Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Random ramblings - part 2


I have never understood women who state loftily, “My hubby is my best friend” in social do’s and more importantly where everyone who does not stay in Mars is found these days, i.e. – Facebook.

Seriously?

First of all I am not fond of husbands being called Hubby; it sounds pretty wannabe. And secondly lady, how can you not have managed to get yourself a best friend all these years, given that the average age of maiden marriage among urban Indian women have risen to 22.2 years? All the years in school, neighbourhood parks, inter school fests, tuition classes you never made a friend who could be promoted to the best friend category? You waited for holy matrimony to grant you a best friend? N-I-C-E.

Of course these women remind me of those girls during my teens, who claimed, ‘My mother is my best friend’. Yawn. Like you discuss everything with mothers! I mean those girls were so tedious they should have killed themselves for inflicting such boredom on others and I had just started feeling lucky that I don’t need to interact with such types anymore but hell no! At my ripe old age I still come across these mind numbing ones.

How can a husband equate a best friend? Yes, if one has married well, by ‘well’ I mean a moderately sane guy, a husband can definitely be one of you trusted, dependable friend, who doubles up as a responsible housemate and an affectionate co-parent. But best friend….nah.



Best friends are born when one person says to another, “You too? Ha, I thought I was the only one!” Yes that is how you define a BFF. That person who knows all your scams dude; the person who has seen you with the most horrible haircut, knows your family’s mess (and trust you me most families have some secrets or the other), well aware of the stupidest fling you had and is the first person you call up when you need to crib about your mother-in-law unreasonable behaviour. Thirty plus years on this planet I have witnessed that at some point most mother-in-laws do behave unreasonably; I mean for God’s sake even your own mother does. And yes you crib about your own mother to your best friend too. That friend is also the one you nudge when you come across once in five years, a real Hot (with capital H) guy.

And then again best friends don’t go on a diet because you are fat. I know men who had to enrol in ‘couple diets’ or some such silly sounding programme because wifey (another wannabe terminology) needed to fit in some strange dress for cousin’s wedding. I am not joking.

Best friends are okay with you even when they have seen your ugliest, meanest side. They do not approve of it, but they still tolerate you. I dare any of those ‘Hubby best friend’ types to show their real, absolutely unabashed creepy self to their spouses. One never does. Marriage in a strange way always has a veneer of political correctness.  You can get angry and call your best an ass**e. Can you seriously get away calling your husband names when angry?

Maybe the women with best friend husbands don’t have secrets to share. Or maybe they live in those nice bubble houses where everything is always perfect and always fine.

Except methinks they are missing out on fun. For God’s sake Husbands take you out for lunch, best friends eat up our lunch as and when they are hungryJ. They act as a therapist, a sibling you never had (for the only child like yours truly), your mom when mommy love is not immediately available and yes at times they act your worst enemy because they push you that much harder to excel.

I for one am happy to have one BFF, some real close friends and of course an old alcohol buddy cum loafing partner as a Husband. And thank God, these categories have not merged into one person.

However, my BFF and Husband both have names that start with ‘S’; coincidence that’s it.
BFF's -The ones with whom you have 'whose wristlet is better contest"


                                                                  *******

Monday, 30 July 2012

The stereotyped Mrs Lonely



So, I was watching this movie titled “Charulata 2011” yesterday. Honestly, every other channel was a drag and since this seemed like one of the-coming-of-age Bengali movies, I felt like giving it a shot.
It featured the perfectly oval shaped, doe eyed Rituparna S, who wore lovely muted coloured sarees, Fab India ghera skirts along with interesting accessories, had perfect eye make up and salon straightened hair that fell over half her face like a curtain throughout the movie, barring a few scenes. Maybe that was the director’s idea of creating a mysterious woman out of an ordinary one; personally speaking if you have hair all over your face and see through only one eye, you will end up having a muddled view of the world, like the protagonist in this film did!

Shot mostly indoors, in an aesthetically done up apartment (or do Bengalis still refer to them as ‘flat’ like they did a decade back?) this is the story of a Tagore loving, lonely, well off (husband is a well known editor) identity crisis facing housewife who starts chatting with a stranger. Her chat ID is ‘Charulata 2011’ (oh gosh, don’t tell me it took her that many years to create a chat ID) and the person with whom she chats, invariably a guy who calls himself ‘Amol’. The characters are based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novella ‘Nostoneer’ which we all (anyone who sees movies apart from Bol Bacchan genre) knows has been immortalized by Ray's celluloid classic "Charulata’.

Now, this particular blog is not about the two movies. However, I needed to set the tone. I mean this blog is about decoding marriage and after watching that confused protagonist for nearly 2 hours (I actually started surfing other channels) I have one question. Why do so many lonely, bored housewives in movies and novels end up in a sexual relationship with some random guy (sometimes you also have ex boyfriends featuring in this role) whom she starts fancying? Is that THE only idea of entertainment? Does a short fling have the power to set you free?

And are these characters for real? Educated women who keep drinking coffee and staring out of their window looking as if she is going to be executed the very next moment (they always have that sulky, no one loves me, main duniya bhula dungi expression) and has absolutely no idea what they want with their lives? Life looks simple enough for these stereotypes, get bored + go for shopping + if still bored+ start re reading / leafing through favourite novels or crib about the lack of a child in your life/ if you have one crib about how much they drive you up the wall + if still, still bored + start developing feelings for strangers?
Is that how one defines one’s existence? Who are these so-called ‘Charu’s’? How would they react if their husband indulges in some dalliance behind their back? Or is it because women think ‘liberty’ is defined by extra marital affairs?

I do know of a few who have the same idea about life…but then how much do I know?
These women or characters if I may address them seem to be perpetually bored of their life and their husband. But then, obviously you cannot be bored by someone else’s husband. It has to be your own. The husbands are all standard types, ones who wear pinstripes and keep staring intently at their laptop or Blackberry/ Galaxy S3..what ever is the latest craze. But they are honest, hardworking folks who work that hard because they need to pay the EMI’s, I suppose. No running away from this three letter word in today’s world. Until and unless you father has the Ambani surname and you are in that father’s good book!

However bored they are, these bored housewives (I somehow liked the term ‘desperate housewives more) interestingly do not want to let go of the material comforts provided by the so-called boring, does-not-pay-me-attention husbands. And the authors/ movie makers never show THE reason behind that. How can a husband who needs to earn a certain package to be able to afford the yearly ‘we-vacationed in Spain/ Greece/ Turkey’ keep paying their wives attention or serenade her with flowers every evening? Either they do that or they get the moolah. Poor souls. Kaam karo to problem, na karo to problem. Must be taxing living with at-mind-still-a-teenager wife perpetually!

So the lonely ladies, very conveniently make up their mind that salvation lies in the arms of a man who has ample free time to constantly talk/ chat and provide “gosh I am so concerned about your loneliness” kind of emotional support. As well wishers, they never seem to tell the lonely friend that maybe she should go out and realize that the world is actually in a huge mess and maybe she can use her education and sensitivity to eradicate some of that mess rather than whining. But no, these guys go on mouthing the same, boring lines decade after decade.

What is beyond my understanding is what these ‘other’ guys do for a living? They seem to be musically inclined (ah stereotypes) and either play guitar or flute; the more adventurous among them also play violins/ saxophone I guess. But besides chatting up lonely ladies and playing the instrument (pun intended) what else do they do? How come they never have those boring conference calls and non ending meetings where no one comes to a conclusion? When for days you are zombied not to chat even with yourself, what kind of corporates hires them? The management must comprise real kind souls….I need a job in one of those companies. Pronto. Or maybe they are what people call the ‘creative ‘types? FYI: I have never understood the ‘must be’ equation between indiscipline and creativity; can’t disciplined people be creative? Or like other stereotypes, this must also be catered to?

In the Indian movies and novels, of course most of those ‘Seeta bani Silk’ type women suffer from severe guilt pangs after their indiscretion! Like really? Maybe they think playing footsie and dipping their finger in chocolate sauce to feed a guy falls under ‘innocent asexual acts by grown up women’ category. And they imagine that the creative, guitar playing soul just wants to stare deep into her eyes for the rest of his life!
A friend of mine long back had a similar fling scenario and then had the audacity to bawl her heart out as if she was forced into it. Sympathy had eluded me even then. If you as an adult decided on something, then at least have the guts to own up to your behaviour and decision!

My personal suggestion to the not too interesting to keep his wife’s attention fixed on him, wealthy husbands; start implementing the following, basic steps:
A) Cut down the allowance. I mean Baby you need an iPad, go gift yourself one. Don’t keep asking Daddy for cookies. That way, Mrs. Lonely will realize for herself that money does not grow on trees and you really need to work your ass off and that’s slightly more tedious than selecting the right upholstery and matching curtains. Priorities will be sorted and dear boredom will be given a miss, hopefully.
B) Sack the cook, maid, driver, and gardener, the entire contingent. When the meal has to be  actually rustled up, nah not the I can cook a delicious ‘Malabari prawn’, but the everyday breakfast/ lunch/ dinner and the siesta interchanged with real digging of the plants and getting the perfectly manicured hands dirty, one will start realizing that there’s more to life than filing nails and cultivating boredom as a hobby.

The movie made me realize I have zero tolerance for those who keep looking for happiness and solution elsewhere rather than doing some soul searching. A marriage needs attention and nurturing. By both the parties. One indifferent and one escapist cannot make a marriage work.

I must actually start researching on ‘how to be less bored in your marriage’ for my next blog. I may end up with an eureka moment and motivate an entire bored lot to do interesting, crazier things in life ;)
That way, I’ll be saved from watching and reading about these stereotyped characters.

 ******

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The A Day


The GIFTS:)
The mega event in the yearly marital calendar came and went.
Am referring to the anniversary, of course!  The day when the entire world and its cousin expects you to dress up, be serenaded with flowers and showered with love and gifts (not necessarily in that order) and have an overtly expensive dinner at some city ‘hot spot’; candles and wine glass in frame. Terribly clich├ęd, but when was the last time impulsiveness was hailed as a virtue? Oh the ‘must do’ list includes posting the ‘our platinum moment’ pictures on virtual world. After all if the world and its cousin do not ‘like’ the way you went about THE DAY how can you feel satisfied that it was indeed well spent?

Over the years, I have suggested loads of out-of-the box, “how to spend your anniversary in style” ideas to THE HUSBAND, relations and friends; the ideas have been trashed. But let me still share few in brief, maybe some reader at some corner will appreciate my creative streak!
1.      I had once proposed to THE HUSBAND that instead of the expected nonsense, maybe we should each prepare a short, crisp 4 slide ppt. The language can be all floral (quotes from favourite poet/movie, anecdotes from real life etc) with visually breathtaking slides which can be discussed in a cozy meeting room set up (rose petals, champagne et all) where KRA’s for our marriage, way forward for the coming year and the ‘highs and lows’ for the current year can be discussed with some soul stirring music in the background.
Reaction: THE HUSBAND y-a-w-n-e-d
2.      On my aunt’s 25th marriage anniversary, I had strongly recommended learning a few, well coordinated dance moves, a la Karan Johar movies; the whole point was we all could break into a cute jig whenever there was a happy occasion in the family. 
Reaction: Those present gave a nervous giggle and showed ZERO commitment!
3.      A friend who had (at least on three counts in a span of 1 year) mentioned that some zing is required to spice up her life was recommended lessons in belly dancing to seduce the husband. FYI: This idea was inspired by a Turkish set up Mills & Boon I had devoured during my teens.
Reaction: Demotivated look. Raising one cocky eyebrow, she retorted, “Am not spending money and effort to seduce my own husband!”

Well, since no one pays attention to my absolutely mind blowing ideas, I decided to just go with the flow this time.
The day started as expected (but not desired) with lots of chaos. Happens when you entertain two dogs who think they are the masters of the house. Trust me, when you wake up to such pandemonium, your well rehearsed opening line for the day, gets goofed up. I ended up spending the next 1 hour with a severe frown, accentuating the lines that require immediate botox attention. During the lovely breakfast comprising of Maggie, we discussed impending EMI’s. I just love these romantic topics; they make me realize my purpose on this planet. Just so that we can be hailed as different from other couples we know and share our marital woes with, we decided to go for an ‘anniv lunch’ and not dinner. How distinctly different is that!

THE HUSBAND had apparently called and booked a table in some ‘awesome terrace view’ restaurant (he actually spent 10 minutes of his precious time googling!!) but did not bother getting landmarks to reach that place. He instructed his personal secretary, that’s me, (in case you have better ideas), to book a cab. Nah, not a Rolls or Merc; just the regular, shabby Indica from the neighbourhood car rental. He was in a mood to drink and hence needed to be driven.

THE HUSBAND loftily asked the driver to take us to the ‘reserved a table’ place. Driver gave a heart wrenching smile. No, he has absolutely no idea where this place is. HUSBAND angrily flipped his phone and dialed the number (he also looked at me expectantly to dial it for him, but I promptly looked the other way) and informed in a resigned voice “No one is answering”. Lovely. Just the start you need for an ‘anniversary lunch’. We roamed around aimlessly for the next 20 minutes. We reached a road which had a have-eaten-many-times restaurant and a never-eaten-before joint on the opposite side. While I wanted to explore new one, THE HUSBAND wanted to stick to the safe option. Argument followed which was suspended half way since hunger pangs were at work!
Food was great, drinks better. We drank as if there is no tomorrow and indulged in intense conversations. Not with each other but with the Manager, a fellow Bengali. THE HUSBAND’s gift for me was pending, so we agreed (for once) that we must stop over at the mall for ‘gift exchange programme’ on our way back. Efficiency is my middle name; I had delivered his gift a month in advance. Semi drunk and giggly, we staggered in the mall and stood smiling without any reason in front of a crockery counter when it was pre decided that our goal is the perfume counter. One of us nudged the other; we somehow managed to pick up the right fragrance and reached back home without any mishap.
Evening was like it should be. Usual high IQ argument topics ranged from who should have disciplined the dogs when there was still time to why do we always end up watching mindless ‘MTV Roadies’ audition. More drinks followed. Laziness reached its supreme peak; not only did we both refuse to cook, THE HUSBAND even advised that since the walk from the living room to the main entrance is like covering a half marathon, we should not indulge in the idea of ordering food either! FYI: Its actually just 20 steps
Munching on butterless, cheeseless, jamless bread we solemnly pledged to tolerate each other for one more year. We are confident about the coming year of togetherness. As long as there are arguments and alcohol, we are sorted.
Between, a site informed that each anniversary is actually named after the kind of gifts a couple should exchange.
1st- paper
2nd - cotton
3rd - leather
4th - silk or flowers
5th - wood
6th - iron or candy
7th - copper or wool
8th - bronze or rubber
9th - pottery
10th - tin
11th - steel
12th - linen
13th - lace
14th - ivory
15th - crystal
20th - china
25th - silver
30th - pearl
35th - coral
40th - ruby
45th - sapphire
50th - gold
55th - emerald
60th - diamond

Monday, 19 December 2011

The HR Round


(This post is relevant for only those who knew their to-be-converted-to-spouse as a friend/ lover/ alcohol buddy prior to the marriage)

Couple of weeks back, a friend lamented (while discussing her HUSBAND, of course), “I don’t believe this is the same guy who used to call me at least thrice while we were dating; who used to compliment me on my dress/ hairstyle when we met for lunch/ dinner, who got me 100 red roses on my birthday (she should have been ecstatic that he remembered it, but then not everyone has miniscule expectations), who would hold my hand during scary movies (I mean why watch them in the first place if you need hand holding, but anyway that is my opinion)”…blah blah.

You know, how these raving sessions are; women just can’t stop once they start the saga of how cool/ cute/ nice/ lovable the man in her life was till she married him. These lamenting sessions are like opening up the floodgates; the frustrations pour out like a swelled river out to crush everything in its sight.

Honestly, I had no idea that pre/post kind of advertisements are not a fiction of imagination but real, heart rendering stuff, till I got married! It’s like a different guy who dated you and a very different one who is now married to you (though the DNA and physical attributes mysteriously remain same)!
Err, I am also kind of on the same boat these days. I mean this is the same guy? He was like a zillion times cute and nicer when we were alcohol buddies. Where did all the niceties vanish?
So I thought of getting THE husband’s perspective on the same. After all, he is the changed man; he should be able to throw light on it.

Here is what he had to say (AND, this is just one topic of annoyance am discussing here!!).

THE Husband: “I may have promised (though I definitely cannot remember) that we will have a wedding in some quaint little place, where we will sip champagne and dance to “Strangers in the Night” with candles all around us and a few really close people – an intimate and romantic affair, post which we will go to Venice for our honeymoon…, but well you see all this is not going to happen. A lot of other things I may have promised may also not happen”.
 He had the grace to sigh while saying, “Sad, but true”.

FYI: We had a very traditional bong wedding with absolutely no dancing, monotonous Sehnai in the background, typical wedding hall lighting (lots of tiny bulbs hanging all over which is very, very unromantic) and some hundred people milling around whom I have never seen before in my life! So, you can gauge my annoyance level at being mislead!

THE husband further added, “Let me tell you an incident. Couple of years back, my so-and-so friend went for an interview. Friend was thrilled with the way HR closed the deal. Package, perks, accommodation facility, multi cuisine food court, blackberry/ Macbook ..you get the drift…a lot was discussed in minute details. The friend served his notice period and joined the new company, gung ho with all that he was promised. And well, post joining he realized that though the package offered was indeed same, a lot else that was offered / discussed, never happened / happened after prolonged hate mails going up and down”.

I was a bit zapped..so well, umm.., why exactly am I being subjected to this tale?

THE husband elaborated, “You see, the promises were made to him when he was being courted for the job, he took it up and became an employee. And the whole world knows that the rule book is different for prospective employees and existing ones.
Similarly, while trying to convert you from a friend to a wife, I had to make tall promises. That was the HR round. You are now a part of the organization. Forget those conversations ever happened…it is a different, very different view from here. You are now a wife, being taken-for-granted comes with the territory”!

Well, now I have been enlightened; guess I should do the noble thing and pass the wisdom gained.

Xxxxxxxxxxxx

HR Speak (Just to give you an idea)

HR- SEEKING ENTHUSIASTIC, FUN, HARD WORKING, PEOPLE
What it means - People who still live with their parents and won't mind our internship-level salaries.
HR - CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE:
What it means - We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.
HR - WHERE EMPLOYEES FEEL VALUED:
What it means -Those who missed the last round of layoffs, that is.
HR - MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL:
What it means - We have no quality control.

Monday, 31 October 2011

From the desk of the war veteran


Now that I have been married for nearly 3.9 years, I think I am in the war veteran category. With the wisdom gathered over the past years, I felt like jotting down basic tips for a “long lasting marriage” or if you want a more honest phrase, tips for “staying calm in a continuously maddening situation”. Yes, you can accompany them with your regular meditation and deep breathing exercises for better result.
The pearls of wisdom are listed chronologically according to importance. We are serious about implementing them in our house to bring additional (haha) harmony.

Tip 1 - Separate TV (A MUST)
I have reached a conclusion that you can NEVER survive a marriage for long with only one TV in the house. It seems that the stronger partner in a marriage is not decided by who amongst both of you is more emotionally balanced, polite, responsible, affectionate, has a better looking salary slip blah blah. The clear winner amongst a couple is always decided on who can grab the MIGHTY remote first. It is similar to owning Tipu Sultan’s sword or the Armour of Achilles, once you have it, you realize your power. The ‘power’ to freak out and disturb your co member’s mental peace for an entire evening, by simply turning on your favourite channel and refusing to switch channels even during those godforsaken commercial breaks.
I cannot explain in words the snide, killer looks that is directed at me while I watch re run of old episodes of “Sex and City” or the movie “The Mirror” (Zafar Panahi incidentally is one of my favourite filmmaker) or programmes like “Jhalak Dikhla Ja”. THE HUSBAND thinks I watch too many ‘art films” (his lingo, not mine) for my own good; he also is of the opinion that  ‘Sex and the City” is made by and for mad women and that reality shows especially dance shows are there to induce trauma. Rude comments if you ask me!
He is of the notion that TV was invented for the sole purpose of airing cricket. You know that strange game which a bunch of guys keep playing the entire year round? Test matches/ T20/ Champions League – yaar kitna kheloge? Go home, take rest. And give others a rest too. But no, either they play a match or some stiff shirt sits in a studio and analyses earlier matches while few other stiff shirts keep nodding. While 98% time is reserved for the revered and respected “Cricket”, rest 2% goes watching news those that THE HUSBAND thinks is life altering. He actually diligently sat through the entire parliament proceeding regarding the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The “who should watch what and when” fight has reached epic proportions in our home; we have decided that non violent measures such as buying another TV is of prime importance. And it needs to be done ASAP before serious bodily injuries are inflicted.
PS: The fight for TV also includes the best viewing seat in the living room! But am not getting into that because we will very soon have separate TV setsJ

Tip 2 - Separate Bathrooms (DAMN IMPORTANT):
I don’t dig Katherine Zeta Jones. No one except Meryl Streep is worth dying for in my humble opinion, but well I do appreciate Ms. Zones for letting the cat out of the bag. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that having separate bathrooms is a vital ingredient for a successful marriage.
There are too many soul churning questions that plague me each day on this issue. Why can’t the toilet seat ever be down? Why is it only my job to clean the bathrooms used by both of us? Must it look like a 5 year old has splashed water all over every time THE HUSBAND takes a bath? Why can’t the brush be used to sweep away excess water that gets spilled while taking a bath? Whose responsibility is it to clean the perpetually overflowing ashtray in the bathroom? FYI- I have given up smoking ages back, so now you know who is responsible for those cig butts.
Also, I am not fond of questions like, “What do you do with all these bottles in a bathroom?” It is like asking why is the earth round in shape.
Seriously speaking, do men believe that washing hair involves just one shampoo?
Have they never heard of mixing shampoos? What about the scalp cleanser that needs adding for extra shine? And what about the various conditioners that is utterly important when you have coloured/ tinted hair? Look, am trying to think of ways to minimize the bath salts and after bath lotions. One does not like the same fragrance everyday…and you seriously cannot do with just one face wash. Here I refuse to budge. Face masks needs altering and well THE HUSBAND should try being a little more considerate about the efforts I undertake to look presentable. And if you don’t try out new products how will you know which suits your skin best? Agreed that well, err maybe my having two different toothpaste – one for morning, one for the night is a little over the top.
But anyways it is NOT a crime and hence I will not be bogged down. Separate bathroom is indeed a tempting idea. I have even thought of cutesy nameplates on respective bathrooms ;)

Tip 3 – Separate Bedrooms (NEEDS CONSIDERATION)
Yes, albeit with connecting doors. I remember reading certain romantic Victorian era novels during my green days, where the Mater and Mistress of the house would have separate bedrooms with connecting doors which I do think is a sensible idea. For me it gives me the option to read till 3 in the night (there are books which fall in unputdownable category) and have chocolates on bed while reading without “ah, uff, when will you turn of the lamp, how can you eat chocolates on bed” etc kind of disturbing noise in the backgorund. THE HUSBAND gets the option to smoke umpteen cigarettes uninterrupted with the ashtray lying tilted at a dangerous angle on the bed (can you imagine?) and listen to his all time favourite Top Gun / Lethal weapon OST like a lullaby. Or watch some movie clip with has some cool air chase scenes. Yes, apparently car and aircraft chase sequence helps induce better sleep. … so much for soothing music etc; but then each to their own. I agree that cuddling your spouse to sleep does have its merit but then so is doing what you like to do to unwind before you fall asleep on certain days.

The skeptics may wonder why stay together at all? Let us not get melodramatic. Are you not sharing the portico, garden, living room, kitchen, terrace, balcony, bills, pets, children, parents, vacation and sundry other responsibilities? That is a hell lot of things to share and nurture together. At times, yes even within a short span of 24 hours, one may look for some “me” time. And if giving each other a little space, lessens ridiculous arguments am all for it. Marriage is not about becoming real life examples of “Fevikol aisa jod lagaye’ to prove togetherness, it is about practicing the theory of “Live and let live” and be happy being together!
                                                       *****************

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Random ramblings - part 1


Why must I always have cool titles for each post? Have decided to chuck whatever little formality that formed a minuscule part of this blog till date. Stuff that needs jotting down right now, falls under ‘random ramblings’.

THE husband has stated he will sue me. He thinks that am gaining popularity by making fun of him and other such fellows. I have no idea what he is referring to as “popularity”. Since I am clueless about the ‘catch phrase’, I will not react. But seriously God, when will he finally grow up?

Eye opener of the quarter:
Last Sunday, THE husband’s, Distant Friend visited. As I approached DF’s car parked outside (we were to pick up few stuff before the drunken evening started), the whispering got louder. HUSBAND and DF looked sheepish; highly suspicious behaviour, if you ask me! Well, it turned out that the discussion was on:
a)      What should Mr. DF gift his wife on her birthday which was like less than a week away?
b)      Whether they should seek my expert help?
c)      Will I end up informing the lady that her husband has decided to seek external help in selecting a gift for his wife of 5 years?
After some debate (women can never keep secrets type silly conversation) they decided to rope me in. Incidentally, Mr. DF was roaming aimlessly for the last 1 hour trying to think of a gift; THE husband was very sympathetic. So now I know what men do while zeroing in on a gift; they expect an apple to hit them on the head while the aimless walk is on, so that they can have their own ‘eureka” moment!
We all landed up at the nearby mall, to select gift for wifey. Post discussion, conferencing, dilly-dallying, finally the gift was purchased.
Mr. DF asked skeptically, “Will she be impressed”. Fair enough, one can feel little jittery.
THE husband’s famous rejoinder, “Oh, she must be already impressed with you, otherwise shaadi hi kyun ki?’
OH-MY-GOD! Does, he think I married and am still in the marriage because I am ‘impressed’ with him? Really?

Irrelevant but interesting episode:
A school teacher friend was in an extremely important session with her students appearing for their 10th board exams. She realized that there were five missed call from her husband. A trifle worried, she excused herself, went out to call back.
H – “I felt like going a little late to office”, on picking up her call.
W - “Is that why you called me”?
H- “Nah, I went to the market and got some keema which you can cook for dinner.”
W – “Is this the reason I have 5 missed calls?”
H – “Err, no..I called to tell you, I have kept the keema in the freezer”.

She was so exasperated, that apparently she was speechless for next 2 minutes. She was sounding exasperated even while narrating this high IQ conversation! Where are you supposed to keep keema that you brought home at 10.30 am which will be cooked only in the evening? In the living room sofa? Or, maybe the window sill where you have some potted plants? The bookshelf is not a bad idea either!!

Bye for now, while you think of better alternatives.J

Thursday, 25 August 2011

In Sickness and in Health:)


A close friend had once narrated an anecdote.
Once long back, her mom was diagnosed with some illness which required complete bed rest. The doctor and the elders in the family had advised her happy-go-lucky dad to take leave from work, stay at home for a couple of days and look after her. The well meaning advice backfired. Happy at getting leave from work out of the blue, Mr. Dad went ahead got himself crates of beer and called the friends who were available on a weekday to give him company. Besides creating ruckus with his male bonding act, he also managed to irritate aunty by waking her up from her medicine induced sleep every hour to ask “you are doing fine, right?” He would then vanish before she could muster a reply!
Her mom had finally bolted the bedroom door from inside after being woken up thrice and the next day she freaked at the doctor and her mother-in-law who promptly took back their earlier advice and uncle was requested to “not look after aunty” and get back to work with immediate effect the very next day!

We had all laughed hysterically on her dad’s twisted Florence Nightingale act! Little did I envision at that point, that once married I will land in similar territory.

What is it with men and tending to the sick? Why are they so completely at a loss? I am sure they mean well, just that while executing the kindness, somehow they land up doing exactly what is NOT required. Let me share my own very recent anecdote.

Last Friday, 8.00pm IST:

Being unable to walk for last 2 weeks because of swollen feet accompanied by excruciating pain, I finally decided to take medical help. The GP + the ortho (two different docs, if you please) asked me to get a series of tests done. One of them was to check RA (rheumatoid arthritis) factor. Being a Google addict; on reaching home post check up and tests, I promptly read up on RA and discovered that it is incurable and although medicines do regulate the pain, one basically lives with pain and side effects caused by the medication rest of his/ her life.
Overall, not present a pretty picture, at all.
I pondered about this and visualized myself as a stick/crutch dependent person, shunned by society, not able to work, in dire consequences etc (my imagination has a habit of running wild) and since there was nothing else to do except croak in pain, I decided to get depressed.
Suitably depressed, I rang the HUSBAND. On hearing my grief /panic stricken voice on phone, he for once did not say something irrelevant (Ex- I forgot to have my lunch today; I just saw two MIG’s flying over my tech park etc. Yes they are not co-related AT ALL, but then you don’t know my husband).
He actually came back home early to offer me his shoulders to cry on.  Pouring himself a large peg, he advised that till we actually find out what is wrong, it is no use getting worried. Logical and sensible advice, after all the evening had just begun.  My pain was manageable at that point.
The second drink, of course brought out the emotion. He claimed that no matter what happens to me, he will be there. He also assured full support on behalf of our fat four legged friend. Furry friend of course, looked the other way round and yawned, he did not seem very keen on supporting me in my illness.
Then as the third drink made its way, he mentioned that science is taking giant leaps, a possible cure will definitely find its way in the next couple of years. Which effectively meant that by then even he believed that I may be in for some trouble which totally contradicted his statement post drink No. 1.
By then the pain had increased manifold and I decided to have my dinner.
By the time the fourth drink was over, I had dozed off. I was tired and sick and wanted to sleep it off. I was suddenly shaken awake; THE Husband looking at me with a confused expression. Anyone who has had four large pegs in quick succession knows the expression I am referring to.
And I was informed, “I think I am little high, can you please serve me dinner?”

There you go! Who was ill? Who needed looking after? Who needed TLC? Who should have served whom dinner? These thought provoking questions never get a satisfactory answer; my friend….and life goes on.

PS:
At the Hospital though, we were confronted with a different side of the coin.
A couple was sitting with their back towards us waiting for the same doctor. The woman kept whining that her shopping time cannot be compromised on. The man replied “I have never stopped you from going out”. Woman cribbed, “But you promised you will accompany me”. Man sighed; deep, sad sigh. And then as they got up to leave, we realized that the guy in question had crepe bandage over his ankle. The HUSBAND stated gravely, “Man, having a wife who insists that you accompany her for a shopping spree while semi limping is a real sad situation.”
Was that the moment of truth/ acknowledgment that there are real pain-in-the-wrong-place kind of wives on this planet and that he is lucky NOT to be associated with one?
I am yet to know.

PPS: Oh by the way, in spite of four pegs he was up on time the next day to accompany me to the doctor.