Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'singles are unlucky', did you know that?

Waiiiit!! Before all the singles around start throwing whatever-they-could-get-their-hands-on at me, kindly let me clarify that I'm talking about those harmless li'l dangles.. yeah the kinda ones women hang on their earlobes.. Okay okay... not alllll that 'harmless', mebbe.. going by what some guy friends would swear on.
Now What?! I was just talking about them making the guys skip a heartbeat and fall head over heels for the bearer of the dangles.. And what were you thinking, dirty, perverted minds? :D

Ok, so the thing is: yours faithfully has developed this taste for collecting dangles since the past 8 months or so, thanks to Su and M, who made me wait on them at all kinda ladies' fancy stores whenever we went shopping. I munched on pop-corn for a while, tried to make faces and scare that li'l girl who was fooling around in the shop (pretty much like me) while her Mom dug her head into a box of designer bindis, indulged in some salesman harassment for fun, helped my friends decide between two neckpieces (that looked strikingly similar to me. You know how thoughtfully helpful I am.. I did a quick eenie-meenie in my head, and told her exactly what to choose. She still thanks me for helping her make that brilliant choice, and swears on my fine taste :P), gave some very valuable gyan to the other friend on how asymmetric patterns in jewellery are totally classy (duh!).. and at the end of that ordeal, I found myself buying a couple of them, silly things for myself..

Now, the problem is that I've become a compulsive shopper of dangles, the kinds who would sift maniacally through loads and loads of ear-rings, hunting for that perfect piece as if their life hangs on it. So the other day, I was on with another such dangle-hunt, when I bumped into this piece which seemed to have lost its pair. And I suddenly make up my mind that my heart's all set on getting only that, and start harassing the salesman to find me another twin of that set. He started acting weird, and then told me empathetically that single ear-rings w/o their pair are soo sooo unlucky! 'dikhe, toh bhi andekha kar dena chahiye'.. I just put it back on impulse (rather dug into the stack and hid it underneath) and he gave me that pitiful look at my plight for having brought down all that ill-luck on myself.. How sad!

Hem wasn't all that convinced. Her gyan-speak: 'Silly lazybum's excuse for not finding its pair, I say! Remember Ramani Ayah of kindergarten, who'd scare us kids by telling us stories so that we don't pester her with our soo-soo calls every now and then? Stories of this ghost who lived in the toilet and killed the kids whom he liked? And the one about the lone rocking chair which was spotted there, and the other one about a kid's little finger wiggling in the air during evenings? Same case only!'

I came back home, and the first thing I did after trying on all my newly acquired jewellery to my satisfaction, was to throw away that single dangle I had been treasuring since a while now.. (yeah, the 1st one I got when I went with Su and M. I lost its pair on the very first day I wore it. Talk of inexperience!).. Hem smirked, but then it's OK.. I have this habit of doing things which always call for that reaction from her. Hmm.. so much for getting rid of my ill-luck. I'm suddenly feeling very lucky, altogether! :D

Which made me realise how superstitious I've been getting of late. I can trace it all back to that silly old 'One for sorrow, Two for joy' thingi during primary school, and the even siller 'pass my sorrow pinch' ritual after which you need to cross your fingers to make sure that the bad luck doesn't come back to you. Psst psst.. tell you what, I still practice that very religiously till date. I do feel guilty at times when I pass it on to that innocent looking spoon in the ice-cream tub or that random tree in the park which can't pinch me back. :| But still, I have to get rid of my bad luck, don't I?

Shucks, now Im feeling all silly to have shared my secret superstition with you. Let's get even with this.. Why don't you tell me your secret superstitions? I swear, I won't tell anyone. God Promise! :D

ps: Did anyone watch 13B, yet? I'm dying to watch it. But can't afford to get carried away by it and scare myself to death, more so because I'm spending most of my time alone at home these days. Is it way too spooky? or okie-dokies?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

'coz love DOESN'T hurt

She was barely 6 when she saw her kindergaten going sibling being beaten up by Dad for having lost her golden earbobs at school. She doesn't remember doing anything other than crying out loud.
Golden ear-rings are very valuable. Not to be lost. That's the lesson she learned that day.

She was 9 when she saw Dad getting mad at Mom. Mom tried to reason. She was beaten up more. That evening before he stepped out, he warned that if he comes back to see any of them home, he will kill them all. Mom wept till there were no more tears.
She was petrified. She begged and pleaded with Mom to go to their grandmothers place. She didn't want her family dead. A few days later, Dad came to take them home. The first time she had a heart-to-heart talk with Dad.. The first time she saw him cry. He said he was about to kill himself that day, when he didn't find them home. But he didn't.. just for them kids. She felt guilty that day, to have coaxed Mom to leave home.
Hell or Heaven, you just can't run away from Home, no matter what, 'coz the consequences could be worse. That was her lesson learnt.

She was 12 when Dad threw them out of Home in the middle of the night, after another frightful show of rage. Sitting outside the door, she wanted to cry out loud, but wouldn't as she didn't want the neighbours to know about it too.
She leant, Whatever happens within the four walls of home, you need to keep it a secret.

She was 15 when she tried to hold his hands back, from punching Mom. She said "Don't you dare hurt my Mom anymore". He beat her up black and blue. That day she almost got stabbed by an iron rod.
Mom got mad at her too, later. She didn't want her daughter to end up with a broken arm or leg, because she has a long life to live and it would make it difficult if she gets crippled for life.
She learnt, she has to think of her safety, first. It's a long life ahead, afterall.

The next time it happened, she just cowered in her bed, beneath the sheets.. She prayed that it got over soon.. and when the noises would subside, she'll wonder how badly Mom could've got hurt..
She might have to be taken to the hospital?
Could she be possibly dead?
What would she tell the police, then?
Would she tell them the truth?
Will they then take away Dad too? or should she just lie? could she do that?
What if Dad then kills himself too? how will she live the life of an orphan, then?


"Why don't you leave him, Mom?" she would ask Mom. Mom said she's putting up with all this for the sake of them kids. The world isn't too kind to kids from broken families.. more so to girls.
Somewhere deep within, she felt a pang of guilt. "Mom's suffering all this because of us. If we weren't there, she could've lived a li'l more human life."

She was 18 when she tried to kick Mom and hit her, because she got angry with Mom for something. Mom told her: "You're growing up to become just like your Dad".
She learnt what she has got in inheritance, without even realising it. She did everything in her powers to get rid of her bad temper.

She was 21 when she raised her voice to stop Dad from hurting Mom. She was told to stay away from his family matters. It's his Home, he'll do what he wants, he said.
That day, she learnt that her Home wasn't quite 'her' Home.

She was 24 when he came charging towards her to hit her for not listening to him. He slapped her across her face. The whole world was swinging in front of her eyes, before she could try and hold his hands back. You don't quite manage to strike the right balance to stand straight when the world swings around you, do you? By then, the next blow would land on the other side of her face. And the next, and the next..
She learnt that there's only one way to live in a world that doesn't swing. And that's to create a world of her own. Far, as far away as possible, from this unstable world. Which she did, eventually. Somewhere deep inside she knew she was running away, but then, running away is better than fighting a lost fight, right?

At 27, she could never have a steady relationship, and always blamed herself for sending out some jinxed vibes which always attracted the wrong kind of people.. the ones who broke her trust, her heart and crushed her spirit, in their own ways.

At 30, she got a call from home, in the middle of the night. It was Dad, who called up to let her know how Mom didn't obey him and did something which drove him mad. She talked to Mom, who was sobbing and mumbling incoherently. "He woke me up in the middle of the night and started hitting me. I don't know what's happening". Dad took up the phone and told her that he's going to teach Mom a lesson. He's going to throw her out. or else, kill himself. "Only then she'll learn her lesson", he said.. She begged him not to. And prayed the whole night to God, to send his angels around her family and keep everyone safe. Her mind raced back to all those fears which were rooted in her heart since childhood.


How badly is she hurt? Her body wouldn't be able to stand all this abuse at this age..
Will he kill her?
Will he kill her and then kill himself?
How will I deal with it?
Will he throw her away?
Where will she go in the night, then?
Should I go home?
Mom went through all this for me. She doesn't deserve to be put through all this for my sake anymore..

She knew her mind was working insane. She wondered whether she'd ever feel normal again?

And then she decided, she's never going to live in fear.. If something goes wrong, she'll face it when that comes.. She's not going to die another thousand deaths in the fear of one. She had made up her mind.

What would she do to see an end to her misery?
Your guess is as good as mine.

******************************************

True, you wouldn't want to ring the bells and have the offender and the sufferer, both blame you for intervening in their personal matter. Just give a thought to those tiny souls inside who are terrorised to death. They'd sure thank you for atleast bringing a pause to their misery.



Just like anyone of us, even I'm skeptical whether ringing a bell would really bring domestic violence to a screeching halt. It probably wouldn't. But it can surely help curb it. You wouldn't want to talk to them? Then Don't. Just ring the bell and go away. Keep ringing the bell everytime it happens. Being passive about it is as good as encouraging it.

What can we do to ensure that this doesn't become a way of life and gets passed down to the next generation? Make sure that our kids are taught that it's the most cowardly thing to do. For that, we need to set them good examples.. by not indulging in Domestic violence, not suffering it in silence, and by being there to rescue the hapless souls who're subject to it.

Do watch this video - How come, How long?.. A very deep video on Deomestic Violence. If you are one of those people like me, who has ever tried to increase the Television volume, so that the disturbing noises of verbal and physical abuse from the apartment nextdoor wouldn't reach your ears, then this would definitely touch your hearts.

Home is the safest place we have on Earth. No one deserves to live a scared life in their Homes.

You would ring the bell, won't you?

[Cross-posted here at Bellbajao.org for their blogging event on International Women's day]

ps: okay, I know it's been too many video links from this single post.. but I HAVE TO, HAVE TO put up this very inspirational long-forgotten song which I bumped into, today.. An ode to all the women I know who had it in them to break those shackles which bound them away from life.

Happy Women's Day!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tell you what..

One more time someone's going to get started with an advicing spree and I swear I'm going to hit their head with the frying pan (yeah, I can afford to do that now..the teflon coating's coming off, so I'm getting a new one now). The last few weeks I've been bombarded with "How To's" and "Why To's" and "What To's" to such a great extent that I've made up my mind, I've already lived through this year's quota of unsolicited free advice. So, if you have more advice for me, see you in 2010!!! :) *angelic smile, with fluttering eyelids*

I generally prefer donning my soft-spoken avtar, which implies not reacting with "GO TO HELLLLs", but with "Do you mind taking a long walk alone to hell? err.. if you don't mind, that is.. " with a nice toothie grin which's very tactfully executed to look like an angelic smile (some people claim to have seen a halo around my head when I do that.. no, really! :P). Though I've been feeling heavily challenged this time by a string of questions, by a bunch of people who made me wish I knew this trick of doing a disappearing act or something, you know.. The moment they start with their "Hey Usha.. so, what's happening?.." I would've gone pooof!! how much fun that would've been! but no, I had to smile at them and answer their silly questions, all the time consoling myself that this would be the last time I'm seeing them.. hmmph..

btw, it's eureka time!!!! I cracked the code of why I get bored of some people very soon. I've always thought that it's highly unthoughtful and unkind of me, but now atleast I know the reason. Okay, or so I think...

My theory is that :
#1: Some people are good at marketing themselves. Nothing wrong with it! That works well for the 1st impression. I fall for it just like anyone else, only to realise that it's alllll that's there about them. What fun is a book,if you have the whole story written on the cover page, I say? Makes sense, no?
#2: Some are better off at this skill than the earlier lot.. they cook-up make believe stories to sound interesting.. the thing is you open those books to find only blank pages.. or worse still, no pages at all. Now you wouldn't call a book like that interesting, no?
(ps: Thanks Cris, for asking me this question once! See, I think too! okay.. once in a whiiiiile... but still, I did no? no no.. it's ok.. you can buy me a chocolate for all this hardwork! see, I'm kind too! :D)

The biggest showdown of this period was staged by my dear laptop, who's currently cooling his heels among a bunch of newspapers and the telephone directory, stacked away in the lower rack of the TV stand.. His monitor conked, just when I had big plans for him (read: lotsa work). I've been running around for most of the week, trying to get it fixed. They all said they were sorry they couldn't find another compatible monitor for a laptop as primitive.. err.. I mean, 'precious' as him. (I wouldn't want to hurt his sentiments, you know..). Finally I ended up getting a new one, amidst high drama and heartburn, which saw me running to the mall late in the evening just before they pulled down the shutters.. Did I tell you, I was desperate? well.. that would be an understatement. btw, this is the first blogpost from the new laptop! cheers to that! :)

Though online life is something hard to live w/o, I realised I could do away without the television!!! yeah! I've succesfully completed two months of life with a blank TV and no cable connection. Result of a showdown with the cablewala who thought of duping me into paying an extra month's charge by spinning stories.. I have been reading about all the other branded service providers just a day back, so I asked him to pack up his stuff and leave for good. On further research, I realised the branded ones are even worse. Only that they loot us a li'l more professionally, armed with their 'Terms and conditions' which are 'subject to change with no prior notice'. How kind. :| Net result is that I'm living a TV-less life now, and the good news is that I'm not missing it either. It has been replaced with newsapers and trips out in the evening to anyplace.. just about anyplace, for just about any reason. Though I find myself going to the petrol bunk way too often than anything, that I guess I would now qualify to ask for some membership card or discounts there. :|

I've been cooking my food too, quite often these days.. which is good.. better is the fact that we're experimenting too. So we got this Black current fruit crush (which is supposedly a jelly like variant of good old squash) that is purple in color.. more on the lines of that wicked Potassium Permanganate.. now we're having it as spreads with rotis and buns. purple spreads!! buhuhahaha.. (for some reason, it makes me feel evil) Somehow I find them pretty appetising this time. Which is a breakthrough achievement for me, who used to find the idea of a black current ice-cream, highly repulsive, for its color.
Guess we took the experimentation a li'l over the top, when we went to M's place this weekend to celebrate her home-alone time. Had golgappas at her place with home-made pani, meetha pani, bhakarwadi, raw green peas, channe ki dal and laddus. (basically, everything else that was available and could be stuffed in w/o cooking) I wasn't feeling all that experimental that day, though Hem and M were both in full form! Loved that evening. Nothing better that lazing out and catching up with a good friend, I say. Discovered HSR Layout this time.. In the coming days, I'm planning to go checkout other places around the Bangalore I know.

On the down side, there were things that were happening back at home, which made us realise that our parents are growing old.. to know that you can neither afford to be near them, nor away from them, when you have to be.. you can neither be dependant nor can you be independant of them.. There are things that need to be worked out, there. How, What, I'm not too sure right now..

I've been living this secluded life since the past one month now, which means I spend most of the day all alone with almost no interaction with any other souls. But the interesting part is that I've been learning a lot about people in general during this sabbatical.. and once again, I learned to be friends with myself, something that I had more or less forgotten.

Generally it's been a time which saw me go through a lot of highs and lows, bliss and frustrations, uncertainities and tranquility, all at the same time. Things will be alright, I know.. and it's going to be better, 'coz everytime I've hit similar terrains in life, it has always led to things way better. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for what's to come! :)

Ok, let's leave all that for now.. another disaster that happened this weekend was this movie we watched.. the Delhi-6 one. Disappointing, which is an understatement, considering the fact that I did not have any expectations out of it anyways. Guess Rake'y'sh Mehra makes better movies w/o that extra "Y"! :P Talking of which, I didn't quite like RDB either! Guess I have a problem with not-so-happy endings. Ok, it had a message and all, but it dint quite suit my taste, mebbe. On the other hand, I liked SM, btw, though everyone's highly critical about that sweet li'l movie for some reason. It's my idea of this positive, optimistic story for a movie. decently paced, and tastefully executed. That's what I expect when I go to watch a Bollywood movie.. and for me, it delivered! Let's be nice and give them the credits! :) And yeah, for the first time ever, I found a take on Devdas interesting! I've always hated that story of a loser, despite the presence of two very strong women in it. The difference with DevD is that they didn't bother much to glorify the misery or overdo the melodrama as in the original storyline. The brutally blunt way in which the story was told, made it a treat to watch. Probably, the fact that the loser happens to be a 'cute' loser too, helped! ;) Talking of movies, our new laptop was inaugurated by screening the movie 'In Harihar Nagar'. We still found it super hilarious, even when we always knew what's coming!! What we realised this time was that it is a Brilliant movie too!

Okies, guess I've been doing a hell lot of bakbak for now.. hmmph.. so much for making up for my on-n-off posts. I'll try and be more regular now on.. now that I no longer have that bahana of a whitening out monitor.
Buhbyes for now! :)