Wednesday, February 05, 2014

cutesy perfect romance movies ruin your life

i've been listening to songs from the 90s for the past hour or so... songs and movies i've grown up watching and adoring... and realised that it s not just my addiction to M&B romances that's ruined me for real life.. its also the stuff that both bollywood and hollywood romances fed me all my life..

for instance, the song i've been playing on loop the last 15 odd mins is Woh Pehli Baar from Pyar mein kabhi Kabhi.

the movie came out in 1999, the year I turned 11. and I guess Dino Morea has to be counted is one of the earliest crushes i can remember having.. and heaven knows i wanted, and to an extent still want someone who can serenade me with the dramatic flair Sid displays...

weirdly enough... i do remember that i wanted someone like Sanjay Suri's 'Bugs' rather than Dino's character Sid, coz Bugs was just an all round nicer guy.. atleast this movie showed the girl walking away from the hero when he was being an ass... though she returned pretty easily when the best friend begged her to..

aaannnyyyy way... i shall refrain from taking a sword to shred this movie up or analysing it all.. coz the moment you start thinking about what this movie portrays, one tends to forget why it was cute in the first place....

and damn it.. the dimples and that HOT body the man had...

Dino Morea now just looks washed up..

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feminism doesn't mean male bashing and asking for a divorce.. it means standing up for yourself and what you believe in..

i have been reading IHM's blog for years and usually find myself agreeing with the things she says and sympathising with the women and men who write in to her to discuss their problems.. but this particular entry REALLY got my goat... even more so the comments and replies which told this girl to get away from her horrible in laws and spoke of how women are always made to feel guilty about wanting 'me time' in their marital homes... to this particular letter writer, all i can say is grow a pair, and stop whining.. you hate your annoying sis in law, tell her to bugger off.. and if you truly cant stay with the family, then grab your husband and walk out the effing door. enough with the pity party and "oh what if they blame me"

This is IHM's post on january 23, 2014.

Sharing an email..
Dear IndianHomeMaker,
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am to you, for your blog has been an eye opener to me and a solace in my times of sadness.
To begin my story, I am a well educated, 32 year old woman working in the software industry for the past ten years. I am doing very well for myself and consider myself to be successful as well as grounded. I come from an upper middle class family where education was of prime importance. I am the youngest of 5 siblings and as result was a very pampered kid.  My parents are traditional as well as modern. My dad has been specially very progressive, as a result, all his kids were well educated and settled well. I grew up in a very open household which was full of opinions, joys, fights, arguments etc. Everything was welcome in my house. Craziness, Bad moods, guests, friends, decisions, everything from every kid was welcomed with open arms. There was always guidance, chiding, scolding, beating, but at the same time there was freedom and acceptance.
I have been living on my own after my graduation away from my parents and my hometown (all my elder siblings were away by then owing to their careers and families). Living alone has only added to my fierce feelings of independence and equality. I have been a responsible and a conscious person also.
My parents started looking for a guy for me after I hit 25. While I worked, I never really had any relationship or looked at anyone with the intention of marriage. So a love marriage was out of question for me. And the proposals for arranged marriages were not interesting enough or I was rejected one way or other.
My parents gracefully accepted my views and kept sending me new proposals, it was a cycle of constantly meeting guys and their families and sometimes talk to a few men away from families for a while and then reach a not so positive conclusion.
Years passed and I was still unmarried and happy in my own life and my friends.
Once I hit 30, my mother was specially stressed because of my unmarried status. She is the more traditional of the two. Relatives and the rest were continuously inundating my parents with unwarranted hints , analysis and advice as to why their daughter is still unmarried. In my community, frankly even the most broad minded and educated ones would find 30 year old spinster unacceptable.
My siblings and parents wanted me to get serious about marriage and make a decision for myself in favor of marriage. So I decided to give it a try on my own and registered on a matrimonial site.
Within a few days, I got talking to a man, in whom I almost found my replica. We started meeting and interacting and liked each other. He had lived in the US and had returned to India for good. It was just a family of 2 brothers and his youngest brother was married to a housewife.
My FIL was an educated govt officer and my MIL was a housewife. From what I got to know from him, they seemed like a normal family. My husband and I shared lot of common views about religion, marriage, kids etc which totally got us into each other. We told our parents and were happily married soon.
After my marriage, when I started living with them, it was tough for me to adjust to the new surroundings. I had to wear salwars only with a dupatta on always even at home (I was mostly a chick who wore jeans and shorts but I agreed to forego it because I felt for any traditional family to accept such stuff was a bit asking for too much), wear bangles (no one in my house wears bangles other than my mom wearing some simple 2 bangles), wake up early (I was living alone and woke up at 11), cannot stay out alone after 7 (I have been out till 10, alone, sometimes), cannot watch irrational(??) TV programs, and most importantly, I realized, to my sadness, they hated vocal behavior of any kind. No one speaks up against wrong in this house. Specially the ladies are supposed to shut their mouths, no matter what they think. Elders should always be treated with respect. Husbands have the last word. My FIL ruled the roost.
My husband I are atheists by choice and we do not follow any religious rituals. The rest the family is very religious, they pray and fast… blah blah.
My in laws are very nice people. On a general note, they never interfere in our lives, they are never rude or mean and they don’t impose religious restrictions on us. They have been good to my family and appreciate me whenever applicable. They are not fake or pretentious people. But one has to abide by the unspoken rules/culture in the house that I mentioned above.
My younger BIl is someone who probably has no character or any personality. He is just going with the flow and very much aligned to his parents and their way of life. I barely ever interact with him. But more or less, on some occasions, I see my PILs (Parents in law) side with him or prefer him over my husband. I understand that to be because my husband was away from them for many prime years and they were just more closer to their younger son. My FIL feels my husband is Americanized and he hates it.
My Husband supports the finances and my BIL also contributes to the household expenses.
My BIL’s wife is a young housewife related to my MIL through her sister.
She was married before me into the household. When I initially came into the house, it was very clear that she was immensely insecure about me. She has ill treated me on several occasions which I casually ignored thinking that she is young and immature. She sees competition with me in every single thing. I find this very annoying. If anyone praises me for any reason, her face goes all black and blue. She simply cannot see me getting better attention from my PILs. Many times she even did her fake praising B***S*** to me too, which I clearly expressed (not in words) was a useless act on her part.
She does not have any god forsaken opinion of her own. She is always ass-licking my MIL. Every decision (even when she will go to take a shower) about her, she consults my MIL and then does it. I feel as if my MIL secretly enjoys the control over this chick. Her hobbies are those that my MIL’s are. She has nice things to say about my MIL/FIL every minute. She will not eat a meal if my MIL is also skipping a meal. She has even gone to the extent of impressing my PILs by saying that her life has changed into great betterment after she married into this house. Basically meaning that her married life and family is much better than her previous one. I mean, Dude, which stupid girl on earth would think/say that!
I also got to know that she got some electronics as gifts (read dowry) from her house when she was married. I was severely disappointed in them after knowing this. Had I known this earlier, probably my decision to get married into this household would have been different.
Anyway I never claim/do such things. I am on my own. I don’t come in their way and they don’t come in mine. I did not get anything as dowry.  I am polite and nice and keep myself in my room most of the time.  I never give my ideas or opinions unless asked for. I don’t ask for permissions, have my own ideas in place and make my own choices. My husband claims that my PILs really like me a lot and find me to be a genuine, honest and well balanced person.
I accepted everything because I knew my husband was on my side an he was my kind.  We shared a great relationship anyway. I found solace in the thought that my husband did not have any such views. My friends and family told me that my husband matters to me in the long run and not the others. I thought that I need to make some adjustments for his sake.
Eventually I began finding it very tough to tolerate my super buttering fake and liar co-sister and my MIL’s submissiveness. My MIl made sure her submissiveness is very well inherited by her DILs also. I am never ready for it but I do not confront or argue. I just ignore it. I was given all the cooking responsibilities. My co -sis does the other activities (sorting out groceries/crockery/vegetables, arranging the table, monitoring the maids). my MIl helps wherever needed (this is super rare, only when we are making some new dish). We have maids in our house for all house work and the cooking is not exactly tough or taxing. But waking up according to their timings (Am a chronic insomniac, they know it) and putting up a happy face and cooking whatever they want, even when I am tired after my long day in the office, while my co-sis sits in front of the TV and passes orders to me in the kitchen, really took a toll on me. While I make non stop dosas and rotis for everyone at the dining table, I am alone in the kitchen dishing it out to them, I cant stop feeling like nothing but a maid/cook. Staying in my room all the time in the house got into me. I found it completely unfair that I had more domestic work to do even though I am a working woman, while my co-sister naps all day at home and does not do much other than trying to impress people with her sugar coated senseless talks. My husband still claims that his mother has distributed the work equally among the two.
I turned sour, angry, began having mood swings and vented out at my husband. He would try to empathize initially, but after some time, I could see him getting irritated. I realized that complaining/pointing out problems to someone about their family is something no one will like.
I missed the freedom to go out whenever i wanted, eat/cook/clean whenever I wanted. I missed the freedom to just be myself, feel happy/sad/excited at my own will and at my own times.
I could see our relationship suffering too. It was clear that he thought that I was not adjusting to his house. He made it clear many times that I could have ended in a much worse situation and expecting an open house like my parents’ or a free life like my single life is simply not done. This is my secret disappointment in him.
Within a year, I am tired of the kitchen politics, of the subdued life, of the skewed morals and unspoken and unreasonable expectations. I seem to have changed myself so much now, that nothing seems to make me happy now. Am not ambitious now, put my career on a total back burner, worrying that I might have to spend a lot of time in office if I take up more responsibilities,  rarely wish to meet people now, am always grumpy and sad for no good reason with feelings of regret and depression (I signed up for all this) always looming over me. I am just unable to make myself happy and feel like my dream of a happy marriage has crashed. Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. As a matter of fact, am simply over sentimental now (Totally opposite of what I was and seriously stupid) and lack clear views now.
My husband is also tired of this women issues at his place and he wants out separately.
But the problem is, I feel very guilty to do it. I just cannot see myself separating him from his family and living in the same city. Am sure he will be sad about it. I don’t feel like hurting his parents at all as they have treated me well enough.
It also scares me that I will be blamed for it and I will be seen as a villain in the family.
What should I do?
How do I get over these feelings and figure out the right thing to do in this situation.
Please help.

the following is the knee jerk comment i wrote... don't even know if IHM allowed the comment or deleted it.. but i wanted to put it up here anyway...

is this woman for real??? while i agree with the resentment for forcing a clothing style on you… WHY is she’s whining about how she has to arrange her time to wake up/clean etc according to her MIL’s decisions??? when you lived at home with your parents, didn’t you have a curfew/ bedtime/ get yourass to the dining table time???

living with ANYONE, even if you live independently with a roommate needs adjustment.. and from your letter, it seems more the the resentful whining of someone who has lived on her own for too long to deal with adjusting with anyone… if you truly cannot deal with the drama, the stop with the pity party and get the hell outta there, you say that your husband would also want to leave the joint family right?? then shut down the guilt and just DO it… the family might say shit for the first few weeks, but here is the good part.. you won’t be around to hear them…

what i fail to understand is this “i don’ want to be the one taking him away from family”, “what is he resents me” routine… you’re not kidnapping a baby from his ma. if he truly loves you and both of you want your own place, then just get up and do it. family will come around eventually…

coz let me tell you, i am an educated unmarried woman living and working in Delhi, I live with my parents, and my parents impose the same ‘wake up to help ma cook breakfast- help set the table for lunch- eat dinner at the dining table with family’ rules on the days taht i am at home… even parents try to impose a curfew if possible.. EVERY parent with a kid does it…. the ‘cooler’ parents just have a later curfew.
if you have an issue with the “women’s drama,” then TALK to your husband and MIL separately.. tell your husband that you would like it if he starts helping around the house.. make sure he knows that he better start offering to help without making it sound like you are forcing him into it..
ask your SIL if she would like it if her husband helped out at times… have these conversations separately with all of them and make sure they don’t know that you had the same conversation with the other person.. . instead of keeping to your room and not trying to interact with them, just try and find some middle ground.. its called FAMILY!
I am a 26 year old girl, and god knows i can’t deal with the saas bahu gossip the aunts and bhabis in my family get upto, but that doesn’t mean that i stop interacting with them… didn’t you have any people in your family who you just didnt have ANYTHING in common with but had to deal with anyway coz they were family?? put that experience to use..
as for the whining about standing in the kitchen making rotis, just ask the maid to do it if you dislike it so much!! you say that you have maids, and don’t really have tyo do much, then what on earth are you whining about??? In my house, if the maid is on leave, then the job of making rotis falls to my mom or me or my dad, and yeah obviously whoever is making the damned rotis eats last…
its called division of labor…
and if you are too tired after work to do stuff in the kitchen.. just SAY it out loud… swap chores, offer to help clean up on the weekend if your SIL will take on kitchen duty for the weekdays.. because i am wiling to bet anything that THAT is what happened when you lived at home with your siblings.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

happiness is a state of mind

Actively noticing what makes u feel happy and content as opposed to simply numb and relaxed is a rather odd deal.. I started on the 100 happy days challenge, wondering what on earth would i put in it.. Day1 began because i was organising my bookshelf, and suddenly lining up my battered old stuffed toys in front of the books brought up memories of where all the books came from and what the toys mean to me.. That's when i decided to post a picture if the stuffed toys, and label it Day 1 of the 100 days when i would consciously try to be happy at some point in the day. 

How does it work anyway? Is the time i spent cuddling the bear that's been banishing my blues since i was 3 the only time i was happy in that 24 hour period?? Or is it meant for one to scrutinise each second of the day to figure out when you were 'happy' and not merely flowing with the river of your existence?
I'm lounging in the sun in my garden after what feels like forever being cold and not having time to just soak up the sun.. Am i happy? Or am i just content in the 'snail is on the grass and god in heaven and all is right in this world' way where u can just switch off and sink into a daze... Or  doze..  

I cant seem to switch off the question though.. Even as my body is relaxing into a slouch and my frozen toes are warming up, i cant stop wondering if this qualifies for the day's 'moment of happiness"..
Yesterday's 'moment' was also something rather strikingly 'happy'.. Seeing my neice's naughty face and my grandfather's happy laughter at the picture gave me that textbook perfect bone deep feeling of being Happy. Today i find myself wondering what i will classify as my happy moment.. This challenge isn't really meant for showing other people what great things are happening to you, its about finding the rays of sunshine in your life for yourself, or so says the websites which hosts the game.. 

Have i too fallen into the trap of counting how many people have 'Liked' or commented on whatever my happy post of the day is to justify looking for the moments? If i am constantly analysing whether something qualifies for the 'happy moment', am i truly being happy in that moment???

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Because I cannot sleep- Jalauddin Rumi

Because I cannot sleep

Because I cannot sleep
I make music at night.
I am troubled by the one
whose face has the color of spring flowers.
I have neither sleep nor patience,
neither a good reputation nor disgrace.
A thousand robes of wisdom are gone.
All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away.
The heart and the mind are left angry with each other.
The stars and the moon are envious of each other.
Because of this alienation the physical universe
is getting tighter and tighter.
The moon says, 'How long will I remain
suspended without a sun?'
Without Love's jewel inside of me,
let the bazaar of my existence be destroyed stone by stone.
O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names,
You who know how to pour the wine
into the chalice of the body,
You who give culture to a thousand cultures,
You who are faceless but have a thousand faces,
O Love, You who shape the faces
of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris,
give me a glass from Your bottle,
or a handful of being from Your Branch.
Remove the cork once more.
Then we'll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves,
and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play.
Then the addict will be freed of craving.
and will be resurrected,
and stand in awe till Judgement Day. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

you're the Man now...

misogyny and affirmation of patriachy come in hues so varied that sometimes you can't even tell its there, and sometimes it is so brutally in your face that you're left gasping in shock at it..
i could write reams about the recent incidents of "harassment" at workplace that happened in the much venerated halls of teh judiciary and the media.. but enough newsprint has already been spent on it.. my concern is with a little more insidious and "oh its a joke" kind...
has anyone seen the new Park Avenue perfume advertisement? the one which shows a guy 'marking his territory' like an animal?? THAT ladies and gentlemen is what has my hackles rising..

since i'm writing on a computer where youtube is blocked, i'm gonna have to write down the story sequence of the ad..
there is a woman siting at a bar
a guy approaches, tries to chat her up
another guy, presumably a husband or boyfriend, all dolled up in a nice suit and gelled back hair, sprays his Park Avenue perfume on the bar stool beside her, and says "my territory"
Guy 1 tries to pick up her drink, Guy 2 sprays on that too, staking his claim
finally, guy 2 sprays the perfume on and around the girl, saying 'all mine' as he does so...
the girl? oh she's staring vapidly at the two men as if she has no b%^$ idea whats going on..
the ad ends with the tagline of "real men mark their territory with their scent"


what exactly is this ad trying to show?? men are animals? women are to be 'protected'? or simply that people in whatever ad firm that thought this up have zero respect for women or men for that matter..??
mark your territory??
so you're a dog or something that needs to piss on things to feel like the master of the domain?? the woman is "territory" with no brains or tongue of her own?

civilization and civility demands that we learn to respect people as People, as individual persons, and here we have an Ad that not only reduces a woman to an object with no mind of her own, you also have an ad that suggests that even the well heeled, (hopefully) educated upper class men have to behave like anmals and disrespect their partner if they want to "be Men.'

its one of the worst, most brainlessly put together ads I have seen in recent memory... 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

to friends

Thank you KS for dedicating this song to me...
you have no idea of how good it feels..

and i know you're gonna pout at this... but i would also dedicate this song to tinni, ansh, ati and N...
i love you...