Thursday, October 26, 2006

You know what I did in Goa...

Warning: Some useless information follows, with rants and brags

Shillong in the first week of October, Goa in the third...I sure am travelling a lot this year. Throw in Ooty last April, that leaves me with a north-Indian destination to cover before January to brag that I have covered the 'length' and 'breadth' of the country this year, whew!
So, what do I write about the trip, my first trip to Goa? Nothing new to add except what people already know I suppose...
- that I am happy, as happy as I was in UK or US, that I am a non-vegeterian (drools) and that I am not allergic to sea food.
- that I am now as tanned as a lobster along my swimming costume lines
- that for once I was comfortable wearing short dresses as there were so many with dresses shorter than mine(so short, that they were hardly there)and no one stared at me...except for some frustrated Indian husbands and some groups of single guys, who would stare at anything.
- that we could avoid 'freaking' out and instead chose to 'laze' out...and found it as enjoyable as the former option. Must be getting real old
- that swimsuits dry best when they are still being worn, and not when hung outside your room in the balcony...
- that the best way to read books is to first take a dip and then stretch out on the sand beds to dry, with a new paperback..ahhh heaven! (Now don't ask me why i 'wasted' a holiday reading...I simply enjoyed it)...I devoured a Mary Higgins Clark thriller and still onto 'On Beauty' by Zadie Smith.
- that I know for sure how many drinks hubby had at different places during the day, but just let go, till he admitted the morning after that he did not remember anything that happened after signing the bill the night before. (And this from a guy who was vehemently assuring me after signing the bill, that he was fine, and, if left to himself, can find his way to the room on his own!)
- that, and this is a rant, Goa is pretty expensive when it comes to water sports, even simple ones like a water scooter, and tiny beach shacks which look dirty and miserable, charge a lot for the food, thanks to the high demand around.

Anyways, great holiday, and a great way to end it...that is, we literally got off the plane and auto rickshaw-ed into our new car....with the confused rickshaw driver wondering why we wanted to go to a car showroom with all the luggage once we got down from the flight...and we must have gone down as one of the legends circulating around showroom, that of 'a couple who were so crazy to own a Honda Civic that they came directly here from their Goa trip, from the airport'!!!!

To end this, here's presenting some banter about the trip (through scraps) with one of my acquaintances, simply to give you an wtf effect:

Acquaintance: How was Goa?
the usual question gets the usual answer
Me:Goa was great, though we lazed out, more than we freaked out...but we loved it.
A: Lazed out whr?in room or on the beaches?????????????
Attempts at being naughty? Ok then...
Me: (trying to sound neutral)Beaches and swimming pool...Goa, after all, can be quite a haven for relaxing...
A: I can bet on that too.Why was your hubby missing frm the seen?very busy?
Come again?
Me: (a little confused)Hubby was not missing from the scene...he was with me...why else would I write 'we' lazed out?
A:xcuse me u can laze out with sis too darling.u mentioned everyone xcept him so i thot he wasn't there?my god what a prompt reply for hubby darling.
Everyone? When did I do that?
Me:(a little irritated now)You seriously thought we went to goa with my sis in tow?????? Am not that old yet, neither is our marriage
Honestly, what was she thinking???

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Are you a spouse...or are you a person...

She said it was a difficult or husband, 'cause work would mean her going back to their old place, and staying here with her husband will mean that she be without work, or work which she does not like. Also, she said, she did not like the new place at all, so what struck me was, it was more like - location or husband, rather than work. But then,she was already a bit sad about her decision to relocate for work, leaving her husband behind, so it would have been crude to correct her then.
I probed a little delicately - "What about your husband? Does he plan to continue working here, or is he thinking about going back to your old place and getting a job there? After all, it was not so difficult...."
"Well, no, he likes it a lot here...he just says for some years he wants to be here...and I can't force him..."

It really touched me, this modern dilemna of working spouses, when both are good and committed to their professional lives, and relocating is no longer an issue, life suddenly becomes so much more complicated. Both spouses cannot or do not force each other, because they genuinely respect each other's decisions and also, at the back of their mind, they really don't want to hear one day - 'You were responsible for my sagging career...had you not stopped me then...I would have been more successful than you are (or what I am now)!'. Let's face it, this scare of a future guilt influences us as much as the sense of duty when we decide to step back and not 'interfere' in a decision.

So I asked her what was swimming in my mind, something which often comes to my mind, during such situations of decisions which I would have loved to avoid:
"Don't you sometimes just wish that he would force you and not make you go through this misery? That you could just disclaim any responsibility for the decision and just brush off other's objection as 'he forced me', or 'what can I do, it was his decision?'"

She seemed shocked, and definitely thought that I was a doormat. And then followed all the disclaimers:
"I dont think that will be disatrous if either of us do it.."

I stammered uncertainly, "I was just talking of a supremely emotional moment, when logic takes backseat, when we just want to be together."

She was vehement now:"We cannot do that...we are pretty much like friends till now ..we havent got that husband wife thing ...may be we cant be that way"

So I asked her what she meant by the 'husband wife thing', and she said:
"i think i see my friends ..they have set themselves that i am a wife mode. But I still carry the fire in me ..and so he cannot really behave like a husband with me, any spark ..and we can have a major fight. Then i feel ..why am i like this? why am I not like other females ..they are just content ..and I keep my husband always worried ..with my next desire."
Fire? Friendship? Wife mode?
I am sure she must have meant something else, but her assumtions had started to sting me, because somewhere I had started being a 'wife' in my life, but I had never thought that I was losing my identity. I protested, albeit mildly:
"I don't think anyone is content just because they are in that 'I am a wife mode', if so,they must be simmering inside...and use up their bedtime cribbing to their husbands. People become content when they make peace with turn of events, either because of a decision or otherwise, and it is like they look upon life and say - I don't regret. Otherwise, it will be a sad compromise."

We bantered some more, and I told her that one must be happy with oneself in order to keep the other one happy and all other such stuff which I strongly belive in.

But her analysis stuck with me - this difference between friends and spouse, and how being one seemed to be more fiesty than being the other.
It brought back to mind, what I had once heard from someone dear to me, who had been married for more than 30 years and who would give any 'modern' woman a run for 'fiestiness' - 'I wish he would at least sometimes look into my wardrobe and choose a saree for me when we go out, I would have felt noticed.'

It also brought back to mind jokes on marriage, mostly about men losing their 'freedom' and the like. And I thought about how we confuse emotional involvement with weakness, selfishness with strength, adjustment with compromise.
Because emotions are as important as logic, and not being able to say 'Don't do this, it hurts me' to your spouse, because that might make him/her feel suffocated, is as restrictive and suffocating as someone telling you all the time, 'You have to abide by my decision.'
On a less extreme level, wouldn't you like it if you have someone in your life who says, 'Please stay back, for me, cause I'll miss you'?
If you will not, then I suppose it is not a very comfortable idea to get married, or even allow someone to be emotional about you.
Marriage is a strange instituion - ridiculed, misunderstood, mis-interpreted and exploited. Yet, what most of us eventually forget is that it is about togetherness. People marry for different reasons - because they are told to, because they need a kid to continue the legacy, because they don't want to lose a person, because they think that they are getting too old, or even because of personal security. Yet, there is almost always one constant result - that of togetherness. Of waking up every morning to find a familiar face beside you (except if you and your spouse work in different shifts), of your things mixing with your spouse's, of two different sets of clothes, of two different towels and toothbrushes, of the constant presence of another person other than your own.
Somewhere down the way, 'You' and 'I' disappear in some areas like financial decisions, like cooked meals, like holiday decisions, and becomes 'We'. In some cases, one 'I' disappears more than the other, and also in more areas than in other cases, but it always happens.
That definitely does not mean that you are compromising your individuality, except if you are really keeping yourself bottled up, and allowing yourself to be bulldozed over when it comes to all decisions.
It is more like adding spices to a curry, everything blends in for a unique taste, so unique that you cannot recall what ingredients you added.
So, are you compromising your individuality if you are a spouse? Definitely no, except at your company's official party or on your birthday or any function where you are a person in your own right. And you would better be a spouse when you go meet your in-laws, 'cause no parents will take it kindly if you say - "No, am not your son/daugher's spouse, we are still friends and we are individual persons!"
All right, that was an exaggeration, but you get the drift...I don't want to make my hint as obvious as a Bollywood pelvic thrust.

P.S.: Don't flame me, am NOT against anyone pursuing their career, or taking decisions on working at different places, thought it ultimately takes two loving hearts far from each other. I am also NOT against women asserting their rights, or free speech and choices in marriage or any relationship.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

At the airport

Blogging from the airport, Calcutta airport, with just 15 min to spare, 'cause it seems the server has some problem and will disconnect after every 15 min.
To all those who commented on my last post, will reply to them once I am back in town i.e. Hyderabad.
Well, so I missed my flight yesterday, the Kingfisher flight, becuase gates close 30 min before departure, and all trains conspired to be late yesterday from my home town, i.e. Durgapur, and I reached the airport just 30 min before!!!! Got myself booked to the earliest flight the next day, i.e. Air Sahara at 10:35 AM, but Mamatadidi had chosen this day as a Bandh day, so we had to book a taxi, and on insistence by mom, reached teh airport by 6AM, i.e. before the bandh was effective.
You have to see the airport to belive this - there are people all around, it resembles a railway station, albeit with air conditioning and cleaner environs. No trolleys, but I finally managed to get one from arrivals. And the STD booth benefitted by my long calls.
The only saving grace - this is Kolkata airport and not Hyderabad, else I don't know how I would have coped there...people who know both places, will agree!!!
Got to log off, getting reminders, till I log in again ciao!

Small update: Am back in Hyderabad, got back on Monday finally, after Air Sahara realized at the last moment that they have 'technical problems' in the flight, and we were finally transported by another flight after 1PM. I am thankful they did not realize that technical flaw after we flew.