Following footsteps

The Brat came back from school, pulled off his t-shirt, flung it on my bed and fell asleep. I smiled at the little man who is such a little man. Until it struck it me that the equally exhausted Bean has never considered it. I wondered why that was until I realised that he sees his father roaming around the house bare-chested. Clearly *koff koff* they never see their mother fling her clothes and cares to the world, so she takes her cue from me. How early you learn what you should and shouldn’t do. Even though no one would think twice about a 4-year-old girl throwing off her t-shirt, she’s never asked, I’ve never noticed (until today) and she probably wouldn’t ask because she already identifies so strongly with being female.

 

A mixed bag

This link via SupMM made me laugh. Apparently more men are happier about unplanned pregnancies, than women are. Well that’s a little obvious I’d say. They won’t be growing to mammoth proportions, puking their guts out, getting stretchmarks, walking around like a leaky dairy farm for a year or more and then sagging to their newly-gained-fat knees.

It took me back to a discussion on unplanned pregnancies we were having earlier. I’m glad women’s lib gave us more control over our choices and bodies but I do feel a little twinge for men having no choice over when they would like to have kids anymore. A fair enough price to pay for not having to go through pregnancy and breastfeeding and loss of figure, one might say! Still…. 

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This piece of news made me wonder where we’re headed. A student of Annamalai University, Chennai dies in hospital  – he was rushed there after an accident. Fellow students claimg that he was neglected because he was a north Indian (this isn’t in the link, I saw it on the news today). They riot/protest violently. The cops come and control the rioting. Fleeing students fall into a canal and drown. Bihar CM gives their family a compensation. 

How many things do you see wrong here?

First – why riot outside a hospital saying that you’ve been neglected because of the state you come from? Why do we do this all the time? Every few weeks I hear of hospital staff being beaten up by relatives of a patient they couldn’t save. No wonder the half way decent doctors move abroad. At which point do we trust a doctor’s judgment that they could do no more? I could be wrong in this case, but it happens all the darn time. 

Second – what is the chancellor supposed to do about it? He isn’t a medical professional and he can only believe it if the doctors tell him the boy couldn’t be saved. As a parent today, I’m a little less hard-hearted, but even I cant see the point in going to the Univ administration.

Third – the students who were running away from the police, accidentally fell into a canal and died. I don’t know what to say to this. Why exactly does the Bihar CM have to jump in with compensation?! Why politicise it?  Doesn’t it encourage the students to think on communally divided lines? Then the MNS and Shiv Sena may as well throw all the north Indians out of Bombay because you know, CMs of other states are acting all partisan and making compensations for students who lost their lives while causing trouble for another state and college. 

It’s such a vicious cycle, the politics is filthy, it is sad to see young guys getting dragged into this. My condolences for the lives lost but violent protests are not the answer. And compensations should be made if you’re dying for a cause, a natural calamity or due to state negligence. This hardly qualifies as state negligence. I’d say its your own negligence if you first riot and then fall into a canal while trying to make an escape. Hell.. I give up.

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Actually before I give up I must register my protest over this one. The ATC who allowed his kid to direct air traffic in the US. What right did he have to endanger so many lives? I’m okay with ‘take your kid to work day’ if you’re not doing something that involves other people’s lives and so long as your kids just watch. It’s particularly ironic that such highly trained professionals who are well aware of the seriousness of the job at hand fall in to the parent trap of thinking that its okay for their kid to fool around for a little while. How do they teach them to respect an education, the enormity of what they’re doing and other lives. 

I don’t know if any of my older readers remember but there was one idiot doctor couple who allowed their 15-year-old son to come into the OT and operate on a pregnant woman and deliver her son via Csec. The post is buried somewhere in my old blog. I think people like this should be tortured in the old-fashioned way – half hanged, slit from neck to crotch, guts pulled out and burned in front of them, and then taken to the block. Am I sounding blood thirsty? Sorry – just the after effects of reading Phillipa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance.

Badges of honour?

The physical scars from pregnancy are double-edged. At times I wonder whether I’d be happier without them. At others I look down at my belly in wonder and can’t believe each of my kids lived in there for 9 months. It’s not just a belly that needs to be flat and look good – it has served another purpose and done a bloody good job of it.

Despite having lost the weight and having a decently flat stomach now, I don’t really show it off because the marks still remain. A far cry from my skinny days when low slung sarees were mandatory!

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I don’t wear short stuff for many reasons – I think only teeny boppers really need to be in navel baring tops and the rest of us can get by with the odd flash when we raise our arms, but to be in a top that ends above my navel, is not my idea of being fashionable.  The saree on the other hand, is meant to be worn with a bit of your waist left exposed.

I always knew I’d lose the baby weight. I didn’t think I’d get stretchmarks. I guess when you go from 24 inches to 48 in a matter of weeks and then back, it’s bound to happen. What no one told me is that they went from an angry purple to red, to now silvery marks, with the skin around them still darker than the rest of my skin tone. It took me days to get over the horror of what my belly looked like, just like most accident and trauma victims can’t get over scars and marks that tell a tale. They’re not ugly or embarassing. They say you’ve survived. That you experienced something and have a memento to show from it.

As my mom often tells me, stretchmarks are not a bad thing and it’s alright if they show because then people know that it’s more than just a slim waist, it’s a waist that produced kids and still got back in to shape – it’s commendable. She says women in her generation didn’t shy away from them, so why does our generation look to hide them? Fair point. A lot more emancipated then you’d imagine.

Which is all very well as far as pep talks go  – but I just missed my old smooth belly after I had the Brat.

And then over the last two years since I had the Bean I’ve gone back to wearing chiffon sarees for cocktails and stuff and I am no longer so particular to keep my stomach covered because the odd flash of stretchmarked waist doesn’t embarass me. I was just learning to be proud of my body as it is…

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And then I see this post where a fantastically fit Malaika is flaunting a belly that seems to be untouched by a scalpel, and showing off  her stretchmarks.. and there are a bunch of unreal people commenting – Oh look stretchmarks. Why can’t she cover them up?

And all I can think is Dude!! Some perspective. You’d be hardpressed to find young college girls in as good shape as Malaika. Hell – most days I realise I’m in better shape than the other non-mothers I know – and Malaika is miles ahead in the way she’s kept her figure. I love that she is showing off both her amazing body as well as motherhood with such pride and confidence…

The shocking part is that the comments seem to come from young girls  – I am only assuming since I found them on a fashion site, that they aren’t men. While I don’t expect all of them to be mothers, I suppose a percentage of them definitely will be. What makes stretchmarks such a terrible thing? Why do we need to cover them up? Who sets these standards of perfection? Why do all scars need to be disguised and covered up?

I’ve already posted my views on plastic surgery. And botox. So it’s sad and scary to read comments that require a woman to look perfect after having a baby. To have people behave like motherhood and pregnancy are meant to be dirty little secrets. To note that younger women (well they might be older than me too!) are unable to appreciate the natural and those who actually slog to look their best. That we expect every little scar to be concealed. That our idea of beauty is plastic perfection.

We’re okay with an old Big B and his grey beard, but not with a Malaika and her stretchmarks. No wonder it’s so hard for older actresses to come back in roles of substance. I know atleast four models who scheduled tummy tucks with their cesareans and then had boob jobs and came back after their babies looking spotless – which is so damn sad. Why can’t we accept what age and experiences do to our bodies? Why do models and actresses need to do it, and worse, why do us normal women need to look unscarred?

And what makes it alright or polite to say that they should be covered? Would it be acceptable in polite company to tell a person who bears a scar from an accident or other surgery to cover it up? Or to tell them that their scars are grossing you out? If that is the case, I’ll happily move to the jungles.

I attended a wedding a few days ago – glad to be back in the chiffon saree and teeny blouse that I fitted into long ago! Only to have some friends tell me rather rudely that I look like a mother. I didn’t take offence to the whole ‘looking like a mother’ bit. I took offence to the fact that it was said rather critically. Why is it bad to look like a mother? I want my kids to remember me as a mother and not as an elder sister. I’m fine with you aspiring to look young. I don’t. I am quite happy looking my age and my role. And I don’t chase youth. I might aspire to be as zen as Tara or Dot - but ‘looking young’ is not on my list of ‘Things I want to grow up to be.’

 Yes, I look like a mother. I am one. I’m proud of my kids, and the fact that I am back in rather decent shape.  I love being thirty. I love being a mother. I love my body. I love that time is moving on and taking me with it.

As for the stretch marks and the cheesy reference to them as badges of honour.  No thank you. And there’s no point calling them that. It seems like such a farce in the face of such reactions. They’re neither honourable nor dishonourable. They’re just a fact of life. One I accept with grace and embrace.

Scilla and Charybdis

So the world is up in arms because Hamid Karzai has legalized rape within marriage and made it illegal for a woman to leave the house without her husband’s permission. (Hey! We should send Manyata to Afghanistan, she admits to asking her husband for permissing before going out for coffee. She’d fit right in.) What kind of people are willing to accept such laws? What can they do about it? Do they fight it? I have no idea.

And we can get off our high horses because things here in India aren’t much better. Our laws mght be better but some of our people are so regressive that it seems pointless. This woman who was raped, has urged the court to release the rapist because she is afraid nobody else will marry her. So she asked her rapist to marry her and he very benevolently agreed, saying his family wouldn’t mind so long as she converted to Islam. Right. I wonder if he checked with his family before raping her. As for the woman – I wonder how bad life for her must be if the best option she has is to marry her rapist. I feel really really bad for her….

The mind does not boggle. It is simply exhausted by the state of affairs.

Fortunately the DCW has objected, saying that the woman is under pressure from her family. Imagine having to live with that sort of support or lack thereof, from your family. We do afterall, live in a country where you have honour killings and revenge rapes and victims committing suicide because of the shame of it….

So is there still hope? I mean okay, DCW objects and then where does this poor woman go?

What do you guys think?

Mutually exclusive?

A few days ago I was talking to this annoyingly loud woman who insisted on dominating every conversation and flatly telling people to shut up or pretty much over ruling what they said. One of the things she said that really annoyed me, was that she some day wanted to start a magazine which was something between the Economist and a leading women’s magazine, you know, an Economist for women.

Err… an Economist, specially for women? Only for women? The only economist I met, I married! Awright, bad joke.

But it’s the only way to deal with my annoyance. What is one to imagine? That The Economist needs to be dumbed down or chick-ified in some way to be suitable for women? That women don’t read it? And most annoying to find a woman saying something so ridiculous. Would be so much easier to deal with the annoyance if it were a man. You just blame it on his chauvinism. What do you say to a woman who comes up with something like that?!

I recently saw some magazine called IT for Women or something similar. What do they imagine? That women interested in IT won’t pick up a regular IT magazine? And what does it talk about? How to programme your hair dryer? Well maybe I’d find out if I picked up a copy – but it’s the kind of patronising bullshit that is sure to piss me off and ensure I don’t touch it with a barge pole.

A rose is a rose is a bloody rose. Okay? Okay

After the Manyata/Dilnavaz/Sara-Sanjay Dutt surname controversy I had a chat with this young man who seems like a sweet, harmless old fossil – who pointed out that it takes little to keep peace. And if a woman is joining a man’s family, why not take his name yaada yaada… Just to keep peace.

That’s it. No better reason, but peace. Here’s my question – why does peacekeeping always fall to the woman?

I tuned out during his session of gyan because I realised that he was so mistaken in his basic premise that there seemed little point in going on.

Women today no longer just join a man’s family like staff. Marriage is an equal partnership where the man is also becoming a part of her family. In which case, why not mutually exchange names along with vows and leave it at that?

Today, man and woman both leave their parental homes and set up one of their own, based on mutual respect and equality. How hard is that to understand? Even if not physically – you do set up the concept of a new family together.

Men need to either keep up with the times and understand that, or then get left behind and wonder what the hell hit them.

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Okay so I wrote this post and being the kind of issue it is, it never does end. Funnily it came up a few times more. My PAN card is a mess. My dad has this loooong name which includes his first name, father’s name, village name and a bunch of other jazz which most of the time does nothing but add to administrative issues. All his official papers have different names and sometimes initials for a few of them. As a result my PAN card which has his name, doesnt tally with his PAN card and now I’m going nuts cutting through red tape to get it. It hasn’t mattered all this while but now that I have a steady income, I need it desperately and I’m cursing my dad for having kept 4 names that he displays randomly as the mood posseses him.

I spoke to the income tax call centre today and the lady was as frustrated as me as we went through the documentation. We realised that on every bit of proof we have various permutations and combinations of his name. I’m tempted to quit work and not earn a rupee  just to save myself this running around. Between the Brat’s admissions, my eff-ed up knee, my job, the Bean’s health and a planned move to shift out of this third floor house, I am standing on my own last remaining nerve.

The lady finally frayed it by saying, ‘You know ma’am, don’t mind but your father’s name is too long and there is too much scope for mistakes. Please re-apply with your husband’s name.’

I hung up slowly after thanking her. And I was just so tired. It’s as though I’m nobody without my husband’s name or father’s name. Yes, I know this is a process that even the husband goes through – he must always fill his father’s name. But I’m tired of how patriachal it is.

What if I want to fill my mother’s name? For one thing she’s a darn sight better organised than my father, has all her documentation in place, and has just a first name and surname. It would be the simplest thing on earth to apply with her forms as proof. But no, it must be either my father or husband. Both of whom have their endless village  name, father’s name and God alone knows what else that they add and subtract, making every bit of identity proof a pain in the arse.

What if my parents are divorced and I dont want to use my father’s name and I’m single and have no husband’s name to give? Why don’t the columns read Parent/Spouse’s name instead of Father/Husband’s name?

Here’s a better question? Why oh why do I have to get a PAN card?

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I think the mistake we make in this endless debate, as in many others, is believing that if I’m not for you, I’m against you. Well this isn’t one of those. A woman’s name is her own business. It begins and ends at her doorstep. If she is okay with changing it, nobody has a right to tell her she is regressive. If she doesn’t want to change it, nobody has a right to tell her she is a rebel.

This conversation came up again with friends and a couple of them said that their surname wasn’t their identity so they didn’t mind changing it. ‘My name is not my identity and changing it won’t change the person I am’ they said.

I beg to differ. It’s definitely not my identity, but it’s part of my identity. You wouldn’t have randomly changed it before marriage either – right? Because it WAS important to you.

It’s just a question of the times and social conditioning. A 100 years ago even the first name was changed after marriage and most women meekly accepted it. I’d like to see anyone changing their first name today meekly just because their inlaws say so. I know a lot of families still give that new first name as part of the custom, but how many women in our generation do you know, in your own social circle, who have taken on the new first name and are referred to by it and introduce themselves by it? Or changed their official papers to their new first name? Or told all their friends to call them by the new name?

Similarly, we women of this generation have grown up accepting that surnames will be changed. There is no inner tussle in the head or the heart. But our first names – well that we were told we’d have for life and I can bet you we’d have a huge issue accepting it being changed. We accept the surname as fait accompli because we’re conditioned to believe that its okay. Which is fine. When we were kids, all families had the same surname. But things are changing.

Families no longer belong to the same community. They’re a mix of Bengali, Tamilian, Bihari, Mizo, Goan, Haryanvi… so many combinations. The entire definition of a family is a new one. They’re a mix of religions. (Did anyone see the Republic day issue of HT Brunch? Story on the Alvas and another family  – mix of so many religions and communities). They no longer eat the same thing. In the same family I’ve seen the Jains eat different food, some people eat egg, others eat meat and yet others eat beef and pork. So even the dining table holds different food for the various members. The people sitting around the table worship or believe in different Gods or different avatars. So the name perhaps, is the least of the issues. How does it matter if we carry different second names?

Do people with the same surname not have fights? Do they not get divorced? Do they not fight over property? Do they not have affairs and cheat on their spouses? Does it give enough of a family feel to not harass DILs for dowry? Does it make you feel enough of a family to support your wife and split the housework? Does it make fathers attend school functions that their kids are in?

I see some women who change their surnames but insist on every single tiny custom being done the way they’ve always done it in their parental home. This is not a generalisation – its just that changing your name is not really a sign of wanting to fit into a family. The attitude should be one of willing to adjust and be a part of it. A simple name change means nothing more than that.

There are all sorts of people and the way they behave isn’t governed by their surname. A few days ago we were househunting and the broker was slightly rude to the OA. The OA gave it back politely but I went at the broker like a tigress and the OA had to calm me down and drag me away, reminding me that we needed the broker. I didn’t care. We lost the best house because of my hot headedness but I wasn’t going to stand by and watch some asshole give my husband lip. And we don’t share a surname. But I can’t imagine feeling anymore of a family than we already do. I loved him 8 years ago when we had different surnames and nothing’s changed. I can’t imagine loving my husband or my children anymore than I love them right now –  I feel it come rushing up my stomach and burning my insides. If I loved them any more, I’d implode!

All this, is not to say that women shouldn’t change their surnames. But to say that keeping the same surname makes you feel more like a family is just a specious argument. You feel like a family because you are one. Nothing can change that. Not the food you eat, the God you pray to or the name you keep.

If you want to change your name because you were conditioned to do so and you think there is no harm – why that’s a fair enough reason. If you do so because you like the sound of Mr and Mrs Agarwal – good for you again. If you do so because you love your inlaws and think its a small gesture to keep them happy – good for you. If you think it would keep your husband happy and make him feel more like the head of the house – good on you again.

But don’t tell me it will make you more or less of a family. Don’t tell me it will make the kids misfits. And don’t tell me that a man doesnt equally marry into his wife’s family. I don’t want to hear it.

PS: Disclaimer for those who will be sure to come running and imagining things. I have no issues with those who change their surnames. I fight for their right to do that just as I fight for my right to keep mine. I do have an issue with statements that reflect badly by implication – that not changing my name is either disrespectful to my husband (what respect ? he’s an equal), will leave my kids feeling like misfits ( really – and have you never seen families with the same surname where the entire family hates each other and have no communication or relationship?) or any other such crap. Actually – go ahead. Tell me, and make my day as I rip each ridiculous argument to pieces.

What do I have to offer thee, Bean?

We bought a car last month. The Chevrolet Spark. (Cue for congratulations!) It was a crazy busy day with the kids coming back from G’Pa-Nana house and then rushing to office, then coming back, picking up the car and rushing off to drop Nana back on the train.

In all this, the car wasn’t celebrated as it was meant to be. No drive to temple or church, nothing. A friend asked me if we broke a coconut. No. Take it to church? No. But we got into the car and before starting, the OA and I closed our eyes almost on cue and said a little prayer… and then we were off. He dropped me home and rushed to a meeting in it. And that is how the new car was inaugurated. With love and hard work. Maybe this means the OA will do good business in this car. Fingers crossed. Do add your prayers to ours.

Don’t you want to teach your kids any customs and rituals and traditions, friends asked?

No. No, thank you. I don’t want to teach my kids anything that will become a cause for trouble later. I don’t want them to go through life believing that these are the important things. The things that must be done. That they must be done in a particular way. That a new car must have a coconut broken under a tire and driven to Church before any other place.  Because what starts off as a mere happy tradition is soon set in stone and the cause of war. Do good, be good and the rest is all just frills, IMHO.

The Bean turned 23 months on the 15th and I was just too tired to do a post. In a couple of weeks my daughter will be two years old. My gorgeous, feisty, intelligent, fun loving daughter with laughter that is music to my ears. And what is my gift to her? Life in a country where its okay to pull women out of pubs by their hair because they’re mixing with men of another religion. She is a product of that sort of a mixture. Her mother and father belong to two different faiths. They have moved so much beyond it to find commonalities. Hell, they don’t even get time to argue over such trivialities because they are so busy arguing over whether the Chevrolet Spark should be bought or the Hyundai i10. Whether it’s better to use a locker at ICICI or SBI. Whether the Bean should start school in March or April.

I have never been part of any community and blogging was the first time I understood what it meant to be part of a gang of people. One of the other times I have understood what it means to be a community is when I meet other couples like ourselves. Who think like us, who have discarded man made barriers of caste and creed to follow their hearts. To marry people they really like – not just because they happen to be of the same community.

The other day the OA and I were waiting in a queue in the bank and in front of us a couple were opening a joint account. They stood ahead of us and like us were discussing their day. The itinerary. Like the OA and me they argued over who locked the door. Whether the TV was left on or not and much more that I really can’t remember. And then as is normal at a PSU bank – the guy at the counter went off for a tea break. The queue broke and we all scrambled around his desk. And as I stood there sticking pictures and signing forms in triplicate, I noticed their form. He was a Mohd something and she was something Sharma. They were filling up forms for a joint account. I nudged the OA and grinned. It might seem rather pathetic, but we’re in such a minority. People like us. And then to hear that it’s couples like us being targetted – just breaks my heart.

When the OA and I were getting married, another inter-religious couple, friends of ours, were getting married too. Within days of their marriage notice going up in the lower court, they got calls from the VHP threatening to throw acid on their faces if they didn’t call it off. The OA and I promptly took our notice down and got married in my hometown.

I wish I could explain how low the whole incident brought us. As it is marriage is a huge decision and you have a 101 doubts as to whether it will work out alright. And when  you are marrying out of your community etc, you have so many more fears. When one or both sets of parents are against the union, it’s worse. And to then have someone totally unconnected – a political party  – jump into the fray and tell you that you’re doing wrong – just takes the cake. It hits too close home, it adds to your fears and it totally ruins what should be the most beautiful moment of your life. You step out of your home fearful of acid being flung in your face and instead of shouting from the rooftops about your love, you skulk around corners, looking out for attackers. How is it any party’s business whether I date a man from my community or not? Even my parents cannot stop me, as an adult, so who else really counts?

People watcher that I am – a few days ago I was waiting on the roadside when I saw a young college -going couple walk up to each other.  They came from two ends of the road and were walking towards each other. I saw them both and I just knew they were coming to meet each other. They smiled from across the road and as they neared each other you could see the sparks fly, stars come sparkling down and little flowers and hearts raining down on them. Well maybe not – but they may as well have been for all the love and chemistry you could see around them. To the exclusion of the rest of the road. They were in their own little bubble. And then as they met their bubbles merged and they went off together, without a word. And I could see why the Sri Ram Sene and the Shiv Sena want to break up happy couples. It’s good old plain jealousy. If you don’t have what these others do, you can’t let them enjoy it. With none of the charm or the finesse or youthful willingness to put your heart out there, with nothing to recommend them, these jobless, unloved, harsh young men and cranky old men, go around taking away from others, a pleasure they will never know. I see it, I understand where they are coming from, but I am damned if I will accept it.

So it is that, and the little matter of being a woman. For all that we love to hate each other, women across the world need to stand together. Stay together. Which is why despite being a teetotaller and a non-smoker, I stand by the rights of women across the world to smoke, drink, date men of other faiths and women too, for all I  care.

Friends who objected to the Pink Chaddi campaign wanted to know why women weren’t doing something bigger. Why not thrash those men. Because this is about more than violence. Its easy for these men to get violent. Heck – they are incapable of doing anything more than showing an animal like violent response. But how do I teach my child day after day, that violence is not the answer, if I myself take up arms and start beating people up everytime I disagree with the way they are going about something.

I was shocked to see women on other forums saying that while they disagree with the Sri Rama Sene’s violence – they believe that this is against Indian culture. Is culture not dynamic? Isn’t it made up of us? Are women not to decide what path they wish for their culture to take? Isn’t this just another form of violence against women that we so proudly say our country doesn’t experience? Someone left a comment a few days ago on my blog saying that they don’t want people to think that there are loads of young unmarried pregnant women in our villages. Well why not? It’s the truth. It may be a small percentage. But they do exist. As do sati, child marriage, female foeticide and infanticide. Violence has got to stop. Against people who choose to do thing differently to the way you do. Against people who are choosing to break away from something they don’t believe in.

Over the last couple of months the Taliban has been attacking school girls with acid. They’re lifting up their veils to disfigure their faces. Do their beliefs tell them its okay to unveil a young girl and attack her simply because she is getting an education?

A friend who sent me the link immediately after it happened, said – Thank God this doesn’t happen in India. No. It doesn’t. Maybe not the exact same thing – but the bottomline is the same. Five women have been attacked recently in Bangalore. Men attacking women for choices they are making. Men attacking women for walking out in jeans. Men attacking women for holding down jobs. Men attacking women for getting an education. Men attacking women simply because they’re women.

I want to catch all those sanctimonious auntyjis who believe they’re being very fair in saying – ‘Well, we don’t agree with the methods of the Sri Ram Sene/Taliban/VHP/ Shiv Sena, but do we really want our young women to sit around getting drunk at pubs?’ .. and shake them up.

Well, you know what auntyji? It’s none of your business what those young girls sit around doing on their own time and with their own money. And the day you tell some man that he has a right to dictate your choices (even non-violently), you’re walking down a slippery path. At your own peril. And he will attack you, even as you tuck your saree around your ample waist, get onto your scooty and head to your respectable administrative job after having made three meals for your family. Really. That day is not far.

Until that day…. I apologise my darling Beanie. You deserve so much more than this shitty state of affairs you’ve had the misfortune of being born into…

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Edited to add: I watched Dilli 6 last night. And loved it. It is an ode to Delhi and it’s always nice to see an ode to the city that has become your home. Coincidentally I was in the Delhi 6 area yesterday and it’s still awe-inspiring to wander through those lanes. Such a contrast to South Delhi with it’s flyovers, metros, high end malls and such.

I liked the movie. I don’t care what others have to say. I loved the song Rehna Tu. I loved it anyway, thinking it was a love song. And when I saw that it was a love song to Delhi – I loved it even more! The words so apt – thoda sa resham, thoda sa khurdara. There are so many movies that show Bombay at it’s best and each time I watch a movie that has even a teeny bit of Delhi in it, I am totally thrilled and jumping around in my seat! Yeah – star struck villager :D

I don’t know where the movie went wrong, but it held my interest till the end and what brought it home is the times we live in. The frustrations of traffic stopping because of a cow crossing the road (if not giving birth)! The religious disharmony the country is seeing so much of… and most of all – the mixed Abhishek Bachchan. At some point, someone in the movie yells out ‘Aye 50-50. And I was like – that’s it. My children. 50-50. Someday some bigot with his head up his arse is going to say that to my children.

Some asshole is going to tell my kids that they can’t walk into this church or that temple because they don’t belong to either. Which is why we rarely visit either. No significant event in the house is given any religious connotation and their identity and celebrations are mostly just all about fun. Sigh. Lets see how it goes.