Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Being the Youngest Sibling


Being the youngest born is an absolute delight. You almost always get away with murder, with half a tear drop or one juicy limb bite. It wasn't always nice, I'll admit. I'm pretty sure my siblings secretly hated me/were petrified of me/were sick of me or all of the aforementioned. I never understood why I was always left out from their "grown-up" games. I've whined on countless occasions to my parents, asking them why they gave birth to me so late. 

I felt neglected and alone (only in my head of course). In reality, I was always the centre of attention and if I wasn't, I would do something extremely attention grabbing (such as breaking into a random song or jiggly dance, just to hear the collective grown-up people "awwws"). 

I was jealous of anything that took my siblings' attention away from me, such as dogs, board games, other small children and their budding hobbies. I realise now that however old I get, I'll probably always be that annoying, diaper wearing, fat kid for them.

I'll always be showered with fancy gadgets, perfumes and expensive jewellery (from the "foreigns" of course). And now that I'm married, my spouse gets the exact same special treatment and affection. Money transactions of any form (be it paying for a movie ticket, a meal at a restaurant or even the hefty visa fees to enter the countries they live in) are all refused. The baby sister, swiping her debit card, when her big sis/bro is here? Dream on kid! That's absolutely blasphemy! Here, have a candy instead. Or go play with those stuffed toys. 

My siblings are the only people in the world, who can bring a smile to my heart. I literally have a warm, fuzzy feeling, all over my body each time I meet or talk to any of them. The best years of my life, aka my childhood, are frozen in time, with them. They remind me of a happier, more carefree time. 

All children deserve siblings. Siblings, have the ability to forever make your world go round. If you're the youngest, you will always look up to your big brother/sister. And if you're the oldest, apologies in advance, from all the pesky, "never minding their own business" younger siblings. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

The Joy of Being a Tomboy


I was a tomboy much before Kuch Kuch Hota Hai's Anjali ever existed. I was a tomboy even before the word "tomboy" was invented. (I think!) And let me assure you, those were the best years of my life. I loved my silky boxer shots, my toy guns and my rad BSA ladybird cycle. I came back home everyday, with mud in my hair and gigantic cuts on my chubby legs.

I hadn't stepped into a beauty parlour till I was 24. Most liberating 24 years of my life! I didn't thread my eyebrows or wax until my post graduation and my third job. I hated girly-girls. (Still do!) And I hated "friendly" advice, starting with what undergarments to wear and what facials to do. That kind of talk, still puts me to sleep.

I firmly believe, there is much more to life than looking like a dressed up little porcelain doll. Looks fade eventually, but a good sense of humour and intelligence never will. So read, instead of spending  pointless hours in the beauty parlour. Hone a talent, instead of spending wasteful hours obsessing about which shoe, jewellery or dress you must own before it goes out of fashion.

And most importantly, please stop with the preachy, overly friendly "girly advice". Let women be. It really is women, who let other women down. Sad reality! I've experienced this both at home and in the office. 

I personally think, tomboys grow up to be the best women and life partners. We have the ability to think like a man and a woman, at the same time. We get along with men, as easily as we do with women. We have zero inhibitions and are chilled out 90% of the time. We can be both emotional and unemotional, which makes us clear thinkers in the most toughest of situations. Most importantly, we're solid "dudes". You can rely on us, with your life. 

Three cheers to being a tomboy! We're unique and one of a kind. Let's not allow anyone to dull our quirky sparkle. 

(Image Source : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/526921225127391018/)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Bridget Jones


11 years since I started this blog and I haven't once written about Bridget Jones. Shame on me! I discovered my soul sister in Renee Zellweger as the adorable, extremely relatable, thirty something, Bridget Jones. To say that a 14 year old, found a 30 something singleton as relatable, might sound downright absurd! But that's the beauty of Jones. I loved her immensely as a teenager and I can happily confirm, I love her just as much today, as an almost 31 year old woman.

Jones' childlike nature and constant bumbling around in the most awkward situations, makes her loveable across generations. I have laughed, cried and felt my heart breaking along with her. Today, as I see her as a mother in Bridget Jones's Baby, my heart bursts with pride. She has still not grown up. She continues to remain childlike and innocent, despite the evil ways of the world. 

I wish I was more like her. I wish I could see the humour in life's most challenging situations. I wish I could just snap out of it, with ten tubs of Ben and Jerry's. Until that time, I guess I'll continue watching all 3 movies on loop. 

I want to thank you Bridget, for helping me overcome my awkward, obese teen years. You weren't happy being chubby either, but you did it with panache. You went through a string of heartbreaks until you found your Darcy, reassuring us overly emotional teenagers that love finds you eventually. You cannot chase it down.

You're the ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. You're the generous dousing of Nutella sauce, on my golden brown waffle. And you're the imaginary best friend I've had for 17 years (and counting)!

I probably chose to be a reporter (for a laughable 6 months) because of you. I've also had my ups and downs with the weighing scale and of course, I've also had my share of hilarious showdowns in offices, just like you. 

I'd like to believe we're the same person. I love you Bridget, always have, always will! 

(Image Source : https://www.okchicas.com/curiosidades/como-cambian-actores-diario-bridget-jones/)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Stay at Home Mothers

Mothers, the best people in the world really. Especially, stay at home mothers. They sacrifice their peace of mind, time, dreams and even happiness just to raise a few brats, who may or may not turn out right! The most thankless job in the world, with no salary, overtime salary, bonus or appreciation. We can't live without them. Doesn't matter how old you are. Working, not working, married, unmarried, pregnant, not pregnant, you will forever be mumma's little girl/boy.

I've been raised by some strong, stay at home mothers. They are excellent home-makers (NOT housewives), have a knowledgable opinion on every topic (be it politics or fashion), they are world travellers (thanks to their respective husband's professions) and most importantly, have a broad-mindedness that often shocked even me, a modern-day millennial.  

The fact that they didn't work, didn't make them any less dignified. They were and still continue to be, treated as equal partners in all the decisions pertaining to the household. Bowing down to the man of the house or living under subjugation, are completely alien to me. I've been raised to have a strong voice, but that doesn't mean I hen-peck my husband.  

At close to 90 years of age, my grandmother lives in a palatial bungalow, atop a hill in Kerala. She lives alone, with dignity and grace. In her hay days she was a terrific cook, has single-handedly raised all her grandchildren and has an excellent collection of curios from around the globe, thanks to my grandfather's sea-voyages. He has Captained vessels of all shapes and sizes, for countless decades and finally hung up his boots in the mid-90s. He was a treasure-trove of stories from faraway lands. He had eaten, seen and experienced things, none of us could even imagine. To say that he was way ahead of his times, would be an understatement. 

I get my competitiveness and never-say-die attitude, from my mother. No goal has ever been too big. No dream, impossible. She wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. Unfortunately, her husband's Army life, forced her to back down. He was perennially being transferred from one postcard-perfect location to another, within India. So she passed down those aspirations onto me. She wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor. Regretfully, I let her down. I chose my own path, much to her dismay. Of course, I'm subject to the occasional "you could have been so much more" jibe. 

Stay at home mothers, you have every reason to be proud! Chin up and soldier on. Don't ever feel insecure, about that classy looking working woman. She might be great at her job. But you, stay at home mom, are kicking-ass at raising that strong-willed child, bargaining with the kirana store/subzi and dhobi walla (whereby saving all your husband's hard earned money) and converting a brick and mortar house, into a cozy-little den. 

Still unsure about your core competencies and skill sets? Leave your husband and child, alone for one week, kick back, relax and unwind. You will be overwhelmed, by the warm welcome they shower upon you, when you return. 

(Image Source : http://shanghaimamas.org/classified/one-of-the-million-ayi-available-in-august-btw-shanghai-expo-and-lujiazui/)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Magical World of Make Believe


Us 90s kids, have grown up on a staple diet of fairytales from strange foreign shores. Closer to home, our grandparents regaled us with fascinating stories of war, fought by God-men on golden chariots and horses. 

There were no entertainment channels such as Cartoon Network, Pogo or Nickelodeon. We relied on Enid Blyton books, Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Tinkle comics and read-along Karadi Tales cassettes. We took pleasure in slowly devouring hard-bound, beautifully illustrated, rich hand-painted drawings of our favourite Disney princesses, villains and their prince-charmings. 

When my grandfather invested in a VCR, the siblings and I went ape-shit crazy (for the lack of a better term). Our trips to the VCR tape lending shop, were maniacal to say the least. While they rented the latest Hollywood action movies, I kept bringing home Walt Disney's animated "Beauty and the Beast" movie. 

I didn't know it then, but the 25-30 odd times I watched it, the subconscious message I was imbibing from it was; marry a very bad boy, the badder the better! Needless to say, my teen years were gripping. My parents were exasperated! However, I don't blame those wonderful cartoons, for my foolish hormone-crazed actions. Those were all on me. 

Each fairy tale has a hidden moral to it, if you read carefully and have the patience to peel off it's layers. Cinderalla's 12am curfew, tells children to be home on time or turn into a pumpkin. Snow White's shiny-red apple, conveys the message of never talking to or accepting food from strangers. Aladdin teaches children to never lie or hide your identity, people must love you for who you are. 

Fairy tales are immortal. You're never too old to re-read or re-watch one. The solution to most of our "adult problems", lie in fairy tales. All we have to do is believe.

(Image Source : https://style.disney.com/living/2017/11/04/disney-princess-phone-wallpapers/) 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bombay


Bombay, Mumbai, Bambai, Aamchi Mumbai; many names one emotion. Warmth, plenty of it. Home to millions of outsiders like me. The city of dreams, romanticised in numerous Bollywood movies, home to some of the trendiest fashion designers in the country and so much more.

To be honest, I hated it when I first moved here in 2014. I was terribly homesick, lonely and depressed. But slowly and steadily, I found my footing. I made friends, I hired two fantastic kaamwali bais and converted a brick and plaster house, into a cozy little home. 

Bombay is a city of hard work and ambition. Starting from my kaamwali bais at home to my boss at work, everyone takes their job very seriously and is professional to the T. Work hard, party harder is indeed the motto of the working class in Mumbai.

I can't pinpoint the exact moment in time, when I began to fall in love with this city. The transition from a hardcore Chennaite, to an almost Mumbaikar has been a slow one. I now dream of growing old here, raising a family and perhaps even rising up the corporate ladder. 

Like every city, Mumbai has it's rough edges. The local train travel and the monsoons are a nightmare. So is the traffic. If you can survive all three, you have successfully unlocked the key to happiness, of living in Bombay. 

Rich or poor, young or old, ambitious or lazy, Mumbai will welcome you with open arms. All you have to do is step into that warm embrace and just breathe. 

(Image Source : https://www.oyorooms.com/blog/exploring-good-old-bombay/)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Barbie Dolls


My Barbie dolls remind me of all things happy. While I dabbled with toy guns and behaved like a hooligan most of the time, there were occasions the sister and I took out our doll collection. We played "house-house", made tea, put our dolls to sleep, dressed them up, put make-up on them and even allowed them to be a part of the G.I Joe wars, the brothers played.

They were so pretty and delicate. They were our only toys that were kept spick and span. All heads and limbs fully intact. We never looked at them with a remorseful eye. We never paused to wonder, why they were so thin or why their waists were so small. 

Most importantly, we had zero body issues. We enjoyed our food as much as we enjoyed playing rough outdoor games. The reason I harp on this is because of late Barbies have been scaled "realistically". They're fatter, darker, less delicate looking. Why? Can't this generation of children play with Barbie dolls like we did? Why do they even have body issues in the first place? They're kids! 

Until I was 19, I had no idea what a size zero or a BMI was. While that was probably not a good thing, dinning notions of beauty into a child's mind, is not a great thing either. Children should be innocent and carefree. They should believe in fairy God-mothers, Santa-Claus and ginger-bread houses. If they don't, we've failed them. 

Let children be. Allow them to have an imaginary friend and invisible tea, from pink tea-cups. We owe it to them. We owe it to ourselves. 

(Video Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1vnsqbnAkk)