Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pondering Pointlessly

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We all have heard that a million times, especially from our parents, more especially if you were as lazy as yours truly. Like how the “best bad massage award” would be called ‘The Monica” (you don’t watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You should!), the “laziest person award” would be (and should be) called “The Sandhya”. I can visualize my mom nodding her head twice faster at this. That is me. The best thing to do, for me, is just sit and laze around and stare at the ceiling. Or may be read a book or watch a movie – but those things are to be done only when I am really really bored of well… staring at the ceiling.

And when I don’t have any book to read or movie to watch, and am still bored after my tiring stint at staring at the ceiling, like anyone else, I think. No, don’t laugh. I do have the necessary apparatus up inside my head and believe it or not, it is in perfectly good, working condition. And if you had read about my Analytical Mind, you would know how it works. I mean, how good it works.

A gazillion thoughts within seconds all inter-connected (or so I think) in some peculiar way which is totally back-traceable. No? Lost me somewhere in the middle. It happens. It happens to me, for crying out loud. There is so much I think about – should I have a cup of coffee now or half an hour later? Gosh, the weather is so good; I should ask paati to make bajji or bonda. This Paulo Coelho book is so boring; I have to finish this one soon and start “Atlas Shrugged”. I should never have left Chennai; I feel so cold and lost here. Wow Chennai, what a city! Those were the best days of my life – beach, Blur, Inox, Wipro, bajji at the beach… Hmmm, bajji… “Paati, sooda bajji pottu thaayen.”

You get the drift. From a casual coffee thought to bored to remorse to memories to well, coffee (and bajji) again – all within seconds of each other. These thoughts make me. And now I am sure you don’t find me lazy given the amount of thinking (?!) I do. Tell my mom so!!! Meanwhile, I am going to think about New Year and how ridiculous these ‘New Year Resolutions’ are. HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!!! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My first...

She felt suffocated. As if she was stuck in a dark room without any doors and windows; as if the sky was closing in on her; she couldn’t breathe. In fact, she couldn’t do anything without his permission. His – her husband’s. It has been just 2 months since they had gotten married. Everyone from her married cousins to her friends had told that her that the first couple of months after wedding were the most romantic ones. Whenever she thought of that, she laughed at herself for being so na├»ve and believing in what they had said. Either God has been cruel to her or they had all lied to her. She also knew it could be worse – it was not like her husband was a drunkard and beat her up each evening or raped her or her mother-in-law was constantly finding faults with her or they were torturing her with dowry demands. She knew that a lot of women went through that every day.

Her case was different – she was suppressed. She wasn’t allowed to go to work; according to her husband, a man who makes his wife work is incompetent. It always left her burning red with anger because her mother was a working woman and her husband was indirectly pointing it out that her father was incompetent. And it was not like he hated her or treated her with contempt; that would have been so much better. He was indifferent to her.

“Will you be late from work?”

“Don’t know.”

“Hmmm, I was wondering if you could come early and we could go to the beach.”

He just shrugged. She didn’t know what to make of it – his silence. What was she supposed to think if he answered her questions with a shrug?

“Can you buy me a book while coming back? I get really bored at home.”

This time, nothing – not even a glance at her direction. He simply got up and left to fetch himself some water. That was the end of the conversation, if you could call it that. He wouldn’t even ask her to get him some water; he just avoided any interaction as much as possible.

He didn’t complain if the food she made was bad and neither did he appreciate if it was good. He didn’t notice it if she wore a new dress; he didn’t speak to her unless it was utterly necessary. He was not rude to her; he didn’t respond to her with anything more than a nod or shake of his head or a word or two at the maximum; and he definitely never smiled at her. That was what left her astounded – how can anyone, all of 27years of age, forget smiling? He didn’t seem to have any friends – none visited them. Was he like that only towards her? Was there something wrong with her? Was he in love with some other girl and was forced by his parents to marry her? How happy her life was before two months? It all seemed so long ago.

She had just finished her engineering degree and was waiting for her call letter to come. There were rumors that the MNC in which she was placed from her university’s placement drive was not honoring the offers it had extended, citing the recession as reason. She had always been a sincere student although not as hard-working. Her parents were both working and had always encouraged her to ask questions and to disagree with them. She was smart and they were supportive and she thought there was nothing more that she could ask from them – they had educated her well, they had always been there for her when she needed them, they had never forced their wishes on her and her dad treated her like a princess. She had, as a result, grown up to be an independent thinker and mature for her age and to her friends, she was the rational one always knowing right from wrong.

It was when she was reading the newspaper that morning (during those endless months that she waited for her company to ‘call’ her) and her parents were getting ready to go to their offices that her father came to her and said, “Chinnu” – that was what her dad called her – “I have to talk to you about something important. There is this guy…” And when her dad finished telling her about the guy who was well-educated, tall, handsome, from a good family, in a nice job, she didn’t feel anything - except that she was a little too young to get married – she was, after all, barely 22. She was in a currently boring but soon-to-be-exciting phase of her life. She had her dreams – of working in an MNC, getting used to the corporate culture, being financially independent and making new friends. But now her dad wanted her to get married? It was so out of the blue. She had never thought her parents would do this. It was not that she was in love with someone; she could have and would have certainly told her parents if that was the case. She could have plainly told her parents that she wasn’t interested in getting married right now, that she is too young and not mature or responsible enough to handle a family. But she didn’t do that either because she was curious. She wanted to know how it would be to live with a guy she didn’t know at all, how they would become friends, share the house-hold chores and fall in love. That apart, she also knew that her parents were very impressed with the guy’s ‘profile’ and to put them off is something she didn’t want to do.

Now sitting in the sofa in her in-laws’ place, sipping coffee, she thought of how life had changed. At her parents’ it was always fun. She loved the independence she had there, particularly the freedom of speech part that rendered her a hopelessly talkative girl specializing in arguing and debating. She could do what she liked to do – watch TV, read books, and laze around – whenever she wanted. On weekends, the three of them would go to movies or the beach or temples and had dinner outside. All the while she would keep talking, asking questions, suggesting movies, or arguing on some topic.

She knew perfectly that things wouldn’t be the same at her in-laws’, but she didn’t think it would be this different. This house was as silent and boring as it could get. Her in-laws talked rarely. Some days a ‘Good Morning’ and a ‘Good Night’ was all the conversation she had with her mother-in-law. The entire family was indifferent to each other. They just didn’t care how the others felt on a particular day. Her husband, the one who was supposed to make it easy for her to gel with his family, was the most aloof of the lot. Whatever she did, whatever she said, didn’t matter to him. And she was not supposed to leave the house unnecessarily (‘unnecessarily’ included her visits to her friends’ houses, just a walk down the road, to the temple and of course, to her parents’), she was not supposed to apply for jobs – after all, he was the man of the house and didn’t want her to work – he either had ego issues or felt insecure about the fact that she would be working with other guys (of her own age) – she would never know, she was not supposed to wear makeup (this, she was okay with – she was never interested in makeup anyway, but she now had that overwhelming urge to wear makeup just to show him that she didn’t care, but suppressed it because she felt too tired and weak to protest and also because she didn’t exactly know how to), she was not provided with the books she wanted to read which was the worst possible punishment of all (she could not remember of a day at her parents’ that she didn’t catch up on reading before going to bed), she was not allowed to watch TV much, she didn’t have a cell phone to contact her parents (even if she had one, her husband wouldn’t pay the bill) – all she could do was sit down in a corner with her thoughts. Thankfully, they hadn’t found a way to stop her from thinking. It was at moments like these that she felt suffocated.

Then the telephone rang. She ran to it to pick it up. She was reminded of the time at her parents’ when they had first gotten their telephone. She used to run up to it and pick it up. Now she was running to pick it up because it would give her a break from her seemingly never-ending stint at ‘sitting idle’.

The caller-id said it was from her husband’s cell phone. She was surprised. Her husband never called during the day. He didn’t have anything to talk to her in person, for crying out loud, and he certainly wouldn’t call.

“Hello.”

“Hello.” It was not her husband’s voice.

“Yes, who is this?”

“Madam, do you know someone called Mr.Sathya?”

“Yes. I am his wife. Who is speaking?” Wife. A word she has grown to hate over the past couple of months.

“I am very sorry, ma’am. I have bad news. Your husband met with an accident and I am afraid he is no more. They have taken the body to the G.H. for post-mortem. Could you please come here at once?”

She didn’t know how to react. She knew she should be devastated to have lost her husband within two months of marriage. But she felt at peace, relieved and guilty at the same time. She didn’t cry; she couldn’t bring herself to. Instead of being shattered and not knowing what to do or cry hysterically, she thought – she had gotten so used to just thinking that she couldn’t do anything more than that. This time she thought about her future. She may, after all, get a chance to go back to her parents’, join her MNC that might call her very soon, study further, fall in love and live life the way she wanted to. She felt guilty at her disability to cry. She had to cry now – no, not for herself, not for venting out her grief – there was no grief at all, but for the world – the world that might question her marriage if she didn’t cry, the world that has the freedom of speech that was denied to her, the world fearing which her mom and dad had gotten her married much before it was due, the world that had prying eyes that only found faults with others.

She cried. But inside, she was smiling convinced that she deserved it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vote for me!!!

Hi,

This blog has been nominated for the 'Best Personal Indiblog of the year' by Indibloggies .

If you think this blog deserves the award, please vote at http://multivote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/21900 - the blog is titled 'The ha ha called lyf..." (that is how my blog was named earlier)...

To vote, you have to enter your email address in the textbox provided and then go to your inbox and click on the link in the mail that you would get from 'CONFIRM VOTE'.

Thanks!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fell in Love - Part 2

It is the one place on earth that is close to my heart. It is a place that has seen it all – my happiness, my craziness, my sorrows, my confusions, my stupidity, my anguish, my fears, my adventures, everything. It is the place where I was born and brought up, the place that has taught me to be talkative, a place that has offered my solace when I was depressed, and confidence when I was confused. Coimbatore. I know I have written so many posts about MY city but still I can’t help but write more as I find myself loving it more and more by the day.

  • It is a place which is surrounded by mountains and is a treat to watch during the rainy season. And when it rains, it doesn’t rain like it does in Chennai where in November and December somebody from upstairs is pouring down buckets and buckets of water for over 3 days continuously resulting in flooding - rain water + sewage water + urine + spit mucous (ewwww). In Coimbatore, it drizzles ever so lightly, not even enough to get you wet. When it does rain heavily, it doesn’t last for more than 2hours, 4 at max. And some summer showers bring in small pieces of ice which we used to collect in jugs as children.
  • It is a place where people are so warm and friendly and treat you with respect. Oh and the language – it is so sweet to hear. No wonder I am a lot more talkative when at Coimbatore. I just talk so that the other person would respond in that wonderful slang and I would keep listening. I am just used to addressing my Amma in singular (without the ‘nga’ in after each verb, or in cases after each word), I address my neighbors with full respect – so it is not “Illa, aunty”; it is “Illeenga, aunty”. Otherwise, it is considered rude.
  • The city is a paradise to trekkers. It is at the foothills of the Western Ghats, what did you expect? There are a lot of different treks for trekkers of different stamina and skill.
  • The water in the city is among the tastiest in the world. The Siruvani river flows through the forests where a lot of Amla trees exist and since the water touches the roots of these trees while flowing, it tastes super-good. I have seen the water flowing in small streams and it is so pure that you can see the sand and pebbles underneath it very clearly. And that water tasted great.
  • The people of this city have unique, unmatchable sarcastic streak. The ‘Coimbatore Kusumbu’ and my talkative nature have combined together a lot of times and made me speak and gotten me into trouble big time. But I am proud of my kusumbu!!! :-)

All these reasons apart, Coimbatore is so good for me because it is HOME to me. That is what it is – HOME :-)