Sunday, April 17, 2016

Politeness Pays.In Installments.

These days we come across a lot of people who got more than they could handle and spectacularly messed it up. The King of Good Times apparently couldn’t handle 9000 crores. Hrithik Roshan moves like a dream but a breakup was evidently beyond his grip. Fame and position are difficult to handle as they have a blinding effect. Thank God I don’t have to handle either :D

It is indeed a highly competitive world, and there is no place for politeness. People are stressed out all the time. You hear ‘Excuse Me please’, once in a while but you get ‘Hey! Move it!’ every now and then. When did we become so egoistic, rude and ill mannered? Are basic manners slowly becoming a luxury?

I grew up in a household where the majority of shouting was aimed at me (which was well deserved) but everyone else was treated with respect. Mom used to call rickshaw drivers ‘aniya’ which means younger brother, and sometimes she even went over the top when the said person was old enough to be her Dad. Still, end of day, all-Indians-are-my-brothers-and-sisters totally applied. 

Image Courtesy: Here
Nowadays, cuss words have become trendy, so is rude behavior. People who are superfluously loud are encouraged by the ones who are victims to them and don’t speak up. Sometimes a mere ‘WHAT?' that is loud enough can change them. One cannot survive with a Gandhian principle in this world, because silence and forgiveness are often used as stepping stones by 'smarter' people.

Recently I was at a dance event rehearsal for which my son was participating. As I waited outside the gates, a volunteer appeared. It was just a rehearsal, there were only a few parents waiting with me, and the volunteer was acting like she was handling the crowd of Filmfare Awards. Volunteers are supposed to handle crowds when they get uncontrollable. They are otherwise expected to be human. I repeat, they are expected to be human, nothing more. This lady started yelling at the top of her voice ‘once you have left your children with us, they are our responsibility, please leave the place’ and repeated that sentence on my face two times on top decibel. I found few kids playing outside the gates – probably those kids were not part of her responsibility. The way she said that – my eardrums partially damaged from her voice. It wasn't necessary. Why do volunteers and security people verbally manhandle people?

I have a voice and the choicest vocabulary to shut her up for good. I most honestly do. Unfortunately I do not unleash the demon in me for the most undeserving people like these. I am not programmed to lose my temper and yell at random people for no reason. I simply can’t. This does not mean I don’t want to. Honestly.

There are many people around, like me. We get angry, we are emotional, but we have evolved into a state in which the threshold that prevents us from getting bothered is high. We are the ones that stopped bothering about the ants under our feet. We are the ones who do not get provoked to say ‘you m*****f*****’ when a person overtakes us on the road. We are the ones who do not get into an argument when a person squeezes himself in front of us in a queue. We are the ones that say ‘It’s Okay’ if a person apologizes after crushing our feet with CAT shoes. We are the ones that forgive another child even if he hurt our own for some reason.

We speak up when it is necessary, not when there is an opportunity. We are the ones who know what dignified silence means. 

All the loud and short tempered people out there, do not take silence for granted from anyone, because if you do, some day you will meet the demon. It is not pretty. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

To kick or to kick-off

Yet another academic year has kicked off, bringing with it parents orientation sessions(YAWN), books, brown papers, name slips and what not! Well, covering books in brown paper is not a joke, my friend. At least not for me. Since my better half conveniently opts out of these activities citing inexperience, I become the undisputed owner of Project School Prep. This is one of those situations in life when you have no choice. There may have been eight books, and I took a solid no-break two hours to finish those. I was also standing the whole while. Imagine standing the whole duration of a movie. Even if feet hurt, at least in the end we are entertained. In my case, feet hurt, and that’s about it. It was a weekend activity, so I had a no-break sleep for four hours to replenish myself. However I have a pretty good handwriting, so once the name slips were stuck, they looked cute. Anyone may misinterpret those books to have been done by a book-covering-enthusiast. It is a fruit of my blood! MY BLOOD!

Kindergarten Phase two has officially started and I had been prepping my drama king of a son for that day. Luckily for me and my sanity, they did not shuffle the classes, hence only the new teacher had to be dealt with. As expected, the teacher realized the mischief quotient of my son on the very first day, as he apparently did what he does best- annoy her. So they are at loggerheads now and my headache for this year has also  kicked itself in.

THAT's ME !!! :D :D Image Courtesy: Here

On the school reopening day, we went a bit early  to help him get accustomed to the new classroom. All other parents also were present and the cacophony that rose from the room made us yell our throats out just to make small talk with other parents. I watched as all kids were seated, talking and laughing, but my son alone wouldn’t sit. He has to go from desk to desk, doing all types of antics, much to the amusement of his classmates. I noticed some ladies eyeing me sympathetically. I blame my husband for this. He was a well-known brat in his school back in our time, and decades later his teachers still remember that. Even though verbally I can safely transfer the blame and make the genes responsible for this mess, it gives only a temporary relief. Ideally before we get hitched to someone we should run a background check to the point where you know how mischievous the person was.

As I watched my son laughing and jumping across tables amidst all the kids that were obediently seated, he suddenly turned and lovingly blew me a kiss.

**Heart melts**

So, what was I saying?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekend Musical

Music has a magical way to set the mood. Classy restaurants and local dance bars have customized playlists that play an important part in setting their respective ambience. Why this revelation today? Yes, yesterday being the weekend, my mood was kind of SET by music, and not in a good way.

On Friday evening, we had this horrible experience of driving into a popular mall, doing rounds in the parking lot, searching for a spot. Had this been a temple, at least we would have been blessed by the Indian Gods. Finally we gave up and took the exit. The husband who was driving got so pissed that even playing ‘I like to move it move it’ did not cheer him up. Trust me to make situations worse. Sometimes keeping quiet helps, you know. The next morning, he woke us up to go to the same mall. He is an early bird by birth, and we are early birds by fate. This time I was behind the wheel. Saturday morning, so roads were conveniently empty.

The climate was pleasant, kiddo in a great mood and everything looked just right to go to the mall and indulge. Me behind the wheels meant that he took charge of the songs that played in the car. It started with his routine melancholy songs. One, two songs later, he continued to ignore the kiddo’s request for Lungi Dance. Being a novice at driving (for the past two years) the right to request a song is still denied to me - I am supposed to FOCUS (as if I know how to do that). Fifteen minutes down, the mood inside the car changed from mildly- sad to drowning-in-sorrow. My kid was lost in a philosophical thinker expression and I was about to shed tears. The spouse was seen laid back with the front passenger seat tilted backwards, tapping his fingers by the window and enjoying every bit of the ride. I was still trying to stay sane, but the feeling of grief had struck me real hard.

Why would anyone ruin a weekend on purpose? I mean, choice of music is absolutely personal, but I do not want it to be the reason generally happy-go-lucky people becoming suicidal. I mean who listens to a whole list of grief inducing songs in a row? There was growing intolerance in the car. 
Finally I spoke. ‘What the hell happened to you?’ 
He reduced the volume, sat up, and pretending to be completely oblivious to the situation asked, ‘WHAT?’

‘What kind of horrible, sadistic playlist is this?’ I yelled. 

‘Am I not allowed to listen to music of my choice anymore? GOD!’

‘This is not a choice! It is a punishment! What did I even do to you?’

‘What did I do to you when you play I like to move it move it and Hookah Bar and Lungi Dance?’

‘What is WRONG with Lungi Dance?’

*long silence* *His music was an apt background score for the argument that was happening’

I took that comment about Lungi Dance rather personally though. The argument was highly amusing to the one who was watching from his baby seat at the back. Kids get amused for no reason.

At least his mood got straightened out. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The February that was..

February had been cool climate wise, but logic took a back seat. Our annual office party was held outdoors, at a hotel by the beach. To be honest, I am not a fan of office parties. We have weekends to take a break from all those people we see every day, right? Oh well. Events were organized at least two weeks in advance, thus giving the ladies ample time to think things through. As the event drew closer, my interest to show up at this party hit rock bottom.
Even as I opened my wardrobe two hours after we were supposed to be at the venue, I did not search for anything new or party type. I wore something mediocre and paired it with pointed heels to add a punch. I should have thought this through. Colleagues who don’t give a damn during daytime wouldn’t care about me- forget my shoes at an evening party.

 To my surprise people seemed to be having a real good time with some spectacular events happening on the stage. I made myself comfortable in a place where I could see the people who usually sends emails with death threats as attachments during daytime. Out of the blue, they called all ladies near the stage area for a promotional Zumba. As I started walking, I realized that I have achieved new levels of dumbness. I wore pointed heels to an outdoor lawn party. With every step I dug into the soil with the heels and pulled it out for the next. I realized I was walking like a damn duck. Finally I made it to the stage and took the heels off when the Zumba started. However it was impossible even after to be seated and I had to walk around several times each time digging holes and pulling back. Basically I ploughed the entire party lawn thanks to sartorial sense combined with intelligence.

February had more in store. My housemaid left to India in early Jan and she gave me a temporary replacement in her absence. Miss Temporary had a temper and zero regard for time. Also Miss Temporary behaved like I stole from her ancestral property. 
Image Courtesy: Here
So by end of January, realizing that some people are alive only because murder is illegal, I broke up with her unceremoniously over SMS. Instead I found another person who came all of February three times a week and did a good job without talking too much. However on the 29th, he told me that his earlier boss wanted him back. Basically he dumped me. However he was polite enough to console me and said that he will check whether he can find someone who can help. I wiped my face and agreed between sobs.

The first of March had been an extremely busy day at work but I admit I was not a productive employee. I had just been dumped the previous day and I couldn’t begin to contemplate how the days ahead would be. Cleaning the house! The very thought of doing that by myself made be exhausted. The whole day went by and there was no progress in the maid hunting front. On the second of March post lunch, my phone rang. It was my old housemaid who had returned from India! She is back!

My joy knew no bounds. I have not been so happy in years.  However I suppressed my happiness and politely welcomed her back, but I was actually jumping around in joy. March has just begun. It has started on a good note.

I hope there will be no unpaid ploughing or break ups this month. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The semi-private existence.

Of late, the newest thing that has caught my confusion-prone mind is friend requests from Facebook.  To begin with, my spouse and I having worked together at multiple organizations gave us, like 782 mutual friends. Facebook has thus bound us with its own virtual strings, that if he adds someone new, Facebook urges me to add that person as well.  Apparently, Facebook algorithms are so old-school that it doesn’t understand people can have friends, their significant others may not know. I mean jeez ...grow up, you! If he uploads a picture, Facebook pesters me to like it. Basically, Facebook wants us to be together, more than ourselves and our parents. I hate to break this to you, but being a programmer I doubt that rule one of Facebook algorithm could be ‘what God has joined together let app not separate’.

Image Courtesy: Here

When I was single and there was Orkut, new friend requests from cute strangers were like being asked out on a blind date. I visited that person’s profile, showed it off to my friends (if cute) and once done, clicked ‘Remove and block’. Even as a youngster and till date, rule one of my social media existence is to connect with people I already know. I never logged in to meet any stranger because my life is already crowded. Putting up with relatives and friends itself is exhausting I cannot take further shit coming from strangers.

This blog attracts a fair amount of friend requests from strangers, which I deny because people who read my blog have my page to connect. Then there are friend requests that come with attached strings – mutual friends. When I get a friend request with a mutual friend backing, this can slightly mar my peace of mind. To add or not to add? If it is a female, then mostly it is no issue because women hardly add me (they wait for me to add them). Problem is when it is a male I have mutual friends with. My imagination runs so wild until I start thinking; does this man think I am the type of girl who will add anybody that sends me a request? I know I have gone too far, but let me be frank here, I think that. The answer to this question lies in the click of the button which says ‘Remove request’. I answer my own weird questions. The bottom line is, I suffer from a condition, in which I want to look social but in reality I am not. (This hurts)

Some of my friends say that they add people if they can find mutual friends with that person. Mutual friends are like recommendations from previous employer. It could be a phone number or address that does not exist. May be these mutual friends added this person for the same reason. Once I found an anonymous phone number on one of my whatsapp girl groups for which I am the admin and none of the members knew whose number it was! Creepy, isn’t it? There shouldn’t be so many strangers in the world, I tell you. Being a semi-private person on social media literally sucks.

So what is meant by ‘semi-private’ you ask? It is a condition in which one posts a picture with a public setting and also blocks the strangers liking it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Love and Laughter !

It is the season of love and essentially, one of Karan Johar. The day couples celebrate their love only to update every single detail on Facebook and flood Instagram servers. Single people need not worry; you can watch Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham on TV because for you, it is about loving your parents.

Image courtesy: Here

I had an unceremonious, rough ride of a romance. So, everything mushy and sweet annoys me and makes me sound like having a sour grape syndrome. It all started in year 2006. I was a fresher and so was he, and we fatefully joined as trainees in the same software firm. Cliché alert- we started off as friends. Soon we started texting and the more we got to know each other, the more we repelled. The fights we had were so bitter that we sent each other hateful messages. Eventually we became stone-hearted and bitter. Days went by.

One day, our employer decided to throw us a party. The restaurant was at least 45 minutes from home. Who cares about reaching home on time when there is free six course buffet meal? At the party I noticed my male buddy-turned-enemy chilling with his friends, having beers and acting like he was having the time of his life. My girl buddies saw it too, but did not discuss about it as my expressions were threatening enough to shut them up.

Time passed. I was getting increasingly intolerant at the sight of this guy partying hard after pissing me off so badly over sms. I convinced my friends that we should eat fast and get the hell out of that place ASAP. They agreed as it was already around 8:30 p.m. This was the time my parents were likely to go to the nearest police station and register a missing case with my photo(which they probably took to upload in Bharat Matrimony).

As soon as we finished eating one of my girl buddies and I walked to the washroom. As we stood there admiring ourselves in the mirror, HE walked in, gave us a weird look and proceeded to the loo. We were flabbergasted.

Me: ‘I cannot believe I even thought of befriending this guy! Look how shamelessly he walked into the ladies washroom! Did you see that look he gave us?’

Girl Buddy: ‘I KNOW’ !

Me: ‘This time he has definitely crossed the line! What an irresponsible CREEP! Jesus Christ!’
We exited the washroom in total disgust and burning with rage. Outside, our friends were waiting near the gate.

Me: ‘When did you all go to the washroom?’

They: ‘Where were you? We dint see you either..’

I turned and pointed to the washroom I just exited from, on which was written ‘GENTS’.

Somewhere inside me, my ego was burning to death. My friend who accompanied me to that washroom looked at me in horror. Others were obviously laughing their asses off. However it remained a well-kept secret even after I started dating the same guy who pissed me off so hard.  
We got married in 2008.

Later, as newlyweds we went to a friend’s wedding reception.

Me: ‘Going to washroom. Here, keep my phone’.

He: ‘For once, try going to the one written ‘LADIES’ ’.

 This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.