Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have always strongly believe that, in this day of overpopulation and scarcity in India, there's no reason to have children. There really is no need to bring a new child into the world. Add to this the pain and trauma of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, the fact that there's enough crazy shit in my family to compete with most children put up for adoption, and the fact that I want five kids, and I simply don't see myself ever, you know, getting pregnant and giving birth.

This was a huge bone of contention with BBot. It seems to be a hue deal for most guys that I've met. Granted, women also say things like ohhh but don't you want to have your OWN baby, and be pregnant and feel that BOND, or, when you meet the *right* guy you'll want to have his babies, but men respond on this visceral level that seems immune to logic.

For example, there are women who are infertile, in a way that could possibly be cured with months of hormone treatment, but that treatment is a BITCH. She doesn't want to put herself and her body through that. But guys expect that she should. That's the amazing thing. There is a sense of entitlement to your partner incubating, birthing and feeding your baby,. whether she wants to or not. It's true that most women want to, which is fine, but some, like me, don't. Then what? A man can share all the caring for a baby (cept the breastfeeding, quite is quite traumatic), but he can't share the needing to throw up every second for months, or the peeing, and all the things that can go wrong. So where is the justice in demanding this?

Guys are so fixated on having their own genetic child - evolutionary imperative if you will - that once even told me he'd use a surrogate, but that of course violates the pint about not needing to bring more children into the world.

It helps that in my family, I have an adopted niece whose parents managed to have a son after they adopted her. She is the most captivating thing I have ever seen (barring her Ladyship of course), and her captivating. Clearly our genes aren't all that sparkly.

This is how I have felt for at least ten years, and heaven's the arguments I have had about it. People always say, have one adopt the second. It just won't work. One parent will favour one over the other, and while parents always do that, there will be a very real cause of pain here. Then, also, which first? Adopt or birth? Some people say that they can't imagine bonding with a child not their own; some day they can't imagine adopting a child and bonding with it without having gone through the whole pregnancy with it's attached misery - sort of like listen I survived that so I'm bloody well going to get past these first three months of madness!

The weird thing is that, lately, as her Ladyship grows and becomes more and more like me, or so Amma sez, I am seized by the curiosity - will my kid turn out like Scoo? Or will s/he be like her Ladyship? Will s/he be madly scientific like everyone in the family? Will s/he be artistic like Acrosticus and his brother? And so on. For the first time, I might actually be considering having my own child. Spooky.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lunch Wisdom

Today, as Favourite Colleague and I were avidly discussing the dearth of decent relationships, we came to this conclusion*:

Average people are bad at relationships and thus must have many to practise, so they can be good at the final one. We, on the other hand, are so good at them that we hafta wait around for the final one.And who do all these people use to practise on? Us of course!

*Please to be taking in spirit in which it is intended: humour.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Keeps me awake at night

Today, while watching The Proposal (oh hush, it's hilarious, and Ryan Reynolds is SO HOT), it struck me. I finally realised why I'm so scared of being alone.

Nona, my grandmother, was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. She's 87, and has had a long and happy life, besides being chronically asthmatic, so the drama was minimal. She had surgery this morning. She's fine.

But what if she wasn't? Today, the Dragon is here; who will be here tomorrow? Amma? What if Amma is sick? Who is going to help me be strong when my world comes crashing down, if that person is always a parent?

Thursday, June 09, 2011


The Bride (of course) has a post up on the whole same sex siblings vs both sex siblings, and I began to respond, only it became so long that you get a whole post!

I have only one sibling, my sister, known to y'all as Scoo. We have not had a supercalifragilistic happy happy joy joy relationship - quite the opposite in fact - but about five years ago we settled into a normal adult sibling relationship. She is, in case you haven't guessed, a girl, like me, hurr hurr. I also have a band of five cousins who are honorary siblings, three boys and two girls. Some are known to you: the Poo, the Snoog and Acrosticus.

Starting with the whole issue of being compared. Hell yeah we were compared! I remember being referred to as Scoo's sister all through school, and having teachers say to me, your sister comes first in class, why can't you? I was once incensed enough to reply: Because I'm not her! Got smacked for that too. My extended family would indulge me and not her, mainly because she was always quiet and reserved, quite to opposite of me. She is also a superachiever. No really. She had her PhD at 26 (about 3 months past actually), and from the  school that was number one for the programme she applied to. She was, as previously mentioned, always first in class. She has Head Girl. She went off to only the best college in the country for engineering and sciences. She had an obscene GPA. She only lost 20 points each in both the GRE and the SAT. She never quits anything.

I, on the other hand, am definitely not stupid. I did fine in school, if I wanted to. I remember I didn't want to write a Physics exam so I didn't answer any of the questions. The sports master, whom I had such a crush on, was invigilating and said, hey, come on, revise your paper, don't just sit there till time is up. So I revised, and rewrote the paper, and then got 100. I never had trouble with maths (okay, I'll admit, functions give me the screaming heebie jeebies), or any kind of science; I just never felt engaged enough. I was always hovering around fifth in class; I went to a mediocre college for a year and then dropped out to change to English and go to the country's top college for that. However, English is not a REAL subject in South India, as many kindly people told me, so I should just do a computer course and get married off. Look at my sister! Studying in the US! With full scholarship! Of course I also went on to do that eventually, but you know, some lame thing called Latin American Studies. They speak Latin in America? I thought it was only English.

My cousins are also rather overachievers. Good tambrams the lot of us. Acrosticus also went to the same college as Scoo, also with obscene marks; and got his PhD from India's top university. His brother also did some such madly achieving thing. The thing is, no one made that big a deal out of it in the family. It was never academics that differentiated people in our family, it was socializing, taking and making jokes, getting along with everyone around, and I'm really good at these things. Scoo, not being here much since 1996, is not. So people are different with us, and this made us hate each other for a while.

We never shared clothes, she's tiny next to me, and I don't mean only in terms of weight. We shared books though, and our birthday, and tried to outdo each other with plans. But we also shared those things (well not the birthday) with the Cousin Pack. Mind you, there's lots of my mum's cousins who are part of the pack, seeing as how young they are. We rarely confided in each other, or talked about insecurities - maybe because we felt we'd be exposing underbellies. Even now, there's an element of stiff upper lip old thing about our interactions. I wouldn't call her to cry. No, it's not because she wouldn't help me, but it would just be letting the side down. I'd call Acrosticus though, and he's a boy.

Being younger and far less driven, focussed and motivated, to my parents I am the problem child. I drive em nuts. I never do things unless I really want to or need to. I will not commit to anything and I quit too easily. So I am not spoiled because of her; I don't get relaxed attitudes because they rode out the worry on her; I have a much stricter setup than she does.

Which brings me to the whole what kinda siblings thing. Ideally, I'd have two of each, you know one to bond with of each sex, etc. Seriously though, I don't know if having an older brother would help any more or less than an older sister, and all other combinations. I also don't know if same sex leads to more bonding; it's more like there are more similarities, so more room for connection and friction. I do believe, however, that growing up with someone of the opposite sex around, you learn to be comfy around the opposite sex and treat them just like people. So boys can understand about menstrual cramps, and girls can understand about kicking in the nuts. But mostly, so kids get used to thinking of people as people, regardless of boy or girl ness.

P.S. I do want a boy and two girls though, and maybe one more of each. Hee. Girls so I can teach them to be strong and brave and take no shit from nobody, like Amma taught us, and boys so I can teach them to be strong and brave and treat women right ;)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Passionate about what?

That is such an overused and rather abused word. Passion. Find your passion. It's a passionate story. Pfft I say. It's the most overused (okay maybe second most after Harlequin, but no one takes Harlqeuin seriously, or at least enough people know that they shouldn't) when it comes tot hings like jobs.

For example, as the Bride said, have I always dreamed of coming to sit in an office and have to repeatedly consult dictionaries and usage manuals about the placement of zs and commas? Does it fill my heart with joy to think of the obnoxious authors who get to spew at me when they want, without the guarantee that someone senior will yell at them for it? (I'm lucky, my Commissioning Editor did, but it's very rare.) Can the need to correct the placement of every apostrophe, with intense consultation with three other people, be a calling? I don't think so. Editing is not very creative. It's not particularly challenging either, because, at the end oft he day, the author calls the shots, and his or her name is on the cover. I can suggest a better way to say something, but they can keep the shite. It pays nothing.

But I wouldn't say I'm unhappy in my job. It know what's expected of me. I know I'll be home and free of work at 530pm. I know I will get vacation when I want it. I know I will have many long and amicable conversations with colleagues on all sorts of stuff, not the least how annoying a particular person is. I also know that if something goes out with *gasp* an inconsistent style, no one will die. No great horrific thing will happen. It doesn't have a lot of room for failure; but it doesn't have a lot of room for success either. Which is fine. I took something I'm good at, and I found a niche where I have the space to work at my pace and indulge in all the other activities I want.

The tiny paycheque does hurt, I will give you that. Maybe I can't travel as much as I'd like, or buy the equipment I'd like, or even think of saving up to open a cafe someday, because I can't save. I'd still rather be here than at the last job, though the work was similar. Do I get excited about the Amitava Ghosh launch? Yes. Do I get livid about said obnoxious author? Yes. But is this my Passion??

The thing is, it's not simply about find your passion and life will be cookies and margaritas. First, what is the passion? Second, what if you never find one? Third, what if you find it but you suck at it? Fourth, what if its one of those things where its practically impossible to keep your head above water, like wildlife photography? Fifth, what if choosing the passion means giving up something else that's important, like having kids? Its never as simple as 'finding your passion'.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Ambling about teh internets today, I found this. It raised some interesting issues. It also was sad how she tries to very hard to ensure that she's condemning the dude, but that's another story.

Since I've been on this whole dating crusade, the idea of what constitutes fidelity has become a much talked about subject.I get a lot of shock from random strangers and people I know when I say that sex, to me, has nothing to do with fidelity. Sex is, let's be honest, pretty great, but often traumatic. It's a great weapon and an even better recreational activity. But fidelity and commitment are about emotional bonds, and sex need not be tied to emotional bonding at all. I know, for example, that I can have great sex with a person I absolutely know I have no possibility of an emotionally bond with, and mediocre sex with someone I do have a bond with. In fact, life usually gets messy when I have sex with someone I think I could potentially bond with emotionally!

What has always devastated me is someone betraying the emotional bond. Granted, I've only had the one boyfriend, but it's happened. It's happened with friends as well, and, if you cry no fair not the same, it's happened with boys I liked but wasn't dating. Again, not the best examples cos, well, not dating=no commitment, so where's the question of fidelity? So fine, I will spare you the stories, though if you've been here a while, you must have seen them. With BBot, at one time, when we were both new to this thing, and staggering under the weight of our respective life problems, I remember him telling me I couldn't help him feel better, only another girl could. That I think might have been the worst moment of our relationship for me (though it's all still too delicate to poke about and award that prize at the mo), and it took me ten days before I was even able to email him and say wtf??

I could understand if your SigOth didn't understand, or tried and failed to help; but to skip over SigOth completely and turn to someone else, when the problem concerned does not involve the SigOth; that is cheating. It is cheating because it tells me we are not partners, we don't turn to each other first, and then to others fro help, that we are not a team, we are not on the same side, and we don't have each others' backs. And frankly, to me, that's really what a relationship is about - not the sex. If you want to see how it feels to sleep with some girl, go for it. Use a condom, get a check-up, and, if it was really good, tell me about it.

I didn't always think like this, mind you. I remember, when I was dewy-eyed in college, earnestly telling The Dragon that your own definition of fidelity is not the point; you're getting something out of a relationship, which doesn't mean that you promptly cease to find anyone else attractive, but only that you don't act on it. I guess I still think like that, because, at the end of the day, every couple has to work out what it means to them. And, in a relationship, A's definition applies to B, and vice versa. So, dating someone who does believe in sexual fidelity, and doesn't believe in emotional fidelity, means that I would have to be sexually faithful, and he would have to be emotionally faithful.

I imagine it would make life difficult.

The other thing is, I just don't see the POINT of jealousy. It's not that I haven't been jealous, of course I have. But I know that stalking someone and clinging and weeping doesn't make it better. It's one of those things where the switch is inside your own head. If there is something you need from someone else there's very little I can do about it. If you're going to sleep with your ex, I can't stop you. If you're not going to sleep with your ex, my obsessing about it is only going to push you away. So either I can decide to be psycho or I can decide to let it be. I can only give you what I have to offer.

If that's not enough, then we should both find people who match better!