Monday Musings #2

Scent Of A Woman

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I've attended quite a few events this month and it was an enjoyable experience. I met a lot of new people and made some good friends. There were a lot of meaningful conversations and I did have a wonderful time. Everything seemed to go fine until I mentioned "my husband" during some random conversation. People gasped and some even choked. There was a round of "You're married?" and then I had to witness quite a few not so pleasant expressions. This is not the first time that this has happened. In the two and half years that I have been happily married, I have heard this question quite a number of times. Although some people would have loved to take this a compliment, I find it a little weird. How does it matter if a person is married or not? While the conversation is revolving around food, writing or fashion, how does one's marital status matter?

When someone says "You don't look married", most women take pride in it. They think that they look young and have "maintained" themselves really well. As for me, I don't know how to take it. How does one look married? Am I expected to look sad and unhappy? Or dress in a particular way that screams out that I'm married. I still dress the way I always used to. I love my skinny jeans and tops and it is only because I am comfortable in it. Marriage is the best thing to have happened to me and dressing this way is definitely not a reason to hide my marital status. I wear my mangal sutra and sindoor as and when I feel like it. And this is not a way to hide the fact that I'm married. It's my personal choice and it completely depends on my mood.

Someone once told me that I'm way too well groomed to be married. I'm updated on fashion, dress modernly, have manicured nails and let my hair loose. Apparently once you are married you will not have the time to take care of yourself. Also a married woman is not upfront and expressive I believe. In that case, I definitely do not look married. Come on seriously, what is the need to find out if someone is married or not? Unless you are way too much into the person and want to ask him/her out then maybe you need to find out about the other strings attached. But then ofcourse, if you really like a person you would have already found out about this atleast. More often than not, only a woman is subject to such questions. Mostly my woman themselves.

The way men analyse this is something else altogether. I've had male friends discuss their own tactics of figuring out if a woman is married or not. One guy said that you can know a woman is married or not by the way she walks. I was like, wow! Apparently married woman have a slightly bigger gap between their legs and that can be seen when they walk. Why? Well, for obvious reasons. I wanted to laugh out loud. I had the perfect comeback too, but then I decided I did not have to waste time debating with such idiots. But when I did mention that pre-marital sex was common these days, he said that the same technique can be used to check the virginity of a woman too. What a genius! I mean who needs science when you have morons like this?

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Now coming to the title of this post. A male friend once told me that married woman have a certain smell. I for one have the nose of a blood hound and my antennas were immediately up. And yet I couldn't sense what he exactly was smelling. He then chose to explain in precise detail. Married woman do not have the time to work on themselves I believe. So they normally are dirty and stink. Especially since they have to do all the household work and cleaning and then come to office. Clearly someone has not heard of a bath. Or a deodorant for that matter. I wanted to show him the finger and tell him that this my friend is the actual scent of a woman.

There are so many things in the world to think about. Voices should be raised against a lot of other things. Debates should happen about what is right or wrong. More time should be spent on innovation. But instead people are worried if a woman looks married or not. Some women are worried that they look married. Some women are worried that they do not look married. Some take pride in both. I just say that I do not give a tiny rat's ass if I looked married or not. Or if anyone else is married or not. The person matters to me, not his/her marital status. Conversations matter to me, not validations of one being married or not.

And to those people who measure the virginity or marital status of a woman through her legs, you deserve a red hot rod (no pun intended) right up there. And to people who write articles like these, you just need to be shot.

Monday Musings #1

Hole In Your Soul

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To all those wishing ill for others
Don't you have anything else to do
How do you manage to live like that
To yourselves, do you think you are true

Stop cribbing about what happened in the past
Start a new life and just move on
There is no point in holding on to anger
Especially when the events are long gone

Don't look at the world with hatred
What you see is a reflection of you
Try to find joy in small things
Let go of the old and embrace the new

Do not be divided by religion
Remember, we are all human beings first
Do not be influenced by others
You don't have to quench others vengeful thirst

God created all of us as one
Why the desperate need to divide
Inspite of having the whole world as ours
Why still the need to run and hide

While we are watching the clear sky
There are some of us living in fear
Can't we even say a prayer for them
I'm sure this they will hear

Or have we just lost our humanity
Concentrating only on our own life
Can you turn a deaf ear to endless screams
Or be oblivious to others strife

Think twice before picking the gun
Is this your life's only goal
You need to be dead inside to kill them
Else you definitely have a hole in your soul

The Blind Side

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Last week during my break, I watched 'The Blind Side' on TV. Again. I have seen this movie more than five times and I fall in love with it every time I watch it. This is the movie that won Sandra Bullock her Oscar and it was so rightly deserved. There is not a dull moment in the movie and every character is so perfectly cast. The plot is neat, tight and quick. And most importantly it touches your heart like nothing else has ever done. It leaves you feeling happy thinking that the world actually is a nice place. For those who have not seen it yet, please watch it as soon as you can.

Released in 2009, The Blind Side is the story of Michael Oher aka Big Mike who has been living in a foster care with different families. He has a troubled childhood with a drug addict mother and a runaway father. He has a poor academic record but is good at athletics thanks to his big size. Burt Cotton, the coach of Wingate Christian School takes him into the school thanks to the reference of Michael's father's friend. But Michael is not what he seems to be. Although big and put into the football team, he has no idea about the game. Michael is soon befriended by Sean Jr Tuohy who is called S.J. S.J's mother Leigh Anne Tuohy notices her son's new friend and finds him walking alone on the street one cold night. Leigh Ann takes him in for the night but soon realizes that Micheal is very troubled and lonely.

One night soon turns into a long time as Michael begins to live with the Tuohy family. Leigh Ann becomes his legal guardian and helps him in academics and even teaches him how to play foot ball knowing that he scored 98 percentile in protective instincts. She helps him with the game keeping only this mind. Micheal learns to play brilliantly and is soon a champ at the game. When he gets a chance to play at university level, many schools come forward to take him in. Ole Miss is the alma-mater of the Tuohys' and they are happy when Micheal decides to join Ole Miss. An investigation follows to look into whether Michael was influenced by the Tuohys or Miss Sue, his tutor to benefit their alma mater. They suspect that the Tuohys' took in Micheal only so that they could help Ole Miss. Micheal is not happy when he learns of this. He suddenly begins to question why were the Tuohys' so kind to him in the first place.

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This film is based on a book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis and is indeed an incredible true story. The story is simple and straight forward with no unnecessary drama. The screenplay is tight and doesn't dip even at a point. Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, a rich interior designer comes across as uptight and arrogant at first. But she is anything but that. The concern that she shows for Micheal is so genuine and I love the scene when she argues with her friends regarding her decision to take him in. She is emotional, but doesn't show it. Like her husband says, she's an onion and needs to be peeled to look inside her. Micheal sees this and loves her for it. The entire family accepts him with an open heart and it is so wonderful to see the relationship they all share with Micheal. Not once do they treat him badly or hint at the fact that he is not actually a part of their family.

S.J's relationship with Micheal is really sweet. S.J is pint sized and is not intimidated by Micheal's size and takes it upon himself to help Micheal choose the right school. His negotiations with the coaches of various universities bring a smile to your face. The scene on the field when Leigh Anne calls Micheal aka number 74 as her son, and when Michael calls her "Mama" for the first time, does bring a tear to the eye. The movie closes with the real life footage of Micheal Oher and his success as a football player.

This movie rates 7.7 on IMDB, but is a 10 for me. I haven't felt this way about a movie since 'The Pursuit Of Happyness'.

Do yourselves a favor. Go watch it now.

Why I Suck At Taking Breaks

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I took a week long break from work to just relax and unwind and cater to other personal commitments. My last holiday was some time in May and the last leaves I took was when I fell sick. When work took precedence over everything else and started bogging me down, I decided that I need a break. I just needed to get away from the monotony of life for sometime. So when I finished all my tasks at work, I decided to take a short break and just do nothing. Cal was on leave for a couple of days too and time just flew in his company. We spent all the time together like we always do. Thanks to current Bangalore weather and pouring rain, we spent most of the time indoors. We watched movies and played games. But we most indulged in the favorite thing that we do together. Talk! We had long conversations over hot ginger tea and pakoras as we watched the rain together from our balcony.

Diwali came and went as usual leaving behind a trail of torn papers, dust and smoke. Cal and I visited his parents for lunch and performed a small puja at our place and lit lamps all around. It was just us and it was so magical. Two days passed into the break and Cal left to work the next day. I caught up on some much needed sleep and relaxed for half the day. And then the ordeal began. After cooking, eating, cleaning and washing I had so much time on my hands that I did not know what to do. And when I have nothing to do, I feel worthless. I get angry at myself and get cranky and agitated all at once. I went and bought baking supplies and baked the perfect bread and mastered the recipe for an eggless vanilla cake. Until then I thought it was impossible to bake anything without eggs in it. A couple of hours passed and I was back to square one. I watched some TV and read some old editions of Good Food. Soon it was time for Cal to return home and I felt good again.

The drill continued the next day. Not having a place to go after waking up every morning was eating me inside. I was in my house with all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted to, but no. I was brooding and sulking instead. I remembered a couple of fabrics I had bought over the weekend and designed and stitched a few tops for myself. I felt happy and content to be busy. But once that was done, I felt reckless again. I cooked and baked more. And yet I had way too much time in my hands. How much of television can one watch after all? I logged into work and was cheered up instantly. Just going through the mails made me smile and it helped me understand what I had been missing. But then again, I was supposed to be on a break. I shut the laptop and sat down with my Kindle. A few pages later, the rain on my window pane distracted me so much that I spent a few hours tending to the plants on my balcony and getting wet in the rain and enjoying myself thoroughly. But that came to an end soon.

I stayed away from writing as well. Every time I switched on my laptop, I had this crazy urge to login to work and see what is happening. Which is exactly the opposite of taking a break. I came in and wrote a poem one day but not before checking my work mails and planning my work once I was back. Thanks to this habit of mine, I stayed away from the laptop and I could not visit other blogs as well. I sulked and cursed myself for taking a long break. Cal was so irritated with me as he wanted me to relax and unwind for a while as he felt that I was over worked over the past few months. I felt the same too, but sitting at home drove me crazy. I did a lot of creative things I agree, but that was not enough. I needed something more. I wanted to be busy throughout the day. I love being busy and if I have a spare minute or two, I lose my mind.

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Am I crazy? Am I the only one like this? I enjoyed two days of vacation to the max by baking, stitching, reading, gardening and all other small things but after that it irked me to stay at home. The couch disturbed me, the TV annoyed me and I wanted to break free from this break of mine. While most people would have loved to be in my place, I was dying to get back to work and be a part of the routine again. The last few days of the break was spent in boredom, anger and frustration. I am not going to put myself through that again. Unless and until I'm going on a holiday elsewhere, I vow to not take a break from work again. A day or two to break the monotony is enough for me. But anytime longer than that I shall end up pulling my hair and bringing the house down. Call me a workaholic if you like, but this is how I am.

Now that I'm back to work, I feel so happy and thrilled. The rain and the gloomy weather doesn't bother me anymore. Even the nagging auto rickshaw drivers don't trouble me. All that I'm concerned about is getting to work and spending eight to ten hours there. Just sitting at my work station gives me immense joy. The most awesome part of my work day is that when I take a break, I write. Hence this post. Small breaks are enough to keep me calm and happy. For now, long breaks are a serious no no for me. If it involves a travel and a change of scene I am fine, but just sitting at home and relaxing is not something that I would want to do ever again.

Go ahead and call me crazy.

Do Not Open The Gate

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The festivities are almost over
But the remnants of it still remain
As much as it brings happiness
Diwali does come with its share of pain

I still see sparkles in the sky
And hear the blast of a cracker or two
The air seems to have turned a different shade
This is what us humans always do

The dogs are still in hiding
Some of them are hurt and limping
It will take them days to recuperate
All because of one day's doing

The wind now carries a foul smell
You can barely look across it
A halo of dirt covers my eyes
Stinging and blinding me bit by bit

The bright lamps looked so beautiful
All that is now left is an oil trail
Every face that was decorated until today
Now looks all sullen and pale

The streets are filled with burnt crackers
Some of them are still emanating smoke
Somewhere in the joy of celebration
We have turned festivities into a joke

I hear an old man coughing hard
And I see a child with a bandaged eye
As I try to avoid watching them
I hear a sweeper's silent cry

Festivals are meant to be celebrated
But somewhere there needs to be drawn a line
Crackers need to be banned forever
Those selling and buying them should pay a fine

The amount of crackers burst equals status
People burn money to show off these days
I see parents helping children light bombs
Making them a part of this chaotic craze

If someone dares to speak up
It becomes a matter of prejudice and hate
The best thing you can do today is
Do not open your eyes or your gate

Action Replay - October 2015

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My last post was a week ago and I have been crazy busy with work. Deadlines hovering over and leaving me with hardly any time to do anything else. And yet, October was quite an eventful month for me. Met a lot of wonderful people and learnt quite a few lessons. The month started off with a bang with a B-A-R meet. This is a closed group of a few bloggers and most of us here met for the first time. It was a riot and oh so awesome! It always is a good thing to put faces to names or blogs. A huge bunch of us sat down together to eat, drink, talk and learn about one another. And yes, have loads of fun! It was quite an experience. Later that week, I also got to meet Priyanka aka the Cookie Crumb and Red Handed. Two wonderful and gorgeous personalities these were. We ended up sharing so much about our lives that it absolutely did not feel like it was the first time we met. I loved meeting these two women.

In terms of learning, the first thing that October taught me was to not depend on anyone for anything. I'm an independent girl in all ways. I do all my things myself and make my own money. But when it comes to travelling to office I have to depend on auto rickshaws. I normally travel on my own and do not depend on my husband to ferry me from one place to another. I usually use cabs or autos to travel. But thanks to the impromptu rains in Bangalore these days, the road from my house to my office is choc-a-block with traffic. Using this as a bait the rickshaw drivers charge as much as they want. My office is exactly 2 kilometers from my house. Door step to door step. Normally it would take 30 bucks, but I end up paying 50 bucks everyday. But these days, these day light robbers are demanding 80 to 100 bucks, citing traffic and bad roads as the reason. What am I to do for that? Every morning it is a hassle to get to office. I need to fight with these guys every morning and it is not a good start to the day. I need to cut this dependency. I have an idea for it. Hope to implement it soon.

This month I also learnt that not all couples share everything with each other. I have seen wives hiding issues and things from the husband and vice versa. But Cal and I are not like that all. We talk about every single details of our individual lives. It is not a mandate or a compulsion, it just comes out in the flow of thought and talk. He doesn't hide anything from me, nor do I. Normally couples hide the stuff they talk about to their individual parents, but we don't make a big deal out of it.
He tells me everything and so do I. If people think that talking about such things is tell-tale, then please remember that a good marriage means you have to share everything. Not hiding something from the other or telling the fabricated truth. Atleast for me, it is. Unless you are planning a surprise, ofcourse! Also, I noticed that some people have this innate quality of lying through their teeth. Everything that comes out of their mouth is a lie. How do such people face themselves everyday?

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The last vacation that Cal and I took was to Goa in May. Although we plan to travel as often as we can, work kept us busy. Plus, ever since we have moved to a place of our own everyday seems like a vacation and we have the peace of mind that we get once on a break. But both of us love travelling and are planning something soon. With the Diwali week coming up, I have taken a break from work just to relax and unwind. I haven't read or written anything for a long time. I need to get back to it. I want to decorate my house and bake a lot of stuff. I want to sleep until noon and do long movie marathons at night. Cal is off for a while too and it is going to be awesome! I'll be on the blog though for sure. I have my fiction series pending and I miss writing terribly. I need to get back in the groove and pave the way for atleast five posts a week.

Lots of plans for the other blog Yellow Mojito this month. I initially started it to discuss about fashion, lifestyle, food, beauty etc. But I realised that my style is very personal to me and I'm not too comfortable posting my pictures out there. One or two random ones are fine. And these days I see fashion and beauty bloggers in every lane and every street. I do not want to join the crowd. So from now on, Yellow Mojito is only going to focus on my greatest passion: Food. I agree that the food blogger market is crowded as well, but atleast it is a delicious place to be in! I'm going to be reviewing restaurants, posting recipes and talking about my experiences with food out there. That's the plan for now, atleast.

I just hope the workaholic in me doesn't flare up and get back to work on Monday. I'm trying really hard to calm her down. So for now, I'm done with work and am back on the blog. First, to reply to all the comments from last month and to visit my favorite blogs. I'm guilty as charged.

Hoping to read and write some wonderful posts in November!

What are your plans for the month?