Monthly Archives: April 2010

Everyone’s asleep!

The house is quiet. The moon is out humming a song, while the stars form the chorus line to the gentle lullaby. I have rediscovered the warmth and comforts of having a night life. There are so many things running in my head. Sometimes the thoughts that I push away during the day time come back without much resistance. It feels like they are tumbling out of some closet in my head. Sometimes it is a relief to have some place to put it all out, atleast with the knowledge that there might be someone out there who may share my view on.

I have a cousin who has found his voice and is strongly against female infanticide and foeticide. It is a noble cause. The reason he has suddenly found his mission in life though, is because of not being able to find a girl in these past 2 – 3 years. He does have a point. I mean when the ratio is so skewed that men from Haryana have to import brides, one for 2 or 3 brothers all the way from Kerala, Tamilnadu, it means that there is a serious problem in the country. That will be another post though. One of his problems is the dreaded horoscope match and absolute lack of reality from both sides. I keep telling him the era of Rambha and Meenakai (Apsaras in Indira’s court) is over. Who the hell is going to convince the girls that their Darcy will remain on their bookshelves. I seriously don’t understand how horoscopes help. I hear answers like “Oh, they help in thinning the crowds”..I mean seriously??! When a father can change his daughters date of birth to help her get a clean horoscope, it shows you how much these things can be trusted. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that they help in any way, that a girl or a boy with a slightly tainted horoscope will have miserable life or otherwise. Miserable is what people make out of their live or what they let others do to their lives, horoscopes can’t do that. Why can’t people get married in the tried and tested method, like I don’t know talking, getting to know each other. Then there are the parents. I understand family pressures, coming from a huge family I know what it is like to feel judged and be judged for every little decision, but why impose that insecurity on to the kids. Either give us the independence that you want us to have and let us make our own choices, or don’t teach us anything. Parents can’t have it both ways, I am sorry. I know this will come to  bite me in the ass some day, but I will stick by it for now.

My aunt is a divorcee and my cousin has a sister. That’s it…there are times though, when I want to scream that they are not lepers. India can be called a developed country when people move away from the road to give way to ambulances and fire engines and stop treating divorcees like third class citizens. I understand the curiosity to know more, but let’s be clear, the girl or the parent asking about why they divorced or the whereabouts of the father in the first few visits..totally not cool. I am all for girl power and equality and everything, but shouldn’t there be a limit on what you can brin into a marriage and what you cannot. I understand when a girl says she wants to work, have her own account and everything. I also understand when the girl says I want to take care of my parents and be near them. Then, they go on to ask how my aunt and sister are supported and how much my brother pays to take care of them and will they become a burden. WTF!!! Hell..did’t you just say you wanted to take care of your parents. I am serious..this is a real conversation between a prospective girl and my aunt

Girl: I know how to cook and blah..blah..blah. I can make lots of nice things and take care of the house

Aunt: Oh! That’s nice.

GIrl: I have a condition though. I want to bring my dog and cat to live with me when I move after marriage.

Aunt: Sure. Brother likes pets, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can ask him too. He lives in the US. So I am not sure how things are there.

Girl: Oh Ok. I will. Thanks. So where will you live then?

Aunt: Huh?!?

Was she effin serious..I don’t know. All I know is he is ready to give up and become a monk. It is sad though. Have we as human beings become so fixated on the material, physical and superficiality that we forget that the person inside? Has everything become about how much a person earns, what job they do, what brand names they own, how they style themselves, what car they own and where they go in terms of parties? If so, it is sad reflection of ourselves. I am no spiritual, look within philosopher, but atleast I know when to draw the line between say matching my stars and matching my wits with prospective men..


I have a screamer on my hands!!

I was and still am a screamer, literally….I used to lead the school band in middle school. I used to be the person who had to twirl the baton, flip it, throw it in the air and catch it..of course it was not my innate ability to flip a stick without it flying and bonking some poor fellow’s eye that got me the job, it was my ability to scream out loud and clear instructions on what the band had to play next..like say National Anthem or welcome song or a whole lot of other commands I forget now..The band was successful for a couple of years before I moved on to better things like leading a girl guides marching band. It was a huge change, I still had to scream, but these were more mundane instructions like right, left, attention, and so on. I haven’t done that much screaming for a while now, except maybe to remind the dude for the hundredth time that wet towels belong in the bathroom and not on the bed. I had almost forgotten that part of my life until a few days back, when the implet let out the most blood curdling scream I had heard. Pots and pans were dropped, chairs clattered and arms and legs tumbled down the stairs to get to the play mat to see him all gurgling and cooing. I lifted him, examined him, peeped into his diaper to check for gold deposits. He was fine, absolutely contented. It took a few more of those screams to realize, he just loves his own voice..Hey!! The vanity is not from my side of the family.  He lies on his back, stiffens his legs, arms straight out and screams and them smiles as if he has conquered the next village. It is a riot, once you get used to it of course. He is also learning to crawl too..It is almost inspiring to watch him, go on all fours, flop back, try again. The is something about the resilience of  babies that belies their outward fragility. It is thought provoking too, I mean all of us have passed that age..we were that determined to do things, to move ahead, to learn new things, to conquer no matter what our bodies tell us, no matter how bleak the outlook was…so where did all of that go, I mean did we say that is it once we started to walk.

It has made me take myself less seriously, made me stop analyzing every little thing and just get up. There are times when I feel my knees are not strong enough or maybe my hand will give away, all I have to do then is to remind myself, if I don’t do this, I may never learn to walk..


Women in Politics.

I was driving to a meeting in my local library.The sun was low in the western sky, trees on both sides of the long empty highway singing the first song of spring. I was in the mood for introspection. I have always assumed that when people say it is difficult for women to have it all, they were being stupid or worse prejudiced. I know I want to and I am not going to let some hypercritical idiots get into my head. I said to myself I was going to prove that I can have it all…a happy family with kids, an amazing career in political science and also be a published author. I was going to be like um…..uh……screech!!!!!! For the life of me I couldn’t find one women to my knowledge who had it all. Clinton…yeah right! the dude is not interested in politics or cannot be bothered to find his Lewinsky, Condi Rice..Not married. Professors I worked with..Not married, Doesn’t have kids, Divorced, Late bloomer, Cannot give a damn abt anything else, single mom….What the hell!! Where are my role models?

I am not saying that I didn’t know the travails of the career before I entered it. I am, however, flabbergasted about how difficult things can get. Being on the top of the game atleast to my knowledge, the field of International Affairs and Politics requires that you attend dozens of conferences, pally around with professors talking “Politics” till the wee hours, and basically be prepared to sacrifice everything. I am sure that the scenario applies to almost all professional careers, especially during the critical years when you are trying to get your foot in the door. My question is, does it have to be so God damn hard? I don’t want to be the “Mother” sacrificing everything for the joy and well being of her family, I don’t want to wear my tiny apron and sit seductively on the back burner with chocolate cake in my hand waiting. I want things, I want to fulfill my dreams, and I want this and I want that…I want them all dammit. I want to teach my kids to be greedy and passionate. Be greedy about your dreams, Dream about everything, and be greedy enough to want to do plenty with your life. When people tell you pfft!! that can’t be done…pop and eyebrow, elbow them out of your way and keep running. Have a passion. A life without passion might as well be no life at all…

“A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir’d at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc’d, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas’d at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o’er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th’ eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen’d way,
Th’ increasing prospects tire our wand’ring eyes,
Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!”

Alexander Pope

There are times when I despair though. I feel broken when a colleague tells me about the heights she has achieved while I am removing mashed banana out of my hair. There is this show I watch “Parenthood, there is this character Julia. She is this big, successful lawyer who is doing really well in her profession. Her husband stays at home to take care of their daughter. Yet every episode shows her fighting or making up for the all consuming guilt that makes her feel inadequate, a lesser human because she is not a full time mom. Why should it be so difficult? I don’t want my dreams to fall off a cliff  that ended when I was running real fast. I realize the onus is on me to fight back, to show that I have gained much more in this journey and I can do greater things now. I am going to run so fast that I leap across the chasm of broken dreams and show how wonderful it is to land on the other side on both my feet.