Friday, 30 July 2010

My way or the highway

I love my husband. Did I ever tell you that? No?! Oh dear. So here I go saying it (again) I love my husband. He is one man who has utter and pure confidence in my abilities! There is nothing that I can do right (well that’s an exaggeration) Let’s rephrase that. He believes that ANYTHING that goes wrong, I am the reason behind it!

Socks missing: my fault. He forgot to turn the hob off when he was cooking rice: my fault, because I should have reminded him. My computer’s screen broke (because he fell one it): my fault, I should have shut the flap; Rains failed in Rajastahan, I was to balme, no rubber was tapped in Kerala… you get it, right. So supreme is his confidence in my abilities to wreak havoc that his mental faculties get too clouded to accept the obvious.

But this one is my favourite. Not too long ago we moved into a new apartment. It came with all fittings and appliances. Along with it also came an unfathomable washing machine. After many a trial and error and three laundry disasters later we finally figured it out. It was during one of those washing emergencies we clashed. I thought I had fixed the bloody contraption and we had with us a clean load; while he pointed out that it wasn’t so. Evidence: his (torn) jeans which still had muddy stains on them. With incriminating evidence in front of me, I acquiesced that it did seem to be the case and came to the conclusion that the machine was still acting up.

Now anyone would thing matters ended there, but NO. Patidev suggested that I had forgotten to put the piece of clothing in the machine. I calmly replied that such wasn’t the case. I got a smirk for a reply. Now any man who’s observed women long enough would know that a SMIRK goes a long way in fanning very negative passions in the most calm of matronly souls. And I am but one!

With many a suppressed emotions, I reiterated that the confounded pair had indeed seen the inside of the washing machine and due to mechanical malfunction of the latter came out unwashed. Again, anyone in their right minds, would let it go. But not my warrior prince from the jungles of central Travancore.

Cutting a long story short and blazing row ensued. As again, I was held blameworthy, while the blasted washing machine escaped unscathed!

Most times when there is peace, there is perfect understanding. Till of course comes the next fight. In those times, tails he wins, heads I lose (literally as well!). Imagine being stuck in this conundrum when you have grown up in a house where you were accused of assuming you were always right! Gosh that takes for a lot of adjusting.

The hubby for all this darling ways, like I proved, is convinced that I am mostly wrong, on some rare occasions, when I am not wrong we are both right. Every time I get stuck in this conundrum I think of The Box. Before you think that some metaphysical lecture that is coming your way, relax. It is a movie that I am talking of. The film held much promise and delivered as far as I was concerned but others disagreed ("others" being the husband), which is surprising and I will tell you why. If you took off the science-fiction and psychological garb off it, the plot was fairly simple. Women cause trouble!

Given his predisposition of presenting me with the blame, this should have been his favourite movie! Which it isn’t and oh yes, I was blamed for choosing it :/

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A very very happy Unbirthday!

If I ever have kids, I will have to put a reminder (with a loud alarm) of their birthdays on my mobile. ‘casue I don’t think they will be very happy if mommy baked them a birthday cake two weeks too late!

You might have noticed that the blog wears a new look and that was what I had intended for marking the one year anniversary of blog writing, which incidentally was a fortnight back, while in my head it was supposed to be today!

Then again, better late than never, I say! But as it is not really a birthday, birthday: Here's to a happy unbirthday to ME!

I can’t believe it’s been a year that I started Livin’ la vida sofa. This blog, may I tell you, is one of those very rare endeavours that I have persevered with! It was one frustrating Monday when I sat cribbing to a friend about my predicament of empty days. He asked me to give blogging a shot. “No harm in trying,” I thought and that was one of the most productive thoughts that I dared to act upon.

From being a time pass, it went on to become a stress buster. It proved to be an excellent life-coping device (imagine the thousands it made me save on counselling!) to a way of connecting with some lovely and interesting people, who were kind enough to lend me their support and attention. They made me feel very good about myself, which came in quite handy on the days I was low and believe me there were some very very low moments. To you I extend heartfelt gratitude.

Hmmm… this has started to sound like an Oscar award speech. But WTH, it IS my blog and I can pretty much do what I feel like, right?

So here goes! I would like to thank my husband who featured prominently in quite a few entries and brought about quite a few laughs. Thank you LS for egging me on to write and SGK for being a source of inspiration; readers who keep coming back to mrsquote, those who leave kind notes behind and also the ones who come and leave silently. I hope you enjoyed your time here and hope you continue to return.

I hope to regale you with more as we go along. But right now it is back to the kitchen and to dinner that is waiting to be cooked, to the dishes that need to be washed and to the husband who continues to snore! Life is good!


Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I am the only child of my parents.

Based on this fact, do you think I am

a) a lonely person

b) spoilt

c) selfish

d) all of the above

e) none of the above

If you chose a, b or c, shame on you.

If you are someone who thought there is too little data to go by to form an opinion then there is hope yet..

In all my 29 years I have been subjected to sentiments like, “Oh it must have been lonely” or “”lucky you” or “how boring”; subjected to an assumption that I must have been a brat; to the very recent “V’s got a lottery” and the one I have grown to hate, which is “you won’t understand this (inter-sibling quarrel, love, equation, what have you) as you have no brothers or sisters”.

The only one that they got right was that I was indeed lucky and no it was never boring. I had my friends and cousins to fill my time and the times I was by myself, I could be a pilot, an actress, a super heroine, a doctor, what ever caught my fancy, an exercise that helped in many a quarter, professional and personal! Oh and I still have my imaginary friend who lends an ear to all my rants and aspirations. And no move has been made to commit me.

As far as I remember, for the longest time I was the only single child among my friends and classmates. For me it was something that set me apart, something I was mighty pleased about; for some parents I could well have been a social evil in the making. This single child prejudice went as far as ensuring that I did not get admission in a “prestigious” catholic school in Delhi. The then principal assumed as most other grown ups did, since I was the only child, I was spoilt rotten by my parents (couple that up with being from Delhi and a kid of working parents, no wonder the odds were stacked against me).

And while I trapezed through my childhood blithely unaware of how my single status was breaking traditional norms, my folks too parried nosey comments and unsolicited advice. One instance which stays firmly etched in my memory is how one well meaning(sic) elderly gentleman at some family function spent 15 min trying to explain to my father how it was necessary to have more than one kid and threw in the male child necessity for good measure. Dad being dad stuck to his guns and smiled beatifically at this person and ignored him for the rest of the day. Oh and did I mention I was standing right next to them, all of ten. And so proud of dad. From then onwards, I have always wondered about this single child conundrum.

I grew up perfectly happy, with the usual growth pangs as any multi-siblinged kid. I was as well settled or maladjusted as those with brothers and sisters.

But never never did the status quo of being the only progeny bothered me. It still doesn’t but yes does get my goat when people naturally assume that I am emotionally stunted when it comes to sibling relations. I want to know what more do you learn emotionally or otherwise from this association that you can’t learn from the bond you share with your parents, or friends or cousins or grandparents. My family taught me to be generous, to be loving, to share, to be emotionally strong, to be kind, to be responsible, to be courageous, to be considerate and to be proud of who I am. And I fail to understand what blanks would a sibling have filled.

I have heard of people going in for a second child, to discipline the first one. But hang on a second, isn’t that what the parent is supposed to do? Yes being a only child comes with responsibilities, but doesn’t that hold true for all progeny, what ever the number of siblings be?

I am not saying couples should stick to a one kid policy, but in case for some reason they have to, voluntarily or otherwise, they should not feel that they are depriving their child of anything. It would all depend on what kind of parents they choose to be.

There, I have said my piece.

Friday, 2 July 2010

What women want... go figure

Disclaimer: This entry is poking fun at one and all, author included.

“Ah the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology can't explain us. Men can be analysed, women... merely adored.” Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Twist it which way I want, I still find myself agreeing with this statement. For once I can see men agreeing with me, at least in some part. You know what I am talking about. The usual male lament : I can’t understand women. Guess who symapthises with you. I do.

Yes, I confess, I concur with you. We are not easy to understand. Of course it is doubly difficult for men because you are all (almost all) ill-equipped to handle such intelligence. But nonetheless, I feel for you.

So if you are a man who always wanted know why your wife throws a fit every time you leave your trousers on the floor or who was threatened with bloody murder when he conveniently forgot to take the trash out or was sent scrambling for cover when he thoughtfully gifted her that beautiful piece of jewellery instead of that promised candle-lit dinner, or in other words if you are a man involved with a woman, or woman married to a man, read on. It won’t give you any answers, maybe a chuckle or two and hopefully something to think about.

So where was I? Oh yes, I was saying I don’t blame men for their lack of comprehension of their better halves (There is a reason for this nomenclature by the way). Because the fact is that they can’t. They will have to basically exchange their testosterone for the molotov cocktail that is oestrogen and progesterone to gain an insight. (Before the feminists start baying for my blood for calling women creatures of hormones; let me clarify, I meant to say that a man will have to be a woman to understand another woman. That’s all, calm down.)

And those funny instructional manuals doing the rounds of cyberspace: I hate to admit it, some of them do contain a grain of truth. Even then, they lead you to some how-tos, but never the whys. And men being men, never try to look beyond the obvious and being tunnel-visioned can only focus on the face value, quite forgetting there is a place value attached to their woman’s reason for behaving as she does at times.

Now being a woman I understand; having doled it out in appreciable quantities over the years and also by helping fellow divinities cope with frustrating acts of men. If a girl friend tells me that her husband/boyfriend doesn’t pick up after himself or leaves a damp towel heaped on the sofa (not once or twice but ALWAYS), she will see me nod in sympathy. Because in those innocuous statements lies a frustration that transcends laundry issues.

A man may wonder, what’s the big deal? If it were you, you would keep it where it belongs. And here in lies the irony. Have you EVER been faced with a situation where you had a damp towel staring you in the face, and if you were (the likelihood of which is slimmer than the world going kaput in 2012) chances are you would absent-mindedly sit on it, while your posterior would do what the airer could have done better.

But then men just can’t get it (not don’t, CAN’T). To be fair to them, if you look at it from a “practical” perspective” (a phrase the one I am married to loves using), one just needs to hang the bloody towel to solve the problem. But what they don’t get is that in refusing to pay heed to our request (it usually is, no matter what you men say!) they send out a message that means they don’t love us.

Now I know, those of the male species are shaking their heads and saying “they are all the same” and the women are nodding in agreement. Whether you like it or not, that's how women do think. We do tend to get emotional about things like dishes not washed or clothes not put in their right places. It is perhaps even on places way above the roving eye in the list of things that send us over the edge.

And you can go ahead and tell us not to be “so emotional” and “be practical” or “not take things personally”. The fact is that the most practical of us all, will be very emotional at times and not be practical at instances because “that’s how we are programmed.” (The last bit is within quotation marks because I have been fed that goop by many a man on many an occasion.). If we pay heed to your programming needs, maybe you need to make space for us as well.

About three to four years back I was encouraged by a friend to read Men are from Mars and women are from venus to gain a better understanding of the man-woman relationship. “What poppycock” I remember thinking and refused to bother with it. Global phenomenon notwithstanding, I was of the opinion that such literature was a waste of time, an excuse used by those who were just too selfish to put in hard work in relationships and used the excuse to justify their laziness.

Four years later with a marriage to boot, I wonder if I should pick it up and at least take a look at what the author had to say. For while I haven’t read it, I wonder if it concurs with my understanding of the co-existence of the sexes. For you see in the last one year or so I have realised that if any married couple, no matter how happy with each other were at loggerheads, it wasn’t just because they had differing personalities, it was because he was a MAN and she a WOMAN.

But for those like me who loathe to read these so called self help books and the like, you can skip the 300-odd page tome and listen to Billy Joel for 3-4 minutes instead. For when he tells you that “she can ask for the truth and never believe it or she never gives in or gives out… she just changes her mind,” he is somewhere close to the vicinity of facts about women.

Going back to where I started… Men can be analysed, women merely adored.