Chasing my dreams!
“You may say… Am a dreamer! But I’m not the only one!” This John Lennon song “imagine” is what I remember every time I think of my dreams. It’s so true that each one of us would want to be something at some point of time in our lives. We all have our own goals and aspirations… we always want to be where nobody has ever been before!
We have our own world of fantasy where we try and live that person whom we want to be… At least that’s what I do! I imagine myself being there… I guess it’s a lot of fun! And it’s free!
Imagination! This magical English word is a world in itself… It’s where anything and everything is just a cakewalk… It’s a world wherein I am the boss! And nobody else can fool around… it’s a world where I can loot a shop, rip my boss apart, flaunt expensive cars, have a new girl, give a hard slap to my enemy, and get away as its all legal and ethical! How I wish it was all feasible!
That’s when I wake up! And the stark reality stares at me, it reminds me that it was all too good to be true and this is where I really belong. It hits me every time, with the very same intensity, and I take my time to come to terms with it. Every time it makes me wonder…
It’s a disappointment that there is such a huge disconnect between those two worlds. I have no clue how to bridge the gap. I don know if at all it’s possible. To be honest I really don’t care! All I can do is to keep running behind it!
For instance, I picked up guitar in my engineering! And I dream to perform on stage… Well, looking at the level I am currently in, it might look like am being over ambitious! But it doesn’t matter! The joy of imagining myself on stage, performing to a packed house always gives me Goosebumps! And it always makes me practice more so that I can do it someday!
Every time I set out with my friends on a trek, I dream of heading to Himalayas. That’s something which needs loads n loads of preparation. These treks make me believe that someday, I should do Himalayas! And that’s one thing, probably one of the very few things, which are materializing from my dream world as I am headed to Himalayas pretty soon! And it goes without saying, I am elated! It feels so good when you work hard for a long time, setting your sight on something, and you know it’s about to happen!
Well, if you are wondering what I am trying to convey by writing all this, even I don’t know! I am being completely honest! It was something that was going through my mind for a while now, and that’s about it. All I can say is that I can’t stop dreaming! No matter how stupid those dreams are… I just let it be. Cos at some farthest corner of my mind, I still believe that it might come true someday! I just can’t stop running behind it neither can you!
About the author: Dreams chased by Sharath Subrahmanya from Bangalore. He is an engineering graduate from NIE and currently working with a MNC alongside chasing his numerous dreams.
Why Complicate life? When you can KISS
The voice that emanated from the being in white (or was it just bright light) was neither friendly nor hostile. It seemed neutral as it spoke out.
“Ah! Sorry for the slight inconvenience of the process called “death” but I hope the journey up till now wasn’t that bad?
The souls alive and alight waited for his next words.
” Well from here you have to enter the portal to the next void- the ultimate destination. But before that I have to ensure that you are free from the worries and attachment of the life that you have left behind… So come forward and speak up. If it can be dealt here, then you will be let through, if not then you will have to wait until you are ready for it. ”
One spoke from amongst the crowd. It was a mother.
“I…I am worried about my children. I can’t seem to forget them”
The voice sighed.”That is sad. With such a huge worry on yourself, you will never be able to enter the portal. I am afraid you have to wait”
A second soul came forward.
“I have no such issues my Lord.”It was a holy soul.
“But you do have a question, don’t you?”The LORD countered.
“Oh my Lord! My quest has always been about you, of seeking you, seeking knowledge- the divine truth, the secret of the universe.”
“Ah my friend. I am flattered that you seek me, that you seek knowledge, but that is a big quest to let go easily. Unfortunately, you have to wait for some more time for your quest to be fulfilled and the truth to dawn upon you”
And so it happened that the LORD patiently heard them all.
There was this avenging wife who in a fit of jealousy had ended her life after coming to know of his many affairs.
The lover who had sworn eternal love and one who would rather wait for his love than pass through.
The murder victim who wanted justice.
The self righteous assassinated political leader whose ego followed him to the doors of heaven
-All of them with ‘baggage’ of their previous life which prevented them from passing through.
And then the LORD saw the little one.
“Ah very sad! “He said.”Not a day older than six ”
“Yes my lad! Come forward. Do you also wish to ask me …something?”The LORD hesitated for the first time.
“Yes!” the boy whispered “Can I meet Tuffy my dog? He died last year”
The LORD smiled and relieved, he exclaimed.
“Of course my dear! …Let the boy through” he boomed at the portal.
Moral of the story- KISS- keep it simple and sweet. (IT being referred to life)
Ostrich in the Zoo
What about it? You ask. Well, ask my four years old who spoke of it.
The new uniform I got recently was one of the latest corporate Do-It-Or-Else policy for safe guarding their image. Apparently, they were not happy with the non uniformed attire that the staff wore and decided to change the uniform as a whole, for all concern units, at one go. The women on the administration side got to wear lovely grey pants with a matching striped shirt and a high waist short vest coat. The uniform was as cute as a button. It safe guarded the company’s front line image but not our back end image. I am sure you are getting the drift. I felt like a waiter at the Hilton. All that was missing was a tray and a cap!
Later on during the day, I sat with my gloomy face wondering how to avoid the costume. It made me feel like the waiter (sans the tray) and a club dancer (sans the music); at the same instant. Being blessed with a figure that has no rival, it was my destiny to be eternally frustrated at getting the things that I liked to fit me. My daughter and I were constantly fighting over what was proper to wear and the CORPORATE uniform was not helping. I had insisted on no short shirts or skirts; only to find to my dismay that my uniform was short of cloth by my standard and hers!
To dispel my gloom, I sat with her to watch animal planet. The documentary was on ostriches. It was truly engaging to watch with the ostrich sticking its head in the hole and the footage on a man being chased for getting close to an ostrich egg. We laughed all through. During the evening, I decided to try the outfit again to get used to wearing it to the office. I complained loudly on how the office has turned out to be a zoo full of animals with the new uniform. My daughter came in and listened to the conversation, while dangling her legs carelessly. Her father was keeping his silence at my appearance. He was well known for his tactless comments as I was for my temper. By mutual consent, neither of us asked an opinion nor offered one.
“Mummy, what is this new thing that you are wearing?’ she asked, skipping on the bed.
“A uniform. Do you like it?” I asked as I twirled around.
She looked up and she looked down. “I can see your bum. How come you get to wear a short shirt and I am told to change? This is not fair, Mummy. You should try wearing my clothes!” she huffed.
“Honey, this is my uniform. I can’t change it”
“Why not? Does your boss like to see your bum?” she asked in surprise.
Good question. Children say the weirdest of things!! I looked at my husband for help. He smirked. He had tried for the last hour to remain with a dead pan expression. He was clearly not succeeding.
“Do I look smart?” I asked with a sinking heart.
She thought for a while. One could see the tiny wheels turn around in her head while her legs returned to dangled in precision to reach a decision.
“Remember the ostrich, mummy?” she asked. I nodded hesitantly.
“You look just like it. All you need is feathers to make you beautiful. ”
And with this statement she disappeared into the kitchen and brought me a duster which was promptly tucked into the belt loop to resemble a feather tail.
My husband lost the battle to humour. He roared in laughter while I stood baffled trying to decide whether to feel insulted or humoured. I decided to get a blazer to cover the rear that needed the wonderful duster/ feathers. The next day at work, I was waiting for the comment I dreaded hearing so much… “A cup of coffee, pls…”
I kept muttering under my breath. The bosses looked all dandy and we subordinates looked like the waiters.
“Don’t you look cute like a button…” cooed one of my female bosses.
“Cute, my Ass...” oops, that was what started this at the first place…my a**.
“You look so dignified, like …like….” she groped the air for words.
“A waiter?!” I offered helpfully.
“That too…but the word I was looking for was…like a beautiful bird!”
“I bet the ostrich was beautiful to the ….” I thought a bit Who thought the ostrich was beautiful? Not me in a million years!!! I guess I was truly in despair. I hated my uniform. If only I were 4 yrs old…I could howl!!
I came home dejected. The first person I saw was my first born with a picture of a bird that resembled an ostrich. Cotton ball feathers were stuck all over it and she gave it to me with a big smile saying… “I think the ostrich is a nice bird mummy. It is big and fights with anyone who takes its baby away. You are just like the ostrich in the zoo… it is so big and beautiful.”
There was a loud snort and wail that resembled a laughter being controlled unsuccessfully, but that didn’t bother me. After all, my daughter thought the ostrich was great…sans the cotton balls…and the tall neck….maybe the big fluff rear….or the….. huge eyes.
Oh! Never mind….Ostrich in the zoo….
Fantastic Four and the Health Management Programme!
The four of us were always up to no good despite our differences. We were two girls and two boys with 10 years difference from the first to the last. Nothing alike in appearance and this in itself was the factor that enthralled everyone about us. Of all the things that we grew together with, this experience still has us cracking up.
At the age of six, my younger brother could cook a breakfast of eggs and toast for 6 people. Three eggs for him and one for each of us. If asked, “How come you got 3?!” his quick reply was “The cook needs to eat more!! Don’t touch my eggs!!”
As a food lover, he was always chomping on something or the other. He was heavy built and would not move his rear for anything other than eating and sleeping. My father was at his wit’s end on how to motivate him to exercise his body more than his mouth. The first brother on the other hand was no where close to what the younger brother was. He was tall ( 6 feet) , lean and always up to no good. One would always catching him teasing us girls or simply irritating the younger brother to tears. My sister was of an athletic build and I was plump.
My father was always experimenting on how to reduce one brother’s weight and to increase the other’s. He was health conscious and so he tried the food routine by giving my brothers the vegetable called Vallarika (white cucumber like thing) for breakfast. The vegetable was supposed to make the fat brother thin and the thin one fat. We, the sisters, sat wondering how the vegetable could decide on who is thin and who is fat! Every morning, my father would religiously cut it and present it like it was a watermelon to the boys. The boys would spend an hour trying to chew the veggie down while eyeing the tasty breakfast mum cooked for the rest of us. It added to our amusement and was always the reason for a fight.
After two days of trying the breakfast of just the veggie, my father decided that we were all to go through a round of Waterbury’s Compound (a tonic that claimed to increase the haemoglobin level and tasted like washing liquid or in chemical terms phenol!). Despite our loud protests, we girls were included in this round. The boys were happy. They now had something to tease us with. The compound was supposed to make us active. Apparently, holidays were not meant to sleep late and eat whatever while being lazy. By the end of the first week, we were united in our response to this health fad. Breakfast was a sorrow and gagging after this traumatic breakfast every morning was accepted as a norm. Nothing could be worse.
A week later while we were still reeling from the after effects of the healthy eating & tonic routine, Dad found a bottle of Dabur Chamanprash paste and decided to add it to the menu. The expressions on our faces were priceless. We looked utterly defeated and decided to sabotage this health routine “ All for One” we cried as the lean brother decided enough is enough. Off when the Waterbury tonic, down the drain, one evening and in its place a bottle of Thumbs Up stood firm. The next morning, my mother had pity of the boys and served them a good breakfast. With a stomach full of breakfast, my brothers were ready for the Thumbs Up… only to find that Dad broke the old Bottle by mistake and brought a brand new one just for three weeks! Yuckieeeeeeeeeee!!!
Not ready to give up, we dumped the content for the second time and this time kept challenging Dad to taste it for himself before forcing it on us. As the protests grew louder and the refusal to eat stronger, my Dad decided to set an example and one evening showed us how tasty the Waterbury compound was by drinking two spoons full of the liquid and downing a huge piece of the Vallarika. The Thumbs-Up inside was two weeks old and tasted weird at this point. After consumption, the expression of Dad’s face kept changing like a book of colours. It looked red first and then a bit yellow and finally green. In a few seconds, he rushed to the bathroom and a loud retching was heard.
We had succeeded in eliminating the drinking and the eating! HOME RUNNN!! We rejoiced for a few days at our brilliance… until Dad came back on the third day with a bottle of Cod Liver Oil and a spoon!!!
All we could say was YUCK! YUCK! YUCK! Time for a new plan….
Just an observation
So there I was, a mother of two; who could not remember the last time she had a quiet house and sitting beside me were a group of four young adults (they insist on being called that at 19!) complaining of the boring days they had, during their two month vacation. The bus stop is always a great place to meet people and I strongly believe that conversation helps to build perceptions. Their outlook on the ordinary things in life looked so interesting that I couldn’t help the comparison that sprung to my mind. After half an hour of chatting, here are my observations.
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Am sure the readers have observations that are more quirky than the ones I have not penned down. Do share them with me… I got a bus to catch!
(Yes, you read right!)
One of my all time favourite movies will be Three idiots, reason: the adventures of college life that Raju Hirani portrayed bring back a lot of college memories. I have been blessed with friends of all kinds. Friends who warmed those ass shaped seats in my mind, on many occasions in life, especially in the college days.
College… I can never remember college without the memory of our notorious warden, Ms Mary (the Dragon). It was believed that she breathed fire due to an alleged love failure. The fire in her burned the hostellers for years, before and after my stint with the college hostel. She had a nasty temper and was the terror of the college. The college principal trembled when he saw her at a distance.
Among the inmates of our hostel was Manju a lovable chatter bug. She would bring me gossips from all over college. I remember one evening, the eve of one of my second year exam; we spent the whole evening imagining our visit to Switzerland with the most gorgeous boys from college. We went skiing, snow fighting, visited the lovely churches to enjoy the Christmas carols, had a handsome guide to flirt with….all of it was fun in our minds, until I slipped from the metal chair I was balancing and woke up the Dragon. It was midnight and not a soul in sight. Our rooms were in two different directions. It was really hard to hide when the Dragon had a faithful sidekick- a black Dachshund called Blackie (how typical!) searching with her. The dog was known for being ferocious. If we tried to run for our rooms, one of us would get caught. Not a lovely prospect. If we ran to the same room, she was sure to find one room unbolted…we were screwed! Never the less, I dived into Manju’s bed and covered myself from head to toe while she crawled under the bed and held her breath. We would take our chances. Surely enough, the Dragon switched on the lights and Lo! Behold! Everyone was asleep. Blackie tried to crawl under the bed. He pulled at her shirt sleeve to attract attention. Manju resisted by giving the dog a punch on the nose and a good shove. Off went Blackie, whimpering, as the lights went off. “Shh!! Blackie” The Dragon barked at she dragged the dog out. No further searches were conducted. Our necks were safe for the night. It was a close call. We specialised in close calls for three years successfully. Blackie religiously avoided running close to Manju and barked whenever his mistress was near. So much for being ferocious!
Another of my precious friends from the same hostel was Siny was known for her explosive laugh. It was potent enough to blast anyone in her close proximity (approx 200 m radiuses) to deafness.
I remember once, in the middle of the night someone came to my window sill and knocked. My room mate and I were busy exchanging ghost tales that night and as soon as she mentioned of a certain house being haunted with faces by the window, we heard the knock. We sat shocked for a split second and decided to open the window together. A grotesque face glared at us over a torch light.We stepped back with a start. Seeing our shock, it then erupted to laughter. It was loud and eerie.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh” we screamed in fright before a hand caught my mouth and hissed “Shhhhhhhh…. It’s me, Siny, you dope….open up!”
I must warn you a midnight visit like that is hazardous to one’s health. I had bear with a few of those from Siny before I was eternally cured of opening knocking windows.
“Let’s go down and knock off some mangoes!” She said as she pulled me out of bed.
Manju was standing in the courtyard with a few of my batch mates aiming at the mangroves that the Dragon had lovingly planted. We were not allowed to take the mangoes unless they had fallen to the ground.
“No way! Dragon is going to have me as a snack if she sees it.” I whispered as I walked out to see Siny joining a band of mango thieves.
“Don’t be a chicken! Come onnnn” she said as she pulled.
Apparently, we were not the only bright ones. The junior batches on the first floor next to me were aiming from the balcony like snipers. There were runners from each batch waiting patiently to catch a fallen mango. This was much more serious than I thought of. Manju took a few aims and down came two mangoes. Siny and I rushed to fetch it. The juicy mangoes were quickly consumed before the balcony snipers hit gold. In came the runners, as quick as mice, to fetch the bunch of fallen mangoes. Manju ran with Siny and nabbed four before another crack was heard. A few minutes later, everyone had eaten a couple of mangoes and looked full. I ventured to get the last mango only to slip on a wet step and go skidding into a hedge in front on the mango tree. A huge pot at the side of the hedge fell on impact, covering Blackie’s leash. The scared dog ran to the nearest corner for cover. The whole thing looked so funny that Siny let out one of her explosive laughs. It was too late to stop. The Dragon’s door burst open. Everyone ran for cover. Not a soul in sight when she flashed her torch. All she saw was a broken pot, scared Blackie and mango skins. There was hell to pay the next day. The whole hostel had an hour of the Dragon lecturing on the sins of stealing. Manju, Siny and I along with the rest of the mango thieves pretended to be innocent all through. That’s what friends are for….stealing mangoes, getting into trouble and scaring the daylights out of one another!
Come PG. I met Bindhu when I enrolled for Masters. She was a dependable person who loved her friends wholeheartedly. I remember an incident where her good heart saved a friend from himself and left the both of us cracking to peals of laughter, even today. An instant dance contest was being conducted and our good friend X put down his name for it.
The music began to play the first tract and he began dancing. He was a well know western dancer and we were eager to see him in action. The moment he began, we looked at each other in surprise. What we witness was one of the finest of his moves and a style with no equal. His hip began to rotate and so did the rest of him. We were not sure if we were watching the salsa that he often described, an A rated movie or a washing machine. We looked around trying to control our mirth and saw the juniors who were watching open mouthed. A wolf whistle was heard from the audience.
As soon as X saw us in front, the track changed and his style of dancing became the classical bharatanatyam. Bindhu looked at me with a question on her face. I chuckled. My cheeks hurt from trying to keep a straight face. She mouthed a question” WHAT IS HE DOING?”…it was lost in the din. We looked at him like he had lost his mind. The steps were great but imagine a 100 kg guy wearing cargos, dance like a girl in the dance get up!!! Yikes!
Instead of being deterred, he then went on to ballroom dancing or was it Mexican style dancing with the feet tapping and swirls for the third track. “Oh boy” I thought as Bindhu tried not to look flabbergasted. He covered the stage with the invisible partner and winked at me. I was biting my cheeks inside my mouth. The audience erupted with claps!!! It was embarrassing and funny at the same time. He looked like he has lost a couple of screws.
The music changed once again and he began the snake dance. Bindhu and I looked around for the chap who helps with the time. We were laughing and looking worried at the same time. As soon as she located him, she hissed “Press the buzzer…now!!…I don’t care… next contestant!”
Alas! The final track was a salsa and X was gyrating his hips repeatedly when the poor chap who was intimidated by Bindhu pressed the buzzer. We laughed until our face was blue and then some more. Only she could have stopped a friend who needed saving from themselves. She was someone who would come in on the rainiest of days to sit with me without a word.
There are many more in the list of my unique friends (Jubi the joker, Mary my little lamb, Shailesh the listener, etc) but this space is not enough to thank them.
So as I said, even though I don’t have three ass shaped seats to take pictures on… My unique friends still brighten up my day…Enough for me to scream All izz welll !!!!
Golden Rules of Marriage
Everyone must know certain rules to keep one’s sanity from running away. Here are a few rules I learned along with my husband.
Rule 1: Avoid getting married in the first place. Divorce is an expensive affair. There are other ways to test endurance! Try Survivor!!!
Rule 2: Accept it….you are in for good! (You broke rule #1 didn’t you. Well these are just for people like you.)
Rule 3: Men- Don’t ask your wife to cut down her weight and volunteer to get her into a weight loss programme. Those who broke this rule are still paying for the gems, the gym, the dieting programs and workout outfits that will never be used in this lifetime.
Rule 4: Women – Unless you want your husband to get you the lawn mower for your birthday, please specify the gift that you will accept and the price tag that is approved by you.
Rule 5: Men – Always jot down her birthday, your wedding day, your first kiss and the fateful day that you met your “Other Half”. These will be useful to pass the pop quiz that you will have to take on any given day. Pass mark-’Aww so sweet!’ Fail –‘You don’t love me anymore…. (Accompanied by tears and more expensive jewelry)’
Rule 6: Women – Always jot down the numbers to the takeaways within two kilometer radius along with your mother-in-laws recipes. They will be handy when you want to hear “Just like Mummy’s cooking!” “Tastes like home!”
Rule 7: Men – when the wife says shopping, she does mean minimum two hours! It isn’t an easy affair either on your wallet or on your simple mind. Disappear if you don’t want to wait on her hand and foot, with statements like’ Call me when you are done/ Got some work to do/ Car needs servicing’
Rule 8: Women – Time and money are never calculated on the same terms. Time is minutes for men and hours for women; Money is less when they spend it and more when you do.
Rule 9: There is no such thing as a joint decision. One argues and the other dictates.
Rule 10: Messy days are over, get a maid if you want your sanity to be maintained.
Rule 11: Men – Do not criticize your wife on the household chore left undone. It is best to keep that opinion to yourself. Those who have violated this rule have found themselves stuck for life without parole, with all types of chores!
Rule 12: Women – Never ask a man to save you when the house is on fire and sports / global news repeat is on TV. The chances are you will burn to steak and he will come around ad time to see if the popcorn is done. It’s every woman to her-self. Violation of this rule has known to cause baldness in women. Most women were found pulling their hair out.
Rule 13: Children are for people who can take care of pets and don’t mind 4 am feeding time. For others, there are easy activities – bonsai, Farmville and Twitter. Caution: People who ignored the warning in this rule are often seen at a playground with defeated expressions on their faces and patiently watching the little tyke go through Jungle Bungle for the umpteenth time saying ’ Mommy, Mommy, Look at me, ….See me climb, Daddy’.
Rule 14: Men – Children, freedom and order don’t go together. Period.
Rule 15: The next door neighbour has everything that is perfect, no matter which corner of the earth you live in. Deal with it!
Rule 16: All arguments must be settled by Dawn next day. Men – Admit it, you can’t take care of the kids single handed while cooking, cleaning and working. Women – Enjoy the chaos with a cup of tea. Do the disappearing act if the apology is not in on time. Deadline is important.
Rule 17: Men – Nothing gets you more work than looking comfortable on a couch.
Rule 18: Women- It’s true; the way to a Man’s heart is through his stomach. It is a well kept public secret. There is no point fighting it. Check Rule #6 for more tips.
Rule 19: If you can’t convince them on the goodness of your diabolical plan….confuse them and then scare them. For best results, try this rule on the kids. It works wonders on confusing the Know-It-All and scaring the Dare Devil. There is nothing like a little confusion and fear to lick them to shape.
Rule 20: Do sit down for a cup of coffee everyday and say I love you to each other. It is a must since you broke Rule
# 1. Just kidding! It is a must since love really does make life worth living.
Marriages are Made in Heaven – Part 2
In case you missed reading the first part ? Read here
Marriages… Are they made in heaven?
So, there I was waiting to be auctioned off. I was ‘the price commodity on the display shelf’, ‘the gem that every house was looking for’ and the ‘worry of every parent with a daughter’. There was an excitement in the air whenever a new proposal came home.
Dad had ventured to casually inform me of a family that he met. He was impressed by them and wanted me to meet them. I was in a rebellion mode. This was the last guy I was meeting before I took off for UAE, for some blissful time with a cup of tea, sunset and a lovely book. It was useless to talk me out of it. My folks gave up. When I mentioned that my dream Guy must be mature, sensible and well educated, in came Shaktiman (engineer interested in animation), Doctor ABCD (credentials were nice but the guy was a total loony!), Gold medalist (I don’t even want to go there…), Cute Doctor (witch of a mother), Handsome architect ( huge ego, zero maturity)…and the list goes on. It was hopeless, so I cleaned the house everyday to keep my frustration at bay.
We heard a car outside. Everyone was busy. I ran to the window and tweaked the curtain. My cousin’s brand new silver Santro was parked at the driveway. Cool car, I though as I smiled through the window and opened the door. The first thing I noticed was the wine red shirt and golden belt buckle before I got pulled in. “It’s the boy!” my aunt hissed, as she tried to control her panic.
Darn! Now, the boy’s side was going to think my house consisted of a bunch of ill mannered folks who had no regard for culture, tradition and propriety. I ran to my room all hot and dusty while my grandmother began to scold me for stepping out to meet them. I was close to tears and cross. Here I was, trying to be accommodating; cleaning the house, setting the dishes and checking the kitchen while ensuring that the guests has a good view of everything being in place and how do I get thanked… a good dressing down. I had worked two hours straight to ensure that the floor smelt of pine and the house of lavender.
A hot tear rolled off my cheeks. I hated it. I wanted to leave. I was kept under house arrest and could not visit any of my friends because of this shindig. I had been coerced into coming home after two long years to take part in a ceremony that I had no faith in. I wanted a love marriage and this was no where close. Grandma hugged me. “Sorry, darling. Go freshen up. We don’t want anyone to think less of you. You are special and we want everyone to see how much.” I nodded and decided to be nice to the folks who came to see me. It was not their fault that I was not interested. I owed them dignity.
Delicious smells wafted from the kitchen as my aunts set the table for the guests. Changing into my favourite red churidar, after freshening up, brightened my mood. Smooth conversation and laughter flowed outside and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a bunch of young people. The Suitor had come in with his sister and family and they were lovely people. Since, I was least interested in getting married; I barely glanced at the boy. I did notice that he looked sharp and had a smooth dressing sense. I had a great time talking to his folks. They enjoyed the homely atmosphere.
It was then time for us to talk. I asked him the trick question in the first go. They would always trip on this one. He would be out through the door in 15 seconds flat.
“What do you think of life?”
He was sure to go on about nothing and I could say ‘Oh, he is so boring! No way!’ and get away with it. It was a fool proof plan until he surprised me with his answer.
“Life is a book full of chapters. I think we should make each chapter memorable than the last one. One must enjoy life in its practicality. Don’t you think so?”
Wow! Curve ball headed my way….gulp, what do I say? I wasn’t expecting him to give me a sensible answer. Ok, two can play this game. “True, but I enjoy life in being free to decide and not being pressurized to make my choices” Let’s see how he responds to that.
“I agree, we make our choices and as a family share our decision. It is really silly to have people dictate. Freedom is a matter of choice. Don’t you agree? …. Do you work?”
Whoa! A guy with an attitude! He was so unlike the boring chaps I met before. I liked the smile that played on his face. So sincere. He seemed so sure of himself and didn’t have the typical Mallu guy attitude. Most Keralite guys enjoyed having their wives cater to their every whim. Cooking, cleaning, kids – your cup of tea. Eating, night out with friends and being called the bread earned – theirs. They preferred their wives to neither socialize nor be a decision maker.
“Yes, I enjoy having a career. I love to be successful at what I do.”
I was sure he would run for Mummy by now. I was interested in figuring him out by the end of our conversation. The career attitude meant stubborn person in town! Run! Run!
“Ah! A girl with a mind of her own” He smiled.
“One must be involved whether they are at home or at work. Balance is the name of the game. I personally like a girl with an ambition for her career. Attitude is good. ” He was not running?!
“You will live to regret those words if you stick by me. I know of a Dragon at CMS who did.” I smirked.
Dragon was the notorious Matron who evoked nightmares in the inmate of the college hostel, where I served as a head girl for 3 long years. I had a strong repute for not backing off.
He laughed. His voice rang out in my room.
“Please tell me you didn’t study at the CMS College by staying at their hostel!”
I nodded to his amusement.
“How did you survive?”
“Thick skin and lots of patience. I must warn you, I can go deaf at times too!” I smiled.
Another roar of laughter followed. He was not intimidated! Strange! The others ran.
“Do you know me by any chance?” he asked with twinkling eyes.
I shook my head.
“Then, I am safe. My reputation has not reached here.”
In a minute the both of us were laughing, it was so absurd. We shared war stories from college. It was ironical that both of us had studied in the same college, roamed with the same circle of friends and not met even once during this time. He was the outgoing senior who knew all my friends and I was the quite prefect who survived the Dragon in one piece.
The supposed disaster turned out to be a comedy.
“I like your sense of humour; I have always wanted a life partner who saw life with fun and practicality. Do you think we would match?”
There was only one way to solve this. I prayed, ‘Give me a sign that marriages can be made in Heaven or that my cup of tea is within my reach’
‘Ringggggggggggggg’ our mobiles rang loudly at the same instant. We jumped to switch it off immediately and apologized at forgetting to turn the darn thing off. Both of us held an identical set of Samsung with the same colour and model. Oh, Lord…there was no way out! Goodbye, my sweet cup of tea and good bye sunset.
Everyone loved him and his family. There was no chance of me saying “No” …they heard us laugh for almost an hour! No excuse would hold weight after that! The funny moment came after he left. All I could remember of him was the red shirt and the tasteful golden buckle. I sat up all night wondering why I could not remember his face. It was so silly. As my memory was so legendary, I got teased mercilessly. ‘Where were you looking?’ they asked as everyone laughed. All I had in memory was great time. As our wedding approached, everyone was talking about him. “He is a good looking boy”, “Where did you hear of this proposal?”, “How did you get her to agree?”, “Oh, so sad that none of us have a picture of him”, “Well he has a brother of his age”, “No, you can see the boy at the engagement”…and so on.
On the day on my engagement, I was in total panic. I couldn’t remember my to-be-fiancé or his face. What if I stood next to the wrong guy? The golden buckle was not going to be of any help! Did he look ordinary? Everyone said he was good looking and no one could explain. I was so pissed with myself. I was now agreeing to marry some good looking guy who was notorious at our college and had a great sense of humour. I had no clue as to what I was going into. I blamed God and the buckle for this lapse in memory.
“Mummy,” I hissed, looking for help.
“Please show me the guy with whom I am supposed to exchange rings with or else I may end up being engaged to the stage boy!!!”
I had clearly lost my marbles. My cousins rallied around me to look out for the boy. “There he is! “They whispered within a few minutes. I stuck my head out in trepidation. I was not going to change my mind. I just wanted to take stock of what I was getting myself into.
In that priceless moment, I was truly awed. Standing by the entrance, was a handsome stranger with a great smile (Can’t imagine how I missed that?). Marriage was everything I did and didn’t dream of. The chores, the burnt food, the laughter, the squabbles, the quiet cup of coffee and a great friend. If it hadn’t been for the sign of matching Samsungs, I would have missed out on having a husband who understood my insane humour, romantic notions and need for being an individual while being a part of a unit called family …
its true, Marriages are made in Heaven! **Conditions apply.
I Miss You
I missed your smile and loving touch. I missed your enthusiasm on seeing me everyday. Whether at work or outside, you made me feel like I was the only one. Yours smiles were so contagious.
I loved to cook your favourite dish and smiled quite often, at the appreciation that lit up on your face when you saw it on the table. I loved the silly chatter you had when I felt tired after a long day. It kept me from feeling tired. I miss you everyday.
I miss you when I wake up in the morning… our time together was so precious to me. That special talk we would have before the hustle bustle took over the day. I never thought I could love anyone, the way I loved you.
A trip to the market reminded me of our outings together. You loved the fruits that were sweet and I loved the vegetables that were healthy. True, our twines may never meet… never the less I tried to convert you into a vegetarian and you tried to covert me into a fruitarian…yes, the struggles were endless.
You hated my working hours and I hated your protests. You wanted my attention 24/7; I was exhausted by your constant demand. You could not understand my passion for my career and I could not do enough to show you my love.
My passion, my love, my desire….died the day I saw your tiny coffin.
I missed your smile and loving touch….
Where are we?
Call me absent minded but, I can’t find my way around no matter how many times I pass through the same way. It has always been that way ever since I could remember. The GPS in my head has some wiring issues. It can’t be programmed to save my life.
Kindergarten: Dad was late for work and 3 year old me, was in no mood to cooperate dressing up for school. After a big round of crying, throwing up of milk and eggs consumed with much distaste and a boxed ear, my father decided to pass the baton (me) to his brother ; the young chap with no hurry to get to work.
Landmarks and direction were given and off went Dad leaving me and my Appapan ( that’s what we call for a brother from Dad’s side) to get to school. Appapan was an amusing person to be with. He loved to regale me, his only niece at that time, with tales of all sorts of animals. He was my favourite person and so there was no problem anticipated in getting me to school.
With a skip at every step, I skipped happily as he walked looking around for the landmarks. Ten minutes into the walk, Appapan knew he was lost. The landmarks were nowhere in sight and everything looked the same. Dad had told him to ask me in case of confusion as we walked to school every day.
“So Anney, which way to the school?’ he asked expectantly.
I screwed up my face and thought a bit… mmmm…Dad had shown me a leaf and a few types of birds every morning to remember my English. I remembered them. They were close to school. With A big smile, I pulled his hand to the leaf I spotted….it was the same one….clever me “Appapaaaaaa…L for Leaf!!!” I said proudly showing him my find. There were at least 10 bougainvilleas in the vicinity with the same leaf on it!!!
Poor Appapan, he tried again….”Remember anything else?”
I looked around and pulled him quickly to the next thing… “Appapa…B for Bird!” I think his mind switched off at this point coz I don’t recollect a reply. The sparrow was a common bird and seen all around the villas near my small school. It was needless to say…we came home after 15 minutes of the hot sun and leaf and birds to a nice cold Pepsi and bunch of stories.
Quite recently, I heard him say that all his life, he had never found anything as hard to locate as the Nursery Anney studied in. No matter how he tried, all I could help him with was the L for Leaf and B for Bird.
High School: I was late for the first time and missed the school bus. Dad being the ever grumbling fellow pointed out for the umpteenth time that punctuality was a habit I had not learnt. Ignoring the dire warnings and verbal admonishing, I kept reading through my History text. The exam was really a bugger to have and I hated History…I could not remember dates or times to save my life let alone pass an exam.
“Which is the way to school?” asked Dad.
I stopped reading and looked surprised… Dad was good at location, why was I being asked the way?!
“The same way as always….Muroor road, Dad ” I replied still looking at my text.
“Give me the exact location” he said as the car stopped at a signal.
I knew where this question was leading. I had no clue as to where I was and if I pointed out on it, he would have my life for being inattentive. I decided to take a vague approach. “Well, go straight and…. then we see the school… to the right. Turn there.”
“You have no idea where we are, do you?” he asked.
There was no escape to a direct question. I shook my head.
He let out an exasperated sigh. “You have studied for 10 years in this school, travelled the same way every morning and not missed a single day at school…and you tell me that you are clueless as to where we ARE?”
“How is that possible?” his temper was rising.
“Well, the bus never made a mistake. It was always on time and on the same route, so I didn’t bother to notice. Besides, that’s what the bus is for. To take me to school and back…why do I have to watch the road? I got tons of things to do…homework, reading for test..(chatting, catching my breath after running to the next stop for the bus, putting my socks on….)..you know…am busy Dad.”
“So, are we close to the school now?” he asked trying to control his irritation.
I looked out and confidently replied ” Nope!…we have to go straight and then turn right.”
“Turn and look to your right….I believe that is the school you studied in since grade 1” he said drily.
Surely enough, there it was standing proudly to my right as always….what can I say….except “ Dad, you know I am handicapped location wise...” with those wise words I parted leaving my Dad to wonder what he had done wrong.
Last week: Our car broke down on the Dubai –Abu Dhabi road. We were stranded. I had to hitch hike a ride to reach Abu Dhabi which was just half hour away. Being born and brought up there, I knew where home was. There was no need for my husband to be so patronizing. Packing the kids into a good Samaritan’s car we drive off to Abu Dhabi. He was also new to the city and needed directions to reach the final destination. I was confident on the roads and told him that I was an expat local (Expat born in the UAE).So we drive and I begin to direct him
“Take a left and to our left we will see a fountain in the shape of a cannon and another one in the shape of a coffee pot. That’s how we know we are on the right path.”
He nods happily. As he drives he asks “Which left should I take?”
Good question….there were left turn all the way until the road disappeared. Darn! The car was still moving. We passed 3 left turns before i said “HERE” . The driver barely had time to put a signal and take the lane for the left. We hear honks and saw headlights being flashed in protest to the imprudent driving. The driver sighed “Well, at least we got the turn...” or so he thought.
To our left, the much expected fountain, cannon and coffee pot was missing. There was an alarm going off in my head.
“Are we in the right area? ” he asked.
Darn it! I think we are lost. I blink and smile… “A little further, we will see the fountain”…..15 mins later….no fountain. “Well, lets take a right turn…I can see Emirates Palace there. We can take directions from there…..”
Emirates Palace was at the other end of Abu Dhabi and 15 minutes later “ Are you sure that you know this road” he asked. I smiled.
The alarm in my head would not stop…I was hopelessly lost. I never knew that there were so many buildings in Abu Dhabi. So I make small talk…. “Is this you first time…have you been here before?” The guy slowed down his car.
“ Only once….but am not sure on the road, I thought you said you were born and brought up here…..”
“ Yeah…take a left here…Abu Dhabi has lots of short cuts” I prayed that this one took me to the familiar road home….but no luck.
Needless to say, after 20 minutes of sightseeing, my dad calls up. I heavy a sigh of relief and tell my tired Samaritan the correct direction to my house. This time the fountains were visible and I reached home safely in 10 minutes.
“So you are born and brought up here, huh?”.
I blushed when I replied “Actually, I am locationally challenged ”
Need I say more….?