Monthly Archives: October 2017

North East Monsoon

Starts with a bang. Long awaited.  First day of monsoon, and the city is flooded.  Thunder rumbles, lightening strikes, water pours.  Schools declared holiday tomorrow. A tree branch drops on our car and dents it.

We are in business.

 

Advertisements

My thoughts of undetermined value

Both title and topic for this post are shamelessly stolen from Carol.  Whether or not you read her post (please do, it is thought provoking, at least blog post provoking), you must scroll through and see her painting.  I have been following her progress as a painter, she is brilliant.

**

I have a potluck lunch party with my high school friends tomorrow.  Actually, this bunch was not my friends in school, the members being ruckus-raising, happy-go-lucky party, while self’s nose was  buried six feet under books and academic circles that largely sought to one-up each other – “I got 99.5%  how much did you get?”!  Lest you believe I am badmouthing my friends circle of yore, I was the queen of one-upping, you’d have hated me had you known me then.

This group that I will be meeting tomorrow, continues to be a rowdy bunch, and I am so glad the older gobblefunkist died enough to now enter the pearly-gated fun group.  OF course, there are a couple from the other one-upping set in this group (obviously, I am there, ain’t I?) but the main party animals would drown the rest in their irreverent, uncensored ROFL existence.  The only snag is that this being potluck, requires me to bring a big pot of puliyodharai for about 20 people and knowing my proclivity/joy/talent for cooking, it’s not going to be a happy morning at the HQ tomorrow.

The reason Carol’s post inspired me is that she finds it difficult to trace her friends from the past. I, on the other hand, seem to be able to trace every person that has crossed my path, ever.  This is truly an age of six-degrees and somehow, anyone I remember from my past, I can trace him/her if I am gung-ho about it.   The reasons are that I know quite a few “connectors” (according to Malcolm Gladwell) and most of my contacts have not changed their names after marriage.

**

My neighbour’s dog died this morning. Of old age. The family was devastated and the young woman was wailing as they took the dog away.  I had a minor choke up when I saw her, and thought it  a lucky animal that gets cried for.  There are many human beings who don’t have that.  I know someone who is extremely intolerant towards co-human being, but unbelievably kind towards animals.  I find it amazing that this person is capable of so much compassion, but withdraws it from human beings.

**

I wanted to write about something else, but forgot what it was.  So…that’s that.

Vent

I really wish I could write something funny – you know – the wry, self-deprecating type I so love?  I am unable to find any humour in life right now.  This too will pass, but until then I must bear with the darkness.  I have been reading Wodehouse and Leacock to get back my sense of humour, but nope…they only irritate me more.

Yes, the hormones are still out of whack.  It has been a really long time that I have had such a delay and imbalance.  It does not help that it is my mother’s 32nd death ceremony tomorrow.  I don’t feel sad about her – after all I don’t even remember her anymore, but I seem to feel angry at the effect her early demise has had on me and the rest of my life.  Yes, I have done as well as I possibly could and all that, but I am so tired of the doubt in every step I take – is this what a 45 year old woman would do?  is this how a mother should behave to a teenage daughter?  is this how a middle aged wife must be in a marriage?  Would these doubts have not existed had she been around, for me to have a point of reference?  Perhaps not, but it always nice to have something outside of oneself to blame one’s insecurities on.

I have learned to breathe through insecurities and negativity in the past year, but occasionally I succumb.  I know that spiraling thoughts are no good, but spiral they do, and while I struggle to ground them with my breath, the sleep deprivation (too many anxious dreams) and hormonal swings make it that much more difficult.

Oh well, this too shall pass.

Snippets

Three new buildings in our neighbourhood.  Management asking for suggestions for names for them.  Discussion at the dining table today.

Kid:  Proton-neutron-electron.

Dad: Outdated.  Quarks-leptons-bosons.

Mom:   Bose-Einstein-condensate,

Dad: Wave-Particle-Duality

Kid: No no… Cat-Alive-Dead

Mom: Wait, let’s go simple. LHS-Equals-RHS.

My, are we nerdy?

**

The kid attended a birthday party of her first friend M.  M’s school friends were there – M and my kid go to different schools.  One of M’s friends comes to me and says “Are you V’s mom? We’ve heard so much about you”.

I am not sure if I should be pleased or worried.

**

Whatsapp conversation with husband of friend who has recently undergone a minor surgery.

Gobblefunkist:  How is <friend>?

Husband of S:  Better. But headache is still there.

Gobblefunkist:  Obviously. She is married to it.

Husband of S:  Thank you.

**

How was your day?

 

 

The mind or the will?

I must stay away from any form of communication when the monthly visit from hell has been delayed thanks to all the festive junk that have been finding home in nooks of the body, and the associated chemicals not only stagnate, but decompose within the head, raising unbearable emotional stink.

The mind craves for release of the tension in words, but the will stops me from hitting the publish button.

The mind craves for a hysterical, inhuman scream that would emerge from the pit of the stomach and shake the building.  The will stops me from the indignity.

The mind craves for the body to double up on the floor and moan at the invisible hand squeezing the innards. The will stops me from the exhibitionism of private pain.

The mind craves for solitude.  The will fills me with guilt for the craving.

The mind craves for a shoulder to wail upon. The will stops the show of vulnerability.

The mind craves for sharp reprimands to loved ones for not being what I want them to be right now. The will stops me from causing irreparable damage.

The mind craves for an end to the mental chatter.  The will, for once, agrees.

Which of the two, in each case, would win? In a minute, the will would have lost on the first point.  I hope it wins in the others.

 

Anti social

I often wonder if I am delusional in that I feel best in the virtual world of blogging, and roll out of the physical society (minus the immediate family of course) like water drops off a lotus leaf.  I am an introvert alright, and there are very few people in my real world that I can talk to easily and with engagement – my immediate family, a couple of cousins and a few friends – most from my childhood and three from adulthood. To others, I can be social and civil, and occasionally even charming, but it tires me considerably and I need many hours of down-time to recover.   And it’s not the effort of communicating with them that tires me out, it is the aftertaste of the association – it is almost always not pleasant.

First case:  On Diwali, we usually visit an uncle for blessings and the entire brood is there.  I am not excited about going, and have opted out a few times.  This year I went and as ever, throbbed along like a beached whale, in an extremely exuberant and rowdy crowd of 20 people.  I took refuge in the kitchen, helping the hostess in catering to the constant demands of barrels of coffee and tea – doing something is better than sitting in a crowd listening to people ribbing and dissing each other. I cannot for the life of me tease anyone and cannot understand how hurling insults at another counts as having fun.  As always, I returned with a mild sense of irritation and enormous exhaustion.

Second case:  I am fairly active on WhatsApp.  I update my profile picture every day, and my status update as well.  My status updates usually comprise photos that I clicked of stuff and people, and occasionally messages/quotes that inspired me.  There are at least a dozen people on my contact list (all women), who would ALWAYS leave a message in response to my status updates.    Yesterday, my status update was this:

#MeToo

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Guess how many people responded to my status message? ZERO.

I was expecting at least a few to write back to me (in private) supporting, empathizing and in general, saying something like they always do for my status updates.  But no. Deafening silence. And trust me, it is not because they have not been sexually harassed – come on, we have grown up in India, the sexual harassment capital of the world.  It is just that we don’t want to even acknowledge the problem.

This bothers me more than the rampant harassment – the fact that women would rather sweep the issue under the carpet and look away singing lalala when someone brings it up.  Some months ago, I had written a post on sexual harassment I have faced growing up. While all my blog friends were supportive, my real-life contacts with whom I shared the post ignored it.  One real-life person (a woman) told me that it is shameful for me to discuss this in a public domain – talk of victim shaming. I did not write about it then because I was too furious for coherent thought.  I had sent the article to a friend of mine, and he told me that his wife has faced some traumatic experience in her childhood as well and she does not want to share it with him.  I agree that its a person’s choice to share or not, but my opinion is that how are people going to know the problem if the ridden do not talk about it?  This friend has a son, and unless the mother shares with her son the details of the trauma, how is the son going to look at a woman with respect?

I don’t know why I am so angry about the fact that no one acknowledged a message that involved reliving trauma and baring the deepest recess of the soul.  This is why I feel so alienated in my real-life society.

Perhaps I am delusional in finding identity online.  At least I can communicate with people with whom I can relate.