Friday, February 24, 2012

Tales from a Marriage

Priorities or Lack Thereof
One night last week, Nike and I had a long discussion about finances. Rather, I launched into a long monologue about finances while Nike pretended to listen. We expect some big changes in our life in the second half of the year - a possible shift of jobs and cities – and I am worried that we will be in a tight spot financially for the next one year after that. Which led to the monologue where I spoke about how I was worried about finances and how we need to manage finances better; at the end of it all Nike said I worry unnecessarily and promptly went off to sleep!
The next day, he noticed a single strand of grey hair. And fell headlong into depression. I told him a single strand did not a whole head of hair make. I told him that he would look very sexy with grey hair - an Indian George Clooney, if you will (I don't actually think he will look anything like that but you're allowed to lie in extenuating circumstances). That day, he poured half a bottle of oil on his hair and then made his mother put some sort of hair pack on his head. When I came back home from work that evening, he had a long talk with me about how worried he was about his grey hair, and what steps he would take to prevent more grey hairs! 
If ever there was a case of messed up priorities, it is this!
Of Course, it’s a Competition!
Last week, Nike made banana walnut muffins. I was not happy about this at all. I made a banana cake just a few weeks ago and was still basking in the glory of all the praise I received for that. Now Nike was making banana walnut muffins. And since he is a much better cook, I was sure his muffins would taste better than my cake. I couldn’t let this happen. So I bombarded him with recipes for vanilla muffins, apple cinnamon muffins, red velvet cupcakes and anything else that did not have banana in it. But he was adamant that it would be banana walnut muffins only and rejected all the other recipes I sent him.
I then tried to sabotage the muffins by hovering around him while he was baking and giving him all sorts of incorrect advice. However, he banished me from the kitchen so I went and sulked instead. He called me to come and taste once the muffins were done, and I was forced to admit that they tasted better than my cake. Even though the walnuts were burnt. But, but, but, but, but… banana cake looked WAY better than his muffins. So we’re even now, no?
Great Expectations
My birthday is this Sunday. I am so excited and hyper about it that one would be forgiven for thinking I’m going to be eight, instead of twenty-eight (As an aside, I am rather anal about spelling out numbers, instead of simply writing them down in number format. They look so much more beautiful when spelt out fully. Twenty-eight. 28. You tell me, which looks better? End of aside.) And so for my birthday, I thought long and hard and discussed with friends and colleagues and finally decided I would ask Nike for a diamond pendant for my birthday gift.
Instead, Nike gave me vouchers worth Rs.7000 at Landmark. This is much worse than it sounds because (a) These were vouchers left over from the gift he bought me for our anniversary, not vouchers he specifically purchased for my birthday (b)We (though Nike says I) managed to lose half the vouchers so in reality, I have vouchers worth only Rs.3500 (c) Despite my insistence on going and shopping alone for books, Nike accompanied me and then ruined the entire experience by being in a bad mood, snapping at me, and hurrying me through the shopping so that I ended up buying books that I am not sure I want.
Consequently, I feel cheated and gift-less. I am telling Nike that he needs to buy me another gift. Something that I can show off on Facebook, on my blog, and to my family and friends is thoughtful and considerate.
And so the countdown starts to Sunday. Happy weekend, you guys!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Story of My Life

Photo Credits: Ahmed El Mezeny (from Facebook)

I found this image on Facebook and it was SO bloody true of my life! I showed this to my colleagues yesterday, and they all had a hearty laugh. After which we bitched in great detail about how we never get enough money, how nobody understands what we do, and how, sometimes, we ourselves aren't sure of what we're doing!

Happy weekend, y'all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Of Sex Tapes and Banana Cakes

So our esteemed ministers in Karnataka have been caught watching porn during an assembly session. I’m not surprised; rather, I’m much more surprised at the outrage that has followed. I mean, what more did you expect from our ministers? That they would actually participate sincerely in an assembly session that is paid for by the taxpayer? Don’t be ridiculous!
On a serious note, I have three major issues with the whole controversy.
1.       I have no moral objections against pornography as long as the acts were performed by mutual consent. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with anyone, minister or not, watching porn. However, I do take issue with their watching porn while the assembly is in session. My firm isn’t going to be happy if they find out I am watching porn during office hours; for all I know, they may even be well within their legal rights to fire me if I am watching porn in office. Similarly, as a taxpayer, I am not happy to find out that my representative in assembly is watching porn instead of doing his job.
2.       More worrying is the fact that the minister is now trying to prevent all news from reaching his constituency – the cable lines have been blocked in the village; newspapers aren’t distributed there. Firstly, I am fairly sure this is unconstitutional because an MLA does not have the right to censor/filter the news that reaches his constituency. Secondly, this sets a very dangerous precedent – I can imagine other MLAs and MPs deciding to follow this tactic the next time they are in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
3.       The hypocrisy of the ruling party (and its allies and associates), and of the ministers involved, infuriates me. They are all up in arms about the attack on our great Indian culture if couples want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If women dare go to pubs, our lofty traditions are under threat. One of the ministers of the ruling party went ballistic when the topic of introducing sex education in schools was brought up, saying that it was ‘against Indian culture’ (of course!). But these arbitrary moral standards are only for the rest of the population apparently, while these gentlemen engage in behavior which would be considered amoral by their own standards.
That said and done, I’m more amused than angry by the whole rigmarole. I think it’s because I have reached a point where nothing our politicians do angers/shocks/upsets me anymore. I just shrug and move on with my life. I am now officially a cynic who believes there is no point in caring about what happens in the world around.
Meanwhile, it looks like the media is milking this for all its worth. And I am thoroughly sick of the media sensationalism these days – so much so that I never watch the news on television and barely read the paper anymore. It either makes me depressed, or it annoys the hell out of me or it makes me furious, and being aware and up-to-date isn’t compensation enough for all the anger, frustration and sorrow it causes (enough to shorten my life by a few years, I am sure!).
And so, as this news slowly gathers dust, and the media waits for the next grand controversy to come up, I have said my piece, and I too shall move on to better things. And so, I leave you with this, a banana cake I baked last week. Remember, one of my resolutions this year was to learn to cook? Well, last month I made coffee cake, and now this. Both of them came out alright, though they could have been much better (I am also apparently my sternest critic when it comes to cooking!) – nevertheless, I am very chuffed! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Because Karma is a B!*&#

Since I don’t have any babies, and don’t foresee having any babies in the near future either, I fully and freely exercise my right to judge all parents on their parenting. Because, of course I know much more about how to bring up kids than the parents of said kids themselves. This is what happens when people think they are well-versed in the theory, but don’t do the practicals.

But those were the good old days of yore. Not anymore for me the luxury of grinding my teeth because the kid sitting next to me on my flight/train/insert preferred mode of transport is making this a journey to hell. Not anymore for me the pleasure of munching my popcorn and sagely commenting on the inappropriateness of bringing infants and toddlers to movies not meant for infants and toddlers. Not anymore for me the joy of contorting my face into what I imagine are scary expressions, while wagging my finger at badly behaved tots, all while nervously glancing around to make sure their parents don’t see what I am doing.*

In the last couple of months, my life has seen an astounding reversal, as I leave the ranks of the judgmental, ignorant masses and join the much maligned ranks of people who are stepping out of the four walls of their home with an infant. All because my SIL had a baby six months ago! Now, I live with my ILs. The baby also lives with my ILs. Ergo, baby and I live in the same house. This isn’t really a bad thing because baby is incredibly cute and very interesting and when she screams I shut the door to my room.

But the difficult part comes when we got out of the house with baby in tow. I am terrified that this baby is going to throw a tantrum and behave badly and have everyone around cursing us – and that would just be my karma coming to bite me in the ass, for all the times I cursed other people for their badly behaving babies, little realising that babies, even 6 month old babies, seem to have a mind and will of their own which can’t be matched by the combined will of baby’s parents, grandparents and assorted aunts and uncles.

Last week, we went shopping for shower heads (yes, I live in exciting times!). Since my interest in shower heads petered out about 5 minutes into seeing what looked like the billionth shower head in that store, I offered to carry the baby around so that the rest of the family could focus on the shower heads. For over an hour the baby was happy and cheerful, though I can’t say the same for my arms; but I suppose there are only so many bath tubs and kitchen sinks that a baby can look at before she starts wailing, and for those few minutes that she wailed while I rushed to hand her over to the MIL, I was more panic stricken than I had been when I waited for the CAT results.

But today, we are upping the ante. We are taking baby along to see Agneepath. In the movie theatre. I tried suggesting to SIL that maybe the audio-visual stimulation of a three hour long masala movie on the big screen is too much for a 6 month old to handle. But she is a doctor, and she said that it wasn’t a concern at all. But because I am nothing if not persistent, I slyly googled for articles and studies which proved that it was bad for a 6 month old to be taken to a movie hall – and I came up with nothing. Nada. Zilch! When I think of the billions being poured into scientific research, and see not one such article, I despair about the current state of scientific research.

I then tried wriggling out of the movie, but to no avail, since SIL is determined that we should all go together to the movie. She even postponed dinner at the home of a family friend for this purpose. My ILs are very Hum Saath Saath Hain that way. Especially when viewed from the prism of my own dysfunctional family (I offer you the mild example of this New Years Eve where I had to call Amma, Dad and Samee separately at midnight even though they were in the same house, because they were all on different floors, doing different things!)

And so, to Agneepath we go. I have made SIL promise that if the baby gets restless or looks like she is about to cry, she will be taken out of the theatre. In fact, I’ve made it sound like such a noble thing to do that MIL and SIL are actually arguing about who should carry the baby out even as I type this post. I have also made sure we have pre-booked the movie tickets (which we almost never do) so that we get the seats closest to the exit. And now, I shall steel my nerves, gird my loins, and such like and proceed forth. Wish me luck!

*Before you jump to baseless conclusions, this is not a really round-about pregnancy announcement. Now  do scroll back up and read, do.