People who bring me chocolates are alright

365photos 2011, photography, Rants

My life officially sucks this week! And I realize I’ve said that at least 3 times in the past 6 weeks. Posting daily pulls a magnifying glass over our life.. and it can be surprisingly.. well mundane. Anywho.. working 14 hour days is taking a toll. Have you ever felt unnecessarily angry wanting to burst into tears when actually nothing sad has happened. Please don’t say hormones. I’ll kick anyone who says hormones! I haven’t checked my favorite bloggers..haven’t even checked email.. haven’t done laundry ..not unpacked from last weekend yet and not had a decent home cooked meal in a week!

Ok end of rant.
The weekend is near.
cause enough to cheer..
send me love… and chocolates if you are so inclined


kill me..kill me now


I hate people. This email was sent by a prospective husband’s mother in response to my, ‘Can you please give me his email address or phone number so we can find out more about each other’ request. Its not new. But I had a deja-vu experience with a guy’s dad this time..and since it was a verbal interaction, I don’t have proof of it. But go
and kill me.
Dear Dhaami,

Thanks for your prompt answer. But the solution won’t be that prompt. These coming 15,20 days Naren is extremely busy. This weekend, we all are very busy in the Iskon Temple here, where Ram Janma, and before that Ram-Seeta Vivah is celebrated for 4 days. Naren takes very active part in all temple activities. In the sat mornings, he goes for bicycle training. This sat. is very hard , it is 50 miles in the mountains. It takes nearly 4 hours for actual ride and one hr. to reach there by car.

Week days evenings are spent in reading all papers regarding the transactions. All Friday evenings is Geeta Class. Sat, evenings is Vishnu Sahastranam and Geeta in temple, Night 8 to 10 he plays Tennis or squash and when he returns, he is tired and it is late!!!

I described his routine to you. You may tell me your passtimes and hobbies and I can convey it to him. He can call up once we shift to our new house and we settled a bit.

Take care,

Mrs. K.

divide and conquer


End of a long grueling work day. Me walking out of the office. At the top of the stairs, I hear a tentative voice behind me saying hi. When I smile back, he asks me where I was from. Upon my answer his wrinkled face changes ..laugh lines appear around the cheeks and his grey eyes twinkle.. he has a lot of family there. We exchange a few pleasantries of how nice it feels to hear Hindi away from home. Out of politeness, I ask the same question back. Where are you from? His hesitation at the question, then taking the time to assess what my response could be and a slight hint of a deep rooted pain before saying ‘Same as yours but my father moved to Karachi in 1947 due to know.’ His eyes fall for a second.. I fight back tears. Then he goes on to tell me that he had to leave Karachi as well because of the current situation there and now trying to settle himself and his family in another foreign place.

He was easily 65…
I cried all the way home.

The first time I gave any thought to the issue of India-Pakistan enmity was when I read ‘Train to Pakistan‘ . It had left me numb for get beyond the idea of a ghost train filled with corpses.
The communal riots and the constant enmity between these countries is almost an everyday topic in that part of the world. People have not forgotten the scars of those days. Wars have been fought. Lives have been lost. Poverty is rampant. But the terrorism, the violence, the hatred has not subsided. I still don’t know what I think about it. Especially because looking at the big picture, it is easy to generalize. But on the micro level, does a common man in either country have the time to hate the other or the inclination? People in both countries are still struggling to have a steady day to day life..then why are their lives turned upside down? Why do people in Mumbai have to leave home thinking they might not make it back in the evening and yet leave running every day to catch the 8.17 local train? Why isn’t war ever the sum of its parts?

age old story

Rants, Uncategorized

My dearest and best friend for the longest time..lets call her M. Now M is a fun loving girl..loves music..sings beautifully..plays a myriad of musical instruments.. plus she is a smart ass engineer..amazing at her job and the most loving and non-judgmental person I know. No its not a personal ad. Lemme finish..I’m verbose. Now this chica got married. To a nice boy, from a good family, with both parents’ blessings. The honeymoon lasted a few months and then started the rigamarole of the sas-bahu battle. The craziest reasons like where to keep the salt, what time to wake up in the morning and how many date nights the couple should get. Plus she is now practically a house maid because no matter how accomplished you are professionally, if you wont cook and clean, your worth is zero. So we, who used to discuss philosophy and music and automation in nuclear power plants and how to ensnare my latest crush (you can see why this concerns me directly), now talk..rather she cries and I listen..about her mother-in-law. I have never given so much attention footage to one single person. Plus there is nothing I can say to comfort her. Except offer to abduct her and bring her back to the US with me. But that’s no solution, because she wants her husband too. And frankly I can’t afford a 2 bedroom apartment. California is freaking expensive!

But to get back to the point..It sucks and hurts to see her helpless like this.
How does this happen? Rather why does this keep happening? The mom-in-law is someone who has worked her whole life and raised a family. She knows the very real problems women face, she has had a similar mother-in-law. Wouldn’t she want to shield her daughter-in-law from that pain? After all, the girl has left her family, her safety and comfort zone. She is here to build a family for your son…to love him and take care of him and you. She is learning to accept this new family as her own. Isn’t it the responsibility of the elders in the family to make her feel welcomed and included? The new woman is supposed to shape the family in the years to come. Isnt her well-being..emotional and physical as important as anyone else’s? Why is it still a power game? Why is it still about losing the son’s affections to his wife? There is a reason why he got married, right? I mean can the mother be every woman in the son’s life? Why the megalomania?

Too many questions and no answers. My ma’s answer is ‘This is what it is. Its better to accept than complain’. My dad’s answer is ‘Not every family is like that.’ But I’m not so sure.. a lot of my friends seem to go through this. Vivacious, intelligent women who had dreams..all they talk now is the upcoming family function or complain about married life. All these years we spend building ourselves into unique individuals are just a non-related prologue to the lifelong binding to an arranged marriage? To become a caricature of a stereotype? One of the main reasons why the idea of getting married makes me run for the hills.

Am I totally off-base and delusional? I’m open to enlightenment and opposing points of view..