Tuesday, 26 June 2012

How to sail through the 7 wonder(s)ful years of marriage

I am the best wife in this world. No really, I truly am. I mean which other wife would make the 1st 7 years of a marriage pass like 7 minutes? And yes- Saurabh too is the best husband in this world. There is a reason why I can say this with full assertiveness here- Its MY blog :)

Saurabh and I were both a little too ignorant about -"whats the big deal with the term 7 year itch!!". So me being the "reading one" in our marriage, googled it and tried to understand the whole shit around this phenomena. And as I got to know about it, I realized- "Woo hoo!! It so does not apply to us!!!"

To all those who still do not know (and like us even do not care) about the 7 year itch all it means is that a marriage tends to lose its love and charm after a period of 7 years. Several newer researches although put this number to 2 years or even a few months. Now 1st of all being Indians, this silly rule anyways does not apply to us! I mean in a country where parents, movies and the pandit who convenes our marriages reinforce that now you are stuck for 7 births, 7 years is not even a toe nail of the amount of time we are mentally conditioned for. But anyways with changing times, it has become acceptable to understand that "yes our marriages too can fall apart".

Okay so coming back to me being the best wife in the world(and well...he the best husband) - the "charm and newness " of any relationship would weaken if mundane and routine takes over and GOD has a hand in making me someone who can do anything but be a believer of routine! This is when I am married to someone who can take out  a particular kerchief from his almirah in pitch darkness and he is married to someone whose almirah changes the routine every single day on its own because I have NEVER managed to have a set pattern of how everything in it should be kept (I am working on it but.....I am not).

So the 7 years that we completed on 24th June were marked with such grave "challenges" that this time when we sat and wondered why we did not realise that such a long time had passed is because we were too caught up with the "variety" each year bestowed on us which never let our relationship slip into the "routine" zone!

2005- We get married. Even having known each other for 3 years before that does not help us in coming to terms with each other. While I realise that his cleanliness and discipline are far greater than what I guesstimated, he realised that my performance in both these areas is much below the benchmarks he could imagine!!

2006- Everything had just begun to normalize when he comes back from work one day, I rush to him from across the room, jump to hang on his waist, begin to cry and announce- "Main tumhaare bachche ki ma banne wali hoon"

2007- Viraj falls from the heavens into our laps and the 6 months that he keeps us awake all night (and days), we develop serious psychological ( and physical and behavioral and multidimensional) issues.

2008- As an after effect of Viraj's night-waking sessions, I change apperance from what Saurabh had fallen in love with. Dark circles and zombie looks were just becoming part of our lives when one fine afternoon I announced again- " Main phir se tumhaare bachche ki...blah blah blah". We anyways pass that year assuring ourselves- "Ladki hogi"

2009- Nevaan shows up. Excitement of having Viraj's sibling and hurt of not having a girl consume better part of this year. Saurabh's love has also spread to a frame of 80 kgs who has started looking the age of someone who could pass off as his mother.

2010- Kids gradually become manageable and I have just finished the tedious task of shedding 25 kgs. Saurabh recovers from the upheavels of managing 2 kids, evading the nonsensical questions of many "Why did you do 2 kids?" and getting back his Parul who by 'losing' the weight 'gained' so much back- her confidence, her life :)

2011- Just when we thought- "Ab sab theek hoga"- Viraj needs to join formal school and here goes another year on "Not living for each other". Those who do not understand the big deal behind this must know that getting your child a Nursery seat in a Delhi school is tougher than getting through to the Ivy league Harvard University!

2012- Phew!! The first half of this year went in repeating the 2011 act for Nevaan.

So you see how we did not let any "boredom" creep into our marriage? I mean, we did not have space for any thing!!! We filled up our 7 years with so many revelations, shock, hope,perseverance,exploration and an unmatched feeling of " I am with you, around somewhere" that there wasnt any chance of losing each other to what I call- Mundane and routine :)

And the truth is that now that we have come so far in terms of settling into our relationship with 2 beautiful babies and so many highs and lows- we actually begin our journey together from where it ends for many.

Lets see when we complete the 7 years of this beginning what my thoughts are :)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Abhi to main.....

Okay this maybe 'old', but to convey my feelings this "very heard" quote is significant. I have 2 white hair on my head now and I often talk to them when I am alone. Dont read again as you have read it right . I do talk to my 2 white hair quite often. 
I curse them. Ask them why they chose me? I tell them I do not want them to talk to others they share the territory with. I also dare them to show up when I am with others and be ready for the consequences if they choose to ignore my threats. In my heart though, I know that I cannot get rid of them as my Mom tells me that If I try and pull them off, more will come :(. Damn you white hair cum politicians!!

So what do I do except for these monologues with the silent indicators of the very inevitable ageing signs? I accept the message they wish to send out. I know the whole process of "talking" to them in itself is kiddish, but trust me- I know why they are here and what I should hence learn :)

I have had the 'good' opportunity to observe some people around me who with age have only added wrinkles and years but no grace. Along with having a good laugh at their expense, I have learnt tremendously from them hence on the onset  I must say- Thanks! Oh yes I am still not THERE but as I slowly tread there, I have the following learnings to not do what I believe is.....not required :)

  1. I have learnt that there is a thin line between being young at heart and being young in how you desperately want to look. The young at heart can also be young in their minds (thinking and attitudes) but it has to be rhetorical rather than literal.
  2. Its nice to see someone older than you accept your views, opinions and enjoy a sheer spirit with youngsters but only when it is attached with some kind of humility and ease not when it is marked with-" I have to prove a point".
  3. Ageing is as natural as your kids growing up right? Its definitely proportional to it no? So how much ever you feel bad about yourself, every time you add a candle on their birthday cake, please add some maturity to your conduct too.
  4. I have shared earlier as one of my FB status messages that the very realisation that kids in the range of 4 to 15 years can legally call me 'Aunty' is a big set back but that does not make me so frustrated that in my lame attempts to look young and energetic, I will start climbing the slides and swings with my kids.
  5. When you dress up jazzy and clearly cannot carry it off because of all the oddness and deformity that age has physically brought to you, I feel bad for you. Be what you are and earn respect....not sympathy. 
  6. The definition of a legitimate generation gap is now changing. I know that not just Viraj and I are separated by a generation, but even Rahul ( my brother who is 5 years younger than me) and me are  separated by one. When he tells me "oh you will not understand what WE feel", instead of arguing that I am not his mother's age, I HAVE to rather try to reach out to him. Or soon, he will put me in that category and stop sharing!
  7. I am not saying stop dyeing your hair or getting facials done!!! I am saying age like a wine not like sour grapes :)
  8. Definitely try and do as much as you can as there is only ONE life but hey....in the process why do things you should have done 10 years back but did not because you knew you were not made out for it? Or why take up something now which only makes you 'look' young while somewhere you know its not a reflection on your wisdom! I mean bungee jumping was okay back then but today I know that when I will be on top of that cliff I will be more bothered  whether ill die of a heart failure and V an N will get a new mom :(
  9. Learn from the graciousness and finery of some available examples around you. They could even be public figures. Its so nice to see someone accept their situation rather than hide it so desperately.
  10. See how Bollywood has reinforced this truth for us- its okay for men to get old but when a woman gets older, she loses her charm and no longer is longed for! The only women in Bollywood who have remained timeless (and respected) are the ones who stopped trying too hard or jumped around - looking funny just when it was most appropriate to do so. So while Salman Khan can pull off a "Dhinka chika", Rekha looked puke-worthy while "losing control in the night."

To grow old is not such a bad thing. To pretend and hide it with all the superficiality- IS!

Image courtesy: www.myteeprinting.com

Monday, 11 June 2012

A truth my parents will never know-about Saurabh :)

After setting some expectations for my brother's would be wife in my recent blog, I introspected that just because there wasn't any blogging trends at my time, I never got to know about the expectations of my family for my husband. 7 years are about to complete and largely they cannot believe (and often feel obliged) that someone like Saurabh would settle down with someone like their daughter ( ise kehte hain-apne hi blog main, apni hi chop!!).

But still there is something in Saurabh that my folks are clueless about. Something that irks them and makes them helpless. A thing which is like a secret that they tried to unearth many a times but failed. Something they over the years have given up on and tweaked its meaning to suit themselves. Its not that Saurabh purposely kept it in wraps- poor thing did spend many drinking sessions with my Dad explaining exactly what it is but sadly to no success. With time he used his famous smile (non teeth showing- I wonder how can a smile ever- not show teeth!) every time my parents mentioned IT in his presence. 

You must be wondering that why didn't I then be a "good daughter" and help them come to terms with this situation. You think I did not try? Yes people- I did! Every time they sat with their friends or relatives and IT came up, I did intervene and try to help them but its tough you see. So now we have all accepted it as a part of our lives and decided to not wreck each other's brain on it. At least everything else is crystal clear about my choice and just this ONE thing should not be held against us. Though one thing is clear, that if my Dad had chosen my husband, he would have ensured this confusion, this ambiguity had not existed. 

Have I triggered enough doubts in your minds? Have I motivated you enough to guess yourself what it could be? Many of those who read my blogs know Saurabh very well- his friends, colleagues and family. Do you guys know what it could be?


Well it is his.......................WORK...what he calls- Media Planning......err..." Papa ye jo Ads aap dekhte ho na TV par? Wo main lagata hoon!!"

My parents: " Tum lagate ho matlab? Kaise lagate ho?"
Saurabh : " As in I decide when this ad should come. Who should see it. Where you should see it"
Parents : " Who should see it? TV chalega to sab dekhenege na!"
Saurabh: " Yes but.....its like.....there is a software......data.....science hai papa"
Parents : " Kamaal hai!!! Isme kya badi baat hai!!! Main bata deta hoon kahan lagao. Why do they need you?"
Saurabh : " Well.... yes ....okay...yes thats what I do then"
Parents :" They pay you for just this? Bas aur kuch nahi karna?"
Saurabh: " But this is not easy.....full planning hai....TRP suna haina?.....so it is like.....okay yes thats what they pay me for"
Parents to each other: "Batao Ads bhi koi batayega ki kahan lagao!! Arre if you make them we can understand or you act in them-we understand .....why spend time in placing them? And full day someone is doing this?"
Saurabh to me: " Forget it. Lets change the topic please"

So this is what will always remain a "mystery" point between my folks and their beloved son in law. 
Its interesting how they have come up with an answer when someone asks them what Parul's husband does?

"Ads lagata hai.....aajkal yeh bhi ek kaam hai bataiye" :). Such a simple gist of a full year Media Management specialization's course module at MICA, now 8 years of Saurabh's Morning to Night schedule  and well....our daily bread :)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Why is it so cool to hate.....

Have you ever wondered why is it so cool for some people to publicly 'hate' some things. Yes I have wondered and that is why I am writing about them! This phenomenon is so widespread that to me its more like a herd behavior and at some level- "very cool" to be seen as "hating" them. These things I am listing below are the Top 5 in my head and based on the limited exposure to people and experiences I have. I would love to hear from everyone on what all can be added to this list - not because Ill start a movement but maybe those who indulge in this- get some answers :)

So the million dollar question- Why is it so cool to hate.......

  • Reality shows: How many times have you heard people saying- "You watch Indian idol? Like really?"...Almost suggesting -"You watch porn? Like really?". Infact it seems like its better to maybe watch porn but not reality shows! Why is that is what I ask!! Yes some of us watch reality shows. Yes some of us love that drama. Yes most of us know its all staged. Yes, still we like to watch reality shows. Have we answered you? and yes.... we do not watch porn ;)
  • Ekta Kapoor: Ain't it so cool to dislike her? "Dont start a saas bahu now!"- this is an alternate way of saying: "Dont start crying now". To everyone who believes Ekta Kapoor is a bag of crap- Lots of laughter!!! In Rome do as Romans do. In India, don't do what Romans do. So for India she did what Indians do! And hey its fair to not accept her but its not fair (when you very well KNOW that she knew the pulse of this nation and much of your marketing monies are banking on her saas bahu rant) to completely take away from her the credit of turning around TV viewing habits.
  • Delhi: If you hate Delhi- you are really very cool! "Oh the Delhi traffic, oh the weather, oh the crime rate, oh the people...." . So just put a random Facebook comment on your anti Delhi experience and get many likes and comments from "cool" friends who have given nothing to any city (leave alone Delhi) to qualify to hate one!
  • People who do not understand pet love: If you like dogs and cats and parrots and tortoises- why cant I not like them? Please I do not want to use the cliched "its a democracy" argument here, but IT IS normal to NOT LIKE dogs! I will feel a little awkward if the dog will sleep in your bed or lick your face because I do not have the hormone (is there one?) which maybe triggers animal love (love towards them that is). I am not saying YOU are abnormal (I am only saying it in my heart to myself) so why do you make a face when I ask you to keep your dog chained when I meet you?
  • Chetan Bhagat: I activated my forever sleeping twitter account (and put it to sleep again) recently and have gained only one insight from that medium ( because I believe twitter is for people who get  thoughts like they get fart or burp or vomit) -Everyone, except for Chetan Bhagat himself, hates Chetan Bhagat! Its almost too cool to hate him! Why so is what I do not understand. Okay he has done damage to your literary- pseudo- vintage- fiction reading- sensibilities but why cant then: you leave him alone? You know why? Because if you say you hate him, you automatically are on the 'other' side. 
Image courtesy: mobavtar.com