The unimaginable

Disclaimer: This post is a piece of fiction. Any resemblance to any real character is purely incidental.

So I am getting married now. Which means I have agreed to get married within a certain period of time from now. This also means after that period expires I would no longer be the single-ready-to-mingle girl. In other words, I would be with someone, forever, and the whole world would know about this.

I have told this news to around 10-15 people by now. Apart from a few office colleagues, who are kiddos in their early twenties, everyone asked me the same question:

How did this happen?

Now this can be a bit offensive. You know, say your 99 year old grandpa who was suffering from the Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome dies and you tell people, ‘my grandpa died’ and they tut-tut-ed and asked you ‘how did this happen’, you understand that.

But when you are 28 and the whole world asks you ‘when are you getting married’ on your birthday and you have to think of different smart replies to this question rather than stuff yourself with rich chocolate truffle cake because you can’t imagine adding more pounds at the delicate age, the question ‘how did this happen’ in response to the happy news of wedding can be a bit offensive.

But you see, I can’t blame these people. I am the crusader against the institution of marriage. (I take pride in it!) Also, I was often in and out of this relationship during the last 5 years which failed to morphed into a marriage. So everyone was kind-of-used to the whole bachelor-spinster thing by now. The sudden change in status quo obviously piqued their curiosity.

Now, how to answer this question.

I can obviously not talk about the happy-marriage-concept I had when I was 23, when I first got into the relationship. Everyone would see through the lie.

I can obviously not say that this is what my parents want. I am doing this for them. They know me well enough to know that I am much more selfish than this.

So I get really nervous with this question. Much more than the earlier one about when would I get married. You see, I end up asking this question to myself in search of a simple honest answer. Indeed, I have no idea on how this happened. How does anyone end up in a marriage? Whatever is the answer to this question applies to my case too.

The other reaction is of congratulations and all. Most of the people are genuinely happy. I seriously don’t get it. Apart from a few people I know who were desperate to get married (read laid) I have never been genuinely happy about anyone’s marriage. I am not able to see any greatness in it apart from completion of a pending task. Its like you passed 12-boards or you finally finished your PhD, or you finally got a job. Similarly, you finally got married. Like everyone else.

Nevertheless, I was really grateful to all these people. For a day or two I did feel like something special is going to happen to me. Its like a bursting balloon. A make believe world. Two people living together under the same roof, everyday of the year, every year of their life. How can this possibly work?!

The answer of course, we all know, is kids.

Welcome to the world of ‘unimaginable turning into reality’. I think this is what the people are telling me.

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Day 1: New house

1) Wrote cheques worth 45k.

2) Got 10 new phone nos. – maid, paper wala, press wala, doodh wala, water wala, gas wala, cable wala, plumber, owners.

3) Got the stove working.

(On credit!)

4) Cleaned the kitchen slab.

5) Opened two cartons (out of 6 total).

6) Bought hukka. 2 flavors – silver fox and mumbai pan masala.

7) Two friends came over – they loved the place.

Yo! I am happy! :)

Taking roll

I have started loggin to face book every night..

I have lived and worked in Mumbai for maximum period till now..

There hasn’t been a month from past 1 year in which I haven’t travelled out of Mumbai

I have not been home for over 6 months – almost longest period ever..

I have the same dream for a month now – to stand on Bedni Bugyal and witness the most beautiful scene in the world

I check office emails everyday – more than once on sundays/holidays

I usually work on Saturday – working or off – unless I am not in Mumbai (usually even then)

I have lost weight – or so say the friends who haven’t seen me over a month

I have started working out

I live alone and like it

I have started to interact with the kids living in my building

I gave my first sales pitch this month and it went well

I don’t think things turn out the way you thought they would :) I have grown up!

I love Mumbai. But it takes toll on you. I would like to move out in an year or two.

Life is not a piece of cake.

Already broken

my new year resolutions…!!

They were:

1. brush teeth every night before going to bed (didn’t do it once since past 5 days!)

2. get married in 2010 no matter what…. (well… this was a drunken mistake anyways!) :P

So here I am… have to begin all over again…

1. Thinking, I would stick to old ways –  go to a meadow and spend a day there

2. brush my teeth every night before going to bed (this deserves another try!) :)

Forgot

my password today.. that shows how much I have been ignoring this writing space. Also shows how damn busy I have been.

I can’t remember very well the last hol I enjoyed. Thoroughly. I guess it must be Goa in mid-March. I loved Goa irrespective of my disliking the fact that we didn’t see much there. I guess its the effect of being in water. Body-sailing with the tides. Its thrilling. Kashid beach is the best one I have been to so far. Including Andamans. Nevertheless, you cross 25 and you start caring for your life. And so, I prefer those beaches where I see a life-gaurd hanging around. Even though he might not have equipment or facilities to be able to save me if I am in a real danger! I just like the thought that the chances that I drown and die reduce at least a bit.

Yeah, thinking of water brings back the peace. I can’t even seem to remember the mountains. It’s almost like 6 months since I went up to a decent height. I can’t imagine why I do this with myself. I blame Mumbai and late-coming (read No-coming) of monsoons! Every week I dream of going up lush green Shayadris, while getting soaked up in water falls.. and it never happens.

I feel like Aamir Khan in DCH after Shalini lefts him. Its as if the whole world is passing by and I am standing in a corner watching it. I know I am thinking all off-track and if I start thinking morbidly it’s not gonna end. But sometimes you need just a small pause. The music sounds like cacophony right now. My friend who is married with a kid and is usually miserable that she is not working or earning for herself, independent, or in a nutshell would love to exchange her life with mine, usually hears similar woes from me! I feel like I have no time for myself. Much like what she says. I am too tired to do anything at the end of the day. And too lonely to do anything alone anyways! This week I just watched TV for like 4 hours after returning from office. Its just the life which I thought I would never lead. I hate TV. I hate the idea that I just work the whole day and and then spend the remaining time de-stressing myself.  I don’t seem to be able to break this barrier. There is so much to do but either I am v bad at managing energy levels and time or I am not able to break the problem in sub-problems correctly.

Any suggestions?

Highlighted senses

I m forcing myself to type something right now. So many posts have already been blown away by the fast wind that crashes on my window sill as the bus runs across the city.  I just want to write something which is not a term paper or an assignment or a draft report or a mail or an elementary math question! 

The consciously least used sense is perhaps that of smell. Or touch. For most of us. Who do not live in Mumbai. Or who mostly/only travel in taxi in Mumbai. For the remaining set, touch and smell are just as often used as any other senses. Thats true. The touch and smell senses used or mis-used while commuting for mere 3 hours of the day are enough to last the entire day. 

First 10 days in Mumbai, I started recognizing the different stinks at different locations which my bus would cross at different time intervals. For instance at 6:30 I would reach Vashi Creek which would smell of dirty stagnant water. At 6:40 I would reach Mankrund which would stink of different kind of chemicals. At 8:30 in morning I would reach another place, I don’t know name of which, that would stink of human shit. Like this the places-times and smells are inter related. (Of course, only on the days I catch the bus on time – which is a subset of – only on the days when the bus comes on time!)

Next few days I started smelling people. Of course, I am living in a coastal area, so people would smell of fish. But, there are other kinds of smells as well. Fart. Which distinguishes according to what the person might have had in dinner last day. Perspiration. You live in Mumbai in April and May and you would smell the same. Or else you would smell of some deodorant. You would definitely not smell like you. Alcohol. Who gets drunk at 9 am in morning??!! Oh I m such a naive! This guy is drunk from last night! Like wasted IITians! 

Touch. This is especially an irony in my life because its not even 2 months since I have returned from the US. Where you can’t touch a child as an expression of love or care unless it is a culturally appropriate touch. Now, when I sit on an aisle seat on the bus there are penises touching my shoulder most of the time. The bus is designed in such a way that the crouch area of a  human body of average height would reach the seat. Of course the bus is crowded and over-crowded. There is no space to stand. So what do you say to the guy whose crouch is touching/rubbing your shoulder? As I learnt, you move as much as possible so that you are not touched. Though this is not always possible. Now if crouch area is right in front of you, so would be the butt area as well. Its not much pleasant either. When you are standing you squeeze through two people. So basically now my personal circle of space has reduced to 3 cms radius. Living in the most densely populated city in the world and if this doesn’t happen to you – its a waste. Its like you go to Korea and never taste a snake! 

:)

Top Shots

Be it top IMDB movie rating, Booker Prize for Literary Achievements, or Nobel prize for various disciplines, they all mean the same thing to me. More masala for timepass and information. I watched The Dark Knight after reading its 9.1 and was amazed by the movie. Its diffcult to express how fascinated I was by the movie. I have definitely not watched a better movie on the big screen before.

I read Kiran Desai/Arundhati Roy/Jhumpa Lahiri, bought a Naipaul, plan buying Istanbul by Pamuk – all after the the news of awards/prizes they won.

Now, I am reading all the articles of Paul Krugman one by one patiently trying to make sense of them, coz after all he won the Nobel for economics!

Wish someday I would be able to distinguish for myself the top shots and won’t have to wait in newspapers to find them out!

Yeh duniya weird hai

Last two news pieces I read:

Attempt to make Delhi begger free by Commonwealth games 2010. Now, I come from a reputed institute of social sciences, where we talk about social justice, democracy and other such obscure terms. As a result, the first interpretation which comes to my mind comes after reading such a news is: Do we need to make Delhi begger free by CW games in 2010 because we can’t exhibit our poverty (?) to foreigners? Or coz we want to save our foreigner guests from indulging into alms giving practice. Our first motive is not to help beggers settle in their rehabilitation homes (haven’t seen any of those in good shape) or to help them in generating income for themselves, it is to make Delhi begger free! I was happy to read that atleast in some cases this would lead to a better life for beggers, whatever the motive behind the move may be. Would try to visit one of those rehabilitation centres when in Delhi to get the “real picture”. I somehow get a feel that this might turn out to be a worse move for street children. Lets see.

Super Rich believe in God in a totally weird manner. Would get more such weird news at Nitesh’s blog here.

Updates

I am moving to Udaipur next week, joining an NGO Vidya Bhawan Society which is one of pioneer organisation in the field of education. My work would be more or less in classroom and school and would only seasonally work on projects carried with government systems. The school in which I would work would also be a government school.

Udaipur is nice, clean city with benefits of both large metros (branded showrooms) and slower pace of small cities.

Hope after this stint, I also get to live in Ahmedabad once. Another place where I want to live for a decent while.