Thursday, November 25, 2010


When mom told me she was going to have a baby, it phased me how a human being could fit into another! And how would it come out? But when she said two months later that there are two inside there… I thought to myself that my mom was just bullshitting me. At nine, I may not have been the strongest believer nor did I have a very active imagination. But she grew and she was cranky like a child most of the times. Everyone took more care of her than they usually would. I knew then that she was telling the truth. Dad wanted me to understand better and thought it was best to get me a CD that explained it all. It was a little kiddish but I got the basic point of how it happens and that it’s a normal thing.

As a kid I was really inquisitive, and that wasn’t a good thing for the nurses at the hospital that night cos I kept whining and trying to get into the operation theatre to see how the hell they were going to remove TWO kids out of mom! But finally I gave up and paced outside the OT like an impatient dad. The nurse came running out 20 minutes later and said that the first one was a girl. Disappointing. That was what I thought. I was already building defensive arguments against sharing my clothes, shoes and dolls. The stupid nurse came out again and in a very excited note said it was ANOTHER girl! I looked at my gran and ran up to her and started crying. It was so unfair that I would have to share the attention with two girls! What if they turned out to be prettier than me?

And I was right.

I had fallen asleep crying and was lying on the extra bed in mom’s room when I woke up. Looked to my side and there was a cradle rocking to and fro. I sat up and looked in. One extremely red faced baby was lying beside a really fair one. Gorgeous little baby girls who I knew I could only love unconditionally. At least until they started talking. Both looked so peaceful and they were tightly wrapped. In my head, I wondered how far they could get if their hands and feet were left open! I sat and stared for a very long time, marveling at the beauty of life in its purest form.

I named them Snow white and Rose red, cos I clearly couldn’t call them Silvester 1 and Silvester 2 till we named them! We took them home and life changed forever.

I want to write so much more about how I learnt to feed them, dress them, bathe them, yell at them… but I’ll do it justice and take it one stage at a time. I guess this post was long pending and is still incomplete in so many ways.

If only my words could capture the million emotions that flowed through me that June 5th in 1997.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


He gave me a second look and I didn’t find it odd. I actually noticed him earlier while waiting at the boarding gate for the annoying voice to call out to me. Worn out denims, pod plugged in with dark blue ear plugs, red tee that was a shade darker than my top. He’s carrying a back pack that matches his brown boots. His hair filled with gel, is pulled back into unnecessary perfection. While I noted these oddities, he notices me looking at him and nods, adding a toothy-smile. Crap! I half-smiled back to be polite. A big mistake!
The flight is unusually full today. Mostly squint-eyed people fill the seats near the window as they boarded the flight at the HK airport. So what’s left is the aisle seats. The number of babies on this flight, is unnerving. I love kids, don’t get me wrong. But from previous experiences, I know better than to occupy the front row seats. The baby cries uncontrollably because of the drop in air pressure the mom is completely unaware of what she is to do with it.

So I settle for an aisle seat in the 40th row, “D” to be precise. The hair-gel lover is seated in “E” right beside me. Another teeth-exposing smile. I pray silently that maybe he’s shy, smart enough to not talk to me or just doesn’t know how to talk.

“Hey! On your way to Dubai?”

No… just thought that since I was bored, I’d warm this seat right here. “Of course, that is why I boarded this plane, right?”

“Oh. Ha ha, my bad! I’m not even sure of why I bothered asked you that?”

Don’t know why you bother to breathe either.

“First time to the UAE?”

Why do I feel like I’m at the UAE immigration centre all over again? What’s with the million questions? “I fly every few months. Love flying Cathay. Their flights are so peaceful and quiet.” Hint hint, please god let him get it this time.

“Oh, so you live there? Where about?” 

I would have smacked my head real hard if I wasn’t struggling to take out my shoe to throw it at the question box sitting beside me.

“At the marina.”

A confused look… “Where is that? Is it near the Burj?”

Just what I needed! A guide-book reader! I have mentally slapped myself for not carrying my ‘Beware of Bitch’ sign.

“Tourist?” I ask.

“No, just visiting my uncle.”

Man, he sure didn’t look that stupid! “Oh. Have fun.”

The silence made me believe that he’d actually gotten the hint this time around.
The flight has taken off and 10 minutes after the seatbelt sign has been flicked off, he starts again.

“Maybe you could suggest a few places I must visit.”

“How long has your uncle been living there?”

“15 years,” he says proudly “isn’t that cool?”

“It’s only been 7 years for me though. So, I’m sure your uncle knows the city better.”

He leaves me alone, clearly upset at my curt response. So I take the opportunity and switch on my iPod and search for the ‘really loud music’ list. He watches me as I use the jog dial to find a nice song. He knows nothing is playing yet so he has a few seconds more to squeeze in another question.

“Whose voice soothes your soul?”

Well, certainly not yours! And are you going to get any less personal with the questions? My look startles him (I often find it tough to stop immediate reactions like an offended stare) and so, he rephrases.

“I mean, which artist do you like best?”

Much better. “Jason Mraz.”

“Is he new? Not heard of him. I am an aspiring DJ btw. I hope to spin out music and make people dance to my tunes”

Now I see his problem. He is delusional, poor guy. “Jason Mraz is a similar genre as John Mayer.”

“I don’t like that man.”

Ticked me off. “Why not?” Mental slap, reminding myself that asking a question continues the conversation, doesn’t end it. So I continue. “Well actually, you have your own views. Have a great flight!”

I’m praying silently that the rude reply to my own question keeps him shut. But I notice him fiddling with the remote control to the in-flight entertainment and I know who he is going to ask for help. Just then the captain gives my neighbor a new topic to discuss about.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Due to dense fog conditions we are unable to land in Dubai at this time. We have enough fuel to remain in holding position for the next two hours. I will inform you once we have clear skies to land this flight. Enjoy your flight!”

And he begins…  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The door opens and it begins. The yelling and the screaming. The anger and the agitation. The television is too loud and it adds to the commotion. I don't think they realise that it is 11.30 in the night.

I walk in and stroll to the last room in the house. I sit on the bed and finish watching the last episode of Castle on my iPod. Its like a drug that keeps my brain hazy when I want to get away and I can't. That and the new season of every possible soap opera.

The episode comes to an end and a new fight at home has just begun. I kick myself for getting involved. It gets nasty and I get into the next room and sit on the bed. My eyes tear up in anger. I hate myself for the way I'm thinking right now. I want it all to end.

I write to myself a note, because there isn't anyone to tell me this. "There is no room for self-pity cos there is always someone who hurts more. You can't be tired because someone else is always more tired that you. How can you be ill when someone else suffers so much more. You can't even be happy cos everyone else is sad. All you can do my sweetheart, is lie in bed, cover yourself up and cry till you can't breathe. Morning will come and another lonely day will begin. You can replenish your stock of Gossip Girl and Grey's. Get lost in their staged world and wish u could be them. Laugh at work with everyone while sharing their joy. I cannot promise you about how you will feel tomorrow but I can promise you that this day will end..sooner or later and u will get ur 15mins of pure selfishness while you soak ur pillow with your tears."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cinderella Time

It had been 45 mins since the last word was spoken. He looked unaffected.

She dozes off to wake up to the sound of the rain against the window and the warm touch of his hands. He smiles and says, "Wake up sweetheart, you're missing something amazing".

They're driving down the freeway and the hills look gorgeous. Their song plays on the radio. He takes her hand and starts singing it to her while he drives. She wants to capture this moment and make it last forever so she takes out the pink camera and starts recording him go out of tune.

The butterflies in her tummy are uncontrollable.

She loves today. It feels so familar. Almost enough to give her a sense of deja vu. They stop at a red light and he reaches out for her face and pulls her close to kiss her. It was love for sure, she knew that.

She looks at her watch... Its going to strike 12. And while it does, she saw it happen. Cinderella's time was over. The glass slippers were broken, the pumpkin was smashed and the horses were mice again. Once again... the silence was back, making her deaf. She looked over to him, he would never be the same again. Indifferent towards the change and the loss. Her pride was too heavy to cry so she let just a tear escape while she looked away.

She knew it then, love once lost will never come back, no matter how much you relive the oldest bestest memory you have shared.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Robin and Ryker

Robin: It’s like a permanent get-out-of-jail card, my smile.

Ryker: I can't believe I’m letting u off the hook a 2nd time.

Robin: How can you not? I’m so innocent and the halo on my head just can’t be ignored.

Ryker: You’re as innocent as jack the ripper.
And I've realized that the halo is just for show, u take the halo off when you’re alone.

Robin: For some weird reason, I like the Jack the ripper comment. I need to see a shrink.

Ryker: Dr.Vihang N.Vahia.
He's at Lilavati on Mon 8 - 10am and Sat 2 - 6pm.
Have taken an appointment for you, Sat 4pm.

Robin: Oh mann! You’re a gem (the non-shiny kind)
I'll pay him a visit. So, it’s your personal recco right?

Ryker: But I want to be the shiny kind.
No, it's Ron's recco.
My shrink hung herself last month.

Robin: A shrink would have a field day with both of us in the same room. Imagine the stuff we are talking about

Ryker: Our convo is pretty normal considering that we both are convicted arsonists.

Robin: Normal is a relative concept.
Convicted arsonists? That too? I was going with MA runaways! The reasons for being the latter could be multiple!!

Ryker: Fair point, normal is relative.
Of course, convicted arsonists. Don’t you remember we burnt a warehouse in downtown LA last year?
And what is MA?

Robin: MA is something I unnecessarily abbreviated to get you to ask.
Its Mental Asylum runaways... The place they put us in after we told them why we burnt down the warehouse?

Ryker: U purposely abbreviated it to get me to ask? And me like a naive innocent little boy fell for it. Wish I wasn’t so innocent sometimes.
Oh ya, I how can I forget the mental asylum they put us in. And no, we didn't tell them we burnt the warehouse, they caught us coz u left a 5 Spice delivery box outside the warehouse with our Boston address on it.

Robin: Innocent? Delu*cough*sional!
I told you not to order so much Chinese!! And I totally forgot the fact that I told them and wasn’t supposed to tell you that I told them.

Ryker: Don’t be mean. U wanted Chinese, not me. I wanted pancakes. But as usual u bullied me and got your way. U told them? No more burning houses or robbing banks with u, u anyway spend all the loot on shoes.

Robin: Oh man! Now I want pancakes!
I told them only about the arson... I kept mum about the forgery scam. And come on... I only have 82 pairs of shoes! That isn’t obsession, its pure love. Rachel is worse than me.

Ryker: Hot soft golden brown pancakes with thick fresh maple syrup.
U better not tell them about the kidnapping too. The problem with u is, the minute they offer u food, u blurt everything out.
82 pairs of shoes????? Your competition is not Rachel, its Imelda Marcos.

Robin: Kidnapping? Why do I not... Oh gosh! You took someone else along, didn’t you? That is why I can’t remember that part! And btw... you knew about my weakness right from the beginning!
Imelda Marcos lives in me!

Ryker:  No Imelda, would I dare take someone else for the kidnapping? U don’t remember it because u were high. We shouldn't have stopped at the bar in Nashville before the kidnapping.
Bread Pudding is your weakness?
I bet u haven’t worn half the shoes u own.

Robin: I was high? All your fault for wanting to "use the washroom" or we wouldn’t have stopped in the first place! It’s like taking the horse to the water and not expecting it to drink!
Food is my weakness!! All of it... and now you've reminded me of bread pudding!!
Btw... I can’t find half of them either.

Ryker:  It’s always my fault, not fair. Of course I had to use the washroom, I was driving all night while u were sleeping in the back seat. Btw, u snore.
And when u see a bar, u can't stop yourself. Have to re-check u in that rehab in Miami.
I just knew it, about the shoes. What a waste of my hard earned money.

Robin: See, you don’t let me drive cos of the narcoleptic that I am. I don’t snore after my operation.
That rehab in Miami was not nice. Can we find another one if I REALLY have to be checked in? Pretty please? Maybe the one you were stuck in would be nice... I don’t know why I get checked into the cheaper shady ones!
The shoes are not a waste!!! Don’t say it too loud... they'll hear you!!

Ryker: I don’t let u drive, but not becoz you're narcoleptic, I don’t let u drive becoz your license was revoked after u drove our car into a farmhouse near Dallas and killed an old couple who were watching 'when harry met sally'.
Btw, I have recorded your snoring on my phone, so I don't think the nose job helped your snoring.
Ok ok, I admit the Miami rehab place wasn't very good but we weren't doing well financially at that time but now that we are rich, we'll check u into Europe’s best rehab place outside Paris. And pleaase don't run away and go shopping in Paris. Btw, I’ve never been into a rehab, u do the drinking for both of us.

Robin: It wasn’t a nose job! What bollocks!
And you have to admit, my timing was impeccable. Was just in time for the end scene where they kiss. And please, only the wife died. Coma doesn’t count as death. I know for sure the husband will thank me when he wakes, for getting rid of the nag. Remember how she whined even while dying? And finally I was right; buying a silver car was a good idea. Imagine if we’d bought the black you wanted, the scratch marks would be tear-worthy.
Let’s talk more about Paris. I get out of here in three months and I’m sure you would need to book in advance with the entire holiday crowd coming in. And let’s not make any more excuses for the delay in the allowance cheque. I’m running low on Maggi stock.
Anyways, I gotta go, they’ve got to buckle me up. It’s a bitch typing with that white-jacket on.

The above is a conversation that me and a friend had over FB messages. I don't need to tell you which one I am :P

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The ride

I wonder... When was it that we realized that Bombay has terrible weather every day of the year and floods easily if a shower lasts for longer than 15 minutes? Still, we get annoyed every time the rains mess up the system.

 I was in a rick today, traveling from east Andheri to the west. Funny how the rick driver (who was totally excited that he now drove one of the newer models of rickshaws) decided that this was the best time to test the suspension and steering of his pimped up "ride". Suddenly he was oblivious of the potholes, extreme weather and the fact that his new rain curtains served no real purpose (but actually caused more damage by aimlessly flapping around and drenching me). He was on his way to try out for the position for 'pseudo Schumacher'. He swerved, dodged and took turns so sharp, that I felt the need to constantly shift my weight to avoid tipping over. Over the sound of the mad rainfall (pitter-patter here, would be an understatement), I am sure he thought I was enjoying and not really screaming for him to stop. And today was one of those days that god decided to shuffle through my prayer list and grant me one of my regular requests.

God, let all the signals be green! 

My hands were hurting from holding onto the bar in front of me. My purse was tucked-in between my outstretched arms. My wet umbrella was drying itself by sticking to the legs of my denims. Even the east-west bridge had no traffic. God was being kind today. The seat of my denims was, now, a darker shade than the rest of my pants.

Finally, we reach Costa's and he slows down. I think this is when he realized that his ride doesn't have the "float on water" function. The area in front of the coffee shop had a little more than ankle-deep water. Here he annoys me more by telling me that the fare was Rs.39.

What? Really? Just that much for the best ride in town? 

I'm not stingy, but the fact is that the meter showed 31. So, he argues and reminds me of yesterday and the reason for the strike.

Yes yes, bring back memories of my previous day's misery while attempting to make it to work. 

I know that the new fare probably only comes into effect once the rate card is printed. But by this point, I just want to get away from the scary man. So, I pay him the fee he asks for and start to make my way to the coffee shop steps, wading through water that soaks the rest of my denims.

It crossed my mind… maybe "Bhaiyya jaldi lena" was a bad idea.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Color me funny!

And so another day comes along and I fight hard to break the monotony by dressing like Mother Nature’s adopted daughter. I also resemble St. Patrick’s niece.

As my green painted finger nails (that match the beautiful green tick-tocks on my feet) type into the blackberry, I sit in the third row of the purple AC bus. That’s the other favorite color! To me, purple is the colour of passion. Not violet, not plum… Purple like the shade of a hickey on the first morning ;) Imagine how purple silk sheets on your bed would complement the wife’s black lingerie!

I suddenly realize that I am going to post this on my blog and my mother is a regular visitor! Note to self: calm down on the passionate part, please.

So, point is (as if there ever really is one in any of my posts) that I love colors! The natural shade of brown in my sister’s hair.. the added red, black, etc. in mine. My colorful fruit salad, the gorgeous blue bike that matches his new car, the silver pen in my colleague’s hand, the red pumps in my closet that I am so in love with, the golden second-hand ticker on the clock that hangs on the cream wall. What’s not to love? And just now… I am not kidding you about this… my podette just played Colorblind by Darius.

If you are reading this and thinking “How random!” … Well, sweetheart, the point of me owning the blog is because I want to share my randomness. I have a lot of days like this when odd thoughts in my head don’t fit into rhyme or reason. 

Pray, I find a way to be more regular on my blog and not disappoint the 39 followers who like me enough to comment once in a while. ;)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Family Matters!

Sometimes, we complain that life gets boring too easily. I realize that often we forget that we’re behind the wheel on the ride and have the ability to start up the engine and do something fun!

The other day, something fun happened at my humble (read: notorious) home. First to give you an idea of what it’s like usually, I will paint you a picture of the “normal day” at my house. All of the eight people in my home have different views, habits and the likes. It’s a healthy thing and one can never be bored in that kind of a mixture. Everyday there is a new problem, topic to talk about, decision to make, etc. We live in a flat that has a huge balcony and our floor is the only one with that set-up. The voice carried by the wind while standing in the balcony is magical! Everyone in the building can hear you clearly if you speak at normal decibel levels. It’s crazy how, whenever there is a fight between me and my siblings, we always find ourselves just that spot to yell and scream. Our house has only short periods when pin-drop-silence exists. It is between 2am – 5.30am, 7am – 1pm and 4pm – 6pm. As you might have guessed, this is when my little twin terrors are asleep, away at school and stuck at tuitions, respectively.

The girls have their exams on since last week. No, there isn’t peace in the house thanks to that. Actually it’s worse now. The school ends at 10am and they are home all throughout the day.

“You took my book! And look how it is now, you ruined it. Now go buy me a new one”, one yells at the other.

“Why should I buy another one? It’s only a slight tear! Stop being such a kid!” she yells back.

All these arguments are only a way to waste more time. They go on about the most trivial things. And god forbid, if one is right and I support her. The other will go all drama-queen on me with lines that start with, “Oh! You’ve never loved me! I know it now. You have always loved her more” all this with an added stream of tears and I have my very own personal English version of Meena Kumari. At the end of this week, they are on vacation for two months! How delightful!

So what makes the day (the one I was planning to talk about in this post) special? 

That Sunday, six out of the eight people sat in the living room and the silence was unnerving! Two, were asleep on different couches, one was busy reading a book and the twins were busy studying their Geography. I sat there on the couch and just stared at the wall. I couldn’t find the courage to switch on the TV (cos they were finally studying!) and was too lazy to move to the other room with the TV. So, I decided to take a book and scribble. I finally ended up drawing my family tree. I finished 30% of my mom’s side and one A3 size paper was filled up. Then I realized I couldn’t remember some of them. Was utterly funny how I struggled to remember their names. Finally my granny, (who woke up cos of my weird laugh when I finally figured out the name of my aunt’s daughter’s son’s wife) started helping me. Then the girls got interested and so flew away the quiet Sunday mood.

But truly, this family effort of figuring out the tree was so much fun. All started out of boredom and ended up with mad joy that seemed like we had solved life’s mysteries. I knew the lower half of the tree well and my granny was well versed with the top. My sisters added in gossip about different people. The noise we made was no longer annoying but blissful. My uncle woke up and helped, the book was kept down by my grandfather and he just sat and watched. As I mentioned before, everyone in my home is so different that sometimes this difference results in lack of common points. Doing something as a family, although in this case may have been small, no doubt is the most joyful experience I can speak of.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Marriage.. NOT!

I have often written about the situation in relationships. Of course my view is biased. How can it not be? But I really want to discuss this topic on another biased view. One of the older sibling.

The other day I was shocked to hear my sister say, “I never want to get married. It’s a very unhappy concept”. She sounded so sure of it that it stunned me. Of course it isn’t a decision etched in stone. But why ever did she have such an absurd thought? This little 13 year old, had dreams a few years ago of having a big white wedding in a fancy place. So I sat her down and asked her what the matter was.

What I realized, is that I should soon stop her from watching “Colors” channel. No more saas-bahu for her. Whatever happened to Hannah Montana obsession and the rest, I wondered.

“What happens after you get married?”

Uhm... well baby, I cant tell you that now, but… “You start a new family. You become the one responsible for the house, the work, the money. You get to do all the things you see mom doing. It’s so much to experience!”

“Yes! I become everything. I have to take care of the kids, give birth to them first, become fat because of that and at the same time, I have to also do MY job outside the house.” What an intelligent sister I have, she has passed through the boy-crazy stage, safely, to become the sensible woman she should be.

She went on to rant about everyday fights and bills to pay and getting used to a new family. I now know that I should be careful when I fight with the boyfriend around this brat who is clearly eavesdropping on our conversations.

After a long chat, I held her close in my arms and watched her sleep while I promised her that though life may be tough, it still does have its bright ribbons and pretty bows.

I hope I am right! For one, she was up the next morning dreaming of being Justin Bieber’s wife.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Downside Up!

Everyday isn’t going to be your day. You have your off-days when you’re so down on yourself and are almost in a trance throughout the day.

Some of you handle it well, some not so brilliantly. I have too many of these just like you do too. Like yesterday. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t find my reason to smile, once every few hours, in the small things that happened around me. It is the small things that do it for me truly. A jovial rickshaw man who passes a crazy comment at every weird driver who cuts him off, a sweet colleague who smiles every time your eyes meet, my podette on shuffle playing all the right songs out of the 500 odd choices or simply a darling brother who hugs you as you enter the door while telling you that you’re looking pretty.

In the end, it’s all about not holding onto that frown too tight. Let go of it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What the...?

Just unfair. It is!

Was just sticking my head in the fridge for two purposes. At this ungodly hour, I was in the mood for coffee!And secondly, I was trying to get away from the sudden heat wave this mad city is experiencing. So, I take out the carton of Tetra-packaged milk cos I had my lazy reasons for not choosing the packet of fresh milk. Pulled out my king-size mug, tilted the carton and then my face did its automated emote. People who know me, know how quick I am to make a face, raise an eyebrow (right raise means one thing, left means another) and the often flair of the nostrils, apart from the others. Getting back to the story. I got totally freaked cos what was pouring into my mug looked like kanji, a.k.a. the water left after you have boiled rice. Then I do the stupidest and yet the most natural thing, I sniff.

The putrid stench made me wish I had chosen to give up on my mad-midnight-cravings, at least tonight.

I find out that apparently, after you've opened the carton, you have two days to finish it off, especially now that its summer.

So, here I stand. Totally disappointed. Cos I think too much for my own good, I have connected this with the way life is. Every darn thing has a shelf-life. Like it or not, either it expires, turns sour or (if it has no expiry date) just moves to the back of the shelf. Maybe i am too young to come to such a harsh conclusion, but I know that I ain't completely wrong.

An attraction. Totally comes with a shelf life. And the worst part is, there is no label that informs you of this. It just relies on your common sense and the external factors invloved. Ignore it long enough and its like a big mug of cold beer that has stood still too long.It's flat, too bitter to bother drinking and too warm to quench your thirst. Then is there still any point in drinking it just for the momentary buzz? Is that buzz worth the feeling of regret you will experience later? Why not just leave it at that and ask for another glass? Me being the person I am, I dont see a point in putting in any effort of picking up the glass putting it to my mouth and then regretting it later. I suffer from lack of patience for this kind of shelf life. Wait, I just generally suffer from lack of patience. Period.

More often than ever, it has the 'turning sour' factor. Some realise this soon enough and some would find out the hard way. Like imagine if I hadn't found the carton useless tonight, tomorrow my sister (who has this annoying habit of drinking directly from the carton) would find out through a really bad tummy and several visits to the loo.

Isn't it so damn unfair? I could rant on and on about this and somehow I will stop myself here.

And I do wonder - how come everything thing I think I need, always comes with batteries?

Oh John Mayer, I love you for today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Anger... tch tch

Do you ever think twice about how you react when youre angry???

I tried to analyse just the people who are always getting pissed off around me, given that I can easily tick people off. Here is what I gathered.

I say the stupidest things when I am mad!

Last night, I was off at my sisters for saying mean mean stuff to mom. All this over an international phone line. And I said to her in absolute frustration, "I will hold you by the back of your collar and hang you from the fan and then I will turn that fan on and watch you go round and round and round and pray to the lord above that your brains will come back into place!" And I didnt even laugh about that later. And I am not making this up.

I, no longer wonder, why my sisters dont take me seriously!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Unfaithfully yours: A Wifes Tale

Conflict in a situation does not have to be light sabers or laser guns, automatic weapons or explosions. It can be as simple as what clothes will you wear to your first day at work, or as deep as how far should modern science go? Conflict can also be an internal process.

Being 16 wasn’t ever easy for a girl, let alone one whose only companion was a boy who always complained. "I would never be unfaithful in marriage," I remember him saying as we sat on his bed playing cards. It was a statement that didn't reflect any anger on his part, nor any of the emotional turmoil he must have been experiencing at the time." I had seen it so often. His dad would come home from work, pass a random comment about how his wife was useless and couldn’t manage to keep his house clean and they would both start to quarrel. Each one doubting the other. It wasn’t the right thing, yet it crossed my mind. How can anyone be so sure that they could never be unfaithful? How can one be so sure?

Here I was, 15 years later, getting married to the man I had loved since the past 4 years. This man standing beside me, I knew I could spend my life with. We had the same lifestyle in mind, we got along fabulously, and we talked lots. And most of all, we loved each other. I was so sure when I looked into his eyes, as we exchanged our vows; I could never imagine myself being unfaithful to my husband because, to me, this certainly didn't feel like a sacrifice. Even leaving behind those 3000miles, felt so positive.

We had the most amazing life together. In the evenings we would have discussions about philosophy and love. My husband, like my childhood friend, always used to talk avertedly about unfaithfulness. And in the nights, when he made love to me, he always whispered in my ears how he couldn’t imagine us surviving apart. He wasn't threatening or scaring me. Nor had I any intention of ever cheating because I loved my husband.

Our new jobs provided just enough for our food and shelter, but soon that wasn’t enough. Issues regarding monetary problems began to disrupt our peaceful dinner. For the first time since our marriage, we were fighting. Often we both said hurtful things to each other that weren’t even relevant and fights just ended up getting more and more brutal. We went to bed angry and woke up exhausted - the sex life suffered. I needed something - AN ESCAPE.

Financial problems had reduced but the bitterness still prevailed. The good thing about my job as an event organiser was that I got invited to all the parties. My husband, being the anti-socialite, never accompanied me. I got noticed a lot because I seemed a single person. Men actually approached me telling me how beautiful I am and stating reasons why I should join them for a drink. I turned them all down.

This one specific event was where I noticed him. Tall, fair, blue eyes. A vision in black. We were introduced by common friends and we started talking a lot. And ‘incidentally’ I started bumping into him at all the major social events. Here was a guy who represented all the kinds of stability and emotional support I needed in my marriage. I remember the first time I slept with him. It was an exciting but scary experience.

I was overcome with guilt, true, but I would take this to my grave. And strangely, I felt relieved. What my husband didn’t know couldn’t hurt him. That was what I told myself in order to feel positive. But happiness is short lived. The nightmare came true - my alibi unintentionally called our house and gave me away. I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. Maybe I wanted to be found out – to this day I don’t know the answer. All I know is that I caused a lot of pain to my husband whom I still loved.

Even though our marriage is in very tenuous state and I don’t know if we will ever recover. I still believe that my affair had a place in my life... I believe there was a reason all this happened. And even though my actions have made my husbands state of mind an emotional chaos, I hope time and mutual understanding will resolve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Misplaced Information

The plane landed thirty minutes late, which meant, according to Mumbai’s normal schedule, the flight was on time. The aero-bridge failed to function as required. He sat there thinking, ‘Ugh! My first flight in three years and I chose Mumbai!’

The on-flight service of the Emirates Airbus was unnervingly polite. ‘They are so fake…’ he thought. On entering the airport premises, he was surprised at the lack of crowd. ‘Maybe my flight was the only one landing at this time.’ He was unaware of the fact that the city had a flight landing every three minutes. On reaching the immigration desk, he received a sheepish smile from the officer at the desk. The staff at the airport, like the people all over the city, was still asleep at half past five in the morning. The officer checked his passport and was awakened immediately.

‘Shahid Ijaz. A Pakistani with a UAE residency, a valid Canadian visa!' He checked his list, 'So he is the one with the special clearance request! How do people like him have contacts that high up?’ And as he reluctantly lifted his stamp to mark the empty square in the boy’s passport, he yelled in his mind, ‘Terrorist!’

Shahid picked up his baggage from the conveyor belt. 'This city is so god-damned slow!' She had told him, “Directly head for the Green Channel.” The lady inspector asked him regular questions like

“Any electronics or any goods above 10,000 you would need to acclaim for?”

Obediently he answered “No Madam.”

At 6:15am as he walked out the airport he had a sad thought, ‘She isn’t going to be out there waiting for me! Its too early in the morning for sleepy-head to be awake.’

But he would be seeing her three hours later at the hotel. Rahul had told him that he would be picking him up from the airport. At the exit of the airport, there were so many people waiting with sign boards that had names on them. Shahid was familiar with this as he had seen this outside the Dubai airport. They are chauffeuring those people to their hotels. Someone sprung up behind him and he was startled. It was her. Anastasia! ‘Oh my god! She is just so gorgeous’, he thought to himself as she hugged and kissed him.

Shahid held on a little longer and asked her, “Baby, you woke up this early just for me?”

She just smiled and said, “The city wakes at this time everyday. I need to catch up sooner or later you know.”

‘She hasn’t changed one bit in these two months. Still too proud to admit how much she loves me,’ he silently thought.

They sat in her car and started talking, catching up on everything. On the road to a place called Juhu, he noticed how the city was really awake. There were people on bicycles and bikes, in cars and buses, all going to work, he guessed. He looked at the conditions of the roads. There were pot holes, narrow lanes, winding roads. He noticed how the cars were barely a few inches away from each other, the signals didn’t really work and even if a few of them did, no one really paid attention to them. ‘How does this city function?’ He looked at her; she was so calm while she drove down these crazy roads. He remembered the time in Dubai, when he complained about the driving and how tedious it was to keep shifting from brake to pedal, while all she did was smile at him. And here she was, driving a manual vehicle in so much traffic with such little effort!

He was truly amazed at this one signal, cars just zoomed, so confident that the other side would wait till they had passed. There was a little child selling fresh red roses.

Shahid looked at her and said, “She must barely be seven years old, how can her parents make her work like that?”

She replied, “That child might not even have parents,” as she opened the window and bought flowers from the child, “and this may be the only way she will get food to eat. And even if she has parents, they are going to flog her if she comes back home empty handed.”

They reached the hotel at 7:00am, checked in and a while later she took him to Juhu beach. It was 8:00am and there were people jogging on the beach. Shahid noticed how there were so many chaat stalls. He didn’t want to try it. This was one of the things he had on the “not-to-do-list” that he had made on the flight to Mumbai. But as stubborn as she was, she dragged him to one of the better stalls and had made him eat this spicy paanipuri that made his eyes tear up. But he admitted to her later that he liked it a lot and would eat more of it if it could somehow it could be a little less spicy.

Later that day they visited the Prithvi Theatre and watched a play called “Black Monday” which was about these tenants in a society who belonged to different castes. It was a great example of the cultural and religious backgrounds and the differences that arise among people due to the diversity, she told him. She explained how all around the city, the diversity was just an amazing experience, how everyone celebrated every festival collectively.

After the play he asked Anastasia, “Does the religious difference create so much of a conflict?”

"You will be surprised but this actually depends on the area and the political influence that rules it.”

And she explained to him about the Shiv Sena and how they influence people, the turmoil they cause only to degrade other religions. She also told him about places like Bandra, Vakola used to have majority of Catholics earlier and how it changed. People of so many different castes lived there now. And the more she told him, the less prejudiced he became.

Shahid Ijaz had never lived in his home country, which wasn’t too different from India. When he decided he was going to fly down to Mumbai, the city of a million dreams, he got so many mixed opinions from people. Some of them really sounded as a good-enough reason for him to not visit the place. But he knew that he had to go there because he hadn’t seen Anastasia for so long. People told him things like,

“…the poverty is so saddening...the country isn’t advanced enough…”

“…the pollution will definitely get to you. Sometimes you can hardly breathe!”

“Most of the people are so lazy and the rest are mostly illiterate. People over there don’t even know how to speak clear English!”

“…don’t eat the road-side food at all. And chaat is something you must simply not try.”

“…don’t get me started on the English accent!”

But Shahid noticed that so many people speak the English language well enough for him to understand. He was actually sad that he never tried learning Hindi although it was supposed to be his first language. The city was so technologically advanced that even the paan-waala had a sophisticated mobile device. The chaat he had eaten with Anastasia was something he had never tasted before! These Mumbaikars, as they called themselves, wake at 6:00 am, get to work, school and wherever they have to be. Hence, in his books, they were the least lazy people. Yes, the poverty made him sad and the pollution made him choke. But the way he had seen the city function that Tuesday, made him realize that the one-week that he was going to spend in the city was going to be too less to discover more of the wonderful things this city had to offer. And it wasn’t only the major landmarks, which Anastasia promised to show him the next day that he was excited about.

‘Next time I come to Mumbai, I’m staying for month at least.’