Conversations around the house

KT is off on a work related trip and I have promptly parked myself at my parents’ place, looking forward to a nice lazy time.

I wake up at 6 45 am to find the lunch cooked, boxes packed and the breakfast being readied. A cup of steaming hot coffee finds its way to me and I read the paper peacefully.

(Things I’d have been doing at my place, same time simultaneously:  Keeping an eye on the boiling milk, chopping veggies, screaming at KT to wake up, eyeing the ticking clock and thanking my stars that we don’t have a kid)

I tell amma that I have a headache and a second cup of coffee finds its way to me. She gives me a couple of things to do, drying a shirt, hunting for her watch, putting the packed lunch boxes into the bags, turning out a light in the bathroom..

As she leaves I ask her if she’s had her calcium supplement and of course she hasnt..because there’s no time and she’s running late as she has to reach the work place by 7 45 am. So I fetch the tablet and a glass of water and hand it to her as she runs out of the door.

I wave out to her as she suddenly stops in her tracks. She smiles and says “I feel like a princess”

I watch her face for the sarcasm. There was none.

I live on my own terms

Was travelling in an auto when this line came to my mind…I’m not sure where I read it, but I think someone (Suki was it you??) had given this entry to one of Chandni’s six word memoirs? I have to go and dig her archives to figure out if I’m right. But I remember it making a deep impression in my mind and I remember thinking if only that was possible….

Why can people not recognise that that’s all we want to do. We do not have any sinister ulterior motives in what we are trying to do. Why is it that the label of a daughter in law such a bad word. Invoking mistrust and second guessing. So much that you lose trust in your own son. I’ve always believed in being straight forward with people..if I don’t like to do something, I tell it to you to your face. Haven’t you seen that by now? I in fact have always earned a bad name, by being forthright and not sugar coating what I have to say. Fine. You have known me for just around 4 years now. Whatever happened to your belief in your very own baby?

Till very recently I always believed the concept of a really nice guy was a myth. I honestly believed that all men treated women as secondary and that all men expect their women to cook and clean, “listen” to them and of course rake in the moolah (ensuring that it was less than the man’s of course). And of course I found KT. And of late having read so many blogs, I have found that there are tons of nice guys who are very unlike the stereotype. Of course I still believe that the vast majority conform to the stereotype, but there are different men as well. But one thing I do realise in addition to this is that loads of these men have managed to lose the trust of their parents. Just because the man is in an equal marriage, this is interpreted as him disregarding his parents and becoming the wife’s slave. Sad isnt it?

And oh, we only want to make our own little home, me and KT. If I don’t want my inlaws around the place, I most certainly do not want my parents around either. Too much saas-bahu television methinks. The flip side of Ekta Kapoor (who is her Tamil equivalent? Radhika?) is that even honest, hard working daughters in law are given a bad name! I am unable to even be offended that you think I’m giving you the boot and conspiring to get my parents in, because I find the idea hilarious..Hahahahaha. And even if I suggested something as bizarre as this the very idea that KT would go along with it is even more laughable. Muhahahahahah. 

I am neck deep in work, both personal and official. But I just had to get this out of my system.  Feel better now funnily. 

Im closing comments on this one because I don’t want to turn this into a inlaw bashing forum. I just feel bad that KT and I have been so badly misunderstood. But oh if anyone recognises the title..do post a comment on it on another post perhaps?

To the person who will never read this

Its funny to say it this way but if at all there is one person who can take credit for what I am today, its you.

I’ve never said that to you before and perhaps I never will say it the way I mean it. I’ve said it brusquely, very matter of fact. But I guess I’ve hugged you tight, held you close and hopefully that has conveyed the way I feel about you.

You’re one of the strongest people I know, you have kept me anchored, steadily guiding me. This is one of the few songs that I used to strum on the guitar and sing. Often with you. But now I can barely sing it. I tear up a few lines into it!! But yeah we can always do Edelweiss and Top of the World..

I think back at the times we’ve been through, the times we’ve despaired, you and I were always a team. (Yeah I will let the run-up to my wedding pass, put it down to temporary insanity on your part!) We still go through so many emotional upheavals, you try to insulate me from all of it, but it always shows through! Its so funny, the way I try to protect you and you try to protect me..from the same thing!

Shine on ma. You’re the bestest ma in the whole wide world.  Happy birthday and Happy Teachers Day. Love you.

(This was probably the most incoherent post I’ve written. But I’m rather overcome emotionally and that has clearly not fuelled my writing! Part II of the book post will come up soon!)

Baby muddles in my head

My uncle S and his wife P are having trouble conceiving…not too uncommon?

Well S is 37 and P is 35..S is handicapped, he is hearing impaired and P is from a very poor family, had a very troubled childhood and all the works. They married a couple of years back and they both want a baby and want it soon for obvious reasons. Now having visited the doctor, the verdict is that there is an issue and they’d have to go in for all the expensive and painful treatment..and even then we don’t know…

Now all of us want babies…its the most natural thing..at best the debate is about when, very very few people decide that they are not going to have a child. Ditto for me, KT and I married 4 months  back and I’m 24, he’s 26…so no baby anytime soon…but there’s no doubt in our minds that we want one. Well yeah I said one…by one I mean I  definitely don’t want to get pregnant more than once. But the thing is both of us have a sibling each and we like a four member family. But I really don’t think I want to go throught he process twice…I’m extremely intolerant to pain and I hate the way even a period interrupts my life every now and then and renders me a completely useless being…unable to sit or stand, breaking out in a cold sweat, puking, horrible cramps…well I’ve kind of resigned myself to the 9 month “interruption”…but I really don’t want to do that twice..I know I sound cold blooded, insensitive and everything…but I feel so far removed from the event..something that’s perhaps more than 3 years away…. Right now my 24 year old being can think of only my career, perhaps an MBA squeezed in between…I guess once I’m older I will view pregnancy as more than an interruption…So now we are saying that we will have one child and adopt another. Having said that, I have no idea how we would feel 5 years down the line…right now its just a flippant, quick fix solution…we want two babies, unwilling to bear more than one, solution, please adopt the other. Now we are aware of course of all the emotional issues that go along with it…whether we will be able to love both equally (I guess so), and more importantly what kind of appearances will we convey to the children, when to break the news to the kids, dealing with the kids’ emotions etc..now we haven’t stopped to think about all this at all…its all a far away thing…and I have no idea how we will react when push comes to shove. Another thing is that if for some reason we are not able to have even that one baby, at present I think I will not go in for infertility treatment, will straight away adopt…I don’t want to go over all the hassles…here again I have no idea how I will react when all of this actually happens. Its very simple to come up with rational solutions when the problem doesnt actually confront you.

Coming back now to S and P, when I heard about them, my instinctive feeling was why don’t they just adopt. They are old, the process is painful and their age makes the whole thing fraught with risks, plus the danger that the kid is born with the handicap cannot be ruled out at all. Taking all this into account the most logical thing is to adopt…give some unfortunate child a good life, save yourself a pot ful of trouble. But it seems that this thought has not really entered their heads…they are fairly conservative and would probably think on the lines of what caste etc that baby would be…I may be mistaken but my guess is that adopting may not be a very pleasant option and they’d rather go without a child…if that were the alternative.

Now I want to know..what is it that compels people to try out these expensive and painful treatments? More so people who already have a child? I’m not at all being judgemental here…I’m just trying to understand the feelings and emotions that go with a situation like this…Why are we reluctant to adopt? Why is it that we are compelled to even have children? Is it because its a done thing? Or does it mark an achievement? Do me a favour and do tell…I’d really like to know what you think..

Fine print

Yeah so we now live in fancy duplex apartment….very difficult to keep track of new maid with the whole upstairs downstairs thing

Yeah we have nice classy furniture..very scared to use them normally as they’re real expensive and will get spoilt

Yeah so we live alone..away from the inlaws and the parents and I don’t have to do the thaali circus…damn we have to cook and I miss dropping in at home for gossip and conversation

Yeah the auto guy charges me only Rs 15….but when he actually agrees to come.

 So we’re finally in Bangalore…immense loneliness has overtaken me..no KT around..I don’t know anyone in the office…bah! I’ve decided that I’m going to spend one week in a month in Madras henceforth.

Three years…

Dear KT 

This day…three years ago…my life changed….

This day…three years ago…I took an irreversible step…

This day…three years ago…you and I came together…as one…

October 23, 2004 put an and to the turmoil that we (or was it only me!!) faced… I was this angst ridden girl…untrusting and extremely reluctant to get really close to people…never had a truly close friend, let alone a boyfriend…then you came along into my life and took me and my emotions on this roller coaster ride…

I remember the first day that we met, May 21, 2004…I knew there were these new boys in office…those who had joined while I was still on study leave…I’d done the whole “Hi we haven’t met” routine with everyone but you….then you came along while I was discussing something with KS….I wish I could say that sparks flew all around and I went week in the knees and that we kept sneaking glances at each other!!! 🙂

Instead you came, spoke to KS, very loud…something to do with goal setting….the only impression I had was that you spoke so loud!!! And without as much as a glance at me, you walked off…then the second time around when you came back, I…introduced myself to you…and we finally formally met!!

For someone who’s not made too many friends..you and I just hurtled into our relationship….you just inspired that trust in me…you showed me what it was to have a friend..to be able to share, open up and just completely be comfortable…you gave me all the support when I was so worried about my CA results…you even became my lucky charm…and I heard the good news from you…and I was touched that someone outside of close family could genuinely care about you…

Then came the troubled times…where we started venturing out of the bounds of our platonic relationship…nothing was said or discussed….when we went through the troubled months of Sept and Oct….we weren’t formally boyfriend girlfriend….but we kissed, we made out…you and I…you, the “oh girls are a waste of time” boy….I, the goody girl for whom physical contact with guys meant shaking hands (at least you had been kissed on the cheek before that by a girl 🙂 )!!!

I was traumatised by what was happening, scared as this was uncharted territory, this meant we were in the process of committing….and then something snapped inside me and I told you that we’d better end all the fooling around and keep our relationship entirely professional (yeah right!!!!)….I still remember what I said “I love you, but I am not in love with you” (I think I should start writing cheesy movie dialogues!!!)

But little did I know your powers of persuasion….and made even stronger by the boy in love and in typical KT style…you wanted solid reasons for me not wanting to be your girlfriend…and you refused to accept my vague answers of following my gut, instinct and all of that!!! I’m sorry I put you through all of that, I’m sorry I made you cry and spend two days wondering which way your life was going to change…

I remember going into a long slumber that Saturday afternoon…and waking up….I’d like to say that the haze had disappeared and that my mind was all clear…but I remember you calling and me saying yes, but can we please get a cook!!!!

We didn’t meet until Monday after that…when I saw your smile that day and that hug that you gave me the haze lifted and I knew all was right with my world….

Thanks KT for giving me the gift of love, thanks KT for being there for me…thanks KT for being you

Love you lots

S

….psst…now that we’re married and all….I don’t want to get a cook…and I cannot wait to taste your gnocchi

Again..

Just when one crisis had passed…another seems to loom…patti is unwell again…blood in her stools…please God…let her be ok..I’m feeling so helpless…hope its some minor infection or something….

Please………..