Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life experiment

After I decided to break up with BBot, for complicated reasons, of course, I decided I need to be proactive about this whole wanting to get married and have kids thing. I called in the big guns, the village tom toms as it were - my parents. Only they are clueless at this whole arranged/introduced marriage thing, so we decided it was time for me to get ona a matrimonial website. Yes, really.

Now I did this once before, while in the US, and it was quite the fail. For one thing, not a single person I would conceivably date ever noticed me or responded to me. I really wonder what people are thinking when they try to date someone who is so wildly different from them, and it is patently obvious. I agree that I'm a sob about expression and articulation, reading, and a certain level of awareness of the world. But even making allowances for that, there were people who barely spoke English, had no education and worked as technicians on oil rigs in Muscat who would approach me. How could they possibly think that this would work? So I went off it.

Now, three years, or more, later, I'm back on it. This time, Amma, Appa and Scoo were all consulted, with Appa giving me inputs on my profile and whatnot, and the whole operation has begun. I figured I could try and write about it. Then I realized that a blog quite so public might not be the best idea. Granted, not many people read it but it can be found quite easily. So those posts are going up on a password protected blog, email me if you’d like to read.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I've noticed, over the past few months, that I'm just getting bitchier. It's really not cool. I've always been sassy, and happy about it; you know, one of those people who tease other people and give smartass responses to things. But somewhere along the way I've become just plain mean. It' like i crossed over from protecting myself by not caring what other people say, to not caring what I say about to other people!

I was trying to figure out why, or where it comes from. BBot says it started in July, and Dragon agrees. The current theory is that my stress level ramped up insanely because I didn't get my scholarship, and a lot was riding on it for me. I was also hating living at home again, feeling like I lost my independence, and that my life was, again, heading nowhere fast.

Granted, these are all excellent reasons to be stressed and upset, and I deeply appreciate all the people who put up with me all this time, but, first, even if it were okay to do that, the stress is gone now, so wtf; and, second, it is not okay to do that!

It's a very strange phenomenon of human nature that we all tend to behave the worst with the people we love the most. Granted, the logic of them understanding best does hold true, but sometimes I think that very acceptance is a very good reason to refrain from treating people we love like punching bags. It's a fine line between venting and taking someone for granted. Often the recipients of the nastiness know what it is and refrain from mentioning it, but then slowly the mean person stops noticing when they're doing it.

Anyway, since I had to go and wash a ridiculous number of dishes right now, my train of thought has left me far behind, so I shall leave it here. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friends and Lovers*

So yesterday, a discussion came up on the subject of men who abandon their friends after marriage. (Coinkydink, the Bride has a post up on the subject too.) I have seen this happen many times, where a guy has these friends he is close to, and then he meets a girl and poof it's like the friends don't exist. And I'm not talking about teenagers here. There's two reasons this happens, I think. First, the girl doesn't let him, either directly or indirectly, or, alternatively, the guy doesn't need any other kind of companionship once he finds the girl.

I might not go all the way like the people at the Bride's party and say that it's all the girl's fault, but I can see how there are women who can control their men like that. I personally know one case where the guy was not allowed to see his friends anymore cos the girl didn't like them, and heaven knows how many cases of the guy not bothering to see his friends anymore cos he has all-in-one in the girl. I also know one case of the girl dropping all her friends when she got married, though she did come back eventually.

When I've called people on this kind of dumping, they often deny that there has been a dumping at all, and sometimes plead new life, new things to deal with etc. With the kind of adjustment required from an Indian woman in a marriage, I can understand why the woman might lose touch, though I still don't think it's ok. With guys, however, I've also seen that they generally don't keep in touch. I've had many guy friends, who've known each other for years, only keep in touch because I am in touch with both of them and can pass messages along.

Which makes me wonder if it is something to do with the innate styles of interaction men and women have, Though I guess it could be the innate styles of interaction I and my friends have. I find that, even though generally people are less inclined to keep in touch because they can keep tabs from a distance in today's world, there are some kinds of people who do respond, even if only to say ACK IM FLOODED WITH WORK! That, however, is talking about people not in the same city, though sometimes in the same city.

Sometimes people marry** people who don't necessarily fit in with their friends. I know someone who has all these super intellectual type friends and well, it would be hard for someone to be comfy around them unless they came from a similar background, partly because the friends don't make an effort to make newcomers feel comfortable. My own friends can be terrifying to any guy I date, simply cos we've been so close for so long, heaven knows what intimate details they know, and well they're fiercely protective of me, and therefore highly suspicious of all guys. Sometimes one side or the other won't make the effort. Sometimes people are nervous of letting a partner see the side of them that is filthy-mouthed and endlessly ribbed.

I have a friend who is quite the partymaniac. He can be horrendously inappropriate, and so we are all equally inappropriate around him. He suddenly had an arranged marriage, to all our shock, and then he started to bring his wife out with us. She's very nice, but rather quiet, and not the drinking partying kind like us. But he brought her every single time, he stuck to her side like glue, and made sure we all tried really hard to make her comfortable. Eventually she told him it was great but please could she just spend her weeknights at home, so now he comes out without her. But that's a pretty awesome situation right there. Both of them made an effort and then they found a mutually acceptable solution.

What happens though, when you don't like or can't like your partner's friends? I guess you could do separate things, but then you run the very real danger of eventually leading separate lives. I somehow think that whatever the situation, it really pays off if you make an effort. I gained some fantastic friends by working really hard to hang out with BBot's friends, and somehow, these days he time with my friends back home, while I languish in Delhi! Win-win.

But, back to the original issue, does one person make the other stop seeing their friends? I think it happens a lot. Sometimes because the women is demanding, sometimes because the man is demanding and doesn't want her to have a life without him (often a guy will go out without his wife, but the reverse can't happen), sometimes because people get caught up in their new lives,  sometimes because they are trying really hard to fit in with their partner's lives, and sometimes because they just can't be bothered to make an effort now that they have to make an effort in their relationship. Whatever the cause, I think it's unfair to blame the partner, male or female, because at the end of the day it is the person who decided they will cut their friends. It only takes 5 minutes to send a long email these days.

*with due apologies to D.H. Lawrence, though, now I come to think of it, maybe he owes the universe an apology =D
** let us assume when I say marry it's shot for marry/date/engage in serious relationship with

Edit: I just realised that, when I was in college, we had a gang of two girls, the Dragon and me, and two guys, OOF and Chica. Chica and I were friends, OOF and Chica were friends, and the Dragon and OOF were friends, and we all came together because the two boys were friends. And here we stand, 9 years later, with the two girls friends (living together) ad the two boys not having talked in years. Though, to be fair, there was a nasty breakup in there.

Monday, March 21, 2011


This is just not a good month for the world, no?

Off the cuff, this is what is annoying me about the terrible situation in Libya:
  1. USAmericans worrying not about successfully saving the innocent civilians of Libya, who are already being sodomized by their ruler, but about how USAmerican forces are not "taking the lead."
  2. Again I ask, for the eleven millionth time, who died and made 'the West' god? When has an intervention resulted in anything good for anyone?
  3. When are we going to disband that most pointless of organizations, the United Nations? Keep the UNICEF etc, but please, stop pretending that they care about the general welfare and security of countries that are not Western Europe or the USA.
  4. Dithering! Why did they dither so much? Why not help when help was useful? Like when the rebels had control of most of the important bits of the country? Gaddafi has the oil now.
  5. The inability of all these people to decide on one single way to spell the man's name!!!!!! (this one most I think.)

Holi weekend

This weekend I went to the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, outside Gurgaon. It was such a beautiful place I wish I had discovered it before winter died! I acquired 561 photos, a tan and two new friends. Not bad, eh?

What struck me a lot is that we saw so many trees shedding their leaves - it was like the fall colours, just no red or orange, only yellow. At one point we could see a whole copse, and it was patches of yellow and green, much like upstate New York. This morning, on the way to work, I saw that again - the trees carpeting the ground with yellow leaves. Seeing as how yesterday was Holi (India's worst festival, especially in the north), which signals the beginning of summer (late signal this year my friends!), I was wondering if, since our deciduous trees need to shed leaves in the summer to survive, aestivate if you will, if this was out Fall. (Sorry, long sentence.)

Which made me wonder if this is why Holi is the festival of colour: cos with the advent of summer the trees change colour. All the legends explain various things, often unrelated to what one actually DOES on Holi, but none seem to talk about the colour thing. So I went to our dear ol friend wikipedia (cos one useless person is holing my Devdutt PAtnaik hostage), and found a story of a Bengali festival of celebrating Krishna and love and covering idols and devotees with Abir, or red coloured powder.

This whole where does Holi come from thing is very interesting. Everyone has a different story. The Hindustan Times Brunch weekend magazine had three; one of which was about an ogress who, like many baddies in India mythology, prayed to the god who gave her invincibility as a boon. She then proceeded to terrorize the people of the local village.* However, she was immune to verbal abuse apparently, so one day the village boys got drunk and started screaming abuse at her and ran her out of town with drums. Apparently this is why boys are supposed to get drunk and rowdy on Holi. The most believable theory if you ask me.

Then there's the one about Kamadeva, who is supposed to awaken Shiva from penance to impregnate Parvati so she can give birth to Kartikeya who can kill some asura. (Yes, really. Let's not go there shall we?). Course Shiva is all pissed off because he'd rather meditate in ashes than you know winkawonka his gorgeous wife, so he open his third eye (what about that symbolism? another post eh), and burns Kamadeva to death. Then Parvati is all pleeeease resuscitate him and so he does, as a spirit, which makes love all permeable and so he then "consummates" with Parvati and the world is saved. Isn't it amazing how the survival of the universe depends on one man's orgasm? God I'm going to get trolls for this post... Anyway, I simply cannot see how this is related in any way to Holi as it is celebrated - the bonfires, the colours, the getting stoned.

The third one is Holika, sister of Hiranyakashap, who, of course, prayed to the gods and was granted the boon of no one being able to kill him, and so he turns into psychotic tyrant and demands to be worshipped as god. His son, however, is all no, I'm sticking with Vishnu. Several attempts to kill him fail, so finally he's stuck in a bonfire. Enter Holika. Now the way I've heard it told is that she was overwhelmed by Prahalada, the son, and wants to save him, so she tells her brother that she will go into the fire and hold him down, because she, also having prayed to the gods, ahem, had the boon of not burning in fire. Then, once inside the fire, she prays to Visnhu and transfers the boon to Prahalda, and then died. Thus the fire. Yesterday I found out that there are many versions, most of which make her evil chickie! She has a shawl that keeps her safe from burning but Vishnu becomes a wind and blows it onto Prahalada, saving him. She didn't know the fine print said the power could only protect her if she was alone. She didn't read the fine print that said it would protect her only if she didn't harm someone, etc.

Right, I don't think I have a point anymore, except maybe I don't like Holi and none of the legends explain why it is so annoying? Though why a legend should make me okay with it I don't know!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mutual breakups

Is there such a thing? I just wonder, can there ever be a breakup where you both think it has to happen, and you can actually stay friends? When neither of you is dissolving in tears on a regular basis?

Recent experience seems to indicate not. I guess, just as the love in any relationship cannot be equal, the non love can't be either. One person wants to break up. One doesn't want to break up.

So what then?

Having been the recipient of a lot of breakups, and I don't mean just romantic relationships, I always said I'd never be on the other side of the fence. And yet, here I stand. Ready to call it quits, with my heart twisting in pain as I see what that does to him, patently aware that we stand at different moments in time. Oldest Friend says it's like that, the breakuper has closure. Or is closer to it at any rate.

Whatever the reason, I am very confused. I don't see what to do here.

On the one hand I don't want to give up, I want to try harder, what if all it needs is a little more time? I don't want to be the person who breaks this thing that brought us so much joy. But somehow the joy is gone, and not just for me. Though in all fairness maybe his joy is gone cos mine is. Why did it happen? Did I make it happen by overanalysing everything and putting too much pressure on it? Did he make it happen by shutting me out? Was it just bad timing in the universe that my full lau and his didn't overlap enough?

The scariest question: What if I never ever meet someone like him again? Someone who just gets me? Like no boy unrelated to me ever has? How many intelligent articulate funny loving boys are there who are willing to put up with persnickety, crotchety, obnoxious, loud, fat me?

And what do I do when all we have these days is the occasional spike of guarded happy in an endless ocean of tense and unhappy? I don't want to put this on me. But I also don't think it's going to get any better. I think if it doesn't happen now then he'll really hate me and I'll really hate him, and we could never be friends again. And I can't lose that hope. Even if I know it's in vain.


You know, when I think about my childhood, when Amma was off travelling in the wilds of India, and the only way we used to keep in touch was letters, I am amazed at how easy it is to stay in touch today.

This was a time before cellphones, heck it was before STD booths! We wrote her letters at various PWD rest houses, that she'd go and pick up once in a while. The inlands she wrote us would turn up to great excitement. I remember writing to my cousin, and scribbling in tiny letters on every spare millimetre of the inland. I remember receiving letters as recently as 2000, when I was in college. I have a big box of them somewhere, all the letters my friends wrote to me when they left for college. IT took time and effort to communicate, and we did it.

Today, however, its as easy as blinking, and we don't! Maybe it's because today you can keep general tabs on everyone and everything, while back then if you wanted to know how someone was you had to call them or write to them and hope they would reply. Now, you just scroll through the status updates on your facebook feed!

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and I'm not sitting here and bemoaning the loss of letter-writing - though I do miss it.

I think it's amazing that I can watch my niece scoot around the floor and climb onto things, and wave at her and see her wave back, and listen to her babbling madly. I love that I can see a new photo of her every week, in fabulous quality. But sometimes I think that it makes it worse. Sometimes, when I look at that wicked grin and that soft hair, I want to reach out and touch it. It kinds brings home to me that my niece is so far away, and I don't know when I'll get to hold her in my arms, or be bitten by her, or sniff the top of her head like a crack addict.

All this shrinking sometimes only emphasizes the size of the original distance.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ok desperation

For some reason I always feel silly about what I think I want to post. I toyed with returning to woke-up-brushed-teeth-had-a-poo type writing, but then the Bride started this, and, seeing as how she's my inspiration (cure corny song), I decided to hop on the wagon.

But now she tells me, as I'm writing, that it's a monetizing thing. Sigh.

Ok help me, both of you. Leave me questions and I'll try and answer?