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.
Checking in on Facebook is injurious to health. Please read the review carefully before posting.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Believe in YOU.

I was the least competitive of all the kids I grew up with. My aunts and the friends of my parents were very happy with my existence as I had proven that I was never going to overachieve or be a competition to their children. I have nurtured this wonderful attribute and continued being the same.
My day mostly starts with counting the hours up to when I can go back to sleep again. My resolutions are mostly to stop some annoying habit or to reach a certain level in Angry Birds. It NEVER consists of anything productive. It is ironic to say this being in IT field, as my core skill requires frequent updating. However I have a PhD in the art of procrastination. If any one of you systematic and prompt people out there needs any tips on the 7 habits of highly lethargic people, I can give you a free trial speech… possibly two weeks later.
I am not in the race to look prettiest (as if I could be in that race lol ), to get promoted or to be the best in whatever I do. When I look around I can see people in a desperate attempt to climb up the corporate ladder. Well I am not judging anyone, being proactive is cool but you can also work hard in silence and not yell from rooftop if you work extra hours. I see some kids getting very serious about winning prizes for games at birthday parties. What happened to just participating and having fun?

So we were at a hotel in Munnar on New Years Eve. The hotel restaurant had arranged a gala dinner which had a variety of food and drinks. There were games, songs and dances through the night. One of the many games was the most annoying classic, The Musical chair. The introvert in me found the darkest corner of the party and set up camp there. As I was comfortably settling in the dark minding my own business, some hotel staff started games for ladies. I tried my best to be polite by accepting the offer to participate (and boycott later of course). The staff had other plans though. I gave up my cozy corner and reluctantly went upto the stage where the musical chair began for women. I was casually walking around chairs (murmuring and swearing under my breath) like a retarded jobless female when suddenly the lady behind me stepped on my feet. I turned around and she said Sorry. I said ‘it’s okay’, but deep inside I was contemplating the torture I was undergoing by leaving a peaceful place only to come to the limelight and be kicked by random strangers. The lady kept kicking me atleast eight to ten times and each time I noticed that she was madly calculating the chairs as the music played. She was playing this game as if her life depended on it and hence ignored the pain she was causing to people behind and in front of her. She was crazily keeping one step forward for each chair!

Yes you can cheat in musical chair also. These are the type of obsessive women one should stay far away from. These are the mothers whose children can’t handle failure, breakups or rejection because they were taught that they HAVE TO win. Be it a lottery or a lucky draw that gives balloons as prizes, they should win by hook or by crook. Little do they realize that at the end of day, they are cheating, lying, making more enemies than friends and are being dangerously cunning.

Well I left the game soon enough .This feet-crusher lady dint win either, and I had an extra drink to celebrate her loss. I owed it to my toes, my poor toes.  

Image Courtesy: Here
I have come across people who have no sense of tune, voluntarily singing at events just for a participation prize. The collective eardrums and sanity of the audience are tested. Music is insulted. Further still, some "singers" at parties have made me want to cry and go to office – imagine how bad that would have been.

It is still okay to live and let live. Not all prizes need to be won. Not all talents are gifted to us. Even in the midst of cut throat competition, we have our space, our unique identity, something about us that cannot be replaced by anyone. Believe in that.

Believe in YOU.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Bicycle Diaries..

Is 2018 almost over already? That’s like 365 days of my life I royally wasted planning to do something worthwhile. I am unable to recall doing anything productive with my life apart from writing codes and being on the core team for a successful go-live of a huge project, but this cannot be called as an achievement. So basically what did I do?  I ignored my health more than any other year. (Insert sarcastic applause here). Sometime in January, the procrastinator in me decided to document the to-do list for 2018 “later”, and that “later” never came so I have conveniently forgotten them. One point I can faintly remember was to learn to ride a bicycle.

I drive car in India and Oman but riding a bicycle has always been a challenge. Fortunately, knowing how to ride a bicycle was not a prerequisite to get admissions or jobs or to get married :D Dreaming about riding a bicycle itself was out of my league, thanks to my super conservative but highly educated parents. We were living under a rock of old-school beliefs. So my bicycle dreams did not fly during my childhood, in fact it dint even hatch. I wasn’t allowed to go to school excursions nor did I visit the homes of any friends, let’s all piously observe a few seconds of silence for that.

Image Courtesy: Here
In early 2018, I decided to learn to ride a bicycle. Now this was a decision which had several dependencies. Firstly, there should be a bicycle. Secondly, there should be a person who has time and interest to teach. Thirdly, I should initiate to learn. The first two were not hard to find but the third one was quite a Herculean task. So my seven year old had been asking for a bigger bicycle and his Dad bought him one which was only one size smaller than a normal adult bicycle.

Last evening we were at the park as the little one wanted to ride it outdoors. Suddenly this thought struck me – I wouldn’t look too big on this one! All my three prerequisites have been met, my stars have aligned and the Universe has conspired to realize my dream. So what am I waiting for? The boys were discussing the gears on their new toy with joy and enthusiasm when I dropped the bomb on them- ‘Can you teach me too ?’

My question was met with mixed reactions. My son’s expression was something like ‘Is she serious? Would she fall and ruin my new bicycle ?’  The spouse was looking around and had an expression like ‘Are there any hospitals nearby…’. After few minutes of dramatic silence, they both mentally aligned to agree. I sat on the bicycle, and the spouse caught it from behind the seat. ‘Keep pedaling!’ they said. I was scared to ask them to click a photo (what is the point of doing something out-of-the-box and not updating on Instagram?). My son was excited as opposed to my expectations. He proudly watched me cycling my dreams away.

The next ten minutes I got support from him, and after that I was on my own. It was such an exhilarating experience, to ride without any help and to be able to strike off at least one row from my bucket list. I have no words. I never got such satisfaction whenever I activated my code without any errors. I never found such happiness even when I was appreciated for my work at office.

Last but not the least, the priceless expression on the faces of my boys gave me goosebumps.
The expression was something like “This bicycle is done with”.