Its Hay during May - Again!

Just like last year, May has been extremely awesome this year too. Cal and I are just back from a much needed vacation and I'm feeling all rejuvenated and stress free. Ah, I love my life.

So, reasons why the month was so awesome.

First, I got published! Again. Last month my article 'Meenakshi' got featured in the online magazine Tamarind Rice. This month my poem 'The Pebble' made it to the magazine, along with my secret(not anymore) recipe for the wonderful and delicious Red Velvet cup cakes. Yay! I'm thrilled to the bone. 

Check out this magazine people. Its awesome and they choose the best articles too. Go ahead, and submit your articles. All details mentioned on their site.

Next, just when I thought that blog awards were almost extinct, Keirthana and Srishti proved me wrong. After being awarded the 'Best New Blogger' and 'The Versatile Blogger' before, they bestowed upon me the 'Creative Blogger' award. After all the strange happenings on my blog lately, this comes as a welcome surprise. Sincere apologies for not writing about the award before. But hey, better late than never right.

A truckload of thanks to the lovely ladies Keirthana and Shrishti.

So, once you are awarded this is the process you need to follow. I am going to take up the entire process because it is a lot more fun this way and you get to write about something that you usually don't write about.

1. Thank the blogger and link back to the blog.

2. a. Three things about yourself.
    b. Two things people don’t know about you.
    c. One thing you want to change about yourself.

3. Answer the questions asked by the blogger.

4. Nominate this award to the deserving blogs. Pass it on.

5. Ask some questions to the bloggers who got nominated.

6. Inform the bloggers about their award.

Here we go:

1. Thank the bloggers:

    Thank you Keirthana. First, for all the support you have given me throughout the years. Second, for this award.
    Thank you Srishti. For reading and embracing all my posts and next, for this wonderful award.

2. a) Three things about myself:

    1) I'm a narcissist. I, me and myself is my mantra. And my husband is the most important part of me.
    2) I believe in equality. I'll treat you, exactly the way you treat me. No frills attached.
    3) I eat, drink and sleep love. 

    b) Two things people don't know about me:

    1) I might be the strong Lioness outside, but inside I'm as sensitive as a baby. Very few people have seen this side of me.
    2) I hate watching love stories. Surprised eh? But its true. I always need a twist in the tale.

    c) One thing I want to change about myself:

   My impulsiveness.

3. Answer the question asked by the blogger. In my case, 2 bloggers. I'll take it one by one:

Keirthana: ‘Beauty’ – Write whatever comes to your mind about this word. It could be just another word which will describe it best or it could be another post in full detail. Anything. Any number of word(s).

~ Those who say true beauty is all internal are speaking a cart load of junk. Nobody wants to have a good looking pancreas. For me, beauty lies in the mind. A beautiful mind, is the second thing that is attractive. The first remains and will remain, physical beauty. This is universal and we all are forced to believe it. Beauty is vanity and vice versa. Its a very highly debatable topic, so lets end it here.

Srishti: She had a rapid fire round of quick questions.

a) 5 Essentials of your life: Cal, basics (food, clothing, shelter), love, books and shoes!

b) A dream you want to just live as a dream: None. I'm not a fantasy type girl, all my dreams can easily come true.

c) Ever caught doing anything unlawful..or mischievous? If yes, then when? ;): Oh yeah many times. For example: Being caught with a drunk friend with whom I was riding pillion. He had to empty his wallet to get us out of there.

d) Writing to you is?: Survival. I need to empty my heart out.

e) What do you usually go with, your will or others’ ?: My will, if I know I'm right. Else, Cal's.

f) Behaving (appropriately) comes naturally to you, or you choose it?: Hahaha, I'd like to say naturally.

g) Words you mostly use: F*ck, What the hell, Seriously, Extremely, Oh ho, No way, Rats-ass etc

h) Favorite quotes: 'Somethings always exist, as long as there is someone around to remember it', 'At the touch of love, one becomes a poet'.

4. Nominate some Bloggers: 

Meera at Meerablogs
Sangeeta at Sangry Words
Red at Red Handed
Raj cheta at Fuck Love

5. Ask questions to the nominated bloggers: See, I have a very creative mind so be prepared. 

    1) If you could spend a day as the opposite sex, what would you do?
    2) If you could kill one person and get away with it, who would it be? And why? (No, not a list, just ONE)
    3) Describe the word 'Creative' according to you.
    4) What is more important to you: Love, money, fame or power? And why?
    5) How often do you visit my blog? :P

6. Inform them:
On it!

So, its been hay in May again. Let the awesomeness continue. Cheers people! :)

~ Soumya

Love Lane

Maybe it was a plan, maybe it was fate
It could have been music, or even a chime
But something brought us close together
At the right place, at the right time

You gave yourself to me completely
I was drawn to you in total trust
I was I and you were you
Not once did we have to adjust

We spoke, we laughed and understood
As we put together our dreams and hopes
This was what bound us together
As we became Calvin and Hobbes

When you held my hand tight
I knew this is where I belong
That was when your laughter
Then became my favorite song

I already knew what love was
But you taught me the pleasures of romance
Butterflies came and did their part
And then my heart learnt how to dance

You have given me the best of gifts
Like warmth, peace and happiness
In a short period of time 
You showed me what love really is

You leave me wanting nothing more
Than just wanting more of you
Its amazing how you manage to do it
Everyday you make me feel something new

If there were a reason to keep living
I’ve found a million in you
This is what you’ve done to me
And still you continue to do

After all that we've happily been through
Today I'm joyfully insane
We have set up a long life
In the wonderful love lane

The feelings around us is our home
Together where we laugh and play
We shall never leave this place
And yet shall return to it everyday

~ Soumya

An Eye for an Eye

A lot has been said, done, assumed and written of late. And if it is something that I wrote that is causing the problem, it only makes sense that I apologize. Like I said in this post, you put up something, be prepared to face the brunt of it. I never planned to run away anyway and I'm not the only one who put up something. Everything happens for a reason. Provocation they call it. I read something, I wrote about it. You read it and started talking. Its a vicious cycle, every spoken word. And every written word. And now that everyone wants to know what triggered such an ugly battle, I'm going to speak out exactly what's on my mind. 

Yes, Cal and I are related. And yet we fell in love. Its not like we had planned it to happen, or any other strategic move. Now that I hear that all of you have been following my blog closely I'm sure you would have read about the honest posts I've written. It just happened, without even us realizing it. You guys found out about it, because it happened. It sure wasn't a rumor and we indeed were seeing each other. But none of you asked us. Allegations were made about it being incest, gene problems were mentioned. But none to us. It was upsetting but we kept quiet as we were busy trying to figure out what exactly was happening between us. When we realized we were in love, we told our parents. They were fine with the decision. It later was told to the family. And then it all began.

Why her? Didn't he get anybody else? Her parents have not taught her anything. She is way too modern for the family. She's not pretty enough and what not. It came to us, we ignored. Then my aunt had to say that if they had found out about our relationship earlier, then they could have done something? What did you want to do? And for what? Such things, obviously hurt. Not only us, our parents too. Yet, we kept quiet. Then came the best thing ever. Another aunt informs my to be mother in law that I've had a very long past and she had seen some pictures of mine doing the rounds with another guy. Why? Am I not from the family? Don't we share the same blood? What about family respect then? What if Cal's mother had refused to get us married because of this piece of news? Now so much is being said, why wasn't it thought then? You are talking about a black mark on me regarding what happened recently. But the truth is that you had put the black mark on me long before Cal and I were even engaged.

Next was the engagement. My parents till date cry about the fact that no one came into my room to see me that day. I wonder too. It was very offensive and equally painful. Considering the fact that we all cousins grew up together and were so close knit, I expected a lot of fun and frolic on our big day. Most of them did not turn up even and nor did they call us to wish us later. For reasons best known to them everyone had out casted us. Rather me. Wasn't I your sister then? Or your niece? Didn't I come from the same bloodline? A lot of questions remained in my mind. And still do.

During the wedding not one of you all spoke to me. Not one. Some came and told the mandatory "Congrats". And some, not even that. Not one of you came to my room to see how I was doing? Was I able to handle it? Did I need any help? Nothing. When the pujari asked for the girl's brother to come on stage and perform a ritual, none of you were in sight. Just imagine the embarrassment I would have felt. It felt like a slap on the face and the emotions were only getting piled up. Still, everything was brushed away as it was a really tiring day for me to think much about anything. Then I started my new life at my husbands place. The newly weds are supposed to be invited to the close relatives house soon after the wedding. We got zero invitations. Our parents were hurt, we consoled them saying it was an age old ritual and that no one follows it now. Something about the lack of food was mentioned just two days after the wedding. Then it was about attention being given only to guys side of the family. Aren't you all a part of that family as well? The wedding was of two people whom you all have seen growing up. Where did all that emotions go? The frustrations in us kept piling up and seeing our parents getting hurt and upset over this, only added salt to the injury. Its not an easy feeling to bear.

The cork opener came in the form of a Facebook status by my brother in law. This is what he had to say.

"The term wedding reception implies that the newly married couple receives the relatives and friends for the first time as a couple. Some think that it is the perfect opportunity to pose for pics and show some arrogance and attitude for reasons known only to them! When the family too does not bother about hospitality and follows the same route, then it definitely is a matter of poor culture and values!"

My cousin sister(his wife) promptly goes and likes the status followed by more likes from our cousins. This happened on March 26th, just four days after my wedding and a month before I put up my controversial post. He managed to get away with it, but I was penalized. Fine. I take it in my stride.

A lot had been said about Cal and me already. But when our family values, culture and parents came into scene in such a demeaning way, I decided why can't I do the same. The Facebook post was followed by a string of comments calling our wedding a formality, about us having no culture, class and values in our blood, studying just for the sake of a certificate etc etc. When a thirty five year old could do it on a public platform such as Facebook, why couldn't I do on another online platform, and that too on my personal space. The anger and frustrations inside me all came pouring out in the most horrible way possible. And there was a year and a half worth of emotions piled up. You trash my family, I trash yours. You talk about my past, I talk about yours. You complain about my family members, I do the same. There was no reasoning, the pent up poison came flowing out. It wasn't right. I agree. I probably should have channeled my anger in a better way and ignored the trash being spoken. Yes, its my fault. I over reacted. I should have just ignored just like I did all these years.

It was a brilliant provocation and I fell prey. My biggest mistake ever.

I'm the youngest one in the family and I sure had no right talking about my elders like this. I wasn't brought up like this and nor will I bring up my kids this way. I apologise to all my family members who I dragged into the post. The words mentioned cannot be taken back but there is nothing in my mind regarding any of it. It was an impulse and a very unnecessary one at it. The past kept playing in my mind and I kept writing it. I shouldn't have. Sincere apologies and I'm not carrying any grudge in my mind. 

To my cousin and his wife: There was no need for us to drag you guys into this. We're sorry.

To my aunts: When today I'm married to man who loves me the most I don't see why I should even complain about what all you said about me in the past. Its forgotten now and we apologise to you with all our heart for the harsh words used. 

To Cal's uncle: We seriously don't know how you got connected to this thread. We don't even know what was the connection you felt. You are Cal's immediate family, the person who lifted him on your shoulders for the garlanding ceremony. There is no way on earth we would write anything bad about you.

To Cal's aunt and mother like figure: We swear to God there was nothing addressed to you in the post. We were so glad that you managed to come to Bangalore just for about 10 hours to attend the wedding and head back. And you were the only one who came into my room and checked on me both during the engagement and the wedding. Cal holds you in such high regard, what made you think that he would let me write nonsense about you? Probably the fact that it was mentioned in the same flow as the others, triggered something. We were actually talking about a colleague who came in baring her back and her belly. If you don't believe us, we'll send you the snaps of the lady mentioned.

They say an eye for an eye turns the whole world blind. My impulse created such ugly scenes within the family that I feel so let down by myself. And the fact that my husband was involved too doesn't make it any better. We both got married so that we could support each other and correct the other when one was wrong. Its just been two months and we already have failed at it. Not at all right. Today, we make a promise to you all that we shall set things right. We shall tread life carefully and sensibly and live life the way it should be lived and make you all proud. We won't trouble or cause harm to any of you henceforth. This was the last time ever and something as childish as this shall never be done again. 

We hope that you all forgive us and don't hold onto this as a grudge. As its not only about us husband and wife, but it is about our parents as well which in turn is all a part of the same family. 

The same bloodline.

~ Soumya

The Honest Post - Phase 3

Read phase-1 here / Read phase-2 here

'A walk to remember' - The book remained in my hand as I reached Accra in Ghana for my project assignment. Close to ten hours on a flight might seem long, but not when you are occupied with thoughts. And I was. In Cal's thoughts. As so was the situation when I was standing at the immigration counter waiting for my turn. Balancing the book and my passport in one hand, I pulled out my phone from my pocket and switched it on. Soon after, Cal called. Ah, that was probably the widest my smile could ever get. He said, he missed me. I told him I missed him too. Then out of the blue he suddenly asks me, "What do you think is happening?". "I don't know", I said. Then he says, "But, I'm loving it". My smile got wider. "Me too", I said. I could almost hear him smile at the other end.

It was my turn and after getting my passport stamped I walked out to an unknown country which was going to be my home for the next 30 days. I was picked up from the airport and dropped to my hotel. I was given a fabulous room, facing the pool and I settled my luggage down. Ideally the best thing for me to do would have been to freshen up and sleep, but I had a call to make. Obviously! Yes, I was on international roaming but that was the last thing on my mind. I bought myself a local sim a couple of days later but until then Bharti Airtel it was. He kept extending his credit limit and I kept receiving the calls. We both together paid a phone bill of sixty thousand to Airtel that month. Till date, we don't regret it.

Ghana is in the GMT time zone, which means that I was a good five and a half hours behind Cal's time. By the time he woke me up in the morning, half his day was over. Since I was there to render trainings to the client I could barely use my phone at work. I would come back to an empty hotel room every single night. Yes, it is as depressing as it sounds. But Cal did not let me get into that mode. 9 pm for me. 2.30 am for him. My phone would promptly ring everyday that time. He would wait until I freshen up, cook my dinner and eat. Then he would sing me to sleep and wait up until I would just doze off with a sleepy bye. Even if I accomplished all this in an hour, it would be 3.30 am for him. Yet, he would wake up everyday at 7 am and head to work. Later, he would call to wake me up. This happened non-stop for the next 30 days. He, was the only reason why I did not feel homesick in a strange continent. And this was just one of the reasons why I fell in love with him.

The most painful thing was that I could see him, but he couldn't see me. My work laptop did not have a webcam and I was unable to find one there too. So, when we skyped I could see his pale face and he could only hear me. His internet modem was not stable and every two minutes the call would get cut. I waited. He called back. This happened atleast 20 times during an hour. But neither of us gave up. This, till date remains one of the things that taught us immense patience, something which we both lacked. Funny thing was that we lost our patience with the world, but not with each other. If I was seething, he'd cool down and placate me and vice versa. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, it did. But it sure is frustrating. Somehow the days passed and soon I was just a day away from my return. After another grueling 15 hours of flight, I landed in Bangalore. My phone rang, while I was still seated in the plane. "I'm here, come soon", he said. 

After hurriedly collecting my bags, I made my way out of the terminal and walked out. There were hordes of people waiting for someone or the other. Amongst all of them I saw a beaming face. Cal's smile was so bright that it was almost impossible to miss him in that crowd. He came running towards me. I left my trolley mid way and walked towards him. Yes, it was like a movie scene. A very common one at that. But to us, it meant walking towards to a common destination. To be together. All my tiredness vanished the minute he hugged me tight. This was December 23rd, 2011. (Yes, I'm excellent at remembering dates.)

We spent the new year's eve together. It was beautiful. We spoke, drank and danced away to glory. It was just the two of us, but it was the best party I've ever been to. He laughed when I told him that he can't dance. I laughed when he told me that I'm so much of a tom boy. Whatever it was, we were so comfortable with each other that everything else seemed so trivial at that point of time. And by trivial I mean the fact that we were actually related. We did discuss it once, and brushed it away with ease. We were concentrating on what was happening, rather than on what could happen later. Nothing was said, we just held our hands together and welcomed 2012 with a big smile on our faces. It was the beginning of a new year. 

And we both knew that "it" had begun.

To be continued.

~ Soumya