February 25, 2017

Boys need HELP!!!

I have a son, now 8 years old. From the time I knew I was pregnant, I wished, wished & wished for a girl child. I had my reasons. Yes, I could dress her in pretty clothes, and there was the general belief that girls would be more loving. But there was a stronger reason. Often termed a rebel by many, I wanted to raise a girl with the belief and confidence that this life is hers to live the way she chooses to; encourage her to be proud of her dreams, her body, her choices. A right, a freedom denied to many of us while growing up. I have faced many gender-specific restrictions, from family and institutions. I have seen other girls face severe versions of it too. I wanted to try and encourage at least my girl to live life without the fears, reservations and discriminations of being a girl.
The moment came and the doctor told me, “it’s a boy”. Even in that exhausted, half-drowsy state, I remember my disappointment. I was shattered and let me tell you it took me weeks to recover. I felt disappointment. I felt frustration. But soon, all of that was forgotten. Diapers, baby tantrums, etc took over, and I was a happy mom to my son.
But today, I have realised that contrary to what I believed, the girls are actually doing fine. They are conquering heights, following their dreams, travelling the world, living life on their terms, speaking up for the right things and celebrating the girl in them. It is the BOYS who NEED HELP. It is the boys who need to GET A LIFE. It is the boys who need to get responsible about their body, their choices, their actions.

We have had people say, ‘Oh, she’s a tomboy, one of the boys’. Not any more! Now, we need boys who are just as strong and sensible as girls; boys who don’t think ‘opportunity’ when they see a girl walking alone in clothes of her choice; boys who don’t think they have the right to pull down their zipper anytime, anywhere their hormones act up; boys who aren’t afraid of a girl’s success. I hope to raise a boy who is ‘strong, secure, sensible, confident & cool...just like the girls’. The girls have it right already, the boys have miles to catch up. Let's raise our boys to be worthy of every girl's respect.  

June 10, 2011

Surprises from dusty corners....smell good

The week, so far, has been lived in the midst of dusty rooms, piles of junk, smelly clothes, heaps and heaps of things sorted into wanted, unwanted, may-be wanted, not-sure if its wanted, etc lists. And then there is a pile that is still being argued over (by partner and me) on which category to be put in. Packing and shifting is no easy task, and not fun either! Of course there is that sudden joy when you discover that 'I-am-sure-I-have-lost-it' item from a torn cover in some corner of your cupboard. And the big smile that flashes when you find an old college-days album or an old card from a special someone. Then the gold treasures you discover: that pair of ear-ring or chain you believed you had lost, for which you have suffered your mom's shouts and screams.
Now those were the feel-happy finds! It isn't as exciting to find that pair of your favourite old jeans, which was tucked away b'coz your waist no longer feels comfortable in there. It screams for a bigger, wider space. All those lovely pictures from great trips that you did during your 'when-I-was-single' days or 'still-honeymooning' days. Finding bank account statements while the account was happier and heavier. Then there was this little box which evoked a happy-sad feeling. Out from it came little love notes, cards with sweet somethings scribbled and smileys drawn all over, little slips of paper with the most romantic wordings...all  memories of a past--loved and lost.
By the end of it all, I was glad for the days of packing and unpacking. Thanks for the little forgotten surprises it threw up, the wonderful memories it brought back, the little snapshots of a life well-lived and enjoyed. In the midst of dusty, messy rooms, with cartons and boxes of memories....

May 29, 2011

A bit an actor...a bit of an act!

I think I've been taking my 'Flavours of Life' title a little too literally. My mind seems to be too focused on the flavours. From ice-creams to tandoori chicken to continental cuisine, my blog has had a flavorsome journey. The real intention though was to learn to appreciate life's many flavours: the sweet times, the bitter experiences, the sour days or the bitter-sweet moments topped with scoops of laughter or a dash of tear or a pinch of guilt!
Many times you are in a situation where you see yourself shuffling between the many flavours rather too quickly. One moment your face lights up and your lips part to a wide grin at seeing someone wonderful, a chit-chat with them leave you in splits of laughter, and in a flash the glow turns to a frown at the thought or mention of someone who's not exactly in your list of favourite people (for reasons best known to you and maybe them too). Running into such people can be difficult and embarrassing too. The teeth are flashed, but you aren't exactly smiling, the head shakes suggesting a 'I saw you' but it isn't exactly a greeting. The mind runs into a series of past events between the two of you--all of this in less than 10 seconds.

As kids we are taught to be truthful and honest, but guess that's restricted to ONLY what you say. The expression, the looks can be faked to save the situation. Why else would you get the 'Be polite, be pleasant, just come and say hello even if you hate them' instructions! I am a total loser at doing the 'I-will-not-give-you-a-peek-into-what's-in-my-mind' act. If I think it, I show it (most often). It isn't the best thing to do, isn't the easiest thing to do and at times not the smartest thing to do either. From the Miss Fresher contest in college to a break-up date to client meeting to discussions with friends....my face has deceived me. It just bares my mind, giving me no scope to pretend otherwise and get away with it.
It's good to have a bit of an actor in each of us. I miss the 'other, fake me'. Makes life easier, happier...at times.   

December 5, 2010

Around (&about) my life of 60 days

Firstly thanks to my friend, once-neighbour, now business-partner and alltime-anytime girlfriend Sumi for leading me back to my blog. One sleepless night got her back to blogging, and one tweet about that found my cursor clicking its way to my virtual mind. There is never a pattern to my blog (feel free to disagree): sometimes I treat my blog as a punching bag, at times an agony aunt, or just my online diary and at other times it's a dreamland--a space where I share my desires, aspirations, loves. Must confess that there have been times when I have forced a blog, written just to keep the promise of regular blogging.

Though i do give myself the concession of being a convenience blogger, someone who blogs at her own will, at her own pace and her own level of regularity, this time I am a little shocked with myself (actually disappointed) for taking such a long break. Simply because quite a bit happened during this 60-odd days.

For my own sake, am going to try to recollect and put down at least some of the interesting or important things that I went through in the past 2 months:

1. I found my time, talent and timepass: Can't quite elaborate on that one, except that I was back to work. It felt great, it made me feel 'worth it', had me excited every morning and exhausted by evening, saw new faces, had new conversations, read new things and felt fresh in the mind and heart.
2. Caught up with some very unexpected people on facebook, and it feels awesome. Sharing secrets of school days, laughing over the silly games and giggling about the crushes. Distance and two decades later, it all seems sweeter, funnier, crazier.
3. Gave up on my 'attempts to diet', instead decided to be happier with myself and occasional resort to healthy eating!
4. The turning point: my friend and boss puts me the proposal of joining the firm as partner. Share the responsibilities, the challenges, the madness, the success and the fun. A few days later I knew what I wanted, and today am partner to DropCap Media. It's not the position that thrills me, the fact that we are two like-minded people, believing in the power of words and the magic of technology and striving to give the best combination of this to people. This process excites me.
5. Completed five years of my marriage. Being someone who never had much belief or faith in the necessity of 'marriage', this sure is an achievement.
6. Found a new friend. Mmmm here am a little stuck. Not sure where and how to categorise this person. We rarely meet (almost never), we never call each other, our conversations are limited to messages (on FB or phone), we never discuss personal life but talk about everything else under the Sky--from a killer wine-cheese combo to the dirty games in the corporate world to new releases, music, travel to man/woman debates to love, commitment and animals...and a lot more. It's an interesting friendship, and the best thing it's a non-judgmental friendship (whatever you figure out from that).

7. Had a few bitter, nasty arguments with people who stand very close to my life. But am glad they happened 'coz it ripped off the mask and showed the real picture: what some people really are, how their mind really never manage to run of the narrow corridor it's stuck in (though they pretend otherwise), how some men mistake male to mean 'superior, the ultimate and the decider'. It's left me doubly strong-willed about my decisions, choices and inspires me to 'damn the senseless souls and move ahead'.
8. The flat-shopping we've been working on for almost three years now has finally come to an end. No we didn't find a flat that suited our desires and budget....So we just decided to stop the search. For one, our budget doesn't quite match up to the demands, and also we didn't quite spot any that made us want to own it right there.
9. My little boy is really now the little BIG boy. Yes, he's grown taller and is doing bigger tricks...but what amazes me most is his vocabulary. Not sure if am overreacting and being over-enthusiastic (it's my first time as mother so am entitled to a bit of hyperism) about his 'new words' and 'new skills'. He talks non-stop in a 'nothing-could-be-cuter' tone and rhythm. He takes a piece of my heart when he leaves to school every morning, blowing out kisses to me and screaming out a 'Amma, hab a good day' (translated: Have a good day).
10. I find myself crying lesser, laughing more these days. Before I give you the impression that my life was one big tragedy and I was living a torture, let me tell you it doesn't take much to make me cry. At the risk of losing a very dear friend who would be horrified at me for saying this, I can cry watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hain! Anything that isn't happy could have me in tears. And this has stopped now. Am glad about it. The laughter moments are thanks to my new office, colleagues and back home my little munchkin.

It wasn't a forced attempt to touch ten, but now that I've hit ten, let me stop at that. These are a few things that made my days special in the past two months. I have just noticed another half-baked blog in my draft, hope to finish that too soon.

PS: About the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, a friend recently told me that her husband cries at some of the scenes, too.

September 19, 2010

B'coz mom says so...

Should I feel guilty about this long silence? My last post was more than a month ago. It's no sin, especially since I had vowed that I wouldn't be blogging just to keep up the 'a-post-a-day' promise. Will write only when I feel like it. Read a few interesting posts in the past few days, and maybe somewhere it inspired me to write. This may not exactly have a theme or a topic, just some thoughts.

Today, as a mother, I often surprise myself with my words and actions. Many things that I tell my little boy make me pause and think: "hey haven't I heard that somewhere before!". Soon, I realise that it's just what my mom had told me during my younger days. I swear it's not intentional, but some things are so etched in our minds that we end up repeating it, without quite realising it.I can clearly remember how terrified my mom was whenever she saw kids being fed while they're lying down. I sense the same fear in my mind when I see kids do it. Amma never fancied little boys wearing shirts or cute little girls paraded in salwar kurtis. She always found t-shirts cuter, and always liked girls to be dressed in tiny frocks and skirts. I feel just the same. I shrug at the many shirts gifted to my son: some (like a friend aptly described) are so stiff that it can stand on it own, some that come with pokey pokey glitters all over that will promptly cling on to your face or hands the minute you try it on. I have so many memories of my mother screaming and making a huge fuss when she saw me or any other kid play with tiny things (tiny here is defined as anything that could possible be downed their throats with a little effort from the kids). I always thought she was over-reacting and being overly fussy. She still freaks out when my little boy plays with broken pieces of toys, or paper or worse rubber bands or balloon bits. But I no longer frown at her, not after my son almost swallowed a magnet! (Let's not get into that....whew!).
It's not just kids' matters...their preferences in a lot of other things too have impacted me. My father disliked the colour 'yellow' (for reasons best known to him) and my mom had a strong dislike for navy blue.Until recently my wardrobe had no traces of yellow or navy blue. Must confess that yellow has now found place in my 'favourite colours' list: vibrant, bright, sunny, floral, fruity...so many emotions and moods that I associate with yellow. Navy blue, though, hasn't yet charmed me.
Once I started cooking, I once againd found my decisions being influenced a lot by my mother's methods and habits. It may seem funny but I insist on using the Prestige pressure cooker. I have nothing against Hawkins or any other brand, but my mom's used Prestige for as long as I can remember and it in some way makes me more confident about my cooking! (well...you may see no logic in it). Of course, I have fallen for the tempting looks of the Futura brand and own one too...but in the past five years have never once used it. Am not sure it's something to be proud of, it's only my superstition that 'my cooking tastes best when done mom's way'.
The way I stir food, the way I make my dough, roll it, the way I clean or chop certain vegetables, the pattern I follow in adding ingredients...have all been influenced my mother's methods.
 Funny, but whenever I look at the number plate of a vehicle, I automatically find myself adding up the numbers. Blame it on my mom for I've seen her doing it for years! It could be an autorickshaw or a BMW; we sometimes play a game of it too. The way I (try to) sing certain songs have been influenced by mom. [While dad's humming has helped us learn how not to sing a song!]. My tastes in music, movies, flowers, fragrances...have a lot to do with my mother's interests. Beads, bangles, chains...she introduced me to the bright, funky world of jewellery.
What's best is that we both share almost similar taste in men! Most often we end up going 'wow' at the same person; just that my 'wow' has a more 'how-I wish-I-could-befriend-him' tone while amma's is strictly 'appreciating a thing of beauty' wow. I must add here that she turns to a typical over-concerned mom when her daughter grows too fond of the boy/man. She was far from approving of many of my choices!
There are many more things in my life--some serious, some funny, some strange--that turned out the way it did because somewhere my parents' choices/preferences have impacted me.

PS: And yes, she loved my tattoo!!!