warm sun of a winter afternoon on the garden where we sullied our hands with wet clay.
The balustrade along the staircase which doubled up as my slide.
The window sill in Baba’s room where I sat pretending to read a book before I could read the English alphabet.
The dining room of discussions.
The school where I spend 12 formative years of my life
That tree in the school with its gnarled roots where we sat in to share lunch with friends.
The cool corridors where we lined up, giggled and fell out of line.
The amla tree whose fruit was forbidden by the school mali.
The teak wood benched – polished smooth – on which we bent and prayed in the chapel.
The pink parlour for four-year-olds with a pink tea set that we fought over.
The rotten smell of fish in the Biology lab, the caustic smell of chemicals in the Chemistry Lab.
The comfortable infirmary bed to rest on, on days of stomach cramps.
The water cooler conversations, back-stage bickering.
The dust on the black school shoes as we shuffled out the school gate.
The classroom opposite the canteen where the smell of fresh aloo tikkis wafted in before break time.
Pachpan khambey, lal deewarein of the college years.
The college café and the penny pinching.
Idling away warm winter afternoons in the lush green front lawns.
The warm smiles shared with the spastic boy at the college PCO.
The photocopier boy – expressionless, indispensable – outside the library.
The auditorium packed for a talk by Rajdeep Sardesai.
The gazebo in which the teacher’s voice drifted away into nothingness.
The TV room in the hostel in which we ooh-ed and aah-ed over Hrithik Roshan.
The bathroom that was used always with the door unbolted!
The balcony in which we spend long evening and longer nights when the power snapped.
The room in which we learnt to sleep with lights on because the roomies wanted to study.
The places where we wrote our love story
The walls that I tempted him to cross to come meet me and which he never did.
The roads on which we went for long drives.
The dinner at Hyatt to which I wore the skirt borrowed from a friend.
The pizza place for heart-shaped pizzas and an instant photograph on Valentine’s Day.
The PCO across the college where I could ask him to call me back.
The cyber café that charged thirty rupees for half an hour as I wrote love letters on Hotmail.
The friend’s place where he would drop me off after each date.
The coffee places which smelt of cocoa beans and love.
The Swatch kiosk at the mall from where he bought me a watch
The topmost closet in my room where I hid his cards and gifts.
What places are special for the memories they bring back to you?
PIMPING THIS: If you have time, hop over to my other blog where I’m going to be featuring my photos every Wednesday as part of the ABC Wednesdays. Go, show me some love!
>Have you ever lost a friend to a marriage, or to their spouse?
It’s the hardest kind of loss to face because it’s not a loss anyone has prepared you for. One moment you’re best friends with someone and the next you’ve sacrificed your friendship at the altar of your friend’s wedding!
In the last year or so, two of our (The Guy’s and mine) very good friends have taken their wedding vows, both of whom we used to hang out with almost every other day, both of whom sat and poured their hearts out to us discussing their confirmed bachelor status versus arranged marriage, both of whom broke the news of their engagement to us before anyone else, both of whom went shopping with us during the wedding preps, both of whom had us dancing like idiots in their baraats, both of whom disappeared pronto after their weddings! Now, if you ask me to understand that, you’re asking for a little too much!
You see, I’ve been there – I’ve gotten married and been newly-married. And I’ve not lost track of my friends because of that. Nor has The Guy. And we haven’t asked each other to get rid of any friends because either one of us didn’t get along with them. How do I make sense of any of this then?
I can quite understand when you’re newly-married and the new relationship is taking all of your time and energy, but I do not understand how it’s impossible to get out for a coffee break once in eight months! Explain this, if you can. Just because your wife doesn’t like me will you give up on our friendship? And how will you explain this when you know that there’s plenty of time to socialise with other people?
As a couple, do you give up your individuality? Does marriage mean leaving behind things you did as a single person, leaving behind friends as well?
I take a long time to make friends but once I do, I give to them all that I have to give. Once I have given of me like that, how should I understand why you’re holding back now? I feel cheated. I feel like I was used because when there was no one, I was there. And now that there’s someone else, you dispose me off (?)
I know how the advisory on the ‘How To Handle a Newly-wed Friend’s Spouse’ manual goes. And I have done everything in the book: taken the initiative, tried establishing a relationship with the spouse, tried to understand what isn’t even apparent, tried giving space, even time and got zilch in return. So let me tell you that none of it works if the better-half of your best friend is bitter about your friendship with him.
I have finally given up on these friends and friendships. But I hold a grudge. And a fear – of my other best friend’s wedding!