14

Such A Nasty Woman

She was born to a set of happy parents and mildly unhappy relatives. She did not have any siblings. The extended family hugged her, blessed her everytime that they met her, and then tut-tut-ed wondering how the family name would continue. She failed to understand why was that even important. She went to college, got her degree and earned herself a job. She got married off to a reasonably decent guy, and embraced motherhood obediently after a year. The husband and the baby needed a full time care-giver, and that was the end of her career. When she put her foot down and demanded support from her husband after 2 years of feeling shut-down from the world, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was born to doting parents and had a happy childhood. She got through school with a flair for the languages. She was a smart student and took to writing in college. She had a lot of friends, and gender was insignificant to her. She met someone amazing and after a 3 year relationship, she had a diamond on her finger. One fine day, there was an objection to her going out for dinner with her best friend, a boy. And then, there were more. When she refused to ‘cut it out’, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was a headturner and a sassy, confident girl. She was an honors student at college and was a master cocktail-mixer. She smiled too much, laughed too much, and had too many boys as friends. The whispers had it that she was ‘easy’. She enjoyed living her life at her own terms. She threw amazing parties, and was a natural event organizer. She just made one mistake, that of trusting her friend. When she took herself and her bruises to demand justice, they said she was asking for it. She was called ‘a nasty woman’.

She was one of the best at her firm. She believed in efficiency, over donkey work.  She received the best reviews possible from her clients. She would get to work on time, put in her 200%, and leave on time. Yet, she was looked over for promotion to be a team leader because the bachelor boys stayed until 10 pm(nothing better to do at home, plus free dinner at cafeteria!) She escalated the issue to the HR. The word was that she was too pretty and young to be a lead. When she objected, proving herself to be the most deserving, she was called ‘a nasty woman’.

They tried to break the glass ceiling, to build a better world, to provide themselves a better life, to get educated, to love beyond s*xuality standards, to follow the God they believe in, to have a right to their own body, to decide for their future, to save Mother Earth. But that tag never left them. ‘Such a nasty woman’.

All the #NastyWomen unite!

 

6

Castles in the air

It’s a semi-rainy Thursday in here at work and I can see some sunlight poking out of impossibly fluffy clouds. My boss has left for the weekend and I am somewhat done with what I had to do but not completely done with the project. I want to finish it soon, but as of now, my brain refuses to deal with it. I can imagine a hundred other things that I could be doing right now if I had the liberty to flake at work.

  • Food taster : This is the life you guys. Getting paid to go out, eat and review food has to be one of the best professions around. I refuse to pay heed to Debbie Downers who talk about health, fats, monotony and such bland stuff. I would love to do this if I get a chance. Order a bunch of food, taste a bit of everything, and down what you like best. You generally get to try a few courses and get served in the best possible way. After your meal, you get to skip the depressing part where you have to whip out your wallet. Eat, repeat, and bolt. And workout.
  • Hair and makeup model : I am an odd person. I absolutely love it when someone is doing something to my hair. Even if they are barely braiding or even just touching my hair, it makes me all happy and tingly. Same goes for someone working on my skin. Aah, bliss. I understand that a lot of beauty and hair bloggers/vloggers need faces and heads to work on. Do think of your homegirl, will ya?
  • Dog walker : Dogs. DOGS! Do I even need to explain how much I love the little, or big, furry, or hairy, buns of pure affection? As mommy has strictly asked me not to get one for the next few years, I have to be content with doggie-sitting my friends’ dogs which doesn’t happen often enough. I have looked into a walking service, but my visa won’t quite allow me to get another job even if it’s just paperwork and unpaid. I have looked at volunteering also, and so far things haven’t worked with respect to timings. Hopefully, soon. I look forward to walking puppers, requesting them to poop and then ensuring that they do know ‘Who’s a good boy!’
  • Sand castle architect : The one place I look forward to most for the coming summer, is the beach. The warm sand, the blue water, golden sun-rays, useless sunscreen, I look forward to all of that! I think I would be really good at drawing up blueprints of castles and instructing my minions, err, groups of kids, to build them according to the plan. I can make really pretty castles and my mechanical engineering background gives me a good idea about material strength and malleability of sand. So, why not?
  • Cocktail artist : I can mix up some basic alcohol and have a general idea of what goes together with what. I have been reading up a bit on mixology and I have a teensy crush on female bartenders. There is a certain badass attitude involved and it gives that extra flair to the profession. I think I can do it. Except the juggling skills, where I will be a disaster, thanks to my total lack of hand-eye coordination.
  • Chocolate quality analyist : If there is heaven on earth, it’s not Kashmir, but the Ghirardelli or Lindt factory. Even if all that chocolate kills me, I will be at peace knowing that I passed on with a kick of endorphins. I will gladly accept half of my current paycheck, if it means trying out every piece of new chocolate to come out of those stores. I don’t even want to write anymore about it, because it makes me so misty-eyed and drooly.

I have good alternate career plans to look forward to. But as of now, back to calculating the correct blade exit angle and the velocity profile.

4

Raw reality

I am a fan of realities being shown exactly as they are. Sugar-coating is nice, but over the time, saccharine sweetness is boring. It is nice to make something sound beautiful to make it attractive and lucrative and probably comforting, but hiding the grim reality behind a situation does more harm in the long run. Give it to me straight without coloring it pretty. I am an adult and I can take it, and I expect the same from the other person.

I saw an article that I forwarded to my friend last night on WhatsApp and I was amused and amazed by it. It showed motherhood in its raw, open form. It has a selfie of the dad with his baby in his arms, where the new mum is also seen in adult mom diapers from the back. She decided to post it anyways because she wanted to show that motherhood is all about the cuteness and the rawness at the same time. Labor is about a human body going through unbelievable transformation and there is no point to shy away from it when almost half the world’s population goes through it. Similarly, there is nothing good that comes out of hiding issues behind the curtain, like post-partum depression, medical issues, stitches, br*ast-feeding. The more women are aware, the more their ability increases to take informed decisions about their health and the little one and the whole process. Having a child means coming to know the extent your body can break and re-mould. It makes sense to know all aspects of it.

Same thing goes for having periods. About half of the world bleeds. And the onset can be annoying, painful and inconvenient. But it happens, and it is a part of the shoddy deal. Men, it is about time you stop acting immature about PMS and periods, and women, please stop being embarrassed, and being uncomfortably sneaky. It will help both genders to snap away from the awkwardness of menses and be more adaptive and accommodating. Shout-out to my friend for carrying my emergency pad and Ibuprofen in his jacket-pocket so that I don’t have to carry any bag to the club.

From all the movies, and books(Mills and Boons, I am looking at you!) and all the seemingly perfect couples around us and on YouTube these days, it becomes slightly disconcerting that our idea of relationship is that of a honeymoon period that lasts forever. Every friendship ends in a relationship, every relationship has a happy marriage, and everything is perfectly rosy all the time is fiction we have been led to believe. Only recently has Bollywood decided to explore unreciprocated feelings, one-sided attraction, heartbreak and awkwardness of breakups. I actually know people who don’t believe that marriage can be quite a bit of work to maintain even if there is good compatibility. It is a relationship that needs constant nurturing with TLC to make sure that you don’t actually murder the other person in their sleep. You may have been in love with someone for a month or 5 years. But living under the same roof comes with its own host of issues. The better this reality sinks in, the easier the process becomes. A whole another chapter can be written about the awkwardness of intimacy. What is shown to be so beautiful and romantic every single time, can be anywhere from cringe-inducing, to rolling-on-the-floor kind of laughter, before settling on that right point.

Coming down to vanity, when I go around shopping, I see these gorgeous outfits in stores, with beautiful back detailing, etc. These days in the world of style blogs and red-carpet fashion statements, it feels amazing to look at the clothes and it is not even that difficult to find an affordable version of it thanks to fast fashion retailers. But what always stumps me is the question of appropriate innerwear for the clothes. The actual story is that celebrities and their outfits have a relationship cemented by backless br*s, silicon pasties, double-sided tapes, gel shoe soles and a gazillion safety pins. Of course, there are girls who are willing to go to that length and they do look every bit stunning. But I just want to dance freely and have the ability to sit down anywhere. I was watching the Golden Globes and when Viola Davies was giving her winner’s speech, I noticed stretch marks on her arms. It made me feel so happy that a celebrity like her on a global awards show had no qualms in hiding her scars. She was showing off her muscular, bad-ass arms and they were the highlight. The marks were an ode to the amount of effort she has put in to get that fit body. It is a reality of life and just goes on to show that you did actually grow up, irrespective of being a man who built up his body or a woman who filled into hers. It is a testament to growth. Behind the beauty in the stunning bodycon dress and high heels, lies a reality that the woman accepts and chooses to subdue or enhance as she deems fit.

It feels empowering to read articles and posts that show what actually life and being human being is. I like untouched pictures that show the way you are, and not what you are supposed to be. I love hearing and reading stories about life and love that are put across with straightforwardness. Uncomfortable they could be, but shouldn’t be shunned. 

So, here’s to growing up, and accepting things as they are, and not as I dreamt they would be. *Cheers*

17

2017 it is!

So how was my 2016? Pretty much like any other year, partly eventful, mostly fun, and with enough rained out moods and gloomy days. 

The best thing to happen was my folks staying with me for 5 months. It was their first trip to the US. There was a lot of happiness, but also enough drama and tears for you to cancel your subscription to Hindi prime-time soaps. The fights between me and my mom are melodramatic to say the least. They also mostly seem ridiculous in hindsight. I am trying extra hard to be nice specially because they are going to come here again in summer. I don’t want a repeat of the ridiculousness as last time. I think this time would be more chilled out too. We have less long distance travel since they finished most of the touristy stuff last time. We will cover more local areas and activities. We still feel incomplete without Moony, who is in doggie heaven, and he is always missed.

The middle of the year and September also brought back an important entity in my life. I started talking to the xBF again. We always were friends and it is nice to see that spark being back. There are momentary relapses, but mostly we are on track to nothingness. Yay for that?

This year was also the year that ‘yours truly’ got set up for phone and text dates with prospects. Hello, online dating and arranged marriage scenarios! Someone from Michigan came to meet and hangout to see if there was any possibility. I have ended up being very good friends with his friends and hanging out with them for happy hours, even though that dude is out of picture. There was nothing wrong with him, just that Cali is way too far from MI, among other things. Then there was another awesome sauce dude who seemed like the master of hypothetical questions. His questions and talks were so whimsical that I found myself depressed for the next two days. I pulled myself out of it and prayed for the girl who may end up with him. Then there were others, who are already married, judging by their whatsapp display pics. See, I told you I am a good luck charm!

Babies entered my life in 2016, left, right and center and they are very loved by Auntie PB. They made me realize that I am not hated by their fraternity, and also, that I still prefer puppies. 😀 My plans of adopting a pupper are being steamrolled by the Mothership, and her reasons are valid and annoying at the same time. But that doesn’t stop me from browsing adoption websites. Meanwhile I am doggie-sitting other’s pets and spoiling them to the core.

I had quite an active social life with a lot of exciting events and trips planted in my memory. I got yelled at by a few buddies for meeting them after years(since graduation). I had a lot of very memorable fun weekends. I flew cross country to meet my bestie Hazra who’s wedding I will be missing out in January. It was his first trip to the US through work, and we made it quite fun. I was glad I could drive him around and show him some glimpses of America. I had a mini re-union with old friends and our fun little trio got together and had a blast. I celebrated all American holidays with Shawn n Alicia as their adopted family member and even had a set of gifts from Santa under the Christmas Tree! There was a lot of new thrown in as well, when I met some of my blogger buddies. January through December, I met some of my favorite writers and I am looking forward to our next hangout session and meeting more new people already!

I took chances this year, and made quite a fool of myself. I got rejected as well when I told someone that I was crushing on ‘em. Atleast I was braver than him, because every friggin’ sign from him pointed to a two-way traffic between us. Ah well. In this situation, trust me when I say this, his loss. 😉

I have been going through trying times, and phases of depression. Sometimes I am simply sad, and sometimes ‘need to rip off my skin’ upset. I went through some frustration(still going on) at work. In my personal life, I am trying not to feel abandoned and lonely. But I try to keep these thoughts away. I don’t want to feel clouded and lose sight of my life and it’s potential. To anyone feeling low, make sure you knew that you are capable of much more than what this darkness offers. Just a tiny turn may help you put your life back on track. Nothing, and absolutely nothing will help, unless you help yourself.

So, I bid adieu to 2016, dancing for 4 hours straight, right under the Empire State in New York. This was the first time I have clubbed out on New Year’s Eve as a drinking-age adult(but I barely drank!) and it was a blast!

After the kid-sized roller coaster that 2016 was, let’s see how 2017 shapes up. The bet’s on it being ditto, but I will give you excellent odds on PB’s major life events(0.5% chance!).

Happy new year, y’all!!