Friday, December 24, 2010

That Big Step

I've suddenly found myself at that age where everywhere I look, someone is smiling at me, giving me a beautifully embossed card and saying, 'it'll be great if you can make it'. Yes, apparently almost everyone (of eligible age) that I know is getting married. Or aspiring to get hitched in the next few months. 

And 2010 is apparently The Year to take That Big Step. 

No seriously, I'm hounding my mother for saris and jewellery for weddings that are SO back to back that it's impossible to repeat clothes and not get noticed for it (and the facebook shared photos don't help!).

This is what I've been upto in the last three weeks.

-Getting salwaars and blouses stitched (gratefully my mother has an adequate inventory of beautiful saris) 
-Getting the blouses re-stitched because apparently my tailor sucks at his job
-Organising or being part of a great big bunch of loud girls at a bachelorette party (where I must mention, there were vuglar props and games, and we almost got kicked out of a club and got threatened to get arrested!)
-Doing a dance for mash-ups of Sheela Ki Jawaani and other Bolly songs that are driving people insane right now
-Drinking drinking drinking DRINKING. And then some more.
-Crying a little bit every time during each of the ceremonies (true story; why I'm so emo don't ask)

On that last note, I must tell you that this was a discovery for me about me- getting over-sentimental and crying happy tears at every wedding. This, from a girl, who till just a few years ago, staunchly believed that marriage is shit and that no ONE in their right minds should do it. I even had a very good, long, scripted debate prepared for every time someone asked me my opinion on the matter.

I still remember, just a couple of years ago, when I was living in the Other City, my mother called and mentioned it to me for the first time. 

'Baby, we should start collectiong saris for your wedding no?'

I had just entered my 20s and I was caught dumbfounded for a minute or ten.

'Are you mad ma?'

'No my darling. If we start collecting saris and jewellery and start saving up now, we can have a half decent wedding for you'

'Ma, you do know there has to be a member of the opposite sex who is willing to do this, right? I'm not seeing anyone right now.'

This is when she decided it was right moment to tell me about 'a very lovely boy' who someone had recommended.

Let me back track for a minute and tell you about my relationship with my parents. Very early in my teen years, I learned the trick to handling them/ training them.

Step 1: TELL them when you're doing something, don't ASK. Eg. I'm going for a drink with friends 
Step 2: Don't fuck up. Eg: Don't end up getting caught and spend the night in jail for drinking and driving
Step 3: Now that their trust and confidence in you has built up reasonably, repeat Step 1 and 2, but this time take it one level higher. Eg: Tell them you're moving in with your boyfriend. 

This way you have trained your parents to know that you are the master of your life and you are capable of living a decent life without their intervention. Slowly but surely, they will learn to let you go and let you fly.

Anyway, so as you can see, I have a great thing with my parents- I tell them what I want to do with my life, I do it right and they believe I'm not a fuck-up. When they disagree with me, they offer me advice, but if I convince them with logical reasons, they're okay with it (and it works both ways mind you- I let them convince me out of something if I'm sure it's not the right thing for me).

So you can understand my surprise when I heard my mother suggesting an arranged marriage meeting. I was wondering if I'd not been following the Train your Parents to Love Your Decisions rule book. Because you see, my folks know how I despise the thought of marriage, let alone a holy union arranged by the elders of the family. 

Despite my obvious bewilderment, she proceeded to tell me all about him. And believe it or not, the only thing I found interesting was the boy in question's MOTHER. Apparently she had been India's ambassador to several countries. My chaalu brain quickly started devising a quick strategy for befriending the wow mother (she sounded impressive, maybe she can help me with a cool job that allows me to travel too?), without ever meeting or talking to the son.

No brilliant plan came to mind, so I promptly asked my lovely mother to keep the lovely boy away from me. It was too early in my life to start having this argument. I didn't intend to ever get married. That's all.

....And then a few years later, I met Him (I refer to him on this blog as LOL- Love Of my Life).

And a month after I met him, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I had never thought about when I die or how I aged until I met LOL. All of a sudden I found myself hoping I lived a long life because if this is how gorgeous life got when he was in it, I never wanted it to end.

Slowly I started thinking about what it might be like to publicly declare this aforementioned feeling. Because you see, I wanted to shout it from the mountains. I was in mad, mad in love. And it dawned on me that that was what a wedding was for.

And that's how my dear friends, I have come to become this girl that gets sentimental and cries at my friends' weddings. Apparently I've now warmed up to the concept. Hell, I even look forward to my own shaadi- the dress, the rings, the band-baaja, et al. :)

PS: Will you please please pray that I'll be allowed to have a beach wedding?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is there a place called Heaven?

Is there a place called heaven?
The place of the good and the saints,
Where people float around
In halos and flowing spotless robes?

A kingdom where artificial light
Is unnecessary,
Where telephone connections
Are a joke?

A place where cable TV
Is really a huge window
Into the the world we live in,
With you and me playing the lead
On reality shows?

A place where souls rest in peace
And float about on clouds…
Or are there any clouds in heaven?

And what of hell then?

Are there people living
Amongst fire and hot coal?
Churning and burning
In the heat of the
Damned place…

Or is it a long lasting party there?
Dressed in the red and black theme
With horns as accessories,
And a drink in one hand?

And is there an in-between?
Filled with people
Whose souls are forever forgotten
Suffering the worst punishment prescribed…

These are questions
Asked several times
In a lifetime
And seldom answered.

And when that lifetime is over
Your bell has rung
Your questions are answered.
At a time when the answers will seem
Absolutely meaningless.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Ode to the Ex.

Remember Me?
The girl you played with?
Sometimes House
Sometimes Doctor-Doctor?

Remember Us?

That impulsive kiss
High up on that wooden branch
The day we climbed the Big Tree.

Remember Me?
You used to lie on my lap underneath a starry sky
Ask me questions about the world
That I didn't have the answers to.

Remember Us?
The way we grew up together
They way we left town for the big city
Three hundred rupees in our bags?

Remember Me?
I made my first omelette for you
Cut my finger 
Cried and wanted to go back home.

Remember Us?
You wiped my childish tears
And said we'd hold hands all our lives
And watch every sunset together.

Remember Me?
The tears on my face
Our painful embrace
When we realised it was over...

Remember Us?
Our dreams and your promises
Shattering into a thousand tiny fragments...
Halting as they fell.

Remember Me?
Now that you're walking past me
Across the road 
Not even glancing at me...

We were Us
Eleven years ago.
Remember Me?
Remember Us?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(Wannabe) 18 till die.

Recently I've been thinking about getting older and here are the top two likes and dislikes about it:

(I'm starting with Dislikes because that's what I'm leaning towards with the topic)


1. You're getting older. There is not a whole lot to like about the concept. You're no longer in the media's 'young people' age bracket. Data collected from your demographic is no longer used to make Pepsi/ Levis ads; it is used to make ads for Real Estate/Cars/Diapers for your babies. 

As if that's not depressing enough, you have to start thinking about money and investments-- and the dreaded word- SAVINGS (tum dum DUMMMMM...).

With everything you do, you have to 'think about your future' and find the right husband/wife, have the beautiful wedding and the gorgeous babies and then...? Well, you basically gotta continue to keep thinking about the  future. And there is nothing appealing about this 'thinking about the future' thing. 

Besides that, there is slower metabolism, greying hair, lots of wrinkles...nothing that tempts you to get older any time soon.

2. As you get older, your parents get older. If you thought they were insane during your teen years, wait till you find out what it's like when THEY get older. They're the insanes' insane. It can go one of two ways: 

a. They will act like they are actually 18, which means your life is spent begging them to stop fussing, eat right- no sweets please!, cross the road carefully...etc. OR

b. They will act as if they are twice their age. For example. If they're 60, they'll act as if they're actually 120 and have been ready to kick the bucket for the last 2 decades. One will often hear them make over-dramatic statements like, Oh, you know I'm so old now, My life is over, Sigh, sigh, sigh (so much sighing)...
In both cases, it's not pretty.

But either ways, the worst thing is the reality of it all- They ARE getting older. They WILL get sicker and whether you like or not, they WILL have to move on one day.

And whether they're childlike or acting senile, we still want them around. Most of us never want to deal with not having our parents around. I mean, they're the MOM and DAD.

Just for makes me want to stop time...

Anyway, moving on...



OK, I give up. There are None.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I want, I want, I want. What I want.

They say the terribleness of the Terrible Teen Years mainly comes out of the enormous amount of peer pressure one is exposed to. I've always wondered that was about. While I might have (unknowingly) been the one to create the pressure, I certainty have had no trouble of my own whatsoever with peer pressure when I was teenager. I did what I wanted to, when I wanted to and how I wanted to. There was hardly a time I worried myself about whether I was 'doing well' or if I 'fit in'.

Until now.

Looks like I'm a late bloomer when it comes to this. Over the last year or so, peer pressure has slowly crept into my life and how! I seem to have worked myself into becoming a pressure cooker.

All of a sudden people my age are doing so many things that it feels like I should be doing them too...Someone is doing an MBA at Harvard, someone is buying a house, someone is studying Anthropology at LSE, someone is going to art school, someone is doing up their house, someone has a fancy job, someone is getting married, someone is having babies...All of a sudden I find myself wanting every one of these things 'someone' is doing. And I seem to want them all NOW. 

I find myself looking around me and aspiring for things I don't even have any need for! It's greedy. It's a waste of time. And it's surely a damn waste of mind space.

If only I could buy a house... If only I could earn X amount of money... If only I had the money or the time to do an MBA...I'd be SO set....

I get so caught up and stressed out about what I 'should be doing' that I find myself sometimes having crying spells or sleepless nights over it.

Then there is a moment of revelation (like right now!)... that moment when it feels like someone shook me out of a nightmare and I am now seeing things clearly... I don't even want to do an MBA damnit! I hate maths, stats and everything from that family. Since when did I start wishing for things in my life that I don't really actually want at all, much less need?

I'm much too young and life is far too short (always in retrospect, since youth seems to be lost on the young!) for me to be bound by what ifs and if onlys.

How does it matter where anyone else is going? It only matters where I want to go. Even if its just for now. What's the rush?

I might not know exactly what I want for my life. But I do know this-- I don't wan to get stressed out about whether I'm living the 'right way', about whether I'm making the 'right moves'. 

I want peace of mind.

I want balance in my life.

I want to travel lots, eat gorgeous food and meet strange people.

I want to speak a million languages.

I want an ocean of love and I want to love right back.

I want to read things that astonish me, I want to write things that astonish others.

I want to take my own time. I want to say my own 'ready, set, go!'

I want to be 80 and still be amazed when I see a rainbow.

I want Life to be a great movie that I just don't want to get to the end of.

Most importantly, I always want to remember who I am and what I want.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Dear Change,

Hi. I hear that you are a good thing. I also hear you are the only constant.

While I agree with both claims, I wonder why you make me uncomfortable. I know the answer is obvious, but after so many years of you being around, one would think I would have gotten used to you.

You have this dirty habit of just popping up uninvited and surprising me. 

Actually, you know, even when you do come announced, I’m still seething at the things that happen just because you fancy it.

Just when I’m getting used any particular thing, you just go right ahead and switch on another channel, change the situation, make me deal with something else. What is your problem exactly?

It could be that I am a control freak. It could be also, that YOU are a control freak :P

I know. I know. You’re trying to constantly put me ‘out of my comfort zone’ and make me ‘learn new things’. But the thing is- I’m happy with my comfort zone. I don’t need to learn new things unless I need them for more new things (that of course, you have thrown my way).

And when I do need new things, I’ll phone you. Thanks much.

Try to imagine what it would be like if the roles were reversed- how would you feel if I gave you a whole bunch of changes —get your boss to change your job role and get your girlfriend to break up with you? Just like that. Just wanted to see if this new show I’ve put together is more entertaining. Tee hee hee.

Not all that appealing huh?

I like you sometimes, but most times, you're just an unhappy, jobless sod that wants entertainment.

Ok, that’s all I wanted to say. NOT waiting to hear from you.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fighting the Fat

I wasn’t a fat kid. Growing up, like most normal adolescents, I had my share of puppy fat, but that did its one year round and before I even noticed it, it dissolved and gave way to a slim body. I never had any reason to be slim--I never played a sport in my life and the gym was an alien concept. But slim I was, and boy, how I took it for granted.

I would eat whenever I wanted to and whatever I wanted to—as long as my budget-constrainted college-student wallet would allow it. I had many a boy’s eyes following me in my time and I would fit into any piece of clothing I liked. Even an XS sometimes.
And then I moved to the Biryani City. And the fat just crept up on me- I was totally unaware.

For the first few weeks, when I came back to visit my hometown, this is the first thing I’d hear from my friends and family: ‘Oh we’ve missed you.’

In the months that followed (and to date), the first thing that came out of their mouths was: ‘Oh My. What Happened To Youuuuuuu?’ As if I had met with a horrible accident and the skin on my face was half peeled off.  And they had the expression to match. Either that, or they’d just shake their head with pity and make cluck cluck sounds and tell me, ‘Oh, that’s just too bad.’ As if I had contracted a life threatening disease that had no cure.

And I’d wonder what was wrong with these people. Haven’t you heard of saying HELLO by way of a greeting?

You see, all of that first year, I truly did not see my gaining weight as significant. I didn’t think the weight itself was significant.

That was before my jeans started slipping down my fat indulged hips and before I made the kind acquaintance of the unkind weighing scale.

By this time my panicky mother wanted to send me to a physician to get my thyroid levels examined. I obliged. Only to be officially told by the doctor that my thyroid was perfectly fine. ‘You’re just obese,’ he said. Looking at my alarmed expression, he immediately tried to explain that he had said ‘obese’ as a medical term for anyone even slightly over the prescribed weight limit.

It didn’t matter, the damage was done. My heart sank through all that fat right into my stomach.

OBESE. Right. Since normal society hardly accepts ‘obese’ people, was there a Fatties Club I could join and eat myself to my death?

As life would have it, I did not give up. My roommate (she had a similar case of the ‘Fatsies’) and I decided to get on the Fight the Fat program.

We started with an aerobics class that came as a benefit for working for the company we were at. We got through the first day with much huffing and puffing, but the worst of it came 12 hours later. Our thighs, arms, tummy….everything HURT. We were in agonizing pain. That was the day we realized that not only were we fat, but we were also disgustingly unfit.

Again, I wondered how the hell this had happened. I was the girl that would go on a 20 km trek without skipping a heartbeat and now I couldn’t make it through a one hour aerobics class?

Anyway, this motivated us to keep going to the aerobics class and never miss a day. For allll of two weeks. Then, we got lazy.

‘These auto fellow just won’t go there’

‘It’s sooo exhausting to go after a whole day of work’

‘The class is too far.’

And so another few months went by before we had to buy a pair of bigger sized clothes. Fatter, but smarter now, we decided to seriously consider a kickboxing class. Excitedly, we paid an exorbitant fee for three months and went for less than one.

Then came the yoga class. That lasted an enthusiastic three weeks.

Then came the office gym. This poor one didn’t last even a fortnight.

Finally, we decided to go on this ‘fabbbbbulous diet’ that a friend had gone on and lost ‘5kgs in one week, can you imagine!’ Ooooo, nothing like a shortcut!

The great GM diet: 7 days long. 5kgs lighter.

Day one, two and three were STRICTLY veggies, fruits and clear soup. We promptly went to the market on the Sunday before the week of the diet and bought out the market. 2kgs of everything- beans, mushrooms, carrots…  what have you. We borrowed a hugggge vessel from a friend and spent an hour making the broth. And it was delicious.

For one day.

Day two, Tuesday, it tasted, um... not-so nice. Day three, Wednesday, we wanted to drown ourselves in the soup- it was disgusting.

Day Four was the worst though- No veggies, no fruits, no soup. ONLY bananas and MILK.

Would you believe we made it through that one? Kind of.

The truth is, to our credit, we made it through till 7pm. Then with a unanimous vote, we made a beeline to the nearest café and ate a big fat chocolate cake.

Just when we thought we had to give up on ever getting thin, we met this incredible lady who taught aerobics for some people at work. Our eyes sparkled and we instantly knew that she was The One. We made several pacts and kept at it. For FIVE whole months. A record was set.

And you wouldn’t believe it, but we started losing some. For the first time in years, people would look and say, ‘Hey, you’ve lost weight’.

Sadly, before any real, lasting progress was made, I had to move back to my hometown, where all efforts immediately ceased. My exercise buddy and I were separated, and with that my exercise, my motivation and me were separated.

We’re still individually at it today. Despite our crazy work schedules, we try. My now ex-roommate has joined another aerobics class (she had to move out of that city and start over too) and I have started a 3-5 km run in the mornings.

We’re not regular, and we sure as hell aren’t skinny. But one thing is clear, no matter what it takes, we aren’t going to give up Fighthing the Fat anytime soon.