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Showing posts from January, 2012

Ownership

The Dilemma continues in my mind. This time it is to shift or not shift. Own house vs rented house. Own house on loan vs house given by the company. Own house in suburbs vs a company place in town. Own house far from work and kids school vs a well located rented accommodation. Own house road facing vs rented house sea facing. Own house with a pool n huge lawns vs a single building in the rented block. Own house to do furniture vs fully furnished company given flat. I have lived in hostels for fourteen years of my life and in company given accomadation for the last eleven years. Hostels were fine except for the social taboo in the Gujarati community. The moment I said I live in a hostel, the looks changed. Sly comments like Now you dont like living at home and hostel timings would arise. I took it with a pinch of salt. But staying in a company given flat post marriage has been tough. The people in your building look at you as if thats the worst that could happen. Its always a rented p…

She is India

She has grown up in a constructed chawl in the suburbs. They are four sisters and one brother. She is the youngest. Her father is no more. Eldest sister s husband no more. She and her mom live with the eldest sister to support her and her children. She worked at a resort for five years cleaning the spa, changing rooms, massage rooms etc. Her mom worked as the cleaning lady in the hospital. Mom would get them acetone from the hospital so they could remove their nail polish. She saw my nail polish remover while cleaning and asked me what it was. She said we couldn't afford it.
She has never lived in a slum and she calls it jhopadpatti. She is clean and well groomed. She is constantly washing her hands after every cleaning job. The place we call a BMC chawl ie Bombay Municipal corporation chawl, she calls it jhopadpatti. She blames her luck that she has to live in a slum. The move from Kandivili to Dadar is of no importance to her. She doesn't know that this chawl can fetch more …

Cut

Got up early this morning. Went for the 615am yoga batch. It was pitch dark. I thank Mumbai and its people for keeping it safe. Class was dark too as the shavasan was going on which is the sleeping pose. On the way, there was Mayhem. Lots of branches of every single tree had been cut by the corporation. The monsoons are still far away but they have butchered the canopy which formed on the full road. All branches and leaves had been chopped and thrown for some other agency to pick it up. One man was collecting the twigs and branches for his night bonfire. Even in the corporation, one agency throws stuff on the road, in this case greenery and another agency picks it up.
My heart bleeds for the life in the trees cut for no reason at all. In colaba, they want to cut 50 trees for road widening. I know that street well and there is hardly any traffic there. They plan to cut all 100 year old trees so that some people and some contractors benefit.
Such is life. Cut, chop, cook and eat.
Lights, …

Sea Lounge

When I write about a guy, it is not to cast aspersions on the guy or his family or the middle people who show us the boy or my family who wish to see me settled. It is just that the world is full of all kinds of people and I am sharing the impressions I had as a twenty something. I definitely don't want to criticize anyone. Telling you , frees me up. So thank you for listening.

I had just started working. There came a guy, we met at the renowned Taj. By now the 'Sea Lounge' waiters must be recognizing me as all the meetings would be there. I d pray that the waiters are discreet or a different one at our table or the meeting is on a different shift. Sea Lounge is this incredibly beautiful tea/ coffe/ snacks place at the old Taj.Calling it a coffe shop would be blasphemy. The moment you climb the red carpeted staircase of the old taj, you start walking with your shoulders drawn back and your chin up. It has the regal air about it. The seating is sofas drawing room style and …

Guy 2

Must share about a guy I had to see for marriage. My cousin n her hubby took me to a friend s place for a party. The friend was the Guy. Good looking , rich and beautiful house with a balcony. House also had an ethnic swing and paintings on the walls. Very tasteful and so unlike a Gujju household. Gujarati houses are 'oh so interior decorator' made. There is no planning involved by the women folk. Not because the men consider their women inferior but most Gujju women do not have good taste in aesthetic or artistic things. They are good cooks and good shoppers. They run the house with 'Karkasar' which means with sensible expenditure no wasteful stuff. But the creativity in the aesthetic appeal of the house ends here. I am being biased, as being a Gujarati, I have visited lots of Gujarati houses. But this house was unique and the guy s sister was a curator and an art gallery owner. Nice gathering of married couple and new parents. I was completely out of place and the gu…

Unfair Mom

We in India are all obsessed with our skin colour. When I had been to pay the swimming fees, There was a mother daughter in the line. The daughter was a good tennis player. Mom made her stop playing in summers as she had become very dark. She told me that she doesn't mind the child playing in the rains. Her son was in some IPL team but she was concerned about her daughter becoming dark. Daughter was a school going kid of 12.

The other day at the swimming pool, I met a girl. She said she has comes for the first time in years. We were changing and she saw my tan. She told me she wont come to swim as she is getting married in four months time and she cannot afford to look dark. This was a rich, educated girl with an I phone 4S. The reason to write this is that irrespective of the social strata they belong to, people in India are thinking the same about skin colour. I told her I used to swim regularly before I got married and nothing happens. She just gave me a little disgusted look. I…

Live it up

I cant discuss my writings with my husband. I can talk about all that I did the whole day. I can talk about what I chatted with whom, but I cant talk about what I wrote and why. So I feel the writing is more personal or is it a different me. Actually lot of friends do not connect with me and what I write, And then there are friends who cannot connect with the 'housewife' me because they knew the 'working' me. Lot of relatives compliment about my switchover from a working women. All have this wonder element about how could I manage to quit working. Actually all the things in life have been a gradual progression from one level to another. Not that there are any levels, stages may be a better word.

The passing thru has never been simple nor easy, but in hindsight, it has all worked out. It always works out for all of us, eventually. The question is how much time are we willing to give ourselves. Its a matter of going with the flow and working on yourself. This whole sermo…

I got a dressing down

I don't know whether to continue this guessing game or just say it upfront. Suggestions to only write romantic fiction have come too. Didn't know my life sounded romantic. Gives me a high.

We had just started going out to discs as the discotheque was called in those days. Never heard these words till Bombay happened. I am not those who cling to the past, so Mumbai or Bombay is just the same. In Gujarati, we always said Mumbai and never Bombay. Kolkata was always Kalkatta and not Calcutta with an Anglo Indian twang. Men were always guys in Mumbai never boys. So the terminology gradually seeps in like bad words and stays with you.The discs were pubs with DJ music and dance floor. I never understood what DJ meant. Just went there in this desperate urge to stay with the gang and act cool. The most important part was to come back and say you are so tired coz you had so much fun. It was a joke, the way I would pretend to gel in. By the time I really started enjoying this disc pub out…

Guess Who

Got a bbm from him after long. He doesn't usually send forwards. He replies when he likes something. He checks on me if he gets a joke too many. I have not seen him for years. We have talked about meeting and catching up but it was meaningless. What s common between us? He got married a few days before me. He had an arranged marriage.Had attended his reception with my then boyfriend now husband and my family. Then I had bumped into him at a few weddings. Till facebook and Blackberry messenger happened. So a few rare chats here and there. His mother is beautiful and was really kind and loving to me. I used to visit them often. He was studying at a boarding school.

He wanted to know a book store in my area as he had some time to kill. I had just left home for my swim. I could not call him home as he had twenty min before he went for a meeting with some government officials. I told him I will meet him at the book store. I was already wearing my swimsuit and my oldest faded tee. The ha…

I am a free bird

Every time I try to write about Mumbai, I land up writing about Jharia n Dhanbad. So today I am going to keep that far off past behind and talk about the recent past.

For example,Far off is partying, Recent past is family dinners. Far off past was buying cards for your boyfriend, now it is sexting your married boyfriend. Far off past was waiting at the STD booth and dialing away to get thru, recent past is picking up your cellphone and pressing speed dial. Far off was sev puris, recent past was pav bhaji. Far off was pista milkshake at Sukh Sagar, recent past was water melon juice. Far off was Donuts only at Breach Candy in the whole of Mumbai and that too for Rs 5, recent past was Birdies cake and Croissants outlets all over the city. Far off past was Baskin Robbins at Natraj hotel by the sea side, recent past is Gelatos. Far off past was Kulfi at Kulfi centre , chowpatty , recent past is Strawberries n cream at Bachelors. Far off was hitching , recent past was having friends with car…

Pleasure in simplicity

Have you seen people travel lately. All are so smartly dressed and their baggage is equally smart. I am so fascinated by colourful things. Will always look at the one odd neon or orange suitcase with all desires to own it. Then the rational mind takes over and tell me about durability of things and whether I will like it for the next ten trips of mine. I have friends who are always buying new suitcases. I still remember my Dad getting a mustard coloured hard top VIP suitcase from Calcutta. We were all so fascinated by it. In those days we made covers for all our suitcase. Cloth cover with black zips were washed after you came back from a trip.

In my childhood, Mumbai was the most fascinating of the places in my mind. All my hep cousins and relatives lived in Mumbai. They talked different and they dressed different too. We were all so besotted. We heard names and tried to memorise them so that when we went to Bombay, we could brag that we knew. My school friends had never been to Bombay…

Chikni Chameli

Chikni Chameli is the song for the young women of today. The ones I talked about who want to get married but don't want to get caught. So every time they get an opportunity to find a partner, they go all out and then slip away at the last minute. The English version of Chikni chameli is called The Runaway Bride. You are hot n happening and slippery.
Whats wrong with me?I seem to be in this unmarried single women bashing mode. Don't know if the men will like these views of mine. If all women get married, who will the men lech at? I have lots of friends who say that after marriage n babies , a woman ages. With me around, they always mention about how weight increases post 40. If I even mention about feeling tired, the women friends say it must be the hormonal changes. The more concerned ones told me I am nearing menopause. After hearing that I did not die, I decided to write about them. I have no issues with aging only dying.

The Swimming pool at the complex I go to has not yet p…

Art in the act

I feel I am getting repetitive with my thoughts and ideas. Its the same narrow minded me, churning out the same stuff day after day. Monotony has set in for me in cooking, in my writing, in my yoga class, in my house cleaning and we are only on the fourth day of the New year. Mumbai is gearing up for the marathon. I am trying to find joy in improving my fitness levels. The friends who ignore me , continue doing so in the New year too. The same jokes and same holy forwards. Where is the Spunk?
The missing thing is within me. I have to practise it, till it becomes a part of my system. Happiness is a practised art, like sadness. People perfect the art of being unhappy, sad and cribbing. There is a new art of putting the onus on others. In this art, you have to be the victim and put the blame of all non working things in your life on others. If your career is not going great guns, it is because you didn't go to a good B school. If your wife is having an affair, its because the other m…

Men get married n easily

Men who do not get married are scared of commitment and responsibility. Its never that they did not get the right girl. Have never heard of Men waiting for the Knight in shining armor or their Prince Charming. Sorry about the gender mix up. But I have yet to hear a man say the right girl will come when she has to. Men are hunters by nature. The jungle animals don't wait saying I wont eat this deer, I will wait for the right deer to come along. All this is reserved for the female sex of the human beings.


Why do men get married is for one simple reason. Love .....ha ha ha.
They get married because their friends get married. Men get married because of societal, parental and peer pressure. There are of course biological needs too. Like a friend quoted:
"I think the most logical reason would be that you feel so much lust for a person at that time, that you feel like you don't ever want to lose them. So you make sure they never leave you, by marrying them."
At times,Men also h…

A reality check

Yesterday I had been for a prayer meeting for a friend s father who passed away. After all the excitement of the New year and New resolutions, this was a reality check. Be grateful for each day that you and your loved ones are alive. We take our lives so much for granted.

There were four ladies with good voices singing bhajans. The people clad in white were all trooping in the white air conditioned hall with white sheets and white chairs. The family sat on the chairs facing the crowd. I had never met the friend s father but his death brings about pain. The friend who is such a well brought up man with a clean heart definitely had a very good father. I felt bad for his loss.

Then there were these visitors attending the meeting who were so callous. The people wanted to sit next to their friends, so there was a clammer for chairs. If they were pointed to the empty chairs near the family, they walked to the family picked up the plastic chairs and took them behind so they could chat. Ther…

Bajaao Band Baja

When I write about single women, I feel bad about hurting their sentiments. They are at a sensitive stage of life. They are touchy. I was like this. After a point, I had stopped meeting my married friends as we had nothing common to talk. Even now I don't know how to mix my single friends with married ones. Single ones are looking whose marriage is not working and married ones are looking at whose marriage is. In our society there is a pressure and need to get married.
Research proves that a woman's breaths are very shallow. It is like they do not even have a right to breathe in a male dominated world.
Living at my new house, I am reminded of Dhanbad constantly. There will be a long piercing honking like the trekkers there. No reason is required to have a procession, so there is one everyday. I don't mean the political ones. These are the happy ones where people are not paid to attend. In fact you do not belong, you cannot even join the dancing on the roads. One thing commo…

Smart n Single

I am quite keyed up today. The festive season is over and a New Year has begun. Basically, new fears about the new challenges which the world might throw at me. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what I consider bad. What if that was to happen to me.
Really wanted to write a feel good blog today, more so, to cheer myself. But the fingers have a mind of their own.
I see a whole lot of single eligible women. They have good careers and they want to be married. They have the right credentials and so do the men they meet for marriage. But Alas, the marriage eludes them. They meet at these happening places after their work, they discuss markets, politics and how America is wasting all the world s natural resources. They are willing to make adjustments regarding the family and his background. They want a nice guy to look up to, to whom they can talk, who makes them laugh and a salary which can support their lifestyle. The money angle is subtly played. They do not want a CEO, they just want someone e…