Friday, December 17, 2010

In Which My Sister Visits Me in Prison

I got back just a while ago from a late night show of ‘The Next Three Days’. The basic plot is that Russell Crowe’s wife is in jail for murder and he plans to help her escape from jail. The first 30 minutes of the movie gives you a sense of the frustration the woman feels, knowing that she’s going to be spending the rest of her life in jail, away from her family, away from everything she loves; while her husband puts his life on hold, waiting for her to come back, and the young son struggles to deal with the whole situation.

That part of the movie was Luckily, after the first 30 minutes, the actions starts, with Crowe deciding that his wife is going to escape from prison, and sets about planning the escape. It’s good in the beginning – this is just an everyday guy who is in a desperate situation – and he makes mistakes and his desperation and vulnerability and helplessness really come through. It isn’t what I would call a ‘tight thriller’ – there are plenty of holes in his plan, there’s way too much luck involved – it probably falls more into the genre of ‘crime drama’ than ‘crime thriller’, buts it’s a good watch nonetheless.

Anyway, so there is this really weird thing I have: Whenever I watch a movie/ read a book about an ordinary middle class person, especially a woman, being sent to jail for a crime she did not commit, I start thinking ‘Ohmygod! This could happen to me! I could be in jail someday for a murder I did not commit’. And then I start feeling rather uncomfortable and worried.

Then I plan what to do in such circumstances: Should I try to escape? Should I bribe the jailor so I get special treatment? How will I handle the dirty toilets? The awful food? The miserable living conditions? The rats and rodents? If prison guards or other inmates make a move on me, how should I handle it? Maybe I should migrate to Australia, so that if I ever end up in prison, I can atleast have decent living conditions (this after having read somewhere that Australia’s prisons are among the best in the world).

Suffice to say, ‘innocent helpless ordinary person thrown into jail’ storylines are enough to make me lose the plot (hehe!). Since this movie dealt a little bit around the theme (okay, by now you’ve probably forgotten which movie I’m even talking about) without actually focusing on awful jail life, my thoughts after the movie were more occupied with how my family would deal with me being in jail. When I went home, I found my sister online. This conversation followed:

Me: If I was sent to jail for a murder I did not commit, how often would you come and visit me?

S: That depends on which jail.

Me: Vizag jail. And you also live in Vizag.

S: Okay, then I’d visit you every alternate day. Or maybe three times a week.

Me (not expecting her to visit more than once a week): Wow! You’re so sweet Samee. I love you!

S: I love you too Akka.

Sisters! What would I do without one!

P.S: You know those books or movies in which an ordinary middle class person suddenly becomes rich by winning a lottery or getting an inheritance or something? Well, why don’t I ever think ‘Ohmygod! This could happen to me! I could win the lottery someday and become rich!’ and then spend the next couple of hours pleasantly thinking about how to spend the money.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

One Year and Counting

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week. I’m afraid I’m going to have to sound clich├ęd and say that I can’t believe it’s already been a year, it only felt like yesterday! But that’s really how it feels. This whole 10 week holiday is to celebrate one year of being married, and ending the year with a bang, so there wasn’t much more we could do to make the day special.

Friends and family wished us – it felt nice that so many people remembered and cared to call and wish. We went out for lunch to this nice place with great food, and then went for to a spa for some pampering, and then sat at The Coffee Bean and watched the rain. We later went out for dinner to this lovely Mediterranean restaurant perched on top of a hill with fantastic views.

But it was the trip we made the weekend after that was truly special. We went to this magical little island called Siquijor. It was a painful journey getting there – what was supposed to be a 5 hour journey ended up being 8 hours. But we ended up at this lovely little seaside resort with clean spacious rooms, a cheerful staff, and built right next to a little cove which made us feel like the whole beach was all our own, with not a person around as far as the eye could see.

In Siquijor, we watched the most gorgeous sunset ever, and then drove around the island, looking for fireflies in the dark. Dinner was right on the beach – with the waves lapping inches away from our feet. As we drove back to the resort after dinner, our jaws dropped at the stars in the sky; I don’t ever remember seeing so many. So we just sat by the beach again to stare at the sky, and in one hour, we counted nine shooting stars!

The next day, we went scuba diving, and it was F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C. We then drove around the island, had ice-cream for lunch, went to a cute little waterfall where we were the only two people (again), and then idly drove through gorgeous hills and forests. We went hunting for the local black magic practitioners but it was getting late and we also wanted to get back to the resort in time for sunset. Another gorgeous sunset by the beach, followed by a dinner buffet and a cultural show, and capped off the night with hot chocolate while watching the stars in the sky, and listening to the waves.

It was perfect. (This is where I pretend to forget about the tortuous journey back home the next day!).

So it’s been a year of being married, and I never thought I’d say this, but married life has been wonderful. Before I got married, I always thought to myself that married life wasn’t going to change much between Nike and me, given how long we’d been seeing each other by then. To be honest, I had agreed to getting married because I thought it was something that I had to do, not necessarily because it was something I wanted to do at that point – I was happy enough being in a long term, committed relationship, and didn’t particularly want to get married.

But what I didn’t realise is that maybe the relationship needed to go forward, and maybe marriage was the next step. The high that came from the whole wedding – it was a little bit like falling in love all over again, and finding out that you’re grinning for no good reason. We are both now so much more affectionate and caring and considerate towards each other. There is no logical reason why marriage should do this to us, but it has, and I’ve been a very happy girl the last one year.

Of course it’s not all easy. We fight about imaginary finances. We fight when Nike tries to control my bad eating habits (because to me that’s naturally going to lead to his controlling my whole life!). We fight when he criticises me. We fight when he thinks I’m being selfish (though of course I’m not being selfish). We fight when either one of us doesn't listen to the other. But these have been small fights – fights which have gotten resolved with a few hours, and with us never going to sleep angry with each other – and I can deal with them. 

So for this awesome year of being married, for this wonderful person, for having some more people to call family, for all the travel, and for so much more, I’m happy and I’m grateful. Now we can only hope and pray that the years to come will continue to see us both as happy, and that we have what it takes to make a successful, strong and happy marriage.

But for now, it’s off to another island for the weekend!