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. :)