Have often felt that we feel grief as very private and happiness as public. Whenever I go back to my blog I realize that most of the postings were at times that I was at my happiest. And at that time, I was so okay with talking about my (mostly positive) feelings. But when the times turned hard, and when I felt low, I retreated to myself. Strangely my feelings turned private, and I was unwilling to share.
I have been asking myself why this is so?Why is it that when I am unhappy, I feel vulnerable? I've been thinking about it awhile and here is what I figured out-
To me, openly acknowledging that I am unhappy or that I am struggling is the equivalent to inviting pity, the "awww"s that I can do without. The well meaning advice "have you tried ...."; or, the "Be
strong, this too shall pass..." So many people I know are quick to offer hope, whether it is justified or not. (Its almost as if they know not how else to help). And when you bring yourself to hope and things dont get better the disappointment hits you hard. So the first instinct is perhaps, self preservation --> dont talk at all.
The other aspect is perhaps in viewing the state of unhappiness as failure. A failure to be happy? Or a failure to be in control of events that impacted my state of happiness!
No wonder there is the feeling of being vulnerable. And why would I (or anyone else) want to publicize my failure or vulnerability?
Lastly, I think unhappiness causes you to introspect. When one is happy, does one take the time to think why he/she is happy. At the time, we are so giddy with happiness, just reveling in that state; that we dont pause to think. But, when the things arent as hunky-dory, is that we stop, we startle and we think. The first question I feel that comes up is a Why?
Either its "Why Me? / What Did I Do To Deserve This?" or its "What Could I Have Done To Avoid This Situation?" While we go through the process of resolving this question (or its variant) in our minds, we end up retreating into ourselves.
Reasoning sounds coherent? Dont know if you agree or not. I am very curious to know what your answers are; so do take a moment to put that down for me...
The small and big things I need to achieve this year. In no particular order. My goal was to write 25; but I ran out of things to do. So if you have ideas, plis to tell !!
I cant stop myself from putting items of this list into 3 categories - to organize my life better; retain stuff that's important to me; and, ways in which to challenge myself. So here goes - 1. revive my blog. perhaps rename it. MusingsinKL makes no sense when I am sitting in Bombay. Yes, Vinnie, I can see you nodding your head and thinking-I said so, and she didnt listen !! So help me figure out a new name for the blog.
PS: Revival means -one blog post every fortnight sustained for at least 4 months? Acceptable?
2. Get my bank accounts and all my paperwork into order. Sigh...this one will be tough. Daddy !!!
3. Move towards writing the book. I already know I want it to be a kids book -for kids aged 4-7 years. Find a illustration artist who I can gel with. I know none yet.
4.Take Arjun to Disneyland to bring in his first double-digit birthday
5. Go out on atleast ONE date a month with the lord-and-master. Go out on a nice family lunch once a month without snarling at kids / husband or questioning my own sanity.
6. Attend at least one wedding. In the 12 years since I've been married, i've only attended one wedding - Kim's. Single people, listen up. I want a chance to dress up and enjoy a wedding, so hurry up, will you? (And before you ask, no, I didnt enjoy mine. Does anyone?)
7. See as many new places as possible without getting sacked (or worse, Lord & Master getting sacked). Options include: Go to Africa.Egypt? or Kenya? Go back to KL for at least a long weekend. Go to Bhutan/ Coorg with Vinaya: as promised long long ago. Go to the Dead Sea: For the CEO who's dying to go there.
Related: Be the wife that accompanies the husband on a business trip...never done it!
8. Start driving. No, Musings, manual transmission + Indian roads cant get the better of you. Stop being scared.
9. Scream lesser on the kids! Sigh...
10. Learn something new, something that intimidates me- dancing? photography? or something else thats more exciting? what? hmmm...need to think this through.
11. Find more peace with life in India. Be less critical. Right now, India still gets to me and makes me question why I came back and whether I should continue living here.
12. Resist the temptation to buy a Kindle. i already have too many devices.Convince the Lord & Master to change his phone to a smart phone. No, he doesn't have too many devices. I've been at it for 2 years (or more?) and have had zero success. The man just doesnt listen!
13. Host more parties. Somehow, after KL our partying has gone down substantially. Perhaps because not too many like-minded friends where I live or the busy life in Bombay.
14. Take better care of my body - bring down my weight to 45 (edit: now its a more realistic goal- 48 kg) and maintain it, be more regular with my vitamins, get the toenail infection treated, get rid of the cracked heels, and try for a flatter and tauter tummy.
15. Leave room to find and copy a goal from someone else. As of now, I've scrolled through all the people putting up HNY messages, but I found nothing interesting that I'd want to copy.
Staying at home
Going to work
Going for a movie
Going for an ice cream
Going out alone
Or with girlfriends
Or with men - father, uncle, brother, husband, boyfriend or just friends
...is not safe.
Being from the classes
Being from the masses,
...is no defence.
In a cab
In a bus
Or on a train.
In the North
Or the South
Or the East.
In a dress
or a skirt
In a saree
In a Salwar Kameez.
Nothing matters. No it doesn't.
Because women still get violated.
Raped, Violated and Killed.
Raped by boys, men and grandpas
Scarred by acids
Maimed by iron rods
Broken into small pieces
either in body or mind & soul.
Used like a pawn
In the name of power
Or to teach someone a lesson.
A woman is not safe. Never safe in this country.
Is she to exist like this?
Is this my country?
Shame, Shame and more shame!
I’ve been meaning to write about him for a very long while; partly to openly acknowledge the difference he’s made to my life and partly as a way to count my own blessings at (what I think) is a difficult phase in my life.
Daddy, the one single thing that repeatedly stands out in my life; which I’ve gotten fron you is opportunity. Never even once in my life did you make me feel that as a girl I was inferior or different from both the Bhaiyas. You have consistently looked at me as a person and not as a girl. You paid attention to my capabilities; and the thought of limiting me in what I wanted to do, perhaps never came to you… or may be, if it did, you dealt with it and didn’t let it show. How many of my friends were able to leave home to work in a factory? None. Most studied, and then were politely told that they could work, as long as they found a job that was at home…
The conversation that stands out most in my mind is one we had a few days before I left home. You asked me if my job in a factory was something I really really wanted. And when I said yes, you let me go to make my own life, my own mistakes, and learn.
You’ve always been so proud of me, having more faith in me than I had. And time & again, I seem to surprise myself, but never you. And I wonder why is it so? How is it that you’ve been able to see something in me that I cant see myself.
And yet, I see no greater critic of me than you. You push me, and you prod me, and we fight; but then somehow it just makes me analyse myself and try to do better. And every step along the way, the thought that keeps me going is whether what I’m doing will make me stand tall and proud.
The other thing I must thank you for is the utter disregard for superstition; and the utmot regard for work ethic. No one in our family has ever been superstitious… and isnt that a great thing. As I grew up and interacted with different people, I learned to understand how much superstitions were a part of their lives. But us? Well, we never worried about the black cat, or about buying metal or oil on Saturdays, or about 13 or about 3 or it being a unluck day or week or month, about the million other things people worry about. All we knew was that if work was to be done, it was to be done…and today and now were as “good” a day or time as we would ever get.
And then there is acceptance. You've been able to accept deviations from me that are very much in conflict with your own inner value system - bad language, unwillingness to go to the mandir; or go out and meet people; or introducing my kids to meat (sacrilegious!!). You've let your disapproval show (very openly too !) but you've let me be me. A person who has her own opinions, her own choices and her own life. Has it been because of how rebellious I've always been and it was too tedious to fight me? I dont know, but i'm happy that you let me be myself.
Everyone tells me I look like you, I walk like you and I certainly talk like you. I like to think I inherited my need to travel from you. Quite a bit of who I am is shaped by your influence (and of course mummy’s too, but that is an ode for another day). There is many a day that I wish I was more like you. You’ve constantly inspired me to be a better person and a better parent; and there is no greater gift than that. Continue your place in my life and my heart; and be my father in every single birth that I have.
** I did this post a good 6 months ago on my facebook. For some reason, I haven't shifted it to the blog. Better late then never...so here it is**
Play driver take the kids to baseball Gab with other mums there Crib about the kids About how we're struggling About how they misbehave Make plans Plans that will probably never come true Plans for dancing lessons Plans for a holiday together
Come back and head for the hairdresser Get something done to your hair Frantically hope it will make you look better Better, smarter, hotter, sexier Then realize probably nothing can make you look hotter or sexier, so settle for neater Lose your mind sitting there through all those chemicals in your hair Smile and pretend you're loving every minute Know that the reality is that you'll pay to run away Read the magazines over and over again The make up tricks The hot colors of the season the "easy as pie" recipes Come home armored with some goodies Because you are oh-so-sure that this time they will not be left in a corner, forgotten That this time, you'll use them all The eye cream to get rid of the dark circles The face cream to hydrate the skin The conditioner that will make you hair look as if it was ten years younger The dash of wax to give your hair that extra edge...
Come home, feeling good Feeling wonderful and beautiful Have your son open the door and say What on earth did you do Ma I don't like this I liked the old one better You smile and pat his head and say It's okay Actually you think What does this 7 year old know about hair styles So what if he's clear about what looks nice on his mother You're convinced his mother DOES look nice
Then you go to the mall To buy the little one some shoes And yourself a really nice perfume The big one wants to play And not worry about the shoes After all HE doesn't need them So there are tears and tantrums And the parents thundering and threatening You con the kids and buy the shoes Then your perfume Madam what would you like? A hint of spice? Or white flowers with blah blue and blah Never realizing that madam has no idea She's expecting her nose to guide. Much ado about everything Things are bought Hey hold on! There's a 50 ringgit voucher free Catch? You have to spend it immediately. Take 2 rounds of the mall Coz you don't want to buy anything that will make you shell out more than 20 bucks Aargh You snap at the husband And at the world Your feet are hurting and you wanna go home You suddenly realize that you're no longer in the category of "shoppers never stop" You're older You're tired-er ( is there a word like that?) You think You fume And then you just blame the husband and the kids After all isnt everything husband's fault? Dont his genes in your children not cause you trouble everyday When it's time to go to school Or to eat the food Or when it's time to eat the veggies Or behave? All these bad genes are from husband So of course it's your husband's fault. For what? You ask! Well, I've forgotten but whatever it was It's the husband's fault
The day ends with you sitting on the couch Watching some rubbish on tv Patting a kid to sleep You crib There's nothing to watch on tv Not a book to read Yes there are plenty of books on the bookshelf But there's nothing really to read What a day you say Lemme just go to bed The kids are there in their own bed Sleeping Like angels that they aren't You get into bed Cuddle with them then one of them kicks you And you run back to your own bed The husband is there You go and cry on his shoulder a while He hugs you and cuddles He doesn't scream at you for being a crazy bitch all evening He knows it's all his fault anyway You cuddle up Thank your lucky stars for this wonderful guy Even though his genes aren't all that great And you fall asleep Hopefully ready to face another day