Monday, 21 December 2009

Simble!

"Just wanted to remind you, Prerna, that sometimes success is better measured in smiles received, giggles heard, and hands held, than in dollars earned, deadlines met, and kilos shed."*

I wish i had penned this. I usually don't crib about my lot in life (it may not seem so going by most of my blog entries but really am usually pretty in tune with counting my blessings). But of late have been spending a lot of time cribbing about where life's taken me in the last one year, never mind the fact that I took the plunge into matrimony and the subsequent unemployment willingly. And then a couple of days I received the above in my mail and put a smile on my face. Well I know that I can't go encash giggles and smiles I received but then no bank can credit the fuzzy feeling I got every time I received an impromptu hug from V for being "a good wife" (:P) or a thankful smile from an abject stranger for a seat offered on a bus or kind words upon helping an elderly lady with her coat or a wondrous and proud wow from mom who can't believe her daughter cooked for a party of ten...

I am very fond of saying that it is the small things that pile up to make one big problem, but I guess I could tip the scale in the positive of things and believe that it is a lot of small acts of kindness, good humour and tiny happy moments that can make for one big happy life. Too simplistic, eh. But then I would like to live a simple life. Look for simple answers no matter how complex the problem may seem.

This may not work at all times, but what I have learnt so far is that most times it does.

Even as I say it, I know it is easier said than done. Especially when one can so easily fall prey to negative thoughts and feelings (believe me I know!). So I guess this new year I will gift myself the gift of staying positive and believe that:

"When driving down the road of life, Prerna, rarely do you know how good you have it, until you see it in the rear-view mirror.

Which is not to suggest that you should look back now, but to remind you that where you are today is more awesome and amazing than you probably realize."*

(Another gem wish I had penned.... Since I didn't, thought of sharing it with you.)

*Courtesy: TUT® 's Notes from the Universe(sm)

Friday, 11 December 2009

Ho ho ho!

Dear all,

Yesterday I learnt some very valuable and interesting lessons.

  • Never get married (because sex isn't as great as it is made out to be!)
  • Yet marriage is the best thing that can happen to you.. if you find the right partner.
  • At 70 you may still be looking for love because the one you found at 30 didn't last!
  • But no matter how much it hurt the last time, we still look for it!
  • Love songs still make you happy and dance
  • 12 days of christmas
  • That i still can't sing but for once did not care
  • Singing is one of the best pick me ups
  • You can enjoy your wine at 105 and joke about it! oh yes write a book about your life while you are at it!

How I got around to bagging these nuggets of gold? Let me start at the very beginning.

Yesterday, after debating if it was OK to skip the design class since I had only half an hour to get to it and I was still comfortably ensconced in the duvet and it was brighter in my head, eyes shut than out in the bleak weather. But for once, I overcame my lazy demeanour and in made it to class in record time... I was even the first one to arrive, who would have thunk!

After attending an interesting 3-hour session, I legged it to cover a Christmas Party. The last one I attended was when I was about 7 or 8, and the memory I held was of a shy me dressed in a red frock receiving a small little present from a badly done up Santa at the Officers Mess in Bareilly. Even while resisting the urge to bolt asap at the time I couldn't help feeling disappointed at the size of the gift! Hee hee... gosh! it must have been really small because I can't for the life of me remember what it was, except that it was really small! But what I do remember apart from the diminutiveness of the package is that they served the best fish fingers at the Mess. Sigh... the good old days.

But as usual I digress!

Back to the party organised at Juniper house for the senior members of the community. At an average age of 80, this bunch may look like an unlikely choice to attend a Christmas party with. But never denounce it before trying it out. And I am glad I went. Upon arrival at I was greeted by a small hall filled with wrinkled faces lighting up at the sight of a young couple gyrating to some catchy Bollywood tune! There was more to follow and lots for me to cover.

So there I went clicking away with the trusty D40, capturing some heart warming and at times poignant moments; a giggly twosome here, or a gaggly bunch there, a 78-year-old helping a 90 year old with her coat, an elderly gentleman savouring the mince pie, sipping on a perry, smiling contently like a ten year old. And while I clicked them and shared a cup of tea, a joke, a laugh, a request, sang along with others as Sue (a very very good singer and crowd puller) egged us on during her rendition of some amazing songs, I gained the abovementioned precious jewels of wisdom from my new friends at Juniper house.

And oh, here are a few more:

  • There's still a lot of good around the world
  • You can be surrounded by a bunch of old people and realise how much life can offer, even the bad things are not bad enough to stop you from smiling when you can see the goodness in most.
  • And that there are people like Rads and Liz who care enough to make life more comfortable and happy for a set of people who the world seems to forget on most days.

Just as I enjoyed a happy day, I wish all of these wonderful people I met yesterday have a very merry and happy Christmas and of course as do all who have touched my life in one way or another!

Lots of love,

Prerna

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Birds of a feather

Here I was thinking that I would be penning down reams of interesting stuff on this blog poking fun at marital life and dispensing well meaning and equally well-disguised advice, only to now realise how everything has descended into the mundane so soon!

Mayhap there is better understanding between V and I, making peace with the fact that somethings won't change no matter how loud you scream (those dishes are my sole responsibility now), that shouting doesn't make any difference and a little sensitivity goes a long way in maintaining harmony at home and abroad.

It would be wrong to assume we have attained marital nirvana, but a working order seem to be in place. For now, at least.

Or maybe I am turning schizo. Just a week back i was complaining to a friend about how difficult it seems at times to cope with this new living arrangement or if you would have been better off had you waited a wee bit longer for better prospects to bloom.

Well I guess not... but before you break into "awwww...s" let me tell you that it the answer is not even within a sniffing distance of the realm of romantic.

Things would have been the same - that's because all men are the same. (If you can accept this fact, you chug along fine without much huffing and puffing!)

Now how many times have you heard a woman tell you that (the men being the same bit)? You might agree in principle but I am not certain how many of you have actually experienced this phenomena. Before I got married I was an ardent proponent of the thought but secretly hoped to bag the elusive "he is not like others type" So when V and I tied the knot, I was almost certain, I had achieved the near impossible. Now, of course I am wiser! What I have also wisened up to is the fact that all men are indeed the same.

Last weekend was spent visiting friends who have recently entered matrimony or have been around the block for a while.

Playback of a conversation I had:

Girl 1: "Oh he is soooo nice!"

Girl 2 "Try being married to him! But your husband's is so charming"

Girl 1 (making a wry face): "You don't live with him"

And this was repeated across households.

Observing them (and endless chats about how life is soooo different from when we were single) made me realise how all of us had more or less the same issues to deal with! No matter what colour, caste or creed they may be, they are essentially from the same mould.

Which may lead you into thinking that you could be married to anyone and be equally happy or mad... maybe it's not that simple either. If you can accept the fact that you will be married to a person who will take you for granted, think he is always right, know the theory of everything but will do none of the practical, will dispense advise on how to take care of the house, laundry, food etc. but make minimal contribution and some other basic caveats (I am sure there are plenty)... But once you make peace with the above constants, you can play around with desirable (variable) qualities. eg: you want the one who can dance or is funny or charming or intelligent or successful or pretends to understand you, or well endowed... You are now absolutely spoilt for choice!

Disclaimer: This is a blog (especially this entry) born out of an amalgam of boredom, joblessness, the itch to write, frustration and lessons of life. Any resemblance to people, incidents, experiences or absolute truth at times is coincidental (intention might be a bit suspect. The jury is still out on this one).

Friday, 23 October 2009

Great Expectations

Been really busy the last couple of weeks or so, what with lots of firsts taking place post getting married - first karvachauth, first diwali, first of things I did nothing special on...heh heh. So while I was busy doing nothing on these days, the blog languished but the "first time" experience of a newly wed continued. Now you would say that close to being married for a year, how I still consider my self a newly wed, well that's because even the normal seems to have something new about it.
Let's take for example- conversation.
For those who are married, esp those who got into the arrangement recently have you noticed how topics of conversation have changed MARKEDLY. It's all about babies, recipes, furniture, upholstery... you get the picture. But I need to elaborate further (I know the smarty pants among you must have already guessed, but kindly persevere for there's more).
So to get back to talk about talking.
How it all started was when I sat own to chat with a friend of mine. She who sports "crazy"as her middle name, got married recently and true to her nature, in a completely unexpected and exciting fashion, prompted me to comment on this particular phenomenon. I was shaken because even she of the "crazy" fame could not escape the "wifey" talk.
After exchanging our greetings and the regular "aalu pyaaz ke bhaav", she suddenly pops the question : What happened to us? Here we were discussing further studies, getting a kick ass job, staging a coup in the dastardly newsroom, contemplating slow torture of bosses from hell, irritating co-inhabitors of office space, our magnum opus- just a year back and today all we can think of talking about is -"kya pakaya" (what did you cook today); I made awesome appams, will try my hand at the stew tomorrow; I was shocked to find out how much 250 gms of Paneer costs or how difficult is it without a domestic help!"
The next half an hour was spent reminiscing the good old times, and how far removed we were from the reality of those days. Now I may sound a bit wistful, which I am also because Nostalgic is one of many middle names I carry, I am not complaining. I quite enjoy the education I am gaining thanks to being a housewife (per force! bloody recession). How slicing a Kg of red-snapper down to more than eight pieces is not a good idea, or that the fridge has a tray at the back that needs to be emptied regularly to avoid a flooding or how to avoid tears while chopping onions (HA now i have your attention!). I am proud of my new found domestic wisdom and willing to share it with those genuinely interested and have similar lore to swap
But I can only be so benevolent. I am quite patient with queries brimming with curiosity about being married and answer with great candour, I am anything if not honest! And having done so myself when I was single, I know many come with genuine curiosity. It DOES seem as if the person's grown a new self, a process akin to molting. However, that is not true... and as usual i digress.
So about the strain on my benevolent nature. That is exerted when questions about procreation crop up. (and WHAT'S with that peculiar/suggestive look and smile that follows it?)
Now I understand if mothers with tiny tots ask me that- after all misery does love company and seeing what they go through I sympathise. But how about the rest of the multitude? Pray why would I, who till now was figuring out life for myself and has recently been saddled with the well-being of another entity (read husband who has "bequeathed" the tasks of house, dishes, cooking, shopping, shoes, socks, laundry on me), willfully undertake marital harakiri in the form of a kid.
(Oh but before you call me a DINK or in my current state SINK types, perish the thought! I do want kids. But when V and I think the time is right or well if the contraceptives fail!)
You see being married is not a fairy tale (as the previous entires might have enlightened you),it's a task, one that has a year long probationary period! If you (and your partner) survive that (literally and figuratively), chances of it being a success in the long term are bright [(this is not my theory but that of several learned married women who graced me with their wisdom before I got hitched. Of course according to them (and now in moments of weakness, mine) the BEST option was to get out before any harm was done.]. This may not apply to all, as I know of couples who are happy having their first-born attend their first wedding anniversary.
So if you think having a baby will make matters easy because they are oh-so-cute, you have GOT to be kidding! I know kids are cuddly and lovable and make for great entertainment. But the visitors are long gone when the real work begins. They are not there to feed them in the middle of the night, or wash them after they poop, or to soothe the kid when it gets cranky and irritable.
Now if you think I am ready to take on these while I am still struggling with what I have my hands full of, boy you do hate me!
While I do suffer from some kind of a superwoman complex, even I am not ready for a task as mammoth as this; so unless I bring it up, let sleeping babies lie.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Life's like that

Growing up is tough. A dear friend would say it is optional... but being a single male, it is a utopia he can pursue. For lowly mortals like me, growing up is a mandatory function lest you think the white of the straitjacket brings out the colour of your eyes.
Yet another dreary afternoon in the apartment is making me pine the auld lang syne. Well to be honest, the flu virus too did its bit in taking the joie de vivre out of my afternoons. Or maybe Iam suffering the hitherto just heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
So here I am staring out into the grey environs around my apartment, trying to feel inspired. A couple of incidents in the past two days made me realise how far I have come from the safe haven that was home and maidenhood.
How you took life for granted and thought everything would go as planned. Till the first shock came... your bluster and confidence of youth helped you weather that storm as well. Nothing, absolutely nothing came in the way of that optimism, you were so positive it was almost obscene. I remember a professor of ours telling us how our ideals will come to a naught once we join our chosen profession. I can still recall the vehemence with which we opposed that idea and thought him a fool and a killjoy for trying to dampen our spirit. If only we knew better. Nah... it won't have changed a thing. Because we knew we could change the world.
Then came your first job, and life opened the flood gates. The smart ones swam, the feeble sank, people in between the categories, floated. But not all was lost. There were family and friends who threw you the life jacket and brought you aboard the proverbial life boat. You thought you would sail. And sail you did till the next storm caught you unawares. For some it was yet another crappy job, for others a bad relationship and for yet another set, both. Somehow you got saved... thanks to those friends and family.
The next level, however, upset the boat, literally. And that's when you actually began recognising the growth pangs. When you realised that the boat wasn't steady anymore. There was just too much baggage for the vessel to handle. Some threw the baggage overboard and held on to the mates. Others decided to swim away instead. Some partings were bitter, others sweet.
Now I have had a taste of all that and more, and while they seemed to weigh down upon me at the time, I am a bit wiser because of all that experience I have gained. And the grace and blessings of a higher power. Heaven knows I am still imperfect ;) but i did learn some valuable lessons.
Of the ones I learnt through the good times and the bad, the lessons I try to live up to are:
1) Count your blessings
2) Don't be afraid to say sorry and mean it
3) Don't lie to yourself
4) Be true to you true nature
What I also realised in these last few days is how far I have moved on from the times I shared with people who were once friends. There's no rancour, just the wistful feeling wishing things had ended on a cordial note.
Anyhow. Lesson# 5 has been that you can't decide for people. They decide their own actions...
Lesson#6 Bless those who hurt you, because they made a huge contribution in making you who you are.
God Bless.
What I still need to learn among many other things is to cut myself some slack and remind myself I am not perfect, at least not yet. :)

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

And to think!

How can there be hate in the marriage? You make room- Thus spoke the wise Marie Barone. One of my favourite characters on TV. Well to be honest most of my marriage wisdom comes from the great sitcom that is Everybody loves Raymond. But this time the topic of discussion is not to exalt the virtues of this great work of art but to gripe…yet again. And the famous words of Mamma Barone make my head nod fervently.

This has to be the soonest I have ever posted an entry after I have made one for the week. There is good reason for it... for I don't want to contradict the very wise saying that Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned (or her blog, in my case!)

Researching for some scathing sentiments from neutral parties (read online quote resources) I came across the following gem. "If they can send one man to the moon why can't they send them all?" My sentiments exactly! And while we are on the subject, please make sure my husband is on that flight. Fit him in the cargo if the seats are full!

A sudden change from my last post, you say! Let me tell you why. I finally understood why someone once said love is a temporary insanity cured by marriage. In my case I am sure it must have been a superbug that addled my brains!

Because no matter what you do, something’s don’t change. Night follows day, bees sting, dogs bite, flu sucks and men remain men.

For no matter how taken in you may be by the love shuv and the rest of the rigmarole, reality comes sauntering back and bites your hiney, eventually.

After writing the last post I made His highness VTK, aka as the husband, read the entry. As he read, I looked upon him fondly, caressing his sparse hair… telling myself how lucky I was and how much I loved him. This sweet sweet man. As his finger scrolled the page down, and the words flowed reflected in his hypermetropic eyes, my heart overflowed with love for him. He finishes reading it, gives me a peck on the cheek and says,

“Not as good as your earlier ones!”

I will give you a moment to let it sink in… another few moments to feel sorry for me…and those pigs among you, moments to laugh.

Ah so this is what a sucker punch feels like.

SO much for, the cuddles and cooings and love yous and faux gallant efforts at looking after me. The second the mercury dipped to 98.6 degree F, it was business as usual in the UPPAL-Kallarackal household! (He had a problem with this nomenclature as well!) Foolish foolish girl And for the record, it will REMAIN Uppal-Kallarackal!HA!

Why are they such a thankless lot! Does it kill them to keep their ill-formed opinion to themselves and do the right thing by keeping their gobs shut!

After months of ribbing about how my blog is my way of venting off ire, and teasing me about how made fun of him publicly, I decide to do the decent thing and thank him PUBLICLY for being…. (it now kills me to say it) nice! So much for Mrs goodie two shoes!

No more Mrs Nice guy (I guess there’s no fear of that happening!)!From now on I stick to my guns and fire away at these ungrateful punks!

And now that the honeymoon is over folks, I need to go back and resume doing the household chores .

Of all the ungrateful, thankless, muleheaded….grrrr… And oh yeah… The breakfast wasn’t all that great! HA!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Who would have thought!

After a week-and-a-half of sniffling and feeling generally miserable thanks to the flu, I thought it was time I distracted myself with a spot o' blogging. While I am much better, thanks for asking, I am feeling a bit dull. So pardon me if the wit is not biting enough and I seem soppy in this particular entry.

Well the last few days may not be what you call exciting, they were enlightening in a way. For starters I was pleasantly surprised to discover a sensitive side to the husband which has been very well hidden (of the buried in the backyard with a tree growing on the spot types.) till some days back.

The outbreak of the flu in the Uppal-Kallarackal household meant a retirement to bed on a more or less day-long basis. With no mom to fuss over me and no dad to needlessly worry, I was feeling the pain acutely. To think of all the cooking to be done and clothes to be washed and house to be cleaned, the ground couldn't get deeper for me to bury my head in. As I lay mulling these unsavoury thoughts in my head stuffed with phlegm, and shedding copious tears for the good old carefree days when your problems were your mom's, a silent metamorphosis of sorts was taking place in the house. Read on to discover.

I felt a gentle nudging trying to shake me up from a despondency and cough syrup (almost) overdose induced sleep. Upon opening my rheumy eyes, I see an apron adorned husband holding a breakfast tray in his hand. "Oh crap, I am going to die," I think. Surely this is worse than even swine flu, because I don't remember hallucination being one of the symptoms.

Then I try calming down. "must be the effects of the cough syrup... let me sleep if off," I try convincing myself as I turn over. However, the nudging resumes and as I reopen my eyes I see that the apparition persists and is now wearing a worried look on his face.

Apparently (later I realise actually) it IS INDEED the husband standing there with a carefully laden breakfast tray.

HA! Who would have thought!

Wondering if there is catch, I chew (might I add with great difficulty, not because of the quality of food, which was par excellence even to my fevered state) and move around the house a bit, I almost faint. Now now, don't worry, it wasn't the fever, in case you are worried. The house was actually tidy. The man who used to step out of his clothes and leave them to pick up after themselves had tidied up the house!

“Either I am already dead or my husband has been possessed!”

“Typical man,” I tell myself, “He had to go invite foreign spirits in when I am sick,” I curse as I try to remember the local priest’s phone number.

“Sweetie, I will be back early in the evening. So don’t worry about anything,” I am told as gets ready for work. “He sounds the same…,” I think.

A very very worried me gets crawls into bed exhausted by the turn of events when I see him pick up that dreaded deodorant of his. Now I am all for nice smelling men and women, but I take exception to the kind that mistakes the said perfumed aerosols for room freshners. Unfortunately for me, I am married to the variety. Most of our mornings are spent debating the pros and cons of unchecked spraying and I sit prepared for another one. Only to stare at V’s retreating back as he takes the bottle out of the room to spray himself. HA, again!

Having gone through these 600-odd words you must have pretty much figured out that this time V has earned himself the right to be lauded! Not that I ever believed I had married a monster, maybe an occasional ogre, yes, my first post marriage seasonal flu helped me realise my ogre is a Shrek! I have been fed, pampered, had my aching limbs massaged, bucked up, indulged despite tight deadlines, hectic schedules and screaming bosses at work.

Now there maybe some of you who know where I have embellished facts, but the truth remains that my man came through at a time when I was miserable (I am worse than a colicky baby when I am sick) and I was reminded once more why I fell in love with him… Because he is a good man and that when the need truly rises, he has donned that shining armour and rescued me. V, we may have had our disagreements and I may scream at you because of the dishes, and you may storm out of the house because of the mess the house is in and I may sass about it in the blog, but know this that I love you and that I know I made the right choice.

P.S: If you continue being the angel you have been, I will wax eloquent about you in every blog! So pl pl pl pick up after yourself on a regular basis and not just when I am near death! Love ya!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Marriage is a circus, embrace your clown!

So here I am all dressed up and ready to catch up with a friend who spent an exciting two weeks in France over a bottle of wine. We were meeting up at her place and the wine was my responsibility, while the poor thing slaved over the hob preparing lunch, a thoroughly lip-smacking fare, I may add! Having cinched the easier part of the deal, I sauntered over to the local store in quest of a refreshing Rosé to compliment our afternoon fare. OK OK I am no wine connoisseur, I just read the label at the back of the bottle. As I bagged a seemingly enticing bottle of red (instead), I proceeded to the counter to pay. So this good man takes a look at the bottle and then at me a couple of times, quizzically. “That’s wine,” he tells me helpfully.

“Uh yeas,” I reply, beaming at him, hoping to mask the”duh” in my head.

“You are buying this, yeah?”, he asks, frown in place.

“Yes, please,” I reply, still beaming.

It was his question next that stumped me clean.

“how old are you?” the frown deepening.

“I am __” ah well suffice to say old enough to vote my friend! (Ha you thought I would reveal my age! Oh wait or have I mentioned it) Anyhow…

Despite my calm outward appearance I may inform you, I was a bit taken aback… actually no… I was maha flattered! It began to dawn on me that the guy thought I was younger than I looked. But why should that stop him from selling me the wine, i wondered. After all it's legal to buy liquor even if in your very very early twenties, right?! Of course my answer came seconds later.

“Heh, you sure? You look 15 – 16,” the man says! Now I am all for receiving compliments on my youthful looks, but this is taking it too far.

So after reassuring him that I was from the neighbourhood and not an underaged alcoholic, he agreed to let me buy the wine, on the condition that the next time I visit there, I should have an ID handy.

(But he was mighty sweet about the whole thing, so he’s forgiven)

Well I may protest at being considered a juvenile, truth be told I was actually thrilled at being considered younger than my age…ah well numbers are just numbers, 15 or 20 or 22, how does it matter, as long as the figure was under 25.

But this post is not about my looks, as young as they might be. So read on.

Having spent a generally happy day, I met up with the husband at the tube station on our way back; I from my friends’ and he from office (Pray bear with the details because I don’t want you distracted!) and I recount the incident to him.

He takes one look at me and points to my face saying, “It must be the acne.” No ladies and gents, he was not kidding. He said it with a deadpan look and with complete sincerity.

I would have pushed him off the train but there were too many witnesses and yeah the doors were closed.

Flabbergasted I gave him a wan smile and wondered what happened to the man who a scant 10 months back couldn’t stop going on and on about how lucky he was to have a pretty girlfriend! Which bring me to the question- why is it so difficult for men to appreciate their wives.

You plan weeks ahead to organise your child’s first birthday party and create an event everyone can’t stop raving about. You make the costume and the party hats, prepare the food, manage the decorations, and still manage to look like a hot mama for the shindig. The party turns out great, and all your husband can spare at the end of it all is, “Oh good choice on the emcee, he was pretty good!” Can you be blamed for wanting to smash the cake in his face!

Or you slave in kitchen cooking up a meal fit for a king, in this case the husband, feeling guilty for having fought with him, only to be told later, “Next time we go home, ask mom to teach you how to make the biryani the way she does!” You sit and wonder why you bothered.

And then there is the four course anniversary dinner you cooked hoping to be appreciated for the effort and love that went behind it. The mood is right, the place is set, you serve the hor ‘doeuvers awaiting the compliment with bated breath.

“Eww… is that fish? I don’t like fish”

Would you like some knuckles served instead?!

Would it have been too hard to say, “Great party honey!” or “Loved the food” or get some nice flowers and a diamond pendant for the effort? So what if you don’t like fish, would it be too hard to hold your tongue for a change?

Now please don’t think I am asking you menfolk to be insincere, all I am saying is that a little sensitivity goes a long way in keeping the wife happy and the house quiet. So what if she’s put on a little weight or still sports youthful acne, she’s still thinks she’s the princess you fell in love with!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I'll tell you what's cookin'!

I have been ignoring the urge to write about this certain topic because honestly I thought my reaction was a reflection on what I felt. Well this time I threw caution to the wind and decided to vent my ire nonetheless.

But before I launch into my diatribe, let me give you a background. I have been a working professional (a better phrase escapes my incensed state of mind for now!) for the last five years and quite proud of it. So it was quite a difficult decision to make when life being a B*T$% it usually tends to be, put forth a choice between matrimony and temporary (oh How I hope it is temporary) unemployment! Having dealt with the predicament over six months or so and telling myself ki naukri toh mil jayegi but I will lose out on this handsome devil, I decided to tie the knot instead and kissed my pay cheques goodbye.

Now before you tell yourself that it serves me right, let me clarify something. The husband is not a medieval tyrant who can’t stand working women. It’s just that marriage came with the compulsion of moving out of the country. With many a snigger and tut-tuts I was asked if I was serious about quitting my job in peak recession time, to which I gave them an enigmatic smile and nodded a confident yes.

Needless to say after the initial days of bliss the scary scepter of the unemployed status began rearing its ugly head. I know many young women who made the same decision as I. Some were smart enough to have back ups (the option to work from home), others were happy taking a break. I being a worry wart love to obsess. You see having accomplished the first half of fat and complacent in the last 28 years or so, I have a mortal fear of the onset of complacency!

In fact, the blog was a result of the resolution not to let my skills go to waste. Anyhow I digress… So while I was trying to look to earn a living, I had to perform certain domestic duties, such as cooking. Now I had never cooked before getting married. It’s not something I am proud of, but is a statement of fact. I just couldn’t get my head around chopping the aromatics… anyhooo I digress yet again. Cutting the long story short, soon I realised that I am a mighty good cook (you see modesty was never a virtue with me), and have the flair etc. Heady with excitement after the first perfectly cooked batch of pepper chicken and navrattan korma, I went and proclaimed it to the world!

One other thing you need to know about me that while modest I am not, naïve I am plenty. Here I am thinking people will tell me how proud they are of me and my prowess, I had actually given some a handy weapon to undermine my unemployed ego! Now no longer am I asked how life is, but how is the cooking coming along, or “oh what did you cook today”, or how cooking is my new found love, you get the picture. Now the ones who genuinely feel for me don’t make the entire cooking escapade an issue but then there are those who never fail to rattle my nerves, with their constant kitchen bitchin’. How else do you explain, “you are so lucky to have the time to experiment, I am so pooped after work, I can barely manage to eat!” This from a former fellow reporter who claims to be an epitome of bharatiy naarihood! Or this other person who recently earned her colours as a doc and a new boyfriend but can only find time to ask “kya pakaya” or what’s the new thing you are experimenting with in the kitchen" or "A hyrdocoele kept me busy today, anyhow you tell me what did you cook today". Nothing nutty enough, I should have told her! These are just a couple of examples, and while the list of such people may not be long but the constant kitchen queries are no less irritating.

Initially these jibes would hurt. Mainly, I thought, because this dramatically changed situation was new to me and it was all in my head. Then I tried ignoring the barbs. In fact began giving these folks enough details to shut them up. Then recently this irritating person popped up again with the same smug attitude, which pissed me off. Then a funny thing happened - I laughed. I laughed at myself for being a fool. For letting this bunch making me resent something I enjoy doing. Well yes there I said it. I LOVE Cooking and for their information I am jolly good cook. I make a mean meen curry and I am proud of it. You can take all your articles and shows on well being and your stethoscopes and shove it up where the sun don shine ‘cos my sambar rules!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

How can they drive their cars but can't do their own laundry!?!

Before starting out, I need to clarify something... I love being married and I don't hate my husband! As I had once pointed out in an earlier post, I love him to bits, snoring and nocturnal rants notwithstanding! I am very happily married and this forum is to rant about marriage in general (mine AND others') and those who know me how I LOVE to crib! If I were being paid for cribbing, I'd be living a dream. And yes my husband is a frequent visitor to the blog and LOVES the fact that all I do is write about him, which leads him to the conclusion that all I do is think about him and that keeps him happy! Now that I have sufficiently established that we are a freak family let me get on to what I wanted to gripe about today.

What DOES marriage do to men's ability to look after themselves?

Remember those cheesy movies where the husband and wife wasted ten minutes of the screen time sparring over the elusive handkerchief or the like. Some may think that was an exaggeration but such was not the case. In the manner of fiction imitating life, one of the hottest topics of discussion in many households, including mine, during my growing years was on the topic of missing socks, ties, belts and shirts, especially around the time folks were getting ready to go to work. The man of the house assumed that the woman had waylaid the above articles on purpose, while women were going purple in the face at the very accusation. After a hearty shouting match, the ladyfolks would resignedly get up and point to the 'missing' sock, which would be lying demurely under the man's nose. Instead of a thank you or a sorry, all they got was "It wasn't there when I looked!" You’d think things would change with time, well they didn’t. The missing garment/article debate continues. Which brings me to the conclusion that men’s honing device (radar, if u like!) is rendered useless within the institution of marriage; as if the signal is being blocked in the building.

I have known a number of capable male of the species who after marriage seem to have been robbed of their power to pick up after themselves. I have seen bachelor pads so neat that’d put the Monicas of the world to shame, seen creases on their trousers that are sharper than a knife’s edge, seen them labouring to cook the most delicious of meals, just to lose it all post wedding! It's as if an internal mechanism undergoes auto shut down, the second after they say 'I do' (It actually means, I won't!)

Even today, the way they go about rummaging through their cupboard, or need constant reminders to take the garbage out, you find it hard to believe, he is the one who executed that brilliant takeover the other day, or bedazzled his clients from overseas with his awesome presentation or cracked the code no one could, or fished the biggest fish in the ocean, or brought home the biggest buck in the forest, or built the tallest tower and so it goes.

But it’d be unfair to blame just them. Women do their own share of hara-kiri to weaken their own case. Love-dazed, they offer their services unconditionally, which means doing EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, from dishes to laundry to cooking to cleaning – now while it will make many a mom proud, it can get to be a pain after a while. However, by the time the scales fall, the damage is done. The man has lost his ability to find his own sock.

Ladies you can wonder all you like at this freak of nature but it is best you take timely action! While we can’t fight genes, we CAN condition men to contribute. It is all well to pander to pookey’s whims once in a while but make sure he does his share of homework if you want to avoid unwanted lung exercises and useless heartburn.