There Was A Time..

There was a time…

She would wait for dad to come back from office. He would get cream rolls.. She would jump and cling to him like a monkey. She would snatch the cream rolls from him and giggle. She would finish it all too soon, white cream on her teeth and her mouth.  He made her day.. What more could she ask for..

There was a time..

She had a dog… She loved to play ‘Fetch’ with him. She would throw the ball. He would run to get it. Sometimes she would run. Without the ball. He would just run behind her.  She had no idea why she was running. He had no idea why he was running. She would suddenly stop. He would stop too. He would pant, his tongue sticking out, hoping something would happen now. But there was nothing more. This was the game.  The dog did not mind.  He was just happy. She was also just happy.. What more could she ask for…

There was a time..

It was her birthday. The day before she would have gone to the store to buy toffies. Her classmates would get two toffees. Some not so important would get only one. Eclairs or Melody?   She would call so many friends home for the party.  They would play in the whole house.  Parents would spend the whole day decorating the house with balloons. And write ‘Happy Birthday’ with crepe paper.  The excitement would not be over just because the guests were leaving. It would continue. She would open the presents. The pink, blue, green, golden wrapping paper.. The puzzles. The dolls. The games.  What more could she ask for.

There was a time…

There was a family wedding. Mummy had dressed her up in a lehenga. She was even allowed to wear a lipstick. And a bindi. And bangles. And a matching hair clip. People said she looked so cute. There was no school the next day. She and her cousins were running around the whole hotel. Chuppa Chuppi it was. She would hide behind the big huge flower pot in the middle of reception.  Her cousin would also hide there. They would find each other. So easily. But still laugh. Such a hearty laugh… There were two flavours of ice-cream – vanilla and chocolate.  She had both. Elders were busy.  Nobody was monitoring them.  What more could she ask for…

There was a time…

She had gone on vacation with her family. The hotel room had a bath tub. She hated taking a bath but this was so cool. There was hot water coming from the tap. Unlike her house where they heated water with and immersion rod and she had to use a bucket and mug. Mummy had to ask her to get out of the bathroom.  But why should she? The foam in the water. The little bubbles… The cozy room of the hotel.  The sight seeing outside where she would wear a half pant. Eating in restaurants.  What more could she ask for.

There was a time..

There was so much less. But it was so much more. There were no regrets. There were no disappointments. There were no conflicts. Everything was just the way it was. Just the way it was meant to be…

Is that time over… Was that it.. Where is the joy…Will it ever come back..

She is scared to find the answer….

Image source

There Was A Time

There was a time…

She would wait for dad to come back from office. He would get cream rolls.. She would jump and cling to him like a monkey. She would snatch the cream rolls from him and giggle. She would finish it all too soon, white cream on her teeth and her mouth.  He made her day.. What more could she ask for..

There was a time..

She had a dog… She loved to play ‘Fetch’ with him. She would throw the ball. He would run to get it. Sometimes she would run. Without the ball. He would just run behind her.  She had no idea why she was running. He had no idea why he was running. She would suddenly stop. He would stop too. He would pant, his tongue sticking out, hoping something would happen now. But there was nothing more. This was the game.  The dog did not mind.  He was just happy. She was also just happy.. What more could she ask for…

There was a time..

It was her birthday. The day before she would have gone to the store to buy toffies. Her classmates would get two toffees. Some not so important would get only one. Eclairs or Melody?   She would call so many friends home for the party.  They would play in the whole house.  Parents would spend the whole day decorating the house with balloons. And write ‘Happy Birthday’ with crepe paper.  The excitement would not be over just because the guests were leaving. It would continue. She would open the presents. The pink, blue, green, golden wrapping paper.. The puzzles. The dolls. The games.  What more could she ask for.

There was a time…

There was a family wedding. Mummy had dressed her up in a lehenga. She was even allowed to wear a lipstick. And a bindi. And bangles. And a matching hair clip. People said she looked so cute. There was no school the next day. She and her cousins were running around the whole hotel. Chuppa Chuppi it was. She would hide behind the big huge flower pot in the middle of reception.  Her cousin would also hide there. They would find each other. So easily. But still laugh. Such a hearty laugh… There were two flavours of ice-cream – vanilla and chocolate.  She had both. Elders were busy.  Nobody was monitoring them.  What more could she ask for…

There was a time…

She had gone on vacation with her family. The hotel room had a bath tub. She hated taking a bath but this was so cool. There was hot water coming from the tap. Unlike her house where they heated water with and immersion rod and she had to use a bucket and mug. Mummy had to ask her to get out of the bathroom.  But why should she? The foam in the water. The little bubbles… The cozy room of the hotel.  The sight seeing outside where she would wear a half pant. Eating in restaurants.  What more could she ask for.

There was a time..

There was so much less. But it was so much more. There were no regrets. There were no disappointments. There were no conflicts. Everything was just the way it was. Just the way it was meant to be…

Is that time over… Was that it.. Where is the joy…Will it ever come back..

She is scared to find the answer….

Five Reasons Why You Should Get A Short Haircut Once In Your Lifetime

Sorry for this misleading title.   I do not have any reason for you to get a short haircut! I got one recently. So I wanted to blog about it.  I just thought this title was cool!

Actually let me start with a little background on my hair.

I have had long hair since the time I have been 16.  My natural hair was thick and curly. Curly hair looks amazing when it wants to. If you take care daily.  Most of the times, it is a struggle to manage it.  At 22,  I got my hair straightened (temporarily) for the first time.  It was such a relief that my hair could just be. So effortless. No leave in conditioner. No mousse. No serum.  Ever since, I got temporary ironing / blow dry regularly.  I would consider smoothening. But my question to the stylist would be ‘Will my curls go away?’ The good stylists would respond in the range of ‘Yes’ to ‘Don’t know how the hair would respond’.  Greedy ones would say ‘Just go for it. Your hair is too damaged, lifeless, falling to keep as it is.’  (I have written about parlour bullies before in this article). Finally, three years ago I had the courage to get it smoothened the first time.

Now, once you get your hair smoothened, you have to keep doing it.   Every time the hair gets thinner.  But then if you don’t, it looks ugly.  So you have no choice.  It is a vicious cycle. Every time I got smoothening again, I pledged that I would wait for my natural curls to come back.

But they never did.  Actually, it becomes wavy form the top, and remains straight from the bottom!

So, I keep getting confused between waiting for curls to come back vs getting it smoothened again!

In the midst of this confusion, I thought of getting a hair cut to change my look before a recent vacation.  Husband said it would suit me a lot and I must get it really really short. I did not want really short. I just wanted some change.

Husband: Get hair like her:

Image

Me :  Wasn’t that haircut meant to punish her? And she was also made to walk naked! To humiliate her!

Husband: She kept that hairstyle for three seasons! Because it looked good! Boy cut hair will suit you!

Me: Boy cut! Haven’t heard that since school. I don’t think they call it that anymore!

Husband: Get short hair till chin. It will look very nice.

Me: Nah!

Husband: Try once! What is the worse that could happen!

Me: It could be awful! I would not be able to leave the house for 6 months! I could lose my job!

Husband: Don’t be dramatic!  It is just hair! It will grow back!

Me: Are you trying to do this so that I look ugly and nobody will ever look at me?

Husband: Haha. Just get short hair and see..  It will be the best.

I started searching for ‘short hairstyles for broad faces’.  The results were quite nice actually.  Pixie cut . Short blunts. It was an unexplored world out there…

I liked this one:

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Of course I am aware my face is nothing like hers! So I brushed the idea off.

But somehow the thought was stuck in my head.

I kept downloading apps that let you try on new haircuts.  The idea of something new is scary but thrilling.

I soon became obsessed.

My husband’s words along with DDLJ line made me take the plunge:

Kya aap mujhe meri apni zindagi se ek maheena bhi nahi de sakte?

Kya main mujhe meri apni zindagi se ek haircut bhi nahi de sakti?

What’s the harm in trying! It is hair! It will grow back!

So I went to the stylist.  My husband dropped me there while he went to office to finish the work. He explained to the stylist to make is really short.

I felt like I was a little kid when my mother used to cut my hair.   She would make it very short so that it was easy for her.

Once he left I pleaded the lady to not make it too short. As expected, she asked me to do an expensive cysteine treatment first. Now, I do not know if these parlours have trick mirrors but I was looking pretty that day!  My hair was also looking pretty.   The lady told me it is lifeless.  I think it had a life. But anyway, after thinking for 10 minutes, I said yes.

And so my hair was cut short. Really short from the back. And short from the front.  And the wash was the next day. So the following day, it was oily and looked very chipku. Short plus chipku. I was so conscious about it that for some time I thought of working from home!

It has been more than a week.   I bought the expensive shampoo and conditioner they make you buy after a treatment, the one which they threaten that if you don’t use it,  the treatment will go away. Now after spending so much money on the treatment, you obviously try to retain it.

The best part is the comments  you receive after you getting a haircut. Most people like to say:

You got a haircut!!

It is neither a comment nor a compliment. It acknowledges the fact that you did something and we noticed.

Some polite people accompany it with a nice at the end:

You got a haircut!! Nice!!

Others are clever and diplomatic:

It is different!

That is a safe thing to say. Can’t argue that it is not different. At the same time, they are not saying that it is good or bad.

The strangest thing about women getting a haircut is other women mourning the loss of your hair.

Why did you get a haircut!

You had such nice, long hair!

But why!

But your hair was so pretty!

This grief from others for your hair which will grow back is hard to understand!

Also, I realized that people want to know why you got a haircut. You better have a reason.

Just like that!

For a change!

Something different!

Trying something new!

Nope. These replies will be rejected. There would be further probing. People think you can’t possibly be stupid enough to just cut your hair!

They want something like:

I was suffering from hair loss!

I am sick!

I got lice in my hair and had to chop it off!

Just when I thought I was was done with all the new hair comments, my mother’s maid said to me, ‘Didi!!! Baal kyun kataye!’

My father who has no idea that this is a common thing to say among women was surprised.  ‘Bolo Didi baal achcha lag raha hai!’ He corrected her.

‘Itna achha lamba baal tha, didi ka!’ She refused to stop mourning.

Went to meet Maa-in-law. I thought if she doesn’t like my new hair, I could get her to scold the husband.  But she said she liked it.  She told me history repeats.  My father-in-law had also made her cut her hair which was very thick, and long.  It reminded me that my father made my mother have a short hair cut for a very long time, something my sister and I didn’t like but she did keep it for the longest time. I have my theories of why husbands like their wives’ hair short but I will keep them to myself!

Recently, we had a festival, Teej.  I had put on maang teeka and nath.  I was a little worried about pulling it off with short hair, but it looked pretty good.

So this was my short hair story. I am enjoying the new look and it is definitely very easy to manage.  Another blogger friend had got her hair short recently and I loved her hair.  She also encouraged me to try short hair. If you have a short hair story, do share with me in the comments!

Featured image source

 

 

Some Thoughts On My First Anniversary

Last year this day my husband and I tied the knot.   I was 30.  He was a few years older.  We were not too young.  We were expected to be mature. Experienced. Wise. Both had lived alone. Both had managed a household before.  Both were comfortable professionally.

But we defied age.  We fought like little kids.   We fought for who does how much work in the house. We fought for sharing the cupboard space.  We fought about who never gets up to answer the door for the maid.  We fought about who sleeps more!

We were not the couple who would post ‘Aww! Sweetie, you complete me! How did I ever live without you!’

We were very much complete and alive before meeting each other!

We were not the couple who others looked at said,  ‘Oh my you two! You make us believe in love!’

We were the couple to whom people said, ‘Are fir se jhagda kar liya!’

What kind of a couple are we?

I guess… The real type!!

Fresh off The Other  Side

When you marry early, you have something to fear. It is the fear of ending up alone.  But when you marry late, you have already overcome that fear.  You have survived break-ups. You have learnt to live alone. You have fallen down, reached rock bottom and risen.  You have watched your friends post Hallmark photos with their spouses and toddlers.  Seeing their content faces, you have wished, ‘Why could I not have that!’  But then you see your life, happy and peaceful, and you have said to yourself ‘That would have been nice. But this is good too. It is nice actually!’

The one thing you teach yourself is that you do not need anyone.  You have made yourself so independent. You are better off alone.

How do you unlearn all of that? 

The man I married

Last year, probably a week away from today, my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Switzerland.   We were travelling in a train.  A lady (reasonably older) had got on with a lot of luggage.  She was struggling with it to get on.  With great difficulty she managed to find herself a spot to stand with her three suitcases.  The way she was struggling with them,  they seemed bulky and heavy. She had barely given a sigh of relief as people started getting down at the next stop and she spotted a sight to sit. The problem was to reach the seat she had to pass through the stairs.   She started dragging all her three suitcases  towards the empty seat up the stairs.  Other people were looking at her and trying to give her space to move.  My husband walked up to her and offered to move her luggage for her.  He did it for her. One by one while she looked at him gratefully. She said to my husband, “You are very kind, gentleman”. 

I was smiling in pride.

There are so many other things he has done.

When he was unwell, but he still volunteered to drop my sister to the airport.

When I was buying a doll for my niece in Paris, and looked at the price, and he told me not to think about it. And went ahead and paid.

When he gets chicken momos for me on his way back from office.

When he tells my Maa-in-law to get my favorite peda from our hometown!

When he makes Maggi with pyaaz on Sundays!

But the problem is when the daily grind gets to us, the atta, chawal, maid, loan instalments, we stop seeing the bigger picture. We forget the person we married. We forget the good in them.

My Life Now

Few days ago, I had gone to the mall to shop for an upcoming vacation. My husband was also at the same mall but he had to buy electronics, so he was shopping separately.  I was searching for clothes, trying them out but I had no clue what I liked.  I would try on something, but without his approving nod and smile, I had no idea if I looked good. I bought nothing.

Another day,  I called him to ask what time he would be coming home. He said he would be late.  Disappointed, I ate alone.  I put on Netflix.   I felt tempted to watch the next episode of Delhi Crime.   But I ended up watching something else.   Something I do not care about. Not because I cannot watch it without him. But because what is the fun watching without us commenting on it together!

On my first anniversary

Marriage requires a lot of effort. And since it is such a life term project, it gets exhausting! What is good and what is bad? I guess it is like that day in the mall. Or the day alone at home.   The home and the outside world suddenly becomes weird without the one person you did not know until a couple of years back. And you feel lost. 

Some gyaan

To all those couples like me in a new marriage, hang in there!   Perfect couples are fictional! Remember the movie, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd! Half of our problems exist because we feel that others have it easier.

Never ever feel put down or disheartened with rough patches.  It is all part and parcel of the package deal!

Remember, for better or for worse!

In sickness, and in health!

To love and to cherish!

And last but not the least, remember the person you married. 

Cheers to all the real couples out there!

Haste haste (Ladte Ladte) Kat Jayein Raste, Zindagi Yoon Hi Chalti Rahe,

Khushi mile ya ghum, badleinge na hum, duniya chahe badalti rahe!

 

 

 

What made you sad today?

Thursdays it was. Library period is what they called it.  They would remove their shoes outside.  The library was as small as a regular classroom. Yet, for her it was a fortune. Which book should she pick? She had all the options in the world! Aisle after aisle. Shelf after shelf. The smell of old books. Some bookmarks left as it is. Some pages torn.  Some drawings made.  The library card where she would put her name. And read the names of everyone else who checked it our before her. The Enid Blyton Books..

Then there would be the book sale, announced well in advance.  She was not supposed to carry any money to school. But for the book fair she would be allowed. She loved reading those abridged classics. The beautiful pictures on the covers. The blurb on the back.  The smell of new books.  It did not matter whether the book was old or new. Whether she borrowed from the library or bought from the fair.  The books unleashed a different world.  A world of dreams. A world of knowledge.

Today, it makes her sad that she will never smell those books again.

The rainy season would start. Monsoon as they would call it.  Her mother would pick her up from school. Sometimes, they would not find an auto or rickshaw. So they would have to walk home.   In the rain. And keechad.  Cars would pass by.  There would be a splash.  Mostly on the red skirt. But sometimes on the crisp, ironed white shirt too. The dirt on the road. The smell of the rain. She would love to make a puddle.   She would jump at each step as her mother would try to drag her to walk properly. Dogs, cows, people, cars, cycles all moved in the rain. 

Today, It makes her sad that she will never make that puddle again.

Summer vacation would start. Her cousins would arrive.  Her father had purchased a video game for her. It had two games. Shoot the duck with a gun. And Mario. They would take turns to play. How cool it was, that she was the only girl in the neighborhood who had the game. Would her Mario survive the dragons at the end of the fourth level?  Thank you Mario but our princess is in another castle – The screen would read.  Would her Mario find his princess at the end of the eighth world? Would she and her brother be able to play simultaneously as Mario and Luigi?

Today, It makes her sad that her Mario will never meet the Princess again.

Little joys were so simple to achieve then..  She thought when she grew up there would be something so much bigger. Better. Bigger happiness! Little did she know….

It was not until she became an adult that she realized:

Happiness comes at a very heavy price!

जीने के लिए सोचा ही नहीं
दर्द संभालने होंगे
मुस्कुराये तो मुस्कुराने के
क़र्ज़ उतारने होंगे

 

 

Beauty And The Beast Within

The cute child

“Bachche Chacha Nehru se pyaar karte the! Chacha Nehru khoobsurat the. Bachche har khoobsurat cheez se pyaar karte hain!”

I listened, admiring my beautiful Hindi teacher reading out a chapter on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.  The teacher was very fond of me. “You look like a doll!” She would say. I would blush.

An attractive teacher talking about a charismatic personality.  A reasonably cute looking child listening intently.  The beautiful atmosphere was interrupted as a girl in shabby clothes and slippers walked in along with our class teacher.  Her hair was brown, with knots, lacking any kind of nourishment.  Her complexion was dull.  She looked dazed as if she woke up on another planet. Her skirt looked more like a lehenga reaching her calf, matched with a miserable, baggy, shirt. It must be her father’s, I thought.

“This is Champa. She would be joining your class today.” The teacher said hurriedly. “Let her sit next to the class monitor for few weeks till we assign her another place. Meghna, you sit next to Komal for now.  Tanvi, Champa will be sitting next to you.  Please help her with the books, uniform etc.”

I was horrified! Champa’s admission was part of a reach out program, wherein a child from a nearby slum would be selected for education free of cost.  Some of us had heard about this proposal. We had no idea it would be implemented. I had no idea it would affect me. Directly!

The next few days were difficult for me.  But how difficult was it for Champa to fit in? Kids made fun of her brutally.  They asked her if she ever showered.   There was an outbreak of lice soon after she joined. She was alleged to be the origin. Guilty until proven innocent. She bought chapati or chuda for lunch.  She ate alone. She was different.

I was conscious of my behavior at school. I was never mean to her. But deep down I found her repulsive. I hated sitting next to her.

One day, after lunch I was playing with friends. Tag. Then on the Merry Go Around. The first bell rang as an indication to us to go back to our classrooms. As I was running, I felt a weird sensation. Within a few seconds even before I realized, I had vomited. In front of everyone.

There was some vomit on my perfectly ironed white shirt. And probably some drool on my face.

One teacher commented, “Such a big girl! Cannot even control herself!! Don’t you know there is a toilet?”

Some kids laughed. Others said “Ewww” and moved away in disgust.

I had tears in my eyes.  As I made the walk of shame towards the washroom, someone held my hand.  I turned in surprise.

There she was. Champa.  As expressionless as ever.  But holding me tight and safe. She held my hand and helped me clean up. She did not say a word. But stayed with me throughout.

Few days later, she stopped coming to school.  She disappeared as abruptly as she had appeared. Some people said that parents had complained about the reach out program. Others said the management felt it was not working out. Some said her parents had decided that studies would not do her any good. Nobody knew for sure.  I never saw her again.

The ugly duckling

Few years later, my father got transferred to the United States. I was a teenager by now studying in a junior high school at New York City. One of the poshest cities in the world. With people from all over the world.  All races.  There were blonde beauties. And Hispanic beauties. And Asian beauties. Girls my age had voluptuous bodies.  My breasts had refused to show up. My buttocks were also equally flat. I wore glasses. And braces.  I had round chipmunk cheeks. I was one of the shortest people in the class.

Kids were at the age where they bully. My school was no exception.  Some desi kids like me who did not fit in were told ‘You stink’  to our faces.  Some would express reluctance to sit next to us. While walking home, there was this once particularly big guy from a senior grade who would scream at me every day, ‘You are UGLY!!!’  just in case I had forgotten.

For the first time in life I felt what it feels like to feel inferior. In every way. I felt like I was at the absolute lowest strata of society.  Being popular, being liked by the opposite sex, getting proposals on Valentine’s Day could only be a dream. I would be grateful if the day passed without any major humiliation.

Is this how Champa felt..?

I became quiet.  I was still a very good student. Being intelligent was my pride.  The few people who got to know me said I was a ‘very nice girl’.  I had few friends.  But they would all vouch for me.

A transformation

Another few years passed.  I was back in India.  I blossomed late. But I finally blossomed. I looked much better in college and in my 20’s. I was now on the better-looking side. This ‘above average’ spectrum had its own set of issues. Women felt jealous and made mean comments, totally unwarranted.  Random people thought that if a girl  is  into her looks and puts on makeup it means she is dumb and shallow. I got attention from boys who were not at all serious and I had to deal with their obnoxious attitude at feeling rejected.  Some people found me arrogant when it fact I was just an introvert.

Was this still better than being on the other side of beauty…?

I have been on different sides of ‘beauty’ at different phases of life. Here are my thoughts:

Lessons learnt

Beauty is never isolated. It is not just about the shape of your eyes or the symmetry of your face. It is about what is considered acceptable.  It is a combination of other related factors such as social, financial, racial privileges. Someone who has features from another part of the world may be different therefore considered not good looking. People who have more money have access to fashion and cosmetology and end up looking the best possible versions of themselves.

When you HATE what you see in the mirror, nothing else matters much.  Most of the times you do not see what is truly there, but what others have told you about yourself.  You see your insecurities. For someone it is a big nose.  For someone it could a dark skin-tone.  For someone it is the weight. And it takes years, and years to become comfortable with it.  I used to pray regularly as a child, having studied in a convent school. The last wish in my prayers (after well-being and health of parents and sibling) was ‘God, please make me pretty!’ Like most kids, my prayer was memorized.   Even today, at 31, when I am distressed and start praying, this ‘wish’ repeats in my mind involuntarily in the sequence.

 When a lot of people find many different ways of telling you that you do not look good, you give up on your looks completely. You deliberately decide not to put in any effort.  Loose clothes, pony tail, no make-up- Beauty becomes a game one that we choose not to play. You cannot lose when you are not playing, can you?

Champa’s face haunts me still

We may have been treated badly. But that is no excuse for how we treat others. A lesson I learnt from Champa.  A lesson I would like to convey to young people. Hang in there. There are people who will see you for your inner beauty.  But first you need to see it.  Be kind to others. And yourself.  The people we like to talk to, hold on to ultimately are the ones who are pleasant and positive. We also need to become that person first.

A happy face looks beautiful and is a culmination of peace with self and others.

Author’s Note

This article has been written for a contest organized by Women’s Web for the Naturals Salon.

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.

Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.

Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I Realised That The Festivities I Cribbed About Were About Celebration & Family

When I Realised That The Festivities I Cribbed About Were About Celebration & Family

When I was a kid I waited eagerly for festivals. More people in the house, pichkari, pathaka, new clothes, cousins, sweets, fun, laughter. What was not to like about it?

But as I grew up, I started hearing things which made me cringe..

Leave Everything And Vanish?

When I was about 14, I had watched a television series on Sony called Hubahu starring Sandhya Mridul. She played the role of identical twin sisters. One sister, Aditi lived in India. She was a homemaker married to a college professor with a son. She lived a boring, stable life. The other sister, Ananya was very glamourous. She lived in some foreign country. Wikipedia says Bangkok although I do not remember.. This sister is single, rich, has a luxurious lifestyle  and a wannabe boyfriend. The sister in India lives a stable live with her husband and kid. One day they both decide to switch places for a week. (They are identical).  Due to some unavoidable circumstances, they end up continuing in their switched lives for some more time. At the end, they realize they like their new life better. They end up continuing like that.

When I had watched this show at that age I had thought how could the woman with a family just leave everything. She had a husband! A kid! I had also found nothing with her life that was so bad that she just gave it up.  I was so judgmental…

Aditi used to wake up every morning with a jump as her alarm rang. She would rush to get her kid ready. The rest of the day would be lost in household work…Cribbing. Stressing. And cribbing some more. And stressing some more..

When I was studying in the U.S.,  in eighth grade or ninth grade, in one of the class discussions the teacher had asked what are some of the reasons for depression. One girl had raised her hand and said ‘monotony’.  No it was not those last few residual answers where all obvious answers such as loss of a loved one, loss of job, divorce, break-up was consumed. It was one of the first few answers.

“That’s right”, The teacher had replied. “Getting up every day, same time, same routine with nothing interesting to look forward to in life can be depressing for some people.”

I had found this very odd.  To me, it was not a valid cause. What else is everybody supposed to do every single day anyway, I had thought.  I guess I was too dumb…

I guess I wake up the same way as Aditi does.  Every morning with panic.  Thinking I have missed the alarm. I will be late to work.. I will get scolded…  The maid would have knocked on the door and left… I will have to do the work…I will be even more late to work…  And there is a deadline…Not only will I go to work late but leave from work late too… House work. And office work…

Maybe it is everybody’s fantasy to just leave our current life… Leave everything and vanish… Aditi just got the opportunity…

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Movies, Music and Nostalgia…

I watched Gold yesterday. I wish I could review the movie….

I usually do not watch a night show during the week days because I have to get up early thanks to work. But yesterday, I ended up watching the night show as there was only one show in the nearby theater and the whole family had planned to go. With the trailers and the non-smoking advertisements, these night shows easily start by 10 pm.

At home, 10 pm is the time when I mercilessly switch off television, irrespective of how engaging our current Netflix show is, and tell my husband it is time to “shut down”.

This is followed by scrubbing the kitchen slabs and gas stove…

Anyway, coming back to yesterday, here I was at 10 pm daring to watch a night show along with my family.  During the first half of the movie, I tried unsuccessfully to keep my eyes open. From whatever little I managed to watch, Amit Sadh looked good, and I found Mouni Roy’s character annoying.

After interval, I was completely asleep. I even had a dream which involved the movie.  Now, I am even more confused as to what was part of the movie, and what was part of my dream. Hubby tried his best to keep me awake by pulling my leg every time Mouni appeared on screen – “This angry wife is just like you.” But in vain. I was too sleepy to even react to him. However, in between, I would wake up and ask him,

Who is in the semi final?”

“Did the final match start yet?” 

I sounded a lot like my grandmother who does not pay any attention to TV serials but keeps disturbing everybody else who is watching intently by asking what is going on.

By the end of the movie, blissfully asleep I had forgotten where I was.  When people started getting up for the national anthem, I tried to reach my tummy to remove my seat belt, thinking I am in a flight.  Then I woke up, realizing that I am in a theater.  This awareness that I was not in an aircraft  gave me a strange sense of satisfaction because I thought at least I don’t have to travel…

This incident reminded me of the first time I had fallen asleep in the theater as a kid. I am sure I would have fallen asleep as a baby many times but this is the first time that I could remember. It was a charity show of the movie, Maachis. My parents and sister had loved the movie and the “crowd”. Those were the days of single screen theatres and not multiplexes. Families took balcony seats. There would be whistling, screaming, dancing, clapping and what not going on in the front. But being a charity show, the tickets were very expensive. Being a small town, half of the town was present and my parents and sister had spent the time before the start of the movie in socializing with acquaintances / friends they were bumping into.

I don’t think I ever watched Maachis properly after growing up.  Whenever, somebody mentions Maachis, I have a very faint memory of lots of people waiting outside the cinema hall for the movie to start. But it is a good, uplifting feeling (contrary to the serious subject of the movie).

In a recent road trip to a hill station I kept playing songs from the 90’s like Latka dikha diya tumne, Muqabla, Taal se Taal mila etc. My niece was also traveling with me and in an attempt to match up to her I had downloaded some English songs too. Since I am not up to date with anything other than Bollywood, my list started with Shape of You, and ended with Cheap Thrills. Thankfully, she had requested me to download song new songs (which I had no idea about).

I realized that our generation still knows songs from the 60’s 70’s etc but the next generation does not know any songs from the 80’s,90’s.

But why did these songs make me so happy? 

Probably because of the way they make me feel…

It is the association with songs / movies that make us like them years later.

Associations. Memories. And the games our mind plays with them…

That was then. Gold for me will always be the first movie I watched after my wedding, in which I fell asleep!

 

A day Of Haircut With Salon Bullies!

I went to the beauty parlour yesterday to get a haircut. Just a haircut. Nothing more.  After calling five salons where the “senior stylist” and “creative consultants” were charging a bomb I decided to go to the salon I used to visit regularly. Now, I moved so this is quite far from my new place. Nonetheless, I thought I may go for a long drive with husband. This was theoretically a good idea as it was raining and hubby was playing nice 90’s songs on Bluetooth. Yes songs like Aafreen Aafreen, and Muqala Muqabla Laila o Laila make me very very happy.  Was happily singing alone those songs until I came across  this gentleman.

There is a motorcycle also tied on top of the roof of the car.  This person thinks  it is okay to drive like this on the highway in the rain.  Anyway, moving on…

So I reached the parlour. Now the stylist came to take a look at my hair. I told him I need a haircut.

“Madam, your hair has breakage.  Go for smoothening.

“I have already  got smoothening done twice!! My hair has become very thin! I don’t want smoothening!  See how much hairfall has happened! Just a haircut please”.

“Hair fall not because of smoothening Madam. You are not maintaining!”

“I am using the same professional shampoo and conditioner you made me buy last time.”

“Well madam, your smoothened hair is fine.  It is so smooth. It is your fresh hair that is growing that is curly.” He lifted a strand of my hair. Magically at that moment the end of the hair strand stood still, and the little hair he was holding pulled itself out obediently. “See Madam. Problem with your original hair growing back. Not with smoothened hair”.

“But if you smoothen you will smoothen the entire hair right?  You will not selectively smoothen the hair that has just started growing?”

Yes madam. It will all become smooth and silky”

“I don’t want smoothening. I want a haircut. Please do the best you can with it, some layers to create volume”.

“At least get hair spa madam.”

I got convinced for the hair spa. Now a different guy started doing the hair spa. He had overheard my conversation with the previous hair stylist.

Madam, which shampoo are you using?”

“Matrix”

“Which one?” He gave me two options. One started with Bio something.

“I don’t remember.  I usually buy the Orange one , if it is not available, white one”.

Madam, you should not buy the white one. It is for dandruff. You do not have dandruff.”

“These shampoos are not available in all supermarkets.  Whatever is available, I take”.

“White one is also good Madam.  But you should use this one.”

He picked up another bottle.  I looked at the price and told him I did not want it. So he decided to go back to convincing me on smoothening.

“There is an offer going on Madam. 50 percent off.”

“Even if you do it for free, I don’t want it.”

I guess that did it. He did not mention smoothening again.

“Madam your hair has become frizzy. You don’t use hair oil?”

“I do. Just did oil massage yesterday.” I replied proudly.

“Which one?”

“Parachute coconut oil.”

“Do you heat it?”

“I do not heat it.  But when I get a massage from a beautician, she usually heats it.”

“You should not heat it madam!”

“Actually you guys had told me to NEVER put oil after getting smoothening. But I still do.”

“That is right Madam. You should not use oil.”

I wanted to ask him why he asked me about oil in the first place, that too the brand and heating and minute details.

Now we were off to the hair cut.  The only thing I had asked him to do was to do a cut that would fake some volume.  Given my thin hair, this was quite a challenge. Nonetheless he did a decent job and was pleased with his work.

In an attempt to fool me, he backcombed my hair and lifted half of it in a puff while bringing the rest of it in the front from my side.  He told me how versatile my new hair cut was as I could try this hairdo too.

I wondered when  would I use this hairstyle…..Retro Bollywood party?

Then he removed the puff and put my hair back to normal.  He did a centre parting showing me the layers. He was happy with himself and said that it has added volume. I asked him to bring a mirror and show me from the back.

There was no hair in the back, because he had taken all the hair in the front to fake the volume! I looked at him. He took  the entire hair backwards to show me the shape from the back. Now I had no hair in the front. Just the first layer which was making me look like an ape.

He realized what he had done and moved the entire hair to the front again.

“Thank you” I said.

I was somewhat proud of myself for not getting convinced for a smoothening again. This was a day after refusing to get upper lip done.  Maybe I should start a fashion blog. But my blog will be about how to say no to makeup and hair bullies!!

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