Friday, September 16, 2011

I Don't Get It

What do bollywood movies from the black and white era have in common with movies from the, lets say, 60's all through to today, the 21st century? 

All of them have parents of the hero and/or heroine mouthing that one standard dialogue - "times have changed. These days girls and boys find their partners on their own. As parents we only want their happiness, nothing more". 

And then they say art imitates life. Lies. That dialogue is as fictional as the power Dr. Singh has sitting there in Delhi.

Even today, everyday, you hear stories about how parents are objecting to their son/daughter marrying a person of their choice. And while i can't generalise this to all the different communities existing in India, i know for a fact it happens more often than is healthy in that group known for it's dal-baati and chartered accountants.

I went through parental objection myself and am the rare case that actually got what she wanted. But not all girls (or boys) are as stubborn (or rebellious) as i am. Especially when faced with the entire family and the associated guilt-tripping. But the question here is not how firm the girl/boy is in their decision to marry someone of their choice. What needs to be addressed is why should they have to deal with parental/familial objections and refusals in the first place. Why, as a community, have we developed this reputation (not entirely untrue of course) of being anti-"love" marriage (or as i like to call it, self-choice marriage)? Why do our parents, their friends, the entire village all look at choosing your own partner as something that needs to be pointed at and probably burnt at stake with people throwing stones at it?

And this, when the chosen partner is not of the same *community*. It doesn't matter what the qualifications, personality or family background maybe. They may be better than what the parents would probably have managed through the arranged route. Just because he/she belongs to a different community (i hate the word but can't seem to think of an appropriate substitute right now), the relationship has to be objected to. 

Imagine what hell is raised if the person follows a different religion. 

Now, if you've still not understood the level of pigheadedness and ridiculousness parents are able to get to, just think of the young couple, who face extreme parental opposition towards their relationship and the dream of a life together, not because they dont belong to the same sub-sub-community or (shudder) caste, not because they believe in different gods. No. The reason for objecting to the relationship is money. Yes. Look shocked. Not because it happened. That too. But because it's not uncommon. It happens more than you'd like it to, and in more families than one. 

I get that if the parents are looking for a match for their son/daughter, they look for someone in the same financial level as theirs, often disregarding several other factors such as education and class (i've seen it happen). But when a choice has already been made, shouldnt it be more important to know that he/she makes your child happy and that how much money they come from is not really essential? 

How does it matter at the end of the day unless you're a money-minded pig who only wants to know that the wedding will result in grossly over-priced and gawdy gifts for you (this is specifically for the boy's family, who, unfortunately, in our primarily patriarchal society, still have some kind of superiority complex). But apparently it does. It seems to make perfect sense to everyone not of my generation (and to some of those who belong to it too). They've all rationalised this behaviour and thinking down to the last argument and have given it that glossy and irrefutable (in their minds) label called *culture*. Yeah right.

To someone who hasn't grown up in and with such a close-minded and oh-my-god-what-will-people-say-mindset, this whole attitude is mind boggling. Medieval even. 

 I did, and i still don't get it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Fire and Photos

As i'd promised several posts back, here are the photos of that fire in my house. And these don't have photos of the kitchen which i'll add whenever i finally transfer them from my phone. Any wonder we're planning to sue LG?
The fridge that caused it all.

Standing right next to the fridge. My bombed out lamp.

Next to the lamp, charred remains. 

Curtains would hang here once upon a happy time. 

Wiring that melted.

One side of the living room. All my photo frames look bombed out.

The much walked through living room. And a center table people kept wiping.

My footwear. 

The Fellow's table.

That used to be a plug point.

My dressing table. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Of Cooking

Since we moved to Pune in March I haven't cooked. Our maid (which, as it happens, is the best thing to happen to us in this city), turned out to be a fantastic cook and quite efficient to boot, a rare species and i would have been a fool (a fool i say) if i didn't take advantage of her skills. And then our house had that fire and   we had to move again and the fridge wasn't delivered on time and we had no functioning kitchen. Also the super-efficient maid had to go be a grandmother and who can say no to that right? 

Anyhoo. The fridge has arrived and we have an operational kitchen. Meaning, food can be cooked and we can even have leftovers. But the substitute maid, while efficient in her own way, is not a very confident cook. And so i did. Cook that is. And you know what? I had fun. I'd forgotten how much i actually enjoyed cooking, even something as simple as good old dal, sabzi and roti. I'm not talking about anything fancy. Just the familiar, comfort food that is ghar ka khaana. I guess i missed the thinking and planning ahead, the organisation of ingredients, the small tweaks in the recipe depending on my mood and that moment of thrill when you know everything tastes divine. Of course, i also realise that the only reason i'm feeling like this is because i havent cooked in nearly 7 months and as soon as the novelty wears off, i'll be back to complaining (duh).

And so tomorrow i let the maid take over the kitchen once more. Not because i can't cook. It's so that i can. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rajma Chawal Love

Steaming hot, fresh off the stove. 
Cold leftovers from dinner the previous night.
5pm snack craving.
Maa ke haath ka bana. 
Punjabi dhhabewala.
Third and fourth helpings.
Instead of butter chicken.
Sneakily unbuttoning jeans to allow that last yummy spoonful.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Roti, Kapda aur Makaan

The house had a fire.
The clothes were all soot covered.
And we'd been eating out for a month thanks to no refrigerator and functional kitchen.

We've moved into a non-sooty house.
The clothes have all been dry cleaned.
And today, for the first time in a month, our kitchen will be cooked in and homemade food shall be had.

You can't even begin to imagine the happiness we're experiencing. That Maslow sure knew what he was talking about.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Milk. Ice. Cold water. Fruit

Four things you will now get in my house (among other things, but these are what i miss most).

Yes, people who have been listening to me for the last month or so, we now have a new refrigerator, replacing the old one that committed suicide by fire. After waiting for what was probably the longest anyone has waited for a refrigerator (morons at Samsung), we finally have one. And now we can enjoy the simple pleasures of life - cold water on a warm day, chocos and cold milk for breakfast, fresh fruit anytime of the day, chilled frooti to go with reruns of Grey's Anatomy...and, well, you get the picture right? 

So anyway. Ice trays have been filled, bottles of water and juice boxes put in their place, vegetables and fruits put in the drawer, and magnets have been put on. The fridge is home. I hope it lasts longer than the last one. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Change and All That

Regular readers of this space (all 8 of you, thank you very much), please to note that instead of gyan giving, i've decided to flutter through life, confused and at constant risk of a really clean window. Or a Venus flytrap. 

The rantings shall, of course, continue. I can't afford a real therapist after all. 

Which reminds me, i need to vent more often. I think everything i leave unblogged is converting itself into fat. There is no other explanation really.