Let girls be girls : The myth that is Gender Equality!

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One thought that was been implanted deep into my unconscious being from the time I was little was – I am in no way lesser than my male counterpart.

But somehow as I grew older I interpreted the same as ‘I am equal to my male counterpart.’

I would have lived through this fallacy all my life had it not been for Motherhood.

Duhhh!!! The fundamental difference between a man and woman is the latter’s ability to reproduce – Like we didn’t know about it!

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…Annnndd the television belongs to…

If your household has just 2 generations – that is – Yours and your toddler’s, then you are blessed in one way atleast – You may get the idiot box to yourself sometime during the day.

Being the second generation in a household of three generations (and sometimes four when am at my mom’s) has dangerous connotations to my state of sanity – in more ways than one.

 How much ever I try not to – I must admit that I do use electronics for babysitting my son when I need some time to clear the mess around at home.  Hence my 3 year old has over a period of time gotten used to various cartoons both on television and the internet. And guess what? There are cartoons he loathed initially but the familiarity while switching channels has broadened his horizon.

SO if Disney isn’t working he switches to Pogo – that gives the third generation in the household ample opportunities to exhaust his television hours during the day.

And Once upon a time there was a woman who looked down upon all women who were pinned to the never ending dramatic soap operas Indian television broadcasted. Yes – that was my MIL 3.5 years ago – till on a fateful day my grandmother (Damn her!!) introduced her to the world of soap operas.

I must admit that at 86 she still is quite skilful in influencing minds.

From then on 6 pm to 10 pm MIL is glued onto soap operas.

And when am not doing chores or sleeping or playing with Dhruv – The Idiot box is owned by Dhruv – on goes Chotta Bheem, Thomas Train, Mickey Mouse and so on.

I get frustrated and switch on my laptop – maybe I can see something on youtube. Nope.

The moment I switch on the laptop, the television gets switched off and on goes Peppa Pig – another cartoon Dhruv would die for.

And to think I used to nastily look down upon allll my little cousins while we were small for their endless fetish for cartoons – I think they secretly cursed me to be blessed with a cartoon loving son. Sigh.

I go to my mom’s place for some solace occasionally –  that is when I dump all my motherly responsibilities onto her and sit down to watch some television myself.

Enter the Villain- my grandmother. I lose my mind seeing the same episode 4 times a day because she sleeps through bits of it (and No she will not admit sleeping). Any normal person can see it once in 6 months and still weave up the story. But at 86 my grandma is neither normal nor kind enough to let the younger ones take over her only priced property – the television remote.

So the soap opera starts and grandma dozes off, Dhruv very quietly tip toes to her and skilfully takes the remote from her hands and hands it over to me – ‘Amma – This is non sense – don’t see – only crying happens in these serials. We’ll see Thomas – Happy Amma???’

Of Course I am as happy as happy can be!!

‘I have too much work Mommy!’

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Somewhere between the second birthday and third – there was a divine intervention in my child’s world.

Until then, my son was oblivious of worldly matters – unaware of terms like – busy and stress and work overload – But some night – I dont know which one – God came into his dream and I assume said the following – ‘How dare you sleep thus Dhruv?!? You have so much work to do – You need to follow your father’s footsteps and assume that the whole world is your responsibility.’

There my world came crashing down.

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The Art of Procrastination!

It is amazing how my 2.5 year old has mastered the art of procrastination.

Every single morning he would wake up anytime between 5 am to 5.45 am. Wow that is an early riser you would think. Yes. But he also makes sure the entire neighbourhood wakes up with him.

So we tried hard to get him into the habit of brushing his teeth straight out of the bed. SO after a bit of cuddling we would break the news to him.

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Me:        Dhruv lets brush your teeth.
D:           No
Me:        See mom and dad have all brushed their teeth. Ha Haa (close up style fresh breath of air)
D:           Mine is also Ha haaaa (urghhh fire out of dragon’s mouth!)
Me:        Ewww bad breath. Which is why you need to brush your teeth!’
D:           Noooo
Me:        Yesssss

I drag him out of the bed into the bathroom.

Me         Yayyy. Lets brush!!

Dhruv looks up at me wondering why someone would get excited about scrubbing his mouth.

I proceed to take the brush to his mouth when he says thoughtfully: ‘Ma I can’t see the mirror here. I need to see myself like you do when you brush your teeth.’ – Excuse 1

Damn. We proceed to some place with a full length mirror so he can admire himself.

He checks himself out and exclaims ‘Ahhh my tummy is hurting – I need to lie down.’ – Excuse 2

It is been 15 minutes and I am beginning to lose it. I am at the verge of explosion when he calmly says: ‘I don’t like you brushing my teeth. I want dad.’ – Excuse 3

Then there was:

Excuse 4 – ‘The Toothpaste is bitter’

Excuse 5 – ‘I want to brush in the living room’

Excuse 6 – ‘I want to watch a video and brush my teeth’

Excuse 7 – ‘I want my grandma to brush my teeth’

After freaking 25 minutes when all of us have successfully tried all peaceful ways to clean his teeth, We finally give up proceed. Sabarish holds him tight – his hands and feet tight enough so he can’t wriggle out. I hold his mouth – open it wide like it were a sewer and scrub.

In 2 minutes it is all done.

Sabarish and I – give each other a high five on successfully completing our mission – with both our brains crying out on the effort we’d have to put on get this tiny devil at bay!

Dhruv yells and cries and is deeply hurt that all his efforts have gone vain. But I can see the determination in his eyes. His tiny brains are already busy plotting the plan for tomorrow. God save us!

The ceremonial blunder..!!

This whole thing about India being multicultural puts in so much pressure on a normal human bring in totally worthless situations.

SO I get invited for a baby naming ceremony. Nice!

And the million dollar question of what to wear for the function comes up.

I kept procrastinating but when I did give it a thought, I was haunted by the situation. Here is a glimpse of what went through my head:

  1. Which state of India does the family belong?
    Because all 29 states and the 7 union territories will have different ways of doing the same function.
  2. Which religion would the function represent?
    Again the many different religions will have different ways of doing the same thing. To add to the confusion all the different caste/ sub castes within a religion will do it differently
  3. Is the tradition really going to be traditional or contemporary?
    Like the million possibilities of geographical location and religious orientation wasn’t enough people who are in the city choose to do it differently from people in the village. Why? Because the city dweller is of course ore sophisticated.

In cases of inter-state/ inter-religious functions, it gets all the more messy. Both parties would want it to go their way and as a compromise there would be a little of this and a little of that.

Why?? Why can’t something be absolute?!

So, after a lot of introspection I finally decide to play safe. I decide on a Kanchivaram sari and some gold ornaments (just so that people know which part of India I come from!).

I mean kanchivaram saree is for all occasions traditional – isn’t it?!

Sabarish sees me and is dumb struck. Awww my beauty – mesmerizes him. He doesn’t utter a word. He isn’t any good with compliments anyways – I think to myself.

But I have to ask the trickiest question a husband can be asked – ‘Listen, how do I look?’

‘Umm. Don’t you think it’s a little too much?? I think you can tone down – just a bit’.

Wrong answer. I narrow my eyes and gaze at him so hard that he feared for his life.

He quickly corrected himself ‘You look wonderful darling!’ Hmm. Better.

My little Dhruv looks up at me in sheer wonder – like he is seeing an elephant in a temple procession!

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Oh my baby! You will soon realize the pomp and show in any Indian function – I think to myself.

We drive down to the venue. The drive was pretty silent. I was busy adjusting my flowers and jewellery.

We finally reach. We step out, the guards greet us. We walk into the venue, my head held high.

And then in a fraction of second I wanted to run. Run for my dignity.

There I was standing amidst a crowd of less than 50 people all dressed in cocktail.

WOW!! I, in my bright red Kanchivaram was obviously the focus of attention.

I immediately turn around to Sabarish with fire spitting from my eyes.
My eyes say: ‘How could you do this to me?’
His eyes say:  ‘I didn’t do anything.’
I: ‘Of course you did. Couldn’t you tell me what this damn party was about?’
He: ‘Well! I tried but you..’
I: ‘Oh yea?! Really??’
My nose was turning red out of fury.

The verdict was made: ‘Hubby dear will be on the couch for days or maybe weeks to come.’

The rest of the evening I tried hard – real hard – to convince people that I had another south Indian wedding to attend and hence the costume.

Atleast now I know what the elephant at the temple fest would feel!!

Confessions of An Erstwhile Superwoman

So I was born thinking I could do just about anything I really wanted to and the fact that I really wanted not too many things made life much easier for me. So being ‘normal’ was more than enough for me.

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I had no super natural wishes as a kid. I never really wanted to grow wings and fly.

When I was a round blob at the age of 10 – I never really thought it was necessary to be otherwise. I was more than happy being a nerd because c’mon who doesn’t want to be a nerd?!

Through teens also I must admit that I had a very simple wish – just continue being a nerd – no more challenges. So you would think I had explored all aspects of being the nerd like the spelling bee and quizzes and debates and elocutions. Nah. Only the curriculum please. No more no less. That popular girl in school who manages to look like a super model and manages to dance sing and play tennis along with acing her studies? Who wanted to be her! Not me.

So you see I was pretty complacent all through my life. No challenges No risks. Happy that God gave me all the ‘essentials’ to be happy and healthy. There would be many people who seemed to be everything and do everything but I was happy in my small world. Let them stretch themselves and conquer the universe.

Evidently throughout most part of my life I had very limited aspirations and responsibilities which needed no super natural powers.

And then it happened. It happened so gradually that I didn’t even realise. It grew on me till I could no longer ignore it. I was showing symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as ‘Super woman syndrome’

Until recently I managed to juggle between all the roles that nature has bestowed upon me pretty well. Umm let’s see in no particular order:

  1. Some bit of house work
  2. Some bit of chores
  3. Some bit of office
  4. Some bit of my Hammock and swing business
  5. Some bit of blogging
  6. Some bit of exercise
  7. And a huge bit of momming.

Well that’s a lot of bits – but I did manage. Wuuu Huu – Super woman I was!!

It was something I least aspired to be but I became out of sheer circumstances (as is the case for most of us).

All was smooth till God looked down and said ‘Hmm now you seem very comfortable missy. I think I’ll shake you up a bit.’

So my support system (read Mom In Law) at home unfortunately decided to support me less from now on which resulted in me deciding to work from home.

BANG! My whole world just came crashing down on me.

Are the meals made?  Barely

Is the child dressed and sent to school? Barely

Is the house and hubby taken care of? Ignore the question

Is the child fed and happy? Really? Can children be happy?

Are the blogs done? Not in a month

The business did you say? Oh thank god for hubby dear

Office work? Hmmm. The fruit of compulsion.

In this sorry state the erstwhile super woman in me decides to dump me and fly out of my body and transforms into a shooting star.

I am now a normal being who is left haunted by the ghost of the superwoman with a pile of this that and everything to finish.

One look at the to-do list and I am quick to prioritise the essentials – the rest can wait – eternally. Essential being just ummm food?? So blogging, work, housekeeping and everything else can wait.

I shall now be the Queen of Procrastination till I figure out another support system (no, not really another MIL) which will alleviate me to the super woman I was!

Till then I go back to my sweet slumber..

Sleep and the Sleepless!!

The Internet says all ‘successful’ people wake up in the morning with a strong undying urge that drives them through their day.

Apparently, the internet is never wrong.


MY SIDE OF THE STORY

I wake up every morning with a strong undying urge too – the urge to go back to sleep.

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I love it, I need it and I crave for it. If I am not doing it I am actively thinking about it.

I have had people tell me how they were awake all night for whatever reason – work, party et al. I don’t remember a time when I got excited about missing on a night’s sleep.

No. I am not really one of those lazy bums who won’t drag their ass out of the bed for anything in the world.

I am not really that lazy woman. I love to do some work – forcefully do my chores (or I won’t find space to sleep!). I also barely maintain some sanity in the house and within myself amidst all the juggling a modern mom has to do.

BUT I do all of it so that my mind feels content enough to sing a sweet lullaby and put me to sleep right away at night. No tossing and turning – no gazing at the sky – no counting till 100.

I believe there are just a handful of things that are really valuable. FOOD and a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP being the top 2 in my list.

SO the aim is to work just about enough to fill my tummy and sleep peacefully at night.

SO I go to bed and zzzzzzzzz………

Hence my success – In being me (Yea! I am a superstar!!)


HUBBY’S SIDE OF THE STORY

I wake up every morning I am eternally awake to fulfil my strong undying urge. The urge to work all the time.

I work for..umm..umm…because I love to work. I think it is a part of me. I love it, I need it and I crave for it. If I am not actively doing work, I am thinking of it all the time.

I have had people tell me they work for money. They get excited about bunking work. I don’t remember a time when I got excited about bunking work. C’mon how old are you guys – 13?? (Even at 13 I used to love to study though)

No. Do not mistake me for a nerd.

I am not. I love to have fun – workout – movies – trips – but all so that I feel rejuvenated to work again.

I believe that there is only one thing that is valuable in life – the ability to always think and execute new ways to work.

I eat and sleep so that I am energized enough to work again – Yeah the work pays to fill the families tummy, pay the bills, insurance and some future investment

SO I go to bed – toss turn – check the time – go to the loo twice – come back to bed – toss turn – check the time – peep over my wife who sleeps like a log and the cycle continues

Phew! Its morning and I can work again!!!

That would lead to some ‘success’ – wouldn’t it?!


At least one person happily pays the price for a whole family going to sleep peacefully and only to listen to the ‘Philosophy and eternal truth of life’ from me!

Fancy aint it and I can’t believe women complain of having workaholic husbands!!