Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let yourself go

So I have been driving DH's SUV for past two weeks. IT was such a welcome change from driving the my kids-hauling van and to top it all, the sound system in his is so much mind blowing. Adding to the factor, is of course, that the music player is not loaded with kids' songs. This morning I put on old recorded cd which had both dhoom and dhoom2 songs on it. The beats of songs are so catching and after a while, I just found myself, not humming but singing out loud to the lyrics of 'touch me' 'dhoom again' 'dhoom macha le' 'crazy kia re'. I felt so great! Driving alongside the winding roads, with a blasting music on. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, when a sound came from the back, "you really know all the words!" That's when I came back to senses and saw in the backview mirror two mesmerized eyes looking at me. Sure enough, my kids had never seen me like this. For past four years, all I have been listening to are the rhymes and kids songs! Any attempt to change those met much protest, which always I gave up to. Adding to the fact, as a rule, I always always sing out of tune. And that's the reason I avoid an audience. This morning, I completely forgot all about that and just let myself go! Felt so amazing!

My daughter had such bewildered expressions on her face, I wonder how she would react if she would see me screaming my lungs out with the hard rock/thrash metal lyrics. How much have I changed in past 5 years! Those who knew me from before couldn't believe how comfortable I look at-home. Likewise, there are others who aren't aware of this headbanging side of me. Well, all I can say is that I never thought of myself who is cut-out to be a sit-at-home person. But since, it was my conscious decision, I have been living it to the fullest. It's quite an irony how I come across many, now-a-days, who when talking on some technical topic realize that they might not be of any interest to me and try elaborating the jargons or switch the topic. And then, there are these next generation kids who probably figure out that I might be completely ignorant about the engleees gym style such as hamstring curls, crunches and likes and go in lengths to explain why and how I should go about it. I just smile and play along. At times, I gently add 'been there, done that'.

By the way, what do you do when you come across a Bruce Willis look alike and your heart still went wow as it did a decade and a half back with his on screen presence? Do you stop and stare at him or give a sigh and leave? Or if you are like me, come back home and remind your husband that he once flaunted at least 4-pack, if not 6, and taunt him to better pep his muscles?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A bottle of motivation

The weather is getting colder. Makes me want to snuggle into the covers as stepping out of it means my feet will go numb. Any amount of layering, or socks fail to warm my feet up and this in turn makes my entire legs feel lifeless. Even my fingers are icy cold as I type. Outside, it's quite windy as I can see the last few leaves on the trees being blown away. They seem to be in some kind of a race as they fly across, rather in a hurried fashion, by my window. The ones on the ground seems like doing multiple somersaults. It's amazing how our lush green street has suddenly taken a bare and lifeless look. These very woods which once guaranteed privacy has now exposed the houses on the other side of the street. You can see through these woods now, which is still not too bad, as the green grass near their feet can still be seen, mixed with the various leaves strewn across. Soon, they will be all white, covered with snow. I shouldn't be complaining as the month of November has unusually been very bright and we did enjoy fair amount of sunny afternoons. But cold weather makes each and every muscle of my body immobile. I lose my energy, my enthusiasm... And this means more this year as it just flickers my already weak plans of taking a better care of myself.. Of exercising.

Not only I am too much out of shape, I have put on a lots of weight and a few minutes of any hard work makes me puff and pant. Last Year, this time around, I was rigorously following a routine and had managed to lose two dress sizes. Hadn't dropped a single pound but with a few months of an active lifestyle had not gainied a single pound either. My set goal, then, was to lose 'just 10 pounds' till next season. This year, same time, instead of losing, I have added 10 more pounds to my already soccer ball-shaped figure and yes, have gained those 2 dress sizes back! Obviously, I struggle each morning to fit my entire torso in those little waisted jeans now. The t-shirts hugs my baggy paunch and the winter jacket completes the look by making me look like a full-term pregnant woman! To add to it, I had given away all my fatsy wardrobe as I had read somewhere that the biggest motivation to lose more is to get rid of ur fatty attires!! Now, me -blinded with my short term achievement - followed that advise to the heart!! Yeah! Go on.. Laugh at me!

OK, so the entire problem is ME Me mEe- I wish somebody could sell me motivation in a bottle like they sell so many other things. The basement of our house is a well-equipped mini-gym in itself. But, I realise that I am not an equipment person. To me, a walk on a treadmill feels lousy as compared to a jog on the street. More of an aerobics, yoga, steps, pilate kind of a person. And not to mention, we have all kinds of such dvd's in our stock. All one need to do is insert it in the player and switch it on andflow with it. DH even downloaded all kinds of apps on my android and ipad! Still, my routine lasts for three days at the max!

Something or other comes up.. Kids' sickness, a late night, an early appointment, a quarrel.. so many of the excuses ready not to leave the coziness of the bed each morn. "I am not a morning person" I declare and try to fit in the routine later during the day. When the kids seeing me doing the crunches think mommy is playing see-saw and come and sit on my knees/ back/tummy. Afterall, I was the one who made them, so they have all the right in this world to claim each and part of my ever-so-aching body! Determined, I command DH to come home early as I plan to join some group classes. JKG, that he is, says ok. It turns out that the classes that google up are either not within my defined radius from our home or do not fall in my specified budget. Some which qualify, do not offer any evening hours. Damn! Seems like the entire universe is conspiring in not letting me shed that baby weight yet!!

So, you see where the problem lies?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blessings - Of Krishnas and Lakshmis

A short story.

It had been two days that she had been home now. Her stitches were still sore from the episiotomy. Daily routines like passing urine caused so much pain and discomfort. But holding her newborn in her arms made her forget all that. She was trying her best to ignore remarks like,"how can she sit and eat when the baby is hungry and crying for food." She knew she had to eat well to be able to nurse the baby and to get enough strength to look after her two kids. She tried her best to remain calm, when they joked in jest," Now both of you would have to save enough for two dowries." She knew it was in everyone's best interest that she just kept quiet. And she did. She was offered to get her hair oiled and she accepted. That's when she was told why they didn't send the news to every single relatives and friends yet. "Pota hua to khabar bhejungi, bola tha maine sabko." ("if a grandson, i will send you the news", that's what i had told everyone). By the evening, she had heard it from each member,"humein to laga tha is baar ladka hi hoga" (we were sure it would be a boy this time.). And at some point, later in the day, these few were added too,"ab pehli baar to kuch bhi ho jaye." (doesn't matter if he irst born is a boy or a girl). It made her wonder the hypocrisy of it all as she remembered how in front a room full of an audience, she was told that one child is a blessing from God and is more than enough. Doesn't matter if it's a Krishna or Laxmi.. But she stayed mum. Hypocrisy or not, she was not supposed to voice her Question.

The real shocker came that evening, post-dinner. She had just put both her girls in bed. At the dining table, they were told to try for a boy next time. She, aghast, just looked at him. He reminded them that there was no surety it would be a boy, to which they had some nerve to say, "doosre mahine mein hi pata chal jaata hai.. And it's safe". They, then, went on with examples of such cases. Devastated, cursing herself not leaving earlier, she just left the room.. And cried .. The whole night.. For many a nights and days after that. She still couldn't believe all that conversation had actually happened. That they actually asked her to go for a female infanicide?!?
Would they have said this to their own daughter?

A woman with a daughter and whose daughter is a mom to a daughter... How can she even suggest such a thing to somebody else's daughter?

After many days of such rants, (yes, they hadn't stopped, even after his intervention. They would continue, sometimes behind his back) she, reluctantly, seeked to turn to their daughter. She being, her age, and being a mom to a girl in the same age group, would understand her dilemna. If nothing else, she would have somebody to confide, to be able to get listening ears to her emotions that she has been going through. So she shared her predicament, being a fool that she was. She forgot that with them, what one said becomes gospel for the rest. Be it a sheer lie, but together they would prove the other one, in front, a liar, a specimen of mental health. "A boy child would complete the family," she was told. And then and there itself, had wanted to shoot herself. This coming from an educated woman her age, who herself is a daughter and a mom! And with that and many such thoughts overflowing her little brain cells, she fought the PND. She refused to fall into the trap, when seeing her passing by, they would hold her newborn in arms and say,"we do not worry that you are not a boy. After all you are the laxmi of our house." Why? Why hypocrisy? Why try to appease her? The damage was done, slowly and daily, beyond repair. The thoughts never left her, long after the childbirth.

Fast forward to the present.. She recently heard the news.. Their daughter just had another baby.. Another girl.. Another lakshmi.. Everybody is rejoicing. She just has one question
Will they suggest to their daughter what they did to her then?

What do you suggest-a krishna or a lakshmi?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Shame on Onlookers!

After finishing my quota of reading, i casually logged on the facebook- one last look and then i will be off to sleep, I promised myself. A friend's wall post made me look further and I chanced on the case of Keenan-Reuben, which shook me. Hence, this rant.

Sad, very sad, especially in a city like Mumbai, where we know that there's nothing like deserted roads at 11:00 p.m. It is the peak time, in a considerably the safest city compared to the rest of India. And this episode happened in front of a restaurant, while People were watching!?!

What has happened to the famous Mumbai spirit? Why did nobody come forward? Shame on them. Shame on our society.

Shocked -is such a lesser word to express what I am feeling right now. I, so very well, remember a die-hard Mumbaiite friend of mine once (on hearing tales from/around the town where I did my grad from) describing the city as,"Things like these are so well-handled in Mumbai. You just need to shout help once and the whole junta will be there. Which most likely is very rare to happen in Delhi", he had added on. And that was the Mumbai I believed in, that was the Mumbai I made my home for some time. Tht was the Mumbai I knew..

Were the guys wrong in protecting their friends?
Did the other group had to take such an action on its ego? Is ego bigger than life, spirit of living?
What about those who were around? Why did they turn sissies? How far is the policy of'anybody's matter s nobody's matter' justified? Even at the stake of somebody bleeding so profusely?
Nobody even offered to take them to the hospital, until one of the waiters offered.

Where is humanity? If hey were worried about legalities, aren't they aware that now the doctors are supposed to provide medical attention first instead of waiting for the cops? Please correct me, if I am wrong. Any lawyer reader, please?

This could have been anybody. This could have been you, your friend, your brother, your sister, your son or may be your dad. Junta, please jaago!!

Please take a moment and sign the petition before reading further.

This whole story reminds me of a not-so-similar incident that had occured almost a decade back. I studied in one of the mst prestigious institutions of India. Like most of the national cadre engineering colleges, ours too was located in a sleepy town, a few hundred kilometers from the national capital. And we, the girls were required to be inside our hostels by 7:00 p.m. for the safety reasons. Exceptions, were always there, and one such was officially gathering sponsorships for the technical Symposium. Once, I had to undrtake such a trip to Delhi with another collegemate/friend(A male) On that particular evening, we had reached the ISBT(inter stae bus station) by 5:00 and had hoped to reach back hostel in reasonable time. But the bus had taken a plenty of time just to cross the outskirts of Delhi, and it being late winters night had already fallen. At some point of time, the person (in early thirties or late tenties, may be) sitting right behind our seat, somehow, had managed to creep his hands in the little gap between the walls of the bus and the seat, trying to touch me.. No points in guessing where. I was tring to avoid this when my partner had noticed my discomfort and didn't need much explanations. The next time the guy tried such a thing, my friend just got up and slapped him. There was a huge scene, some people trying to pacify him, some well- meaning(?) asking me, even advising that I should not have been in the bus at all. Anyways, the conductor had intervened, the bus was stopped and that guy after beaten thoroughly had been thrown off. Apparently, he was drunk. Did this give him a good enough reason to molest a girl?? The rest of the bus journey was uneventful, needless to say, the mentioned friend was more than on his alert throughout.

Now, there is no dearth of miscreapents in this world. The bus stop was in the outer areas of the Town and from there we had to hire an auto-rickshaw to our campus. Usually, they used to run on a hired basis and worked well for us ,students on tight budgets. We happened to encounter another such person(a late teen, this time) whom the auto wala (driver) asked to sit in th front with him on raising a noise. And as soon as he got off, the driver just sped off with the auto, in case, he gets a mob with him. The friend heaved a sigh of relief only when he saw me entering safely in the hostel. And this was at 9:00 p.m. Wasn't too late to return for most of our counterparts in he rest of the country. But, for me, that night, it was a narrow escape.

We were just two people. They, Keenan-Reuben n friends, were 7. We got help when we called. They did not. I and my friend were lucky. They were not. We live on. Two of them do not.
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