Tag Archives: Relationships

I is for interloper

It was the day after her marriage. She clanked her bangles as she went out of the room excited and nervous to start her life as part of the family.

Her Mil was not like the sasumas you saw on TV. A mother of two sons she had proclaimed loudly how excited she was about having a daughter in the house. She sat contently at breakfast listening to all the stories about her son’s childhood.

She felt lucky. Really what more can a girl ask for her?

They were leaving for their honeymoon that night. She was ready for the flight, she went to search for her mil – the door was shut, she pushed it open and her mil and her new husband were counting the money from the reception and talking intently. When she entered the counting and talk both stopped.

She made some excuse and stepped out feeling like an interloper.

She shook her head at her over reaction.

Over the years she shook her head again when she got to know that her mil was traveling to the USA only when the visa arrived, when the family property was sold off to invest into their business, when she knew about her fil’s cataract surgery day only a couple of days after it was advised, when her inlaws didn’t remember where or what she studied or the names of her nieces.

She justified it thinking that it wasn’t important or maybe they didn’t think it mattered to her. She should be happy that she was treated well and by and large her inlaws and she got along. She was after all just like a daughter.

But then why did it hurt her?

She hurried home from work – Mrs chaddha mummyji’s childhood friend was visiting and she had to be there to make her famous pasta and salad. As she prepared the food in the kitchen, she heard Mummyji tell Aunty about the family’s recent trip to Singapore.

A trip she had planned to the last T.

You know Shradha planned the whole trip. We stayed at such an amazing hotel and the best thing about a family trip is the memories you create. I finally got the perfect family picture that I have always wanted. I have even got it enlarged and framed. Help me find a spot in my room for the picture. I want to see my family right before I close my eyes. At my age family is most important.

As Shradha entered the room, she saw the picture mummyji had enlarged. The family grinned back at her. She wondered if she should be flattered as she had taken the picture.

And no it was not a selfie.

Even after 10 years she was an interloper

This is part of the atoz challenge for April and my entry for I. For some weird reason the word interloper has been in my head all day and hence the fictional story

Past connections! – day 6

She used to be a best friend….we were twins. We wore similar colour clothes to college just to prove to people that our wavelengths matched. We were always found together.

We grew up but grew apart not very amicably. She is a softer version of the person she was. I am a more sensible version of the person I was .

We met after many years. I am cautious with her. She is tentative around me. We chat, she tells me her troubles, I am more reserved. We don’t talk about our kids. We talk about life and relationships. Rather she talks. I listen..

I want that old connection back. It isn’t constant. But I think I want to work on it. Somewhere my heart has a soft corner for the girl I knew. We have a connected past. So many teenage secrets have been shared, so many boys have been discussed, so many grand life plans were made. I kept wondering what she felt for me. Or for the us that we used to be.

That’s the funny thing – at times you connect with strangers, old friends sometimes immediately connect, sometimes it isn’t instant but you want it to be. All you can do is make the effort right? And hope that the other person also wants to.

The Elfdom at 11 weeks

Hi Y’all,

So i will be 11 weeks old today at 1710 hours and other than the fact that i have arrived you know nothing about me – the Elf – king of Elfdom (Kingdom – Elfdom u see!). The subjects of the Elfdom aim to please me, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!

Anyway, about me

1. When i was born, the subjects were seen giggling away at this particular “old man disapproving look” i had pretty much mastered. Though the mother often shivered at the admonishment and wondered if the reason for the look was her parenting skills or the huge amounts of food which she seemed to keep gulping down. The parents think that the loss of that look is due to improved parenting skills – Bah! It’s just these cheeks i now have, the have taken away my mature (read old man) look and brought in a baby look!

2. Apparently they (the grandmothers) say i am a delight in the “feeding” department. The mother sometimes in moments of anguish is seen asking the father to sell the car and park a cow in the parking lot! Do you know i pay tax in order to get my food. The mother has started this tax system of showering me with kissies before she lets any morsel go down my throat and should i take a break in between, kissies are showered again. Mama – boys don’t like kissies ok??? What abt my macho image?

3. The mother was thrilled when I gave my first hi-fi at 7 weeks and now i am made to perform for all & sundry. I think I should start charging these subjects for all the performances that me as a king has to give. In addition i can also spread my hands out wide and show “How much does mamma, dadu, etc etc love me”.

4. So playtime with the mama is sitting on her legs and making her repeat “Owwww’s” , “umm’s” and “Aaaah” and for variety “go, ga,coo, ooh’s” after me. She sometimes has to sing and despite dadu muttering something about her being besura’s, i quite enjoy it. I bestow smiles on this disciple on mine and often her eyes mist up at my smiles (Women! i tell you).

The father on the other day is entertained by not allowing him to sit. We explore the house, while he sings, dances and talks to me. Sometimes i pretend to be asleep and of course the second, he sits down i open my eyes and the whole routine starts again. Great fun i say!

5. OOOh and my walks – i sit on my throne and one or both subjects take me around the complex. For sometime, i look at the wonders of the world and then fall plonk asleep. I have loads of little girls trying to get a piece of me – but the mother she wards them off with he is too small/asleep/ and blah blah. She says something about less immunity but i believe she is just jealous of other women in my life!

6. Did you know i know how to box?? Am just waiting for a steady head and the ability to walk before i take on the Olympics. I box and jab pretty hard. How do i knows it’s hard you ask? Well i often send random jabs my way (of course i howl, i am a baby after all) and once i even had a black eye from a box i administered me. It’s tough being a baby you know!

7. Some of you know my mommy as a drama queen. I can tell you i am her Son…i am well on my way to becoming a drama king. When i am in company, even if i have fed like 10 secs ago, i will pretend to be really hungry – starving types, root at the said person and make sad faces, making ppl tell my mommy “He is ‘really’ hungry”. I don’t know if i imagine that murderous look she gives me. And oh i do it to the dadu too. If mommy walks into the room, i pretend that dadu has been ignoring my pleas for milk and bringing on a full-scale yelling which has mommy look at dadu accusingly. Good fun i tell you! p.s. i can even sprout some tears now for full impact!

So in the last 11 weeks, i outgrew a set of nappies, plan to outgrow a couple of the jablas i wear. My mommy keeps muttering my baby growing up and of bringing sprouting tears. Uff she is quite a waterfall i tell you. I lost some hair and grew it back and now there is some moaning about how my curls don’t sit down when combed. I have graduated to little laughs and can hold a rattle. I definitely recognize the slaves in my elfdom. I have taken 2 flights and been an angel. I go to visit my dadi next week so another one of those aeroplane things.

Basically, the subjects in my elfdom pretty much adore their king. I keep them entertained and on their feet.

I am their joy and delight and they can’t raving and are pretty amazed at their ability of making such a cute baby!

You may have guessed, the mother grabbed the laptop for the last line…Baahh!!!! ok i gotta go and ensure that my subjects are toeing the elfdom’s lines! Being a baby is busy work!

Tada!

I say this with pride -I know the author

Review of “A Calendar too crowded by Sagarika Chakraborthy”

To tell you the truth, i didn’t want to review this book. For a couple of reasons, one i am not a big fan of short stories, two I really don’t “get” or “like” feminism overdone and a book full of stories about women sounded just too much to take. But the main reason was that this was written by a dear friend and i didn’t want to be dishonest if i didn’t like it.

But read the book I did! This was not about feminism. It was stories, stories of women. Yes it dealt with topics like rape, prostitution and the like but there were stories of women just like us. I read the stories slowly savouring them, slowly not wanting the book to end. Some characters stay with you and you wonder what happened when the story ended. You feel the optimism, the despair, the happiness the characters share. Some maybe more than others.

Like Sagarika told me you will identify with some of the characters. I loved the fact that none of the characters had names (explanation being that it could be the story of any women). The stories which particularly touched me was the young widow who escapes – (Sags, i need you to tell me what happens after she escapes :-), the ideal mother (i was pregnant then and the women seemed to be narrating my thoughts) and i loved the story on adoption, knowing how close the topic is to the author’s heart.

What stayed with me was the thought that how did a 27(??) year old managing to get into the head and heart of so many characters. How did she have the strength to do so.The book is hard hitting, at times disturbing, it’s the topics we like to sweep under the carpet. Go ahead read it, it isn’t a light read but savour the book story by story!

My only grievance was i wanted more stories !!!

I can’t being to tell you how delayed this review is. I think i read the book close to 100 days ago. I have no excuses, nothing ! Hangs head in shame.

Dear little one

Dear baby,

For the past month, we have been in Bangalore and now it’s time to go back.

You have been fawned over and adored by your ammamma and great grand parents. Ammamma’s special baths, muthashi’s one sided conversations, muthasha’s whistles are all part of your waking hours. You may not know this but while you sleep I often see then sitting by you and watching you sleep. You are one lucky baby! *thoo thoo *

You reciprocate and make their day with your coos and your smiles! You are their joy and delight !

And now I am taking you away! I know you may not realise what is happening but somewhere in that little baby heart there will be a space which misses his ammabmma’s cuddles, his mutuashi’s pettings and his muthasha’s adoring eyes.

And I am sorry baby for taking you away from this cacoon of love. We adults do these mean things like leave loved ones. I hope little one that while you hold a special place for them in your heart, your dad and I are able to create a similar environment where you feel loved, cherished and special as you deserve .

With guilt in my heart,
Lots of love
Mama

Life changes…

It was one at night. They had just retired to bed. Her mom came into the room and said – “N, i think it’s time to go to the hospital”.

N suddenly felt fear – she didn’t want to go.

As they got into the car, there was silence. They were all absorbed in their own thoughts. As they sped to the hospital, N thought about how their lives would never be the same, she wondered for an instant if she could turn back time. To a time, where she knew how their lives would be. What lay ahead was an unexplored territory. Would she cope?

Her mom was worried for her daughter, praying that everything would go off ok. Being a doctor, she knew the complications that were a possibility.

The husband oscillated between fear for his wife as well as in typical his style, figuring out the best place to park, the insurance details and so on. Probably a ploy to keep his mind off what lay ahead.

They decided they would not let the family know until the morning. There was no point letting family know until the early hours. At around 8 in the morning, they let the extended family know. From then on, everyone just waited to hear from them.

It was a long wait! One that made N question the very reason for taking this big step.

16 hours after being admitted, the end was near.

A stunned silence – a loud yell and a little boy strolled into Nuttie and the Tall One’s life.

Yes, dear 2.5 readers, on Holi, 8th March – we welcomed our little boy and that i believe should explain my disappearance.

(btw I want a standing ovation for the 16 hours of labour in hospital and the 5 hours before that)

50 days into being a mother and we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. At least we adults are. The smiles, the little fella gives us tells us that he isn’t utterly distressed with the Good Lord’s choice of parents for himself.

So people – do welcome the latest entrant in the Nuttie family – the Elf.

Mommy’s new man
Mommy’s new obsession
Mommy’s new toy
Mommy ka baby!

* this is a post i have been planning in my head since i got to know of the elf’s existence. a million posts have been written and torn off – in my head of course. And there seems no ideal way to do it. So under a lot of threat from sags – i did it the way i do it best – cliche’

Modern India – really?

So there is this colleague of mine – let me just call her PR. PR is a doll! A beautiful, smart girl, well-educated – done her MBA from one of India’s top B schools. Her Dad works as one of the top officials in one of India’s most respected government organizations. He has worked his way up, to be one of the top officials. She speaks highly of her father who despite belonging to an SC caste never used the reservation or allowed his daughters to use it. They have had to work their way to whatever they have done in life

PR is dating this mallu Nair boy – a nice boy am sure -nothing great in the looks department,educated less than her, happens to work abroad. His dad used to work in the gulf and came back to settle in Kerala.

His parents are dead against their marriage – their first reason being that she was an SC!!!
They then think that her dad should give them dowry – coz their son isn’t easily available on “sale” or something to that effect.

When she told me about the dowry bit, i was disgusted and asked her if this guy was worth it. I mean even if your parents are demanding dowry – dont u as a man in love with this girl have the guts to tell them this is wrong! Why are you communicating it to her? Because apparently the boy thinks it’s ok!

What shocked me even more – while PR wasn’t thrilled, she was ok with a certain amount of dowry being given. because in her side, if she had an arranged marriage, dowry is a pre-requisite.

Is it me? Am i too naive or idealistic? Do i live in a palace of illusions?

-> I would have thought her dad would say – I will never give dowry for my daughters! They are educated and capable of earning for themselves and hopefully will do so in tandem with their partners. let the couple make a life for themselves.
-> I would have thought she would have told the guy and his family to buzz off
-> I would have at least expected a lot more outrage from PR – am i good enough for you only with a couple of lakhs accompanying me?
-> I would have thought that in this day and age – caste would not matter especially when the girl is educated and of a similar if not better background than yours

Is modern-day India just a facade?

Is our old thought process just buried below this farce of moderness we claim to have?

What does it feel to grow up knowing that you will be acceptable to a man/his family if u come accompanied with the acceptable amount of money ?

And caste – how can it still matter?

Are we just a handful of us – whose parents would never ever even think of paying dowry for us. My mom as a kid used to always joke that she would ask for dowry from anyone who wanted to marry me!

This saddens me – this India which breaks my notion of dowry, caste etc not being an urbane educated class issue.