Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Z zips Zero!

I have often written about my love of numbers. No wonder, my favorite subject throughout school and college was Mathematics. And so, when it came to the last letter of the challenge, I just had to do a Zero :-)

Zero is a very interesting concept. It holds no value. It is nothing. Zilch. Yet, it is very important in the scheme of things. It signifies absence, or the presence of nothing in this world of somethings. Even though it has no value, yet when multiplied with the biggest number, can turn it to zero. But when you add zero to any number, the number just stays the same. Zero is pretty much like vacuum. It signifies the presence of nothing, which in turn explains a lot of things around us.

In our scheme of worldly things, zero is pretty downgraded. Anyone who is supposedly running behind in the rat race is termed a zero. I find the analogy bizzare. Zeroes are pretty powerful, aren't they? Remember the multiply part? Even in life, we should be glad of our zeroes.
Zero sadness
Zero tragedy
Zero health problems
Zero loans etc

Because if anything, zeroes don't take anything from our lives. Unless, we insist on multiplying a zero to everything we have and making life inconsequential. Enjoy life. Don't regret a zero in your life. It is there for a reason. Enjoy what you have. Because one day, the survival rate of each of us is going to drop to a Zero ;-)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Y yells Yahoo!

I could not think of a better topic to write about as we reach the fag end of the A-Z blogging challenge, and my first one at that. It is indeed very amusing to me that in the almost 4 years of my blogging, I had never dared to sign up for it before. I didn't think I would be able to write everyday. I didn't think I would have enough material or enough will to sustain.

And look when I finally found the strength and conviction to do it? When I was home bound with my 4 month old, all alone! Mind it! With the husband out of the country, my days and nights just go by between her naps and feeding and diaper change and play time. And yet, every night, after putting her to bed, I sat all groggy eyed in front of the laptop to write for the next days' post. Knowing completely well, that I was typing away goodbye to more than an hour of sleep when my God knows how much of every minute I needed it.

This A-Z challenge has not only been a blogging challenge for me, but a challenge for real. The first time in life when I felt like a grown up with responsibilities. But I am glad, the practical grown up me made way for the headstrong younger me who wanted to finish the challenge in style, come what may. I am very impressed with myself, to say the least. Modesty be damned! I think I deserve to say it to myself. And I am also happy about the fact that I have not really done any cheat posts as I had thought I would if I didn't find time or an interesting topic. Like just a photo post or something that didn't require me to write or spend any time. And so, I have also done justice to my writing throughout the challenge.

So let me just go ahead and say it again.. YAYYY YAHOOOOO !!!!! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

X Chromosome!

During my pregnancy last year, the one question that we kept asking ourselves and each other all the time was, "What do you think it would be? Boy? Or girl?" Sex determination tests are banned in India to curb the menace of female infanticide. And so, even though we did our customary scans from time to time, we could never figure out the sex of the baby. We even tried asking the doctors but to no avail. In retrospect, it is a good thing if the practice of not revealing the gender is being followed religiously across the country.

There were lots of guesses. Friends and family took guesses based on their own experiences, the old midwives' tales like the shape of the stomach, glow on the face etc. There are also a couple of Chinese zodiac quizzes which try to determine the baby's gender taking into account the conception month, and symptoms the mother-to-be is facing like morning sickness etc. In my case, everything turned out accurately wrong. Everyone told me it would be a boy. All the Chinese tests said it would be a boy. And, so when the D-day arrived, and when I finally delivered my bundle of joy, I immediately just wanted to know what it was. We had waited long enough. But again, I had to wait a good 15 minutes before my X-chromosome (girls are XX and boys are XY) was brought and shown to me. And I remember giving her a giddy sweet long smile.

I know, for every parent, their child is the most beautiful, the sweetest and the best. Needless, to say, I love love love my X-chromosome. She is beautiful, she is smart and incredibly naughty. After I have had her, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have the Y chromosome ;-) I can't imagine a life without her. We were happy before we had her. Now, it's euphoria :)

My X chromosome :D

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W worthy of Worth!

There are some relationships that are absolutely worthy of every feeling you have felt while being in them. Be it love, anger, anxiety, suspicion or plain hatred. Friendship is one such.

I have often shared my feelings about my besties N and S in this space. I have had numerous fights with them over the years, but we also go back at least 10 years or more. They are as good as family. They know where I come from, my thought process, my triumphs and my weaknesses. It wouldn't be wrong to say that I would feel completely lost without them.

But today I want to write about my gang of friends who worked with me in my last organisation. I don't agree that it was coincidence that brought us together. We all must have been related somehow in our last birth. We were destined to meet in this birth. And so, the huge gang of us, from all possible corners of the country Delhi, Harayana, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad met in the organisation we all worked in back then. We hit it off instantly. When we all would get together, there would nothing be but laughter and more laughter until our cheeks hurt or we had tears running down our eyes. And our night outs were legendary. We would all gather at anyone's place without any agenda as to what we would do that night. But every single time, the night would fall short, but not our session of leg pulling, dancing and making merry.

Slowly things changed. People left. People got married. Some went onsite. Today most of us are in different organisations and in different locations as well. But we try to keep in touch through Facebook and Whatsapp. Of course, the chemistry is no where near what it used to be. But last night, suddenly it was decided to connect via video chat. So at a very short notice, 5 of us, did. Two from US, one from Dublin, another one from Bangalore and yours truly. The one hour that we spent laughing last night brought back all those memories. The best part is, whenever we talk, how much ever time may have passed in between, we can always just pick up from there and move on. Most of us have gotten married now. Some of us have had babies, like yours truly, some are on the way and others will have, in the future. I realize how far we have come. And yet, nothing seems to have changed.

All of us make new friends all the time. But not all friendships stand the test of time. And so this post is dedicated to all my "Freakos" (as we like to call ourselves) who are fun, who are mad, who are there and who are not there. We have had an amazing journey so far. No matter what happens tomorrow, I want to tell you guys how amazing you all are. A big big thank you for making this life worthwhile with your presence and your infectious energy and your support :)

This relationship is worthy of all the super things I have ever felt when I am with you guys! Jai Ho Freakos!

That's almost all of us! :D

Thursday, April 24, 2014

V values Valentine!

I know many people, including myself, who are not a big fan of "days" like the Valentine's, Mother's, Father's etc.
Why choose a single day to express love when you can do it any time and any day of the year? And better still, all the time and all the days of the year. I was pretty cynical too. But this year, I got a reason why such days are celebrated.

This was our first Valentine's day after the birth of our daughter. But as first time parents, we were dealing with our own struggles - some personal family issues, a demanding 2 month old and a recovering mother i.e. yours truly. All these didn't really give us any space or time to even think about celebrating the V day. I had become way too cynical. It seemed to me that these days were celebrated by people who had the time and energy and do it. And not really the people with real problems at hand.

The husband got me a spa reservation at a five star and informed me only in the morning of V day so that I could not cancel as I was wont to do because of the work pressure. He not only helped me finish the chores, but drove me to the place, took care of the baby while I enjoyed my full body massage replete with a sauna. Needless to say, I fell short of words. I had not planned anything for him. And he gave me what I really needed. Some alone time, and some pampering.

And that day I realized that V days are not all useless. Even though he might not say the I love you everyday. Sometimes we might not even talk for days altogether. But days like this tell us that it's not all that bad as it looks. He might still be angry at me for something that I don't agree with, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love me. That even though we can say the I love you everyday, but the truth is we don;t. So what better than the Valentines' to say it and declare it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

U unties Umbilical!

A child in a mother's womb gets it's nutrition from the umbilical cord. When the child is born, the umbilical cord is cut. And from that moment onward, the child, only moments old in this new world, has to do a lot of hard work. (S)he has to learn to suck milk out of the mother to survive. Breathe on their own. Pee. Potty. Seemingly innocuous things for us, but huge tasks for these little beings.

But some people, even as they grow up, can't seem to let go of their umbilical cords. It's like their umbilical cords have never been cut. Running to mommy or daddy for every little thing is the way of life for them. I wonder, if infants, as young as days old have to start taking ownership of their life, how come some grown ups refuse to do so?

I have also seen mothers having a very hypocritical attitude towards this phenomenon. The daughter with undying loyalty is fine, but the son-in-law with the same attitude is looked down upon. Similarly, the mother-in-law is absolutely fine controlling the life of her son and daughter-in-law, but if the daughter-in-law seeks her parents' permission, she isn't a part of the family.

Also, I find, there is a lot of gender bias when it comes to being tied to the apron strings. Guys with their invisible  umbilical cords are often referred to as "Mamma's boys", but girls doing the same are just "mumma's pets" or "daddy's darlings". Girls with their umbilical cords are considered as very loyal and loving. However the same attitude from a guy is seen as a weakness.

I have seen many parents encourage this kind of childrens' attitude because I guess they think it shows the child's respect for them. I beg to differ. A child can be as or even more respectful to you despite the fact that he/she may not come running to you for every problem or asking or taking your advice. Or agreeing with you on every point made, In fact, I know of so many people who use this as a kind of excuse for not standing up for the right thing. I don't think parental respect has any meaning if you continue to do wrong elsewhere. Have you cut your umbilical?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

T toils for Travel!

I am a huge travel junkie. Every time there is an occasion like a birthday or an anniversary and the husband asks what I would like, the answer is always a vacation! I am not much of a jewelry/clothes/shoes person. After I got married, the husband and I have been on a lot of trips. Some planned, some instantaneous. But all of them have been memorable, to say the least.

But somehow, I have never gotten around to writing about the places visited in detail. But after the A-Z challenge is over, I plan on doing it. Right now, I am just going to go back and remember the time and place and leave you with a few pictures.

1) The very first trip after marriage - HongKong, Macau & the Disneyland :). Memorable for all the right reasons ;-)
A day out in Macau!

Goofy and I :-D
 2) River rafting in Rishikesh. Memorable because of the near death experience :(
You can read more about it here.

Hubby and I locking horns ;-)

3) My first birthday after marriage  - we travelled to Hyderabad, Bangalore , Kerala and then, back to Delhi. One of the best trips ever! You can read about it here.

Snow World in Hyderabad!

The very picturesque Munnar!
4) Visited Dhanbad (Bihar) for a friend's wedding. Due to some mix up, got return tickets from Durgapur (West Bengal). Travelled without ticket to Durgapur and ended up paying a fine. Spent a whole day discovering the small Bong city :)

Sunset at Durgapur dam :)

5) Husband's first birthday after marriage : A visit to the Neemrana fort palace. Memorable because of the adventure activity, flying fox or zipping that we ended up doing.
Yous truly, successfully completing her zip line!
6) Our first wedding anniversary - the majestic city if Khajuraho. One of the best trips ever. It's a beautiful city. I absolutely loved being there. Would love going back too.

Tired and happy travellers!

7) My second birthday after marriage. At this time, I had cleared the telephonic rounds for KBC and was called for a video audition. So that took us to Amritsar. Unfortunately, I didn't get selected, but we had a gala time in Amritsar. Also, we extended the vacation to visit McLeodgunj too.

The fog covered jungles in McLeodgunj!

At Golden temple, Amritsar

8) Visited Kanpur for a friend's wedding. And it was the last trip we had been on last year. A month later we discovered about the pregnancy :) And since then, we have pretty much been laying low as far as travelling is concerned. The next trip is definitely going to be with our little one now. Let's see where and when that happens!

Monday, April 21, 2014

R & S - Rape & Stigma

Rape has pretty much become a word that is used in general conversations these days. All thanks to rising crime rates and the inability of the government or the police to curb it. And, of the course, the inability of the male population to control their wild untamed libido. The worst part is that most of the accused admit that the rape was not only an act of forced sex, but majorly a power play. They wanted to show the women where she belonged. As much as the society is progressing in terms of men women equality, people like these are pulling it back in the opposite direction as much.

There is another aspect of the rape phenomenon that is happening these days - the blame-the-victim game! I think it started with some moron saying that girls out on the streets past a certain time of the night were inviting troubles. And then the mockery never stopped. Someone said, it was the jeans and revealing clothes that were the cause of men raping the said women. Then someone said Mobile phones were responsible. Another one said chowmein was. A political honcho said boys tend to make mistakes. And that they should not be hanged for them. Another one said, the girls are an equal participant in the act, and hence they must be punished too. Well, to say the least, I feel disgusted. I don't want to comment on the above remarks and give them any more attention than they have already been given.

As if raping a woman wasn't enough to snatch away her basic right to say no, to be the way she wants to be, the society attaches all the stigma to the victim. And the accused have an easy run getting a bail, and leading a normal life.  Why does a woman who was raped and brutalized has to spend the rest of her life fighting the stigma and being called a rape victim? And the accused always gets called by his name. It is high time that the women be accorded the basic respect they deserve. The least we can do is, not to rob them off their identity for the rest of their lives and accord them a generic and very demeaning "rape victim" tag. And apart from improving the men's mentality about women and punishing them, it is the guilty who must be referred to as a rape accused for the rest of their lives, if they are not hanged, so that they are the ones who are looked own upon, and are not allowed to lead a guilt free life after destroying someone else's

Friday, April 18, 2014

Q quotes Queer!

Queer means strange. Something that is different from the usual. It is also used as an umbrella term to denote the LGBT community. In layman terms, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I would find this reference to queer by someone as naive as a child ok. But when grown ups find homosexuals or gays strange, I can only nod my head in disappointment.

If one man/woman loves another, what is so strange about it? I mean, how can anything that has love in the middle be strange? I know, it is not normal. Because love is a feeling that out pars the normal. It takes a lot of strength and courage to actually love someone other than yourself. And when that someone is of your own gender, you have the added responsibility and baggage of proving your worth to the society and family. It takes lots of guts to come out the closet, and out in the open and accept it as a part of your identity in a society as judgmental as ours. And we find that queer?

You know what I find queer? When a girl is openly molested on the road and the passers by become a mute audience. When they take out cell phones to make videos. When a girl is gang raped and brutalized to an extent that is difficult to fathom. When kids as young as months old are sodomized and sexually assaulted.  To hell with that "straight" sexuality that makes you an animal.

I find all you perverts queer who rape a women and children everyday in your mind and with your hands and with your body and with your mentality.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

P (s)pells Pregnant!

 I have wanted to do this post since the longest time.  But I guess I was saving it for the P of the A to Z blogging challenge.  But as they say,  better late than never.

When I first received the confirmation of my pregnancy,  I was a mixed bag. I didn't know what  to feel. I felt happy because we had succeded in achieving what we wanted to.  But other than that I was very anxious and majorly embarrassed.

The first trimester was a tough time. I had severe morning sickness and nausea.  I hated myself for giving in to the idea of getting pregnant.  I almost secretly wished something bad would happen so that I could be free again. I know it's evil but the morning sickness lasted all day, day after day and was really really bad.

The second trimester was the best time of the entire pregnancy.  The morning sickness was gone. The tummy was not so huge. And there were the kicks and hiccups  and cravings. Although the cravings are not as hyper as they show in the movies. But yes pretty drastic.  Like I don't eat spicy food at all. But when I was expecting,  I craved spicy food all the time. No wonder my girl is a teekhi mirchi ;-)

And finally the last semester, full of leg cramps,  swollen feet, full bladder, tummy the size of an earthen pot and the anxiety of the impending big day. Will it be normal?  Will it be a c-section?  Will it be painful?  Have we stocked up everything we need?  Are we really prepared for this?

Despite all this, now I understand why people gush so much about pregnancy.  It's not just about birthing a child. It's about the miracle of a woman's body to nurture a child,  a living being inside her body,  take care of all its needs, and yet go on  about her life as non chalantly as ever. It's about doing things she would otherwise never do only for the sake of the child. And bear that pain, which I don't think can be described in words, to welcome the child in this world.

Ever since the birth of my little one, I feel like a super woman. Like God's blessed child to have experienced this enigma,  this mystery. And the gift is mine to keep for the rest of my life :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

O objects Opulence!

Opulence signifies abundance or excess. Not necessary of wealth.
These are the times of opulence. These days, everyone I know, is living a life of opulence. Too many clothes, no closet space and yet, nothing to wear. Too many shoes, and yet nothing comfortable. Too much to eat, and still hungry for more. You might say I am rich and have a friend circle of rich friends. But as much as I hate to burst your bubble, the truth is that yours truly is not richie rich by any standard measure.

The mantra that we live by these days is " when in doubt, buy". We shop all the time. Without rhyme or reason. We feel bored and we go shopping. We are depressed and we go shopping. In urban lingo, it is also referred to as "retail therapy". I am sure this term was coined by a sales executive to comdition people into believing that the therapy part actually works. A lot of my friends swear by it.  But really, when it comes to real happiness, there's nothing like an emotional and pysical stress free zone. Anyway, I digress. So the point is we buy stuff all the time. Stuff we don't need, stuff we don't have space for and sometimes, stuff, we don't even have the money for. Long live the credit card!

Remember the times when we were bought new dresses only twice a year? It used to be a big event in our lives. We valued things and money so much more. Children these days are born into a life of opulence. An overflowing closet, loads of toys, gadgets, food. I feel we are denying them that happiness which we experienced. Would they ever know what it feels like to earn a rupee or a tenner for keeping the room and cupboards clean? The joy of receing the dress on turning an year older. The value of hard earned money which we knew because we were happy if we got to celebrate our birthdays with a cake. Children these days demand nothing short of themed birthday parties with matching return gifts to boot. And parents, well, who can deny a child's wish?

Quite contrary to the theory, I find this compulsive shopping a waste of time, energy and money. I don't want to buy stuff, then buy more cupboards to store it and then a bigger house to keep it all. I'd better keep the extra money with me and help someone in need. But I am considered quite a miser by friends and family for feeling and behaving that way. But trust me, I am as happier as anyone would be with all her loved ones and friends and family. And I have to go through the lows of my life all by myself. Shopping doesn't solve anything. If at all it does anything, it adds to space woes and credit limit. And devalues everything.  At the cost of the environment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

N is Number 1

These are the times of rat race. Everyone is running to achieve the number 1 spot in their respective fields. Cricketers, film stars, businessmen, the common man, housewives and even children are not spared from it. From kindergarten starts the mad rush to always be numero uno in studies, sports and extra curricular activities. In fact, kids start the rat race as young as infants. Baby shows are quite popular these days and children are made to pose, preen and what not to "win". I know the world is competitive and all that. And you have got to be the best to survive here yada yada. 

But I have a different theory regarding the Number 1 , especially in the case of young children. And this came about as a result of the introspection of my own life. I was a Number 1 child in my days :-P

I always stood first in the class, participated in debates and elocutions and also played sports. I was considered an intelligent student. Or may be I even was. But that's not the point. The same happened in college. I was the batch topper, excelled my subjects and participated in cultural as well as technical fests. In fact I was always made fun of as the "topper" girl. And like with all classes, through school and college, we had these average children who the teachers always scolded and said they would not make anything of themselves in their life. 

Now, after more than 10 years of passing school and 7 years of graduation (engineering), I work for an MNC and earn peanuts. While so many of those average kids have gone on to do their masters and doctorates and are earning quite well. Most of them are living abroad while some of the most notorious ones have joined the Indian Army.  The best example here would be of my husband. When I met him first after finishing college, I had a job offer with an IT major while he was still figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. He was appearing for exams and giving interviews, and not getting much success. And for what it's worth, he now works for an MNC too and earns more than me. Not that I am complaining though ;-)

A couple of years back, it used to puzzle me. Where did I lag behind? What did I do wrong? And slowly I saw a pattern. Most of the people who were average had minimum or no expectations from family and teachers. And so they went about school or college with being number 2 or 10 or 20. They had less or no fear of failure because, much of it, in fact, was expected of them. But people like us, the Number 1s had a reputation to uphold. We couldn't fail. And so went on with school and college being the number 1s, but we burned ourselves out.  That burden of expectations and praise took a toll on the likes of us. It did far more bad than good to us. 

And so, I know that when my little one grows up, I will encourage her to study, participate everywhere she can but being number 1? Never. At least that's not a point I am going to push. If it happens, good. If she can maintain it, even better. But I now know what's best. And I couldn't have agreed more with this dialouge from the movie Three Idiots, "bacche, kabil bano kabil. Kamyabi to saali jhak maar ke peechey aayegi"
It basically translates to this

Monday, April 14, 2014

L & M - Love Marriage

In a country where the legal age to drive is 18, the legal age for girls to get married is 16 and the legal age for drinking between 18-25, the right to get married to a groom of your own choice is almost non existent. That means, you can own a vehicle, put yours and othets' lives at risk, get married to  a total stranger and have consensual sex and even drink alcohol which might jeopardize your health, but to marry someone of your choice, especially of a different caste is still taboo.

If you live in the villages of Harayana or U.P. you might as well forget the right to live if you decide to marry someone you love. Please someone tell them there is absolutely no honour in "honour killing". Like I said, it's just not allowed. In the cities, it's a little better. You can thank your stars that you won't be killed in cold blood, but might be made to feel as such for all the coming years of your life. Even though he/she might fit in like a glove in the family, they would still be the odd one out. Like a cotton ball in a mansion of satins. Always different, standing out and "lower" quality.

Everybody's moving ahead with the times. Everyone owns a mobile phone, iPad, laptop, colour TVs et al. But this is still one area where the people esp the parents of this country need to grow up. If everything else in your life if 3G, why not this? Why do you think that societal acceptance is more important than your child's happiness? And seriously, in this age of "breaking news", nothing is really worth more than an eyebrow raise. And seriously, every marriage has it's pros and cons. Why single a type out?

Being different and standing out and against is all good and revolutionary on papers, but, in reality, it feels a lot less heroic and mostly full of bad shit. Did you have a love marriage?

Friday, April 11, 2014

K calls Karma

I was really confused between Kids and Karma for writing my letter K. I started to write about Karma, when I had a brain wave that Kids would be the more suitable topic. So, at quarter to 12, I am typing away furiously trying to finish my post soon so that I could catch some precious 40 winks as my little one snored peacefully beside me.

For the uninitiated, Karma refers to our doing. According to Hindu religion, it is our Karma that decides our birth death cycle. What we do, comes back to us. Karma is our mirror.

But what do you know? I wrote the entire post. And while saving, accidentally closed the window. It said I would loose unsaved data. In a manner of familiarity, I said Yes. And what do you know? I had to come back and write about Karma. Interesting? Ironic?
I wonder what I had done to deserve this ;-)

Also, since I was writing about kids, my favorite kid these days is my own ;-) No points for guessing that one. Leaving you all with a picture of my princess. Hope it makes your day :-) and sets my karma straight!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

J is Judgmental!

There is a famous saying "We all occupy the same universe, but live in different worlds". I don't think I have ever heard truer words. How much ever similar we think we are with a person, in reality, we are worlds apart. We are all a result of our history, the environment our parents gave us to grow up in, and finally the consequences of our own actions. I can vouch for the fact as I have a twin sister, and we have a vast difference in the manner of thinking, speech, actions and even choices.

As a result of what we are, we all have our set of morals we live our life by. But when we encounter something that falls outside of our moral boundary, we immediately start judging that person over his/her choices. If someone wears makeup, she is fake. If someone does not, she is so plain! If someone likes to dress up, she is a show off. If someone does not dress up, she needs to get a stylist! We judge people over career choices, love life, caste and even skin color! We have this feeling of superiority over everyone else. And let's be fair, we all have been there done that. Not once, not twice but many times over.

But when we judge a person and his choices, it tells us more about our own self and our thinking rather than the person being judged. So the next time, you are about to jump the gun, wait and think what kind of person you want to be in your own conscience. And leave that person to explore his possibilities in his own world. In our universe.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I invites Inspiration

Inspiration to do something that benefits our own self, someone else or the society is always welcome. But as we grow older, and may I add, cynical, inspiration is difficult to come by. We don't trust anyone with good intentions because he is, of course, trying to fool us. A person with bad intentions needs no excuse. And for people like me, who are huge procrastinators, sometimes inspiration strikes and even leaves before the likes of us move a muscle.

In more than 3 years of blogging, I have not participated in any blogging challenges or writing prompts. I have always gony by the "I will write when I have something to say" principle. But I know that somewhere deep inside, I didn't believe in the challenges or writing prompts. I didn't think they would give me anything in return. But as usual, we learn our lessons hard.

After the birth of my little one, I had very little time left for myself and that time was needed to bathe, eat, poop and get some sleep. And, oh yes, blogging too. My head buzzing with ideas and rants and things to say, but no time or inspiration to write. And that's why the cynical me, very hesistantly, signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge. I had no idea how I would do it.

But this has got to be one of my best decisions ever. All you guys writing everyday and visiting the blog and giving your precious feedback has been such a catalyst and morale booster. I have discovered so many new and wonderful blogs and people. Everyday I look forward to the next day's letter and think about what to write. It has not only gotten me excited and happy, but has also brought on a little discipline in my life as far as writing is concerned. I know that even if I don't have time for anything else, I have time to write my post for the day because I love it.
Thank you guys for all the love and importantly, the inspiration :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

H hails the Heart!

It's always funny when it's happening to someone else. And in matters of the heart, it's always melodramatic. But then it happened to me. And it was no longer funny or dramatic.

When I fell in love with my husband a couple of years ago, I was all rosy eyed. Like it happens with the first real love. Head over heels type. I had never thought I could love someone so much. It was like I had given him a piece of my heart. He could make me happy, sad, anxious, angry, anything. He could play with my heart. I had willfully given him the permission. And every gesture was love. And then we got married ;-)

When we spoke of children, I always thought of them as people who would come in our way. In between us love birds. I always sneered at those who said that children brings the couple closer. Or that a child can melt your heart, can you make you do the impossible yada yada. I was cynical of those statements. I was too cool for those emotions.

And then, 4 months back, our darling daughter entered this world. And today, I feel silly for the cynicism. I feel all those things are, infact, understatements. There is no way I can describe my love for this tiny being. Someone who is always demanding, crying, throwing tantrums and yet, she has the biggest space in my heart. It's like a piece of my heart is out there for the world to see and admire. So beautiful but so vulnerable. And so easy to hurt. No wonder women are such a huge pile of emotions and mush.

Monday, April 7, 2014

G grasps Grammar!

There are two types of people in this world. People who don't write and people who are bloggers/writers/authors. Most of you reading this, save a few belong to the second category. We all write because we have something to say. Or maybe, a lot to say. We have an opinion on everything. Some of us think alike, while others may have contrasting views. But what really differentiates each of us from the other are our writing styles.

The content that we churn out each day is a combination of our thought process and the command over the language in which we write. The point is how well we can put our thoughts on paper. Now, most of the bloggers I know and read are creative people and have a lot of ideas and thoughts and opinions about anything and everything under the sun. But. The similarity ends there. There are a lot of people I read who have a lot of grammar issues. And quite frankly for me, all the beauty of your thoughts takes a walk because wrong grammar just kills the whole essence. It's like one of those "Mata ke bhajans" that are sung on popular Bollywood numbers. Good intention but bad presentation.

This debate has long been to death. And I have also heard a lot of people say that writing should not be held by barriers of language or grammar. Creativity is all that matters. They might be right in their own way. But for me, wrong grammar makes "Let's eat, grandpa" into "Let's eat grandpa". And I don't like grammar killing the grandpa ;-)

Am I a grammar Nazi? I think yes. I am also one of those girls who are completely put off by wrong grammar. I am also one of those girls who silently corrects people's grammar while reading and talking !!

By the way, did you know that March 4 is celebrated as National Grammar Day? How lame! Pretty much like celebrating Woman's day once a year. Occasions defniitely worth celebrating every single day of our lives...isn't it?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

F Forgives and Forgets?

How many times have we not heard this old age adage? But how many of us truly believe on it? Or to put it more correctly, how many of us really follow it? It is one of those self help techniques, which are way easier said than done, isn't it?

What does forgiveness mean to you? That when someone realizes their mistake, you should let go? Or even if that someone does not realize their mistake, you be the bigger person and let go? And either way, even of of you can forgive the person, can you really forget? Unless you have the memory span of a goldfish ;-)

I, for one, can't forget people who I know still stand by their doing , something which is wrong for me. Of course, that could be a difference of opinion. But there are differences of opinion that you can live with and move on and there are some which become a bone of contention. And there is no point in being the bigger person in such cases because it's going to happen over and over. And ultimately you are going to have a one on one with that person. Why not do it the first time around and save yourself much heartburn? 😤

And speaking of forgetting, unpleasant experiences of any kind have a habit of staying in howsoever small crevice of your  memory. It never really goes away. I believe there is an irony in the statement itself. What it really means is that in reality, you aren't going to forget, so forgive and move on like it never happened. Pretty close to forgetting, right?

But my point is, can you really ever forgive if you can't forget?

Friday, April 4, 2014

E emotes Emotional!

Like the 2 sides of a coin, every decision in life comes with its pros and cons. Or to put it in context, 2 sets of emotions. The husband is flying out of country tonight for work. While we are elated at the news because it is an opportunity for him to grow in his professional life, it also means a disturbance in our personal lives because of the separation. This time, doubly hard, because of the kid involved :-(

We have been separated by the long distance before. And I have been known to bawl my eyes out a week before the departure. And these were just intercity separations. I had no idea how I was going to fare this time. Different country and all. But as I bade goodbye to my sweetheart with a smile on my face, I felt like I have grown up. I was sad and I was tensed. Being with a 4 month old, all alone for the next 30-40 days isn't child's play. Pun intended :-) But the responsibility of the child did not weaken me. Infact it strengthened me to take it up head on. Motherhood and it's learnings never stop I guess.

I have always wondered how our emotions shape our entire life, from our careers to our families. Because how we react to situations depends on our emotional quotient and our reactions to situations shapes our life. Most of us carry so much emotional baggage all the time. And sometimes, despite knowing the pitfalls of it, we can't help but give in to it.
Because our IQ is just the tip of the iceberg!

But today, I surprised myself. Not a tear. A smile :-) And a prayer for his safety and success. Emotional intelligence, here I come :-)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

D decodes Dream Diary!

I have always wanted to write about my dreams. No, not the high flying ambitious kinds. But the one that take us to wonderland. I have weird dreams all the time. I guess that's because I am a very light sleeper, to the extent of being an insomniac. Also, I have this habit of reading and watching TV right before I go to bed. What do they say about the relation between subconscious min and the dreams?

When I was younger, I always saw dreams where I was falling...sometimes from an airplane, sometimes from a really tall building. Many many years later I realized that they stemmed from my phobia of altitude. Then once, I read about a news item where a kid had drowned in an open manhole while returning home from school. I had many drowning dreams after this episode. I also have water phobia :-(

But I had some really funny ones too. Once I had a dream where, as usual I was fussing over food. And then my mom threatened me that if I didn't comply, she would send me to fight the India Pakistan war. In the next scene, I am at the terrace of my house, all alone from India's side and there are 3 other Pak soldiers. In the end, I was stabbed to death. Lol. But I really end up laughing every time I remember this joke.

There's another technical dream (for people who understand HTML). In my dream I wasn't able to sleep and kept wondering why, even though I was quite sleepy. After a lot of troubleshooti g, I found out that I had not closed the sleep tag correctly, syntax error,you see {sleep} {\sleep} :-D

Everytime I see a funny /dramatic dream, I want to write it down. I want to maintain a dream diary, but I am just too lazy for it. Do you have a dream diary?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

C for Chivalry

Chivalry refers to the courteous behavior extended by men, especially towards women. It is a custom followed from the medieval times. Back in the day, it was easy for a man to be courteous. Women were homemakers and always had to fall back on the men to bring in food, love and security to the house.

Times have changed, and so have the equations of men and women in our society. At least in the urban jungles. Women earn their own money, drive their own cars and there is nothing for which they have to depend on the men. Men and women no longer get married to procreate. And that is where, this whole generation is confused about whether chivalry is acceptable or not.

While the women may be independent and all that, they are still trying to break through the glass ceiling when it comes to dealing with men in the real world. And because of that, most of the women find it presumptuous or even hypocritical to accept any kind of chivalry from the men. To accept a man's offer to drop her home late at night might expose her physical vulnerability as a woman. And so the woman carries on alone, albeit unsafe. To make it in a man's world.

Some men have been rejected and often ridiculed by women at their acts of chivalry that the men completely swear off them now. I don't disagree with them. And I do believe there are a few good men out there.

Ladies, my point is, by accepting a ride back home (assuming you will be safe) is not a weakness on your part. It is an underlying societal menace. And anything that keeps you safe is worth it. And the men, who offer ladies their seats, open the door, pull out their chairs, you rock guys! We have a very few of your species left. Make sure to woo the girls, true chivalry and all, and spread the love around. God knows we need it.

Chivalry is Cool :-) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

B for Bookshelf

"A man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"

There are things that you dream of when you are young. As you grow up, some of them remain with you, while others become a fond memory. So while the thought of marrying SRK has become an amusing memory now (even though I secretly wish it sometimes), the love for books has stayed with me. When I was younger, my dream was to have a library in my house. But of course, then, I grew up. And realized, thanks to the sky rocketing real estate prices, that I might never own a library.

My fantasy room would have an all white decor with 3 walls covered with rows and columns of books. And in the centre of the room, surrounded by my books, would be my rocking chair where I could read for hours on end. Cut to reality. We are yet to buy our own house. Don't know how practical it would be to have an all white decor, considering it's difficult and expensive upkeep.

But hey, I could own at least a decent (or 2) book shelves, with all my books lined in there beautifully. I would most proudly place it in my living room  and show it off. After all they are assets oof my hard earned money, bought and stored safely over the years.
So now, I know for sure the next piece of furniture that is going to adorn my house. And my life. It would be a part of my childhood dream come true.

PS : If you have have pointers regarding where I can find a smart and suave book shelf and does not cost a bomb, you know where to reach me :-)