Monthly Archives: October 2016

Daily Medley: 31-Oct-2016

Monday morning, 11.30 AM, I am writing my medley for the day instead of living.  This is the inertia that comes after a festival weekend.  The kid’s off to school and there are documents on my back burner that need fairly urgent attending to.  Plus a bunch of personal stuff to take care of, including a visit to the parlour for a much needed pedicure – the drop in temperature, associated with the dry weather, which is unusual for this season, brings with it, heel cracks, and no matter how much care I give it at home, it needs periodic anointment with holy goo by a professional.

The Diwali sweet-gorging compounded by the hormonal see-saw, makes me “feel fat” – the kurtha I bought recently to displace the old, worn out, faded, tearing one, which my family claimed made me look like a beggar, is a little smaller than my usual size, which is not helping the “feel fat” illusion (illusion?).  I am seriously thinking of going on a diet.  Nothing fancy with names such as Paleo and Atkins, but a bit on the calorie counting side.   I don’t take diets too well – I get very crabby when I am hungry, and diets leave me hungry all the time, which, my family swears, is psychosomatic.  They also assert that my need to sleep eight hours every day is psychosomatic.  Perhaps they are right, but is there a cure for psychosomatic maladies?

When my hormones go out of whack, my dreams get scary.  Last night, among other dreams was one of a relative dying, and I, not knowing what else to do, putting him in a coffin and attempting to bury him in my dining room.  Macabre. The superstition in this side of the world is that if you dream of someone dying, the person would be blessed with extra years of life.  I hope that is true. That and other dreams, which included one of my school classmates I used to be terrified of, getting married, left me groggier than usual when I awoke.

The North East Monsoon seems rather constipated.  While the temperature has fallen considerably (and by that, I mean we are not roasted like we were a couple of weeks back, but merely scrambled), and there were a few showers over the past nights, it is no where like the monsoon rains, the worst of which flooded our city last year.  I love monsoon in my city – it is messy, no doubt, and  creepy crawlies are flooded out of their subterranean abodes, but the weather is lovely, and the sound of lashing rains is strangely comforting.

On the philosophical side: My head is full of thoughts all the time.  I know it is not possible to live without thinking, and a wise man once told me that there are two types of thinking – functional thinking and reactive thinking – the former is ok, the latter not so much.  The more I think about it (would that be functional?), the more I realise that my reactive thinking is closely linked to my functional thinking – for example, thinking about what to cook, is functional, but that is almost always associated with “what the eff” kind of reactive thinking.  I need to delink one from the other before I go completely beserk.

Dang.  Half the day is gone.

 

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Food and whatnot

Every now and then, on a Sunday, I get into a nondescript state-of-being wherein I proclaim enough-is-enough and decide to plan my week ahead in order to bring a semblance of order into it.  By plan, I mean meal plan.  On such days, I sit with my laptop on my lap and a scrapbook and pen next to me, to jot down potential dishes I could make for the week, and the ingredients they would need so that my fridge can be stocked and my plans well laid out so that I don’t have to wake up on a weekday morning,  stare into the fridge with bleary eyes and snap at unsuspecting family members that my entire life is spent wondering what to cook.

As expected with any kind of internet browsing, one click leads to another and soon I have sixteen tabs open on my browser, my mouth salivating at the delectable photos of food, the scrap book bereft of entries and guilt rising at how people gush over their passion for cooking, while here I am, hating the process more and more with my every tab browsed. “…stirring, chopping, cutting, smelling and tasting is what gives me pleasure” says one blogger and reading it makes my stomach ache with what could be jealousy, but more likely hunger.

I notice that food bloggers (at least the Indian ones) don’t bother about punctuation in their essays and that bothers the hell out of me – the passion for cooking could as well spill over to proper punctuation, I think uncharitably.  And then I realise that the blogger could pay me back likewise with “someone who is so passionate about punctuation, could as well show a modicum of interest in cooking”.  And in being less of a judgemental, pseudo-anglophilic, arrogant prick. Touché, my dear.  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

So, I close all tabs, publish this blog post, go to my kitchen to stare at my messy and completely unstacked refrigerator and snap at unsuspecting family members that my life revolves around meal planning.

Another Sunday at the LG household.  Be glad you are not part of it.

The D-Day

I don’t, as a rule, enjoy festivals.  The preparation for the festival is alright – yesterday, even as I slaved over the stove for four hours straight, making the goodies that, as Carol pointed out, look like life forms crawling around your yard, but melting in your mouth before settling in your hips, there was a purpose.  Today, there is a big void – ok, Diwali is over.  Now what?  I ask the same question after every occasion – deadline is over, now what? The blog post is written, now what?  This is usually accompanied by a sinking feeling which, depending on the time of the month, could lead to nausea.

Part of the reason for the discomfort is the dissonance between beliefs and habits.  With my gradual evolution into an agnostic of sorts, these ritualistic festivals annoy the heck out of me.  Yet, having been used to the celebrations for four decades of my life and the customs themselves being reflective of a rather old and thriving culture, I can’t let go either.  Thus, when I am doing it, I am wondering if I am being a colossal hypocrite, while if I choose not to, I feel like the insensitive breaker of a chain that has been built over aeons.  And then that annoying voice says “chains are to bond” and another says “the chains are ornamental”.  Like Leonard tells Sheldon “It must be hell in your head” – It is.

Browsing through my contact list on my phone to wish for Diwali, I find that I have a total of 14 people to wish, and my phone wishing took all of 14 minutes.  My significant other often teases me that I am a social butterfly because I am in almost constant communication with someone all the time – by email, by WhatsApp or texting, and rarely, by phone – but I just realised that I was constantly in touch with only these 14 people. I don’t know where I am going with this analysis,  I hadn’t thought it through.  But there must be a point somewhere.  If you find it, let me know.

 

 

Riddle me this

“Amma, I was sitting in class with my knees pulled up against the desk.  My legs were not spread out, I was just resting my knees (together) on the desk because my lower back was cramping.  My teacher comes up to me and says ‘we are in a boy-girl school, don’t sit like that’.  If she thinks boys will ogle at me if I sit like this (although I don’t know why they should: I wouldn’t look at a boy in my class if he sits with his entire legs on the desk), shouldn’t she be chiding the boys for ogling rather than me for sitting?”

 

Can any one answer my 12-year old’s question ?  I can’t because I don’t know the answers to that or the following other questions she has had in the recent past:

  1. Why can’t I wear shorts to play?  You let me wear them until last year?
  2. Why must I be penalised because men can’t control themselves from looking at my legs?
  3. Why can’t girls have a foot ball team in school?
  4. Why must girls only play kho kho or shuttlecock ?
  5. Why must girls wear salwar kameez uniform with a waistcoat when boys can wear comfortable pant and shirt?
  6. Why are boys not taught about menstruation in school?  Shouldn’t they know as well?  At least they’d understand why I was sitting with my knees against the desk.
  7. Why must I wear a waistcoat?  So what if the shape of my breasts show through the kurtha?  Aren’t breasts a natural part of a woman’s anatomy?  Do boys have to wear a hip-coat to hide the shape of their penis?

I have a few more questions (e.g. why must I not stand on the balcony because a random guy whistled at me?), but mine have waited 30 years, they can wait longer.  She is just starting out her life as a woman.  Can someone please answer her?  I can’t.

 

Deepavali pains

It seems that anybody with an ounce of righteous indignation is bemoaning the effects of fireworks on the air, water and soil, and the pain it causes to life forms such as birds and animals that hide under sofas.  While I agree with all of this, I am saddened that people don’t seem to consider the pain it causes to other human beings.  Yeah, we are a sucky lifeform, but being one, I believe that our compassion could extend to our own form, however undeserving we may be.

My grandmother (may her soul rest in peace) had a weak heart for the last five years of her life – she survived on a heart that only functioned 14% – a medical marvel, as her cardiologist called her.  She would startle at cracker noises and I would worry every Diwali if it would be her last, catalysed by the noise pollution. I am relieved that she won’t startle this year, but that is no consolation.  There are many many people out there, for whom every cracker burst would be a bolt from the blue (grey, in fact during diwali times, where is blue?).  There are some faint hearted (metaphorically speaking that is) such as me, who want to curl up and cry at noise.  Even a loud voice.  I pity them (and me).

It would be hypocritical for me to talk about the asthma that is going to attack people with all the airborne chemicals, because I have played my part in disseminating the chemicals myself, in the past years.  What can I say, but sorry?  I am a schmuck too.  I hope I can be less of a schmuck this year.  Or perhaps none of it.

And food.  People – why do we eat so much during festival times?  Why?

Now that I have vented my righteous indignation, I am absolved of all responsibilities of making Diwali actually enjoyable.  Did I mention that I am a schmuck?