opinions

Reasons why I am single – clarifications.

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This image I observed on Social Media is the reason for today’s post.The whole single – ready-to- mingle stuff. Why is there so much hype attached to it? If someone is single, people are always trying to set you up. People talk to you about :

-The security of a relationship 

– Your biological clock

– having  your ‘own’ family

– a home

– becoming responsible

And woe betide you if you are single and Indian and over 30! Book your package deal with a therapist because you are going to have serious confidence, self -esteem issues. Depression even. Apathy? That’s better than depression. Seriously.

But wait. Talk to people in a relationship (read marriage) be it arranged or self made – the list of complaints is not short either.

– I just don’t have the time for myself

– In laws, In laws, In laws

– What do you know about the pressures of raising kids today?

– I’ve been taken for granted.

– I don’t know who I am , really.

– My Hobbies? Interests? What? Are you joking? I have forgotten those long ago..

– Don’t tell my wife/ husband about my outing… Please!

– I have to buy a “responsible” family car not the snazzy one I’ve been saving up for

– Career of my choice? Can’t shift now. Too much depends on me.

– Aah.. those were the carefree days when I was single. 

Sounds familiar? Well, I don’t understand. If you are single , you want to be in a relationship. If you are in a relationship you want to be single again. Or do you just want to be in that in-between- courting stage? What gives? Let me address each issue in the image above first.

1. I annoy people : Yes. I annoy people by being bold and standing up to them. I have thoughts. And opinions. Try to make me understand . I will respect you for that.

Yes,yes... it works both ways
Yes,yes… it works both ways

2. I am never anyone’s first choice : You might also not be mine.  Wondering why  Ms. PYTs  Or Mr.Balloon bicep type seem to always find the right person, while you struggle? Funny, when you are strong…

I am hoping this will be the trend
I am hoping this will be the trend

3. I f*** shit up : So people avoid me, as they need someone to cover up for them, because THEY f*** shit up too.

Remove,remove,remove
Remove,remove,remove

4. I am just bad with relationships : People are used to others putting up with their idiosyncrasies, so when I tell it to them on their face, they feel they’ve received a slap. And I have received my share of slaps of this genre too. So, I am just as bad / or good at this as you are.

Sometimes this happens too
Sometimes this happens too

5. I am not liked : I have wallowed in this area for quite awhile. And I am not afraid to admit that. Everyone wants someone to love them and someone whom they can love, so where’s the question of like?- They wanna leapfrog that and go straight for the love part! And you are so brought up to be the person others like. Else you might be considered selfish. Well, I have just one bit of advice – Give as much as you TAKE!

Be free..
Be free..

6. I’m an ugly ass mother-f***er : Body stereotypes. The bane of our lives today. Who sets these standards? Blue eyes. Fair skin. Bronzed look. Long legs. Tiny waist. Short hair. Long hair. Curly hair. Curvy but not curvaceous. Swimsuit body. Be the natural you. Be physically and mentally strong. Respect the inborn strengths of your body. Ugly ass or not .. you will figure out.

Irrespective of gender.. this works
Irrespective of gender.. this works

7. I spend my whole life locked up in a dark room with food and a laptop :  I think food and laptop are better companions than 90% of the people on the earth.

Not so much about the dark room.

And the rest?- books are a better choice! I wanted to use a lot of swear words here. Lalochezia and all that? Wondering what it is? Go read a book!

Learn,absorb, apply
Learn,absorb, apply

Coming back to the whole discussion about being single or otherwise. I have just one thought.

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And then, for sure, it won’t be all paradise. Be prepared to work on it. Put effort. Shed some tears. Raise your voice. But if, at the end of the day – you feel safe in your head and thoughts and the opinions you want to voice. It is worth it.

Peace out!

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Joys of the Earthquake – from India…

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A short post after the huge event of the day. The huge earthquake at Aceh, Indonesia – made its presence felt all over the world. While the press and media will have some fodder to feed upon for the next week – I shudder to think of the physical, mental and emotional trauma that the affected people are going through at this time. My prayers and genuine thoughts for people whose lives have turned upside down in an instant. May their lives and mental strength bounce back to normal soon.

That being said – the choice of my title might be rather surprising for many, or even cynical. I am neither advocating it to be a welcome change of scenario from our otherwise monotonous existence nor  feigning superficial courage over an event that some term as ‘exciting’, unmindful of the actual destruction caused.

The tremors were felt in Madras at 2.14 pm. What the earthquake warning taught me were some lessons. As I heard many people with their versions of the experience it was quite obvious that the earthquake set things in perspective for many people. When the tremors were first felt – most people encountered :

Self -doubt – They thought they felt giddy, some thought their blood pressure had dropped, some attributed it to low blood sugar levels, some thought their lunch had gone bad, some spoke about bad eyesight as their computer monitors were going crazy, and some thought that another person was pushing them around.

Priority check – Despite everyone running after money, fame, work, politics, gossip – when faced with an event that nature throws at you a.k.a Earthquake / Tsunami, one aspect took precedence over all others – LIFE! People were frantic to save their own lives and check on the status of their loved ones too (which was a little difficult – thanks to congestion and mobile connectivity issues.) People wanted to flee to get to the safety of their families – Work, office, career all took a backseat as each person wanted to safeguard their children, parents, grandparents, pets. The usually uncrowded streets ( between 4-6 pm) , were choked with bumper to bumper traffic with each person trying to outdo the other in their efforts to reach home.

People over materials – Another refreshing point that the tremors uncovered was the lack of importance one gave for their expensive material possessions when actually confronted with a serious issue. When asked to evacuate immediately – most people ran to get out first, leaving behind wallets, expensive cell phones, and other valuable items. Money and material possessions – were actually forgotten for awhile. An instant bond was created as strangers were willing to share phones – so that one may cross check on the safety of family and friends, with others volunteering to post messages on Facebook / Twitter, and some willing to lend some emergency funds to get to a child’s school and pick them up.

These were the joys that the earthquake brought to me. That there is still hope. That there still is a friendly neighbour or colleague. That there is someone who would lend us a helping hand. How good it is to trust. To feel one with the society. And not having to play the self-defense game forever.It is heartening to note that some small joys are still not forgotten and that people still have not yet fully been sucked into the vortex of greed and apathy. I only wish it did not have to be an event of such magnitude to force us face our choices. Here’s to a new life and new thoughts…

To the joys of simplicity and new hopes...

The Flower Thief…

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If you think this blog is even remotely connected to Markus Zusak – you are wrong!

This blog is dedicated to the sole irritant of my usually extremely pleasant early morning me-time. He is the “Flower Thief” .

Every morning this “respectable” middle-aged man sets off on an early morning walk with many others in my street / neighbourhood.As the unsuspecting morning walkers give him a nod of familiarity this shrewd observer smiles, carries on a bit of a polite chit-chat, and continues his walk in his traditional shirt and veshti. Do not be fooled. For behind those ear-mufflers which protect you from the morning cold are sharp ears – that wait for your retreating foot steps. And behind those glasses (which I presumed were prescribed for myopia) lies razor sharp vision.

And once you are out of vision – this frail man springs into action. He waits a moment – sizes up the houses with gardens. And then the plants that branch out of the compound.  He then zeroes in on a couple of unlucky victims. Then he looks around. (Doesn’t spot me yet!)

And very slowly he takes out a plastic bag that seems to unfold into a rather huge “flower-container”. As I watch aghast – he takes out a long stick (convenient instrument) a la Tom Cruise (in any Mission Impossible :P) and hooks it around a slender branch, laden with flowers – and starts STEALING!

Once he moves from house to house – you can see the thief leaves his signature behind. Denuded plants. Where once you saw beautiful white flowers akin to the jasmine – all I see now is barren green leaves. No more blood -red shoe-flowers to contrast the leafy green background. Did you see the bright yellow flowers that catch your attention from afar? Not now! Silently the flower-thief goes about his work, removing all pretty sights that would otherwise be a visual treat when you return from your morning walk.

But what is interesting – is that the flower thief decided to make his trademark move yesterday in my house. As I was lost in my own thoughts in the early morning, ensconced from public eye in my balcony and enjoying the cool weather that Chennai suddenly seems to offer us – I was disturbed by violent movements in the plant in my house. As I watched again – the leaves moved more disturbingly, and the flower-laden plant suddenly seemed to bend in a really sharp arc towards the compound.

Shocked out of my reverie – I went to the gate, opened it noiselessly and saw the flower-thief. Now, enough of the silent treatment – I decided. “What are you doing?” – That was my opening sentence.  The man was jolted out of his intense concentration. He stared back at me – obviously thinking of a plausible answer/excuse (none of which I can assure you – would have effect in the current situation )

“Taking some flowers” – was his answer.

“But those are our flowers” – my retort

“I’m taking it for prayer” – his response.

(Can you not sense my contempt here? )

“But those are our flowers” -I repeat.

“It’s just for prayer”  – he mumbles

“But those are our flowers” – I say again.

(Deafening silence as he continues staring at me, wondering how can I not understand his point of view).

“Give them to me” – I say

He cannot believe what he heard just now. Give it back?

Did he hear it right?

Was I actually saying the words he was hearing?

Very reluctantly he said – “I have flowers from other places too!” Which translates to, dear people – “how do you expect me to separate my efforts that went into robbing just your house? I’ve put equal effort into robbing every house! “

I’m sorry to sound temperamental or impolite- but it took quite all my effort not to slap the person standing in front of me [looking like a person who works in a bank, who dines out with his family, who reads out stories to his grandchildren, and retires in the evening with crossword in the newspaper.] Maybe my cliched imagination is the reason I get so shocked or disturbed by the happenings around me.

For those of you who want to know how this episode ended – it ended with my family members deciding that social etiquette was more important than me confronting the thief. I was called inside – before I launched into one of my verbal tirades. My father gave the guy a stern warning. Man-to-man.

I guess it works – for the flowers in my house are spared, though I cannot say the same for the others in my street. I still see the man every morning -talking with the security guard of the opposite house (The thief and security in conversation!  – where do you get to see sights like that?) . I choose to ignore him. And he chooses to stare at me till I sense his wrath in the back of my head

But I’m smiling…

Flower thief, about you – I just do not care

For, when I’m back – my flowers are all still there! 🙂