Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Broken marriages

Who or what are responsible for these? I am no authority on this subject but I often wonder given the stream of broken marriages that I have been hearing of off late.

Why would anyone want to break a bond as strong as marriage, specially when they thought so much before getting into it.

A few thoughts that cross my mind :
1.Low tolerance limits and impatience
2.Sheer unwillingness to adjust beyond a point
3.Financial independence on both sides
4.Societal acceptance of singledom
6.High expectations vs reality
7.Disparate interests with changing times

I was talking to a friend who mentioned that her ma-in-law who has raised ~9 children, mentioned to her the other day, that actually there is only one reason why a marriage fails and that is because of dissatisfaction on the sexual front! Hmmm...I said, after having mothered ~9 children, I am sure she knows best ;)))...that's how she hung on to that husband for eternity..

But coming back to what I was discussing the reasons given for marital problems of late :
1.In one case infidelity.
2.In the other 2 cases I was told the woman is insecure......insecure about what? One of the cases actually went so far as to label her "psychologically instable".
3.In the third they said the woman had not been truthful and tucked away certain facts about herself which were discovered only post marriage.

In the first case it was the wife's perspective that I had received and in the other 2 cases it was (quite obvious I am sure), the man's side story. So in neither of the cases was I witness to both sides of the story and so it is really hard to tell.

While the first marriage despite all it's drawbacks continues to "function" ...simply because of the kids. While in the other two, the parties are doing the rounds of the courtroom.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Don't tho...don't tho...don't tho

This one is about my little nephew Dhruv. He is now 16 months old and practising his newly learnt vocabulary. It's so interesting to watch him pronounce and mispronounce words. He gurgles and gabs a lot but most of it, if not all, is quite difficult to comprehend to the normal human cerebrum!

He almost knows which alphabet stands for which word...viz D for bow wow (dog...for you and me), C for meow (cat...for you and me), D for dum dum (drum for you and me), P for hmm hmm (pigeon...for you and me), S for followed by his little hands repeating the twinkling action of the stars....and so on.

I met with him on Saturday. The minute he saw me he remembered 'Bat'. He meant his newly acquired 'Hockey stick' which was gifted to him by my aunt. He goes completely berserk with it. The stick is almost as high(if not higher) than him and he wiggles it and moves it at random much like an adult man who has lost his sanity :). So I thought I better ignore that offer for a game. The last thing I wanted was to be bruised because of his sheer excitement at moving the hockey stick.....yelling "Chak de...."

He's quite a monkey, imitating almost every action that he sees around. He walks around the house with the hockey stick much like my granny uses her walking stick. He then picks his toy phone and goes rushing to the window (lest the signal break)...and talks in hushed tones like his mom usually does.

My aunt has recently gifted him a chalk and board so he can practise his alphabets :)))) He usually scribbles in his note pad with a pencil. After the chalk and board were gifted to him, there was some confusion - he tried writing on the board with his pencil and with the chalk in his little notebook. Until he was corrected and figured that these adults are a useless bunch of people who have wierd set of rules!

I have told my mom that if he is taught things at such a rapid pace then it will be only another 5 yrs before he takes up a corporate job and ends up retiring the same time as my sis (his mom). Infact his parents have bigger plans for him. His dad has decided to put him onto a job in the next few years so he can help them pay up the EMI. Ingenious eh?! That's why we make kids now :)...specially with the floating rates escalating...more the merrier...faster repayment.

Now coming back to the heading of my post "Don't tho...".Well that in Dhruv's words means "don't throw". It took me all day to figure out what he was saying; when later in the evening my sis clarified. She said "He has a bad habit of throwing everything around (my interpretation - he was given a ball at very young age and told 'throw', and he now thinks he can "throw" anything and everything" He throws books, pencils, his toys....anything which he thinks he can hold and spin and hurl. It's now a regular phenomenon to hear "Dhruv don't throw" around home.

What the little one has not yet picked up is that he is not supposed to throw things around instead what he has picked up is that "if you throw something, then it needs to be accompanied by an exclamation 'Don't throw". So now what you find is little Dhruv hurling things around the house and exclaming "Don't tho" :))))...don't tho...don't tho.

So much for Generation Next!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The "sobre" kid that I was

For people who know me today, may be it would be a little difficult to visualise the kid that I was!

These were a few words that never existed in my dictionary back then - silence, discipline, responsibility, obedience....and mind you! these were just a few.

I was born in Mangalore and raised for a whole year in Mumbai by my parents. Towards my first birthday, my dad contracted chicken pox. My maternal granma then stepped in and offered to take me to Mangalore so that I don't contract the infection. Funnily my parents were game! (may be they just had enough of me in a year) So there I was a piddly one year old (starry eyed or what!) all set for Mangalore; to live with my maternal grandparents.

Now, like most small towners, they too owned a huge villa, with yards in the front and the back, huge plush garden lined with several (close to 100's) coconut palms, mango and jackfruit trees, say the least a botanical delight. There also was a cowshed, driveway, outhouse....and the works.

My grandparents lived in this huge villa with my 3 uncles - each equally eager to have a piddly 1 yr old around to shower affection on (read : pamper). I spent a year of my life amongst them, away from folks and interestingly I don't think I ever missed my folks, since I don't remember my uncles or my grand parents complaining that they had a tough time managing me.

Ever since then I always was more attached to my granma and uncles (especially one of them) than I was to my own folks. But well, fun times don't last forever, and by the time I was 2 and a half I was brought back to Mumbai by my parents who had now decided that they missed me :)....(back then whoever took a two and half year old's opinion anyways!!!)

When I was three I was enrolled into Kindergarden since I was already too smart for nursery ;) My school was called Little Angel's High School (not that it enrolled only was more those aspiring to be not sure it helped that much)

My memories of KG go back to a teacher who was called "Zilla" (at that point I didn't realize it was short for Godzilla!!!....sorry just kidding) She had enough of me from day one. She complained that I was a chatter box and almost everyday changed my seat. She tried seating me besides the quietest and most silent of students, to only realise that I was a good conversationalist even if it was a monologue :)))

Between classes 1 to 7, I made several good friends, only to have them relocate, shift schools etc...within a short span of time...leaving me to look for more like-minded people. The teachers declared that I was intelligent and had it in me....but extremely careless, unbothered.

Until Class 7, I was pretty much a wild child. I hated getting up in the mornings to rush to school - my perpetual question to my mom "why do I need to go to school" (what I meant was - am I not smart enough?!!!!...schools are for those who don't already know....and I DO!) and she thought I was just plain lazy. I did not believe that hours after school had to be spent uselessly doing homework, revising or in preparation for exams. Infact it was only after the exam timetable came in and the exams were lined up for the next day, that most of my studies began (that too, since mom got onto my case and threatened dire consequences if I did not clear my tests).

As a little girl, I participated in all contests, dances, skits, story telling competitions, christmas singing and the works (anything to keep away from those boring classes!). Infact when back home, I gathered kids round about my age from our block and organized functions - dances, dramas etc... We actually created little tickets so we could go invite the 'poor unsuspecting' inhabitants of our block to come and be audience....and yes they relented(he he) We used the little ones for doing the running around - more like spot boys and stuff. Most of these programs were organized by me a little prior to my exams. And each time I used to get a big piece of mind from mom who finally wrote me off as - someone who was only fit to open a naatak company (I would choose to call it a production house in today's lingo). Although I was not much of a sports enthusiast at school, we used to cycle around, play cricket and whole lot of outdoor sports in our these were some of my other activities outside of school.

I also enrolled in dance classes while still in class 6 and danced so much in 2 months, that my dad got worried that I would use that as an excuse for not studying, and called it off. Believe me those 2 months were fun - I danced all the time - in my class, at home, on the stairs, in the if no one's watching and there was no tomorrow. I guess that's what actually had my dad worried.

Come class 7 and my mom announced that I would be henceforth solely responsible for what I would become in the future. She had decided to wash her hands off me. She said "you can make or break your future, I am no longer party to this irresponsible behaviour". Now that was the turning point in my life.

Overnight these words which I had hardly bothered with got added to my dictionary discipline, responsibility, obedience....and I buried my fond carefree childhood..........

Dramatic eh?! that's what happens to most of us sooner or later. What's new?!

Since then, I have been different. Although Pari always tells me that he often sees a well hidden wild streak in me.......I would say am waiting for that day when it comes out of hiding :))))

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Newspaper in the loo

Must sound like a shady title to a post…….my newspaper in the loo ? what on earth is it doing there.

It is a norm each day that the newspaper at home begins its’ life in the loo; like each of the family members. It spends close to 45 precious minutes there. I find it most annoying that each day I read the paper which has spent a tenth of it’s life in the LOO?!

Despite my ill feelings, I am left with little choice but to subscribe to MY OWN copy of paper, which is pure! (pure indeed) Now since I am a typical penurious housewife who doesn’t believe in spending too much money on sheets of paper, I settle for this “precious paper”.

One fine day when I was looking for some magazine, after having looked all around the house for it…….where do you think I found it. In the Loo!!! I was simply aghast, papers I could understand (actually I cant) but what on earth are magazines doing there” When confronted Pari promptly said “Listen! I have been having some gastric discomfort ; owing to which I have been spending longer hours than usual in the loo, and so taking reading material each time with me.”. Hmmmm

I was so pissed that I actually yelled “Why don’t we then start a library out there – you could choose between papers, business weekly, quarterly mags, monthly magazines, HBR (which too I have found in the loo at some point in time!), and what do you think was the reply I got in turn “Hey that’s a great idea, we could actually have a book rack there”. I knew I would hit the ceiling any moment, so quietly receded.

I know God has made people of different clay, but I dint quite anticipate that “different clay” was “this different”!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My family = Idiosyncratic

Yes, I am talking about my family - my idiosyncratic family ; the Kamaths and I am not the only person who thinks that.

Let me illustrate with an example -
Episode 1 - VK, my cousin, all of 24 yrs (may be younger) when he visited us in Mumbai a few years back, decided to stop over at my folk's place. He was in Mumbai for his summer training. The first night mom offered him a quilt since the weather was fairly comfortable and she thought he could do with one. The next morning while he was at his ablutions mom decided to be helpful and started doing up his bed. She changed the bed sheet and put a bed spread over it, and was about to fold the quilt into a neat fold (very typical of the Kamath's - each night they remove the bed spread and fold it neatly and replace it with a bedsheet and the next morning they replace that with the bed spread....and no they never run out of patience doing so). Now while she was at it, VK came running into the room and said "stop it...stop it". My mom was astounded....."why on earth?!" she exclaimed. "Did you notice which end of the quilt was touching my feet and which my face" he remarked. My mom carefully thought back and said "I think it was this one". Immediately VK snatched the quilt from her and religiously tied a knot with the tassles that were there at one end of the quilt. "Now what was that about?" my mom enquired. And VK said "what if I had to use the other end of the quilt towards my face today!!!" Blasphemous indeed!!! :)
My mom was too puzzled to utter a word. I was at the far corner listening to all that transpired and couldn't help snicker.

Episode 2 - the carpenter was home the other day to fix a sheet of acrylic onto the door. After he was done with it he asked "Madam pls chk...theek hai nah?". I peeped in to check and only to realise that the 3 nails which were holding the sheet were not in a single straight line. I asked him why and he smugly mentioned "jahan hole gira wahan keel thoki". I was quite miffed with that response. Did he not know that if 3 nails are used on one side of a sheet to hold it up, they need to be in a straight line??? I complained to hubby who in turn inspected the sheet and said "I dont see anything SO wrong with it". Well then, I am a perfectionist and like it that can choose to call it "khujli...." like he chooses to.

Episode 3 - my grand uncle is a noted journalist and while we were at his place one fine day, he brought it to our notice that we were indeed a funny family. He quoted an incident - he said we like things to be perfect in our own way. Let's say this knife was placed at a 45 deg angle on this table, if a Kamath passes by (s)he will stop by, take a minute and place it at 90 deg angle. Why? we like it that way. Why should anything look out of place?!

In a gist we Kamaths are .........
  1. Punctual
  2. Disciplined
  3. Perfectionists
  4. Idiosyncratic
  5. Simply adorable in our own funny way...............

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I need a good laugh...

In this busy world of bursting economies, retail expansion, rampant consumerism, busy schedules, a yearning to earn more and more and have more; have we forgotten to stop by to have a good laugh? Can't say about others, but the other day whilst I watched "Little Miss Sunshine", I was bursting at my seams, laughing to my hearts content and I wondered, "when did I laugh like this last?!" One is so engrossed in the day to day running around that one sometimes simply forgets to stop by to have a good laugh and get those endorphins running.

I call this the "want more" economy, and in hindu mythology this would be referred to as the "want more yug". People just don't seem content with what they have and how much they have. I look around in my neighbourhood...somebody with midsized car works hard until he has one of the larger sedans, a person with a comfortable 3 bedroom apartment, works extra hard to invest in yet another apartment (it's always good to own multiple apartments, you know!), the young, who have children going to schools which have nurtured talent and skill, are looking for opportunities to place their kids in "talked about" schools. Why? don't the regular older schools teach anymore or provide adequate knowledge?!!! Will somebody please get up and tell them there is no end to "pursuing happiness"....."just find it!!!"

Why are there so few of us who say "well, I've had enough, now let me see what I can give back".

Was chatting up with a friend lately who has set the record of changing jobs ever 9 months. In short, her organisation is guaranteed to have a miscarriage everytime she joins.....they will definitely lose her sometime in the following 9 months. Are people getting impatient, over-ambitious, or is this simply a state of being opportunistic and not letting a good opportunity pass you by. Or alternately are organizations not treating employees well enough for them to stay on. Beats me!
My quest for a euphoric organization seems to always be in the present continuous tense. Do they really exist?! After spending a good part of my work life in trying to figure that out, I struck happiness...I discovered that I love to work so long as I am not part of any set up. So, lo! I now work as an independent consultant.

I believe that so long as you are happy doing something, just do it. Does not matter what others think of it. And yes, I can't remember the last time I did something because someone else did so!!! I like to be original :)

And coming back to "I need a good laugh...." I meant that. I just realised how good it feels after one :)