Monday, March 30, 2009


from a whirlwind series of travels once again.

So much for jumping with joy at the prospect of no travel. I've suddenly been put on another assignment at work and apparently travel comes as part of the larger package.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Lately, travel seems to have become the element that punctuates life in a rather appealing manner. For all my whining, I think I'd be mopier without it than with it.

2 trips have been made between the last post and now, and the next trip (hopefully the last of this fiscal) is to India in April for N's wedding. Despite the fact that I've been out of touch with most batch mates from B school, I realize I'm actually quite excited about seeing some of them after all this time. Not to mention, being able to wear that rather coveted, yet rarely worn collection of saris .


You know how they say the mind is a fickle thing? Now, there isn't a bigger fan of stability than yours truly here. But ever so often I find myself reminiscing about points in time where life was not quite in the pits, but was not quite in a rut either, if you know what I mean? If anyone up there is listening, I'm not wishing for anything to change, really. Just saying.

One IS allowed to reminisce without being told off for being too wishy washy no?


My room is making me sneeze. No really. Every time I'm outside, I'm fine. Then I come home and the firing of the cannon that is my nose begins. I'm not exaggerating, but every time I sneeze, there's about 7 of them in a row. Really.

Rooms full of people are moved to intense concern at the histrionics of my nose, and I have to hurry to assure them (WHILE recovering from the trauma my body has just been put through) that I am OK and this counts as normal in my world.

The most delicate interval (Let's call it the period of make or break) is that between when my nose has sensed that a sneeze is on its way and when the actual sneeze decides to arrive. My face contorts into this expression that is a facial analogy of an athlete's 'get set go' position. Reason I term it delicate, is IF anyone in the room happens to mention ANYthing that has ANYTHING to do with my sneezing in this interval, then the sneeze stays stuck in my nose. Annoyingly so. There's actually this brand manager I work with who once took pleasure in halting my sneezes. Thankfully, I have successfully invoked his kinder instincts and put a stop to the torture that was sneezes stuck in my nose.

Life is indeed much better now.


After this whole Mangalore Pub and Muthalik issue, I've acquired a strange aversion to anything that carries the baggage of being cultural. Even remotely so.

Yes, I understand this is an extreme reaction. But I now respond sharply to things that I previously assumed were just *normal*.

Like women moving to be with men post wedding. Like men who boast about not being able to cook, not stepping into the kitchen (I'd like you to conjure up mental images of large gorilla thumping chest and growling "I no enter kitchen"). The whole women taking on their husbands surnames, regardless of whether it is compulsions from their families or as a way to prove love.

I wonder if the men in question even tried wondering about how love is a 2 way thing, and if she takes on your surname to prove hers for you, then what's to stop you from doing the same, or asking her to reconsider her decision coz it seems unfair and one sided?

I'm not judging women who do this. I'm just wondering why everyone takes it for granted that the gestures (The mangal sutra, the toe ring, the sindoor, the ghunghat, the choodas, the surname and in extreme cases the changing of the first name) have to ALL COME FROM the WOMAN?

And the worst part is, I just heard from someone that a friend was forced to take on her husband's name because of a few tiny glitches in managing the registered ceremony. As if we didn't have enough things to worry about when we marry, this is one more to add to the paranoia. ARGH!

Imagine both spouses being clear about not doing this surname thing, and then being forced to do it for something as mundane as lack of planning? I'd seriously whack the peon/clerk in question. Esp. if he followed it up with anything on the lines of "Aaj Kal ka aurat log....".


I love this community of women bloggers and commenters - intelligent, articulate and seemingly living their lives on their own terms. Because, to me they signify everything that is Anti Muthalik. And everything that I can be proud of as a woman.

To the women out there, those I know and those I don't...but am proud of anyway...

I want to tell you how it sometimes feels when I look at the whole bunch of us from an outsider's perspective. When I try and float above my body and look at this group (including myself), objectively.

I see you putting yourself last. At the very last. No matter how educated/ evolved you are, more often than not, you give in to the temptation to deprioritize yourself. You neglect your own health and postpone those doctor's appointments until you've sorted out the ones your husband and kids need. Maybe even your parents.

You put your feelings on the back burner, especially so when you see family displaying negative emotion/ discomfort of any kind.

Husband - He's angry? Let me rush to pacify him. He's too busy? Let me get out of his way. He's too quiet? Let me give him more space, maybe I'm suffocating him? Maybe I've done something wrong? Let me fix it? Let me compromise on what I want and give him what he wants?
Maybe THAT will put the smile back on his face?

Parents - My parents are worried about me getting married. Let me meet the men they ask me to cause it would make them happy. I'm not quite sure I want to do this. But for their sakes, I must.

STOP. IT. NOW. Take a step back occasionally, and think about yourself. Maybe, just maybe, if you're happy, it'll send out good vibes and make those around you happy as well. You are not Ms. Fixit and the more you behave like her, the more you will end up being the only one who fixes things around the place. I'm not saying don't care. But sometimes, care more about yourself than others?

I've seen my mother go through life as if it were a series of tasks. 2 cesareans down, she ran into a hernial issue when I was 15. She postponed her operation by 15 days to schedule them after my class X board exams. Not only was I too foolish to not even think of objecting, but my entire stupid family took the post operative recovery process for granted to such an extent that her hernial recurred within the next 4 years and she underwent her 4th abdominal incision. Not a pleasant memory, but a constant reminder to myself to never take my own health for granted this way.

And to ALL you women out there,

You nurture and you nourish. You manage a household and in many cases a job outside of it as well. If you procrastinate caring for yourself, you'll have achieved a temporary slot into which to fit in the family's welfare. And lost about 2 years of a healthy life in the process. PLEASE DON'T.

Please let's set a good example for the generations to come by respecting ourselves and our well being?

And that's all I actually have for now. It feels nice and familiar, this wrapping up of a post.
Must. Do. More. Often.


Mogambo said...

Aha. Welcome back love. Mogambo khush hua.

TW said...

Hey.. welcome back.. but I must say.. there is whole world out there this isn't as pessimistic as your observations :))..couples who share and equally; women who have a balanced life and not one of constant servitude (of any form)..Perhaps, our parents did not have equal voices always but that is getting better with our generation... there will always be idiots in every society..but what can you do abt it other than just stay away from them..

Penguin said...

Sad-aa, instead of working like I should be, I'm sitting and reading your post!!! What will come of me, say? *Scurries back to work*

vinod kumar said...

what u say is true of all oppressed communitites, more so of the lower castes by upper castes. In which case notice how women participate equally as men (see how quickly roles are changed)!!

The domination and humiliation is slowly acknowleged as part of the usual norm, and transmitted with time as cultural values to be cherished.....even by the oppressed, and it will take time to remove this from the society, and will take a concious effort to remove, which is why Feminist movements are so important....

Its even more dangerous vis-a-vis the caste system, where even today people make such a big noise against quota systems and all that, which i am afraid is just casteism wrapped in nice sounding but hollow words like meritrocracy..etc

But at a fundamental level both men and women are the same, if u give women the power over men, u will see the exact reverse situation in a few centuries.

women are in no way "naturally" nice and decent people who like to look after others over their own problems or some such thing,

In a mother-child relationship, to some extent its biological i guess, and therefore natural and true...however its surely not true more generally.

pallavi said...

very well written are back indeed!

unpredictable said...

Mbo: all my fault, if i write long drawn out posts like this, no hope of coherent response from you over 'Mbo khush hua' no?!

TW: True, true! I'm just saying that there's FAR too many of these out there to make me feel like the good is enough to balance out the bad already.

Penguin: Useless woman. Work!

Vinod: I don't think the innate tendency to put others before oneself is an attribute men commonly display. And trust me, it does not make women 'nice' - it makes them quite stupid sometimes.

Pallavi: D_N_R_??? oh yeah i am! :)

Mogambo said...

The joy of beholding thy prose overrides all coherent thought, lady. Hence total khushi. For Mogambo. Now write more.

pallavi said...

yes DNR :)

Wanderer said...

i think (like other forms of oppression) it's unfortunate, but you have to fight and be lucky. from the brave ones some will survive and pass on their genes. not everyone fights and not everyone is lucky.

some tribes here in vietnam have the men moving to the woman's village after marriage, taking care of house type while the woman is the hunter-gatherer... same same in meghalaya.