Posts Tagged ‘Rants’

Bangalore

Posted: November 11, 2016 in Rants, Uncategorized
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It has been a decade since I moved to Bangalore. This is the longest I have been in any city so far.  Thanks to my dad’s work, we moved around a bit throughout my childhood and never actually settled in one place. I would open up and make few friends and before I realize, it would be time to pack our living and move on. I spent a good part of my teen years in Chennai. Though Chennai is close to my heart, it never felt like home. And even after being there for years together, I hardly know the place and I could hardly ever say “dho da” effortlessly.

Back in 2006, I was this excited but clueless 22-year old. Never did I think I would end up spending a good whole ten years in this place.There are so many ‘firsts’ associated with this place.  This is the very city where I met the dude.  This is where I first started living on my own with friends. That very first home which we still call ours.  Some of the lanes here remind me of the moments that I want to cherish forever. Those certainly are not the highs and lows. But the everyday trivial ones. Sometimes, I fear if these memories would fade away in to the oblivion if I stop revisiting those places.

I often wonder if it is time to call Bangalore home or how many more years it would take. I never had any qualms in being the `outsider` or to be called one.  But at times, I yearn to be a local of `some place`, to know it like the back of my hand, to root for  it. When such sharp pangs of yearning washes over me, I set out to do what I am best that. And that would be planning, obsessing over it like there is no tomorrow and then proceeding on to the grand finale – forgetting it all together. So my Kannada is still rudimentary, my kitchen is yet to be filled with the waft of Bisi Bela Bath and I am yet to shop and dine in older parts of Bangalore.

 

All is well

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Well, that would be me, whispering those three magical words in that rickety old heart of mine. It has been almost two years since I posted anything here. Now that I am finally back, I really have a lot to say. Or so I thought.  The most tricky part of returning after a hiatus is the comeback post – where do you begin? Well, you can’t just start yapping about yesterday or dish out few pearls of wisdom or go on about the vacation you had a year ago.  And my dear non-existent reader, that  is exactly why I took up NaBloPoMo(??!) – to write without a reason, to write about things of past, and to write for myself(and yes, for the stats too.).

Last two years were good. In hindsight, it all seems like one heck of a joyous ride.  There were times when I was deliriously happy. But if I prod my memory a bit, I can clearly recall the days I trudged through the unknown, with trepidation that was based on all stats that I had come across in the internet. At the end, everything turned out well. Looked like all I needed was a bit of assurance, a hug and those three magical words. I will come back and write more on this, eventually.

I certainly missed writing here. What kept me away? To be really honest, it started with plain laziness, then a bit of procrastination and as the wheels of time turned, I didn’t feel the urge.  Well, once again, for the umpteenth time, I hope to be regular on this blog.

Freefall

Posted: January 5, 2014 in Rants, The Bloke and I
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Freefall. And that is what 2013 has been like. And December is the cushion that I very much-needed. I wish I had seen it earlier.  There were many a time when I resisted and wasn’t ready to take the plunge, many a time when I held on to a rubble and decided not to budge.

It could have been a carousel ride. A merry one. Probably, in rain. The one that leaves you dizzy with happiness for no apparent reason.  It could have been all that if I had not been so scared and hesitant.  So, I turned it into a roller coaster ride. But hey,  when the belts are on and if you didn’t throw up,  what is not to enjoy about a roller coaster, I say.

What is all the hoopla about, you ask?  So when this year started which always feels like just yesterday, I had few plans for the year. No, not resolution just plans. Nothing fancy. Nothing that required discipline or drastic lifestyle change. Just mundane but uphill tasks like getting a address proof which eventually would be used to get a DL.  Yes, I didn’t shoot for the stars and all that. Just quite simple realistic goals they were. But then as it always happens, the evil universe conspired and planted the idea of buying a flat in The Bloke’s mind. How does that affect the plan, one would ask. Take my word, it does.

“What is so wrong with wanting to buy a house”, The Bloke asked me million times. I had a different answer each time. Or rather a question. What if the bore well dries up or what if the work place moves to another end of the city, I asked.  Up until  a few years back,  I was a nomad. Every few years our life would be sorted out, labelled and boxed and moved to a different city or a different locality and we would start anew all over again and somewhere along the line, I started falling in love with the whole process.

In short, owning a house and settling in is all fun and nice when everything is new and fresh but once they are rusty, old and dusted, I may want to flee but then the fact that I “own” it would stop me but I do not want to be stopped and that is the whole point. And every time I dished out this theory to The Bloke he either scoffed at me or asked me why I would want to run. Grr. I gave up.

While the first half of 2013 was spent in my theories and counter-theories, the second half was spent in making earth shattering decisions of high significance like the color of the wall. Bleh I know and I would have also said “Bleh” but that was before I came across the range of colors. There are zillion yellow shades. Yeah I did other rotten investigations like “How to choose the right yellow paint” and all that and then there were serious investigations like download a pretty image, open in paint, lookup the hex value of the color and then choose the paint with the closest value.! encycolorpedia.com anyone? After all these path breaking discoveries, I decided the shade of yellow from an advertisement that I chanced upon.

After a long wait when the move happened finally, I thought I might miss the house a wee bit given that The Bloke and I, started our lives together in this house but to my complete surprise and disappointment, I didn’t. On the contrary, we missed the small things that were infused in our humdrum existence. The friendly shop keepers who always hand-picked the best drumsticks and coconut for us knowing our puzzled expressions, the street dog that used to pester us for biscuits every time we stepped out and the happening chai shop.

Now, I think both of us have moved a wee bit from our earlier stances. The Bloke kind of understands my theories and I think I see his rationale.

Pointless

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Rants, Uncategorized
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There is oodles of work to be completed but I don’t want to even list it out. I feel drained and my mind is all foggy, I am content lying down, doing nothing.  A cup of coffee might do the trick, I think. But there isn’t any milk at home. So here I am. No, not for the milk but for the trick that I mentioned. The Bloke is in the next room on a call. He seems to be slogging through tall mounds of work. I wonder how he manages to be awake. Aren’t you awake as well, you ask. Well, when it comes to sleep, we are at the two different ends of the spectrum. He sometimes even dreams about sleeping!  While I’m mostly insomniac and sleepless,  The Bloke is usually knocked out even before the lights are out. This precisely is the reason you should have girl pals around! Even in the middle of night, they would patiently answer your silliest questions like “Are you awake?”. So while The Bloke is in his REM state, I twitch and toss listening to all unearthly sounds outside which happens mostly to be the sound of dogs barking. What is so unearthly about it? If you have been sleepless for couple of nights, you would know exactly what I mean. They sound almost like a well co-ordinated orchestra. No, I am not kidding. What starts as random dogs growling at equal intervals proceeds on to chorus after sometime and dies down in the wee hours of morning and the change is so gradual that trust me, at times you can guess the time based on it. No, I am not exaggerating. Anyway, I digress. So, you see why I am so surprised that he is awake. I am all set to take my sweet revenge. I am in a rush to laze and slip into that enticing sleep.  I think, it is all Karma and for once I am happy about it 😉 .  I hope the call continues until the chorus lasts!

“Muje bahut neendh aa raha hai”, I announced.  And just then I noticed that sarcastic lopsided grin appearing on The Bloke’s face and I knew something was wrong.

“Is it ‘aa raha hai’ or ‘aa rahi hai’?”, I further questioned him and he dissolved into a peal of laughter.

Hmph.  “It is my neendh and I decide its gender”, I shrugged. He guffawed.

And for the record, The Bloke can manage just few Tamil words and he gets labelled as ‘cute’ for that. Uh.

Anyway, I digress. This post is NOT about The Bloke or about the state of my spoken ‘Hindi’ but rather about my miseries with it.

The story dates back to ’93 when my vocabulary in Hindi was limited to ‘hathi=elephant’ and ‘kalam=pen’. To supplement this, I was sent to a Hindi Pundit and he bestowed the worldly knowledge upon with  the sentences like ‘Yeh kalam hai’ and ‘yeh mej hai”.  And equipped with vast and improved vocabulary, I appeared for Prathmik exam and ahoy! I managed a good score as well ;).  For the uninitiated, in TN we have exams conducted by Hindi Prachar sabha and back in ’90s, almost all of us appeared for those exams and mostly, in this case, the teacher is referred  as ‘Hindi Pundit’. So,  after all this rigorous and ‘katin’ Hindi exams, we could confidently rattle off, Yek gaavon my yek kisan raghu thatha’

All was well until we moved to Delhi in ’95.  At school,  I dreaded Hindi classes.  I was totally lost. On my very first day in school, just before the Hindi period could start, someone behind me buzzed, “Rajini madam is coming”. I  turned around with adoration in my eyes. How cool it was to nick name your teacher after RajiniKanth’! Probably, the teacher was just too strict and well-built, I thought. But in came a petite woman with a porcelain skin and  looked pale. Or, so I thought. when she spoke, I could hardly hear her.  No way near Rajini, I thought. Few more days and then the understanding dawned on me that her name actually was ‘Rajini’  and it looked like it was a pretty common name given to girls as well!

“Is that name in any way  inspired by the actor ‘RajiniKanth’ ?”, I asked the boy sitting next to me. He scratched his head in reply.

After the initial hiccups, I managed to pull through the Hindi classes. Among the four of us, my mom adopted quickly to Delhi. She would pack Chapathi and Dal for us every day.  The extra protein and fiber did help the plants in my school and they flourished and looked greener.  “Idly arici’ became a precious commodity and was taken out only on special days or when we had Tamil guests at home. And those were the only years when we got away giving Idly  and sambhar on the day of Diwali to all the North Indian neighbors. They were insanely happy. I was happier since I had the Gulab Jamuns for myself. After few years we were back to Tamilnadu and there, I pledged my commitment to Hindi and went ahead and chose it over Tamil.

Cut forward to 2006, I was the most sought after by my Tamil friends.  While Shahid Kapoor wooed, enticed and smiled, I interpreted his words and I think I did well,  for my friends let out a collective long sigh. I never understood if it were my words or Shahid’s looks that garnered that reaction. Living in a paying guest accommodation had its perks and I almost became the  North-Indian-certified-decent-Hindi-speaking-tamilian.

After getting married to The Bloke, I thought I would be more fluent in Hindi. How wrong I was! True, initially I picked up cooking instructions in Hindi like “ubalo”. But it was quite short-lived. Within a year of marriage, I forgot all the Hindi that I had picked up since The Bloke just refused to  converse with me in Hindi. Okay, we had never conversed in Hindi before wedding as well but we could have given it a try!

To me, Hindi is like  aerobics. When I practice it sincerely, I reap the benefits. But when I turn to it once in a blue moon, I end up with sore muscles. So recently when I had to converse for long in Hindi, I said something like “Mere prashno” and before my words were out, I realized my mistake but the damage was done. The very moment, the truth dawned on me – Hindi Prachar Sabha had left a dent on my heart, mind and soul and it was to remain forever!

So people, that is my tale of woe and now, I need a drink to keep the misery from enveloping me.  A strong filter Kaapi for me, if The Bloke agrees to make it otherwise I will settle for a Chai 😀 .

Until I sober up,

“Hail Hindi, hail Hindi Prachar Sabha”

The Bloke finished his post graduation few months back. With that The Bloke’s two years long ordeal came to an end. Or, so I thought. The last two years whizzed by in a haze with whirlwind of activities and suspense and with days merging into each other and punched with deadlines.  While The Bloke endured all of that, I had the best time of my life.  There is just nothing comparable to the joy of relishing your dinner watching a pack of men gobble up their food and swot for the exam. And even more priceless is the pleasure in asking the inevitable question, “How many more chapters to go?”. Ya, I am wicked that way ;).

While The Bloke slogged, I savored the campus, walked around the roads and deserted paths, sometimes aimlessly and at times, in search of the best spot to sit and read a novel – in short, I had all the time to stand and stare and probably, I cherished it all the more since everyone around me were  caught up in a web of chores that they had to tick off from their list and I had none other than to follow my will.

Add to this,  the coffee served in the campus is one of the best, brewed exactly to my liking and that was all that I needed on cold foggy mornings and on rainy afternoons. Err.. Okay, let me admit, the weather was just an excuse, I just couldn’t keep my hand off that heavenly coffee  and the low price that I had to pay for it was a bonus ;).  And The Bloke is such a big fan of the buttermilk served here along with the meal that he didn’t believe me when I told him that it is just yogurt, water and salt and every time he drank it with his heart’s content, he set me off wondering about his north Indian roots. For the record, now all that he has to do is to slurp the Rasam and eat that curd rice and pickle and I can christen him as south Indian ;).

I had my share of embarrassing moments as well in campus . Once a foreign student shoved a sheet of numbers in front of me and asked me to explain it to her. I could feel her helplessness and yet for a moment, but the very situation tempted me  to try my luck at fishing out  theories out of thin air and explaining to her. But thankfully, better  sense prevailed and I squirmed in my seat until I made it clear that I don’t study there.

So even though we were counting quarters, days and exams all the time and were exuberant once The Bloke finished off his last exam, there was a part of me that cringed. The only consolation was that we could drive to the campus any day but so far it never happened at all since The Bloke just detests driving through the heavy traffic.  After the 3 months hiatus, I happened to visit the campus last week along with The Bloke with some miscellaneous errands as an excuse. We drank gallons of coffee, walked on the rustling leaves listening to the sound as they cracked beneath our feet and just like any other farewell we bid adieu with the same old thought – “Time flies”!

Misplaced pride

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Rants
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It was probably the time when the Satyameva Jayate reality show started. Many men in my lunch group spoke of gender equality, women empowerment, upliftment  and whatnot. I clenched my fists and looked away.  The same men had bragged  about not partaking in household chores and had even gone to the extent of labeling those men who do as “submissive”.  All these men, do treat  women counterparts at workplace equally and do not show any discrimination.

Then why this disparity?

Perhaps it is just that they loathe cooking but they help their spouse in such a way that it balances out? Probably, yes.

What actually irked me more was this misplaced pride in having the upper hand or in being served by the spouse. Instead, had they lauded their wife  for managing so well, I would not have complained.

Why do men consider it below their dignity to help their wives in kitchen?  Though many men agree that women can take up any job,  when it comes to home, there is a invisible demarcation.

All this starts quite early. In most household, though the expectation from both the girl and male child is same, like getting the coveted engineering admission,   the girl child is asked to help at home while the boy is not.  No, I’m not speaking of hours of work but even the easier chore like wiping a table, are not dished out to the male child.

While I was younger and single and hadn’t ventured into cooking, I found myself facing a volley of questions like  “What would you do once you get married” or sometimes, “How will you get married?”!  More often, I was expected to fit into that jar labeled “wife material”.  A toiling wife in kitchen is considered the perfect recipe for marital bliss but if the tables are turned, the chances of the wife being called manipulative and dominating is quite high.

Most men are willing to cook and clean in their bachelorhood days and even probably think it helps in their chances of getting hitched.  Once married , the same men are more than eager to handover the reins to their wives when it comes to household chores.What surprises me more is the way these same men find it embarrassing to admit in public about cooking for their wives!

While charity begins at home, this gender equality begin just after the doorstep!

Why is this, masculine pride so dependent on domination over spouse or on the sense of superiority? Probably that is why there are men, and then there are gentlemen!

ps: All that said, I admit and agree that this applies not to all men but to just that bunch.