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Day 4: Change

4 Jan

It was bang in the middle of last year, when I was seat-belted and on my way to Bangalore, that my life was changing in the serious adult sort of way. A change that has no excuses, no escape routes, no shortcuts, no alternatives to comfort the commitment-afraid me. Half of me saw marriage as a life change that still had the potential to give me that leeway, should I ever want or need it; much to my husband’s utter shock and then ire. It’s an all or none deal, he told me. There can be no frivolity in judgement no matter how hard it gets, he explained to me over a phone call before we were to get married. He was still aghast at my way of thinking, which to me was very natural and completely normal given the history I’ve been woven from. It was scary; exciting yes, but scary to get into something so final. Little did I (reallyknow that there were changes with a grander and firmer foundation of finality than getting married. And so it happened – suddenly, hugely, and startlingly – in the form of two very defined pink lines on the pregnancy test I held in my hand once I got back from Bangalore, after two weeks of delayed periods and a nagging subconscious.

We’d begun talking about the idea of it, the possibility of it, and the plan to start working on it with immediate effect. But perhaps the universe suspected we were fooling ourselves and decided to conspire against us, in this case. The first sign was of course my delayed period, which I panicked about but then shrugged aside owing to changes in diet and what have you. The second stronger sign was my rather sudden dislike for alcohol every time I’d sip on it. Beer tasted strange, whiskey didn’t appeal to me, and again, I shrugged it off as something to be ignored. The third sign was this unnecessary fatigue I felt constantly. Back then I didn’t realise or even know that this was an early sign of pregnancy, which I blamed on the comparatively fewer trips we made to Comm Street. Something was amiss, and ma did voice what I was pushing into the recesses of my consciousness – is it possible that you’re pregnant mun?, she gently asked while I washed my teacup one evening. Of course I scoffed and kept it aside for another day.

There are two things I’ve learnt – never scoff at your mom, and never question her acute sense of intuition. These instances have always, and I mean always, backfired in my face every.single.time. And it was to happen to me yet again. It would be just a couple of hours after I said my byes to her that I would call her up again and mumble the words – ma, I’m pregnant; the stick shows two, very clear, pink lines. She was quiet (perhaps respecting my feelings and state of mind regarding it), and then congratulated the two of us and blessed us. We were to travel the very next morning to my in-laws, and I got no sleep that night.

If there’s a feeling I won’t forget, it’s the indescribable experience of watching that white nothingness turn into a second pink line. I remember staring at it, keeping it aside, and then revisiting it again. Repeatedly. It was that kaleidoscope of emotions that constantly switches from surprise to shock to excitement to fear to tears to this tide of overwhelming feelings that kept washing over me for what would be sometime to come. I was granted and bestowed with a gift, a responsibility, a job, a journey, a learning experience, a chance within a million chances to be *it* for someone who had chosen to come to us. It was a lot to take then.

When I look back, the two of us have come a long, long way. From feeling completely lost and left in the unknown, to where we are today – a little less lost and lot more sure of ourselves as parents and individuals – it’s been an intriguing journey. We’re far from perfect and will never be because that’s not what we’re gunning for. We’re here today, standing together, a little more ready and a lot less unsure from where we started off. Faith, trust, love, togetherness, and madness – I reckon this is all it takes to get by.

PS, trust me on the not scoffing at your mom bit. It’s true.

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162: Sundaze

11 Jun

Yesterday was a packed day that ended much later than I’d planned. From late lunch drinks and snacks with friends to drinks and dinner with family, we spent most of our day out. If that wasn’t enough, we carried the party on at A’s cousin’s place till almost 4am – something I’ve seldom ever done. I loved it, to be honest.

A lot of my growing up years have been spent following a routine, being the “nice” girl who comes back home in time, who follows rules. Staying out till late is my brother’s forte and one I never really understood. I guess it primarily depends on the company you keep – mine always met during the day and wrapped up latest by dinner. There are only a handful of times I remember being out till late with friends, and that was either during a holiday or over a stay over.

Having said that, sitting outside in bhaiyya’s balcony; chatting, laughing, sharing stories, convincing A that Bangalore is a good place to live in, and generally just watching sheets of clouds roll by while gentle music played as a cool wind blew was an apt after-party. It’s one I’m totally game for if an encore was to happen. Age does mellow us down; the urgency to prove a point on the social front blunts itself till it fades away. No more do you find yourself in the company of people inebriated beyond their capacity with the sfx of nausea taking over.

As dawn began to unveil herself, we returned home and fell into a satisfying sleep. :)

161: Time Flies

10 Jun

A came down to Bangalore last night. As has been the trend so far, his arrival signals two things to me – newfound experiences from sharing my maternal home with him, and the culmination of my stay in Bangalore. He usually arrives at the end of my trip, spends a couple of days here, and then we leave together.

Therefore this is my last weekend in Bangalore for the summer. When I look back, it’s been yet another crazy visit filled with everything that speaks of home. I will introspect and write about it a little later, but for now all I can say is that home will always be home.

We’ve got a series of plans lined up, and it’s something I would like to focus on instead. :)

130: Girlfriend Time

10 May

There’s no denying the balms that are mom-time and girlfriend-time. I’m a sucker for both, and a hardcore fan of both, too. It was yesterday while tinkering around the laptop waiting for A to come back home from a super late work-day, that P from the states buzzed me. It’d been a while and given that she’s a new mommy trumps everything else. But she calls whenever she can, and we speak. The last time that happened, she asked me if all was well and said that I needn’t let the world or its stresses affect me, almost automatically once we said hello to each other. Yesterday, she needed to hear the things that I was telling her, or that’s what she told me as I went on yapping away like I always do. I even FaceTimed with her baby daughter, who looks just like her father, which P and I almost telepathically grimaced about for a fleeting second. It’s one of those we carry you for nine months (and a lifetime) and you still turned out like your dad harmless and non-regretful funda that gets a lot of us women, you know?

Today has also been an off which I spent a lot of propped up on my elbows texting my girlfriends, who are, by the laws of nature, in different parts of the world. But you take that and suck it, universe, because we still can be with each other whenever we like. Random small talk and rants spiralled into full-blown ventilation sessions and conversations that did naturally revolve around life, the men in our life, the domesticities in our life, the work-life imbalance in our life, and of course, the necessity to stand strong in life. It’s funny how different perspectives in the same conversation take shape and make you see various mirrors that you probably never show yourself, or know exist. My mother and my girlfriends are those mirrors. Not to be sexist, because my brothers and my husband are my main mirrors too, but I’m sticking to title specifications right now.

Anyway the conversations made me think about my life and my journey and assess where I stand in all of it. It’s all easier said than done, because each of us has our own contributory factors that make our experiences our own. It’s as simple and point-blank as this forward that my aunt sent us the other day – if we were all to sit at a table and present our problems for someone else to take, we’d all leave the table taking along with us our own problems and no one else’s. It sort of made absolute sense irrespective of just how much one might crib or feel troubled.

But having said that, there’s no better mirror to look into than a good, hearty, honest conversation with your support system, whoever they may be. Mine are my family and my friends; all with different curvatures for the view they need to show me whenever I turn to them.

127: A Day In Bed

7 May

I spent a large amount of my Saturday glued to my bed, risking the “in bed for too long” headache that almost always arrives in time to remind me of my lethargy. Having kept work at work, I had the weekend to my fancy, quite literally. Friday evening saw a barrage of random cooking that took place, without a thought and without much deliberation – I had a mutton curry going, a keema matar (mince + green peas prep) going, and an assortment of vegetables – to simply put it, the cooking bug had bitten me and there’s no other explanation for this sort of thing. Nevertheless, my meals for the weekend were more or less sorted, (but I still indulged in our Sunday rajma chawal prep), and there was time at hand to do exactly nothing.

So I called for some KFC (the nerve, especially after all that cooking!), sat on my bed and munched my way through the latest season of Scandal. Quite scandalous indeed, but one of the best I’ve seen so far. It also made me cry, which is a first. But then again, it isn’t surprising considering it’s Shonda Rhimes we’re talking about. How fantastically powerful each character has been. Needless to say, the feminist in me felt sated – because did you watch how fabulous that entire balance between men and women was? That’s what I think feminism really is; anything else just being too sickening to even stomach.

My binge tv-watching was all done, and while my head was relieved, my greed wasn’t. We hopped on to a neighbouring market which made me realise just how much I love being at home, especially during summer. Being surrounded by overly dressed people, so many of whom were my students I really didn’t want to even catch a glimpse of, the anti-socialite in me wanted to get back home and hang out with only my husband, and him alone. We’re glued to Designated Survivor, if I haven’t already told you. Chilled beers, mutton curry and rice, tv shows, and sharing a mini sundae, are according to me, one of the best ways to spend a weekend in. We are weekend-in people, because neither of us can stomach this 45 degree weather, nor malls bursting at their seams (which is all we really have here).

:)

117: Short Notes

27 Apr

In continuation of yesterday’s post and sick tease, we woke up to some serious stormy conditions – no visible sunrise on time, no colour-changing sky, deep black pregnant clouds, no flirty breeze, no dust storm and no wind storm. It was dark when I woke up, which was both comforting and weird (530am feels like 7am these days). We opened our balcony doors to the fantastic outdoors while sipping our respective cuppas. I didn’t soak clothes to be washed later – typical Bangalore mentality, especially when you wake up to conditions like I did today. An umbrella found its place in my rucksack, and off we dispersed to our offices. All of us – kids (big and small), teachers, guards – looked at the sky as we crossed our sports field en-route the main building. Kids exclaimed in glee dekho aaj to sky bhi nahin dikha, bas badal hi badal (look! we didn’t get to see the sky today, just clouds and more clouds). And then when I checked the quadrangle an hour later, the sky was right there in its blueness with all those promising clouds GONE.

If you haven’t gathered so far, I can’t handle this tease. It’s a cruel joke to play. :(

****

I’m beginning to get attached to my students, both seniors and juniors. I am a loyal and possessive person by default, so it goes without saying that this was bound to happen. A delusional me never imagined connecting or even getting attached to students here. We’re now clear why I called myself delusional here. I’ve picked my favourites – and most of them are the naughty kinds. The teacher in me cannot and will not be partial to anyone, but how can I not have expected my heart to soften towards kids who are in this like you and me were once upon a time. Damn it!

****

A came home early and when I opened the door expecting our AC to be delivered, it was him instead – :) . He brought flowers for me today – lilies – and I happened to bake the best ever banana cake I’ve ever baked, which I fed him with. There’s gratitude in this serendipitous synchronicity that was today. :)

****

75: Small Things

16 Mar

I’m a collector of small things in the guise of (what most normal people would consider) trash or scraps (to be kinder), and memories, of course. I’ll leave the former out for now, because you really don’t want to know about the tissues and leaves and sand and other random stuff I collect for “memory’s” sake. However, here are some of the smaller things I’ve completely fallen head over heels in love with, only because they’re more precious to me than anything else.

Going all the way to the railway station with A even if that means studying enroute to prepare for my class the next day only because I love going on drives with him the most.

Falling asleep on his lap by chance (I passed out at an odd 8pm last evening, which I hope is the last and final after effect of the stuff we had on Holi).

Sitting with each other every morning; him poring over the newspaper, and me asking him to share news updates with me as he reads, while we sip our tea.

Couch-potato-ing as we watch tv series together.

Chatting with each other till we fall asleep. Wait, I’m the one who chatters away, and he, I think, secretly sleeps in between. :|

My favourite has to be waking up to a cup of tea made by him. Of course it’s another thing that it isn’t delivered with love in bed, but that I’ve to drag my ass to the table to get it. :P

56: Bangalore With A

25 Feb

…means staying out later than I ever have, in the company of people I’m meeting for the first time.

It means getting “don’t be too late”, “how are you coming back home” texts from ma that are usually reserved for my brother.

It means being absolutely okay with doing whatever it is I want to do without the worry of getting back home before autos or taxis become hard to come by.

It means letting go and easing up.

It means being clear about not sharing Corner House ice creams with him.

It means being a little extra proud of where I’ve grown up; because hello it’s Bangalore!

:)

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…