Women, Career, and Men

I did not want to make this an issue about men and women. Although I do wonder if in many urban relationships, a woman usually wants to pursue her career before settling for marriage. My brother told me about a pair of his friends who were dating but weren’t 'settling'. I asked naively, “why?” He said, “one of them wants to get married, and the other wants to focus on career.” I asked again, “who wants to keep working?” He replied, “who do you think?” “Yeah, the girl”, I said.  
That conversation has stayed with me for more than a year now. While career is no easy choice for anyone, is it more important to women? Does the traditional gender role make the urban women have the need to prove themselves outside home? And, because men are expected to work, does marriage becomes an easy choice once they have a job?
In one year, I have heard a friend or a friend of friend, every now and then, excuse herself from marriage market because she wants to be someone before being what is expec…

The Prism that Our Brain is

There comes a day when we have to stop using our past as an excuse for who we are in the present. Past is supposed to be accepted. Many a times, it does seem that we have accepted it. It does seem that we have made peace with who we have become because of our past. And, if it is bad we do hope to take charge of what we do now, because we do not want to blame our today for the things we do in future.
True that. But the haunting question is, what do we do with our past where we weren’t the protagonists? What if, our past has been entertaining others with its limelight? We were not backstage and we had no role to play apart from being an audience. We laughed when the acts got funny and we cried when grief took over. And, every time we had the stage to ourselves, we thought about what the acts of others left us with. We didn’t have the brain to analyse it. We missed a few shows at times, perhaps, escaped the theatre because we didn’t know how to live just as a mute audience.
It is then,…

An Early Life Crisis of 90's Kids Around Me

A couple of days after Diwali, a friend called me to talk about his life which included quitting his job and not knowing what to do next. He needed help. And I said, tell me one person who doesn’t these days! The thing is what used to be known as a mid-life crisis has turned into an early life crisis. You do not need to have a steady job you dislike, and that may or may not pay well to feel in your mid-thirties, what's the point of this? You do not need experience to ask yourself, what am I doing with my life, or where is this all going? You do not need to be a grown up thirty something to realise that life doesn’t make any sense and the struggle to go on is way more difficult than imagined.
The thing with my generation, the 90’s kids, is that we are a generation of in-betweens. Not surprisingly, we are stuck between the generations that are divided between ‘do what you should do’ and ‘do whatever you want to do’. We are the generation that’s longing to become something it loves to…

Asha and Her Sand Castle

Her mother, lying on her back, was soaking in what was left of the setting sun. Lights were turning on. Without caring about the time of the day, there she sat, the six year old Asha in the sand. She was trying so hard to gather the wet sand and pile it up. She wanted to make her own castle, a castle she always dreamt of. Her twin brother stopped by her side every now and then. Most of the times, he messed up her small built tower. She was annoyed, but a lousy brother can not let a princess give up on her castle, can he?
She wanted perfection. Castle after castle, she sat back to have a good look at her creation every time. She made a pyramid, but it didn’t have grace. She made a tomb, but it was too depressing. Nothing discouraged her. She had a dream, and she was confident to make it real. She looked at her sleeping mother. No ideas were going to come from her. She saw her brother play in the water. Her father was nowhere to be seen. She was alone, she was covered in sand, and she wa…

Twenty Three and Adulting, Hopefully the Healthy Way

“I do not want to talk to people, even though a samajik keeda inside my system fills me with guilt for my lack of civility. I am drowned by the forced need to message at times, but then, I do not text simply because I feel that the talk will lead to no productivity. It hasn't in all these years.”
One fine night I sent a message to a couple of my friends asking them, “what is it called when you know you have to do certain things and you cannot make time for it because you are doing other things?” They said, “Life” and “Priorities.” Each word made sense to the situation in its own way. My every day life has changed in last nine months (no, not child birth), in a good way irrespective of what people have to say. I fancy describing my current state of being as “twenty three and 'adult'ing” because I felt some time back that twenty three is the age when you begin to feel like an ‘adult’, by my definition ‘responsible’ (Of course, there are cheat days). I wish to generalise it, b…

I Love Cooking, and I Deny Gender Roles to Overshadow it

One day in my M.A. classroom, a professor was teaching Emily Dickinson’s “She Sweeped with Many-Colored Brooms”, and I was scribbling a poem of my own in the last page of my notebook. I stared up, not looking at anything in particular, unaware that my gaze was in direct contact with that of the professor. He asked me, “Do you sweep at home?” “Yes”, I replied. “Girls usually sweep”, was his response. Unable to control the rising adrenaline and noradrenaline within me, I replied without being asked, “I sweep because I live alone, I cannot afford a maid (irrespective of my issues with cheap labour), and I like a clean room. I don’t think it has got anything to do with me being a girl. I am sure, any responsible human would do so.” I do not remember what happened next as my response was ignored. I went back to writing my poem. Do you realise what happened in those few minutes? My developing sense of responsibility was overshadowed by my social sex, my gender, and its role in this society.

Respect and Love: Better Earned than being in Shackles

[The following post is a personal and subjective take on the issue. Any offence is deeply regretted, or maybe not. Read it till the end and you might understand why. Forgive me for the irony and paradox used.]
We belong to the Indian culture where we respect our elders and love the ones younger than us in our family, by default. I am simply stating a fact, without raising this culture to greatness or demeaning or comparing it to any other culture. If you are born into a conventional (Hindu, as I cannot speak for other religions) Indian family, you know you are supposed to touch the feet of the older members of the (extended) family, join your hands on the road if you meet the neighbouring uncle or aunty, share your personal belongings with your siblings and so on and so forth as gestures of respect and love. If you don’t, then either your parents are blamed for not giving you the correct upbringing or you simply become ‘that’ kid whose lack of such gestures is taken as naughtiness but …