6

Those olympic sized dreams…

Bravo, Sindhu, bravo!
You have made an entire country proud of your achievement. We were backing you up after the news flash that you have entered the finals of the Rio Olympics badminton championship. You aimed for the Gold of course, but you were very gracious and accepting about the Silver. You showed true sportsperson spirit after you won the Semis and you were even better when the Spanish star clinched the title. You had formidable opponents and you played your heart out. That’s what that matters.

Way to go, Dipika!
The vault jump was absolutely phenomenal. I was actively reading up articles about you because a few months back I was told by an American friend of mine that India is sending a female gymnast for the first time to Olympics this year. I had no idea about that and it was very interesting to read about you after that. People who genuinely follow sports all over the world, know about you girl! You can definitely win big the next time. You have got it in you.

What a performance, Sakshi!
The fact that you did not give up until the very last second of the game, makes you a huge inspiration. You have motivated me to apply that philosophy in my life. I don’t want to be negative anymore, assuming the worst for me. I want to give my very best till the second is up and then mull on the outcome. Not before that. You are truly a rockstar!

As for the country that you girls represented, I am sorry that we are letting you ladies down. We need to fight to make sure that the world knows which state you belong to. We want to make sure, you belong to dome definite caste so we can turn you into a posterchild. We want to one up each other in announcing cash awards to win accolades for ourselves, and not because we want to truly ensure that you continue with your training and the best you deserve for dedicating your lives, your bodies and your youth to your sports career for this country.

We want to turn you into memes to pull down movie stars acting in a movie about your sport and some page 3 socialite who has proven herself to be a pretentious non thinker time and again. But we will display extreme sexism, to counter such sexism. Also, you must repeat or better your performances, or we may just tear you down like the other Badminton star who, we have conveniently forgotten, did set a record too. We are hypocrites of the highest order, yes we are! We will call out and pull down everyone who admits honestly about not knowing anything about you all earlier. We forget that not everyone is interested in sports. We will refuse to believe that sometimes, we do need the media to report your achievements in the same vein as other popular sports.

We will make sure that the best of our kin get to travel to Rio, and now next year to Japan, to go to Foren trips as one of the Indian contingents and to supposedly help you. We need to send our beloved niece Rimmi so she can shop for Pammi aunty. Our sweet Kanna can write numbers, so he can go to lower down Mannu uncle’s blood pressure about his son’s abysmal career. We can make it work. Just like we can make Combiflam work to treat everything from tooth ache to aching joints and dehydrated muscles. Combiflam is the new Sanjeevni.

We need to prove it to the world that N. R. Narayan Murthy is right. We do have the highest ego per unit of achievement, even if it’s being a minister to ‘serve’ the country. We don’t care that the world is watching us. If we want to be in to get the plushest seats, we will damn sure get those plush seats. These Rio people should also know that we are nothing but politicians/leaders of the largest democracy in the world! How dare they not let us get in! How dare they ask for IDs or permits or whatever the heck they want? Don’t they know who we are?

But we will try to be better. We will try to combat the issues plaguing our country. We will work hard to make sure, that when you achieve something for yourself, we deserve to have you achieve something for us. We will work hard, to make sure that you aren’t embarrassed to represent us. We will take care that you will want to get us that glory and that you can get that glory.

We will work hard, to deserve you.

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13

Mars vs Venus

Gender equality is the buzzword these days along with ‘startups’, ‘feminism’, ‘global-warming’ and ‘crossfit’. One word does not belong in that group and I am aware of that. Many women that I get to speak to in real life and the blogging world have suffered directly or indirectly because of the gender bias or inequality as a result of that bias. We cannot shy away from the fact that it is a real issue when it comes to society conditions, relationships, professional life, paychecks, etc. It has made life hard for a lot of women in history and even in this 21st century, it continues to be a challenge. If you are reading this after 100 years for whatever reasons, let me know if there has been any improvement, and also if space tourism did take off.

But I want to take a look at inequality in a different way, perhaps in more physical context here, that I am afraid is sort of in-built. I am looking at you God, and I do consider myself mad at you for creating us this way.

The worst difference in my eyes, is PMS-ing. I have spoken and written a lot about it. Why would God do this to us women-folk! Why?! If you are an atheist, please question evolution as to why do women have to writhe about in pain. The twisted me would love to see men doubling up in pain every month just when their partner’s time comes. Just trying for equality!

How many of you ladies have to carry a sweater/jacket/wrap to work even when it is literally a 100 degrees? How is it that men need the temperature so low that it is practically Siberia at work when it is Gobi Dessert outside? I wonder how the cooling system of men vs women is, that it turns men into sweaty pigs while women are shivering. I am sitting in office on this lovely Friday afternoon waiting to leave after a very busy week and very pissed off. I have a wrap around me and my right leg is hurting like it hurts in winters, when I can see glorious sun outside the window. I am thoroughly pissed off at the AC system and all the men in the office who are being whiny about it being too hot. Grrrrr.

Do you know the situation when you are enjoying a very satisfying pizza with beer and suddenly you are full, but not mentally full? You want to keep going because it is truly delicious but your stomach refuse anymore. Or it is a generous helping of some of the softest, tangiest Paneer Tikka Masala you have had, but your stomach is this close to bursting open. Or it is Abhi-Nish’s famous Kachchi Dabeli(Indian burger, sort of) and you just don’t want to stop but you don’t want the food flow to be reversed. And then you look at the men wolfing down all of it at a speed twice yours and at quantity thrice yours. This situation hurts me and makes me very jealous of their capacity to eat more. I wish greed could win over my stomach’s capacity, but I have had a lot of moments where gluttony has failed me. You’d think I would learn. Heh.

I have recently learnt a very cool tidbit about a biological difference between men and women. You know that lovely layer of fat deposit under our skin, that is a little too thick for our liking than that of Katrina Kaif or Blake Lively? Well, the structure of those fat cells is different in men and women. The collagen fibers form a vertical structure system in females and a criss-cross style system in males. It results in collagen giving us the bumpy effect on legs and tummy and elsewhere. It also gives men a very powerful advantage. That of opening jars more easily than women. It has something to do with less sliding of skin and better grip. Every time I have to open a jar, my first step of attack is to cry loudly for 5 minutes, then google videos and then finally smash the jar. I kid. Maybe not.

I am thankful for the squats at the gym, because when it comes to a public restroom after long hours of holding my pee in, that is the way to go. The classic ‘squat and hover’. I am very envious of men’s ability to go anywhere and everywhere without the hanging sword of infection or the danger of a bug-bite amidst wilderness. They don’t need privacy, or the need to cover up. bordering on shamelessness in my motherland where I have whistled many a times in a passing vehicle trying to embarrass them into sense. But apart from that kind of sh*tty behavior, it definitely is a boon. I specially feel the pinch at portable loos at camping grounds or race events.

Striving for equality? We shall see when that happens. But I look forward to the day when God re-considers what he created. It would be so nice to see my man PMS-ing, and I eat 3 whole Tiramisus on my own, pouring chocolate sauce on it directly from the jar that I opened. And then I can go pee on a tree like a dog.

23

Instagram nightmares

There are three horrors that a lady can face on social media.

1. Being stalked by an ex.

2. Getting hacked.

3. ‘Liking’ someone’s picture while on a stalking mode.

The third and possibly the worst horror is what I underwent last night and I am still recovering from it.

I had spoken to a guy for around a week in June-July before meeting him over the 4th of July long weekend. He was very cute and kind of fun, outdoorsy and smart and those were the reasons where we had sustained our daily chats and had decided to meet while he was enroute San Diego for his vacation. But the meeting hadn’t turned out to be too great, courtesy his weird hypothetical questions, for instance if Job > life partner and such other fun stuff. We never really spoke afterwards besides him thanking me for a restaurant suggestion in San Diego. But the meeting was alright and the location was pretty and I got a drink out of it. Meh.

Now, did I mention that the guy was kinda cute? So what does PB do? Look him up on social media. I had seen his Instagram account just before meeting up, and it was a public profile. I had sort of gotten an idea about his general personality from it and how many common friends we have(fair few) and if he is out of my league or not. In hindsight, he looked like he was!

I don’t know what got into me last night, but I decided to check his Insta account again yesterday. As I was sifting through his pictures, I came across a funny selfie video of him. It was one of his latest posts but was posted sometime back. I was trying to be very careful and tip-toed around his profile as to not leave any mark. I went to the video again and as I was watching it, I decided that I wanted the sound to come on too. Why? I don’t know. So I tapped on it. The music turned on. But, horror of horrors, there flashed a little red heart right in the middle of the video! While tip-toeing around, I had dropped 3 sets of pots and pans and 6 china plates! The room was hotter than 100 degrees and I started sweating furiously.

I instantly went into damage control, blocking him, hoping that he wont know. But for good measure, I repeated the same with my blog Insta account and I realized that my ‘like’ is permanently embedded there and I cant undo it. Ugggghhhhh. And I also couldn’t find the unblock list to go back and attempt to undo it further. I was stuck so bad. Even if I would have done all that and ‘unlike’ed it, he could have maybe seen the notification. Who knows? So I gulped the last bit of my pride down and ‘followed’ him. If he ever asks, I can say that we have few common friends and that the video showed up in my ‘videos you may like’ and it was funny. Very lame, I know.

Being that loser is better than being a stalker loser.

A pro tip: If you are stalking someone on Instagram and you accidentally double-tap, then smash your phone, set it on fire, and move to Malta.

PS : Sign of Best Friendship is when you drop the ball, and your BFF picks it up only to drop it promptly right after! We will sink together. 😀

12

Random stuff again…

1. I prefer to slouch rather than sit straight. It feels better on my stomach for some reason. It does hurt my neck though which has been chronic since high school. So I slouch and type on my work computer with T-Rex arms. Speaking of my stomach, I have been having trouble doing Sit-Ups properly. The gut’s too big. 😦 I am running out of hard motivation to keep up with working out. Even ‘PB, you aren’t hot anymore!’ isn’t working. Noxious SA, please help! 

2. I have started to dislike Green Tea. I did not love it before, but I could drink it. Now I don’t want anything to do with it. I think I need different flavors or a brand. Also, I don’t like the simple Indian tea without Tea Masala(spice) or Ginger. But I don’t like cardamom.

3. I have happily planted a lot of veggies and herbs in my patio, completely forgetting that there will be bees. I am TERRIFIED of bees. When a bee/fly/whatever would fly into my classroom at school or college, I was the first one to scream like a banshee, shut my ears and duck under the bench. For some reason, shutting my ears is a natural instinct. I have to hand pollinate my cucumber flowers(the male and female flowers are separate), just to make sure that the bees aren’t just freaking me out but doing their jobs, and the giggles are unstoppable. *Insert dirty jokes*

4. It has been pointed out to me that babies like me a lot. Considering that I think of myself as hopeless with kids, it’s sort of an achievement when babies cry with everyone until they come to me(except their mama). I don’t do very much except talk to them and tell them about my day, and rock them continuously. Haha! The rocking is helpful with upper arms too!

5. When you climb at the back of a Target shopping cart and push with one leg, going wheee, it can topple over if empty. I learnt this recently.

    12

    Of hanging out, dollars and couples…

    My friend and I had a talk on whatsapp sometime back. He is the same guy who I visited in Baltimore and who’s getting married in January 2017. He was expressing his views about trying to move out of India for settling abroad with his wife. The topic moved to how I am looking forward for a friend to get a project in US/Europe, to have another vacay together and how fun that would be. He said he was jealous and how he would love to take more trips. He started talking about it boiling down to our paychecks and that being the reason we can do all that. The discussion even turned to him calling our other guy friend SK hopeless because he has become very non-committal about making plans with ‘I will let you know’ as the most often spoken sentence by him. Ironically, his wife keeps asking why don’t they all meet up more often. I took my certain stand on the topic which resulted in him again focusing on our paychecks and the seemingly comfortable lifestyle we have in US with our high frequency of taking holidays and trips.

    When he told me about SK, his wife and that he has to depend on them to plan a trip for him and his wife eventually which seems near impossible, I was not entirely convinced. My stand was that you should be asking people once or twice and if they don’t commit, you should go ahead with your plans. Unless their reason to want to wait seems solid, I don’t see why anyone should wait around. His point was about SK changing after being with someone. It did not particularly resonate with me (and I am thankful for that!) because my best friends, with who I just took another roadtrip to the Bay Area, have never let their married life making me feel cut off. Same goes with Mad and DD and exactly the same with other non-Indian couples that I hang out with. In my previous relationship, we always looked forward to times with friends and had no qualms about that. I have been the 3rd or the 5th wheel plenty of times without feeling awkward that I am imposing myself on them and hopefully they felt the same when I was with the xBF. I understand they need their privacy and their personal time together. But they are also setting such great examples for me to follow in the future when I will be committed. One need not say goodbye to a social life and friends and become hermit crabs after getting hitched. Practically, atleast until children come into the picture because that’s a whole another topic of discussion.
     
    I asked him to ask SK and the rest once or twice if they want to hang out or take a holiday together. Any more than that is a game of chasing and we don’t entertain that. All of our trips have involved quick agreements on where to go and who all want to come. If out of 6 people, only 3 are ready, he should go ahead and plan it with the 3. There is no reason to can the plan. If you keep waiting for all 6 people to come to a conclusion, the plan is going to take 20 years to take shape. Moo very well knows what I am talking about here. 😉
     
    My other point of disagreement was him blaming income and other expenditures. I agree that holidays and trips are expensive, specially with the flight and hotel costs, but there are so many ways to budget travels and it can be even a quick day trip, if you REALLY want it. He was trying to say that the reason me and Abhi-Nish and the rest manage to hang out is because we have the spending capacity. I will not be in denial that we do have a slightly better spending capacity than a lot of my peers with the same level of experience in India, but he should know that if we earn in dollars, we spend in dollars as well and even we have plenty of responsibilities back home too. We hang out because we want to, and we don’t depend on how much we can spend. It could be as simple as driving down for a lunch or doing an activity that was a good deal on Groupon. All my friends who are married or in relationships, also have other set of friends who are couples or are single. Sometimes they do their own things, and sometimes we all hang out in groups, or sometimes it’s just me and the two of them. We all do actually want a social life and that’s the whole reason we have managed to stick together yet. That feeling is not governed by how much we make. In fact, we are free enough with each other to express if we are feeling the pinch of cash at any point. 

    There cannot be an end to this argument. Maybe it just depends on how some people prioritize their lives. I have very few friends and it would be a sad situation if I lose even those. And my love for traveling isn’t hidden at all. As far as I am concerned, I don’t think I will be very happy if the only face I see is my other half’s. Let’s see if I turn out to be a hypocrite or not!

    *————–*

    PS: This comes across as a super whiny, better-than-thou post. I am not trying to say that I am better than others in the way I am living my life. I feel I haven’t been able to put across the main point that if you want to be with friends and/or travel, you will do it come what may. Gaaah! I give up. It’s not my day.