Sunday, August 4, 2019

To Laughter, and to Friendship!


It is every parent’s dream to be someone their children look up to, to be their source of inspiration, and a pillar of strength. Well, we failed.
I can explain. One day, his teacher informed that all the students were supposed to submit their most recent passport size photograph for school identity card. Unfortunately for us, all photographs were used for various purposes and digital copies saved in pen drives were missing too. There is this weird thing about pen drives in our house. When we want it, it vanishes into oblivion. However, when we are travelling and our hand baggage goes through the airport scanners, all the pen drives we ever bought in our lifetime miraculously appears out of thin air and places themselves into various little dark corners of the bags. We launched a “pen drive search” operation and pulled out every single thing out of every wardrobe, drawer and shelf like how the Income Tax officials raid wealthy homes in movies. Finally we lost our time and energy trying to find the needle in the haystack and drove to the studio with our home looking like it had been hit by a violent tornado.

At the studio, my son wearing his school uniform looked crisp and cute. Fortunately he dint have to wear his earlier identity card for the photo, as that was also missing. Basically all things are missing except the three of us. He sat on a chair they asked him to, with a white screen behind him. He looked quite smart and gave a very decent smile at the camera. Not a laugh, or a sarcastic grin, just a small decent smile. Meanwhile, we were standing near the camera admiring him and the spouse broke into a wild laughter for no reason. Usually if I crack the most hilarious joke and laugh uncontrollably, he doesn’t budge and stares back at me stone faced. This man couldn’t control his laughter for no apparent reason and as contagious as laughter usually gets, he passed on that crazy laugh to me also. The photographer had other clients waiting and impatiently gestured my son not to smile and look straight at the camera. The poor thing couldn’t put up the serious face he was asked to, however hard he tried, as both his lunatic parents were holding their stomachs and laughing their heads off. 

The photographer had now reached his limits and told us ‘Will you both please leave?”.

We both slowly walked out, laughing louder than we could when we were inside. I actually saw the photographer looking at my son pitifully and he was embarrassed. After the clicks were taken he came outside and asked us: “What was so funny?” Well he got satisfactory answers.

“Ask your Dad”

“Ask your Mom”

Well laughter like such is rare and far between now, but there were times I used to laugh like crazy every day. Those were my school days. That’s where I got this non-stop laughter from. 
I remember a similar incident that happened when I was in the tenth grade, when my friend cracked some stupid joke during class and we started laughing. Then we looked at each other and laughed more. Soon enough we could not control our laughter. Actually the joke is not relevant and surely was not so funny that the laughter which started could not be stopped. Initially the teacher was writing something on the board so we tried to stop it before she turned around, but when she did, tears started coming out of our eyes and it just wouldn’t stop. Inevitably, we landed outside the classroom for the rest of her session, holding our breaths and stomachs with both hands in laughter. Before she sent us outside, she interrogated us with questions like ‘Can you both please explain what is so amusing in this lesson?’ and it was physically impossible for us to form words between our peals of laughter and my friend somehow managed to blurt out ‘ Just… you know… jokes..”.

 “GET OUT BOTH OF YOU!”

Punishments are harmless as long as the Principal was not doing the rounds exactly at that time on that floor. And she wasn’t, so we were saved. I couldn’t begin to think of the consequences if the Principal walked in on us and then we would have to bring our parents all the way to school for the simple mistake of laughing. Explaining to my Mom, who unfortunately is also a teacher, about why we laughed is more horrific than explaining to the Principal. If at all our parents came to school, this laughter episode wouldn’t be the only thing discussed with them so it was a very dangerous situation which had ripple effects. It was indeed a big-time save and a priceless memory.

On Friendship Day, here's to all my school friends and the innumerable memories we created at Holy Angels' Convent. Each and every little incident was a lot of fun, and I cant go down the memory lane of school days without a smile on my lips!
To all the amazing girls who defined what friendship is and trust me, till date, I compare anyone I meet, with you guys and there is absolutely no comparison!  "We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun" dint we !
Thank you girls for being there even today, recreating the magic from different continents. Don’t know what I’d do without all of you !
Happy Friendship Day!

Holy Angels' Convent ISC Batch of 2001

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Blessed.


Image Courtesy: Here
It’s been a mind blowing month with myriad surprises. Suddenly a lightning of change flashed across my mundane life like the Sunlight ad, and Tadaaaa !!everything is colorful again! My address has changed. My parents are here, there have been guests, birthdays in the family…and so on and so forth. Packing and moving has squeezed out the last drop of life in me. There was a point when I felt that two hands and  two feet are too less, so I promptly developed a neck sprain and was bedridden.

Sitting aback comfortably on my couch with my little man, a pillow to rest my aching arms and a hot water bottle firmly supporting my neck, a day-off gave me a much-needed break from the stifling pain of shifting.
I was also granted a sick leave(yay!), which in our organization, we get only if we are:
1. Sick.
2. We look reasonably sick.
3. Our stars are aligned. 
4. Prove that we will not request sick leave for the same reason again.
So the stars aligned themselves on the day of The India Pakistan World Cup match. My little man knew most of the players from both teams, and is surprisingly good at the technicalities of the game. He even taught me several aspects of the cricket I never knew before (it is hard to concentrate in the game when one is ogling at Kohli you see ;-) ). As he was religiously explaining I corrected his grammar and he gave me a ‘you thankless creature’ look, but otherwise it was a lovely evening. I was amazed at the mathematical calculations he was effortlessly doing while counting runs in overs and making comparisons and predictions. We had a minor setback when popcorn was served, because he is yet to understand that I am not that Mom who happily distributes the Lions share to the child and starves, being the categorical beacon of sacrifice that motherhood is. I will fight for popcorn with my child and I am not sorry.

It is amazing how much a child can teach us. Now that my son is on his summer vacation, I spend more time with him and I am bowled over by how much he knows about the world around us, and how he always keeps cool as a cucumber! Children are not selfish, and they are not completely selfless either. The toughest thing to do in life is to maintain a delicate balance between these. Children are busy with their own lives and have zero expectations. When I get bothered or unhappy, I reach to my little guy, who not only keeps me on my toes but also keeps me sane. He is bewildered by the very concept that I am pissed because of something that doesn’t really matter. He just doesn’t get it. ‘Stop thinking and deal the cards!’ he says. He is my free therapy.

The Universe has a way to help us deal with difficult situations so that we appreciate the new place, people and everything new that happens to us. We just have to accept change and change accepts us wholeheartedly. Sometimes there are bumpy rides , but rejoice! there is always change, waiting to be embraced.

What can be timelier than celebrating birthday with parents two years in a row? What can be greater than moving to a new and awesome location to stay? What can be more satisfying than finding a hidden talent? What can be better than having friends from school days who never grew up? What can be more amazing than an extra ordinary birthday ?

Blessed is the word. Life is too short to be gloomy.

 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

About K..


Precisely from 1997 to 1998, we had a cat at our home. This cat strayed into our premises as a kitten, along with its cuter sibling which later died in an accident. Ever since, he became a part of our household. We named him K.  I think K was a male. K had no interest in our shoes or clothes and spent a lot of time napping, meowing and woke up only to eat, so it was clearly a male.


Image Courtesy:Here
My parents, sister or housemaid were not fond of K. However K did not need any invitation or approval and made his bed cosy on a stack of newspapers under the staircase. K stayed.

Slowly the hearts of all haters melted like ice and they even started searching for K when he was out with his friends. He had no curfew and enjoyed his freedom unlike me or my sister. We assumed that he is our feline male sibling who gets to enjoy freedom like any male in our society would. Soon K became an integral part of our lives, even though his growing friendship with the neighborhood cats bothered me.

After being a part of my family for around two years, one fateful day, K left us forever without a trace. He couldn’t be found anywhere in the neighborhood and we dint have any clue of him. I went around the neighborhood searching frantically for him and checked every nook and corner but in vain. Finally we came to terms with the horrifying fact that K was unlikely to return and that we had to move on in his absence. Years passed.

Not one day in my family whatsapp group passes without a mention of K. Papa, Mummy, sister and me being participants in this group, it could be the most versatile group in my whatsapp. We could say anything under the sun, and one or two of us may exit, leaving the rest scrolling up and down to see what went wrong! It has nostalgia, comedy, drama, suspense…you name it, and we have it. Dramatic exits being the most entertaining sport played by us, Papa continues to be the constant member of the group, who has never exited ever. Considering the topics the rest of us discuss, gossip and fight about, we couldn’t blame Papa if he considers leaving us in real for a life of meditation in the Himalayas.

 We could send Sanjay Leela Bhansali a run for his money in terms of drama. Noone can beat us at sarcasm either. Our favorite hobbies include digging up unpleasant incidents that happened three decades ago, justifying annoying relatives, taking sides and debating. We joke about our maid whose grandmother died 17 times or another one who cooked for 25 people. Earlier we did not have the option of exiting the house whenever we were pissed, but thanks to whatsapp it allows us to leave even at midnight. It has given us the freedom we never tasted as children or in youth. We ask recipe doubts; even share our unedited pictures!!! We make comments about our spouses and laugh at their expense (our parents are not a sport to this one, but we still do it anyway, because….FREEDOM!).

So recently my colleague taught us Pebble Art and with her help I made a picture of a cat.. While posting it to my family group, I innocently captioned it ‘Dedicated to K’. Never in the faintest of my dreams was I prepared to face the outpour of sentiments that followed. My sister replied ‘K, the love of our lives”.

I was like, “Really? Have you ever spoken about any human like that? Ever?”

She was not done. Later she added “He must be watching us fondly from heaven”.

With all due respect and love, I can say that she never said the same even about our deceased grandparents.

Similar drama continued and somehow my art got drowned in the fond remembrance of K. I was about to suggest that we could mark that day as the Memorial Day for K, but then that would go too far considering my sister who may start crying and take the day off.

Just by existing and minding its own business and never being of any use to anyone, K has such an impact on all of us.

I wish I could be like that someday.

 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Don't forget!


I have a section in my wardrobe dedicated for clothes that are saved for special occasions. Years passed but no festival, birthday or anniversary made it to that ‘special occasion’ category. I may consider wearing one of those when I receive a trophy from The President, which means that all of those clothes are going to die a silent death without making it into any pictures.

From grade one to 12, I wore uniform like anyone else. That is 12 solid years of repeating the same outfit. Then again destiny dragged me into an engineering college which had a pathetic uniform for student dress code. That is another 4 golden years of youth, lost, and never coming back. So 16 years of my life was wasted wearing clothes that everyone else was wearing. Before I started school, I was at home crawling and writing on walls, basically not wearing anything. That makes it 20 years of no clothes/uniforms.

So now it is undeniably understood that I have to dress up to compensate for the wasted years. I want the clothes I bought at insanely unreasonable prices to see the light of the day. The occasion called LIFE is here! Usually I don’t make a big deal about Vishu, but this time I decided to relieve some festive dresses from the darkness of my wardrobe. So I wore this super flashy pink silk kurti and paired it with big earrings and heels.

I have two pairs of heels doomed to be permanent inmates of the shoe rack. I am always a flat shoe wearer, because...

·         I walk fast as a habit, and I don’t know anything about postures or the art of feminine graceful walking.

·         My husband is only as tall as me

·         I can’t stand the galloping sound it makes as I walk through office corridors.

Vishu day was going smoothly until a critical issue came at work. Mails were flying, people walking up and down, phones ringing continuously, managers following up, and brain getting fried… Meanwhile makeup went down the drain, ankles were hurting and ears were about to fall off because of the excessively large earring. The disaster of this day was not the ankles or the ear or the office issue. It was the fact that not one picture or selfie was taken before any of this happened. There is not one proof that I tried!

Usually I do not put myself in situations where I do not have pictures of a certain day or occasion especially when I have made an effort to dress up. Finally I went home with unbearable pain on the ankles and ears, reminiscing of a day that went past without any photos. The spouse was looking at the ceiling as I was dramatically elaborating the unexplainable pain on my ankles.

Image Courtesy: Here
“Did anyone force you to wear heels?” He quipped.
 “Then who am I supposed to crib to? I don’t have a personal grievance app! You are the person who signed up for this!” I yelled.

 Seriously, if you wear heels, click pictures. If you wear extraordinarily heavy earrings, click pictures. Atleast you will not end up like me, writhing in pain, ruining peace in the family and nothing to upload on Instagram.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

When trouble hits !


Whichever stage of life you are in right now, it would make sense if I say that some days are not like others. There are days when I feel excited, do everything that is pending at work or home, please everyone, return calls and messages and laugh out loud. On such days, I would win every vote if I contested in an election for ethical high-ground. Then there are THOSE days when I literally feel like a serial killer and would slay anyone who comes in my way.  In my wild imagination, I’d wear a black pointed hat, fly on a broom and carry an imaginary blood stained axe on my hand.

So what makes some days different than the others? Situations, circumstances, unwarranted behavior and last but not the least, office mails.

Some emails make me feel like I am an insignificant virus that deserves to be eradicated by a vaccine. Then some email heroes who write to me without actually writing to me, and that is an art in itself; point is to not acknowledge me directly so they conveniently keep me in Cc when the content is actually directed at me. Then there are others who utilize the free and simple tool, the email, to satisfy their own egos and disrespect others in one shot. My stress builds, appetite worsens, mood deteriorates, tear glands get activated, day gets worse. Does it matter to anyone? NO. The person who pissed me off is not even thinking about me. For them, I am an email id that happens to be in Cc. I am idiotic enough to ruin my happiness for that undeserving sender.

If you have been in my situation, ever, be it email or any other type of disrespect, you better go shopping, eat pizza, talk to your buddies, drink wine and sleep tight. Remember, no one, no one cares about what you feel or how you react. On top of that they will judge you for reacting. Sure there are a lot of holier-than-thou people there who are the veterans of moral policing as they have set unwritten rules for other people as to what they should or should not do. When I am pissed by a human, a situation or an email, I prefer to be left alone.

Image Courtesy: Here
How did people live in joint families before? Like when you’re pissed off and want to be alone, there are already five people in that room. I am so happy that I am not living in a joint family else I would be typing this from jail.

Basically I am a very volatile person. I am neither proud about it nor am I embarrassed. Why should I be embarrassed? Anger, sadness, bitterness are all emotions which God gave us. Let me rephrase that. God gave us these to test our control capacity. I failed that test magnificently.  I realize I am soft enough to feel love, hatred, anger, rejection and express it rather than being wooden and unaffected, pretending to live in a parallel universe. I am sure all the Robot 2.0 people I have come across do feel what they are supposed to feel but prefer to keep it with themselves and hence they passed the control test. Good job guys. By the way I am not competing with you.

Another thing to note is find your own way to chill. Do not depend on people or whatsapp to calm or console you; instead find a hobby, a place or a habit that can ease your mindset. For me shopping does that. So if you see me alone in the mall, run in the opposite direction.

Always know that no one cares about how you feel. No one is thinking about you. No one is bothered if you are affected by their actions. So you may as well not spend time brooding over them. Shop more. Buy things that you usually don’t. Wear the yellow shoes. Rock that off shoulder top. Show off that black mini skirt. This is our life, it is our plan A, and our ONLY plan. There is no plan B, just remember that before you break down for anyone’s actions or words again.

(Oh by the way, I am not a composed person. I wrote the above so that I can read it when trouble hits and calm myself.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From One to ZERO !


There are times in my marriage when I know that I am the better half and he is just a half. Actually most of the time. This half works with me in the same organization so we are classic examples of overlooking the existence of each other.
When we are at our respective homes with parents on vacation, there comes a gap wherein this half gets frustrated with missing socks, misplaced id cards, laundry that has piled up like an iceberg on a chair and no one to blame. Meanwhile, my brain recognizes the absence of a significant other and soothes the body to generate happy hormones. It is a state of complete bliss and harmony, when one can exist without being under anyone’s expectation. So this time around, after two weeks of being on relax mode, he visited me at my place with tickets to the movie ZERO. First day, first show. Well it’s been a decade with this half so he knows that Shah Rukh Khan is my first love.


Image Courtesy: Here
The crazy fangirl that I am, updated on Facebook the moment I checked into the theatre with a pic of me and my little one. The half did not want to be a part of this picture or situation because it was crucial for his image to stay far away from Shah Rukh Khan Movies. So there we were, seated pretty comfortably in Gold class recliner seats, super excited about ZERO.

Few minutes in the first half of the movie went well. After that, I kept checking my Facebook and found the likes on my theatre check-in increasing exponentially. I felt elated. The songs and SRK’s charm were crushed at its prime by Anushka Sharma and her expressions that literally reached a new level of outrageousness. All my efforts to overlook her went in vain. The film which had picked up pace initially, was exploring various degrees of ridiculousness in the second half, by experimenting with characters, expressions and a story that made absolutely ZERO sense.
 
The half and the little one who were seated either side of me, glanced at me whenever SRK came on screen and was like ‘Seriously? You like THIS guy? THIS GUY? ’. Well, ten years of marital arts makes one a pro in the art of snubbing. I was holding close to my heart the Shah Rukh of DDLJ who scripted in rock, the qualities of the ultimate romantic hero. I was not going to give up on my SRK for these two judgmental creatures whose taste in movie heroes were comparable to that of a goat.

However, I secretly wished in my heart that SRK did not do this film. Or Jab Harry Met Sejal. Or Jab Tak Hai Jaan when Jesus was one of the characters – that would have been a horrifying experience even for Jesus.

The half got tired of rolling eyes at me and went to sleep. SRK and Anushka started conversing from space shuttles. R Madhavan made an appearance and I felt sorry for that guy as well. In a decade, from standing tall in ‘Three Idiots’, he fell into a pit deeper than the Pacific Ocean.  That was the real ten year challenge, guys.

Later, the reviews of ZERO were out on every platform, where movie reviewers blatantly awarded zero stars and wrote the meanest of feedback about the movie. My check-in on Facebook, captioned “first day first show”, shamelessly in caps, was still out there, nowhere to run for cover. People were now probably clicking sarcastic likes on my post and I could actually hear them roaring in laughter. Well, now the damage was done and there was no coming back. If I took down the post, I could've invited my mean friends to have a field day at my expense.
Moral:
Checking in on Facebook is injurious to health. Please read the review carefully before posting.