The Art Of Giving A Shit

The husband is reading a book called ‘the art of not giving a shit”, or some nonsense like that. Not that I’ve read it, and absolutely no disrespect to an author who wrote something that got published, hit the big time etc, but the title put me off instantly.

If you know me, you know I love everything coated in sarcasm, a few smart alec comments, and peppered with more sarcasm. I love to crack inappropriate jokes, and I try to act cool( so not one of the cool kids automatically). I have also tried most of my life to not give a shit. Tried not to let things get to me.

So, what the hell am I talking about anyway??

There’s a big difference between not letting things get to you, and not giving a shit.

Society today focuses on encouraging individuality, rather than a sense of community.

Narcissism is given more weightage than selflessness.

Me before bonhomie.

Sportspersons before the team.

Individuals above all else. Heck sometimes we have the audacity to equate ourselves with God. *thunderous slap*

I actually spent a large part of last night letting all of this get under my skin. Spent a couple of hours lying in bed thinking what the hell have we become? And what are we even teaching the next generation? Will we be the people who’s only legacy will be the ‘selfie’ ? *GASP*

It’s so much easier to isolate oneself as an individual, professionally and personally, than to realise, and deal, with the fact that you’re actually a part of something bigger.

In lay mans terms, the sun doesn’t shine out of your behind buddy.

It’s easier to let mommy manage relationships, when your 35 year old lazy behind doesn’t want to make phone calls, attend weddings and funerals.

It’s easier to let your team mate take the fall when your presentation goes south, because hey! you did your part!

It’s easier to let someone else take the fall. Period.

And that’s what got me so worried.

We’re a generation of selfish p#$%^s.

I’m sure everyone remembers their grandparents telling tales of how their friends would just land up, and there would still be food for everyone? That there was no concept of locking doors, neighbours could just walk in whenever (I’m not saying get murdered by leaving your door open *sigh*)?

Now we expect that everyone adheres to our schedules, timelines and personal space.

Some vague concepts created by crabby scrooges living on a hillside in timbuktu.

{Someone call my granny to whack some sense into those of you}

So what I mean is, before this is what we teach our kids, and leave billions of individuals on this planet, we really need to make a change.

Pick up the phone and say hi to someone you’ve only been texting (and avoiding). Stop making whatsapp that wall you hide behind to avoid human interaction.

Go to that painful wedding with mom next time (even though relatives will ask you when will you get married/ have a baby/ or are you pregnant: story of my life).

Ring you’re neighbours door, introduce yourself, you just might figure Mehta Uncle has the best stories to tell (or you’ll figure why you avoided him all these years hehe).

Teach your kids what we have all forgotten, leave them a better, happier, nicer world.

WE before ME.

And I’m the change I want to see!!

(Obv Duh! I didn’t give this mid morning sermon for nothing)

Peace Out

(Damnit, that still doesn’t sound cool coming from me!)

{P.S. Thank you Friends and joey for condensing my article into one picture}

11 Reasons Why

Our anniversary and little A’s birthday just happen to be on consecutive days. So I thought I’d not let Apar feel that left out by writing a piece for him.

The last piece about him, left little pieces of him everywhere. Now I can’t promise that I will be nice in this one, but heck I’ll try.

We met under curious circumstances, and after a bit, (according to the convenience of our families) were married on a day guaranteed to be celebrated by everyone, all over the world.

But whether that’s a cause for celebration for us…… that’s a whole different and hilarious story in itself.

So here’s my 11 Reasons on why he’s my ZING!

1. He’s my companion, friend, partner in crime, BFF, advice giver, punching bag, basically everything you find in several friends….rolled into one human.

I’m thinking that if I was stranded on an island and I had to take just one person with me, it would be him (And my son, and mom, and dad, and my best friend, come on, even you can’t pick just one person).

2. He tries to be as honest as possible without getting killed. With hilarious results.

“Do you want to wear that black dress?” For instance, is a polite way of saying that you’re looking fat and you might want to change. Lest he be held responsible for my unflattering pictures later. And somehow his goose is cooked anyway.

3. He knows me the best.

Figures, we do spend 24 hours together, more or less. I mean if he still doesn’t know me really really well, he’s in trouble.

(But somehow, he still doesn’t get me flowers even though he knows I love them so much. So now, I just buy them for myself, problem solved. Strong independent woman. Boom.)

4. Telepathy.

Apar and I very often just exchange a glance and we know exactly what the other one is thinking.

It’s usually something hilarious we spot at the same time, or a silent warning exchanged to not push your luck.

I also know when he’s checking out someone and what he’s checked out. Buddy, I have eyes in the back of my head.

5. He pushes all the wrong buttons and yet survives. Like how?????

Like cockroaches surviving a nuclear blast.

A cat with nine lives.

He must’ve done something right, a lot of things right to survive my legendary wrath. But what were those things exactly??

6. He’s such a good dad.

He’s always taken night duty, given little A his night feeds, done diaper duty, school runs, PTMs, shown patience, listened…..like I thought only a mom could.

But he does it all and never complains.

On the flip side, A is his kid too, so saddle up dad!

7. He’s actually good at all relationships.

Ask his oldest friend who actually sat with me all afternoon to figure out if I actually had 11 reasons. (No, seriously, she told me to chill and just give 5 reasons instead. And then we both laughed for a solid 15 minutes.)

Just last night we were addressing his pathological need to keep everyone happy, in all relationships. Seriously, the man doesn’t know the fact that you can’t keep everyone happy. Or can he?

8. He’s taught me a lot.

Actually, I’m as surprised at this as he is!

I’ve become more patient( yes I was even more impatient before this *eye roll*), I’ve changed so much as a person.

And I’ve become a better person.

(And to complete the balance, he’s become worse, and I’m laughing my ass off on that, balance that ya’ll)

9. You get to know what “through thick and thin means”

There are more rainy days than sunny ones. And we’ve had our share of downs. And we came out ok.

But we realised that we came out because we have each other.

And I’m the counsellor in the balcony. I mean I’m going to take the credit on this point. Sorry, but I totally am your anchor etc etc.

10. We are actually frenemies.

We LOVE to hate each other. We mock one another. Fight like 3 year olds. Have fights over the last piece of pizza. The works.

But it’s very convenient to have you best friend and favourite enemy rolled into one.

11. I took an entire month to write this.

I mean I had serious writers block. Forget 11, I couldn’t even come up with 4 reasons. But imagine!! After an entire month of racking my brains and having epiphanies which I would forget by morning, VOILA! I did it!!

If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

All I know is, that I’m lucky I married one of my best friends.

And he struck a gold mine.

*Mic drop* *moonwalks away*

8 Reasons Why

Little A’s birthday is right around the corner, and I’m feeling that warm fuzzy feeling. I’m having flashbacks about the first time I heard his heartbeat, the first time I held him, his first words, and so many more memories are coming flooding back.

So I thought I’m going to do an “8 reasons why” piece, so I can share some of my most favourite parenting experiences and adventures over our 8 years together.

Being a parent is like being an octopus with all 8 hands occupied, and wishing you had a few more hands. Also, wishing the day had 36 hours, so you can actually manage 8 hours of sleep ( I’m not included in this, little A and his dad tip toe around me every morning because I’m a monster if my sleep is disturbed).

Little A and I have been on some fantastic adventures. And here’s my reason why everyone needs a ‘mini me’…..

1. You’ve never known love before you met your child.

When I first held the angry red potato, that was my newborn, I knew the reason I existed.

The only true love that exists is between a parent and a child, because it’s truly a selfless type of love. You realise you can jump blindfolded, off a plane, into a pool of sharks, if that’s what it takes for your child.

It’s when you watch them sleep at night and promise to fix the world for them, so tomorrow is better.

2. You get to be a kid all over again.

All the things we have forgotten, the little joys, we can feel them all over again. The joy of playing in rain, flying paper planes off a balcony, the excitement of birthday presents, and even the not nice parts like homework and heart break.

It’s revisiting our childhood, living another life again. Magic.

3. Innocence.

Yup, just one word. In a world where that’s what we lose the first, their honest, innocent and straightforward perspective on things is such a breath of fresh air.

Such a simple and uncomplicated approach to life.

4. You will never need honesty again.

Mumma, maybe you should buy the sauna slim belt for your fat stomach…….*boing* *boing*

Yes love, you lived in it, so stop insulting it. %*#^<<

Enough said.

5. Did I mention you have a BFF?

I honestly have a perfect shopping partner, (seriously little A loves shopping more than me). I have a lunch date. A travel companion. Movie buddy. Oh, and lavish with compliments too!

Basically he’s putting the husband out of a job.

6. Comic relief

Did you hear the one about when little A said his favourite food was underwears?

Or wait, when he insisted that a bra is actually a hat, and paraded around the house with one on his head?

Or the one when he ate so much that he became “food-bombed” and needed to be carried to the car? Milkshake in hand…

They are a riot!

7. They make you appreciate everything.

From ice cream to bugs. Rainbows to poop.

Everything is new, every day is an adventure of discovery. And everything is met with wide eyed wonder.

Like I said before, everything is magic.

8. They complete you.

I rubbished that before I had my minion.

Seriously, they have this way of bringing together the whole family, with just one little pout or fake tear just sitting on their chubby cheeks.

You turn from a couple to a family.

And you wonder how you ever functioned without a third wheel.

I mean what exactly was the pleasure of having a shower without having someone break down the door? Or a phone call without a “mommyyyyyyy I need to poop”? Or a vacation without vomiting at every airport you’ve been to?

But seriously, not 8, but I could list 800 reasons why little A is the best thing that ever happened to me.

And despite the really tough times, sleepless nights, throw ups ,boo boos and yelling, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Happy Birthday little A!!

The relevance of God in the new millennium

Before you spit your tea out at me writing on this issue, let me give you a small background…..

I’ve been reading( stop sniggering already!), and my inspiration draws from the series Amish wrote on Shivji.

I’ve not read such brilliant storytelling in a while. He’s managed to make gods human, and relatable, while reminding us of what we always knew. Ok, fan-girling done.

I’ve always been a person of faith. Not the sitting in the temple, fasting, ringing bells and doing havan types, but a deep faith that says “thank you ” pretty much everyday.

I’m not the person who dials God in case of emergencies. I’m surprisingly, for many of you, the person who has a small mandir in her house and insists we all say “hi” to God everyday.

Neither is my faith limited to Hindu Gods. I’ll bow my head at a temple, tie a thread at a mosque, pray at a church and gurudwara with equal reverence. I believe in a supreme power, and the form they take for each one of us is our own call.

As a matter of fact, within my family, we all have managed to find our own form of God, be it in a temple or our work. For me, the supreme force is in everything we do, and in every object we choose to see.

So the gyan and jargon out of the way, what the universe am I even talking about??

In tumultuous times, like now, we find our faith constantly challenged.

We find ourselves increasingly busy to say “hello” and “thank you” for the things we now consider ourselves entitled to. And our success? We earned it ofcourse!!

(But that little thing called luck?

I would like to think of it as the divine hand, helping us along.)

Along the eons, our concept of God and faith has turned into a crude drama of rituals and we have forgotten the core of what each and every religion teaches us.

And if we don’t believe in religion, the little voice inside us leads us down the path.

Discerning right from wrong and good from evil, has been an everyday struggle, not just for us, but for the gods themselves.

What exactly is evil? And if we look at it’s origins, surprisingly, we will find it in good. And I think, that in itself, was the biggest revelation to me.

Somewhere along the way, different becomes difficult for us to accept, and the very acceptance of diversity we prided ourselves upon becomes the rotten core.

And this aspect can be applied across religion, our culture, our nation, our work, how we live our lives, the food we eat, I mean every darn thing! Think about it….

Ok don’t think*sigh*

Let me explain………

Love for food becomes obesity. Sharing turns into coveting. Support into jealousy. Friendship into competition. Religion into fanaticism. Got it??

So in order to find God, I think we need some introspection.

We need to understand our motives.

We need to find out whether we are actually good people, or we have convinced ourselves that some material measure is equated to goodness.

Is the spirit of sacrifice alive in us? Do we actually think we can give without asking for something in return? Or every time we do a good deed we secretly hope God is watching and will reward us?

If we answer honestly to ourselves a few of these questions, I have a feeling, we might set ourselves on a path where we rediscover the relevance of God, or of our faith, in its truest form.

May the force be with you!

P.S.

As usual, need I constantly remind everyone that these are my views alone? Religion and God is a very touchy topic.

Have another opinion? Go write your own blog…….

How Much Should We Pay Moms?

mom

 

Ridiculous title….she’s off on another rant. Bra-burning feme-nazi. Pay moms? What the hell…….

This thing started an itch in my head the day Manushi Chhillar gave her winning answer, and a couple of days later, a newspaper carried an article about how much moms would make.

This is no new debate, every little while someone adopts the cause of the unpaid housewife and the under appreciated mother. The guilt sets in and we try to put figures on the unpaid labour and opportunity cost.

But really? So typical of us to want to quantify everything. Time, work, sacrifices, love…… everything we do is not quantifiable by a mere ‘opportunity cost’ or ‘cost of labour’.

Try giving your mom a salary for everything she does for you, and I’ll watch you run for your life as she hurls slippers and abuses at you.

The newspaper trivialised mothers by breaking up their jobs as:

Nanny, Care giver to parents, Driver, Cook, and a couple of more patronising categories that left me very very angry.

First of all, the salaries they had quoted were probably from 1990.

Secondly, the person who wrote the article was obviously not a mother.

Being a mom means putting yourself second.

From the physical angle of letting go of the body you worked so hard for, having that soft tummy that won’t budge, and stretch marks that are now worn proudly like battle scars.

It’s about being at work physically, and being home mentally, and vice versa. Like a super God of multi tasking. Worrying if they have smashed their heads while making a presentation, and watching your email while feeding them carrots.

It’s having your worst fears realised: Failure. And living in constant fear of failure. Am I doing the right thing? Am I raising my kid right? Am I giving my child the correct values? All this while listening to hundreds of pieces of unsolicited advice from the neighbourhood aunty to the security guard at the airport.

It’s about putting yourself second every single day of your life from the moment that your child enters this world.

It’s about lying awake at night to make sure their quilt is on right, feeding them at odd hours, kissing boo boos, teaching them some tough lessons in life, crying when they cry and living each day with them, as if you’re living your life all over again.

And also for me, it’s about sharing my food. Somehow my kid knows what I love and will make sure he gets the last piece of chocolate and the last bite of pizza. *sigh, the sacrifice*

And this is the tip of the iceberg about what being a mom is. It’s not even 300 words about how strongly we feel for our children and the lengths we would go to for them.

So if some newspaper, some guilty person, or some misled child is trying to trivialise your contribution, you really don’t want me to find you…….

If you want to pay a mom, let me tell you, you can’t afford us.

As mother we MAKE and MOULD a human.

And that, no amount of money can compensate.

 

Rant over, Peace Out!

Shop or Stop??

“You really don’t need to go shopping for another 5 years…….”

Yet he lived to see another day.

“You’ve taken 4 closets up in the house…”

Yet he lived to see another day.

“Are you serious? You have literally a 100 dresses, and nothing to wear?”

And yet again, he lived to see the next sunrise.

Now either this man has 9 lives or he’s just about on his last life.

He clearly has no idea about his mom’s closet, or has a vision disorder.

As a woman, I’m sure many, many, many of us have heard one version of this inane conversation one time or the other.

If it’s not clothes, it’s bags or shoes.

So here’s my explanation for the poor misguided souls who have absolutely no idea why we need so many clothes!!

1) No one, absolutely no one goes home and discusses what men were wearing. I mean we don’t even notice you on your own wedding. You have a boring wardrobe and it’s hard to distinguish office clothes from smart casuals and formals and occasion wear. Everything is the same.

2) Point one was enough.

As women we need clothes for going to the gym, going to the park, casual lunches, formal lunches, family lunches, casual dinners, formal dinners, family dinners, weddings, night suits, chill at home clothes, I don’t think there are enough categories.

Then the shoes, bags and accessories to complement the above also range from just your wallet to the fancy bag and same for shoes.

Plus we have 4 broad seasons we have to cover.

Ok and let’s be clear, every season has new styles and you need to upgrade your wardrobe. I’m sure you don’t want me to be wearing my straight fit beige pants from 2003. (In retrospect wtf was I even thinking)

Get the drift??

So yes, I’m taking up 4 closets, but two are everyday clothes and casuals. One is western formals. One is jackets. One is Indian formals. Oh, that makes it 5. But I’m not counting. It’s my house, my closets, my rules!

I stopped being apologetic long time ago about my love for “stuff”.

Like I told my mom a few weeks ago, “Ma, if I stopped wanting stuff, how would you constantly be in the market?”

(Side note: Mom still loves me after the statement)

Shopping is therapy, it’s bonding with your partner in crime and it’s fun!

And it’s not as dim witted as it’s made to sound. Done right, it’s a sport.

And honey, I’m an Olympian!!

Bai bai Kanta Bai

“Didi, aapse ek baat karni thi ( didi, I wanted to talk to you)”, muttered my bai/ maid under her breath.
It was one of those bad Hindi movie scene where you turn around in slow motion and your face contorts in horror at what’s to come.
“ Ek mahine ki chutti chahiye( I want leave for a month)”.
And the world just self combusted.

Those are the dreaded words every woman, working or not, fears the most.
She will go on her one month leave happily and here my world will be blown to bits.

So, for all you guys who know me, I have the male version of this going through my life. I have 2 male helps, and believe me they have as many mood swings and vacations as their female counterparts.
As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this, one of them has decided that his relative is getting married “suddenly” and has taken off midweek.

We have the most intense love-hate relationship with our staff members possible.
They are the reason for and for the lack of our independence.
They dictate our ability to be mobile.
Their mood dictates whether we will be eating cardboard or coq au vin.

Basically they have us by the throat. And we can’t do anything about it.

Point in case, our community whatsapp group is constantly filled with requests and pleas for the perfect maid/driver. It’s like they are more in demand than movie stars!

My endeavours were also no less comical in my pursuit of domestic bliss.

When I decided that I needed additional help after having baby A, I decided I wanted to hire a female help. Bad move baby.
I had one crazy lady who first tried to convert my entire household into another religion. Followed by one of the most colourful one one, who’s antics probably inspired some bad Hindi movies themselves.
Twice bitten, I went back to male help. And I got rewarded by one gem after another.
One who wanted to sing in Indian Idol provided us with many many wonderful videos of his ‘audition songs’.
It’s a zoo out there! And I had every exotic animal come to work for me.

I’m not kidding when I say that’s it’s harder to find the perfect help than to find a perfect husband!!

So on that note, may your endeavours be successful, your maids never take leave, and you find one that forever stays in a good mood!! Happy hunting!