Day 3: Celebration

I’ve been missing in action a long time and most of that can be attributed to just how many curve-balls life has thrown me the past few days. Before I let the whining take over, I will explain what brings me here. Some of the older blogger peeps whom I used to read rather religiously, like Monika and Rohini, have initiated an effort to come back to blogging and writing more regularly. I’ve been wanting to do just that and this seems like an opportunity where getting the oft-required nudge might be easier than finding self-motivation. However, given my current state of my mind and life, I am setting myself up for at least 20 days of blogging in December under this Blog Marathon and not all 31 (having missed 2 days already and setting real targets etc.) Here goes today’s post:

Marathon Blogger

Yesterday, the husband A and I celebrated the third anniversary of our wedding day. Three years of being married and nearly six of having been together seem to have just fit into my life story like they were always supposed to, and yet my wedding day seems like a blurry memory from far far away. I don’t know if the learning curve in a marriage continues to be this steep when you step into, say, double digit years of being married to each other but so far, I can distinctly see how different I am as a person and a partner than I was three years ago.  I don’t think I have written about A very often, and I do dislike mushy public proclamations of love but this once, it doesn’t feel overt. Through many of my phases and moods and illnesses, he has been my rock and my best friend this year. I’m still going through a rather uncertain and stressful phase, and the one thing I never need to worry about is having his support in doing the right thing. With the hand I’ve been dealt, I am the weak one this time and as I lean on him to do the thinking and the motivating and the other tiring work these days, I cannot help but be thankful for him being who he is. My favourite memory of this year, grim like the tone of this post, has to be from August. Fighting the chicken pox and the fever and the headaches and the itchiness that come with it, I burst into tears and was crying pitifully unable to sleep one night. The meds were taking their time to ease my discomfort and I felt the worst ever. A, who must have been stressed and worried and tired like anyone dealing with a sick person at 3 a.m. will be, gave up on telling me practical things like trying to sleep, drinking more water and just started singing for me. It was so peaceful listening to him that I did manage to smile after a while and actually fall asleep. I woke up after a while to still find him humming and fell asleep again. It was a moment that will stay with me whenever I find myself being selfish and unreasonable with him.

Happy Anniversary to us 🙂

Who the hell celebrates V-day?

I do!

Yes, if your issue with V-day is that “whyyyy? love should be celebrated all days!”, you must know that there are people in the world like me and the husbz who:

– don’t meet each other on all days of the week, almost every week

– sometimes have to wave frantically at each other for the other to stop their phone marathon and talk about something important

– live in the same house but on different time zones

– talk more work than other stuff on any given day

Such people don’t want to miss out on just another reason for a dinner date 😉

No pink teddy bears and heart shaped chocolates for us, but yes, getting a slight buzz will do wonderfully.

All Sorts of Milestones

Hello! (I can almost hear the echo of that, for there’s nobody here other than me). If someone checked (and massage my ego and say you did), I’m sorry for having disappeared on you without as much as a cryptic warning. I know the feelings of funny betrayal and missing someone and the twinge of why-world-why I feel when one of my favourite blogs goes underground one fine day. So if someone felt that way because of me, and I can almost see their angry faces squinting into their screens right now, please don’t be. Because I’m back. And for good.

So why I went under, first? Well, I became a minor celebrity and I realized not all fans deserve me 😀 No, that’s not it. I was stupid and naive and had always considered this blog as an open platform for interaction, but sometimes the clashing of the real and the virtual worlds comes in a way that does rattle you. Also, I learnt that I’m not that don’t-care-a-damn, in fact nobody I know is. While I did not get into any “trouble”, but it was unsettling to feel that my semi-anonymity clad personal thoughts/rants/goofs will be compared to who I am in other spheres. Am I openly airing that I have two personalities? Maybe, yes. There are so many people in our real worlds (acquaintances, colleagues, relatives) who don’t seem too keen on understanding or even listening to the intricacies of our personal lives, our stand on social issues or our inane fictional stories. In an ideal world, we’ll all have 10 people in our lives who would make up for this lack of understanding. But as far as the world is not ideal, schizophrenic personalities shall rule 🙂

Now, what took me so long to move to a new place and take you out of your misery? (I do take the liberty to assume I have a large-ish audience, don’t I?) Well, first was the decision to move at all. It was rather tempting to NOT have a blog at all. I felt that that very idea is liberating too. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and subscribe to over 70 blogs on Reader, and I thought that if I still yearned for more virtual interaction, I first needed to get some help. Then the fact that I have had so many issues with blogging in the last few months also started to play on  my mind. Encouraging triviality, time consuming, mind games, not writing enough, writing enough and more in comments on other blogs – all things that have at some point coaxed me into shutting shop. I got over the interaction issue in a jiffy, because though Twitter is awesome fun, it’s not my medium. I feel under pressure on Twitter. Like I have a character limit in which to say what I want, and a time limit in which to say it before the world moves on to another hashtag. FB was never my medium in the first place, except that it’s the easiest to stay in touch with some people whom I don’t get to speak to on their birthdays any more or whose kids I won’t get to meet as often as I want to. Call me egotistical, but it also bothers me that my well-meant heated rant should be sandwiched between a ‘what colour is your heart’ and ‘X poked Y’ on someone’s wall. Linkedin, well, I don’t think that’s anybody’s medium at all 😀 So while blogging it had to be for me and all the other things that I had a grouse with about blogging, btw, stay. You know, once you’ve chosen a poison, you can’t expect it to be sweet and all that. Next, I realized that my burning desire to blogging notwithstanding, one needed a laptop to do something about it. Well, I had quit my job the same day I had taken the blog private and with it had gone my object of obsession – the laptop. The one spare abandoned laptop at home died a flickering death on me mercilessly. The laziness and the broke-ness ensured that a new purchase was deferred till some serious motivation was infused. But, the good husband came to the rescue and put in some jugaad and has managed to get me a spanking new (albeit, temporary) laptop to give my need for social networking a fresh lease. Actually, he got it for me to “move your ass and get that resume going” but I like to imagine things. Once that was done, my technologically challenged-ness took over. So there was the uh, how do I import these posts? Oh, what do I call the new blog – something not very different and yet just a little bit (hence, the unimaginative “Another Dark Comedy”)? Finally, I have learnt upon much googling that I cannot carry my old blog stats (and thus much ego) to the new blog, and in that sense, it’s got to be a fresh start. The rest of the stuff is sorted and here we are.

Next, what have I been upto? I quit my job. I know I said it already, but it’s worth saying twice when you’ve waited long enough to say it 😀 Oh, and through a series of unplanned events, it ended up being on a Monday! Is it a dream or what? Right now, I feel like the world is my oyster and there are so many possibilities in life. A month down, when the boredom starts to get to me and the lack of monies makes me pinch my pennies and the interviews or the lack of them are making me nervous, I’ll be right here ranting away I’m quite sure. Most importantly right now, I feel relieved like a bad dream is over. And that alone makes this move so worth it.

Secondly, we had our first wedding anniversary. A year of being together. One amazing, fun year of sharing life with someone I adore to bits. One year of growing up in many different ways. It sure feels like I’m into the journey in all ways now, and am up for everything to come. Here’s to us and our own little funny interesting lovely version of marriage 🙂 We celebrated with family in Kolkata, and had a really good time. And about the presents? Let’s just say that Steve Jobs got a bit richer, all thanks to us 😀 I had tall plans of squeezing in meets with a couple of blogger friends in Kolkata (specially Dipali), which never worked out 😐 It never works out with me. I have to make a very laidback plan to visit both Bangalore and Kolkata next time, so I can manage it.

Now that I’m at home, I have been obviously vegetating in front of the idiot box, refreshing my Twitter feeds obsessively and wasting time in new new ways. But if I’ve learnt anything from the past, it is that while I LOVE doing all this through the course of the day and never tire of it, depression sets in in the evenings when I realize what a waste of a day it’s been. And of course, the next day is just the same. So I did resolve to do at least one or two productive things every day since the very beginning this time. One good thing it has resulted into is a LOT of cooking. I love to cook, and I don’t know if I’ve said it before, I’m obsessed with food blogs, shows, recipes, pictures.. everything! Last few days gave me the time to shop for those rare ingredients, and to cook. And I’m happy to say that most of what I’ve cooked has turned out rather well. It’s not just me patting my own back; my (reluctantly) supportive family agrees as well 😀 The gymming has been rather regular too, but if the cooking and eating continues at this rate, I might consider an additional fun workout because well, the current workouts aren’t a suitable counter to how much I can hog!

Oh, and in the near future, since I did “move my butt”, I will be busy carpet-bombing the job market and day-dreaming about the vacation that starts next week. Yes, we’re off to Singapore for a Christmas vacation. I’m so excited. Loads of shopping is on the cards.. in fact, that’s my primary agenda on this vacation. Yayyy!!

And now, though I have a whole list of topics I have parked aside for “when I get the new blog going”, I will come back to say more. Specially on my 2011 resolutions. Yeah, I know resolutions are lame and not meant to be stuck to, but this time, I have an interesting list to put up and if I stick to half of it, a halo shall emerge on my head. So win-win.

Oh, and the reason for the title? Well, a milestone in married life. A milestone in career. And a milestone in blogging – this being the 100th post 🙂 100 posts in justshortof 4 years. I know, not a number to boast of. But something to be happy about, because I wrote exactly 50 posts in the last 3 years. And the last 50 in 10 months. Because I wanted to, and also because I made an effort to reach out to interesting people and they reciprocated. One the interaction began, 50 seemed like an easy target. Yes, I have my own concerns about this weird medium, but the little flutter in my heart on seeing a comment appear in my mailbox never seems to dull. A virtual audience caring enough to read through the monologues of a self-absorbed rambler AND leaving their thoughts in the comment box too? That NEVER happens in real life 🙂

Here’s to the 100th. May the next 100 take lesser than 4 years to come into being!

The age old question

.. the younger man-older woman debate.

I happen to be older than my husband, and somehow the novelty of that fact never seems to wear off  as far as shocking people is concerned. Add to that, the facts that we’re not from the same caste, neither the same community, nor the same region and we’re practically stuff for nationwide shock and awe 😀 But while the inter-community marriages are getting their fair share of airtime, thanks to Khap Panchayats and their ability to shell out fresh stuff every fortnight, my grudge today is largely the age thing.

Okay, so our age difference is  just a few months – not a few years – but in a society where the guy is supposed to be a few years older than the girl, that’s bad enough. Most people see this as a negative 2 – 3 years imbalance.. and as is the norm, THE question of how early/ late you can / must have kids becomes even more of a public debate in our situation.

But what is funny is that most of these shocked reactions come from women. Most men who know about this don’t seem to give a damn, but the women either tsk-tsk or quickly get down to the baby-making mathematics. All credit to my thick hide, I can deal with those kinds. But the other day, one woman really took it to another level. Here was her reaction:

How can one respect a husband who is younger than her?

A question so loaded, it could be fodder for entire novels or soaps. Oh wait, it already has been. Here’s what this assumes:

Assumption 1: Respect is a factor of number of years someone is older than you.

Ofcourse, it totally fits in. Isn’t that the reason why some parents have zero considerations for their children’s right to life and enthusiastically participate in honour killings? If respect was a two-way street, parents could probably respect a younger person’s opinion, and then where will we all be? In a Hindu scripture predicted hell!

Assumption 2: The respect question is irrelevant in the “normal” scenario i.e. younger woman – older man marriage. 

Right. And again, women who are respected in a marriage is the stuff of fairy tales. Respecting women in a marriage is shitloads of work for all involved – you need to listen to and talk to her like an equal, accommodate her dreams and goals in the big pictures, pitch in, love, forgive, fight for her, be by her side against all odds… nothing that sounds like as much fun as ingesting good food and snoring away to glory and waking up to the smell of more good food in the oven. So yeah, why are we even talking about this?

Assumption 3: No no, men do respect the younger women but on their own terms, which is difficult to do if the woman is older. Because then, you know, they think of you as one of the same age bracket as mommy or aunty or something.

This is as true as the younger wives thinking of their husbands as their uncles or fathers! What? They don’t? How could that be? That just defies logic.

Assumption 4: What about kids? You’d want them, he won’t..

Ofcourse, in the case of a younger wife, she’d ALWAYS want the kids when the husband does. After all, she is a respecting wife! In fact, this could be one of the opportunities to get respected in return. See, it’s all thought out.

I find it rather amusing that this should still be a taboo, after Demi Moore, Aishwarya Rai and Anjali Tendulkar have side-stepped this “issue”, but then we live in a country where the celebs and non-celebs live in different worlds, separated by a chasm governed by moral police and social stereotypes. Well, atleast I know I’m in good company 😉

Oh, and I told the woman: “Luckily, I have no choice but to respect him. I’m so much shorter.” She seemed to have bought it, and that’s a story for another day 🙂

In Which We Inflict Boredom Upon Thee

I have nothing much to say and yet there’s a bunch of ideas. It’s disturbing that I keep writing posts which jump from one random thought to another. It’s especially disturbing since I’ve submitted my blog for review here. (Yes, I do plan on putting up their review on the blog, however good or bad humbling it turns out to be, but don’t hold your breath).

So my mind flits unabashed till the day they receive that they asked for. Here’s what I have – my garbled thoughts:

  1. After a WHILE of resisting it, I’m realizing that FB birthday wishes are not such a bad thing after all. I held the grudge this long because I think it’s a sweet gesture to earmark a birthday in our mental calendar. In a typical setting of technology automating human effort, one little widget was wiping off the figment of our care for family and friends (not to mention, an exercise in keeping good memory). It also makes people forget about calling or even texting you on your birthday and it’s probably killing Hallmark, but I do realize now that it’s sometimes a thing to look forward to that people you haven’t spoken to in a year or two, will see that one update in the side window and will leave a message without the awkwardness that may come with a phone call. Like your boyfriend from 10 years back. And maybe, the figment of our care got tinier and we should be thankful for what we get.
  2. I have no work at the office. This has more or less been the case since I returned from the vacation. This is NOT a bad thing. I know I risk sounding like someone who wants to get paid for browsing the net all day, but I would hate you if you guilt me for this. Because 1. It almost never happened to me in all of 2 years of working in this place. 2. It’s needed. 3. It’s not my fault.
  3. My brother has been down with jaundice since last week. He’s such an attention freak! My mother, who loves to find something to worry about, is obviously super tense. But she told me this morning that she is very tired. I had this strange feeling you get when someone behaves out-of-character. My mother never says she is tired. It’s making me sad. And I really wish I was in Delhi.
  4. Of all things that one can do to make themselves feel cheerful, my favourite is grocery shopping. I spent a glorious hour at Hypercity on Sunday morning, and cold cuts and cracked pepper cheese made my day better. At the same time, I hate Big Bazaar because of the ugly ‘Buy 4, Get 1 Free!’ humongous packs of everything they stock. When it comes to good things, less is more.
  5. Friday – the husband’s birthday – was spent well. A chocolate cake, an X-box and a new watch made the boy happy. The weather played along, and it rained through the evening. We got a new car too and drove off for a family dinner while trying to figure out the dashboard buttons. Much fun!
  6. As far as my career is concerned, I could well have made a job out of staring at a wall and still managed more “job satisfaction” than I do currently. I should really quit. If there ever was a reason to stay, I can’t seem to find it in my head right now. Mostly because my head is full of reasons why I should not stay and why I should never have stayed.
  7. I seem to be getting the hang of Twitter finally. But s.l.o.w.l.y. Interestingly, I think of it like TV watching. I just read what other people have to say, and I almost never comment or reply. I feel tweeting is like shouting into space. In 140 characters, ofcourse.
  8. Yesterday, I suddenly recalled the incident that happened just before my wedding. We were on the train to Kolkata where the wedding happened, and we met this pesky guy who claimed to know palmistry. Many people from my entourage got giddy with excitement, and I buried my nose even deeper in my book. He, however, politely declined most and said he was not comfortable with saying unpleasant things in public to anyone. I giggled. He then asked to read my palm. And the relatives (who can’t leave anyone alone) did the whole “Haanji, batao batao” thing. I am sure he guessed it from the way I was vehemently trying to dissuade everyone from making me do this, but he spoke at length about my temper. Or the ugliness of it. (So much for not wanting to say unpleasant things.) And he ended it with “Don’t lose temper at your wedding. It won’t be good.” And it really wasn’t pretty. Oh well.
  9. Remember I wrote about my fitness plan hoping you, the readers, would kick my ass if I tried to go the ‘Fat Is In!’ route again? No? So much for blogging and accountability. Anyway, here’s an update. The gymming has been fun-tastic. In the manner of desperate boasting, let me bring to your notice that I went to the gym thrice even while on holiday. Slap me or cheer me! We did that because it helps stay motivated after coming back and not like “What’s the point? I neutralized so much effort in the last week”. Also, it helps hold on to that tiny shred of dignity upon return, when the trainer orders you to squat x 75. The eating is however a whole different story. It involves buffets, chocolate cake and biryanis. Today is the day we do crunches and other ab exercises. Or the day I pray harder.
  10. Like I said, I have no work and that always means more time online. That, for me, means discovering more blogs. Blogging makes me believe I’m so different from and so similar to so many people in the world. It makes me crystallize my own thoughts on things I’d likely never have spent time thinking on my own. I read somewhere that reading on varied abstract topics expands the mind, making it more tolerant and absorbing. I can safely say that reading the blogs I read does that job as well as the books I read.
  11. Speaking of reading, I’ve been trying to organize my reading habit. No buying more books before the ones I have, have been read. No picking up a new book before the one I’m reading is done with. Will you believe me if I say I still haven’t finished reading A Suitable Boy? I love that book but it weighs a ton, and can’t be travelled with. So. But will set that straight soon.
  12. Speaking of being organized, I re-arranged my closet and the book shelf on Saturday. I then also tried to de-tangle the wire-bunch that I had been procrastinating on, for weeks. Gave up. Anyway, this fixing-what-ain’t-broke kind of cleaning I do is like an obsession. Does anyone else here believe folding clothes is strangely calming? What anti-depressants do you recommend?
  13. I really didn’t want to write a long post about a mishmash of things today. And look now! Point no.13! I knew I should have done a tag instead.
  14. Every time I go shopping, I end up buying stuff very similar to what I have. Does it happen to everyone? Like you *think* you know what looks good on you, and you buy a lot of that? Just to break the cycle, I decided to NOT go to the same stores I visit, the last time I went shopping. Guess what? I didn’t like anything. So then I got some silver necklace like the kinds I’ve never worn before. Baby steps.
  15. I crave home-cooked rajma chawal almost everyday. Our very Bengali cook does not know how to buy/ cook “Raujmoh”. Sigh! So that’s one more thing to put on my To-Do-In-Delhi list.
  16. The last two days have been cloudy but it refuses to rain. We’re walking around, looking up at the sky in anticipation. Still, I don’t want to be complaining because folks in Delhi have it worse than us, and also because it’s always heavily cloudy when I’m on my way to work and back. That is anyday better than being in the car when it’s sunny.
  17. My MIL hasn’t been feeling well the last few days. It’s very different seeing her being so down and out. For the last year and a half I’ve known her, I’ve always seen her up and about. Gardening, cooking, cleaning. Sickness in the family pulls me down easiest.
  18. I just remembered I have two C&H books I got from Bangalore to read. And I still haven’t watched Raavan. Is it THAT bad? Okay, if I HATE Bachchan Jr. and can JUST ABOUT tolerate his wife, how bad will it be to watch it just for Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman? Never mind, I know I’ll have to see it to conclude on that.
  19. What is a really good time to run a 5K in, on the treadmill? And what is really lousy? I just want to know so that I can put on the blog how much time I take. Give me numbers, somebody!
  20. I’m off now. Thanks for bearing this. Do tell what’s up with you. As you can see, you can really go all out and not worry about order / significance here 🙂

Banalities

You know what happened a few days back? I was lazing around and browsing Twitter and seeing celebrities shower their precious gyaan upon us lesser mortals, when I mentioned off-hand “Why’s Sachin Tendulkar still not on Twitter?” Just like that. Like a passing thought. And the husband replied with an equally half-felt “Well, I guess he has a life.” And the next morning, there it was. “Sachin Tendulkar joins the Twitter celeb brigade.” It was rather surreal. Chuck took back his having-a-life comment quickly – he worships The 10dulkar. He also maintains that he is certain that I must have read it somewhere. Naansense! I was zapped. And confused. With a sad knowledge that nobody will ever believe me, except my blog readers (one of whom, btw, came here searching for a “punjabi wordpress theme”. I’m flattered but sorry to disappoint you with a normal language and culture neutral general theme, paaji). So yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am telepathic with Sachin Tendulkar 😀

Anyway, the last weekend was quite something. Friday was an absolute nightmare, with work being a total bitch. One client crying somewhere, one proposal begging to be finished, one review being done in 15 minute yelling sessions. And a flight to catch at 9 pm. I was going to Bangalore for the weekend where my in-laws stay, because it was their wedding anniversary on Sunday and a college friend of the husband’s had invited us for his wedding reception on Saturday. So I was wrapping up the proposal, calling the crying client and the worried manager on two separate lines and printing out my ticket at the same time. Imagine my disappointment then when I reach the airport, I find that the flight was delayed by almost 3 hours already, IF it was to leave at all. “Ma’am, it’s coming from Guwahati.. blah blah.. bad weather.. blah blah.. diverted to Agartala.. blah blah…not sure what time it will depart… Sorry!” I toyed with the idea of staying on at the airport or going home and coming back in time for the flight, but the situation looked quite bleak. Also, even I am scared of the idea of a groggy me trying to fight the tiredness of the day, getting on a flight at an ungodly hour, landing in another city at a worse hour and then having to embrace the one-hour ride home. I’m almost sure to snap at someone or the other. I’m not a night person. Or a morning person. Or a life person. Naturally, I did not want to subject others to such a me. So tickets were cancelled, re-booked for the next morning and I went off home. Inexplicably, that made me very sad. I hate travel plans being spoilt or cancelled. Or missing flights or trains. It’s not a good feeling to walk out of a airport you wanted to be flying out of.

The next morning dawned early, very very early and I was in Bangalore at home by 8.45 am. That’s quite something, no? I was idling my day away well aware of the reception in the evening, very smug in the knowledge that I packed a lovely blue sari. Small glitch here: I know not the first thing about draping saris. To me, it’s no less wondrous than that the Leaning Tower of Pisa balances itself that a sari should stay in its place for 3 hours without a single safety pin. So yes, I had a plan. Of going to the nearest parlor and asking them to get me into the sari in a way that it stays put. However, much laziness transpired and I decided I’d just ask the MIL to do the honours for me. She very gracefully agreed to do the needful, and I went back to gallivanting aimlessly about the house. Now, the thing about my MIL is that she can tie a sari and carry one with her eyes closed, much unlike me and 33 previous ancestral relations of mine. True to her promise, she tied the sari for me and left for the airport to pick up the SIL and her daughter. She entrusted me with the job of pinning the requisite parts of the sari for the foolproofness that I wanted – the rest was done. What happened after that resulted in the sari looking like a gown and a bunched up gamccha in parts as I tried to pin it, me having a meltdown, a panic attack, admitting defeat and changing into a salwar kameez and finally leaving the house amidst controlled under-the-breath curses by Chuck, because I had delayed us by 1 whole hour. I wanted to cry but really I could not risk looking any worse than I already was. And I HATE being late. It was damn embarrassing. And I really will never wear a sari again. It’s decided.

Just maybe though, it was for the better because it was a rather backslapping and pulling each others’ legs kind of scene, than being all ooh-I-grew-up-and-started-wearing-saris. The newly weds made a lovely couple, and the other friends were very keen on asking the already-married us to share some tips with them on how to “survive” it. Thankfully, by the time we got back, I had emerged from my sad and embarrassed state. Except when the MIL and the SIL asked alarmed “What happened to the sari?”, I had to cook up a cock-and-bull story on the spot. This is all so embarrassing, I will have to perform a shift-delete function on my brain to erase this incident forever.

The next day was the ILs’ anniversary and also Mother’s Day. We were all going to go and meet some of Chuck’s parents’ friends for lunch. Guess who was going to wear jeans nomatterwhat? 😀 Off we went for what turned out to be an afternoon of a scrumptious lunch, a drool-worthy coffee cake and meeting with interesting people. We met a couple, almost the same age as us, one a Bengali and the other from Nagaland. It’s almost like I see us when I see such couples – not understanding each other’s native language very well, trying, observing, being confused, amused, getting along, being awkward but managing it all because it’s our choice. Which got me thinking of Nirupama Pathak. A young girl stepping out of the confines of her home and village into the big city, bright and smart, making a career and falling in love with an equally bright classmate. This sort of news tells you that maybe it’s not such a bad thing that some children don’t have parents. Also, very selfishly, in such news, I find an answer to what do I have in the world to be thankful for. I have my and my husband’s family, who held us and our decision to spend our strange lives together, much much above all differences of region, caste, language and other such things! For all our ideas of a rising India, how many couples have that happiness of making a choice and being supported wholeheartedly by both their families, their special days celebrated with so much love. I never quite appreciated it, I feel. There are so many days to be an ingrate but today, let me shoot up a prayer to thank thee, Lord. It was rather appropriate that this bout of god-thanking and parent-worship should come upon me on Mother’s Day you think? Don’t worry, I balanced it out with a phone argument with the mother.

Oh, and on the way back, we saw Katrina Kaif at the airport with Bangalore junta mobbing her. Poor girl couldn’t buy a coffee and drink it too 😀 I tried helping her distract the mob by announcing I’m telepathic with Sachin Tendulkar, they just wouldn’t believe me. Sorry, Katrina! 😐 And if you haven’t had enough of my hobnobbing with celebrities or being telepathic with them (remember?), Jimmy Shergill – the man I love since his Maachis days, despite his lame acting – is following me on Twitter. You say it’s an impostor?! Could you please let me dream big now?

Remembering to Forget

Well, a lot of people have asked / requested / threatened me into doing a post on my wedding (for the uninitiated, the deed was committed on the 2nd of Dec, 2009). Why the delay, do you ask? Well, the best wedding advice I got was from my paternal uncle who said:

There’s no doubt that marriage is suffering. But since nothing can be done about that NOW, remember that the one with a sharper memory is the unhappier of the two. Learn and remember to forget.

I, being the quintessential good student, completely internalized it and forgot to write/speak/talk wedding and related memorabilia. It could also be that I was shocked into silence. However, the threats have gotten a little uncomfortable of late, and so here I am, posting it here (not a complete account, by any standards.. just observations). Here goes:

Punjabi Weddings (in my family at least) are EXACTLY the big fat monstrosities they are made out to be on the screen by the Chopras, Johars and their in-laws. (We are nothing if not honest.) Now, without much ado, here are the thingummies that characterize a Punjoo wedding:

  1. Rich (oily), yummy (spicy) food served with freely flowing alcohol, relished with deeeeeeeep conversation about how olive oil fried pakoras would have been healthier
  2. Relatives, mostly hyperactive, atleast one deciding to go naraaz on the host on the friggin’ wedding day (all the time! I mean, come on!)
  3. Auntyjis exchanging notes on saris, shoes, handbags, chandni chowk, zari, silk, paper silk, winter wear, inner wear, inner winter wear (I’m only stopping here to spare you! Appreciate!) amidst plenty bride-ribbing
  4. Said aunties breaking into random songs and jigs in the highest pitch possible, amidst nudging shoving the bride around
  5. Mummyji, a sweet but hyper pill-popping diabetic motherly person – being very hassled, dragging everyone for lunch/breakfast/dinner and handing sweets / tijori ki chaabi / red dupatta required at 5.20 am next morning, to random person A, and then spending 5 hours looking for random person A because it’s 3:20 am. Hey bhagwaan, how will the ritual start in ONLY two hours without the red dupatta
  6. A bride-to-be, being (a) always hurried to go somewhere – go to the temple, the pooja needs to begin or go to the parlor, they need to make you beautiful or go to the room and rest for a while, and then go to the parlor. (b) advised continuously on useless stuff and (c) the butt of random community jokes, since she’s marrying a non-Punjabi [Yes, my relatives think the word “rossogulla” is hilarious. We are very north-bred racists sometimes. Excuse!]
  7. Events that start at least a couple of hours late, muhurats be damned, because we believe in being fashionably late plus we do not have any real customs, we simply improvise on the go
  8. Frenzy of activity that leads you to believe people are just too damn bored and are hence, doing all this to keep themselves engaged.. you see, a LOT of furniture being moved around / chai being served around / cards being played
  9. Something being missed or lost i.e. hawww,-woh-red-wala-bag-to-ghar-pe-hi-reh-gaya, followed by a quick passing-the-buck session i.e. main-laya-tha-maasi-woh-maine-issko-diya-tha and nahi-mujhe-kab-diya-tha followed by someone driving at breakneck speed to get the red wala bag
  10. Thanks to being a (reluctant) part of my mother’s family, I have learnt to deal with a LOT of lists. List of what to buy, what to get wrapped in green paper, what to get wrapped in pink paper, what is to remain unwrapped, whose stuff is in which bag etc etc AND a list of who owns which list. True Story: Since we were travelling to Calcutta from Delhi for the wedding, we had enough stuff with us for some co-passengers to get fed up with our endless packets falling on their heads throughout the first half of the journey. They almost got off the train with a polite “Hum kal chale jayenge”. Therefore, my mother, in all her infinite wisdom, had locked all the suitcases and made a list of which key is for which lock, along with the location of the key (since she’s really really forgetful). We reached our destination in Cal, only to learn that this master list was nowhere to be found. Let the record state that there was a lot of yelling, tugging at suitcases to shock-and-awe them into opening, broken locks and some keys found to locks that had already been broken.

Bengali weddings, on the other hand, (or on the same hand, you decide!) are more likely to be all about:

  1. Syrupy sweet food – if you haven’t eaten Sandesh (again, this word cracks up my ENTIRE family – “Shawn-Desh” hahahaha.. *tears rolling down their cheeks*.. aaaahahaha! Right.) on your visit to Calcutta, you have – in some indirect way – proven that the hosts weren’t doing a great job of hosting you.
  2. Relatives who almost thrive on the misery of the bride and the groom. Mark my words, Bengali cousins are most mean
  3. Mashis, Pishis and Maamis  who are super sweet, but have a looooong list of ‘do this, do that’ and you better smile and DO THIS AND DO THAT
  4. Meshos and other assorted uncles who are there for item no. 1 and to discuss politics
  5. Mummyji and Papaji, hassled by the time the bride gets to meet them but super-excited, and hence resembling her parents, being bullied by the aunties (refer item 3)
  6. A groom-to-be, being (a) always hurried to go somewhere – go to the temple, the pooja needs to begin or go to the salon, they need to make you presentable or go to the room and rest for a while, and then go to the salon. (b) advised continuously on useless stuff and (c) the butt of random community jokes, since he’s marrying a non-Bengali [Yes, his relatives think “balle balle” is hilarious. They are very east-bred racists sometimes. Excuse!]
  7. Events that start at an hour when the Punjabi junta party is still… err.. into their fifth cup of tea after which they will “pakka se, get up and get ready! fikar na karo tussi.. waise bhi ekdum 7 baje thoda kuch shuru hoga?”
  8. Planning about the next day, and the next day, and the day after that.. because they, my friend, have LONG weddings… make-you-feel-this-was-a-bad-idea-to-begin-with LONG… or they-should-have-a-time-out-somewhere LONG
  9. Customs and rituals relating to everything – when the bride gets to meet the guy custom – CHECK. morning bath custom – CHECK. what clothes you wear custom – CHECK. when you step out of your room custom – CHECK. when you eat your first meal custom – CHECK. when you rip your hair out custom – WIP, I’m sure
  10. Bengali jokes that, you know, are VERY funny (I’m told) BUT cannot be translated. So, you live with it. Like I did

Now I leave you with the task of fusing the two lists above, throwing in a bride (that’s me!) who isn’t very cooperative in such circumstances, and adding not one, not two but THREE receptions to this deadly mixture and voila! that’s my wedding saga!

Dobara mat poochna!! 😀

So yeah, we survived it and we were off to a lovely holiday soon after. Might do another (relatively more sane) post on the wedding soon, with pictures, when I can stomach opening that CD. Or I think I’ll wait another decade.

PS: Sorry for all the Hinglish 🙂