Fidelity and Fairness

fidel

I was reading the secret wish list by Preeti Shenoy and it got me thinking about this heavy topic: can I really put fidelity and fairness in the same weighing scale and judge if I’ve been dealt a fair hand? Can I justify the unfair treatment meted to me by being infidel?

First a bit about the book: It is about a stay-at-home mother and wife (Dikhsha), smothered by wishes of her family and husband. She’s never been given a chance to understand her desires and wants and build a life for herself. And the day she gets a chance (or rather she wrestles it out of her humdrum life and her meek inner self), a dam kind of breaks out and her entire life metamorphoses in a matter of few weeks. She goes out on her own, takes a dance class, makes new friends and re-connects with an old friend and her ex-boyfriend from school.

Reading the atrocities she faced not just from her husband but her own parents, does make one sympathetic to her and one of part of me wants to vindicate her for the infidelity she committed. But there is a part of me that just cannot excuse going out of a marriage and having a full blown affair. No matter how unfair the situation. Granted, I have never been oppressed in my entire life, not by my parents or my husband or anyone. Despite my multiple, and sometimes repeated, mistakes, my family has always given me the right to choose and live as I want. However, I strongly believe that we live in a world where no relationships are exclusive, I cannot avenge myself of the wrongs my husband has committed, by going out with another guy because in doing so I am not just punishing him but his family and my children – i.e. the people who’ve welcomed me into their lives and loved me unconditionally and they do not deserve such a treatment. What is morally wrong is wrong. I feel I should end an abusive and unsatisfying relationship before I make a new beginning, that is the only fair thing to do with all the parties involved.

For me the definition of world is “the entangled web of relationships in my life that allows me to be happy, sad, and everything that I am and the relationships that have made me who I am today.” Now I take the same philosophy to the protagonist of the story, Diksha. She made a mistake of kissing a boy at the age of 16, which changed her entire life and relationships. She was oppressed from that moment onward and at the age of 35 when she realized how her life sucks, she just starts acting without thinking. In a way I can understand, if oppressed for 18 years, when your inner self unleashes herself, she changes every aspect of your life. However, I feel that the unfairness of her relationships with her husband and parents should not translate into infidelity, which will belatedly, but definitely and adversely, impact her child and sweet mother-in-law. I am sure she can explain to everyone her reasons for acting the way she did and over time they might understand her and forgive her but the hurt stays on.

Yes, she has a right to live her own life and make her own choices. Yes, I know, she’s been a doormat all her life and does not have the courage to stand up to her husband but that still does not give her the right to just go to her ex-bf’s hotel and resume the 18-year old relationship that they left midway. She needs to sit down, sort things in her head, take responsible actions rather than seek solace first and act later.

What kind of math is it: A, B and C have been unfair to me my whole life so the suppressed me takes it all out by being unfair to the innocent and unwitting participants in my life, D, E and F.

I have yet 40 more pages before I finish the book but the whole situation just made me pick up my laptop and write this out. If I review this piece a week later, I might find it too harsh and take it down but right now, I’m just thinking about how to deal with unfairness. How to deal with suppressed emotions, desires and wants? Doing what my heart wants and keeping me happy should be my ultimate aim (because if I’m happy then only I’ll able to keep the people in my life happy) but it should not come at the cost of other’s happiness in my life. I know I cannot keep everyone happy with whatever decisions I make, but that logic does not give me the right to act amorally and then exonerate myself thinking, “I’ve been dealt an unfair hand in life, and I am just righting the wrongs done to me.”

People who’ve read the book. Any thoughts?

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Rather… Than!

Rather than

I’d rather smile at a child’s innocence than laugh at someone’s expense

I’d rather cry silently at a poor man’s plight than sob at my troubles, which I have most likely created myself and blown out of proportion in my head

I’d rather bow my head in front my parents whose sacrifices, wisdom and love I can see and emulate rather than blindly follow a pretentious baba whose claims I have just read or heard

I’d rather write two cliched but honest words than an essay on what I think people would like to hear and read

I’d rather give up something I want than acquire something that I know belongs to someone else

I’d rather show with actions how much I care than proclaim with words in front of the world (which makes this whole post redundant, so you might as well have skipped it 🙂 )

Home

home

Its been 12 years since I have left my parents’ house (5 of which I have been blissfully married) but in my mind my home has always been here. And its because my mom’s abundant love (in the form of hugs, kisses, cooking, shopping, etc.) and care are here and my dad’s resilient support and faith are here.

Coincidentally, my parents’ apartment building’s name is Paradise and it is indeed one, where I feel very peaceful because of two reasons – a) here I function on auto-pilot, I don’t have to plan anything or worry about what to do next. My mom’s established routine, the familiarity of her ways and the fact that I don’t have any responsibilities or any household decisions to make here, just lifts an invisible burden off my mind; b) it brings back so many memories of childhood that in its throes, I forget to worry about my work or other commitments.

Last week, my husband was here visiting my parents. One afternoon we were sitting inside my room and I just turned around and told him that my dad’s back from office and he surprisingly asked how I knew. I told him that I heard his keys jingle in the hallway. My husband teasingly said, “At times, when I speak to you standing right next to you, you fail to hear but this faint jingle, you heard!” And to that, I replied with a broad smile, “instinct that is born out of years practice, put in so many years and see how I read you darling!” 😉

During school days, I remember, me and my sister, we used to eagerly wait for that jingle and though we knew my parents had the keys, we used to run to open the door. And there were times when we were making a mess of the house, so we used to keenly watch out for the jingle so that we could run and fix things before getting caught 🙂

For me coming home is this happy cackle of extremely loud talking and even louder laughter filled with lots of reminiscing. And over the years, coming home involves a lot of long talks with mum – shopping with her, learning a bit of cooking from her, a bit of gossiping, and lot of heart-to-hearts.

As I head back to my other home (the one I strive to make like this one – full of love and warmth), I pack my bags with a heavy heart but also with the hope that someday when my parents come to my home, they will feel like they’ve come to “Paradise”.

Cheers to greener pastures!!!

green grass

There is something to be said about living with a careless abandon. During one of our everything-under-the-sky chats, my colleague mentioned living like a nomad and that one comment brought an onslaught of memories from my days of living like a nomad.

My so-called nomadic exploits began with my shift to Mumbai for my graduation. Ofcourse I wasn’t a nomad in the correct sense of the word but more like a carefree girl with little responsibilities and no home cooked food. 🙂

Greater part of my graduation days were spent in living in dump in a government hostel and it was more Dharavi-style than nomadic. However, rat infestations and cat dumps aside, Mumbai was my first venture out of my safety cocoon at home. The first year was filled with my baby-steps into this “careless abandon”. The responsible nerd in me was slowly being replaced by a girly, gossipy, college girl who was loving the hustle and bustle of a big city. Over the 3 years, as I shifted homes, hostels, and friends, I realized I am not the trinket collecting types. I collected memories, both good and bad. I collected lots of life lessons by stumbling head-first into troubles and also by leading people out of some.

The second-phase of my nomadic lifestyle came when I joined work after my MBA. I was once again back in Mumbai and this time, (supposedly) more wise. Now I had my own money to splurge and splurge I did, big time – dinner parties, movies, concerts, plays, shopping sprees and some memorable trips with friends.

My time in Mumbai meant never having to worry about cooking or cleaning the house or not having to worry about anyone/anything. Given that I met my husband during my MBA and that we were slated to tie the knot soon, my careless abandon phase came to an end and I moved on to greener pastures :).

My time in Mumbai probably seemed very appealing and I appreciated that phase of my life because that time had an expiration date. If it would have been my state of affairs till eternity then I would have probably spent my life pining for the married-status. You see, grass is always greener on the other side.

Having crossed over to the greener side, I sometimes look over at the other side and wonder was that greener or is this greener? I couldn’t answer that question with a 100% certainty until today. I think it is not the grass that changes color, it is me who is coloring the grass greener with my exploits and intentions.  And no matter which side I am on, if I choose, I can surely color it greener right where I am standing.

Thanks VK for helping me realize this :).

Styled for a second-look!!!

This post is my expression of style for the ‘A Style Of My Own’ blogger contest by Women’s Web and Trishla emart


Style

A chunky bangle/bracelet with a plain, old ratty t-shirt and jeans!

Green hip-hop shoes with khaki shorts!

A red-lipped smile with a mellow-colored dress!

This is my style!

I don’t dress to impress nor do I dress to stand-out. I dress to garner a second-look from people around me. Because I believe, just like first impressions, first look isn’t  enough to start a conversation/relationship out of thin air. I believe, a second look creates more interest and a kind of curiosity in the other person to know you better.

I was never a fashion-oriented person,  being too busy working 12-14 hours a day, I’d just throw  on something formal and rush out the door.  But over the last year, as I moved cities, gave-up full-time work and the bureaucratic mad-dash to a finish line (that’s nowhere in sight) I found the time to find myself and discover my likes/dislikes. I am still exploring this side of me and my self-expression through my clothes. But, on this exploration journey I don’t want to overhaul my wardrobe every few months and bankrupt my husband. And so I try some of these short-cuts to feel new and save some bucks:

  • While scouring a sale I found this very cute but very short skirt which was dirt cheap.  I knew I would never wear something so short so I turned it into a tube top. Now I team it up with a shrug/jacket/shawl depending on the place/occasion.
  • Whenever I get tired of my old bracelets and bangles, I wrap around a chain on my wrist, gives me a sense of novelty and I like small pendants dangling from my wrist, gives me the feeling of wearing a charm bracelet 🙂
  • On the other hand, whenever I am tired of an old bangle (bracelets wont work,  but bangles will be great) but don’t wanna let it go, I string it in a thick thread or chain and wear it around my neck. All you need is a colorful  thread and bangle and it brightens up a plain dress or t-shirt.
  • Am not a big fan of sweaters but am always freezing in malls and theaters. So my style-fix for such situations is wrapping a scarf on one of my wrists. This keeps me warm when I’m strolling and in the theater I untie the scarf and cover up my shoulders.

If you have any such style short-cuts please do share with me. I’m sure my husband will be very glad to see me try such short-cuts as he will be saved a trip to the mall every time I wanna feel new and renewed  🙂

Sappy and Predictable Endings!

happy ending

What’s with happy endings. Right from the start of every movie and every book, I know that in the end everything is going to be alright but still I get upset when the characters go through a bad patch and I get equally (some people would argue even more) excited as the characters when the happy ending comes.

Even though I know that every movie or book is going to have one of the standard endings – Boy-girl fall in love, then some fights, ego struggles and the in the end some major epiphany from the protagonists and alls well OR hero chasing some criminals, meets his gal under cover, fights off the hooligans, saves the damsel in distress and on the way realizes his love for her and as end credits roll in he’s driving away with the pretty lady in a nice car.

No matter what the story (read cliche), I go through the entire journey of the characters, their ups and downs and I savor the happy ending and most of the times, I come out of the movie theater with tears in my eyes.

I guess, in the end, happy endings, no matter how ever unbelievable, just make me feel good about life and add fuel to my ever-filmy imagination 🙂

Confessions of my un-hazed self

confused

I am constantly in this haze.. this bubble of sorts.. telling myself one moment that “all is ok, I’m doing well” or telling myself that “all isn’t ok, I need to get up off my lazy ass and do something.” But once in while (usually a very long while), I break out of this haze and see myself for who I really am… a misfit who tries desperately to fit into other’s ideas of who they want me to be.

But very rarely .…. when I come out of this usual haze.. for a few moments … for those few moments,,,, I want to be seen as myself… a person who is overly dramatic, maybe selfish also… a person who is in love with the idea of love and all things perfect without actually a clue of what I want or what I want to be…. I want to be unconventional (the un-convention that I have learnt from cinema, coz that’s really a HUGE influence on both, this un-hazed and hazed self).

This un-hazed self today openly acknowledges that I am more bogged down and fascinated (maybe “occupied” is a better word here) with the idea of who everyone wants me to be rather than wanting to find out who I really want to be. Maybe who I really am is just a scribble… just an ordinary scratch on an ordinary paper called life, who passed by this earth at some vague time, lived life by other people’s rules and just went away. Or MAYBE…. Who I am is this un-hazed, rarely surfacing individual who wants to break moulds, who wants to see the world for herself, both the good and bad sides of it… maybe who I am is this un-hazed self who isn’t scared of consequences, both good and bad… who has the courage to stand up to the world around her and tell all that, “Well…. This who I am: an idiotic, impulsive, neurotic individual” who for a lifetime would like to get away from normalcy as she’s known and discover herself without any tags or leashes.

But come morning, I wake up with a heavy head and the stark reminder that I am best who I am under all these tags and leashes. Unleashed and I might not be able to live with who I am. So come morning, I don the pair of shoes that I am expected to rather than what I think I would like.