Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth….

Remember the ancient situation, you are of marriageable age but unmarried, it seems like the whole world has only one question to ask. ‘When are you getting married?’. In my situation though, the questions are much worse than you can imagine. ‘Do you want to get married?’’What? other than your career is there anything else on your mind, how about marriage?’’Are! enough now get married’. The most hilarious one was ’Hope you like guys?’.Fed up with these questions, I decided to go on an ignore mode sometimes or simply smile and walk away.
There is one such incident though that has edged in my mind since I realized that I could really speak some sizzling hot words such it would seem that the other person is struck by lightening. One day when I was returning back from work I met this lady who I know. She was chatting with some other ladies and happened to see me from the corner of her eye. I thought it would be best to evade these gossip mongers. But and a big BUT…this lady intercepted me and asked the wretched question. What? You don’t want to get married or what? you don’t want to get married or what? Age doesn’t wait for anyone, don’t keep too many reservations or else ‘gaadi nikal jayegi’. Now this lady whose daughter was in a live-in relationship, got knocked up and then got married had the obesity to ask me this question. With lightening speed, I replied, ‘What to do aunty? I don’t have the guts like some girls have to get into a live-in and deliver a 8 pound healthy baby six months after my marriage. Gosh you should have seen her face. It was like lightning struck her. Never again did she ever ask me that question. I know that my reaction was a topsy-turvy version of my upbringing, but when someone gives you a wound and rubs salt-n-pepper on it, the reaction is natural.
This was by-far the fieriest answer I have given anyone!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Board Exams Jitters!

Being in the tenth or twelfth standard was considered to be the pinnacle in one’s student life. Everyone one in the rat race to become an engineer, doctor or any other profession requiring high ‘percentage’ for enrollment would work their butt off . When I look back at those days, I wonder if it was worth it.
Do you guys remember how you were told over a million times this is your board exam…study, Study, Study, STUdy, STUDY! Gosh I used to hate the word study for that entire year. Even if you want to take a break in life i.e. read a book, watch TV or go out for a walk/stroll people wouldn’t leave you alone. If you are at home/school reading a story book (Nancy Drew which I used often love reading at that time) the so called scholar students would come to me and say ‘Don’t you have any shame the prelims are on the horizon and you are shamelessly reading a story book. I was this close to tell them ‘Agh!! I know what to do miss studious, go get a life! But being good friends, I preferred to go on the IGNORE mode and get back to my reading…today when I think of it, I tell myself that despite not going through that grind, I did pretty well for myself!
I know of brilliant girls and guys who have spent sleepless nights learning trigonometry, wondering how the hell can I get a correct reading if there was a zero error, what could be the possible chemical reaction if I add H2So4 (sulphuric acid for those who don’t know) in an chemical equation probably helping their parents in their apparel business, bankers, artists…to name some. Time and again I have this lingering thought that was that a perpetual waste of time? At an age when children need to identify their interests and nurture them, you are making them go through the grind of studying some outdated/not required mumbo jumbo which they may never ever use in their lives. I mean think about it, in your adult life how many times have you used sine theta? How many times have you called water H2O? Does it matter to know how many layers of skin does the frog have (leave the poor child alone for god’s sake!)
But I must day that as the board exams would come closer, there would be a terrible eerie feeling. I would feel horrible in my tummy. Every Algebra & geometry problem would look like an alien to me. Whenever I would look at it, it seemed like I am seeing it for the first time in my life. Despite having learnt the chemical equation, Sodium would seem like Sa and not Na, gosh those funny jitters! I would tell myself gosh what if I fail? It would be such a shame. What if I get low marks? Will I get an admission in my desired college? In my case though I think my Dad was my source of energy. He would always say, ‘Give it your best shot’ ‘Don’t give up without a fight’ What would be the worst case scenario, you could fail….but remember after every March, there is an October and believe me when you know there is a second chance, you would never want to take one….maybe that’s what despite all my leisurely activities like playing basket ball, reading all the Nancy Drew’s, Hardy Boys & Linda Craig’s, I managed to score a distinction.
One thing I would specially like to mention is the feeling of black out! Guess when? When you have received the exam paper, everyone around you seems to know what to do, some of them jump at the question paper, start drawing the so called margins already & the moment they have the question papers, start writing the answers, you seriously feel that something is wrong with you. Also not the forget the regions symbols like ‘shree’ ‘om shree ganesha’ ‘lord be with you’’help me Jesus’. ‘ya ali maddat’……hahaha…..seems so childish today. It’s like you are hoping that god will come to your rescue and change the answers to the right ones.
Then the aftermath, the results,…aghh! More than you or your family it’s the entire world who wants to know how much you scored in your boards. Funny are those parents who are on seventh heaven when their child scored one percent more than their neighbor’s child. Today when I look back, all those who were in the rat race head down have done well in their lives if not reached great heights, but those who have lived life on their terms & have focused on their skills & not percentages have really excelled. That is why I keep asking myself again and again…is going through the board exam grind or making your kids go through it is worth it?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tis the season to by joyful…talalalalal…Happy Christmas everyone

The season of joy, happiness is on the onset. It’s lovely to see shops selling Christmas decorations, and sweetmeats at every nook and corner of Bandra. Every year I make it a point to buy my nieces Christmas gifts, the joy of doing this is something I can never fathom. This year I have seen a lot more accessories to add up to my Christmas presents especially the antler hair bands…they are so cute!
Christmas has always been close to my heart. My immediate neighbors being goans, Christmas was always a festival we celebrated with equal pomp and job just like Diwali. We would help our neighbors in cleaning their houses; prepare sweets such as kalkals, newaris, toffees, cakes, marzipans etc. Moreover, making the crib and decorating the Christmas tree were few wonderful tasks we loved. We would have Christmas parties organized usually held on the terraces of our buildings where one uncle or aunty would dress as Santa and distributes gifts and goodies. We would also sing Christmas carols some of which I remember even today. Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Jingle all the way……Tis the season to be joyful….. Silent night….Oh! I so cherish those memories so very much.
Even after so many years, the enthusiasm has not died down. I love it when kids believe in Santa. They actually write down their wish-list in the letters, put up their stockings and hope that they are forgive for all their misdoings & get their gifts. Best the sight to see is when they open their gifts…it is heartwarming. I try to re-create this aura of enthusiasm everyday and re-live my childhood. Would love if I get my gifts too though!
Another reason why I love this season so much is the transformation of certain places in Mumbai during this season. It’s a sight to see on Hill road Bandra during Christmas. Perpetually every outlet showcases party outfits (for new year), puts up lovely decorations & promotional offers in addition small stalls selling Christmas decorations ranging from shiny Christmas balls, Christmas trees, candy sticks oh! Is such a pleasure.
Really wish that that we have many more such joyful moments……

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Give me a reason to smile…

There are some days in life when you decide to look back and realize the mistakes you have made, the people whom you have lost, relationships you could have had and wondered what they would have been like today…and many more such instances. If you realize that the losses weigh more than what you have gained today then suddenly the world looks like a dark hole to you. Suddenly you are happy no more, you are not happy in others happiness, you shun yourself for taking that one wrong decision…during such lows you just lookout for one reason to smile.
Finding is hard? You bet! This could completely takeover you even if you are stepping into a party in the next few moments after the ‘happy realisation’ occurs. The feeling is awful, you heart feels heavy. You feel terrible, you want to cut-off; you would want to run away or simply go on an eating spree. So many adverse things that could cause lifelong damage to you. At such a moment, you need to look out for that one reason to smile that will rule over your ‘low life’ feelings and take you to another level. Again, everything boils down to whom or what can give me a reason to smile?
When you come across such a situation when you find every other person in the world living a blessed life and you are empty handed despite having thought well for others, despite having lived to every expectation of the loved ones, despite having being good, just and honorable..Then what do you think of which will give you a reason to smile. I know that being around kids is like being on a different universe altogether...but what if you don’t have yours? What if you don’t have that one person in your life who loves you for what you are? What if you see people who have led disgusting dubious lives, people who have been unjust, cruel and surpassed all limits of humanity living in pomp and joy, do you feel cheated? Do you feel like becoming one of them? Do you question whether god is THERE? What do you do to tell yourself then? Do you question your morality? We all know that if we get an assurance that we have led a fulfilling life we will get a reason to smile. However, what if we don’t? Could someone please give me a reason to smile?