0

‘Tis the season…

…to be dark, broody, annoyed….. and a bit jolly.. FALALALALALALA!

I kid, I kid! It is almost Christmas, you guys! This year has passed by like the falling stars that I keep trying to take pictures of. It started with a daze and the crazy excitement of traveling back to US with my parents. Their long visit flew by swiftly, I stepped into my last year of Twenties, and Diwali came and went. Everything has been such a blub of memories with somehow, my memory registering almost every food that I ate. I think it is partly because that food still lives on parts of my body as adipose layer. Damn you, pesky inches!

But I love the buzz in the air that started with Thanksgiving last weekend. I strolled into the mall for some Black Friday shopping and was defeated by long lines and mobs of people. After more than 7 years of living here and claiming that I will ALWAYS shop on Black Friday, I have bummed out of it. At some point in Sephora, I just stood in a corner for 10 minutes staring at people going nuts over makeup that wasn’t even on discount! I dropped the idea of buying my sunscreen that day and took off. Target was much better and I bought a few things that were on my list. Oh, I also got a set of Pyrex bake and store set in my bid to do away with plastic Tupperware and that made me feel very grownup and ladylike.

Since the past couple of weeks, I have caught myself singing ‘Rudolph-the red nosed reindeer’ and ‘’Tis the season to be jolly, FALALALALALA’ so many times now! I distinctly remember leaving this bar previous weekend, with my buddies in San Diego, singing Rudolph. I had a backup chorus too thankfully! That friendsgiving rocked!

Can you all smell this sweet, pine-y, cinnamon-ey scent in the air? No? Oh wait, because I do have a cinnamon roll on the desk. 🙂 I can’t help it! All the cookies, brownies and candies are screaming out my name! The air everywhere is so thick with the fragrance of Christmas. Most parking lots around homegoods stores have been turned into makeshift Christmas tree stores. I can breathe in and out that woody, sharp scent day all day long. I would have gotten a tree home, but they are expensive! And I know I won’t find a gift under my tree on Christmas morning. My Santa is miles away in the Indian sub-continent.  Maybe I will get a small wreath one of these days from Trader Joe’s.

You have to be living under a rock if you have not seen or heard about the Starbucks holiday cups. After the useless debate about the plainness and political correctness of their cup design last year (plain red, that’s it), Starbucks went all out and brought a lot of happy into their design this season. They are bright and cheery and scream holidays!

Everybody has their fairy lights on to herald the holiday season. Yours truly is not behind and I got a brand new string of lights and hung them up. The only problem is that the new multicolored lights are sort of clashing with my older cool-white and blue icicle lights. For a normal person, it’s not a grave issue, but hey, we are talking about me here.

In spite of all this happiness, I hate to admit that I am going through a rather low dip right now. There have been ups and downs, with a long, low, stressful dip going on right now. Hopefully my little buggy will be able to crawl out of this pit unscathed and much happier. I have been feeling this emotion where I just want to give my loved ones a long bear hug and cuddle up with them. I am taking anything that comes my way for a bit of that warmth. I have caught myself becoming teary eyed when some of my best friends have been giving me tight hugs. So, if anyone needs a big hug for any reason and needs a pick me up, here, have a huge, giant, all-consuming, warm as Butter hug! XOXOXOXOXO

hug

PS : Let’s ignore the mini breakdown I had at the gym today with Shawn patiently patting my head with a healthy dose of ‘There, there…’
“No sirs, I am not crying because he is forcing me to workout!”
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12

PINK : A Guide to Women’s Safety

I finally got around to watching the movie PINK two Sundays back starring Amitabh Bachchan. It’s been quite some time since the movie came out and I had heard really good reviews about the movie. My father specially had raved about it and he is not easily pleased by Hindi films. After I saw it, I have nothing different to say. It’s a fantastic watch that will throw you into a whirl of thoughts.

When I started to watch the movie, I had to stop and text Moo because I was starting to feel this rage inside me. That rage only built up to a crescendo like Falak Ali’s until she lashes out at the lawyer. It was making me so angry because the movie is not simply a fictional tale about women caught between lust, lies and political mileage, but has elements of what every working, independent woman has to go through in different shades of sexism. But it was just a movie. And a one that I made sure from Moo, ended in a non-depressing note. In real life, that’s not the case always as learnt from countless cases like Ruchika Girhotra, Jessica Lal, Bhanwari Devi, and many more.

Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of an old lawyer, desperately trying to report an abduction/molestation, then an almost bumbling defense attorney, and then a questioner with conviction, brings up some points that show how the world has moved ahead but the mindset of men is still regressive. Side effects of patriarchy have made sure that men continue to follow medieval rules and resist any changes towards equality for men, women and even the LGBT community.My father has an interesting point of view on this. He feels its an inherent jealousy of women(the assumed weaker sex) being able to do everything and more, than men.

If you have have watched the movie, you will remember his ‘Guide to women’s safety’. Dear ladies, if you want to survive, forget thrive, in this world, you need to follow this guide book. The rules will ensure that you live till a ripe old age. You may suffocate to death, but you shall be safe.Nothing else will protect you better than these rules. Not even a simple word or seemingly complete statement ‘NO’. Like the State Lawyer says, consent is highly fashionable these days and unnecessarily pranced around. Follow these rules to be safe.

  1. Do not go out alone with men anywhere. Men are boys who actually are toddlers that get swayed easily by your blooming sexuality. You are responsible if they cannot keep their feelings in their pants, specially being led to a lonely area. If you are alone, it’s a natural lead on to physical intimacy.
  2. Don’t smile or laugh too much. I am a personal victim of this. I have been called a sl*t, wh*re, easy, and many other fun names in Hindi/Marathi/Gujrati/Punjabi by my classmates and college folks during Engineering. When I moved to US, I thought I have entered a bigger, more liberal world, but many of my fellow countrymen here did not share the same sentiment. I realized this even more when I melted into the pot of different cultures that was my lab. I enjoyed company of people and I liked being friends with everyone irrespective of their gender, if we had a matching wavelength. I also liked being expressive about my attraction to a guy and the idea of a normal, healthy dating life. But how dare I. I should have known that I am a good Indian girl. So, ladies, if you smile or laugh too much, you are driving these innocent boys into helpless fantasies, who can’t help acting on it.
  3. Your character depends on the clock. Almost all of us have heard this one or the other time from concerned neighbors, family, friends’ relatives, teachers, and the entire community. Coming back late at night means you are easy. It doesn’t matter that you work hard in shifts, or that you may like to have some downtime after work. A girl walking alone in the PM is calling for it more than the girl walking alone in the AM, who is also asking for it to a degree though.
  4. Do not drink alcohol, use cell phones, eat Chinese food, or get educated. Like AB says, the ill effects of alcohol for men end at health risks, whereas it’s a whole new list for women. We don’t just get sick, we make people around us sick, with lust. Again, a personal victim of accusations stemming from this. Then there are the amazing concerned members of the society who are worried that ‘too much education gives girls much more to talk about’. Curb their mouths, curb their lives, and keep them safe.
  5. The venue you are at determines your character. If you break the Rules 2 and 3, but are in the presence of family, or are home, or in a temple, you may still have a chance. But if you are at a club, or a concert, or a café, you are providing an open invitation to men. Be careful of where you go. The nature of a venue has a direct relation to lust.

Ladies, be careful of what you wear, how you behave, and where you go. There will be men out there policing how we need to be. If we don’t reign ourselves in, they will not hesitate to discipline us. After all, we would be asking for it.

25

First World Terrors

She had her perfect Minnie ears and smeared kohl for a scary Minnie Mouse in the house. Her costume had been appreciated at work and the Halloween party had been a success. She stepped out of work to a dark and gloomy sky and walked to the parking lot. It was only 4.45 pm but the overcast skies made it look darker. The area was empty and a little chill crept up her neck as she tugged on her sweater. She got into the car, and got a startle! The radio was accidently set to the max volume. Strange. She never hears music that loud, she thought. She shrugged and drove out. 

She was stressed. And for some reason, she felt frazzled. She was nervous about something, but she couldn’t put her finger on why that was so. She decided that the best way to calm herself down was to haul herself to the gym. She took a turn and drove herself to a work out. After finishing her work out, she stepped out of the gym and shuddered. Was it her imagination, or was it way too chilly and dark? Dementors crept up in her (Potter)head, and she shook herself to push away those thoughts. She did not need anymore negativity than what she already had.

She drove herself to her home. She was listening to the radio to keep her mind in a better place. But it was Halloween and between every two songs, there was a phone call with people reporting in their paranormal experience. She kept shutting off everytime the call was put through. Living alone, such stories were the last thing she wanted to hear.

She got home, finally. She looked at her beautifully carved pumpkin at her doorstep. She got her tealight candle out to light up the Pumpkin for the night. It was glowing beautifully. The darkness in the hallway though was giving her the creeps. Was it her imagination, or was everything just wrong with the night? She whipped out her phone and started to take a picture of the glowing Jack-O-Lantern.

She was not prepared for what happened next!

Her phone said: