The Tea Tray Meeting

“Be sure to be home this weekend. We have guests coming over”, my mom decreed on our alternate day mandatory phone call. “Who is coming? And when are they coming- Saturday or Sunday? I was planning to catch a movie” I pouted on phone. I hate guests coming over. All the namaste and making tea and asking questions you don’t really care about. Bleh!

“They are parents of a guy we are considering for you. We went to their place last weekend and now they want to come home and meet you. Don’t be difficult about it. It’s gonna be just his parents.”

Wha…Ho…I don…Hmph!

Over years you learn to choose your battles with your parents. I knew I had no hope of salvaging my weekend so I gave in and focused on negotiating the details.

Dress up: Mom wanted saree or at the very least suit. I wanted jeans and a nice Tee (One I had in mind proudly claimed ‘Happily Unmarried’). We settled on jeans and kurta combo. Also, I refused a hair styling session at next door parlor.

Hospitality: I put my foot down on the classic scene of getting a tray of water/tea/juice/snacks or anything for the guests. We settled on me entering when refreshments have been served.

Conversation: I had a list of questions I would have asked about their son (simple stuff really like does he know to cook) It was promptly snatched away from me. O well. Other than that I was instructed not to talk too much or too loud.

And so finally the day arrived. I got dressed in our decided outfit. On a whim I sent the pic to my girl gang on watsapp who promptly recommended a change of color (Go for pink. Green isn’t your color)

Bell Rang and I was asked to wait in the room. Deprived of sight, my hearing power worked overtime. First task was to identify number of people. Two…no wait, Three. What are they talking? Route taken to reach destination, how this area has developed over years etc. Yawn…boring stuff. I wished it to be more interesting. And bang! It just did.

Awkward Moment #1: Mom comes in the room and announces that Mr. wanna-be-my-husband has also turned up. Along with this news mom delivered a disclaimer that she had no idea about this and is as shocked as me. My first thought….I will not do the ‘beta you go in the other room and talk in privacy’. No stranger is going to enter my room. Mom assured that this will not happen.

Awkward Moment #2: Guy was wearing a three piece suit! I mean, who wears a tux…didn’t seem like he did coz it didn’t really fit him well. But here was I in my uber casual kurti-jeans and he in corporate formals.

Awkward Moment #3: So he, his mom and his dad were sitting on the couch (in that order). When I entered his father immediately vacated his place but I smartly insisted that he sit there only. But the moment I got up for something, he sat at my place leaving me to sit…yes next to his wife and son on the couch. Why it was so important? No idea.

Awkward Moment #4: His father was sort of holding the court and was sitting to my right. He was sitting to my left so obviously I was focused more on my right. His father pointed to his wife (who was sitting between us) that she should let ‘these kids’ discuss things. So she promptly got up and shifted to a chair which left me and him and a whole wide berth of awkwardness.

We didn’t talk much. He asked about my work and flaunted some faulty knowledge that he supposedly had about my field. So that was the only thing we spoke, me being more interested in his father’s discussion topic (how facebook and twitter have changed the communication these days).

Overall it wasn’t all that bad…but something that I would prefer not to repeat ever again. What if I cannot escape from private discussion!?!

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The Other Woman

He loved her. I don’t know why but yes he did. And she loved him too.  That I could understand. He was everything a girl dreams of in her fantasy man, everything a woman wants in her husband. Her was perfection personified. How could anyone not love such a man!

But they couldn’t be together.

Why?

Because he was married. He had a wife and he had a kid. He had committed himself to a woman and vowed to take care and be faithful to her till the end of time. His parents, the society, O hell, he expected himself to stand by his commitments. And so they decided to part.

I’m sure he wished he had met her before he got married, before he had the onus and responsibility of his decision affecting an innocent child.

She must have also wished she met him before he was someone elses. Bearing the tag of  ‘another woman’ is an unsurmountable pain.

I also wished they had met before…before he married me.

He was my husband.

I am the woman he stood by all his life and gave up his chance of being with his love. Because I was his responsibility, his commitment, mother of his child.

You would say I was very lucky to be married to a man with such high moral principals. After all, how many men stand by their wedding vows and their commitments? I should have thanked my guardian angel gazillion times.

No. I hated it.  For every day that I had spent married to him, I died a thousand deaths.

I was with the man I loved but he did not love me! For him I was a responsibility and his commitment. He was being true to me coz he wanted to be true to himself. He was nice and kind to me and I couldn’t stand it. I longed to see the love that shone in his eyes for her, for me. There was kindness and even respect for me but I was not his love. I hated him for this and hated myself for being so shallow. So many times I wished to free him of this suffocating relationship but again our child  and his innocence stopped me.

For the world, we were the perfect couple and I was the ideal woman who snatched her husband and her family from the clutches of another woman. I had the perfect life.

But for me, she had the perfect life. She had the love of the man she loved and she did not need anything else. In my eyes, I was the ‘another woman’.

She never married anyone. I used to see her in public functions that we attended together and I could see her drinking the sight of him (of course discreetly). He never looked at her again but I know he was aware of hers. Coz during those times, he did not see me too.

His decision extracted a heavy price from both of us. From him, his love. From me, my integrity and self-respect.

When he died, I looked at his lifeless body, holding his hand, waiting for pain of his loss to hit me but I felt…numb.

There was no sorrow of loosing him because he was never mine to loose.

Instead I felt relieved.

For myself.

For him.

For her.

She died a few months after his death. Our souls were now free of all the chains and shackles.

Husband, Wife and Her???

Image courtesy Getty Images

Family Oriented Bride

Weddings are in the air. People are getting hitched left, right and centre. Initially I thought it was only me but a quick poll among my Facebook buddies told me its with everyone. Everyone around everyone is getting married! Kinda spooky, isn’t it 😀

I came across this friend of mine of Gtalk a few days back. After the usual Howdys and Happy New Years, he told me that he is in India for 2 months (from Australia) and he and his family are currently on a bride hunt. It was a very interesting and ‘enlightening’ conversation. My thoughts are in Italics.

He: I saw 5 girls. For shaadi.
Me: Ooo prospective brides…very interesting. So how did it go?
He: Hmm good. 3 were good, 2 were bad.
Me: Bad? Bad as in how?
He: You know…looks and everything.
The feminist in me roared to life at this.
Me: Looks? So what parameters are you deciding on?
He: 1. Family Oriented, 2. Traditional, 3. Education, 4. Looks.
Funny how looks come way down at 4th level but thats the 1st thing he mentioned when I asked what he meant by Bad.
Me: 1. and 2. means? Housewife material? Pooja Paath types?
He: Family Oriented. Don’t you understand English?
Me: I do but cannot comprehend meaning of this term. Could you elaborate?
He: Someone who respects my family and values.
Me: But thats so obvious na. If you respect someone’s family and values, they’ll do the same for you. C’mon, will someone actually abuse your family?
He: Bullshit. Yes, there are some girls who will not respect and its difficult. Family oriented means a girl will be part of the family in its real essence. Daughter of the house, take part in everything and mainly when time comes they take the side of family instead of anything else.
WTF! You want a life partner or a blind cow?
Me: So basically family has to be first. Even if something is against her own ethics and beliefs?
He: Yes 🙂
Happy that he has me completely convinced, he carried on about his 2 ‘fantastic’ girls.
He: I met 2 fantastic girls. One was studying MCA, second was working. Both were family oriented and very intelligent too.
Ha! How does it matter? Doesn’t seem like you want her to use her brains for anything other than operating the microwave.
Me: Great! So decided amongst them yet?
He: No. Im going to see 2 more this weekend.
Sounds like grocery shopping. Go through all the brands available in the market then select the one who saw first.
Me: Why? You already like these 2 na?
He: Ya but my family doesnt like them. They have to like them too. Its family oriented rather than self oriented. I like the girl is fundamental requirement. Everyone likes her is final requirement.
D’uh! So if your family find someone they adore but you dont like dat much, it works for you? Dude, its you who has to live with her 24×7. Your folks will see you guys maybe once in 3 years!
I wished him all the best for his bride hunt.
And had a hearty laugh. No offence to him but Im quite sure he himself had slim idea of what exactly Family oriented is supposed to mean. Just one of the cases where people use cliché without knowing what they mean.

Women work for fun?

Had a conversation with a friend on Gtalk that got me thinking. Posting the excerpt here. Lets call him V.

V: So hows work scene at your end?

Me: Its on hold as of now. Will take up a job again once Im done with my PGDBA. Dats like another few months maybe.

V: Lucky to be a girl. You can take off from work; we cannot.

Me: Hmmm ya i guess that’s a liberty I’ll enjoy all my life hopefully.

V: All girls have this choice. They work for fun while we work to earn.

That got me wear my thinking cap. Is this really a universal truth? I agree that women are never considered bread winners of the family. At the max they can support the family income but never the provider of the family.But then there are places like Mumbai, Bangalore and all that are soo expensive its difficult to sustain on a single person’s income and they DO need working women. But then that seems to be a rarity considering the masses which think otherwise.

But then this attitude stems out of the patriarchal roots of our society. Does that mean that her job should be considered nothing more than a hobby? Which can be easily given up when something ‘important’ comes up in the family (as often happens, like having a child or someone gravely ill in the family needing full time attendance)? What if she earns more than her husband? Will then too she would be expected to give up her job for the better good of the family?

So many times I have heard people say that they are so well to-do that their women i.e. daughters, wives, mothers etc. dont need to work. They can easily sit at home and take care of the house. While this statement in itself is quite crass, it does help point out the inference that women who work need to work!

Its irritating this biased attitude towards women and their work.

Next is what? ME!!

Ya I said in my post that I will be writing and reading lot of blogs n all and I admit..I dint. But u know why? Coz my plan to attend my sister’s wedding CAME THROUGH! So I went to be with her on her big day 🙂

Confession time: I was not very keen to attend dis wedding. Partly coz I was (sorry…I AM) too conscious of my weight gain and wanted to avoid all dos “OMG! What happened to you!?! How come you got so fat!” blah blah blah. And partly coz I knew what would be the second line of conversation with regards to me- “You are Next gal 😉 ”

My cousin is just a year older den me. So far all such subtle and not-so-subtle references for my wedding bowled @ me used to be conveniently passed on to her. “Arrey abhi toh di is to get married. Then I’ll think abt it

But now im directly in the line of fire. And boy was it hell or what! For a minute there I actually thought maybe my jumbo size will deter any such references but HA! High hopes. IT was like the whole family was up in arms against me. They were talking more about my not-happening-wedding then the one they were attending!

I was washing my sister’s hair since she had mehndi on her hands. “Do it with all your heart gal…one who serves the bride gets married very fast” And here I thought you need only a shampoo and conditioner for a good hair wash!

ACCIDENTALLY my sister’s haldi stained my foot soles. “Wow! Now toh we’ll get your wedding card very soon. Bride’s haldi is a very good omen” Eh!?! Excuse me…isn’t it when the haldi stains your palm??

And other then all this were the random incidences like

Hey! you must dance today yaar. She (my sister) performed on bhaiyaa’s wedding a year back and see what luck it got her! So its only fair that you perform @ her wedding” Ya sure! I wud rather burn and bury my dancing shoes forever! What crappy logic.

And how could I have gone away without a gyaan session. And to think I actually walked into the tiger’s den myself! I thought maybe I can explain my point so that all this can end once and for all…and my point was not that I DO NOT want to marry..simply that I need some time. Another 2 years maybe. But instead of an understanding nod (how silly of me to expect that), i got a gasp saying, “26! dat’ll be too late! See there is a reason why we all are asking you to get married…..” I mentally blocked myself from there on so dont remember what was the grand logic. IS 26 TOO LATE!!??!!!

Nervertheless, Im happy for my sister and relieved for myself that Im back. But all this has completely shaken the peaceful equilibrium that I had created in my home regarding my marriage. My mom is now not so convinced about my logic of marrying after 2 years…so der is lot of damage control to be done.

Sigh…sometimes i feel maybe i shud just get it done with if only to get rid of all dis nagging. But then, dats not the solution na.

Working Woman

I got this totally wonderful article via email and decided to share it 🙂 🙂 It beautifully describes the working women.

Read on…

A Working Woman

A Working Woman

Tomorrow you may get a working woman but you should marry her with these facts as well.

Here is a girl who is as much educated as you are; who is earning almost as much as you do.

One who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are.

One who has never entered the kitchen just like you or your sister haven’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements.

One who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life.

One who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family name.

One who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen.

One who is expected to make the tea first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn’t want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you.

One who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, whom she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and you inherent insecurities.

Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise.

One who can be late from work once in a while, when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met.

One who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her.

One who wants just one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house- your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly- your understanding, or love, if you may call it.

But not many guys understand this…