Saturday, March 21, 2015

Women! Amazing women!

I can never get enough of women, like never ever. Aren't they absolutely amazing, wonderful creatures. Selfless and jealous, beautiful and self critical, cruel (not as much) and kind, angry and warm all at the same time. The more women I meet, the more I know them, the more I think, this one is special, that one is truly remarkable and this one, an absolute charmer. I don't think our society does enough justice to them but then, do they care. I think not, their ability to rise, rise above what seems impossible, what seems insurmountable is not a virtue but a character in itself.

The other day, I was invited to a Women's Day event, which was hosted by AD's organization. I thought much about spending an entire evening for "some" Women's Day event. But then, AD insisted and I went. Such a wonderful, incredible evening it was. I got to meet and listen to ordinary women, extraordinary in their own special way. Two of them truly touched my heart, one who at the age of 55 filed for a divorce, took up a rented flat and started working for the first time in her life. She started writing poems and articles and soon became a journalist. She says she is a content person now. The marriage was a failed one, it only took her 30 years to realize, and the day she realized, she walked out. This may be easy to write for me, but her voice quivered when she narrated, her story. The other woman, graceful and self assured was a cancer survivor, who runs her own coaching institute. She gave herself 6 months to recover physically and mentally and she did. Her enthusiasm for life never died and she truly exemplified living life queen size. These women are like hundreds and thousands of other women who have been fair to themselves and are proud of it.

There are other women too, who I meet everyday, who I think about often, who may not be as fortunate, but are nonetheless superstars. Like, I can never forget, my grandma, who died of cancer. She did not live to see my wedding, but she tried, she tried real hard, to live through her last days. She was strong and smiled often, she thanked God innumerable times during the day. Isn't that incredible, isn't that called faith.

The other day, I was talking to my new cook, she told me she has 3 daughters and 2 sons whom she has raised all by herself. Her husband, could never get enough work to feed 7 mouths. She, took it upon herself, and today, she manages to meet the ends. She cooks from morning 6 am to night 9 PM, so that her children could study and settle for a better life. I really hope, that happens for she deserves each bit of it.

On a lighter note, I watched this movie "Dum laga ke haisha", and I absolutely loved the lead actor, for she had self worth, and no self pity whatsoever! :)

That's all for tonight, dear blog. Night.

Posting a picture from the super event!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Abundance or none

Its been so long dear blog, that I wrote to you, but not without a reason. I was keeping quite busy, busy in the usual sense. And I am glad about it, I think being busy with the usual keeps one going, keeps one on the toes, happy toes that is. We moved to another house and I moved to another job. So you know, a whole lot of new things, job, boss, cook, house, that's about everything that consumed me. Now, having settled in the larger sense, I have found some time to write, to tell you what's been going on in my mind.

Last month, we traveled to Jaipur, for AD's cousin's wedding, we had an early morning flight, which we missed, in a bizzare first time ever. Alarms did not go off, cab guy didn't turn up and the flight people didn't care, so we missed it. I was hugely disappointed and so ended up checking all possible flights from Mumbai to Jaipur. The lowest fare that we got was about 38000 and it did seem a tad too much for a 2 day trip, hence we checked trains! Oh Boy, I was so excited, train travel would be fun. But, as it happens in our country, we couldn't get the tickets, we still went to the railway station and to our pleasant surprise, some agent gave us confirmed tickets at a premium price. So, we started, enthused and joyous about the journey. Little did we know, that our enthusiasm would fade soon, for the tickets we had in our hands, were for only for a quarter of the journey. As soon as the train reached Baroda, I was made to get up from where I was sitting in an unceremonious manner, I got up and thought, big deal, we would get a berth. We didn't, my optimism faded, and I looked like this helpless sleep girl, who was not used to the ways of a train. When the TT, confirmed that he couldn't give us any berth, the helper boys, came rushing to us and whispered to AD, take our place and give us money. You know dear blog, which place, they were talking about, their own sleeping place - small, narrow, wooden plank which is indescribably close to the washroom and the gate. Can you believe that, those men were ready to sleep on the floor and give up that little place for some measly amount of money. That was the first time, I realised what is it to take a flight and reach anywhere without having to worry, about anything. First time, I realised what is it to sleep on a bed, well cushioned to your comfort. Anyway, the train reached Jaipur on time, the next day and we did get a berth, journeys I tell you.

The other day, we were in office discussing about, various organisations who have tied up with crèche services, so that working women, can just walk over or log in to a link and watch their little ones. We thought, how great it is, to have such services available in today's world. Few days later, I observed that the person, who comes to pick up our trash gets his entire family along, wife, and two little children. I asked AD, the kids also come, strange, it is. He said, what choice do they have, They have no house, kids have no school, no crèches and so they tag along wherever their parents go. It broke my heart dear blog, such little kids, going round and round on each floor, watching their parents collect trash. The kids father, once told us that we could tell him, if we need any kind of help. We called him once, to clean our balconies, the children came and sat in our house, watched TV and thoroughly enjoyed the cake I had baked while their father cleaned. If only, all children had a childhood to cherish.

Strange are the ways of this world dear blog, while there is abundance that it is difficult to measure, there is dearth that is hard to imagine.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One thank you in never enough

This is the last day of 2014 and I wanted to make it a point, to take out some time and write down some stuff that I usually never write. This one is not going to be like a typical blog post, in which I go ranting about my life, experiences and people. But, before, I forget what I intend to write, I want to quickly give you a recap of what is happening with me. You know like the recap which used to be the opening shot of those yesteryear's serials, like Humlog  and all. It was quite a nice way of recalling the important details without too much time and effort. So, here goes my recap, I have quit my loooong association with ICICI Bank, and I am currently unemployed. I am quite happy about this break, for I got time for myself. My parents were here for 10 days and we had such a wonderful time. Roamed about in Mumbai, went for a short trip to Daman and met up with my Mamu Mami. I have my new job starting from Jan 5th and am pretty kicked about it. Apart from that, we are moving into a new house, which will be closer to my new office. New year is round the corner and as you can see, I have a lot of new things to look forward to. If only I could convince AD that I need a new haircut. He adores my hair the way they are, long and straight, and I dream everyday about getting them cut. I will have to invest some more time before that happens, for now, it will be a new job, a new house and a NEW YEAR!!

On the last day of every year, I usually get into my contemplative mood and think about my best and worst moments. This year, I won't do any of that, because I think it was a great year, like all other previous years and I am grateful for that. I am thankful for the good food, good books, good job, good people that surround me, If I start counting all the nice things that happened to me, this post will become a never ending post. So, I am going to end with a big THANK YOU and a hope that the next year will also be amazing and full of life.

Signing off with a smile! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I am NOT a domestically challenged bride!!

When I blogged yesterday dear blog, about how life moves and priorities change, I was writing what is true for me, no way it compared with anyone else's way of living their lives. But today I am writing for a reason. I went through an article online about being a domestically challenged bride, which in effect talked about how a working woman should not be measued by her cooking skills etc. A working woman, the article argued had so much to offer like being worldly wise, being an advisor to husband and hence it, made no sense for the woman to take interest in trivial stuff like cooking and cleaning. Well, well, I disagree in huge measure. First, why should a woman be measured at all, working or non working. Isn't she a complete being in her thoughts and actions, if she reads a lot or a little, if she cooks or not, if she works in a company or not, should these be the deciding factors while judging a being, I think not.

The second and the more important issue I have is about how trivialised domestic matters have become. While, let me say upfront that I have a help who cooks and cleans for us but that in no way means that I don't take interest in domestic matters. I work for at least 10 hours a day, I like to read and write and I like trying out new recipes and keeping my house super clean. I  do it, not to prove a point but because I like it. It lets me appreciate small, simpler things of life. I don't understand this fad of being super proud because a person doesn't like to cook or clean. Please note, I have used the word "person" because it's high time, we stop stereotypes, like a working woman, can't cook or a woman who is not an avid reader cannot advise in worldly matters. While, I write this, my heart goes out to all those people who don't work and don't cook, how miserable would those people feel, worthless to say the least.

I have observed so many times that whenever I tell someone in my peer group or office, that all I did over the weekend was cooking and cleaning, people look at me with contempt. Isn't that funny dear blog, why should I always have to sound like this super ambitious girl who doesn't care about how a house is run. I care about how my house is run and so I devote some time every day/weekend to ensure that everything is proper. After all, it's our house, my partner and I are not doing a favour to anyone else by doing such trivial stuff but only ourselves. By the way, the same set of people who mock me for being "domesticated" also expect that their partners who are working and slogging hard in office should contribute towards domestic affairs. Why such hypocrisy?!?

I feel dear blog, that there is a tendency to exaggerate simple things. My mantra in life, is simple, if painting gives you a high then paint till your heart's content, if you like to cook, go ahead cook, if all you like is working , then do that, and if you are someone like me, who likes to do both, then so be it. It is not a matter of pride or shame, it is just a matter of choices! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Been so long since I last blogged, and do I regret it, each bit. But then I smile and say that may be this is how life moves. You know what I am saying, like life moves and with every move, every step, new stuff happens. You get involved in so many things, priorities change and most importantly, you change as a person. I am not sure if I have written this before, but for the past few months, I am absolutely obsessed with recipes, my kitchen, bed covers, cushion sets, grocery shopping et al. I don't remember in many many years while I was at home, getting fussed about such stuff. I used to think that I don't care much with what's cooking in the kitchen or what groceries shopping means! I used to give my opinion on bed covers and stuff but then that was it, no getting fussed on trivial matters.

When I got married, I don't know how, I got fascinated with everything that completes a house. I started taking special care to ensure that our house is spic and span. Even if that means, I have to let my chilling time take a backseat. I like it you know, while some people may judge me and call me boring about wanting to cook and clean over weekends, but that's what I like. It's difficult to say with certainity why I love cooking or cleaning but I do. We have a cook - Manisha, a gem of a help,  who makes all the meals for us, but I tell over weekends, that she can chill, for I am going to be the chef in the kitchen. The most funny thing is this habit I got, about asking AD what special stuff he wants to have over weekends. I remember when mom used to ask me the same question and I used  to be like, please don't ask me. It is weird in a very hilarious way, how I behave like the mom of the house! I want us to have healthy food, I want the wardrobes to be perfect, I want the cushion and bed covers to be changed frequently. AD helps quite a bit and I am not sure if he loves doing this as much as I do, but he helps, always, willingly .

Someone very rightly said, that happy time flies by. AD and I have completed one year of being with each other. Isn't that amazing, how we met, we became friends, he proposed, I said yes, we became lovers, the big fat wedding and then one day we were husband and wife, trying to figure out each other's eccentricities. I was still wondering about all the above, when it hit me, we have completed one blissful year! I tell everyone around me, get married, it will give you a dimension that you never had before. Get married to experience what togetherness really means. Get married so that you can belong to someone and someone can belong to you :-)

You want to take a guess dear blog, on why I could find the time to blog over a weekend, AD isn't home and what could have been a  better way than to spend an afternoon cooking, reading and writing! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kanjak! Then and now :-)

Today, dear blog for the first time, we did Kanjak at our place. You know, Kanjak is a very very special day that I have grown up with. I remember, how mom used to make halwa, poori, chhole, call over all my friends and then used to do small puja. I would get up early, wear new clothes and would be super excited about getting little knick knacks. You know like 10 rupees, dairy milk, hair clips and of course the yummy halwa chhole. There were so many houses that I needed to visit during Asthami and Navami. I, including other girls were the highlight of the day and I loved each bit of the attention. I remember how I was a shy little girl, I used to sit and stand as would the Aunty instruct me, smile coyly and not say much beyond a namaste. At home, it was more fun, I could ask for more money, more chocolates and of course boss around. When I was not as little a girl, I still continued be the Kanjak at my place and I loved the feeling, it was quite festive.

Now, while I am married and all that, my MIL said, that we could do Kanjak. Can you believe that dear blog, how life comes a full circle. While till last year, I used to still get at least a couple of plates of poori halwa to planning how we will do it at our place. Anyway, so we were quite kicked about doing this. AD and I planned each tiny detail, like what both of us will cook, what we wanted to give, how many kanjaks should we call and other related stuff

Since, the last few years I have observed, how my friends and other little girls who stayed close by, stopped coming over and my maid's children, or the car cleaner's girls would come over for Kanjak. We had no clue, where we would get our Kanjaks fromwho would come and grace the occasion. So I spoke to Manisha, (my cook and my awesome company when AD isn't home) she said she has an uncle who has 5 daughters and she would get all of those for the puja. That sounded good, 5 girls, we thought was great. After a crazy morning of running and walking around BKC (we were sweating it out in a marathon!) AD, Manisha and I prepared all stuff. When everything was done up perfectly, AD and I sat and waited for the little girls to arrive, we waited and waited a little more, but no one came. Manisha called to say that they can't come for some reason. I panicked, you know, it was our first Asthami Puja at home and no one came. At that very moment, I heard chit chattering of children, right below our house, I ran barefoot to see, who was there and you won't believe, I found nine little girls, happy and dressed up. I asked one of them to come over to our place for a small puja for 5 minutes, she said she couldn't as they were going for a party! But then I spoke to the lady, who lives on the ground floor and she said she would get them all. What joy, dear blog, we had 9 little girls who came over to our place for Kanjak. AD washed their feet, while I tied the holy thread on their hands, they didn't want to put the tikka on their forehead so we smiled and said that was fine. All of them chatted in English, said they wanted only one poori, and were in general very charming and smart. They were actually going for a birthday party celebration of this one little girl who lives on the ground floor, but before they went, they came to our place. It was so amazing to hear them talk, fluent in English, stylishly dressed, wow, I looked at them in awe. One of them said, she does not want to eat oily food, can you beat that dear blog. I don't think I even knew what oily food meant when I was their age. But it was absolutely great, thank you little girls, for coming over, you made all our cook and hardwork worth it :-)

P.S - They called us, Uncle and Aunty, well life has really come a full circle :) :(

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Women from this part of the world

You know dear blog, we are in an era where our nation is doing so many things. You know like the "Made in India" brand, the spectacular Mangalyaan mission and then that streak which we sometime show in sports. All this makes, me feel so damn proud, may be because I know that nothing comes easy in our country. But what makes me super smug, is the fact that women have come a long long way in our country. I saw this picture below flashing on my laptop screen and all I did was clap in joy. Women scientists draped in sarrees, eyes gleaming with shine, faces radiant with jubilation, what a sight dear blog, what a truly spectacular sight. Amazing is the only word that can describe this.

While a section of society widely acknowledges the contribution of women, it is only a small percentage of our population that actually respects women. If only we could respect women a little more in daily lives, if only we could deal maturely with an actress wearing clothes the way she pleases, only if we could stop portraying them as anti-national if they choose to marry someone from the neighbouring country, only if we could give them the life they deserve. A life of freedom, dignity and equality.

 By the way dear blog,  I watched the movie on the boxing star - MC Mary Kom, while the movie may be slightly over the top and melodramatic, I think it was a story of unbeatable grit and determination.  The sheer hardwork that a young girl puts in to follow her passion can sure inspire millions of little girls. We need more such stories, we need more such sportstars. You remember, Kalpana Chawla, the Indian origin astronaut, whose life was cut short, we need more such lives, lives of inspiration, lives of real women.