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*


The dishwasher stage of life

I am scared of getting married, having kids and raising a family. It just stems from the fear of having added responsibility of keeping people alive and thriving. It terrifies me to think of the chaos my life will have in the next few years. Now why must I have it, because somewhere inside, I want to have it as well. I want to have a loving, caring support system that of course includes a couple of dogs too. The other thing that scares me is having to change a lot of my habits. It is a part of the chaos that unnerves me, where I will have to change my sleeping-waking up timings, shower schedule, food habits, even the way I do the dishes.

When I moved to USA, I saw the dishwasher for the first time in my life. We were not sure what to do with it. My roommate tried to use it and we ended up with a kitchen floor with soapy suds upto the ankles. Thankfully, I escaped the cleaning activities by being in the school library at that time. Anyways, she did not follow the instructions, and so it was her mess to clean, so I felt only a little bit guilty. Having never used or even seen it before in India, it still remained very mysterious and cumbersome to me.

I always found the dishwasher to be a strange piece of appliance. You were supposed to scrape off the leftovers, rinse, and again put everything in the dishwasher to clean. If I was doing half the work already, what will the dishwasher do?? I have trouble liking appliances that seem like doing only half the job. Plus, thanks to the soapy mess experience, I always felt that it was more trouble than worth it. Not to mention, the added electricity bill, for the poor student who had to count every dollar going out of her pocket, made it even worse. So how did we use the dishwasher? We used to wash and store the dishes, cooking pots and pans inside and used it as a drying rack. We did that when I lived with the girls, and continued doing the same when I lived with Abhi and the xBF, until the day we discovered a gross green pool building inside the dishwasher. The one that we had in this apartment, had a bad drain. Us and our other roommates would load it without even attempting to let the excess water run off the dishes and pans. So the dripping water was collecting at the base and there was mildew all over on the floor. That day we somehow managed to run the dishwasher correctly and cleaned it, and we were extra careful about wiping off excess water first, and regularly cleaning the appliance.

We moved to another apartment in San Diego and that place did not have one. We finally bought a drying rack and mat and that was where our dishes went. Then in both my previous places in OC, we were using a drying mat to dry everything and then I would wipe off and keep everything back in the shelves before bedtime. My first roommate in OC, Laurel, would often use her dishwasher. Whereas my Vietnamese landlady in the previous place, used it just like I did in San Diego. From what I had gathered from my Asian friends and Reddit over the years, was that Asians do not tend to use it, considering electricity and all that, or for whatever reasons. Most Asians, and I am including Indians, use it as a drying rack or for storage. Abhi and Nish use theirs to store lunch boxes and Tupperware. I am doing the same thing in my current apartment. My lower rack also hold all plastic bags that I use for lining trash cans and recycle bin. I am sure you all know by now that I am quite a miser and a cheapskate, so the electricity bill is still a major point. These habits have resulted in a weird thought process where I happen to think that Dishwasher is practically unusable!

I hung out with Pop this weekend when my parents went to Seaworld, San Diego. I did not go because I have seen it 3 years back and now I am not into the whole animals-shows-training thing anymore. Pop and Bandar and her Hubby hosted us over the weekend, and what a wonderful time I had! We had some amazing Mexican food for lunch, went to the beach, tried to play Paddleball and managed to hit everyone around us with our rogue ball. They have a lovely house that has a backyard with a grill. We had yummy Paneer tikka and a bunch of other yummy things during the course of our stay with them. Pop, a huge thanks for being such awesome hosts!

Life goes through many stages. Each more chaotic than the other. A simple thing like being able to use dishwashers means to me that a person has settled well into life and its chaos. I saw Pop doing that. I saw her scraping stuff off, rinsing the dishes and loading the dishwasher after every meal. I saw how the dishwasher runs, and gives super clean, warm dishes back. I noticed how well it fit in her scheme of things and lifestyle. It was just… Right. Bandar was playing around, or eating or going off to sleep and a being a super-cute goofball. Pop and H are usually handling work and Bandar and life. It is like juggling pins and trying not to drop them, but those pins give the most satisfying feeling. It could be anything with regards to work, friends, family and home. A practically unusable piece of appliance, fit in so perfectly in their lifestyle. Of course, she had to use it, considering the amount of dishes that were being used. But even if I had a pile, I have avoided using it, only because I am used to a certain way and I hate changing it.

I think such is life. You suddenly find beauty in chaos. You make peace with things that scared you earlier. You manage to plunge into the unknown with the hope that you will make it. Maybe one day, I will also stop looking at it with suspicion and the dishwasher will fit into my life. I look forward to the dishwasher stage of my life. And to the Yacht and a Greek villa stage too.

*If you made it till here, congratulations on having read a strange post about an appliance. I was thinking about all this while in the shower and it just made sense to me.*