30

Desperate times, desperate measures

I was dreading this very moment ever since I booked my plane ticket to India. I was thinking of what to say, how to say, and most importantly how to avoid it. But I couldn’t come up with any sort of concrete plan. I decided to wing it. Ladies and Gentleman, if you haven’t guessed it and you are in the age group of 24-beyond, shame on you! It was the shaadi topic. The big question on why and how will I get married.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but around January-February, my parents broached this topic on Skype and I ended up crying and everything. They wanted to put my name down in Anuroop which is a Maharashtrian wedding portal operating out of Pune. It has online services as well and a separate section for NRIs. Anyways, they gave me time till November because then it would have been a year since the xBF left and they assumed a year would be enough to get me out of the mess. Huh, rookie mistake.

So when I reached India, I was coming up with the most creative ways to escape the topic. I did the most ridiculous things ever. My parents have a habit of taking afternoon naps after lunch. After eating, they go into their bedroom and usually chat till they fall asleep. I would escape into the living room to watch TV. Sometimes my mom would call me to the room, but I would just say no! At times she told me to turn the TV off/Come out of the room/etc but I would simply say no. She would laugh at me because she knew what was going on. When I met the school friend at Vaishali we spoke about how parents are getting harder to handle about this whole marriage business. Visiting family friends and relatives are down to grab throats and thrust us into the wedding fire for no rhyme or reason! I asked a couple, if meri khushi bardasht nahi hoti kya? (Do they not want me to be happy). But sigh, all my rants and no’s were being generously ignored. When I told Hrushi(the school friend) how my parents are talking about Anuroop, he was like, “Oh! I am on it! Look me up.” 😀 By the way, my mom asked pretty much for a bio data on him when I mentioned I was meeting such a guy. She is literally walking around with a Sehera in her hands like the tv ad for a marriage website.

On our way back from Mumbai after the visa stamping, my dad asked me if I met the xBF. I told him I spent the 2 days right in front of his eyes except the time I went inside the consulate. How could I have met him? He kept digging further and I told him that I was not in contact with him. He kept probing and I kept up my yes/no non-committal answers. I think I wore him out(successfully) and he said what is he supposed to say when mom raises this topic! I told him to slink away to another room just like me. 😀

One of the days, my mom and I went to a jewelry store to buy me solitaire earrings. I was looking at the rings kept there and told her I will get only a solitaire for my engagement ring. She exclaimed so loudly that I think only the Panipuri wala at the end of the street did not hear her. “Thank God, you at least have plans of getting married!!!”

But the dreaded moment arrived soon after. My mom caught me sitting down leisurely on the couch and my parents decided it was time to put me on the stands. They asked when, why, and why not. They asked me some uncomfortable questions, if I was still hoping for something and if we should call Scube up. I just lied and said no. I was done. But I told them whenever I am ready, I will tell them. I also told them that I need time to find my own boy. I pretty much announced that I was going to date around! My mom got a li’l bit flustered but told me as long as my intentions were ok and I was not going to embarrass them, it was fine. Now, I have to say that their response surprised me quite a bit and sort of was a googly. :-/ The only conditions were that the boy should be Hindu. Fair enough.

I added, that if I cannot find someone, I will honorably ask for their help. They asked if they could still put my name down in Anuroop to at least look at proposals. Now, the whole reason I told them about finding-my-own-boy was to buy time. So I kind of got stuck there. I told them to give me some time. My dad asked how much. Now I don’t know what I was thinking, and if it were my engineering brains, but I told them 314 days. There! I managed to stun them into submission. But surprise, surprise they agreed again and as a compromise, they agreed to start 314 days from 1st Jan 2015. So, 15th Nov is the due date now to put my name down across websites, unless I decide to do it myself by then.

Why 314 days you ask? In that moment of desperation, Pi jumped into my head. 3.14! Getit?? Now that I think of it, I should have used the Avogadro’s number.

29

The birds and the bees

This is sort of a post, you might not be okay with, I don’t know! I mean, it is totally normal, but ‘reader’s discretion is advised’. I giggled while writing that. Coming from a girl who snorts every time she sees Dick’s sporting goods.

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I have not received the talk from my parents. Although I remember, after I got my first cycle, my mom told my dad that ‘PB badhi ho gayi’( PB has matured). The statement was cringe-worthy and I started crying! My dad was visiting from Pune where he had just moved for a new job, and we were supposed to move after my school ended the session.

I have figured everything out mostly on my own. Since I got my cycles only in 8th grade, I had been through a great number of ‘Growing up’ sessions in school. Our class teacher in 7th was also our Moral Science teacher and we went through a chapter about love and making babies. In 8th, 9th and 10th and in great detail in 12th, my teachers did not ignore the topic, but took it well and explained everything out to us. My school in 7th and 8th was a girl’s school and my teacher encouraged us to ask us questions. At first we were hesitant, and then slowly hands started raising up. She spoke to us so well and debunked all the childish myths we had. She dealt with it so well, considering the delicate threshold of teenage that we were on. The best session we had was in 12th. It was the junior college with both guys and girls and we were on the chapter of reproduction for Bio II. Since it was advanced Biology, we were learning the micro details including cells, tissues and hormonal reactions. I will never forget how our zoology teacher took the session. I will take a leaf or two out of her book whenever I have kids. The confidence she showed about considering us as young adults who might be on the paths towards an active intimate life, was astounding. She was simply amazing! That was pretty much the age when people start dating. She took complete consideration of the fact that some young minds were not into it, while some must have started thinking about it. I think she changed my idea about seeing s*x as something ‘ewwwww’ or ‘against the culture’ to something that is completely one’s own discretion to be respected. Because of her, I neither consider virginity as a virtue, nor see s*x as something that everyone MUST have as soon as they hit adulthood. It is totally up to the individual. They want to abstain till marriage, fine, they want to get physically intimate, that is fine too. It should be about comfort. I shall not lie that I dont get a li’l stunned when girls my age tell me that they have an active s*x life, but that moment now lasts for just a few minutes. Those moments don’t even exist when it comes to the s*xcapades of my gora friends! 😉 But I do think I have a healthy and mature attitude towards s*x and I don’t get embarrassed about it. It is what it is.

On the other side, after my 12th, I realized how important biology lessons are! Some of my friends have no idea about their own bodies! It shouldn’t be an embarrassment to learn about your own anatomies. It is your own body after all, and it should be taken care of, loved and cherished.

My parents and I have had a somewhat healthy relationship. I have not actively told them about my boyfriends except the xBF, but they seemed to always know. About the BF number 2, they saw some of my texts and sat me down to talk about it. I lied through my teeth. But my parents never told me to break it off or anything, but they just told me how they felt he isn’t the person I deserve. My dad believes in letting me fall so that next time I step more carefully. He wants me to have my own experiences. Although he does look out for me to cushion my falls as much as he can.

There have been so many times my father has bought sanitary napkins for me and my mom. I used to cringe earlier when my mom would tell my dad to go and buy the packs for us. She told me that it is as normal as bathing, wearing a bra, or going to the loo. Yet, when I am home and give a list of stuff to my father to get from the pharmacy, I always tell him to not look at it and give it in the chemist’s hand, directly! And he ALWAYS opens it promptly and proceeds to read it aloud in front of me to embarrass me further. Uggghh!

But now, although I don’t normally openly announce if I am down, but can I tell my friends why I cant go to the gym or why I am looking very sickly. There is no point and no reason to hide it.

I can get away with saying ridiculous things to my mom. We openly discuss dogs’ s*x lives. She describes to me in great detail about how the new female forced Chintu(our semi-adopted 13 year old doggie) to get up from his slumber, and how he tried for a min with a limping leg, gave up and plopped back on the ground and went on to snooze while the female tried to wake him up again. She had once told me how my dog Moony was helped by my dad to reach the height of a taller female. All dad’s tries were in vain though and my dog seems to be perfectly happy with his third base and refuses to go for a home run.

I can still have normal conversation with my mom. But I know for a fact that when the time comes to tell her that I am preggers, it is going to be the most embarrassing moment of my life, next to when I will be seeing her for the first time after getting married. That will be the real deal.

PS : My parents CAN be totally WEIRD. There is a newspaper we used to get for free with our TOI. Pune Mirror. It has a column called ‘Ask the S*xpert’. The questions asked in it are absolutely hilarious and beyoooonnnddd stupid! After a few days, I noticed that the page was starting to be cut out. Like, legit, cut out. Only the section containing that column!?! My parents thought I wouldn’t notice? Haaaah!

PPS : My first google chat ever to the xBF, then just a friend who I had met a few times at Abhi’s place, involved a case of confused identity and I had accidentally revealed to him that I was down. 😀

25

Guest Post : By the Father

I have something very special to present here. My father saw the movie Queen two days back and told me about it. He was telling me what he felt about the movie and I told him to jot it down. He very kindly agreed to write down a guest post about it for my blog. I have told him that I shall convey to him all the comments and critiquing he receives. 

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS.

Yesterday I watched a movie titled “Queen”. It was a very pleasant experience.

It set my thinking rolling at a furious pace. I was thrilled to see the metamorphosis of a young girl from a timid, obedient daughter (meek submission personified) into a grown up liberated, confident woman and behold! With the help of totally unknown roommates.

I now fully agree with Chetan Bhagat when he wrote about this movie that every single girl or woman has a “queen” hidden inside and they must discover it and liberate themselves.

My mind started thinking about marriages in my community and in relatives. In most of the cases if not in all, the parents marry off their daughter without any specific reason. I am sure they do not have any clear reasoning in their mind except perhaps the age old traditions. If you ask them they will come out with one of those points like she is now grown up, all her friends have got married, what will people say if we don’t marry her off now etc. etc. There is no thought about what the girl thinks or what is the thinking level their  future husband possesses.

The girls also being obedient daughters, as they are taught to be, go along with parents’ wish and get married. Again without any clear thoughts. They feel happy to fulfil their parents’ wish and land up in a state of long term slavery called married life. They analyse very superficially about the boy whether he is worthy of being called the life partner is true sense.

The boy has been given authority by our society to be a psycho supported by his parents. The modern looking boy and his progressing thinking parents suddenly take 90 degrees turn and become very conservative while selecting a girl for marriage.

Most of the new age boys start pointing out shortcomings of their wives and autocratically imposing their likes and dislikes on the hapless girl ruining the most sensitive and precious time in the life of young couple. The in laws of the girl put all the responsibility of our great culture and traditions on the newly arrived daughter in law. There are numerous cases around us of women giving up their earlier free life, their hobbies, their passions and leading a wretched, oppressed life. A mere mention of their earlier likes or hobbies by anybody makes them depressed.

I am not sure whether majority of the boys understand the meaning of equality, partnering for life, individual freedom or woman empowerment leave alone practicing these.

It’s time to think whether to subject our daughters to this kind of married life or to train them and allow them to think differently and independently. Why not to leave this all important decision of life to them? Why not to allow them tread their own path by brushing aside the ever lingering thought of “what will people say!”

As responsible, educated parents we owe this to our beloved daughters.