Category Archives: family

GROWING UP!!! Part – III

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When I was a little kid all I read was Enid Blytons and Nancy Drews. My school’s library would overflow with them. Whenever I would get angry at my parents I would sit in my room and think about ways to make them feel sorry for whatever crime they had just committed. It was stuff like going on a hunger strike or crying till my eyes had swollen or refusing to come out of the room.

 None of these plans came to fruition ever 😦 , because I love myself way too much. Also, I can’t cry for that long. I love to eat, especially when my mother is cooking. And she would make sure she made her-bests whenever I was angry so that I could never say a NO. 🙂

So then I would plan on running away. I was never sure where I would go, to the neighbor’s house?!?! Well they had good chocolates. To my BFF’s house?!?! It would be the world’s longest slumber because the kids in Enid Blyton’s novels were planning to join a circus and while I liked animals then, I was told by Tahir that all opening jobs in the circus involved cleaning the **** and there was no way I was going to do that. 😦 

So one day my parents finally went too far, I don’t remember now what they actually did but they probably refused to buy me a fairy frock or something equally heinous coz that’s what passes for mean and nasty around the Tonde household, and I decided it’s about time!!!

I took with me a torch for if it ever got dark, my sweatshirt, a book, saved pocket money of Rs. 20 and two bars of 5-star. I left one 5-star behind for my sister who had not done anything to piss me off in the last 3 days and thus deserved it. By the way I am a very generous person. 🙂

Thus burdened, I made it all the way across Sunita Market, within the sight of the main gates of Navy Nagar. I realized the only thing I was supposed to do was walk, but how long?!?!?

Reading so much of English Novels, the thing that came to my mind then was, every important scene in Pride and Prejudice involved Elizabeth and Darcy walking in some way, she finds out about his treachery while walking in the woods and returns home to tell him to go away, then they meet again while she’s walking around his estate, and finally the confession of their feelings for each other happens when they’re on a walk. Together!!!

That’s just an example from the great works of romance 🙂 think of anybody else you like, from Tolkien to Shakespeare to J.K.Rowling. Englishmen and Englishwomen novelists will eventually arrive at a point in the story when nothing will do for them but to take a walk. Think over it!!

 As for little Indian me, I made my way over to my favorite BPT gardens in one of the inner blocks of Colaba and settled myself with my book, ate my chocolates and went back home to be greeted with good-natured scolding and cries of relief.

Win… 🙂

Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently!!!! 😉

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GROWING UP!!! Part – I

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I am very strict when it comes to my own younger sis. Many a times she has to undergo the brunt of my conservatism. I admit, m fairly conservative when it comes to things like children and their upbringing. I don’t have any but this doesn’t stop me from having opinions. It’s the last remnant of my conservative childhood and I hang on to it, because nothing I’ve seen out there has really challenged it or made me even come close to changing my mind. 😉

In my early teens, I wanted to get my eyes brows plucked the moment I saw a classmate sashay down the corridor in her short skirt and that arched eye-look at age thirteen. I had the skirt, but I wanted those eyes courtesy eyebrow-plucking. Those clean face and big eyes that looked so very adult. 🙂

“I think m ready!!” I told my mum as she got her pedicure done at the salon. 🙂

“Girls are doing it very early these days” said the chinky lady who usually did hers. My mum looked at me and laughed and laughed. When she finally caught her breath, she said: “Cheeee!!!!” EOD. 😦

I had graduated high school much before my mom would let me pluck anything at all. And when I got my eyebrows done for the first time at age eighteen for my cousin’s wedding, it was a family affair with one of my Kakis standing over the poor parlor assistant’s shoulder and whispering “Don’t cry, don’t cry!!!” as my eyes watered. 😦

Of course, my mum being a good mother, we did have talks about personal grooming. From manicure to pedicures, cosmetics to accessories, the best part of growing up with a mom and a hoard of aunts is that there’s no dearth of advice on anything, and everything from acne treatments to what is the correct way to apply an eye liner. 🙂

And we eventually talked about growing up – but the emphasis was always on hygiene, not sexuality. In our house, grooming wasn’t just about being attractive. Every summer my Ajji (my mum’s grand mom) would repeatedly remind me that good grooming is about having pride in oneself. You take care of yourself because you deserve it, not to impress other people.

“This is not the way for good girls to walk around the house before the evening lamp is lit” my Ajji would say “You should first wash your face, then powder, put on a kajal-bindi, comb and tie your hair neatly, change into freshly pressed clothes, and then come to the DEVARA to see the lamp. That’s what a gharachi-mulgi does”.

There was a time in my teens, when I totally refused to comb my hair, and become a Scary Spice (I totally adored Spice Girls), nobody pulled me down and forcibly combed my hair or oiled my hair, nor did anyone force me to change my style. At the time, I thought it a victory over the Establishment 😉 Later I was quite puzzled because the Establishment at our home is quite capable of breaking the backs of ‘little guerrilla’ efforts like that. 😦

It took me years before I realized that part of the lesson my Ajji and mom were trying to teach me was that, self-worth is something only you can determine for yourself. If they’d forced me to look presentable according to their stringent standards, as they well could have at the time, it would only have appeased their sense of worth, their image of a family member, not mine.

They had let me be ME. More importantly they instilled the values of “self-confidence” much before the invention of such classes around my house. My Ajji is not with me today, but I miss her immensely. She never got down to bashing us up and making us understand. She always had her ways of making us learn life’s lessons.

My poor-yet-to-be-born-kids, will have an Infantry-Drill with me around for sure 😉

 

 

Is he the “Chosen One”?!?!?!?

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Have you ever had strong feelings for someone but you are not too sure about him? You felt that he just may be the “ONE” however there may be some doubts lingering at the back of your mind. Or he may be pressing you to take the relationship to the next level and you want to know if this is the right decision. Or you may love him and want to marry him but feel scared about what would happen in the future.

Would your marriage/relationship become a booming success or would you get a broken heart </3 – shattered dreams?

Is he the one or must you search for another?

My gurlies have always been worried about this. So often that, we have discussed this at all the Slumber Parties. What has always worked on deciding if “HE” is the right man for you are  –

1.First think about what it would be like 10, 20, or 30 years from now.

Is he the one you would like to grow old with. The one who would hold your hand and sail you through all the tough times and the one who would sing to you on your 65th Birthday the evergreen famous song “oh! meri zohrajabi, tujhe maalum nahi… ” 🙂

2. Think about what type of husband he would make.

  • Is he a husband material?

If he’s the philander types or one-woman-man types. How much does he believe in the institution of marriage.

  • Would he be able to provide your emotional, physical and financial needs?

4. Is he the type of person you can weather the storms of life with?

This definitely means that do you believe if this person will stand for you and vice-versa.

5. What type of father would this person make? A hands-on one and the one who adores kids or the one you-take-care-of-this-wet-diaper-clad-thingie!! 😐

6. Can you see yourself waking up and living with this person every day?

Meet ups are the ones to give an idea of how we can look, but deep under the tonnes of attitude of a man lies a simple nervous specie who wants to be accepted just as HE is, no-Park Avenues, no- Van Heusens, no- Red Tapes and no- Tag Heurs too.

7. Can he bring you happiness –  not just immediate gratification but lasing happiness?

I know a record number of people who are married to the love-of-their-life and NOW know what happiness is. It can never be replaced with the thrills money can get, its the simple touch of the hands, looking deep into each others eyes and feeling complete, dropping in a mail or a call just to say a HI and raising those heartbeats and many such simple things. Keeping it really Simple is the key.

If you can answer yes to the questions above, well baby you have the right man for you.

What if you are sure about most of the questions but unsure about some of them? Then you need to ask yourself this powerful question – Is he willing to learn or grow in this area? Is he teachable!?!?!

Remember no man will be 100% and it takes Two to Tango, however if he and you have the right spirit,and willing to do what is necessary,it’ll make a brilliant relationship. 🙂

A WALK TO REMEMBER..

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The woods were lovely dark and deep. Walking slowly beside her, in the damp mud road, was her husband whom she barely knew. He was very relaxed, happily watching a group of kids play at a distance. Her “mehndi” was still dark and smelling fresh, reminding of the excitements and tension 2 days back. “It cant work this way mom… please stop this”, she kept telling her mother till the last moment,who wouldnt listen but carry on with beautifying her. She had been crying all night and her make-up had to be patched up twice or thrice to hide her awkwardly swollen face.

It was too late now. She had to get married “NOW” to the guy. The guy whom she had seen once and talked thrice. The guy about whom she knew nothing at all but for his name and work. Everything happened in a hurry and everything was over before she could breathe again… here was she with this guy, all alone in this hill station… how can anybody send their daughter such a long distance with a stranger???

“Hey look at that….!!!” he shouted in excitement. She shrugged and looked where his finger pointed… Bright colored balloons dotted the sky. Children were jumping in joy and he seemed to be completely absorbed into it… colors are always exciting… but not now. She was not with her friends, not with her team mates, not even with her parents. This was not a 3 day tour or team building trip. This was her life and she has been forced to start off with this person.

Loneliness and discomfort with this stranger was sickening. She looked at him in wonder. Does he even realize that he has married me? Does he understand that he has to love me, protect me, care for me, a new girl, a stranger, all his life?

The marriage morning started like a daylight nightmare for her. The first time in life she felt she should have fallen in love and then married somebody. Some man who she would have felt more comfortable with, someone whom she could call by name and introduce to friends, someone whom she could trust. But marriage morning was obviously not the time to think all this. Her parents would never have said “no” if she had declared that she was in love. But she was not emotionally attached to anybody she met,especially guys. She was very friendly,playing,teasing, but never had second thoughts for any man around her. That brought the entire responsibility of looking for a groom on her parents’ shoulders. Her parents had a very bad time with this entire process. They started their groom search with unending “&” operation. The concatenation of  “Horoscope matching” & “Decent family” & “Good looking” & “Good pay” & “same cast” & so on… that always gave 0 output. Now after all that 8 months hunt,they were not ready to hear her “ifs” and “buts” for this ‘good guy’. She had explained to her father. She does not feel anything for this person. He is nothing more to me than any other software professional. Like list of names she sees in the chat rooms. Distant and usual…Her father asked her to talk to him and even meet him and discuss their likes and dislikes.

That meeting started like the induction programme self introduction and ended like a 3 hour seminar.She was waiting to get away from that place.”So did you talk to him?”. “Yes”. “Was he polite and decent”. “Yes”. “Oh he got that special flavoured tri-color icecream…!!!”. OK. All her family and relatives discussed… She was given the chance to “understand her life partner” and that they have understood each other “well” and she is ready for the marriage now.

All arrangements geared up and it was 24 days after her first meeting that she was getting married to her man… perfect match as everybody else described. Marriage hall was full with excited people, kids got the chance to play, ladies got the chance to wear the silk saree. The smell of rose and jasmine filled the hall. Different poses for the photographer and atrificial smiles for the videos. The moment he had tied the sacred thread was unexplainable vaccum in the head. It was over. She was his wife. Accepted by the society and law. Her proud parents were relaxed. This was their duty they had been planning to fulfill since she was born. All this crowd will fade away, leaving her to explore her new world…

He pulled her hand gently to sit on the stone bench. The bench was wet and the chillness was indeed enjoyable. “So what are you thinking about?”… that was an unexpected ball. Should she reply? Should she be silent? She remembered the two hour presentation she had taken last month. Bold and confident, she kept answering all the queries with a broad smile. Now she remained silent. “Do you know honey… I was not for this marriage too…”  Oh my God… what did i hear??? Did HE tell that or did i think aloud? What does he mean? Didn’t he like me? Was he forced into this? He must have noticed the quizzical look on my face…with a gentle smile he continued… “I wanted to look for a girl myself, buy her everything, care for her, argue with her, laugh and cry with her, then get married to her… Anything otherwise would be a drama. Traditional drama!! and i was not for it anytime. But my love for my work and also my stress would not give me time and mind to search that girl…When your parents talked to me 2 weeks before our marriage, about your fear of getting married, to a stranger, i could completely understand your mind. I could see myself in you and that was the moment i decided i will marry you. There was no time to prove myself to you, make you trust me, everything happened in a hurry. But there was this entire life before me, to please you, to love you, to make you trust me. This is no less than what i had dreamt, the girl i was waiting for, is you. Now tell me… will you love me???”  Tears came down her cheek. Her parents had done more than their duty. They had found her the perfect guy. Thank you Mom!!! Thank you Dad!!! His question remained unanswered yet both knew the answer…

To Papa…with Love

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pa

Like all birthdays at home, this year as well i took money from my dad to buy a gift for his own bday.. 😦  n like always he gave me loads n asked me to buy something i would lk for myself n then get him the loveliest card he likes to c wid my hand written note. thats my papa!! my papa is a man of few words..my papa never invented a new element, never won a Pulitzer and never went to a Jail for a cause.. 😛 my papa is just lk me casual,funny and normal..lk most of us!!

When i ws in KG..i used to think my papa had given birth to me..till other enlightened minds at school helped me understand the nature’s law.. 😉 my papa used to dress me up tie a li’l pony whenevr i ws late for school o for a my dance classes o for play.. i got loads of gifts from him every bday but the bests wr my first watch n my sony walkman..he said he ws really proud of me..the % i had score then,the exceptional all rounder i ws at school n gold i received for my paintings..

I learnt to follow my dreams from him..when i flunked for the nTH time he asked me to get up n get going..never to QUIT..according to him if there’s no one to gratify me..he will..lk always..but i need to keep moving for that..he generally never tells anyone to do anything..he jus sets example for others to follow..my papa never told me to work harder, he never told me to set any future goal and work towards it or something similar straight out of a self-help book.. he is a simple man who started his life wid a diploma degree in printing,a young wife and big dreams..papa taught me that the only person I can depend on in this whole wide world is ‘Me’..

This year on his bday i didnt get him any gift, but i sat down and wondered about the gifts he’s given me all through my life…this bday was not about cakes n greeting cards…for the first time i understood that papa was growing old..but strangely m not sad, instead m happy coz m growing up too… m happy coz slowly i’l have to take his place in the family and one fine day i’l grow up to earn enough money to get my papa a nice gift and pay bills..m also happy coz i have dreams that r going to come true… and coz i can share responsibilities..m also happy coz my papa has raised me to be strong and independent.

papa,i love u..u r the STRONGEST person i have ever seen…u r the best PAPA in the entire world-this is what most kids say n most of them mean it..Thanks Papa for everything..for all the valuable lessons  u have taught me.. 🙂

Sistah!!

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sister!!omg the most hard to understand characters ever made by god..wel i have one..little devil for a sister..wel this wasnt the scene when mum n dad first gv me her on my lap..i was so happy to have a real doll of mine to play wid..i wud proudly show all my frnds tht i have a sister whom i can dress up n put the lil bindis on..comb her hair n also get to eat her share of cerelac n farex if she din wanted to.. :)..it ws really sweet when she started talkin n walkin..coz as my parents say the first word she ever said was ‘di’ n yes til date she haunts me wid her ‘dis’.. she’s a character in herself..i call her ‘pillu’ which she finds really outta world.. 😦 ..we share a love-hate relationship..ull undstan as u read along the lines.. well she’s jus 3 years younger to me bt is a amma of all of us(including parents).. she’s like the most pampered kid in the whole of our family as she’s the youngest..most of the stuff tht ppl get from abroad is for her(obv coz she is a size zero as well 😦 )

we can never teach her anything(yes we r devoid of that rite)..its rather the other way round..every mistake of mine is unforgiveable n the comments that i get from her have smtimes made me wonder ws she my ma-in-law in my previous birth.. she has the advantage of not to do a single chore in the house.. dad’s always ready to replace her whenever its her turn  her fon beeps to save her from the grievous work we make her do.. 😦 ..follower of gandhijis satyagrah movement.. she’l always find ways to stand for the truth bt the truth suddenly diminishes when it cms to her(thts my observation u c)..

she accuses me of buttering dad bt again its jus a baseless accusation.. she’s fiery n cant ever stand me purchasing smthng..she’s lk the family accountant..keepin tabs of all the purchases done(read by me)..n use it to advantage herself..acc to her the money i spend to buy jus one dress can actually buy her 10  dresses..so i kinda buy only once a year n she galores year long..she says i bully her when dad’s not around bt u shud c her wardrobe n book case..ultimate mess..

her idea of work is keepin her shoes on the rack, eating n keepin her plate in the basin, pickin up her handerchief,makin tea n lots other imp stuff which drains out the energy in her..i can undstan poor soul..no wonder i am piling on n she’s reducing..

bt she’s a dahling when it cms to shoppin…man even i dinno that fake stuff ever existed.. 😦 .. she’s my style guru dese days bt the deals she makes smtms makes me abuse her..yea we do that..a lot u kno..dad’s the refree..n he poor guy finally calls up mum n asks her to solve on his part..heheh…the usual screams at house u can hear are ‘get lost’,’first u never i’,’u dun teach me’,’i wont let u use fon/net’,’dare u touch my stuff’,’how dare u?’,’wats wrong wid u’,’for heavens sake dun lie’,’yedi/makad/dhakkan/chor(courtesy my sis)/thickhead/airhead/loser/bimbo..n many more

of all this..i never realised how she’s suddenly grown up..there were times when we used to a share cell phone..now we got one for each n i cant even peep if she’s typin smthng..the ‘i hate boys’ has changed to ‘oh he’s so cute n hot’..i have to confess tht its tuff being the elder sis..hear it all n stil dun say a thing coz u r not supposed to/privacy matters n al tht shit..the stoooopid talks hv shifted to much meaningful ones..its nice bt i really wanna go bak to the time holding her on my lap…(she jus dsnt let me kiss o hug her 😦 )

me n kiddo

TO U MA….

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The power dynamics between men and women never stop, do they? Player or no player, peep toes or ballerinas; men are just about nothing without women. But it’s still hard to find words to write something about women who leave a mark on our lives. The women I know may leave an impression of being submissive but confidence is something they don’t lack. And that is really what womanhood should be all about.
 
“A woman has strengths that amaze men. She can  handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when she feels like screaming. She sings when  she feels like crying, cries when she’s happy and laughs when she’s afraid. Her love is unconditional. There’s only one thing wrong with her, she sometimes forgets what she is worth.”
-Some feminist
Happy ‘belated’ Teacher’s Day

 P.S- belated on purpose because she is often forgotten(like this post).