Haseen Dillruba! They Are Just Another Married Couple After All1

I was not interested in watching this movie. From the trailers and name, I felt like it was some idiotic movie justifying an extra marital affair, with an unnecessarily sensational murder plot. The negative reviews didn’t help either. Never had I imagined that this movie would touch me. The suspense or the crime part of it is not the highlight of the movie for me, although the film is completely gripping and you will not get bored at any point.   To me, this was a story about just another newly married, arranged marriage couple, and I have never seen a more realistic portrayal.

Spoiler alert: I will not disclose anything related to the ‘murder’ but will include descriptions of the lead couple’s marriage in this blog. So, if have not watched the movie and you don’t want to know anything about it then don’t read further. Please come back once you watch it.

Simple boy ‘gets’ hot girl thanks to arranged marriage

Rani is the good-looking girl from Delhi. Reeshu is the average looking boy from Jwalapur. Rani may have had hotter boyfriends before with whom it not work out. Reeshu probably never had access to such a good-looking woman. Rani knows that she needs stability in her life now, and commitment phobic boyfriends will not provide that to her. Reeshu is on cloud nine to find such a pretty girl. Rani is well aware that she is way out of his league. She knows that he got her without any efforts, and therefore takes her for granted. Reeshu knows in his heart he loves her so much and will take care of her. What else could possibly matter?

But is love ever enough?

Sex life

Psychologists say that sex is 70% of the marriage. Which means that if your sex life is good, you may still have a lot of problems. However, if your sex life is not good, it becomes 70% of the problem right there! But what happens in an arranged marriage? How easy is it to build chemistry with someone who you barely know? What if the wife is far more attractive than the husband and he is fully aware of it? How difficult is it for him to initiate things? What if something breaks his confidence? What if he feels that his inner doubts and insecurity which he had locked up somewhere at the back of his head may actually be real and true?

Is it so easy to recover from something like this so early on in the marriage?

Bahurani is not (never) good enough!

In case you are thinking based on the above point that if everything is good in the bedroom, things will be fine, you are wrong! Rani is not just a wife, but a daughter-in-law and from the moment she wakes up, her entire lifestyle and habits is under scrutiny!

Subtle details in the movie – such as the mother-in-law chopping vegetables and frowning because Rani gets up late, Rani’s lack of interest in the kitchen causing further resentment to her husband, Rishu’s friend telling him, ‘Thoda raub lo Bhabhi par, routine set karo – itne baje breakfast, itne baje chai’ is all way too real in the Indian marriage set-up.

The problem with arranged marriages is that there is a lot of focus on finding the ‘right person’. But people have no idea what should happen once the marriage is solemnized.

What is marriage anyway?

Most people get married believing a myth.
They believe that marriage is a beautiful box full of things they have longed for… companionship, intimacy, friendship, etc.

The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box.
You must put something in before you can take anything out.

There is no love in marriage.
Love is in people. And people put love in marriage.
There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage.

A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full.
If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.

(Written by Dr J Allan Peterson)

So, what do you put in this box?

This is a tricky question for Indian women. I have written a book called, ‘Marriages are made in kitchen’. Most women do not think that men want them to cook all day. Most men are also not aware that this is their expectation, until they get married and they see that the wife does not cook (enough). Rani doesn’t really cook anything or have interest in housework. She doesn’t think much of it either. In a scene which I found cute, she politely smiles and nods at her parents-in-law, tries to pour tea from the empty kettle, and fetches bread and jam from the kitchen. She does not realize that she has committed a sin while the mother-in-law all the while stares at her as if she is unbelievable! Reeshu’s friend also convinces him to assert his wife into falling into a ‘routine’ where she should run after him providing his breakfast, lunch and dinner at a certain time.  

No wonder, Rani says, ‘Pehle batana tha na, Bawarchi chahiye’.

Though no one responded to her in this movie, typical response to this question would be, ‘Shadi kyun ki,?’  

Family dynamics

 Reeshu lives with his parents, and his bride Rani joins him after marriage. Reeshu’s mother is quite obvious about her disapproval for Rani’s habits and lack of participation in housework. She is vocal about it too. However, what truly breaks Reeshu’s confidence and heart is that Rani speaks to her mother about their relationship!

Again, very typical of Indian men. Their parents, their sisters, their brothers, their side of the family can poke their nose and ‘advise’ them on their marriage and criticize the wife from head to toe, morning till night. But the wife’s call to the mother is always the deal breaker for them!

Again, very realistic portrayal. 

So what is Rani supposed to do?

 The moment Rani shows interest in the kitchen, Reeshu’s heart melts. There is a scene in which Reeshu sees that Rani is doing a facial for his mother. So far in the movie, Reeshu’s mother is least interested in Rani’s ‘parlor’ skills. Yet, when Reeshu sees that his wife and his mother have finally got some common ground, and are bonding over something, his face immediately lights up. This is the level of detailing in the movie!  

This is how men are! Don’t ask me why but this is how it is. They want you to cook. They want you to take care of their mothers. And when you do it, they reward you with their love! You might think you are doing other things right, but these two things mean a lot to them!  

Practically impossible marriage?  

An unconsummated marriage. An affair. Wife is far from being an ‘ideal bahu’ by mother-in-law’s standards. Husband has started hating her. He is mean to her. Awful to say the least. The marriage is practically impossible. But you know what makes marriages survive?

People stay. It is as simple as that. (A line I have used in my book, ‘Marriages are made in moments’).

Kitne bhi tu kar le sitam, has has ke sahenge hum. Yeh pyaar na hoga kum.

Despite it all, Rani stays. ‘Love and hate are two sides of the same coin’. And who knows it better than a married couple! My heart breaks for Reeshu. A good guy who was happy to find a pretty girl, and he had thought he could keep her happy. He was not a good-looking guy. But he loved her. Or at least he thought he did. My heart breaks for Rani. She feels rejected by Reeshu. But it was Reeshu who felt rejected first.   Again, something only married couples know. Who did what first? Who initiated it? Who carried it forward? No one knows. What is left at the end is anger, hurt, distance, and more distance.

Hazaar rahein mud ke dekhi, Kahin se koi sada na aayi

Badi wafa se nibhayi tumne hamari those si bewafai

Bad boys versus good boys

I have been watching ‘Sex life’ on Netflix. Have not yet completed it. But one thing is clear. Whether it is Bollywood or Hollywood, men are compartmentalized as ‘good boys’ or ‘bad boys’. The average looking man who wears a shirt and pants and goes to office is considered good. The heroine’s ex-boyfriend with six-packs and a bike is always the bad guy.

This is not necessarily true, ladies. Please don’t think there are any ‘good guys’ just because they look ‘simple’.  All men are capable of being good or bad. All men have the potential of breaking you. There is no ‘good guy’ who will love you unconditionally. Other than parents, nobody will love you unconditionally. More importantly, I think the distinction instead of ‘good boy vs bad boy’ should be of husband vs boyfriend. Totally different expectations, and not at all comparable!

Janmon ke saathi, hum saath saath hain

 I know, cheesy line. But the only thing that matters, at the end of the day. The ‘saat pheras’, the ‘ek chutki sindoor’, it has some power after all. Believe it or not. All marriages seem impossible at some point, but you can still make it work. A lesson for anyone struggling in a marriage and wanting to make it work. No third person can break your marriage, remember that.

Reeshu and Rani were just another married couple, who got married thinking it will just work out naturally (it is supposed to), realized that it doesn’t work that way, doubted each other, doubted themselves, had their hearts broken, made mistakes, treated each other like ****, had themselves trampled over, yet in the end they survived it.

That pretty much summarizes marriage!

 

 

 

The Horror That 2021 Is…

 

I had written ‘lockdown’ posts in 2020. Lockdown 1, lockdown 2, lockdown 3, lockdown 4 and so on. These posts revolved around sanitizing milk packets, Maggi not being available in the market,  Zoom calls with family as boredom relief and complaining about doing housework without maids.

March 2020, my parents and so many other people their age received their first dose of vaccine. Maa Papa should stay home for another three months after getting the second dose, to be on the safer side. Sister should be able to visit from the US during niece’s summer vacation. I will start working from office….

The worst is over…This is what we all had thought.

Now, when I look back at my posts from 2020, I feel they were such a joke. What can we say of the past month and half? Numbers became people we knew. Covid hit home. And it hit hard.  People have died even when they did not have Covid. There are horror stories everywhere. In 2021, people just seem to die!  With the blink of an eye! Age is no bar. Fitness is not bar. People old and young have died.

I witnessed the first cremation of my life in February at my grandmother’s death. Yes, I was very  lucky to have seen something so devastating only at an ‘older’ age of someone old. But it has given me a whole new sense of perspective when I hear of someone’s death. Earlier I would think of the loss. The pain of not seeing your loved one ever again. The realization that you would never hear their voice, never hold them and never feel them again. The only way this nightmare would end is with your own death. Not anytime before that.

But now when I hear someone has died, and we are hearing so much now it’s almost unbelievable, the first thought that comes to my mind is that they have to deal with the ‘body’. Such a horrible term. Such a painful procedure. Such long rituals. Such empty 13 days or 4 days.

And yet to think that even that has become a privilege?

I watched the movie, ‘Ram Prasad Ki Terahvi’ and ‘Paglait’ recently. Both were good. My take here on the movies is death, nothing else. I don’t think any other movies have captured the ‘days that follow’. In Paglait, the mother talks about obtaining the death certificate of her son.  A death certificate of course has legal significance. But it is again such a painful thing – A piece of paper that states something so brutal. As if you don’t already know! The landscape of your entire life has changed! You do not need a piece of paper reminding you of it!

Back in February at the time of grandmother’s death, I was thinking that if someone dies, you should be able to close your eyes and not do anything for a long, long time. What you are getting is a lifelong punishment anyway. You should be allowed to shut your self down. There should not be any ‘body’, any rituals, any legal obligations, any funerals to be planned, any  anything. But then again, if you could wish for something, wouldn’t you wish that the death itself did not happen…

As a child, I went to a Catholic convent. We prayed before every ‘period’.   I was into the habit of praying before going to sleep at night. I prayed for the well-being of my family. My family was my father, mother, sister and me. I used to worry about my grandmother because she had to worry about so many people – her four children, their spouses, and their two kids each. Sixteen people is a lot to pray for!

I also had some concepts around death. Like if a whole family dies in a plane crash, that is not so bad. But if a person dies alone leaving behind a whole family that is bad. I used to reason that if at all there must be a concept of death, there should be some logic to it. Like people should die in families. Or there should be some pain / sadness threshold that should determine who should die. Bad people should die first. Death should make some sense!

I remember when I was very young, my father’s friend’s daughter (barely 14-15 years old) who went to my school died by suicide.   My father who visited the family the same day told me that Uncle looked so broken that he was afraid that Uncle may have a heart attack and die too. I immediately put my logic in place and thought that if the young girl and Uncle are both gone, how will Aunty and the other sister live? All of them should be gone… But wait.. what about the parents of Uncle and Aunty? Surely they should not be made to survive this? What about their siblings?

Someone has rightly said. Nobody dies alone.

People are changing jobs. People are getting married. People are having babies. I don’t know how any of that is happening. All I do is manage to get up in the morning, feel scared to look at my phone, skip a heartbeat when I receive any call or a message, somehow function through the day, pray before sleeping and go to bed only to have nightmares.

If there is a God, please have mercy!

Goodbye 2020: Will Not Miss You!

The world will be screaming Happy New Year in two days. 2020 was horrible. It was merciless.  People died. Lots of people.  Let us just accept how bad it was.  And just when we got hopes of a vaccine,  there was news of a deadlier strain coming up…

Really what is so ‘Happy’ about this coming year? 2020 has changed me I am sure the way it has changed so many of us.  For people whose loved ones were snatched away, they will never be the same again.   In that way, the rest of us who did not get the virus, did not lose anyone close must be the lucky and grateful ones who can complain about  anxiety, loneliness, boredom and isolation.  While a personal tragedy changes one forever,  a pandemic reminds us that it is not just life that is uncertain, but the entire world could crumple anytime.

I think this year has caused permanent damage to the way I see things.  I feel we are all just surviving that’s it.  That is what we were always meant to do.  And that is the best we will ever do.. 

Speaking of survival….

Roti: Most important thing

I pretty much cooked since March. My husband and I decided not to call the cook even after things got better. Cooking definitely takes up a lot of time. It is also never ending.  But still, food is something that can give instant happiness.  These thoughts inspired me to write my book, ‘Marriages are made in kitchen’. I think my highlights of this year have been the times I have ordered chilly chicken, chowmein pizza and momos at home!

Kapda: Why do we have all this stuff!

I started watching a show, ‘Minimalism’ on Netflix. I have been busy so I could barely get past the first episode. However, when I look at my two bedrooms full of clothes, makeup and accessories, untouched for 9.5 months of the year, I think why do we buy so much stuff!!! Do we need it?  I have a habit of buying new clothes before every vacation. Those dresses get worn once or twice.   I don’t even want to get into saris, and heavy salwar suits and how rarely we get to wear them! Of course, the only winner in 2020 was pajamas and track pants!

Aur Makaan: Where do you stay?

I moved house recently. I went from a bigger house in a small society to a smaller house in a big society. In this house hunt, I met people who vacated their houses on rent and left for their hometowns.

‘When will you come back to the city?’ I asked a lady. ‘Once my son’s school opens, or my office calls me whichever is earlier.’ She replied.

I also met a man who is selling his house because he has got permanent work from home now.

‘I will go back to my native (hometown) or go to Australia!’ He said.  And then I thought to myself, what would happen if this continues?  What will be the deciding factor where one would live when there is no office and no school?  You could be anywhere but anywhere is a scary place to be….

I read something on Christmas, ‘The things I want, cannot be bought!’ How true is that! Could it be any truer? (Read ‘be’ Chandler style)!

Magar mujhko lauta do mera woh bachpan, wok kagaz ki kashti who barish ka pani!

Let me tell you what I want. I want to go back to the time when six people lived happily in a two bedroom house where 10 people would visit for weddings and  holidays.  The time when our rooms were full of people, laughter, chats instead of stuff! I want to go back to the time when we would share a room with a cousin and talk all night.   Make Maggi at 3 am, and swear to sleep only to keep talking again. Wake up late, and have elders say how much we sleep. We would explain, You see, we slept only after 5…

Khairiyat poocho kabhi to kairiyat poocho..

There was a time we had landlines, which were mostly placed in the living rooms. People called and introduced themselves. No privacy.   Yet, friends who spent the whole day together in school called each other up every day and talked for long.

Tumlog ko itna kya baat karna hai? School mein to mile hi the!

Family members would say. And these calls were not free! Yet it was a price worth paying. Then came mobile phones. SMS.  Call charges were still high though. Initially I hated SMS. I would call people to respond to their message.  ‘It is annoying to type,’ I would say.  Then came Skype and WhatsApp.  There was no concept of call charges anymore.  From being the kind of person who didn’t like typing, I became the kind of person who didn’t like surprise calls.   I started texting people to check if I could call them.  They returned the courtesy.   It became a norm..

How many people can we pick up the phone and just call? How many people call  us  regularly just to ask ‘Aur kya chal raha hai?’

 

Muskuraye to muskurane ke karz utarne hoge

As kids we loved families. We loved to draw those stick figures with a round head. Shirt pant for Papa. Sari for Mumma. Girl child in skirt. Boy child in shorts.  But little did we know that families come at a cost. Marriage comes at a cost. And one person always pays the higher price.  The ones who chose self-respect often have to give up companionship.  The ones who chose the relationship have to compromise on their dignity. All for that occasional smile.   Sometimes that smile is not even for you, but for someone else.  What do you get in return?

Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din

I used to think that if I am home all day (despite work from home) I would probably read a lot and  watch a lot of movies. But fursat is good only when you are stress-free.  Otherwise, fursat can become your worst enemy.

In the middle of this year I thought, when will this end, when will I get  to go to restaurants, movies beaches and vacations!  But now I feel it may not change anything. What if the emptiness of this year is permanent? What if the hollow feeling is within?

What if everything we think makes us happy in life is just a way of escape?

Even though I am feeling very low about next year, I wish everyone a happy and safe year ahead. Do share with me in the comments the songs that best capture your feelings of 2020.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday in 2020!!

The Silsila of birthday in Corona started in May with my husband’s birthday.  There was a lockdown.  I was at my highest level of anxiety and did not order cake, nor did I order any gifts for him. I made a cake in a karahi. I sincerely believed then that parcels carried potential risk. Neither did we meet anyone.  What I did instead was organize an online party for him from both his side of the family and mine.  Little did I know that it would be the first of the many online parties that would follow in 2020…. November was distant then, and I had thought things would be better by then…

My birthday was on Diwali this year so it was very special. I had a nice day with our families.  Before I complain about how I could not go out to a restaurant, or invite people over I should remember that 2020 has been about surviving.   I am grateful to be alive,  healthy and happy that I have not got the dreaded illness. It has been a weird year, and with the loss and despair that it has brought,  it has probably made us value little nothings more than ever.

How was it different from other birthdays?

I have become a little chilled out now. So yes there were two cakes,  a bouquet and lots of gifts and treats sent by close family.  For our anniversary in June, my husband wanted to get flowers for me but he was afraid I will kill them with sanitizers!

Being Diwali it was automatically vibrant and festive. I watched a woman take her little daughter to play with fire crackers. The girl was scared and her mother was asking her to at least try a phuljhadi. The daughter kept saying, ‘Dar lagta hai’. The mother told her that this happens every year. She feels scared at first, then she starts enjoying it and refuses to leave!

I thought this exactly described me from my childhood! As a kid, I always wanted to dress up in something pretty like lehenga for Diwali. But my mother dressed me up in Jeans, T shirt, Denim jacket, and fully closed shoes. She thought I should be safely dressed for fire crackers and not in some dupatta. I would always start out being scared, then excited and finally found jumping near phirki!  I distinctly remember a Diwali when I had upgraded from phuljhari to Anar, although the bum was still off limits. Something that always fascinated me was the rocket. I always wondered if it would fly into someone’s home! And then there was the gharonda which was a project we loved…

I feel that so many children from this generation may not be familiar with the beauty of Diwali…

New clothes, new makeup but stuck at home!

I received a lot of gifts. Now I am waiting for an occasion to actually wear the new clothes!  I have been complaining to my husband that we should go on a short holiday. I see people post pictures, and I feel like I am the only one stuck at home!  However,  I have not even started going to restaurants or supermarket or visiting anyone.

I spent a lot of time thinking about nearby places I could visit by car for a short tw0-three day trip. The journey should be short enough to not use a restroom on way, and the resort should be ‘isolated’ and ‘not crowded’ and ‘following covid protocol’.  Such a place probably does not exist!  I even imagine carrying my own bedsheets and pillow cases! My husband says this vacation is just a fancy thought in my head, and I will never be able to go through with it. Last couple of times I have stepped out to a store, I have returned to the car because people have not been wearing a mask.

My husband has a feeling I will make him drive to some place, then get irritated at people not wearing a mask, ask him to yell at them, hate everyone and then make him drive us back home!  Even for my birthday, we did not go out to any restaurant, just to our parents’ place. I especially get irritated looking at people whose mask is below their nose. The nostrils is not an attractive part of the face, and there is something very annoying about a mask that highlights the nose instead of covering it!

My Goals for this year

I read my blog from last birthday. Seems I was quite positive and was giving gyaan on Zindagi milegi na dobara and taking risks!  Taking risks has a whole new meaning in 2020 so I would not say that anymore.  I guess the only thing I did this year worth talking about was writing books.   Towards the mid of the year, I was very focused on being productive, making the most of work from home but now I seem quite content with being lazy and sleeping more!  I guess I underestimated the joy of getting up  minutes before logging in and having nowhere to report to! Of course I would love to go out,  but I don’t miss the traffic of the daily office commute.

I have also realized that I simply cannot watch Netflix etc. for long. I have never been a binge watcher and I assumed that was because I would rather go out than stay home and watch TV.  Now I know that even when I am home for months,  there is only a limited amount of shows I can watch. I have also realized I cannot read a lot of books.   I have a low attention span. Surprisingly, I like to waste time reading random things on the internet!

I don’t have much goals for 2021.   In fact, I can’t even think of anything! All I can think of is when will I go on my next vacation, when will work from home end and office will resume, when will I wear nice clothes, when will I order lenses next?

And yet a part of me is enjoying being in pajamas all day, taking a nap during work hours, and taking a shower at 6 pm!

But since it has always been a birthday tradition, let me list down some goals:

Stop being so finicky

I have mentioned about my obsessiveness with germs even pre corona in my blog. Now when I look back, I feel why was I always like this? Was I preparing for corona all my life!  My aim is to relax a little once corona is over.  There is also a possibility that I will only get worse post corona. Only time will tell…

Write more articles

I had made a conscious decision to focus more on books this year than blogs. But I ended up writing very little on my blog.   Some people have messaged me saying I should continue the articles and that they really enjoyed it.  I have that in my to-do.  Facebook reach of posts has declined a lot, which becomes demotivating for a writer.   But I guess, I should not think about that and just continue to write, the way I did when I started out.

Karam kiye ja. Phal ki chinta mat kar!

  • Get a dishwasher

I really want to stop the dependency on household helps.   I started calling my maid only recently and even though I cannot do all the work by myself, I think the dishes should definitely get a solution. This may not  happen soon but let’s see…

  • Visit cousins / friends more

I realized that this year just got over and I did not meet people enough . Will do that more next year.

  • Compile my non-fiction blogs into a book

Or maybe write a non-fiction book from scratch . I think after this year, I have become less scared of getting ugly criticism  or bad reviews.  I have realized that I am not famous enough to be hated, so the worst thing that can happen to writers like me is that people don’t read enough, for which we have to keep figuring out ways to improve the reach. At least the fear  is gone now!

  • Go to a cold place in India with my husband
    A vacation in the hills. Simla, Manali or Nainital or maybe Sikkim… Momos and pahad wali Maggie.

My husband went to college in Simla and some of our relatives are there currently, so this is likely to happen, of course covid willing! I also want to go to a beach in foreign and wear a swim suit.  I always wear shorts at a beach, I have not worn anything less than that as I feel too conscious. But yes, I do want to do that once in my lifetime!  Beaches remind me that I also want to go to Goa! Ever since I have got married my husband and I talk in terms of visiting places that we have visited before separately ‘but saath mein nahi gaye hain!’

Become something else!

I watched an IPS officer win KBC recently. I was very inspired and I told my husband I want to be an IPS officer too! I do this a lot. When I watched Dexter, I wanted to be a homicide detective, when I watched Homeland I wanted to be a spy, when I watch anything I want to be in that profession! My husband joked that I could still get the forms and study hard and become an IPS officer.  I told him I must have crossed the age limit.  I checked online and I had  crossed it indeed! Even though this was just for fun, I really wish we had more time to choose our career.  Deciding Arts, Science and Commerce at 15, and limiting ourselves for the rest of our life before we know what we want is harsh!

So I guess this one should be added to next life goals instead!

Bas itna sa khwab hai!!

So this is it for now. Everybody please stay safe. Covid has not ended yet.   Take care.

Image source

 

Haircut During Covid! My Experience

A little background

A year ago, I had written a blog, ‘Five Reasons Why You Should Get A Short Haircut Once In Your Lifetime’. Sharing the link. To give a recap, I had written about how my natural hair is curly and since I have got it smoothened once,  I now have to keep getting some treatment once a year to make it look neat.  I had also written about my husband’s obsession with short hair, and how he kept telling the stylist to make my hair, “really short” and I kept saying, “not too short” and the poor stylist did the best she could!

Before the haircut

Cut to 2020.   September 2020 marked 1 year since I had got any haircut,  trimming,  or treatment.  My curls and waves were coming back, and not in a flattering way.  I always wash my hair in the evening after coming back from office, and even though there has been no office since March 2020, the habit of washing the hair in the evening continued.   Old habits die hard!   Even though I always use a drier, I still end up feeling cold sometimes and any sign of cold would again trigger a scare…

I was originally planning to get a haircut in March. In March, covid started. During that time, I was watching a lot of news from Italy.   The leaders of the country were scolding people who went to the salon.

‘You will die with your hair set!’

‘You will look beautiful! In a coffin!’

I took those warnings very seriously.  I judged people who went for haircuts and posted pictures.  Was it worth the risk? Was it necessary? I asked.  I forbade my husband from going for a haircut too. I offered to cut his hair (an offer instantly refused!) and he ended up buying a hair trimmer which messed his hair up!  By September, I was totally frustrated with my hair and I wanted to go for a cut.  My husband told me that this time, I should get the really short haircut he wanted me to get last time.  I was hesitant for many reasons. Covid is the most obvious. But there were more.  I knew that such haircuts will not work on a half wavy, half smoothened,  unruly, have not left the house in seven months kind of a hair.  The stylist will surely ask me to get a treatment.  The question is, am I willing to spend so much money on my appearance when all I am doing is sitting at home? The few visits for essentials and drives are in a  mask and headshield anyway, so why waste money?

To this, my husband asked, ‘Do you want to look good for yourself or for others?’

And this got me thinking. He is right…

I also thought that it is a good opportunity to do something bold and experimentative. If it doesn’t suit,  I don’t have to go anywhere.  Not without a mask anyway.   And so I went ahead…

During the haircut

The parlour that I go to is very reputed. They had shoe covers,  temperature check,  PPE thing to put on (which they charged us with) and they were sanitizing everything continuously.  I never doubted that because I know they are good at their service.   There were a couple of other customers, all wearing masks and sitting distant from each other.  I did not feel uncomfortable at this point.

As expected, the (senior) stylist suggested the cysteine treatment which I had done last time. My husband showed her pictures and gave her strict instructions  about how he wants my hair to look. She said, ‘Ma’am was scared last time so I did not make it too short!’

I told her, ‘Just do what he says this time!! Anyway for the next few months, I am confined to home! Even if it looks bad, it doesn’t matter!’ This made her feel bad  because she immediately said that my hair had looked good last time, and she will surely make it look nice this time too.

“Yes of course, you are one of the best stylists I know!” I complimented her.

She told me that the treatment and haircut in all will take 3-4 hours, and that I will have to come back the next day for the first hair wash. I was aware of this drill.   Basically, 3-4 hours in the parlour for two consecutive days.

My husband never gets haircut done from big salons. He is a very simple person and he says there is nothing special about cutting a man’s hair, and that what these people charge is ridiculous.   I don’t know if I mentioned this in the last blog, but this salon happens to be in the same building as my husband’s office.  So after dropping me there, he goes to finish his work. I always joke with him:

“Do you want my haircut and treatment to take longer, so that you get more time to work?”

The first day at the parlour was relatively peaceful. The only two other customers left soon and it was just me and my husband. My husband decided to get a haircut too since he was there. The stylist asked him about his weird hair and if he had cut it himself!

It reminded me of how as women we are always asked the same thing about our eyes brows, ‘Last time kaha se karaya tha, bigad gaye hain aapke eye brows!’

I was hoping to get a good discount, but there wasn’t much.  I guess if I see from their point of view, their business has been so down that they probably cannot sustain themselves.  So the treatment ended up being as expensive as last time.  Throughout the hair cut, my husband kept saying ‘boy cut’ to the stylist, which scared me!!

The second day, the day of the hairwash, there was a man who came with his son, and both father and son removed their masks.    I told my stylist to tell them to wear their masks,  to which she said that they can’t because in the past customers have scolded them and asked them to’mind their own business’. This is really unfortunate and shameful . I wish people had more sense.  I felt worse for the poor guy cutting the unmasked man’s hair.  My stylist moved me to spot furthest away from the irresponsible man.  I kept complaining about him though…

The hair wash, the air conditioning and the cold substance in my hair for two consecutive days did make me feel cold. I had a headache the next day.

Am I one of those stupid people who risk their safety for a haircut? I asked myself.

But this is a warning to those who are planning to visit the salon.

  • The salon may be well kept and sanitized but there may be stupid customers around who don’t wear a mask, or remove it or wear it in a way that does not cover their nose.
  • The hair wash and the air conditioning may give you a cold, which if you are like me will make you wonder if you got corona.
  • If you are wearing a very thick mask,  they may not get the angle from the sides close to the ears. So you may have to either wear those disposable ones they provide, or remove your mask and cover your face and nose with it (for few seconds), which is what I did.

Other than this, it was a  good experience for me. Although I would certainly not recommend my mother and my mother-in-law to go to a parlour until the pandemic ends, not even home service!

But yes, I appreciate that people have a livelihood and they are taking the necessary precautions to make it as safe as possible.

Post haircut

I had always wanted bangs in my hair, something I did this time.   My hair is really short now. What you see in the picture is what it is, all there is! There is no hair in the back that I have tied.  There is nothing to tie, and nothing to comb! The bang looks stylish but when I am in the kitchen or doing any work on my laptop it irritates me and I pull it back.

From the back, you can see my neck. It is kind of cool because now people can see my necklace from the back too! Some advantage of short hair!   I have only got compliments so far, and ofcourse a change is always welcome. I think men like short hair. At least the men in my life.   My husband loves the haircut. My father liked it too, and admired my husband for suggesting it! A few days later, my father was saying something about ‘Badi badi khushiyan hain chhoti chhoti baton mein’ in the context of our new look. I think my husband’s hair is also looking very nice because he got it done from a stylist this time. Although he feels that it is the same!

I would say this is a good time to experiment, since we are not going out much and can recover from disasters if any! At the least, it has brought some novelty in the boring, monotonous and nothing to look forward to days.

I have never had my hair this short since the time I was 10-11.   I have always been so conscious of my looks.  I feel bad about random comments from random people.  I doubt myself.   But my husband has always been fond of the way I look.  His affection has boosted my confidence . That along with the age factor (if not now then when) has made me bold!  I think it is only because of him that now I don’t care about so many things, like wearing glasses more frequently, not wearing heels. I guess this is what being comfortable with being who you are means.

If you had a haircut during covid , do share your story in the comments. Would love to know!

 

 

Dolly Kitty and Whatever: Confused, Messy and Unnecessary!

How to make a ‘woke film’?

  • Female sexuality = A woman can cheat. A woman can instantly leave anyone who does not satisfy her sexually, even if it is the father of her two children.
  • Throw in an element of caste
  • Throw some Hinduphobia
  • Throw some gender identity crisis for a child
  • Make the women abuse because it is cool!

And Tada! The mess is ready!

Half an hour into this movie, I told my husband,  ‘Movie ka kuch sar par pata nahi chal raha hai’.  Something in Dolly (Konkana’s) demeanor reminded me of ‘Lipstick under my burkha.’   It was only after watching the movie and doing some research, I realized that both movies were directed by the same person, and that the central theme was supposed to be female sexuality.

Except that ‘Lipstick under my burkha’ was a very interesting, refreshing story. Ratna Pathak’s storyline was very compelling.   Sharing a link to my review of the ‘lady oriented’ movie. One of the things I liked about it was the ending.   Nothing drastic happened.  They were not trying to make a point.  They were not forcing us to believe anything. They were not trying to convince us.   They showed us the raw desires of four women of different age groups going about with their routine (dual) life.

This is where Dolly Kitty differs and fails! Unfortunately,  this movie forces its  skewed narrative of female sexuality and empowerment in our face.

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Please do not read further if you plan to watch this movie. Come back once you watch it!

Dolly (Konkana) is a married, middle class working woman, a mother of  two sons who is planning to move to a newly built luxury apartment soon.  She likes to steal money from her office and lies to her husband about selling her jewelry in order to pay for their dream flat.  Dolly falls for a delivery boy and ends up sleeping with him. She then realizes that she was not ‘frigid’. She just did not find her husband attractive.  This revelation makes her decide to leave her husband!

Kitty or Kajal (Bhumi) is a small-town girl who has reached the big city to pursue her dreams. When I say dreams and you are thinking that she wants to get a good job, update her skills, and get higher education, you are wrong.  Her dream is to lose her virginity! Bhumi looks too mature and well kept to portray a naïve, young, poor, unsophisticated little thing.

Conclusion of the movie

A married woman who confessed to having her hymen stitched before marriage to deceive her husband, after cheating on him decides to leave him along with her two sons because:

Hey! My body my choice!   I live for an orgasm!

Dolly was abandoned as child by her mother for a lover, something that traumatized her. She probably knows the impact it has on a family. Why does she choose the same path? What effect will this have on her kids? What is her financial plan?

Who cares! 

A young woman working as a call center executive who provides phone sex/ companionship services to lonely, frustrated men gives a speech on how she is not ashamed of her job, and how something similar should be created for women. The makers also show women empowerment by installing a model of vagina, and showing blood stained bed sheets as a sign of losing virginity. This only further adds to the myth that all women bleed the first time!

There seemed to be a plot about the real estate scams of Noida but the writers forgot about it towards the end of the movie. Even they could not try to keep track of the messy storylines! In a bizarre finale, Hindu goons end up killing the only two characters of another religion!

Is this women empowerment?

There have been movies made on female sexuality in Bollywood. The best I can think of is Astitva. The movie had a plot, a strong storyline and hard-hitting dialogues.  I can never forget the conversation between Tabu and her chauvinist husband, in which she questions him. It was so powerful.

In Dolly Kitty… Dolly’s husband is made to show the villain because he tried to touch his wife’s cousin and the makers believe this justifies her cheating on him and leaving him.   In a pathetic scene, the poor husband tells her that they should work it out, even try counseling but our empowered heroine is done with him. They also want us to believe that the young delivery boy is noble because he promises to marry her!  After leaving her husband, Dolly magically allows her son to play with dolls and dress up a girl, something she has so far been disapproving of.  Dolly’s husband is also a villain because he tried the phone sex app,  the same app that Kajal justifies for women.

Let us reverse the gender in all of this. Would we appreciate a movie where a married man with two kids cheats on his wife and leaves her because he does not enjoy sex with her?   Kajal advocates apps for women where women will get two minutes of companionship from unknown men. Is this what women want?  Is this what men what?  Is this all anyone wants from life? Few minutes of gratification? In a time when we talk about mental health, lack of fulfilling relationships and loneliness arising out of casual flings and what truly matters in life, what kind of a message is the movie trying to give?

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Let’s smash the hypocrisy

Me and you.

 

 

 

Married Daughters Want Rights In Property, But What About Their Responsibilities?

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that daughters will have equal right in the parental property as son even if their father died before the Hindu Succession (amendment) Act 2005 came into force.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Daughters must be given equal rights as sons. Daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life. The daughter shall remain a coparcener throughout life, irrespective of whether her father is alive or not.”

Source:

A random discussion on the above judgment led to a debate. A friend of mine said that women want ‘equality’ in everything that benefits them, yet when it comes to their duties they ‘conveniently take a step back.’

When I asked him to explain further, he told me that his sister does not ‘keep’ their parents with her ever.  Except for someone occasional visits, the maintenance of parents is his sole responsibility.

Why should she get a right in the property, when she does not have any responsibilities? He asked.

I happen to know his sister too. The sister says that her husband ‘does not like’ her parents living with them. He also says, ‘Aise thode hi na hota hai!’

The sister is not in any way a weak person. She puts up a good fight with her husband. However, when things worsen with her husband, the people to get the most affected are her own parents. Like most parents of Indian daughters, they say:

Beti damaad khush to hum khush. Hamari wajah se jhagda nahi hona chahiye

So many married women tolerate a lot in their marriage because they feel the stress will affect their parents.

I am not surprised since most Indian husbands and their families retain the rights to ‘allow’ the wife / daughter-in-law to see her parents .   On the other hand,  the husband’s parents are naturally expected to be living with the son and his wife. I recently watched the movie, ‘Shankuntala Devi’ in which the late Shankuntala Devi’s character asks her daughter and son-in-law to live with her after marriage.  The son-in-law is shocked at this proposal.   She then asks him would this be such a preposterous expectation had she been the mother of a son?

Has the family of a boy ever said:

Beta bahu khush to hum khush. Hamari wajah se jhagda nahi hona chahiye!

I have seen ‘progressive’ families have very hypocrite thoughts. They like to flaunt how magnanimous they are that they ‘allow’ their daughters-in-law to visit their parents without any restrictions. Some families do not forbid, however they frown upon how the bahu is not ‘samajhdar’ enough to understand her responsibilities because she is still so attached to her parents’ home. The same people praise their own daughter for being so loving and caring towards them.

When a woman marries into a family, the family does not become her owner. It is silly of them to expect that she will stop visiting her parents because now she has a new family.  When a husband stops his wife from meeting her parents, he should remember that the wife may comply because she does not want to ruin her marriage, but she will not respect him for trying to disconnect her with the people she loves.

Instead of comparing how much the wife does for her parents vs. her in-laws, how about we for a change ask the same question to the husband?

Yes, rights vs responsibilities is a very good question. And to answer my friend, yes, I agree that married daughters should take the responsibility of her parents.  I think there was a Mumbai high court ruling also which held that a married woman must take care of maintenance of her parents. I agree that equality in rights means equality in responsibilities as well.

The only unfortunate part is that we not only have to fight for our rights, but for our responsibilities also.

 

 

 

 

 

Lockdown Post 4: How Is The Eye Brows, Hair and Housework Growing Oops Going!

When I was 18-19, I used to be very conscious about my looks.   I would get my eyebrows threaded every 15 days. ‘Only extras’, I used to instruct the beautician.  I would add, ‘Patla nahi karna!!‘  My eyebrows were never thick or even dark to begin with, so this was a doomed request.   Every time the beautician would say, ‘Do-teen maheene tak  bilkul chhod dijiye, tab hi full growth hoga!”

And I used to wonder, ‘Where will I hide myself for three months!!’

As I got into late 20s, the frequency of getting threading changed to once in a couple of months.  In between there were home beauticians.  But in the past two years everybody rejected me saying ‘Minimum 500 or 1,000’.  Hence, back to salons! It was irritating because the choice of parlour unfortunately depended on the availability of parking, and not on the service.  The actual threading would take 10 minutes, but the waiting time would be longer. I was never a parlour person.  Eye brows was the only thing I got done. And every beautician who looks at my eye brows always gasps in horror, ‘Kharab ho gaye hain. Last time kahan se karaya tha.’  And my answer invariably is Aapke yaha se hi karaya tha!’

To get rid of this pain, I bought a trimmer last year and stopped going to the parlour completely. It was a big relief. I have not even bothered to use the groomer for the past four and a half months!!  I am sure this is beyond the ‘full growth’ any beautician would dream of!

My hair also has to be compulsorily smoothened ever year. Otherwise, it gets wavy and curly from the roots, and straight from the bottom!  I would tell the stylist, ‘I want my curls to come back’ and she would say, ‘Then you have to leave it for a year or so!’

And I would think, ‘How can I go to office looking so untidy and messy for one year!’

The curls are 60 -70 percent back! I think by the end of 2020 it will all be back! The contact lens which I abruptly stopped using in March turned into a stone! I have not ordered a new pair since then!

I guess it is somewhat liberating to not have to worry about looks!!

And even though I hate doing all the housework and cooking by myself, there is a certain amount of peace in not having to depend on anyone. The calling, the waiting, the not showing up without any communication, I don’t’ think I miss it!

So my question is are we getting comfortable with this new normal?

P.S.

Actually, I should call it, ‘Unlock Post’ since there is no lockdown currently in my city. But you know what I mean….

 

Indian Matchmaking! Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!

It was hard to miss articles / memes on this show. Even before I had watched it, words such as ‘cringe’, ‘casteism’, ‘sexism’, ‘elitist’, ‘fair’ , ‘regressive’ etc. used in the  context of the show made me skeptical about watching it.

In the first five minutes of the show, I was wondering if the show was a satire.   I then realized it was not, and I was a little shocked.   Next thing, I know I binge watched and finished it in two days. Some thoughts:

  • It is tough to find a partner

Not everybody gets married at 25. Not everybody meets someone organically and falls in love AND marries the same person.

There are elderly couples shown in the beginning of each episode who have been married forever. I found them really cute. As one of those ladies rightly said, ‘Someone has to introduce you.  A friend, Parents…’

I agree. The matchmaker is also just a source.  In the time of Tinder,  why should we frown upon the idea of a matchmaker! It is just a personalized, customized and super expensive or Premium Tinder as someone said on the show!

  • The show is not the problem. Our hypocrisy is

Until a generation ago in India,  people  believed that a partner is someone chosen for you, just like you don’t choose your mother, father, brother, sister.   People accepted their spouse as destiny and lived with it.  We don’t anymore, of course!  We have options.  Men and women both reject each other.  Since the show was about arranged marriages, critics have labelled it as regressive.

Rejecting based on looks or social status is not something specific to an arranged marriage.  We reject people every day because we don’t like them. In school, college,  tuition classes, gym, office dating app or any place else where men and women meet physically or virtually. We may not spell it out for them directly:

I want someone who is above 5’3 and you are clearly not!

I want someone with minimum this much salary and you are below my standards!

I think I can do much better!

We reject people even without knowing it. Like the guy  staring at the girl, but the girl does not find him interesting enough to even acknowledge.

We do this. It has been done to us.  This is how it works.

“The girl should be taller than 5’3”

This line made me laugh. I am not 5’3.  I remember so many people telling me since the time I was 12-13 that I should do monkey bars so that I become “at least 5’3″! Even if I don’t grow beyond that, it is fine!

  • My partner. My choice!

When we are young, we are shallow. We want our partner to be someone who makes us look good. Often  the superficial qualities we look for in our partner is a manifestation of our own insecurities.    I was told I will not find a tall guy because I was short!  I have heard dark-skinned guys say that they only care that the girl should be fair, because they have been told they will never get one!

I have rejected guys at 24-25, because their English was not good. Looking back, I feel that should not have been the criteria. Elders do the job of counseling marriageable children, and tell them that these things do not matter.   They may be right.  But the point is, as much as we should not let certain things bother us, if it still does,  then marrying someone who we don’t find attractive (physically, intellectually)  is also not fair, to either person.

It is not at all easy! All said and done, if anyone reading this is single and searching let me tell you that marriage is a lot of work, no matter who you marry!!  There is no right person or right choice. You take a decision, and live with it (or not!)!

  • Characters on the show

I don’t know how much of the show was scripted but certainly the characters were real people. My favourite person was Nadia. I found her very pleasant and felt bad for her when she got stood up.   Initially I found Aparna and her mother difficult until I saw Akshay and his mother!

I found Aparna and her mother entertaining.   I would like to say a lot about Akshay and his mother, Preeti but I would refrain since these are real people and not actors!  I have some views on “Pretty, rich boy” also but I guess it would not be nice to share it!

I know a lot of people liked Vyasar and Ankita but I don’t have any opinion on them. I was shocked that someone like Ankita said that she could understand that the man she met (forgetting his name) did not mention that he was divorced to her because it was their first meeting, and she may tell people about it! As if being divorced is a crime that should be hidden!

Pradyuman’s sister was sensible . I liked  how she told her brother when he said that the girl was not for him, ‘Why should she be for you!’

She made another interesting point. At the initial matchmaking stage, most people give a lot of importance to ‘being able to have a conversation’ with someone.  I did too.  This may again be a very overrated thing. If you are having a great conversation with someone in the first meeting, please be aware it may just be superficial!! People pretend!!

  • Sima Aunty! The viral sensation!

I found her hilarious! Long time back, one of my friends had asked me to watch ‘A Suitable Girl’ on Netflix in which Sima Aunty’s daughter gets married,  (and two other girls).   I watched it after watching ‘Indian Matchmaking’.  It is a nice documentary. Very realistic, non-glamourous and emotional. Sima Aunty is more of an anxious mother than a matchmaker in that one.

  • Filmein Sirf Teen Cheezon Se Chalti Hain, Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!

Netflix bhi entertainment se hi chalta hai! All said and done, the show is very entertaining. I enjoyed watching it.  I am not the kind of person who would binge watch  anything as I find watching television for more than two hours a day irritating.  But for some shows, I make an exception.

This was one of them!

 

 

 

 

 

Lockdown Post 2: Are You Safe And Sane?

For someone who blogs regularly, it is difficult to not blog at all.

But it is difficult to choose a topic during lockdown. Sometimes I feel like writing about something and then I wonder is the topic even worthy of a discussion during the lockdown ? Because the truth is all we think about is corona! After avoiding to talk about corona for fear of spreading negativity, came post 1. Here is the second post in the series.

Few random thoughts:

1. Sanitization

It happened more than once that I tried to wash a newly purchased packet of rice / something else with water and soap and the water went inside. This was followed by leaving the contaminated product out in the sun if the damage could be mitigated (in case of rice) or throwing it out completely (in case of Maggi). I mourned for quite some time as everything is precious and scarce these days. The sanitization itself is an additional chore, and also its aftermath.

2. Fruits anyone?

I have stopped buying fruits. With vegetables, at least you have the consolation that you can cook them. With fruits, no matter how much you wash you will still feel scared. Not you, I mean people like me who are paranoid. Fruits and salad were part of my daily routine. I am missing them. Also missing sunlight and walks. I am having rice twice a day because I am too lazy to make roti on a daily basis. I do make puri or paratha occasionally.

3. Fried stuff

Nice things like chicken nuggets were out of stock on Milkbasket for the longest time. Then one day I discovered that it was available. So were frozen French fries, veg nuggets, sausages. I ordered those because I was so tired of my cooking and wanted something ‘nice’. I usually never keep such stuff at home. I buy it for parties only. But this has become a habit now. My husband and I have tea in the evening and he either fries these frozen things or makes some pakodas. Today, I decided to skip the evening snack. Thought this was an unhealthy habit to indulge in. But I started feeling hungry, and then gave in to the temptation. I felt  that maybe I should just worry about staying sane these days and if anything is helping like chicken nuggets or vodka so be it! (This thought keeps changing depending on how free I am. Sometimes I reflect upon long terms effects on health and other times I just think that I should worry about surviving corona for now).

4. Maids and cooks

I so badly want to call them. But I am too scared. I will wait. Maybe I will think about it after June. In every society whatsapp group, everybody has been fighting on this topic. My maid made the dilemma simple by announcing that she does not plan to work in my building anymore! Apparently, she got new jobs during lockdown and decided to fire her least favourite employer! I don’t know how I will find a new maid in lockdown! The corona induction which will be challenging even for an existing maid will now become even more challenging with a new person. This time, I was smart and instead of asking on the society whatsapp group and getting judged, I directly checked on Mygate to see which maids are coming. I managed to do an interview on the phone and got a new recruit who may tentatively join from June 1st. The maid’s husband who was helping with the translation told me that she will work for a month and then “decide” if she wishes to continue!! Beggar me cannot be a chooser so be it! I will have to be on my best behavior for that one month and control my corona OCD and regular OCD if I want the maid to consider me after her one month probation!

5. Exercise

I have a cross trainer at home which I had not been using in a while. I have finally started working out regularly. But sometimes my energy is so low, and I get tired easily. I get breathless. Then I wonder if the breathlessness is because of the exercise, or corona! After I torture myself with that thought for some time, I move on to make dinner and worry about getting corona from vegetables!

6. Cooking

A lazy and incompetent person’s daily menu looks like – khichdi, tehri, pasta, fried rice, maggi, repeat! I think I already mentioned that I am making rice twice a day in some form because roti is too much effort. Pre-lockdown I ate lots of green vegetables. Now paneer is the savior and potato has become a staple. I have realized cleaning green vegetables is such a task, and husband never liked them anyway. So let’s just stick to chhole, paneer, aloo.

Chicken gravy is suddenly not that appealing as I have to be the one cleaning chicken. It reminds me of some twenty years ago when our family had moved to New York. My mother used to get the whole chicken and clean it and cut it and after doing all of that, who would look forward to eating it! Now I can understand that was probably the time she stopped eating chicken completely. She cannot even eat it in a milder form like nuggets! Of course, we are responsible for it!

The cooking and the impact it has on a couple’s life inspired me to write a short story, ‘Marriages are made in kitchen’ which I published on Kindle.

7. Netflix / Amazon Prime/ Hotstar

I have been watching Homeland. I do not watch much of anything else as my attention span is low. I do find myself playing songs on Tata sky – 9XM, B4U music, and MTV beats a lot and put on Crime Patrol on Sony while doing my work. It reminds me of the time I studied for my CA exams, and I needed some noise so I used to put on music or some channel which I was not really watching but it used to be on.

Speaking of CA Exams, I had a dream recently that I failed it. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant eight years ago, but I continued to dream about failing it even after passing the exam. The only difference is I had this dream after a long time, maybe after 1-2 years. The hopelessness I feel in those dreams is always very real and when I wake up, it gives me great relief to realize that I am a CA. I have also been dreaming about getting admission in a college!  My husband finds this very funny. Because of my father’s constant transfers, getting admission into a new school was a common thing for me, and I always dreamt about being in a cool school / college / institution. But those dreams stopped once I finished college.  I also had a dream about meeting guys for marriage! There was no guy in the dream just the process (Again husband finds this amusing. He says he doesn’t dream about such things. Rather, he doesn’t even remember what he dreams). And today morning I dreamt that my father was asking me to come home, and telling me my mother was waiting for me and I told him I was having ‘difficulty’ travelling. When I woke up, I was completely confused. Which city was I in? Which city were my parents in? Why was I not visiting them?

I guess the lockdown has ripped us all of our identities. Who are we? Where are we? What are we doing? What stage of life are we at? The subconscious mind is trying its best to place us somewhere in our life. It has no idea of the future. So it has returned to past.

8. Thappad movie

Some of you have mailed me to write about the movie. I have watched it but honestly I did not find it too convincing. There was a video that Tapsee made for promotion wearing a purple salwar kamiz in which she is talking about some taunts we may heard before – Something like thappad ki salami. I found that video better than the movie. I will write about the movie some day. Like I said, I am finding it difficult to focus on anything.

9. Way of life

I watched some viral videos wherein they say that work from home will become the norm. Companies will realize that the rent was unnecessary all along. People may move to smaller towns since working in big cities will no longer be attractive. Of course, even if this is true it will be a gradual process. But still, it is scary. Working from home especially for women in India is so challenging. Some stay with in-laws and have enough to deal with. Even if that’s not the case, the expectation is that the woman should do all the house work and take care of everyone. Going to office, meeting friends, stepping out makes the day livable!

It was nice to wear nice clothes, put on lipstick, meet people as opposed to changing from one pyjama to another! Hope the world as we knew it does not change drastically once all this is over (whenever that would be).

So this is it for now. Please share your thoughts. Would love to know what’s keeping you going.

P.S. Title Courtesy: My sister who told me that in the U.S. when they are emailing, they are writing ‘Trust you are safe and sane’.  I told her here we just write, ‘Trust you are safe.’

Sanity was a luxury even pre corona…