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8: Current Achievement Unlocked

9 Jan

Apart from showing up here for a week, productively and successfully, here’s what happened on Saturday night; something which I honestly never ever thought or imagined to achieve… it’s nothing huge or out-worldly, really.

I managed to sit through the first Lord of the Rings movie. See, nothing huge or celebratory to a normal movie-watching human being, right? In fact, it’s almost utterly shocking that it took me so long to get myself to achieve this feat, so muuuhuch after the entire craze washed over humanity, no? I call it a feat because

a) I am not a movie buff, so much so that I don’t recall names of actors, characters, and details from most movie scenes very unlike some of my friends who have these nitty-gritties imprinted in all the levels of their consciousness, trust me,

b) I prefer tv shows because they’re shorter, and therefore less demanding on what seems to be an attention situation I have for events that demand it,

c) to be honest, this film series was one I conveniently classified under the read-before-watch category so I didn’t have to deal with it, much less feel humiliated for not having watched it yet…because it seemed too overwhelming to me – yes I’d judged it as difficult, overbearing, and very time-consuming even before giving it a chance by following the herd back then, and

d) I somehow see it on the same platform as the Harry Potter series – maybe because they both became cults of sorts to a very dichotomous audience. It’s not that one fan base didn’t like the other’s series, it just perhaps came to the world in such a manner – or maybe I came across two very divergent sets of people – those who liked Harry Potter but didn’t care for LOTR, and vice versa. And while I’m not an HP fanatic, it was a very special series which I first read and then watched, like most book-lovers would do. It still is very special, no?

A, on the other hand, is an avid movie watcher and has watched more movies from both Bollywood and Hollywood’s repertoire than I will ever watch in my life. Even the Govinda ones – he says they’re at another level altogether. I discovered this part of him after we got married when would sit down to a movie to relax and unwind, except he’d watched most, if not all the ones I suggested from my very limited knowledge base. And of course he found it blasphemous that I hadn’t even given LOTR a try. First it was my brother who tried his luck at getting LOTR through to me, and then A. Now because I live with A and because a marital relationship is exponentially different from a sibling relationship (hahaha!), I was coaxed into watching it.

So we did, and man was it long; so unnecessarily long. Sorry if you’re a fan. During the movie, I also slunk into the couch and under my tv watching throw by default, only to feel drowsy and stealthily sit back up again once A shook his head in resignation. But, my dear reader, the power of one’s ego can be quite productive when used appropriately. And of course I wanted to prove A wrong, so I sat through it, pretended that it didn’t make me drowsy in parts, that I’d picked up all these alien names in no time, and watch it, I did. Enjoy it, I did. Wish it’d ended sooner, I so did. Understand it, I completely did. No, really. :P And just to salvage my self-respect, I did state sometime, during or after the movie, that I’d waited this long because I’m a book-before-movie girl. Just, finishing touches, you know? :P So, here I was, seemingly victorious on many counts. It had happened, and in peace, with hot dal chawal and chicken ghee roast before a round of good ol vodka and nimbu soda! We also ended a cold war that was on, wins on many counts, ya?

And then he suggested we watch the second part, because hello, that’s the order…

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Being Married

2 Dec

We turned a grand total of one, last week.
(I hope we turn many more years older, together)

With these months in my kitty, it feels like I can write a book about marriage, and on being married. Maybe I will, some day. But today isn’t that some day. Today I’m doing a little bit of what a lot of my year has been like…

That of complete surrender even when I desperately tried clinging on to the me I knew of all my life.

That of finding a newer version of the same old me.

That of learning to love beyond the cliches.

That of witnessing intensely powerful emotions even when all I wanted was to maybe just have an ice cream or do something simpler.

That of watching love, anger, hate, fear, sadness, and a lot of the unknown, collide, mix and interact.

That of understanding what leaving home really, really meant.

That of figuring out what those tears that I cried during my wedding, meant…much later.

That of  understanding compromise and killing subduing one’s ego.

That of accepting oneself and each other at the our best, average, worst, and ugliest versions, respectively.

That of communication, trust, and freedom.

That of allowing oneself and each other to be vulnerable all over again…love cannot embed or germinate in hardened hearts.

That of finding oneself in this merger of selves.

That of automatically loving the other even when white sheets of anger rained.

That of patience and the magic of time.

That of physical touch.

That of expressing and responding to desires.

That of eye contact.

That of sharing; almost everything (and I don’t mean email passwords).

That of comfort even with bushy eyebrows and forests freely grow on one’s limbs.

That of being co-dependent, not dependent or independent.

That of being alone in each other’s company.

That of picking which battles to fight.

That of understanding each other’s personal space.

That of silence.

That of responsibility, oh of responsibility.

That of not giving up no matter how hard it might get sometimes.

The list is endless, all that I’ve learnt, even more so. It’s been a crazy journey of running, walking, trying to catch up, going out of breath, getting ahead, staying in tune. Sometimes I run out of words to describe the experience, and sometimes my emotions get the better of me. I have learnt more about myself in the past few months than any book or words could have taught me. But I know I wouldn’t have come to where I am today without the help of those I turn to on a very regular basis. Knowing you aren’t alone is the biggest booster.

Marriage is a lot of hard work, I was told many a times. And truer words haven’t been spoken.

But it’s quite the ride if you and your heart are game for it. It’s a heart game; all heart. And it’s beautiful, even when you’ve forgotten to wear waterproof makeup. :)

Brand New Days

12 Sep

I love that every day is a new day and that it is synonymous with feeling hopeful about everything in general. Being more philosophically inclined than I had ever imagined myself to be, or so I think/imagine – please feel free to correct this misnomer – I’m of the opinion that even my posts reflect more philosophy than necessary. I try to curtail making every small occurrence feel like a major, soul-satisfying experience as much as I can; but what a failure that has been right? Haha!

Anyhoo, so just like almost everyone else in this world who looks forward to a brand new day, so do I; sometimes also in the voice of Sting. It helps to add some song and zing into one’s day and way of life, yes? I’m glad we agree.

But these days, this excitement is slowly but surely changing…into what, I’m not sure yet; though changing it is — because hello menu engineering. Having to decide what to have on a daily basis has fast become a chore I really wish I didn’t have to do or deal with or have hanging over my head with the added weaponry of guilt; because apparently every good married girl does this with ease and minus any complaints. Hahahaha! Never have I found the list of things married girls must become adept at almost overnight, more hilarious and irritating, than when I became a married person myself. Many of us do get that grace period to gracefully pick these skills up; but I’m lagging behind on every front and lovin’ it…except when it comes down to my turn and I’ve nothing to show; especially on the table and with an empty stomach. It’s ironic how these ideas traipse in and out of one’s head when you’re not required to put them to practice; and how they disappear when it’s time to get down to business.

I have used the sophisticated term menu engineering because I want to emphasise just how huge it really is. Apart from it being a thankless job since forever, it is a big deal and one that the kitchen master is directly responsible for – suddenly the one who cooks has theirs and their partner’s life in their hands – because what we eat is what we become, right? This single task has made me question all my dreams of ever opening that quaint café I always thought would be mine someday…because there’s no way I’m going to want to sit and think about menu options on a regular basis.

To be honest, and like I’ve mentioned above, I’ve been lagging behind on this entire what you should become once you get married scenario. I make meals that are healthy, appealing, tasty, presentable…but above all, I make things which are easy and can be had again. Non-vegetarian curries – great to be had fresh, best when a day old, trust me. But yeah, that’s about it. That’s all I can think of keeping in my fridge without feeling guilty. Oh, and aataa (kneaded wheat flour dough); even though that’s apparently not a very good thing to keep in the fridge.

Thinking of what to make for the day and week isn’t as easy or lovely to do. When that fails, your grocery shopping fails. When your grocery shopping fails, your meals fail. When your meals fail, all else fails; especially if you’re really intent on eating home food. Also, when grocery shopping fails, coming face to face with a missing ingredient right in the midst of cooking said dish, is inevitable. Has that happened to you? It’s the story of my life! And doesn’t that speak a thousand words about my progress on being a composed, has-it-all married lady? It’s both funny and pathetic. Funny because we have such standards, pathetic because it sucks hard when you really need an ingredient and find it missing in the middle of a cook.

But there’s always Big Basket to make you feel a little more accomplished on the home front. Except when you get your entire order and realise you missed that one crucial product which preempted you to haul your ass online to do all that shopping in the first place.

Like I was saying – story.of.my.life.

PS, we can finally cook at home and so I made the one and only thing that can make my heart sing – dal chawal (lentils with rice) only to find that my stock of lentils was over with that cook. Oh well. I told you. Haha!

The Small Things We Do – II

6 Jul

I was proceeding to write about the small things we do and that often stay back in the happy recesses of my mind, when it struck me that I have more than one blog post about the small things we do on a regular basis. It turns out that it’s the small things that really make my world go round in more ways than I have actually comprehended, some of them reflecting on the things I write about from time to time. This was from the last time.

Sometimes I actively seek them out, sometimes I wait in patience for them and sometimes I’m taken by surprise at their arrival; these small things. It was when we were in bed last night and were drifting off to sleep when this post nestled itself in my mind, ready to wake up today. The feeling of experiencing your heart surge with pure love and joy, one that you cannot equate or really measure to anything else, is beyond special.

Never have I felt as much excitement at the arrival of monsoons, than I have this year. With it raining everywhere in the country and with it having been announced even in the papers, the thrill of finally being able to come alive and feeling rejuvenated was one that I could hardly wait for. The weather has featured a lot in my talk and my preoccupation with what exactly to complement it by. Food, of course, is one eternal feature that has an attire for every day, every weather condition, every season. Food never disappoints. We woke up to a relatively cooler morning, last Saturday. It didn’t feel cloggy, overpowering or stifling. And so I treated us to this gem which we savoured with our cups of chai, silence and meditation of sorts. The feeling still resides in me and is one I hope to evoke as much and as often as I can. We welcomed the official arrival of monsoon with this:

It was a very welcome change for both my husband and I, as we went about our own Saturday morning business, with this on and armed with our hot bevvys. Music, they say, is the universal language of everything, and truer words have never been spoken. Music is magic and magic is music. 

That was where the tone and the conception of this post made itself present and lingered on till it took shape in my mind, ready to arrive here. The small things we do make me want to capture them in my mind’s eye and hold on to them forever.

Whether it’s falling asleep to the banter of each other’s voice, or
using the other as a pillow for your leg especially, nestling your foot in crevices that fit perfectly.

Whether it’s playing running and catching just for a hug, or
to have the last slap on the other’s back.

Whether it’s making up with unexpected desserts (because one of us loves desserts at any and all times), or
strengthening one’s argument with a specially prepared meal.

Whether it’s keeping the other’s bottle in the fridge so they can have cold water on the go (because one of us seldom picks up after themselves), or
making the bed without being told.

Whether it’s about buying the biggest pack of Parle-G biscuits (because one of us cannot do without Parle-G with their tea), or
buying chocolates or extra packs of fruit yoghurt without prior planning.

Whether it’s about walking out of a hellish kitchen complete with sweat and irritation to a freshly opened bottle of chilled beer, or
waking up to hot chai that is not too milky or heavy or weak.

I love the small things we do.

I love the small things we do for each other and the small things we do for ourselves.

The half an hour of precious quiet time when I can savour my cup of tea/coffee every morning…
The book I can pore over in bed before we turn in for the night…
The endless conversations, irrespective of whether you’re being heard or not…but which you make sure result in your being heard by sneaking in tricky question and answer games or that customary ‘are you listening to me? Yes. Then why can’t you respond?!’ check…
The mindless Over The Phone banter I have with my girlfriends, lying spread-eagle on the bed, without a care in the world…
The occasional staring at my washing machine as the laundry is being done just so it locks in my sense of satisfaction…
The sporadic walks I gift myself when the limbs, mind and body need fresh air…
Oh, and the latest – the fulfilling of what feels like an endless chicken hakka noodle craving…

They really aren’t huge, fancy, dress-up, or even expensive things; not that I’d ever condemn the occasional fanciness. But it’s a good mix so far. Sometimes I lean over to the idea that I’m the more caring one and even try to push my husband into complying with that idea. But of course we know how that turns out. Haha!

As of now, I’m ready to do the smallest of things to just make the skies open up and give us that relief. A friend asked me how the monsoons are, to which I said they’re fake. They’ve arrived minus any rain. What kinda monsoon is that?! But I’m still holding on to my (bleak) sense of hope and chugging along, just waiting for this week to pass and be done with.

There are too many small and big things lined up for the next week and the wait is unbearable.

Learning About Love

16 Jun

It looks like I’m in the mood to write today. There is a tonne of work to be done and it’s not much of a surprise that it’s been kept aside, yet again. It’s a fact that I’m a procrastinator and that working under pressure seems to be the fuel I need to finish a task and to achieve a goal. But how much pressure now feels uncertain given how I’ve wasted my time away instead of doing the things that need to be done. And I’m not even talking about that pile of clothes which needs folding and hasn’t been approached/tackled since forever. It’s good to not care sometimes, because you want your spouse to help out with some of the housework before you end up doing it all without leaving any for them to do. But at the moment, it’s more about not caring than about implementing spousal domestication – haha – because I’m stuck at that ‘thy mug brimmeth over’ feeling since yesterday, which I wrote in my previous post.

I actually came here to write about this love business because I guess it’s a good time to tap into this aspect of life when one is feeling peachy and rosy and unperturbed by that pile of laundry, unwashed vessels and other more important tasks at hand. It’s a good time to forget about priorities and talk about love, because the pessimist in me used to firmly believe that love is for fools and that love makes us weak and foolish. No, I’m not judging anyone for being in love or for showing/feeling love…I’m just a very normal pessimist who prefers to prepare for that dark cloud rather than bask in the glory of some golden sunshine, happy honeybees and chirping birds, as it were. It’s no surprise who the fool here is, but never mind.

But, because that coffee from yesterday has been so elevating (ahem), I only see blossoming roses, chirpy birds and that stray honeybee today. It has also brought me to write this post and so I shall begin…sorry for the massive digression and thank you for your patience if you still are reading this post.

I’m no expert in love and never have been, as you’ve read and gauged so far. But over the course of the last few months, I’ve learnt the following about love and about learning to love. Of course, the journey of discovery and enlightenment continues and I have a long, long, long way to go. But here’s what I’ve figured, so far.

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Love is when you’re bloody pissed off with the person but still manage to do the things you know will make them happy without hitting them on their head.

Love is being able to express your feelings, thoughts and emotions without being judgemental or without judging.

Love is frayed hair, bushy eyebrows, forested hands and legs and no makeup that elicit responses and actions that make you feel normal.

Love is also having to state how funny, terrible, not presentable the other is looking when required.

Love is being able to fall asleep to that snore you found too loud to begin with, unless of course you’re too tired to care.

Love is about learning when to let go and when to hold on.

Love lies in communication.

Love is about acknowledging the small things we do.

Love is a big fat argument or fight that settles down in a calm and practical conversation.

Love is comfortable silence.

Love is grilled chicken and vegetables and love is certainly a well-made sandwich that is savoured in silence.

Love lies in honesty, no matter how hurtful it can be.

Love is a tight hug that you may or may not have asked for.

Love can sometimes be found in irritating the other. Sometimes.

Love lies in acceptance.

Love also lies in constructive feedback and sometimes, criticism.

Love is about being blatant.

Love is about being no-nonsense.

Love is about being firm.

Love lies in kindness.

Love is a talk you really needed.

Love can be found at the end of a scream, if you care to listen.

Love can also be found in the voice of silence.

Love definitely lies in insurance policy nominations.

Love sometimes lies in unforeseen possession.

Love is a walk like none other.

Yesterday, Once More

31 May

While I was preparing to get married, and boy does that take a lot of preparation to the extent where you even become unaware of just how much you’re going through, there was a whole host of things I had planned out for myself. I made lists, I made a lot of lists; some in new diaries which I thought I’d use to chronicle my journey, some on my phone, many in my head, some as whispers that passed my mouth when I didn’t even realise I was talking to myself. There was a lot to do and a lot that I needed to do for my own self, my own sanity; for my own awareness because sometimes these sort of events overshadow one’s abilities to realize just what’s happening and what’s to come.

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I remember the juggling of decisions and responsibilities, the balancing of work and of these many items I had conveniently hung on the hooks of my to-do lists. I remember the madness that it all came down to, the rise and fall of my thoughts, confidence, patience, stress and my entire planning. I remember the crescendo it reached when I was in my final week of work and counting down my days in Bangalore. Time seemed to stand so still that I was passing each day of my notice period in a weird haze that rendered me incapable of thinking beyond that single day. And then once time permitted me its luxury post my office hours, I would run right past the secured gates of what would soon be my erstwhile second home into the madness of my wedding and its million chores. They call it taking the plunge for so many, many reasons, they do.

My bank was perpetually starved of money thanks to the many things I had dreamed of having. The small things, mind you, take the largest part of you sometimes. I never really imagined the big things to come my way because they were beyond my grasp. It’s at times like that (and many others) when you wish you had more not because you wish to be greedy and get more than you need, but because sometimes the mingling of dreams and reality can prove to be more expensive than one realizes. There were always so many trials, so many visits, so many considerations just so I could get what I wanted without having to feel completely drained out. It’s a fine balance and quite a task. Assembling my trousseau was my favourite part because I’d been doing that years before I even decided to get married. It was my special collection of the things I wanted and of the things that I held dear to me. I remember skipping meals from outside just so more money could be saved because weddings need money, you see. And the day I saw my wedding sari, I remember the feeling – it felt bespoke, it felt like it was only mine to be… it felt like it was made just for me. It’s a grand feeling especially when something as simple as a piece of clothing can make you feel that way. Imagine the feeling of discovering the bigger stuff out there that’s made just for us? Special.

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I remember evenings drowned in yards of sparkling silk, grand designs, special trinkets and accessories as it poured outside. Those days were especially difficult to sleep by – I hardly slept the night before my wedding – which is why I’d spend them designing my suits and figuring out ways in which my lists could feel more complete. Hurried auto rides, rushed chai and snacks, my mother and her bountiful support and strength, her stresses she made invisible to me, my stresses I gave her by the bundles, her small and plentiful wedding gifts which made me realise I was really going…leaving, our bickering, my frustration… We made it through. We made it through all that and more.

This universe makes things happen when you really want them to happen. Sometimes we’re so caught up with all that’s going on, we often fail to see just how the universe works in our favour. I’m a true believer in things happening for a (good) reason, I always have been. Those times were crazy but will always be cherished. Always.

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I came to write this post because I’ve been looking back and forth a lot these past few days…of what’s changed and what hasn’t. What has changed is that I’ve managed to put on all that weight I’d magically lost when it was time for my wedding. A bride magically manages to glow during her time…she manages to look a certain way, almost so that that moment can always stay timeless to her especially. I don’t remember doing much to lose all that weight barring those trips to Commercial Street and that occasional yoga. I spent a lot of my last days in Bangalore eating just so I could stamp every single corner of my memory box with its tastes, sounds, smells, experiences. I didn’t hold back. There was no reason to hold back especially when you know your time at home is limited and you have days marked on your calendar disappearing in front of your eyes. My hair was in place (I had cut it 45 days before my wedding much to the shock of my beautician), my skin was disciplined and my hips and thighs were extremely kind. Today is a different story and I’m pretty sure I don’t fit my wedding clothes already.

Yesterday I had a plan, a goal, a schedule. Today, I don’t. Yesterday was filled with byes. Today isn’t. Yesterday was heavier on my mind and body. Today is more forgiving. Yesterday was brimming with home food. Today has been taken over by FreshMenu more than I would like. Yesterday was full of celebration. Today is quieter and more sober. Yesterday was more painful. Today feels more healed. Yesterday was precious to the very last second. Today’s worth lies hidden and unseen. Yesterday I had one family, one home. Today, I have two of each. Yesterday I had the comfort of friends and their company. Today I have their thoughts and memories for instant gratification instead.

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I remember the last day of work and this is a picture from when I was getting back home. Being a believer in symbolism, this spoke to me in more ways than one – of things to wash away and of things to come. The universe has its way of speaking to us, if we listen or look carefully.

A lot has come to happen in these past six-seven months. There is more to time than a calendar’s flipping pages. A lot has changed, a lot has been reborn into something new. And while I love today even with all that has changed, I sometimes, just very rarely but sometimes, I wish for yesterday, once more.

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Learning To Unlearn And Relearn

29 Mar

Isn’t that what moving forward is all about anyway? It’s astounding how these simple concepts are gems we store for later, more intellectual conversations and situations, oftentimes overlooking their importance in being applied to life every single day. I’ll speak for myself at least. I cannot remember a time when the necessity to unlearn and relearn something wasn’t used and just what a life saver the flexibility to do so, is.

But I admit, I never imagined the need to do the same to other more crucial facets of my life, my functioning, my relationships, my perceptions, and my wellbeing altogether. Perhaps it was the luxury of living with family all my life which made me so ignorant, until now, when I’m not living under the same roof as them, and have a lot of my shit to figure out on my own. Where did this shit land up from anyway, I wonder, because the last time I checked, all was dandy, all was fine, all was the opposite of sandpapery, if I may.

I haven’t been hitched too long, but it has taken me faster than I fathomed to figure out that – not everything will go your way or as you’ve been used to, and you’d be foolish to expect it. So here I am, trying to unlearn and relearn a lot that I had conveniently assumed I was a master at. How presumptuous of me.

To be more specific, here are some things I’m currently learning, unlearning and relearning:

Not all close relationships are the same and therefore not all close relationships can be handled the same way. You may want to say du-h! at this point in time, and perhaps you should, because I thought otherwise.

Nobody, no matter how close to you, is the same as anybody else…so responses from x are very highly likely to be different from y, even though you behaved the same way with both parties, at the same time, in the same place and under the same circumstances.

In connection with the previous point, time plays a major factor, as do priorities. To elucidate, person y may not necessarily be forgiving to you for stealing a slice of bacon from their plate the second or third time around, unlike earlier times when they didn’t really care about bacon as much. Perhaps they’re really in the mood for bacon and don’t feel like sharing, perhaps they love bacon unlike their previous preference, perhaps they’re saving it for somebody else, perhaps their bacon sharing priorities have changed – always give room for consideration. Also, point to note – it doesn’t really mean you’re loved any less. It just means that time and priorities change everything sometimes.

(Fine example, Babska. Fine one, indeed!)

Not getting a reply, especially via SMS, especially when you’re used to this form of instantaneous gratification in that category, does not mean you are not loved or cared for anymore. (Big learning!) This may make you want to run back and thank all those lovely people who actually make the effort to respond to you when you want them to, which is usually instantly, right?

Responses to a situation which you imagine are natural and instinctual even, may not really be natural to the actual person whom you’re expecting that said response from. I always imagine my husband to respond to certain things in ways that I am used to because that is how my family responds to me in those situations…but seldom are they the same, or rarely is there a match in these responses. If it matters that much, and as hard as it may be for one’s ego, it does help to spell out how you expect a response to be rather than let the waterworks flow some more and still not get what you want. It’s true.

Your comfort food or ideas of comfort food may not be comforting (at all) to somebody else. Be prepared to compromise on that sort of thing or make two meals or eat alone – whichever is worth battling over. Yes, the heartbreak on learning that my husband doesn’t really care about khichdi too much was a hard one to take.

Again, your idea of cleanliness is definitely never going to be the same as anyone else’s. I think that’s a universal law of absolute crappiness, if you ask me. If you’re used to things being xyz, somebody else may be used to abc, while another person may not be used to the concept of cleanliness at all. Who can say? It’s a tough one.

I guess the basic premise of all this unlearning and relearning is the fact that A LOT of what you imagine or expect or even plan in your head has a 99.90% chance of not being the way you want it to be. I’ve fought many a battle (only to sound dramatic) because when you are so removed from what is known to you, or away from the norm of how things are done, or even disconnected from a certain routine, the friction can sometimes be too painful. Sometimes things go our way, and a lot of the times, they don’t.

Which brings me to this main point:

Learning how to not be so much of a control freak, especially in the many areas I can afford to let go off without much heartburn or effort. It’s some nasty business for a control freak to be at a point where no control can be claimed for a lot of things. And I think it comes with these fundamental building blocks of sanity:

Letting go
Acceptance
COMPROMISE
Being selective of the battles you pick
Demolishing one’s EGO

I reckon anybody who can do even one, if not all of the above, is definitely headed down the road of peace.

Before leaving Bangalore to get married, I went about meeting people who really matter to my family and me – many friends, family friends and some acquaintances. Through these many meetings, I sponged off of them as much as I could – their learning, their thoughts, their advice, their words of wisdom. The most humbling and soulful piece of advice I was given was from an acquaintance whose words still ripple on my consciousness every time it feels like I know nothing at all. Dear reader, his pearls of wisdom are as follows:

Learn to be like water which can flow even around the biggest boulders and seep through the tiniest gap…be like water which can meander, bend, take any shape and form…be like water – life-giving, thirst-ridding, sustaining… be like water who doesn’t speak but whose presence is always felt, forever needed… be like water who when she wants, can make her voice heard the loudest and still be calming. Learn to be like water and you will always bear fruit.

Learning: The treasury of wisdom comes from constantly learning.

From Homesickness To Newness

29 Dec

One of the many things I’ve (almost genetically) taken from my maternal grandfather, and proudly so, is the habit to have all the possible doors, windows, curtains and lights at home open/on; by default, come rain or shine or wind storms, if you must. Therefore it’s not really a Bangalore or Delhi thing to do (as I’d imagined), because while each respective place has its own characteristic mannerisms of ventilation mechanisms and such, this is something I know has come directly from nana. My memories of him encompass his need for fresh air, light and a delightful crispness in his surroundings, and so it isn’t a surprise to find the same practice being followed even now – it’s something I cannot do without and is a very important part of my should and must list of things to do that Albert Ellis (of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy fame) would’ve loved to have a look at and perhaps even treat. So if you ever randomly walk by a street in the city of my residence and find windows and doors open (safety precautions considered) when all others are closed, you’re very likely to have reached me. There are no two doubts about it. My house help’s distress at the same is of course another debate, what with me feeding the house copious amounts of cold winter breeze and everything that comes along with it.

In connection with my previous post, I’m still (quite) actively seeking connections of home, here. So while I skipped eating from a roadside (and rather shady looking) stall named ‘South Indian Fast Food’ as much as I wanted to run to it and munch through vadas at 30 bucks a pair, I do subconsciously look for places that remind me of Bangalore in their own way. While I dare-say that NCR (National Capital Region) has its fare share of greenery which can compete with that of Bangalore’s, it’s not a trend to find hangout spots situated in green spaces as they are more easily found in Bangalore. Here’s a precious spot that brought in the warm fuzzies of happiness and an allegiance of comfort that was too good to let go of and not capture.

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In between missing home and the barrage of everything that’s packed into missing home, there’s also considerable time and effort spent in understanding the nuances of living with somebody who is family but isn’t like the family you grew up with; someone who is in your very close personal space like no one else has been and whose space you are in; someone whom you love but haven’t figured out the different ways of loving or expressing love through, yet; someone who feels like home and a room mate all in one. It’s baffling (still is and will be to me), challenging, intriguing and interesting; a test, a journey, an experience that (I presume) has been put into place by this universe because of its profound teaching and self-awareness capacities.

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So I’m taking this project of getting to know each other, or in non-geeky terms – dating – as seriously as I can. I must admit that it’s been quite a while and my concepts seem and feel ancient sometimes; however, that isn’t a deterrent. Neither is the fact that going on dates can be so expensive if you like to fancy it up now and then. While I love fancying it up whenever possible, the feeling of being together over cups of chai and conversations, a lot of comfortable silence – sometimes over a drive or under a tree or even standing in the kitchen soaking in some sunlight – or bursting into a song together, is just paramount. The discovery that we’re in a state of absolute being, minus pretence and effort, is beautiful.

Through the process I’ve also learnt how to never have preconceived notions about romance and what have you. It’s as simple as understanding and following the most basic rule of all – the law of subjectivity (which we apply so conveniently to ourselves and not the other person). Of course you already knew that! But guess who’s new on the block and like I said, it’s been such a while. So discoveries, bumps, speed-breakers and surprises galore, I’m walking the dating path with my husband. And it feels cute just having typed that out itself.

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As long as it makes your heart and soul flutter with joy and as long as it also hurts – in equal parts together, you know it’s the real deal, and so I guess it should be.

Adult Baby Steps

10 Dec

It’s strange how things eventually end up happening; sometimes in accordance to your plan and sometimes in its own way; but always, I’ve realized, for a reason and a good one at that (in retrospect, most often).

I’m newly married and it feels surreal to even be typing these words out. I never really saw myself as being married even though I’ve been one of those from the flock who was open to the idea of this entire concept. Now when I look back at the past months, I wonder in amazement at just how it all happened. It’s a scary step and it’s the closest thing to reality that you can walk towards (and one my generation is infamous for running away from; I can speak in confidence about myself at least).

It’s marvellous just how many pre-conceived notions we carry along with us and burden our already heavy bags with, furthermore. Naturally we all want to feel as prepared (mostly for the worst) and being the way we are, our need to stay in control and know it all is for the safety and security we rely so heavily on. That buffer can feel so comfortable; enough for any one of us (sceptics) to take the plunge into anything outside our comfort zone.

And so did I. I sponged in all that I could from the ones who mattered and didn’t matter. I made mental check-lists and even argued my way through things I thought were too redundant and obsolete for my own image. And of course, I prepared myself to be the biggest cry baby there ever could be.

But things just happened. Conversations and plans glided past and merged into one another as days flipped by like a calendar on drugs (I kid you not!). In this whirl, we all got together and saw this big fat Indian shaadi (wedding) through. I make it sound like it is a big deal because hell yeah it is. Of course being the bride gave me the upper advantage of being cushioned into oblivion as my world spun around, doing what had to be done. And while it all went smoothly and beautifully, I’m still to gather all the gossip and details of every behind-the-scene-drama that occurred.

Here I am right now, still mentally going through everything that happened. Having been delivered to the “other side”, I can only say with surety that come what may, every story is its own and just how it is to be for us. Pre-conceived notions aside, it’s empowering to know that this life is as much ours as the next person’s; and that we’re here for as many reasons as we’d like showcased at the very end. Like my mom’s status message rightly says, you cannot begin a journey without taking the first step.

There’s only so much one can prepare themselves with. While we’re progressive and liberal and accountable for our decisions and actions very consciously, I do also believe that there’s a path, a journey and certain experiences guaranteed to our lifetime. And so it’s really just okay to let go and take the wave as it comes. I think I’ve robed myself with 9,374 life-jackets which I hold onto very dearly, but what the heck, let’s see how it goes. Change is always so discomforting but then it feels like the universe is taking off one life-jacket at a time just so we know what it really feels like to swim on our own, using the faculties that we gain along the way; spluttering and cursing, drowning and learning how to float all in one.

It’s the experience of learning how to walk all over again; except now we have the tools, understanding and potential to comprehend and be aware of just what it must’ve felt like when we all took our very first step, back when the world was just as new, scary and enthralling enough to get up and move against all odds.

Bubble Shift

9 Dec

The last time I wrote here, I was single and very comfortably cocooned in my bubble. Now I’m in a new city, with a newish semblance of life itself and most importantly, armed with a husband (whose laptop is taking a bit longer to get used to than I envisioned). It’s just the beginning so I’ve no answers, no questions, no understanding…just a little bit of strength to ride this wave and see where it takes me.

Of course there’s a lot that has happened (haha!) and therefore a lot to potentially write about. I wish discipline were more my friend than someone who avoids me like the plague, especially when it comes to putting my thoughts in order.

At this very moment, I’ve made a chance escape from the necessity to keep a house and chosen to land up here, because today’s that day when all I feel like doing is putting my feet up. And to think this ride just began, haha!

It’s been a whirl so far and I still haven’t been able to process the whirlwind of events that took place. It feels surreal, almost dream-like. To imagine that so many months’ worth of efforts have culminated in an event that feels like it has already long passed is a strange feeling. I presume the bride and bridegroom seldom register anything till much later. Let’s see how that eureka shapes up.

For now, I’m floating along and wondering if this is really real.