Category Archives: Rant

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.

 

 

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The crash

I am weird.

After any event that saps my energy- a work deadline, a party to host, a festival – gets done, after an initial relief that lasts a few hours, I experience an emotional crash. I feel heavy at heart, sensitive, teary and anxious about the absence of an end towards which to work.

I am in that crash now. Feeling worthless, rudderless and absolutely uncomfortable. I have tried reading up about this and it seems this is one of the symptoms of an OCD personality. I am not surprised.

Well, this too shall pass and I will return to routine tomorrow.

Misery

If I have remained silent these past days, it is only because I have been in paralyzing shock.  The kind that makes you want to roll over and cease to exist.

My neighbor’s maid’s 18 year old son raped a 12 year old girl and attacked her so badly that she is in hospital now, struggling.  The bastard has been arrested and given 7-years, which in my opinion is too little.  Castrate the bastard and shove his penis down his throat is the kindest thing I can say about this.  I don’t know the 12-year old victim, but every time I think of her, my system shuts down in panic.  As it is doing now.  I have not stopped hugging my daughter at every possible opportunity to the extent that she is irritated with me, but I can’t help it.  I wish I could send her back into my womb where she will be safe.  I hate a world that his can happen.  I hate it hate it hate it.  I wish the human race would just go extinct.  We are not worth the earth.

In order to stop myself from breaking down completely, I deep cleaned the kitchen, because I needed to NOT think about this.  And walked and walked and walked until my legs became numb and I got calluses all over my feet. Tomorrow we celebrate (ha) the seventieth year of independence to my country and never have I felt that we are in a deeper and darker hole than now.  I know I have always claimed to love my country. In fact, I do love it, and it breaks my heart to see my country raped by its decadent people.

I don’t know where we are heading.  I feel so lost and hopeless.

The official rant

I would recommend that you skip this post for both our good – you’ll not start your day (or end it) judging me, and I won’t be judged !  If you continue after this, you are on your own, consider yourself warned.

I have a friend – friend is such a forgiving word, what do you call a person you talk to at a social level almost every day, and even like, but is, going by the Wikipedia definition of “friendship”, not party to “mutual affection”? Acquaintance seems to me the kind of person you greet with a chin thrust and a ‘sup.  But I digress.  I have this friend, who is a lovely person.  She is very energetic, chirpy, efficient and passionate, but I suspect, not appreciated enough by her family. The result?  She tends to seek appreciation from me (and probably others, but I don’t know that).  She usually sends me messages about what she considers her achievement, and I, being the polite person that I am, respond with appreciation, almost always deserved – I believe we don’t compliment people enough.

Last week, she sent me a message that said something like “Between 6 and 8.30 AM, I deep cleaned my house, made breakfast of dosa and sambar, made lunch of rice, mor kuzambu, agathi keerai, and nellikkai pachadi, cooked oats for my in-laws, made payasam (sweet offering) for the poojai (prayer service), did the poojai and sent my children to school”.  This was the day that I had awoken late, given my kid bread and peanut butter for breakfast and packed curd rice for lunch.  So, while I responded with “Wow, you are a superwoman” to her, which elicited multiple smileys from her, it got me into a funk that I am still mired in.

I am an inefficient person – and I am not being modest here, this is the truth.  This morning,  for example, I ran around clueless, it seemed, trying to get the kid out to school, just doing the routine I have been doing for 12 years now –  what do you call a person who cannot standardize a simple morning routine after 12 years?  Yes, that word again – inefficient.  But I am not the only inefficient person I know.  I have another friend, who is as, if not more, if that were possible, inefficient than me – she is always running late for everything , always behind on work, etc. But there is one difference between us.  This friend is cool with herself – she does not give a damn, and is a personification of self confidence. I, on the other hand, walk around myself with a whip in my hand, and the septic welts on my self-esteem are unbelievable.

I wish I could tell myself what my daughter told me a few days back – “Amma, you are adequate”.

In a few sentences

…I am running around like a head-cut chicken, just living life, and not really accomplishing anything much.

…I am inefficient (hence earlier point).  And this is going to be a recurrent rant in the foreseeable future.

…I want to read all the posts on my WP reader because hell, I haven’t done justice to it in nearly a week and they are building up and giving me Kafka dreams.  All because of the earlier two points.

Cover it up

This is a rant.

I live in the campus of the institute in which I did my first graduate course.  So, sometimes I get requests from friends about stuff to be done around here.  I don’t like to do them,not because I don’t like to help people, but because more often than not, I feel like I am taken for granted.  Like this one.

My classmate from grad school is applying for a job in a different country (not the first world countries, just to be clear).  He lives in that country now.  The agency to consider him for the job, wants his transcripts and certificates certified as authentic by the institute that issued them. This in turn involves  getting a banker’s cheque in the name of the institute, and submitting it along with an application requesting verification and other documents to the institute. Since I live in campus, he asked me if I could do it for him.

I was very hesitant at first because nothing is as simple as that in a country like India where the red tape and formalities are unbelievable.  Still, considering that this chap has been struggling to find a job, I agreed to do my bit.

As a first step, I go to the bank to get the banker’s cheque (DD as it is called here).  It is a sweltering day here, the AC in the bank was kaput, and everyone and his cousin took it upon himself to visit the bank today.  Drawing out a single DD took one and a half hours.  I came out of the bank with a migraine.  But that’s ok.

I call this chap to tell him that the DD is ready, now what should I do.

He has no clue.  He asks me to find out.

Where do I find it out from?

Somewhere in the XYZ building, he says.

The XYZ building is a six storied building with hundreds of departments. Hundreds. And no customer service counters or a reception. U-huh.

Which is fine again. Tomorrow may not be as sweltering. And XYZ building is not air conditioned, anyway, for it to fail.

He then emails to me, his transcript and certificates that I must print out and submit along with the DD somewhere in the jungle of the XYZ building.

I look at the email attachments, and find no cover letter.

I tell him “you need to send me the cover letter”.

His response?  “Why?”

I am a little stumped because I believe it is a universally known and accepted practice that any formal application needs a cover letter saying what it is that is being applied for. Especially in India where formality is everything. The Brit may have left us alone in 1947, we don’t intend to let go of their pomposity anytime soon.

I tell him that. Not the Britt pomposity thing, but the fact that any application needs a cover letter.

“Oh, but I have sent the transcripts”

“Yeah, but you need to tell people what to do with the transcripts”
(in my mind is the uncharitable thought that with so many “E”s, you really have to tell them what to do with the transcripts – I am mean, but by this point I have a full blown migraine and this guy is being deliberately stupid.)

He sighs and says “oh well, if you say so. I will send you a cover letter”.  The tone was “oh bother, why do I have to deal with people like Gobblefunkist”.

I am still wondering who was doing whom a favour.

I am also getting a vague idea of why he has such trouble getting a job.

Rant fest

I am not a very happy camper today for a lot of reasons.   I know I am harping, but I wish my better half had never gifted me the MAC and gotten me used to the beautiful laptop.  This HP is driving me nuts.  The keyboard makes my hand hurt, and the trackpad is making me scream with its jerky movements. Also, the scroll lock is on, and I don’t know how to unlock it.  None of the google suggestions work. Darn.  I was perfectly happy with my crappy windows machine before the MAC came along, now I am spoilt and cant seem to go back.

Oh, the agony of the previledged lot.

It has been a hellish day outside as well. HOT. And it is only midmorning yet.  The family bit the dust and refixed the A/C unit.  But the A/C does not agree with me either.  Being in A/C gives me a migraine, being outside gives me a splitting headache, so either way I am attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis, as Sheldon would say.

Today is a state-wide strike, called by the farmer federation of the state, protesting against the non-availability of water for agriculture.  My neighbour’s father has acres of agricutural land in the Delta corridor, but has not been able to do any agriculture because the water from the dams, meant for agriculture, are being siphoned to Pepsi and Coke.   I fully support the agitation.  However, the skeptic in me believes that nothing will come of it, and being a social media soldier is the most useless thing to do.

The week had better improve from hereon.

PS:  The scroll lock got released by itself !  Mental.