July 12, 2011

Go on, judge me

So the scene was something like this:
Me and my 6 year old were in the grocery store, in the dairy aisle to be precise, in the yogurt section to be very precise and were having a discussion on which yogurt to buy. I was looking for certain brand and the little one was asking me to buy whatever was available. It was a Sunday night, around 6 pm. Another family   , a young couple with a little one, about 2 or little older , was "trying" to just go through the ordeal.   Their little one was not happy sitting in the cart and none of them was ready to pick her up. We all know how it is sometimes. The crying sound was full on in the background but we were least bothered. Its a little baby you know, either they make you smile or they shriek! So back to us. My 6 year old was telling me to just buy whatever is there and stop looking for that certain brand and I was going on about how I like the taste and texture better of that certain brand.  An elderly woman comes up to me and asks "Well who is the parent here?" Though I wanted to say Well what do you know lady, I can totally use being a child right now. I would love to just throw a tantrum, its been a while. I want a certain yogurt and I won't settle for anything else. Wouldn't that have been fun!! But all I did say was "Ummm, I guess that would be me!!" And she says "Oh no, I am talking about them, the ones with the crying baby. Who in their right mind, on a Sunday night at dinner time, would bring a little one to the grocery store. My mom never did that, I never did that. And then people like these wonder why they have such restless kids. Why couldn't one of them stay home with the baby. I just don't understand. "
Wow, really? No, I mean really?
I don't know why but this reminded me of a certain facebook status by a friend few months back that read
 "Dear Mother-in-law,
                     Don't teach me how to handle my children.. I am living with one of yours and he needs a lot of improvement...!"
Ouch that must hurt!!
What I really wanted to say was "Precisely Madam, you are being so judgemental because you don't understand. Maybe you have forgotten how is it being a parent, how you sometimes as a couple just want to be together, crying baby in the tow or not! How everyone has situations only they know about, how its just so easy to feel all righteous and pass remarks on young parents and be very smug about it." But all I did say was "...............", that's right, I just drew a blank and ignored her, part of the reason was my 6 year old was rambling about how we should just get what is available and not make a fuss about that certain brand. I tell ya, so many times this parenting thing just totally backfires and hits where it hurts the most.  I was waiting for the store guy to go and check for me if they have some in stock in the back room and my daughter was going on and on about how my being so particular about a thing is making us waste time! The frigid temps in the dairy isle weren't helping either. And to top it off, the wise elderly woman was following me like a hawker on the street. Damn all I am asking for is my yogurt!!

March 23, 2011

Marriage : Obligatory or Voluntary?

IHM , my friend, you just woke me up from my deep blog slumber! Here’s what I have to say to your question...Is marriage an over rated institution???
        I would nod with an emphatic yes to that question. It is presented as a win win situation though...so let's see what a girl wins in the equation.
     In India, girls tend to lose more than they gain by being married. Right when the ceremonies begin, it is an unspoken truth that no matter what the boy's side does and asks for, the girl's side has to comply. The start of the relationship happens at an unequal footing. nahi beta, wo ladkey wale hain 
Once the newlywed girl reaches her in-laws home, the only words that she can use are "Haan ji" (which would loosely translate to "as you say' in this situation), utter anything else and she can be the talk of the town for being such a badtameez (manner less and arrogant). She should know that girls, especially when they become bahus, don't have a right to have an opinion, much less express it!! 
                                         So there goes your basic freedom of speech. 
The daughter in law will be told what can she wear and what colors can it be. She has to wear bindi, has to wear bangles, cannot wear jeans, and can’t even think of skirts. Up until now, she has been dressing up in crap and by being married, she has got an army of designers, Lucky her! that includes her MIL, FIL and basically everyone with an in-law suffix. They all know what will work. And she has to comply, otherwise, you got it right, she is arrogant. 
                    And there goes the basic freedom of dressing up.
Though she is the one who is new in a family, the onus of keeping everyone happy rests on her and she needs to remember in laws are super easy to offend. Wake up when you want to, someone gets offended. Talk to your mom on the phone, someone gets offended. Don't cook and offend the whole family!!
Sky can fall if she expresses the urge to see her side of the family. If she needs to go out with friends, permission needs be sought from in laws. And the in laws are very nice if they say yes, plus she is considered very lucky. 
                          Hence goes a basic freedom to living your life.
Where is the guy? Did he change his wake up time just because he got married? Did he change the way he dresses? Did he change his social behavior? Did he forgo seeing his parents on a certain festival because he has to be with the girl's parents?
                     A girl is raised with one single goal and that is to get married and stay married. Learn to cook, not because it’s a good skill to have to be able to feed yourself but to get married. The ultimate goal of a girl's life is expected to be to please others and aspire for their approval. All in all its lose lose situation for girls. If they chose to not to get married (as if they can!) the society always looks at them in demeaning ways. If she does get married (as if there is a choice) society has all the tools to rob her of basic freedoms. And lo and behold, if she dares to speak up and gets out of a bad marriage and gets a divorce, she is looked down upon as the one who was on the wrong side. She should have adjusted, she should have just used her inner strength to over look the all the problems and be in that relationship for the sake of others.
     People say marriage isn't between two individuals but between two families, I would tweak this statement with one word and say that "A wedding is between the families but marriage is between two individuals" Wedding is a ceremony where all can have fun but a marriage is a relationship, a life that a man and a woman lead afterwards. It takes a lot of effort to make any marriage work but this work needs to take place between the husband and wife. Like any relationship, a marriage needs two individuals who look at each other as companions, I love how this quotes puts things in perspective “Marriage is when a man and woman become as one; the trouble starts when they try to decide which one" If anyone, girl or boy, is expected to just lose their own self to make a marriage work, its totally not worth it. How can a person be not themselves and be expected to be happy and furthermore raise happy kids? 

If getting married wasn't such a big deal, girls would have a better chance at life. Female infanticide wouldn't be there because no parent would be worried about the burden of dowry, life would not be a gamble for their daughters, there daughter's happiness would not depend on some other family. If getting married wasn't the ultimate goal for girls, parents would not see money spent on their education as waste, because who knows if her future family would allow her to work, also they wouldn't be worried about saving every penny for her dowry. They will be able to use that same money for better things like their own retirement, her education. Parents would have the freedom of raising their girls with a normal childhood, with the goal of shaping up a strong individual and not a "perfect daughter in law" or "some one's wife"   Domestic violence would be tackled much easily if the girl knows that in order to appear normal she doesn't need to stay married. Undue advantage is taken just because of this known fact that she can't raise a voice because society expects her to stay married and appear happy.
Institution is a noun and as someone rightly said  marriage is a verb. It isn't something you get, it's something you do. It's the way you live your life everyday with your partner. But if you insist it being an institution then, I say, as with any other institution, admission should be optional and not required. Everyone should get married if they want and not because they are expected to.

October 26, 2010

Happy Karvachauth

We were greeted this morning by our daughter with this artwork on our kitchen wall!!
Artist: Saumya
Description as given by the artist: Moon is visible from our dining room window. Daddy is standing with a platter of puas (we eat them at moon rise to break our fast).  Mama is smiling, looking pretty in a Saree and Saumya is all ready seated to have dinner. Happy Karvachauth!

October 18, 2010

Want To Help?

Our 5 year old was carrying a big heavy puzzle box to put away and the box broke while scattering all the pieces on the floor.
Saumya: Oh Oh!
Me: What happened?
Saumya: It all fell down.
I jumped down on the floor and started putting the pieces back in the box. To which she said
"If you want to help me, just leave the pieces on the floor. I know how to put them in the box"
And I tip toed back to where I was.

August 19, 2010

The Storyteller

Every night, Saumya, our 5 year old tries to find ways to keep awake for just few more minutes. That is the time when she would ask questions that would need long answers. She knows her parents love to satisfy her curiosity, so it works pretty well in her favor. I only end up realizing her tactic in the middle of my answers :-)
After the story time tonight, she offered to tell me a story but "with no book, mama, it will be my own story", the parent in me wanted to say no to maintain discipline while the curious  parent in me was so eager to listen. Obviously the curiosity won over discipline like every other night!! 

So here goes a story made by her in "own" words.

The Cow and The Crow
Once there was a crow and a cow.
The crow was sitting on a tree branch and was saying "Cow Cow!! Cow Cow!!"
So the cow got up from the grass and walked over to the tree where this crow was sitting and asked , "Yes, what is it? Why did you call me?"
Crow was surprised and said , " Well I didn't call you!!"
Cow looked upset and said , "You were just yelling Cow Cow, weren't you?"
Crow said with a smile, "That's the way I talk you silly!!"
And the crow laughed and while saying cow cow he flew away from the tree branch and the cow just stood there wondering.
The End.

July 02, 2010

My Sins Against Gender Stereotypes

My blog guru Indian Home Maker has started this fun fun tag which has created a storm on the blog world with everyone tagging each other with it! I have been tagged by the guru herself  as well as SmithaThe tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve blogging friends or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years.
Though I love color blue and really no matter how much you love a color you don't want to wear the same thing for 12 years!! So here we go with my sins......

  1. I have been told by many 'traditional' people "bilkul ladkon wala utsaah hai" (she has the zeal and excitement of a boy) 
  2. I love driving
  3. I would rather read than gossip.
  4. I do not like the parties where men and women just want to sit in  separate areas. My idea of party is not gossip and recipe sharing. 
  5. I can troubleshoot my appliances, computers and phones on my own.
  6. I really enjoy and look forward to having beer and wine. (ghor paap!!)
  7. I am the appointed bug killer at home and I feel good about it!
  8. I do not like chocolates.
  9. I do not like stories about princesses.
  10. I enjoy turning around furniture all over the house. Many a times, husband comes home to find the whole setup changed. 
  11. I have a much better sense of direction than many men I know.
  12. being docile isn't my cup of tea.
  13. Do not like to watch soaps on TV, my favorite channel is National Geographic and Discovery.
  14. I am the first one to get ready in our family.
  15. I enjoy reading instructions and assembling things.
  16. Doing pujas is not my thing at all, I would do anything to avoid them.
It seems I got so late picking up the tag because everyone around seems to have been tagged already. 
I tag

June 16, 2010

If You Cook ...........

If you cook Aloo Gobhi  for dinner,
                           the family will probably want Paranthas to go with it
If you give them Paranthas,
                          they might ask for Boondi Raita with it,
If you give them Boondi Raita,
                         you will have too many bowls, along with the pan, plates and spoons, to put in the dishwasher.
If you put all the dishes in the dishwasher,
                         you will have to clean the sink and the counter and then unload that dishwasher.
If you unload the dishwasher,
                        you will have empty dishes.
Along with those empty dishes, people who ate that Aloo Gobhi with Paranthas and Boondi Raita,
                        will be back for more Subzi Roti.
And chances are if you give them more food,
                        they will ask for more things to go with it.
If you give them more things to eat
                          There will be more dirty bowls and plates,
If there are more dirty dishes,
                           It will lead you to the dishwasher again.
              So I decided not to cook and let these people eat cereal for dinner.

Inspired by children's book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie