Sunday, July 25, 2010

Honour Killings... What a Shame!

Today morning as usual the news was on. My husband has the habit of putting on the news at full volume when he is getting ready to go to office. because of his habit, poor old newspaper-less me also remains updated about the current happenings of the world. (miss reading the newspaper though... especially the Delhi Times, such gossip it used to have!) So in the morning, while i was doing something or the other, i could hear the news in the background, but today amidst all the grains being destroyed by the rain, the floods in rajasthan, the killing of some woman by amit shah, and the sex scandals of sports world, there was a news snippet about hoshiarpur. i heard hoshiarpur and turned to listen. Hoshiarpur is a tiny town in punjab and i had been there a lot of times. Why? you might ask? i was organising a wedding there. One of my big bucks clients had a huge / humongous farmhouse in the town and his daughter was getting married there so had to shuttle a lot between delhi and hoshairpur. what i remember about hoshiarpur is that it was a tiny sleepy town which ended before it begun, area wise i mean. so i was wondering what could happen in that minuscule little town to make it on the national news. when i heard that something had happened i admit i was surprised, but when i heard what had happened there i was shocked and disgusted. honour killings (notice the plural)... that's what had happened. a father had killed his 20 year old daughter and a 20 year old guy had killed his own sister! why? because they had made the huge mistake of falling in love... idiots! didn't know that it was a crime to experience the most beautiful feeling in the world (Sarcasm... for those who didn't get it.)
First of all i don't understand the term honour killing? how can you preserve your honour by killing? what kind of honour is there in murdering someone? taking someones life can never be honourable or even a means to restoring honour... but who can explain it to those who have been taught since the time they were born to uphold family's name and aan, baan and shaan! who is to explain to these uneducated population of our beloved motherland that killing is not the answer. well, i am wrong... its not only the uneducated that are only responsible, the educated population is not far behind either. Recently, many such cases have come out into the open when couples have been murdered in the metropolitan because they had dared to fall in love outside of their community! remember the student from IIMC, who was allegedly killed by her mother (!!!!) as she was in love with a guy from another caste.
i just want to ask why is falling in love and wanting to marry someone who doesn't belong to your caste is such a big deal?! I am a punjabi and I am married to a Kayastha, we get along just fine. I mean yes, there are somethings that are different... he says bandhagobhi, i say bandhgobhi, he says chola, i say cholle... but there is nothing that cant be worked out?!
Okay, granted... parents know best. they have been around longer, they have life experiences that the kids don't have but can they take guarantee that a same caste / same community marriage would work out fine sans any problems? they cant... if a marriage or a relationship has to work, it depends upon the people who are in it rather than what caste they belong to.
i just wish that people would get over such petty things and let people decide for themselves what they want and who they want to be with. there are many bigger problems in our country that need some serious attention... love is the least of it. In fact, it might be the answer to many of them.  what do you think?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

what if...?

just some haphazard thoughts... decided to just jot them down... no real order, no rhyming scheme, nothing at all... you can see it as gibberish or something profound, you can see it as a verbal diahorrea or something meanigful... but for me, this comes straight from the heart and one day i will put some order to it... till then, here it is...

What If...?

what if i had decided not to change my path... i would still be walking on that beaten track, miserable and hopeless...

what if life had not brought us face to face... you would have vanished without a trace...

what if i had not chosen you over him... i would be standing all alone, because he was certainly not the one...

what if instead of yes, i would have said no... you would have gone never to return anymore...

what if everyone would not have been so supportive... Would we have gone ahead? i don't think so...

what if things had not worked out the way they did... would i be as happy as you make me? not at all...

what if the past was not what it is, but something entirely different... the present would not be the same too but a changed script...

what if life had not taken that sudden surprising turn, who knows what lessons we might have missed to learn...

What if everything had gone according to plan... how would you have known what hidden strengths you do have...

what if you always got what you wanted... you would have been deprived of all that you actually needed...

what if your every desire had come true... dreams and hopes and wishes would have lost meaning too...

what if you had not gone through all those twists and turns, what if life was as smooth as you wanted it to be,
what if there were no regrets, what if, what if, what if...

a lot of what ifs, but the answer is only one, it's true... IF the past was not the same, how could you...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fate, Destiny... Serendipity!


"Jinko jinko bhi milna hai likha, ishq milwayega;
dur dur se, dhund dhund ke paas le ayega;
kahin bhi ja ke chupo, ishq wahi ayega;
kitni bhi na na karo, utha ke le jayega... "

I've always loved this song from a very forgettable movie... i think the lyrics are so true. Now, dont get me wrong, i am not one of those mills and boons reading, raj-simran kind of romance seeking, gushing at red roses, soft toys and chocolate combo, pink wearing, lovesick puppy. but i am not a cynic either. i believe in love and all that jazz. another thing that i believe in is fate. i believe, in true yash raj style, that someone somewhere is made for everyone. and you may not hear bells, or she may not be wearing a board with your name on it but something does happen when you meet your other half...something that can not be explained in words but just experienced. And i also believe that fate plays a very big role in bringing that someone from somewhere in front of you but leaves it up to you to act on it.

i read in college that according to greek mythology (i love the greeks, especially their gods... they led such colourful lives and had countless children as a result of it!) anyway, coming back to mythology...humans, in the beginning, were a whole... a round, that is both male and female were together in an egg shaped structure. so one human had both male and female anatomy, 4 eyes, 2 noses, 4 ears, 2 lips, 4 arms, 4 legs etc etc... u get it right? they were pretty strong together. so they decided to take over heaven. the gods got scared and our dear dear zeus cut them into two equal pieces, one male and one female so that he can carry one with his many many affairs and keep on producing his many many heirs and heiresses. So, now according to this myth, both these halves keep looking for each other all through eternity for their other respective halves to complete themselves, to again be a whole. 

i kind of like this myth, it is so romantic if you overlook zeus' brutality... one man, one woman supposed to be together forever, seperated and then looking for each other to be one again! this is just a legend, a myth, whatever u like to call but i think it is true... we are looking for our other half, the right half and during that process we meet a lot of wrong ones but it is our destiny to find the right and we do... fate makes you meet them, brings you two closer and then leaves it to you, to either seize the opportunity or be lost without it. i am a very big believer in fate (i am writing it again if that is not clear by now!) and my belief has strengthened by so many incidents that have happened to me and to people around me. 

(NOTE: now i am going to give some examples and not take names again, but since i have learned from my past experience, i have two requests. One - pls dont jump to conclusions, you might read something that you may not like and you might think this is abt you but it may not be so. there are hundreds of people i know and talk to, it could be abt them, pls clarify first before making a fool of yourself on a public portal and ruining my blog space. Two. pls read number one again and follow it. i mean it. )
now if that is clear, example time...

I'll start by yours truly (me... for those of you who need everything spelt out) i met my husband (yeah i got married recently, thank you for all your wishes... you can send gifts and cash too, just drop in a mail, i'll send you my new address ;) ) so, as i was saying i met my brand new husband in udaipur. i was born in delhi, he was born in sindri (in jharkhand), i completed my education in delhi, he did his from managlore university. i had no idea about his existence till 22 years and i am pretty sure he didnt care abt mine either. and then one fine day i am sent to udaipur (or forced at gunpoint, not literally but it sure felt like that) on a work related assignment (i was a wedding planner and i had to go to devigarh to organize one wedding. it was a last minute decision and i was not very happy about it). as i mentioned... I absolutely DID NOT want to go. infact i did a lot of drama but nothing worked. i landed up in udaipur, at the hotel he (my husband ) was working. now, my husband also didnt want me to come. (me as in any wedding planner... he was handling the wedding since the beginning and didnt want any last minute intrusions, or in other words me) so i was at a place i didnt want to be, handling a wedding i didnt want to do, and meeting a person who didnt want me there! but even after all this... we met, we even became friends, and got married within 3 years of knowing each other. after we met, within 6 months of that, both if us left our respective organisations and moved someplace else. sometimes it feels like we were there only to meet each other. it is an example that fate is working someplace somewhere... 

then take this example of another friend... she went to a party where her best friend introduced my friend to her ex (the point of introduction was to see if the guy was compatible for a common friend they have) now my friend started talking to this ex and they liked each other and hooked up instead! now its been 7 months (i guess, dont kill me for getting it worng!) and they are one of the most balanced couple i know... totally complement each other, she loves to talk, he loves to listen ...fate!

another example of a couple who i met on my honeymoon (i went to mauritius by the way, lovely place, you should go there)... their parents arranged their match. the girl was in the UK, the guy was in india. they started talking and chatting. after some months when the girl came to india and they finally met they realized that they have met before at a distant cousins' wedding and had flirted with each other too, they wanted to meet again after the wedding but she had to go to UK... now they are married, love or arrange... your guess is as good as mine!... fate!

last example, another friend went to her best friend's wedding in another city... there she met the groom's best friend who was from anothery country altogether... they started talking, liked each other and now are getting married too! lovely couple and oh-so-much-in-love!... fate!

i have loads of other examples of people who met their other halves in such unexpected ways that make you believe that at that point of time everything was happening just to bring those two people together! people who have no idea about each other but they end up together through some agent, be it a person or a situation. i cant post the rest...privacy issues and all. but if you have any such story, do post them... would love to read them. and if you diagree, then it's even better... would love to hear from you too!

i believe in the saying, match made in heaven... you just have to find them on earth (with a little help from our friend, fate!) all those single people, keep your eyes open, you never know how fate decides to sneak up on you...

Added later, after a friend's suggestion - 
"kitni dur dur ho, un dono ke raaste... mil jate hai jo bane ek duje ke vaaste."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Julie & Julia: Me & ...

i just watched a movie, julie and julia... pretty inspiring i must say, maybe because i could relate to the protagonist. the movie is about this writer who can't finish anything. she started writing a novel but left it half way (pretty much like me but i dont have one, i have many), she is doing some clerical work which pays her peanuts (again... like yours truly, but that is also not true now, coz now i find myself again unemployed but this time for a good reason) the only true passion of her life is to cook... she loves cooking, which gives her an outlet to do something constructive through out the day. One day, after meeting her friends who are all successful in their respective fields, she is feeling particularly sad abt her life, then her husband urges her to start writing a blog as a stepping stone back into writing... now our protagonist, julie, is confused what should she write about... and decides to write about cooking. she picks up her favourite cookbook and starts preparing recipes and then write abt her experience of making them... soon her blog becomes a hit and so does she. well thats one part of the story, abt julie. then the parallel storyline of "and julia" is abt julia who is a cook whose recipes julie uses and writes abt. julia's story is abt how she was one of the few women cooks in 1940s and what she had to do to get her book published etc etc. the common point between both women were that they started doing something as a hobby which later turned into a full-fledged career.
so, as i was saying this story is very inspiring, for writers or rather people like me who need a gentle push every once in a while... and obviously i am more concerned abt julie, as i have already told you why... so this movie was a push to start updating my blog. Maybe one day, someone somewhere would read it and would want to ... anyway, wishful thinking. till that happens or pigs start to fly, i would concentrate on my writing abilities and be as punctual in providing posts as is humanly possible for a lazy person as me...

Now the next question is what should i write about. i cant write about cooking coz lets face it, i cook, minimalist at that, but it is not something i particularly enjoy... i rather enjoy what we get after all the cooking is done ;) so what should i write abt? what do i enjoy? writing! but what will i write abt writing? hmm... reading? i cant read a book in a day, it'll take weeks, maybe months. i can put this in between. what else? music, movies... no and no... these are fillers most likely. so what should it be? well, i think it would be abt life, the universe and everything... what's happening around me, to me etc etc... i hope you (if you are there that is ;)) enjoy it as much as i enjoy writing it :)

P.S. suggestions for posts are still welcome... post a comment or mail me. have a nice day!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Then and Now... Sundaywise!!

Sundays... that day of the week when you can get up late, no office, no work, just one whole day of pure unadulterated laziness. a day when God also rested after working the whole day on Mother Earth! i used to love sundays, they were a day of breaking the monotony of everyday, a chance to do something different, i used to have a special relaxation sunday schedule which i followed more often than not... getting up at noon, having a heavy brunch, reading the huge newspaper at leisure, asking ma to put oil in my hair, taking a long hot bath, having ma ke haath ke rajma chawal, going out with friends, shopping, movies, more food, some drinks, loads of gossip, coming home, time with family, worrying about sunday ending and monday looming ahead, watching television, more food, and then finally going to bed. ahh... those were the days... and then i grew up.
Now i cant wait for sundays to be over. You ask why? what could have changed? nothing much just a few tweaks here and there... now my sunday is something like this... getting up at 7, looking at the time and hurriedly sleeping again, waiting for the alarm to ring, 7:30, alarm rings, snoozing it, sleeping for five minutes worrying that they'll end too soon, 7:35, snoozing it again, and again, and again, finally 8, turning off the alarm, getting up from bed, making tea, waking up husband, sending him off to office (yes he works on sundays too :( ), cleaning the house, cursing the maid for her off, washing the dishes, cursing myself for allowing the maid to take an off, making breakfast and missing mom, having breakfast and missing husband, washing the dishes and cursing the (...you get it by now!), taking a bath, washing clothes, washing the bathroom, doing pooja, working on pending projects, writer's block, working again, warming yesterday's soup for lunch and missing mom, having soup and bread and missing rajma chawal, surfing the net, making tea, waiting for husband to come home, refusing to make dinner, going out, watching a movie, having NICE dinner, coming home, watching tv, going to sleep and readying for another week and thanking god for monday coz the maid would be here!

See, how your priorites change... earlier, i used to hate that sundays are ending and with monday the same routine would begin but now i cant thank god that sunday is ending so that the same routine would begin again... your perspective / maid changes everything!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

SHORT STORY...

Today i found a short story that i wrote for my college magazine... posting it here... so i'll not lose it again :)

My Son… Akash

I can never forget the day my son brought home the love of his life. I won’t deny it, I was a little surprised by his confession in the morning but nothing could have prepared me for the revelation of the night.

It was a Saturday, I remember I was getting ready to go out and Rajeev was reading the newspaper when the phone rang.

“Can you answer that, Rajeev?”

“Uh…huh…” he said vaguely.

I knew he wasn’t listening. Whenever he is reading the paper, it seems he is transported to an alternate universe. We have been married for 32 years but I still don’t understand his fascination with murders and robberies and rapes.

I tried once more, “Rajeev, the phone! I’m busy, please answer it.”

“Um…hmmm…”

I raised my hands exasperatedly and walked across the room to answer the phone.

“Hello!” I said rather roughly.

"Hey, Ma! Fighting with dad again, huh?”

“Akash!” I covered the mouthpiece of the receiver and yelled to my husband, “Rajeev, its Akash. Come.”

I turned my attention back to my son, “Akash! How are you? How was your trip? I thought you were supposed to come back tomorrow?” Then I realized something,

“Wait. Where are you? Why are you not at home? Are you all right? You are not in a hospital, right? Or worse in jail??” (Motherly love...You won’t understand)

“No Mom, I am not in jail… or in a hospital.”

“Thank God! Then why are you not at home? You are back right?”

“Yes ma! I am back. I just had to go to the office first, hand in some documents. I will come home for dinner.”

“Good! I really need to talk to you about something or rather someone.” I said mischievously.

“That doesn’t sound good,” I could sense some tension in his voice.

“No, it is good…all good. You remember Mrs. Gupta’s daughter Simi?”

“Uh…No, I don’t mom. Listen.”

“She was the one who…”

“MOM!!”

“What?” (My son never shouted at me. Something must be wrong)

“Mom, I have to tell you something.”

(He sounds pretty intense. What if he is dying?? No! No! I shouldn’t think like this.)

“Ma, I am in love.”

(Dear God! This is worse)

“Oh! Is it serious? I mean there is no chance you could meet Simi and…” (I had to try once)

“Mom, I am not going to marry Simi or any other girl.”

“Okay. I was just saying it.”

“I want you to meet the person who has made your son very happy.”

“Fine. Why don’t you bring her along tonight?”

“Uh…mom…uh…never mind. I’ll see you tonight. Bye.”

“At least tell me her name. Akash?”

But, he had already hung up. Now what will I tell Mrs. Gupta? How can he spoil my plans for his marriage? How could he fall in love without telling me? Then another thought came into my mind. What if this girlfriend turns out to be one of those women who train men and then turn them against their mothers? Those “Komolika” types of K-serials? No! No! I have faith in my son’s choice. He will choose a sensible, intelligent girl to be MY daughter-in-law and his wife.

That night I definitely met the person my son loved but the meeting was far from what I expected or could even imagine.

It was 7:30 in the evening when the bell rang.

“I’ll get it,” Rajeev said and as an afterthought added, “Remember that you love your son.” I nodded. It sounded a little odd but now, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense.

Rajeev opened the door to reveal my son and another man. There was no sign of any woman. (Maybe they broke up. My mind started working double its speed and I came up with thousand excuses to support my assumption)

“Hey mom,” Akash came and touched our feet, “This is Yash.”

“Nice to meet you Yash.”

“Same here.” Yash replied.

“Where is your girlfriend?” I asked.

Akash looked at Yash and then at Rajeev before looking at me. He took me by the shoulders and said, “You better sit down.”

“Why?”

“I don’t have a girlfriend.” (Great! This is what I wanted to hear the whole time.)

“I am in love with Yash.”

“What??!!”

I looked at my son with disbelief. Surely this is some kind of joke. He can’t be serious! But, one look at him and my worst fear came true. My son is gay. No, that can’t be true. He is an educated young man working at a reputed post. This can’t happen. I won’t let him ruin his life. I won’t let him ruin our life.

“Rajeev, did you hear what your son just said?”

“I did. I already know. He told me a month ago.”

“You knew?” I couldn’t believe my ears, “You knew and you still didn’t stop him.”

“Stop me?! From doing what, ma? Falling in love?” He said angrily.

“Auntie, I am sorry but…” Yash started to say something but I cut him off, “You! Stay out of it.” I went to my room and slammed the door.

“Mom! Don’t do this. Let me explain.”

“Akash. How could you do this to me? What will I tell everybody, that my son is in love with some guy? I’ll never be able to face anyone. What will I say when they ask me about your marriage? That you are… you are… abnormal!” I didn’t know what I was saying.

“Homosexual. The word is homosexual, mom.” My son replied angrily.

“You are not ashamed?”

“No mom. I am not ashamed of being in love, but I am hurt that you can’t understand my feelings. That you care more about this society then you do about me.” He said softly.

I could hear a murmur before the silence.

Complete silence. As I was sitting in the dark, I saw my Akash as a little boy playing around me. Life was much simpler then. He used to ask me before doing everything. “Ma, what should I wear to this party?” “Ma, should I go to his house?” “Should I go for this interview?” and now he took such a big decision about our life and didn’t even bother to tell me. As my anger cooled off a little, I came out. I saw Rajeev sitting on the couch with the paper.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked him. Surprisingly, he put the paper aside and said, “Because…”

“Because what, Rajeev?! If you would have told me, I could have done something,” I said.

“You couldn’t have done anything,” he replied.

“How can you remain so calm? Our son is ruining our life. All my plans, my dreams? What will we tell everyone?”

“Listen to yourself. Akash is not ruining your life or even his own. With whom he wants to spend his life is his own decision. And Yash is a very nice man,” he said.

“I don’t care how nice he is! He is my son’s boyfriend!! Don’t you see anything wrong with this picture?” I asked him.

“I did. When he told me, I couldn’t believe it too. But then I saw how happy Yash makes him.” He held my hand and added softly, “Being in love with a man doesn’t change him. He is still our son.”

My head was filled with the images of my son growing up.

“On the bright side, he’ll always love you more than any other girl.” Rajeev said in a lighter vein.

I smiled (not wanting to) and said, “Where did we go wrong?”

“We didn’t,” he replied.

“Rajeev, our son is a … I can’t even say it.”

“Our son is a homosexual.”

“What will we tell everyone?” I asked again.

“The truth.”

Following day, my son moved out and I couldn’t even stop him. Over the next month, I read extensively on homosexual relationships. I also joined a forum on the Internet of parents whose children were in the same sex relationships.

I came to know that many parents had disowned their children because of their sexual preference or many children leave their parents because of the latter’s attitude towards their partners. I missed my son and didn’t want to lose him. After some time, I went to see my son and his boyfriend Yash. Over a period of time, I got to know Yash better and realized that he was indeed a nice man. Soon people found out. At first it was difficult but later they stopped bothering. Now my son and son-in-law (yes, you read right) live in the UK. They are also planning to adopt a baby girl. But I won’t be able to meet my granddaughter anytime soon. I realized one other thing that my son was lucky to spend his life with a partner of his choice while many other are not that fortunate. They can’t even voice their sexual preferences because of societal pressures and outdated rules. As a result they have to suppress their natural sexual preference and get married according to their parents’ wishes. Three years back I was going to make the same mistake but I am glad my husband stopped me. It is true, I was waiting for a daughter-in-law but got a son-in-law instead, but no regrets. Now I am going to be a grandma soon, a modern day grandma.


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