Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Year End Saga - When Friends become Mothers

I have been away for a quite a while, which by no measure meant that I had forgotten about my beloved blog. On the contrary - I missed writing.
However, busy times, kept me away.

But, I can't end a year without really recounting the highlights of the year that has gone by. And as we close another year, here is my take on my year that has gone by!


One month after I moved back to Delhi (which was 2 years back), my BFF announced that she was pregnant. I was immensely happy for her. Extremely sad for myself. The bombs of, your best friend is having a baby and you are not was about to explode. I was prepared at that time because, I was not 30, we had just moved and we were still trying to find our feet.
2016 came and went. My BFF had the cutest baby boy, lets call him Baby G. He is 1.5 years old now, and the assaults (yes, I'll use that term!) have only increased.

That is because, most of my friends and even my cousins who got married a year and two later than what we did planned their families and all, I have done this year is brought too many baby gifts, and attended a humiliating baby shower, and then a subsequent celebration of the baby once that baby was born.
A certain cousin of mine, who got married in 2009 (I think); also had babies this year. She had twin boys! And she was my only salvation, and salvo to the attack of the "Why No baby" bomb.

But here is a realisation that I had after all these people had babies- That their lives just stopped there. Or maybe began again.. (perspectives). My BFF complains that we don't meet often. She does not understand the fact that I can't really "meet-meet" her when she is at home (either her home or her parents' home), because her focus is only on Baby G, who is at the age of clinging to his mother. When we do meet out, it is for power lunches (where I step out of my office, and she drops Baby G to her Mom's for baby sitting). If there is a lunch other than on office days, then every 15 minutes she is accessing the nanny cams for checking in on Baby G.

It is the same with all other new parents around me, they are consistently busy with their babies, the whatsapp and facebook updates revolves around their babies all the time. Trying to find a time to meet them is a task.
And just like that, I am pretty friendless in the 2 years that I have moved.

Babies have become quite a touchy topic around our families as well. With cousins popping babies, even family functions have become a disdain. It is painful to hear the drones of the "WHY NO BABY" of the elders and every other being there.

My Mother thought that we moved back to Delhi because we were planning a family. She has been the most disappointed of the lot. My FIL is always disappointed in us, so I can't say whether he is more disappointed about the "No Baby" situation, or about any thing else that we did not live upto.

Husband's family (extended one that is) have also not spared us.

Last year has been one landmine after the other. Its like playing minesweeper in real life. Not only avoiding the baby bombs, but then trying to make light of the situation, and diffusing it off.

It is weird that this year, our identity has been mixed and nixed because we are the no baby people.

I came to realise, that right now the friends including the BFF, are so into their babies that even though we are close, there is a barrier that has been made. I am not the friend with whom you can discuss your child or your woes about that child, because I don't have one, and I won't *really* understand what you are going through.
I will never understand, your compulsion to check the baby monitor, and the obsession about "I want to buy abc/xyz for Baby G".

It is like a secret society, which you can see, but can't really be a part of. When friends become mothers, they only get busier for the next 20 years. First its the sleepless nights, then the clingy phase, then the schools, the homeworks, the projects, the exam. You can be the cool aunt, but they are just friends, and you are not family, so all the updates are latent, and all the conversations are about a million things that their child does, and about all that I am missing, because I am not Mom.

This year has been such a massive learning in this regard. And I am so disappointed with my own self for having expectations.

So here is hoping that in the coming year, there is more to talk about other than the babies! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At first there was light

At first there was light,
and I was born,
into a world where,
I was awaited,
with baited breath, and
a lot of drama.

Its a girl,
our family gynea announced,
and that was a reason to celebrate,
a sister to my first cousin bros,
the first grandchild for my maternal grandparents,
and the first born of my parents.

I was spoilt,
not with money,
but with love,
my bua, my mamas, my dadu, dadi et all.

Life went on,
and then I grew up,
from tantrums to responsibility,
from the first born to an elder sister,
it was like a shock.

School, college,
and then there was the job,
a professional I had become,
because I did Law.

Somewhere in between,
engineering and law,
I fell in love, deep and hard.
Its been over a decade, but,
often times I look at him,
and I wonder in awe,
yes, I still have butterflies,
which flutter, unannounced.

Life as I knew it, had to change,
again, because change is the only constant,
it reminds again and again.
The love soon translated into
a societal norm,
a proposal happened,
and soon it was time to tie,
the knot.

Time flies yet again,
and I can't believe,
its been 5 years hence..
a time leap, I feel, but each year,
etched is etched in me,
like a stone that has been marked.

I try to hold time,
close my eyes, and hold on tight,
but past is just a dream,
that knit the present,
and put it together.

There is more to be conquered,
but, I don't know if I have the fight,
left in me, to make it past the night,
but each day comes with a new hope,
and each hour, I conquer,
I rejoice,
for life is a gift,
that I must appreciate, and live
it like there is no tomorrow,
with a smile, and a heart of a lion!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan

We are often lamenting about things that are not right, without appreciating the things that are right. This is my biggest realisation of turning 31.

I am sitting in my niece's bedroom in Mumbai. In the last two days that I have been here, my heart is being pressed so hard that it is not even funny.  It reminds me of the days when I was interning in Mumbai, and for me there was nothing better than this city. To be honest- when they say the Bombay is a feeling. I know it. I believe it.

My relationship with Bombay is complex. This is the city, where I learnt to be independent at the age of 4, when my great-aunt told me that I could pick out my own clothes and could take my own baths, and leave my hair open all I want. This is also the city, where I learnt the true essence of house parties, and the fact that even if I have to get up at 5 in the morning to travel for a couple of hours, a party on a weekday is not a bad idea at all.

This is also the city that brought me to my knees. A city, where tiny living spaces far far away were the only ones that one could afford and sunshine or rains or even a massive hangover doesn't stop anyone in this city. There is a resilience here that gives it strength. Like someone recently told me, Mumbai is a city where even if you are broke you can have fun. Might I add, that once we grow up the broke fun doesn't cut it anymore. That is why the complicated relationship.

I could have easily passed off Mumbai as Bangalore, where we have friends and family, and which is a great party spot with hopeless traffic, if I had not lived here. Like it was home, at several points of my life.

If I had to re-do my relationship with Mumbai, would I change anything? Would I want this to work out? Would I do something differently?

I don't think I would. I have been thinking about the past. A lot. Especially closer to the birthday. I always do that, helps me plot my growth. I have in the past told the Husband, that I wish we could have done things differently. But- today when I sat to write this out- I realised that I would not have been writing this post about the bitter sweet memories of Mumbai had we not indulged the way that we did, without a care. Our decisions at those times bore fruits. We have best of the people (Yes, because Mumbai does have the best of the people, and believe me when I say that most of the best of Delhi people also stay here, hence Delhi is left with too little of them!) as our friends. And I say "our" friends because of all the memories and the moments that both Husband and I spent with his friends.

There is however something that I would change. My attitude. I always had fun. But, I was always riddled with guilt later. I started attaching a lot more importance and impact (negative one at that) to certain things/situation than what was required, instead of purely enjoying that moment, and preserving it in my memory- just as that- a pure moment of joy.
But other than that, I will not change a thing (maybe a year extra at Juhu ;)) .

Delhi will always be home. With the tiffs, tribulations and a lot diplomatic acts. And Mumbai, was and continues to remain- Meri Jaan. Will it ever be "home" again? I don't know. I do know that, Mumbai will always play an important part in our lives. We are inter- twined. At a spiritual level.

At 31, you realise a meaning of deeper connection, as you move forth with your life at a different pace, with different goals. But there certain places and people who are your anchors, and Mumbai will always be that anchor.

Thank you, for the great Birthday weekend, Mumbai. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Adulting 101

It is March 31 today. And I hope that all the adults who fall in the tax bracket have already made their last minute tax savings and have also decided, what to do, and what not to do in the coming year. I did mine like in the beginning of this week, and I feel thouroughly accomplaished. It was pretty last minute too, but atleast, it was not like running with a cheque like a lost chicken on 31st itself. I consider that to be adulting. Or at least a part of it.

A recent research says that millenials (like me), have a median age of 30, and they start considering themselves as adults only when they turn 30. Which is mighty interesting. Because, while I remember being 25 and carefree, I also remember turning 30 and all of a sudden, panicking becuase it felt (and still feels like) that time is slipping and now you are on the other side of time (if there is anything like that). All of a sudden you see friends (some even younger then you), who have become parents and are responsible for another human life, and you delay taking your dog to the clinic by 1 whole week, even wehn she is in pain. You see, how people are buying new cars, going for the fancy holidays, and how you can't even maintain a proper grocery list, and forget savings, you don't even know how to budget your household properly. You see people and how their life is together, and you still struggle, in keeping yourself and your sanity together.
There are of course exception to these friends. But, if I have to be honest, I know that all of them would be struggling with something or the other, but, they have that one thing that is sorted in their life. Be it their career or be it their personal life. They have something, to hold on to. Unlike, me right now, where each day is like an exam in adulting.

But what I have come to realise esapecially in the last couple of months, that there are somethings that have to become a deliberate practice for all this adulting to happen, and it does not include throwing dinner parties like an adult! Here is a tentaive list from my tiny experience, in case you are looking for one that is.

1. Expectations: None. Nil. Nada. It is very important to train yourself, that you cannot expect anything from anyone, and on some days, even from your ownself. But that is the truth of it all. And the mantra for a relationship like marriage and all the ancilliary realtionships that come along with that. You have to be your own lover, and your own person. Your married BFF will always be too involved, and if she has a child, then the tables are turned, and you have more expectations to fulfill. Your partner will probably give you a shoulder to cry, but, when life happens, love goes. You can either make your ends meet or make your expectations of romance meet.

2. Only superheroes are in Movies: In real life, you have to just save your own world, and the rest will have to wait today. Life becomes an endless loop of to-do lists, whether it is office assignments or getting things done for home.

3. Accept: The game of tell me why got over with your childhood. Somethings have to be accepted. Like the fact that despite all your persuation, you will have to attend parties on your own, and family functions by yourself. The flaws become imminent, and that is when your relationships are tested. You are some times not only supposed to take the blame for yourself and your actions, often the actions of the partner are also put on your head. Accepting that as a part of your life and moving on helps. It also helps to accept the fact that, when they say that women always assert themselves in a man-woman relationship and call the shots, it is wrong, and you as your own person, cannot judge your relationship based on that myth.

4. Choices: You have to bear the brunt of your own choices. Even if that means, choosing to put your career on the backfoot for family or your relationship. But that does not in any way mean that you have to feel bad about it. Yes, you would like to be appreciated about that fact, but that does not happen. The process to learn that your choices and the repercussions will always come to bite you of not today, but tomorrow should always weigh on your mind.

5. Letting Go: My introductory paragraphs talk about how I have measured myself against the standards and expectations with the yardstick of the society, and feel miserable about it. But the biggest process in the whole adulting scam is to let go. To just measure yourself againt your own self. I have deleted the facebook app on my phone. And that has helped immensely, and slowly I have come to realise that I need to focus on myself and just me too, and can't keep on looking at people and measuring my life. Notions have to be let go.

6. Sleep: While you want to party, and do so many things- you have to give up your sleep, and those lessons come in handy, when one has a baby.

7. Stress and worry: With Murphy working overtime to ensure that things just go wrong all the time, you are bombarded with stress- about work, career, life, relationships, money and everything under the sun. Adulting is like working under constant worry of why things go wrong because all of them go wrong, one way or the other.

Life as we know it, changes, as soon as we realise that one has to be a "responsible" adult. And while you let go of expectations, a whole load of them is put on you- always. My first tiny steps to adulting, and I wonder, what is it that they teach you in school in any case!!!  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I am Me : A woman's day special!

Like a tiny doll,
when I am born,
pampered and spoilt,
by father, mother, and brother alike.

From tales of princesses, and
the prince charming,
I am given barbies, and
kitchen sets to grow up with.

I am educated,
in the best of schools,
and there it is when I learn,
that a girl is more than,
the princess, and the vanity case,
given as gifts.

I learn about the gutsy women,
who dared to dream,
of women who fought battles,
discovered radium,
and touched the skies in their airplanes,
about a queen, who still rules,
and about a female PM,
who ran the largest democracy.

I learn to dream, and
I learn, about that little part,
in my heart, that wants to dare,
to break the shackles and stereotypes,
to love blue and not the pinks,
and to go out in the world,
to make a difference.

But when I do step out,
there is resistence, from the same,
father, mother, and brother,
who pampered me with all the love.
Then I learn to fight,
the shackles which come with,
the sheltered life.

In the next step, there are the others,
men who leer and lech,
men whose egos fragile as glass, and
women who feel that they deserve more, 
and a world which is same no more. 

But, I fight. 
At each step, 
to carve an identity, 
to feel the breeze, even if, 
it is ridden with salt, it is my own. 

I fight, against the 
prejudices and judgments against,
my clothes, 
my hair, 
my choice of men, 
my choice of having sex, 
my choice of marraige and babies, 
me being strong, but not stubborn. 
me being me, and not the other!

I look at myself, 
each day in the mirror, 
take a deep breath and vow, 
to hold my head high, to walk, 
in my heels, 
to wear that red lipstic, if I please, 
to ace that meeting, 
to party without a care, 
to argue on a point to make a point, 
to hold myself high, 
in my own eyes. 

Because I am a woman, 
I fight to survive, 
to take each breath, 
to choose battles, to win a war, 
and to live each moment, 
with feirce determination and a tender glow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A journey of 12 Years

A contreversial book, 
with conspiracy galore, 
a social network website, 
with a book discussion group. 

A boy with a weird name, 
and theories totally insane, 
and a dialogue, which, 
involved a few, and then just the two. 

Friend requests exchanged, 
and tentative steps taken, 
and soon from the book, 
the discussions moved away, 
from the group to just the two. 

Soon, it was impossible to pass,
even a day without "chatting up", 
eventually, it were the phone numbers, 
that were finally exchanged. 

In between e-mails, 
chats, smses and phone calls, 
we realised, that we were in love. 
Not an infactuation, 
but in fact love. 

We had never met, and
had seen each other through, 
patchy web cams, 
and then it was time to meet, 
eight months after, 
for 2 days, that was a treat! 

Year on year, after that, 
we struggled, but we had faith, 
and an eternal hope, 
and finally we did fight the stars, 
the moon, the family, and what not, 
and almost 8 years later, 
plunged further. 

At the altar, when he waited, 
I could see, the smile that he, 
had hidden away, with a sense, 
of calm, and satisfaction, that finally, 
we are a family. 

And from that day on, we do have, 
more struggles, and the arguements, 
which seem to never end, 
but even after these 12 long years, 
a genuine conversation, a tight hug, 
and a gentle kiss, 
makes the world alright, 
even if it is for a moment (or two). 

We often compete, but, 
we know that no one but we, 
complete, each other, now, 
and forever. 

As we move into another year, 
I close my eyes, and 
reminisce, the night we decided, 
that it was love, 
not at first sight, but at a remark, 
in a group, on a website.. and 
that we were and are meant to be, 
Today, tomorrow and always!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The 30-30 List

So I have been 30 for a little over 6 months. And to say that turning 30 has had no major impact on me will be an understatement. Each day (okay, almost everyother day) I have been evaluating and re-evaluating my life and the life choices that I have made. All of a sudden the fact that I am a walkover hits harder than ever, and that losing weight has become imperative, and that it will not be as easy as it was earlier also makes me shudder.

Today, I came across a list on website called Vagabomb, and decided to adopt my own version of this about what I thought that I would be at 30 and what I am. This will be give me perspective and hopefully, help me too.

So here goes nothing:

1. My Own Car

Technically my dad bought me one, years ago, but it was him who paid for it, and I still haven't bought anything that is "costly" per say. I am married, and we do have a car, but then again, technically, it is not my car.

2. A Child

More like children. But then, maybe somethings are not meant to be.

3. A house

This is a joke. I think, the day I started earning and the day I started doing real estate transactions, I figured, I'll never ever be able to buy a house unless there is a windfall, and as luck would have it- No windfall. Then, I moved to Mumbai, and till the time there were no hopes for coming back, I cried my eyes out a lot because owning house in Mumbai meant starving yourself to death for a matchbox.

4. Savings

None. Nil. Nada. Whatever little I have, that is because my father forces me. Else, I am broke and am hardly making the ends meet.

5. Sorted Finances

The story of my savings can pretty much state the story here. There are loads of things that I would like to do here (like an SIP/Mutual Funds investment), but then either there is no impetus or the liquidity is always crunched. I hate myself for this.

6. Career which pays me in millions

The money that I make is roughly, very very less than what my fucking peers are making. Am I happy about the situation. NO. Is there any one I can blame for it? No. Only myself. My career has been a yo yo since the day I got married, and there is absolutely no one but my stupidity to blame for this.

7. Choice to retire

I am making the corpus but I have been told/seen- Lawyers do not retire.
PS: The corpus may not be enough.

8. Culinary Skills
Thank God this one is under my belt. I can cook. And cook damn well. I only wish, I knew how to chop the veggies too ;)

9. The ability to buy Groceries
Since I can cook, I can pretty much get by. Except I had grocery shopping.

10. Eat a Fruit a day
I try. I really do.

11. Still thin and Strong
I was never really thin, per say, but I was definitely slimmer, and at a much better space at the time I got married. That was almost 5 years ago. Need a revival here.

12. Healthy Hair and Skin
Still working. And the hairfall WONT stop.

13. Saree Sagas
I can tie a saree. I can carry a saree. And I love sarees. One more feather in the cap.

14. High Heels

Wedges are workable. Pencils upto 3 inches are still okay, but the 5 inch and upward battle has become a war. Flats, are the best bet, and the reason for the same: My weight.

15. A Louboutin Shoe/A timeless Piece
A timeless fashion piece which is not a rip off. Okay, I do have quite a few of BFF's label (and they are good), but one fashion piece/ bag/accessory from an established brand bought by my own money would just make me feel so adult.

16. Regular Medical Check -Ups
I am usually okay, and I don't hate going to doctors, but the regularity of the health check-ups could go up.

17. Making conversations
I know I can talk. But I blab. I still don't know how is it that someone who can blabber like crazy can't make meaningful conversations? I still don't know, how is it that things that make sense to me in my head don't make any sense to me when I speak them out! And you would think that wiseness comes with age!

18. Hangovers
They become worse with age.

19. Unwanted hair
Waxing arms and legs, and still the hair grown unabated. Now I even have chin hair to take care of.

20. Make-up skills
Another skill that I have learnt!!!! I do decent make -up, and spend money on it too. But still find it tedious to put kajal in the morning to go to work.

21. Travel Goals
My ponly foreign travel still remains - The Honeymoon that we had gone for. Of course I have been pining for a foreign holiday, but thank God to the travel bug, at least we travel in India.

22. A wardrobe
I have clothes. Most of them hand me downs and/or gifts from various aunts and my mother. Putting together a decent wardrobe is an expensive affair.

23. A happier me
Age has done exactly the opposite.

24. A more structured schedule and better time management
I am still running like a headless chicken at times, trying to co-ordinate things and micromanaging them. I would really like to sleep less, and be a tad bit more active. But alas, that is still far away. Far far away.

25. More independant
So, while I hail to be a modern woman, it is still really hard to shop without my mother/husband, and even harder to take minor decisions. A simple "what should we eat for dinner" is a three way call between my maid, me and then between me and the husband and then between me and the maid.

26. Less Anger
If only wishes were apples. Instead I am touchier than before.

27. A group of friends that are super solid and in the same city
There is a lot of ambiguity here.

28. An activity that I love and stick to
I dance. But- I still can't make up my mind about joining a dance class.

29. More patient
Work in progress.

30. Being Me and Knowing me
I really did think that I will have a very sorted life once I have adulted, and since by 30 you are officially running against your biological clock, you are an adult. But- forget being sorted, I think, my life is more complicated than ever. While I fend off the "why the dog and not a baby", from relatives and friends who are popping kids, I can't seem to figure out what is it that I really want. Life is a bitch, and I want to cry all the time.


These are my 30 things. And if you want you can pick this up too!