ABC Challenge #13: M for Matrimony Ads

I had once vowed to myself that I would never write about the ‘Arranged marriage match-seeking sucks big time’ topic, ever- but this made me break that resolve.

When I was poking around my mother’s inbox, I came across this prospective groom’s CV. Cropping the irrelevant details; this is what it looked like:

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VERY Fair girl from a descent family.

Is that your order of priority?

I am assuming you mean decent, but I would never know. And I don’t think you care about that anyway.

But how did you manage to get the F word right? I will not wonder.

And yet, the world still wonders about and complains and starts campaigns against the booming fairness products market.

But really- is that all you want?

My list is exhaustive- but it doesn’t include ‘handsome’ or ‘Adonis-like’ in it. We all women could add those terms- but we don’t.

Maybe we are considerate- that is an important component of our other X chromosome. We play an important role in inflating your egos. Or maybe we are beyond all such trivialities. We have probably seen enough Adonis-like men with empty heads or under-developed spines that we know there is more to a man than just his looks.

Maybe it will take you some more time to get to that level of understanding.

Until then, I suggest you place such ads on the paper- it is more to the point and will save a lot of confusion:

“We don’t care if your girl is courteous, independent, educated, smart or intelligent; we just want a girl with white skin.”

As for that e-mail, the grammar nazi in me deleted it before my mother could even lay her eyes on it.

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ABC Challenge #12: L for Leave

Because, sometimes, staying hurts more. Memories fly to roost within you when you choose to stay. And memories have this terrifying ability to hurt- more than words.

Because, sometimes, questions would wreck your day and would chew into your sleep. The countless why’s and how’s and why me’s would echo within the confines of your head, every echo louder than the first.

Because, sometimes, the pursuit of answers would take you to the farthest corners of the world, you realize later that it is a futile mission- because there were no answers in the first place.

Because, sometimes the tears would flow to fill seas, and there still would be more, and you would see your carefully sculptured life melting in those very tears that burst forth from you.

Because, sometimes, your own reflection would jolt you- ‘What have I become- Have I come to this?’ would thunder inside your head and the effect would cause you to stagger on your feet.

Because, sometimes, the reasons you had stacked inside your head to convince yourself to stay will make no sense- your life looks like a jigsaw from above- a jigsaw assembled horribly wrong.

Because sometimes, there is only once choice, the choice that can make or break your life- and you usually settle for the comfortable, familiar option- and watch, while your life crumbles into dust.

Sometimes…Just sometimes, it is okay to leave- just believe in yourself, and leave.

She loves me..She loves me not

[Note- This is a post that I had written in November 2012. I had published it in my first blog, here. For some reason, I connect to this post a lot and keep going back to it. It is only fitting that I re-post it here too 🙂 ]

  So, it is 12 am here, and I am sipping sugar less milk and typing away about something that has been troubling my head for all of the past few days. Last night I had this TALK with a friend that stretched into sunrise- about how, plainly how stupid most of us can be at times, with respect to this cannot-do-without something called relationships.
 
     I have a friend named Arjun who told me something really sensible way back when we were in school. It goes like this. You know fire can scald. Some people blindly go by that hand-me-down knowledge that fire is bad, and don’t dare go near it. There are some others who see other people getting their fingers burnt, get some sense and stay away from fire. And then there are some others who realize the perils of it only after they stick their own fingers into the furnace- yes a lesson is learnt; but so is a scar earned for life.
 
    Here, I only write about what I have learnt- from experiences of my own; and what I have seen happening around me- to friends of mine, to people I know. All of us have burnt ourselves at some point of time or the other, haven’t we?
 
     It is so sad- that while most of us may be experts at giving free advice, we simply lose the power of sight when the protagonist of the soap happens to be ourselves. I see so many, many smart, successful and sensible men and women claiming to have found ‘THE ONE’ and singing dreamy duets with him/her, when  the one in question is holding a placard that screams- BACK OFF! Most times, we are so caught up in our own fantasy land, too confident about ourselves and our capabilities in making this thing work- because this is what I want, that we simply fail to see if we are throwing energy, effort and time into the right individual. More often than not- it is going to end up in heart ache, and at the end of it all, you will be the one to who the world says ‘We ALL told you so!’ – You were too wound up in your flowery dreams to listen!
 
     I am at a loss to understand why many of us- myself included- fail to notice these signs. I made a list of all the visible signs I could think of. You are free to add more to this list.
The first and foremost would be ‘I love you, but_’ When this comes from a man, especially, it is time for the woman to pick her clothes, bags and all the broken shards of her heart and run. In my opinion, when someone says this- they are simply being nice. We better take the hint and scoot. Because- when you try to sort out the first issue they have with you, they will invariably come up with another issue. Because, if a man or woman really, really wants something to work out- excuses tend to evaporate.New paths are created. Mistakes are absolved. Everything- from your stutter to your family- is taken in stride. A man who says, ‘I’ll take care of everything’ deserves you more that a man who says ‘I really, really like you- but ..’ 
 
     Sometimes- we come across people who are just too busy. I have heard this hurled at myself too, more than once. There will be people who you feel are interested in you, but whose priority list will never include you. And I am pretty sure that when it doesn’t include you today- it will never include you ever. For good, or for bad we will never know now, but being well bred and sophisticated people, it is best we make our exit from the back door in the most graceful way possible- and not make a scene.
 
     And then, for some reason or the other- there will be people who let go of you too easily. The smallest issue might turn them off; the tiniest fight might cause them to break things off. ‘Ok let’s break up’ will be their mantra. The other unwilling partner, ofcourse, would be as unrelenting as ever. ‘When I want this so bad, I will make it work!’ But when the other person is not willing to even share the responsibility of making it work- even a bit- then there is something fundamentally wrong with your choice, my friend. 
 
     Then there is this lot- who claim to love you- but hate you. They hate your guts, your dressing, your looks- somehow- you will never be good enough for them. YET they will cling along- for reasons best known to them. ‘You cant do this- you cant do that..you are no good!’ flows the tirade. And Miss I-cannot-imagine-life-without-this-psycho will live through the daily erosion of her self esteem hoping her LOVE will make him change. Haha. Lady, grow up. It will never happen. Negativity is bad and negative people seldom change- get rid of both at Once!
 
Some folks out there might be waiting to get their fangs on me.
Love is holy, love is pure!
What would you know, you little thing-immature?
 
I seriously believe that Love is something that is a mix of respect, pleasure and joy. Mutual.
 
Matter of opinion. Like all other things in the world. 🙂

ABC Challenge #11: K for Krr thu

(Gross Post Alert)

You may laugh, but people who know me know that this is the word I use most often in SMS, whatsapp or communicator. One Onomatopoeia that is a reflection of me. The O word, by the way, is the formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to- one more new word, see 😀

Krr Thu is something that I picked from my friend Arjun, who had picked it from his then girlfriend whose name I have forgotten. A Casanova he is, my friend 😛 Ever since, I have been using the word to indicate an action that I would very much love to enact, but never would.

We folks, you see, are big into spitting. But I will leave the gory details aside. Anyway, like I have figured out, spitting is a very ugly yet liberating way of expressing disgust, mockery, resentment or plain viral cold. It could also express boredom, disdain or a verbal-eye-roll. The myriad things it can convey! Nonetheless, nice ladies never snort and spit which is why the word is a gem in itself. It lets you express something that you will never be able to do.

*****

X- I think Kristen Stewart is hot.

Me- krr thu.

*****

Y-  Are you mad at me over last week’s fight?

Me- krr thu. Ofcourse not.

*****

Z- I think she is avoiding me because she loves me.

Me- Oh my God, am I listening to this?! Krr krr thu.

*****

XYZ- (…………………) And that is the joke!

Me- krr, krr, krr, krr thu

*****

Sigh. I love this word.

Love your Beaches, Chennai?

Chennai can never stop showing her beaches off.  If there could be one thing that defines and unifies the city, it certainly has to be the Beach. The pride of Chennai. The second longest coastline in the world. Of late, the longest, continuous stretch of dump too.

Never has an evening at the beach been complete without us going ‘tsk, tsk..so dirty!’ I remember one evening when I walked a friend from one end of Besant Nagar beach to another looking for a dustbin to throw our disposable coffee cups into. I eventually gave in and threw it into a mound of trash, because there were no dustbins.

So while a lot of us were doing the complaining, the Chennai Trekking Club had actually gone there and done some cleaning. They have a history of organizing beach clean-ups, the first one was organized 4 years ago, in May 2010.

Around June, word had started spreading that the CTC had planned it’s fourth mass clean up on the 16th of June. Posters went viral and folks started signing up for it. We, from L&T were asked to assemble at the Panayur beach stretch, on the East Coast Road, along with CSC Corp, PSG Alumini Chapter and The Seashore Town Plot Owners and Residents Association.

Waking up at 4 am on a Sunday was a feat. I might have passed it had I not told everybody I knew that I was going for it. Such a loss of face it would have been. We reached the beach by 6 am, we were briefed about the segregation process- Collected trash would be either hard plastic, soft plastic, glass bottles or other trash. The plastics are going to be used by Madambakkam panchayat to lay roads. Around 400 bottles were given for reuse/ recycling.

The beach stretch that we were cleaning had a lot of weeds. This made it all the more difficult, because we had to stick our hands inside the growth to pull out every imaginable form of trash. Adorning disposable gloves and carrying recyclable garbage bags, off we set, on a mission. Apart from the regular biscuit and wafer wrappers, we collected a LOT of footwear (‘Ah, your sandal broke? Okay just throw it here, let’s buy you something new on our way back home!’) and a LOT of smelly clothing buried under the sand/ vegetation (Had fun playing in the beach? Okay just throw your wet undies there!).

It was back-breaking. It was smelly. But it was tinged with pride- we were doing SOMETHING! It was endearing to watch kids pick trash off the beach and put them into bags which were as big as themselves. It felt nice to watch people come together as a community and participate together- the ‘this is my beach, who else would do this if not for me’ idea made me smile. We worked till 7 am, till the sun came out. Then we started sweating more, so we took a break. 7.30 am, we started again, but we the initial spurt of energy was gone, and by 8.30 am, we called it a day.

Somebody joked that this was an annual affair. We come and clean the stretch every year, and the rest of city keeps laying the garbage on thick from the very next day. This might be true, somebody mentioned that they saw volunteers themselves sipping their milkshakes and throwing the cartons back into the very beach that they had cleaned. Yet, I believe, somewhere, it might have struck a chord. If this entire exercise had changed even one person’s perspective, if it transformed atleast one individual, making him scout around for a dustbin to throw his trash into the next time he visited the beach, this initiative can be called a success. Like I mentioned once, not one of those kids who picked trash off the sands would have the heart to litter again. That- is the change the city needs.

Respect for CTC, and hats off to the organizing committee. This event saw 100+ groups totaling 5584 volunteers collecting 36.7 tons of garbage from Marina till Kovalam- a distance of 20 Kms.

You can read the CTC’s official blog with detailed statistics here.

A morning well spent, it was 🙂

Some photos from the morning:

Briefing & Orientation- Let’s get started!Image

ImageThat’s me, posing-cleaning.ImageImageCollected dump (This was shot for L&T Infotech’s records- these are only L&T folks. The trash though, was collected by all volunteers)

ABC Challenge #10: J for Jolie-Laide

I have been following this blog of late, which was where I landed on the wonderfully apt term ‘jolie laide’. This has been a word I have been searching high and low for, to describe many, many ladies who I know.

For those who follow French, the term literally means ‘pretty-ugly’. Count on the fashionable French to come up with a term like that! What it actually stands to describe is- ‘a woman who is attractive though not conventionally pretty’

How many of us have seen ladies sashaying by us, and wondered WHAT it is in her that makes us give her that second glance? I am not talking about the likes of Aishwarya Rai or Katrina Kaif or Priyanka Chopra- they are the beauties who would ALWAYS get people swooning. I am talking about somebody like Sushmita Sen (with her broad face and prominent cheek bones) or Deepika Padukone (who has a typical girl next door look, you wonder what is in her that makes her tick!).

From what I have seen, a self assured, yet plain looking woman would win any day over a super hot one with little or no self-confidence. A woman who knows her worth does not look outside for approval. She knows she is unique and matchless in her own way, and when her sense of merit is thus certified by her own self, she knows the world is at her feet. Nothing can stop her- and it shows on her face. The ‘I am worth all this and more’ feeling transforms the way she looks at herself and others, alters the way she talks and walks- and the world looks at this wonderful ball of energy with awe, unable to take its eye off her- and wonders what in her makes her plain self so captivating.

Jolie-Laide- A term so endearing, I fell in love with it, because it describes so many beautiful, confident women I know.

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However, I wouldn’t agree with the use of ‘laide’ on any woman, because, like I read somewhere, there are no ugly women, only lazy ones 🙂