Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's time to give up....

Well, this is will be the one of those 'firsts' in my blog, i.e. the first list that I will put down in my blog. Should I feel very very excited....maybe.... yawn but I don't....because....god, I am too lazy to even find out why I am not feeling excited...on second thoughts, maybe that's the reason - I am not feeling excited, because I am too lazy to feel excited.
But then whatever, out of sheer laziness, or after days of prolonged debating with * ahem* myself, I have decided to give up the following, at least for now (this disclaimer is very important). This will of course add to another previous list which I had decided to give up long back - like outdoor games (as I was always unsuccessful in them), watching complicated English movies (as I never understood them), etc. Anyways, here goes:

1. I have decided to give up vehement, stubborn fights which ultimately become man vs. woman fights. As one of friend's friend once remarked, way back in 2001, that certain fights should stop, and they included 'man vs. woman fights' and 'Carmel school vs. St. Xavier’s school, durgapur' fights among many more.

The reason for this decision:
Well, for one, they lead nowhere, at least not when you are typing out long replies to someone else’s long replies, as both of us are convinced that we are right and the other one is wrong, and gradually the temper and ego comes in, and we never stop to understand the other's point of view. It becomes a 'debate', no longer a 'discussion'.
It is exasperating, and such fights only make me frustrated about the unseen gap between the sexes...honestly.
Second reason is, I seriously don't think there is anything to fight about, esp. when the topic turns to who is better, stronger, more logical, or anything like competition between the sexes...because frankly, in my opinion, these things cannot be determined...ever. There can be statistics, medical reports, studies...but ultimately what matters is the individual. Both sexes cannot do without each other, and are pretty similar in some ways and pretty dissimilar in some other ways, so what is needed here is more of complementing each other, and less of one-upmanship.
Thirdly...sheesh...I have started arguing me end it here - I will give up going on answering others if I find that all that they are doing is trying to prove 'I am better than you as I am a man'.

2. I have decided to give up getting affected by comments aimed at me at other people's blogs, except when I choose to answer them:
Now this decision happened just now, when really I felt helpless. There were 3-4 anonymous commenters, and each one saying something different, and one of them told another commenters to stop listening to 'stupid' my name's comments. Now, how do you convince him that I am not stupid...given the fact that wikipedia's version of stupidity may differ from that of his own...and again differ from mine.
No, we must respect others' opinions and disagree to agree with them...or should it be agree to disagree with them? Ok, whatever, from now on, upbeat is the mood to go, my girl.

3. I have decided to give up trying to fit into clothes made for someone else - someone with a smaller waist than mine, with a better shoulder than mine, with anything different than mine....from now on, either I get clothes which are made for me, or I don't get them...or I get them made for me!!!

4. I have decided to give up fighting for the TV remote till the end of World Cup football...whenever that is:
The reason - isn't it obvious? When you can't win them....leave them....I mean wars and battles and fights.

5. I have decided to give up reading blogs/articles/books and watching movies which depress me, when I am already in a dumb mood, somewhat like when your lunch gets wet by rain water, and then you don't know whom to take out the anger on....yeah...somewhat like that.

6. I have finally decided to give up resistance to being branded - as a feminist, as a man-hater, as a lousy home maker, as a careerist, as a ...well...whatever...will go more into that later. But as of now, people can brand me anything they like, by people it includes, friends, not-friends, cousins, aunts, etc.
At least, there'll be less tension trying to explain.

7. I have decided to give up watching Ram Gopal Verma's movies:
The reason? Well, they get nowhere. They start off well, and the sets are very authentic, as well as the costume, etc., but the moment it comes to a story and the story being good enough for 1.5 to 2 hours....well, the less said, the better.
If I had been a guy, maybe I would have watched a few just to see a heroine in different stages of undress or passing off her undergarments as outdoor clothes but me being a straight woman, have no such intentions...on second thoughts, I never found other guys being much kicked about watching antara mali in 'those' types of clothes.
And no, I am not going to give up entertainment in the name of 'meaningful' cinema. Give me a 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyar ke' anytime compared to 'D' company.

Well, that's that...for the time being.

Anyone else has any other suggestions?

P.S. Just now I realized, that there's one more thing to give up:
8. I am going to give up trying to understand guys...well...yeah...honestly. I have been confused, irritated, angry and frustrated, and ultimately I have realized that it is no use trying to understand men at all...they are enigmas!!! So, peace!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Plus sizes, dark circles and rudeness

I walked into the 'Health and glow' store, dreaming of a flirtation with the foreign brands, face creams and body washes. Unfortunately, the staff of the place had other plans.
"Excuse me ma'am, may I help you?"
"Just looking around," I used my customary reply which I had used so many times before in the hundreds of shopping malls.
"Madam, for you we have something here," the enthusiastic sales girl moved forward with officious zeal and steered me to a shelf. "Madam this is a new product in the market, it removes dark circles in just 2 weeks, they are claiming that otherwise they will give money back madam. And with this we have..."
I had to butt in to dampen her enthusiasm, and I did not mind doing so. Years of hearing such comments have now made me formulate a defensive-cum-offensive approach, to be customized according to the situation. "I am not looking for under-eye creams." My tone was firm and (I hope) polite.
Her smile vanished. "But madam, this will be good for you..." she persisted, albeit with one-fourth of her previous energy.
I instinctively looked at the large mirror on the wall in front of me. "I don't want an under-eye cream." My tone meant, 'Get lost'
"Ok madam, but this was good..."
It was time to get offensive. "Listen, in future, don't try this with anyone else. I am ok with my dark circles and I think they look great. I don't like it that you came to me and pointed them out, just because you need to sell your creams." It could have been more sophisticated, I know, but sometimes you need less tact and more force to get your point across.
There was the usual crowd of other salespeople coming forward to rescue the girl and I stepped out, hoping that they will not curse me too much to the girl and the girl will remember what I told her.

What gives someone, a perfect stranger, the right to point out your physical defficiencies? How would it feel, if someone pushes a fairnes cream towards a dark girl, or a weight reduction pill to a fat one? Though the offender will never understand it as anything else than 'being helpful', this simply makes me feel that the person is implying: 'you are an eyesore, so please improve your appearance so that my eyes can have something better to see.'

A week back, my colleague and friend was approached by our company's security manager at the gym. Hitherto, their interactions were limited to the gym, when she had asked his help to operate the treadmill, or to know if a machine which he had been using, was free for her to use. This day, however, he had a different agenda.
"How many working days does our company have in a week?"
My friend was taken aback. "Five," came her puzzled reply.
"And how many days do you come to the gym?"
My friend blushed. "Well, about three days a week."
Then followed some advice on how it was absolutely essentital to be regular, to attain your fitness objectives. Beats me, I always knew from the web and newspapers, that 3-4 days a week was enough to keep fit, except if you need to reduce weight and my friend was slightly on the heavy side.
I was pretty angry when she told me all this and added, "I am taking it positively."
Well, her approach was fine with me, his was not. In her place, I would have simply asked what prompted him to give me unwanted advice. Was it my size, and if not, then since when had his duties shifted from security to fitness?

How can people take liberties with someone else's dignity? What gives anyone a right to hurt a person's ego?

Last Friday, another friend of mine, who was again a regular patron of the Gia brand of plus size dresses at Westside, accompanied me to a supermarket. When I was weighing 3 dussheri mangoes, there was an old lady who was directly opposite to us, who smiled at her. She smiled back, obviously puzzled, and then I found her eyes fixed onto something, and her face registered disbelief. Moving behind her, I noticed the old lady waving a leaflet towards her with the following words on them:
'If I can lose weight, so can you.'

I suppose all those advice on being well-behaved with elders, drilled into her since her childhood, held my friend back. Or maybe, she was too shocked to speak.

I came away, very disgusted.
Well, these incidents are best forgotten as they will only tend to lower the self esteem. But who will tell a major part of Indian people that certain questions are rude, certain choices are personal and not everyone agrees with you about what is wrong with their nose?
Why don't people understand the difference between being helpful and being rude? Are we so de-sensitized to others?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Romance in the air...with a touch of regret....

It was a tempting, sexy weather....when we girls stepped out for a was windy, slightly cold, cloudy and immensely romantic...pointing to an impending romantic evening and a slight sense of regret.
Because you see - evenings should not be ‘romantic’, not when he is not around.
It was nine years back when I first realized that he remembered me when the weather was romantic. Also, it didn’t matter, how the evening was, he always thought that it was romantic if spent with me. I chose to say that it was ‘interesting’ if spent with him. Yet, when the sky became steely grey or when it suddenly cleared away by a gust of cool wind to reveal the blue underneath and the trees were lit up golden, I wished I had someone to share the ‘crazy’ feeling I felt within. This ‘crazy’ feeling, which as is usual for all people in love, is indefinable, and I can only say that it is a feeling which drives you on to make the best of that moment lest it passes away too fast. I am glad he was with me during those times, because he added something extra to my restlessness, when he convinced me that getting drenched in the rain is fun and there’s no one to stop me if I wanted to get drenched…when he let me walk all the small paths which I would not have done if I were alone…when we shared stupid stories from childhood…and counted stars and leaves of trees…
A few more months, or maybe a year later I felt the same as he did. I missed him on ‘romantic’ evenings, and my evenings were ‘romantic’ when I was with him. It is strange how evenings are usually said to be ‘romantic’, nights ‘passionate’ and mornings ‘exciting’…wonder what you call a life – is it a combination of all three and more?
Some years have gone by and I fervently hope that the remaining years of my life will be as special and happy with him as these beginning years. I also fervently hope that evenings are not ‘romantic’, at least not during the weekdays, because I cannot share it with him.
I feel the moment passing away, and it does not pass so fast as I used to think before…it passes slowly, making you regret each second that you cannot share it with each other…I wish then that he did not so totally engulf my life, my senses, my dreams…that everything I think, feel, or dream, revolves round him. Maybe this is called ‘clinging’, or ‘dependency’…that somehow reduces that elusive ‘space’ in a relationship…
Yet, the feeling lingers and surfaces every time the evening is ‘romantic’…I love the feeling, yet I hate the regret, which goes with it…
Evenings should not be ‘romantic’…not when he is not around..