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Thursday, April 28, 2016

X and Y, beginning of more complex problems in life…

After my graduation, I received a call on my phone from my old school. Authorities asked me to meet them, telling me there was some confusion regarding my 12th board exam result. I was tensed, not understanding what possibly could be wrong. I reached the school office and met with the P.A. to the principal. He informed me they had found some error in my mark-sheet. My math examination had miscalculation and I didn’t get even minimum marks that are required to clear the exam. I had never heard of such a thing before. Three years have passed since my 12th standard results were declared and no one called me before for this. And now when I had cleared my graduation they were telling me that I am holding a faulty mark-sheet. I was told that I will have to prepare again for 12th class and clear the exam to retain my mark-sheet, else they will cancel my qualifications and I would lose my graduation degree too. I was sweating in terror, extremely tensed and I had no clue how in the world I will go through all those mind-breaking chapters of trigonometry, inverse trigonometry, differentiation and integration etc. What if I flunk this time too? A chill ran through my spine. All those chapters of mathematics in 12th standard and three years of my graduation started taking rounds in my head. When my head was about to burst, I opened my eyes in panic.
P.S. This was a re-occurring nightmare in my life that repeated at least thrice. I always woke up panicked. I dreaded this subject more when ‘x’ and ‘y’ accompanied numbers. Things never remain fun and easy after that, those alphabets began to clamor into complicated formulas and more complicated formulas. Have you ever noticed more complex problems in our lives began with the introduction of x and y!




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We, the women have our own names!

“The utmost of a woman’s character is expressed in the duties of a daughter, sister and eventually wife and mother. It is secured by soft attraction and virtuous love. If a woman has to have a particular superiority for example a profound mind, it is best kept a profound secret. Humor is liked more but wit? No. It is the most treacherous talent of them all.”
An excerpt from Becoming Jane (A biographical movie based on the life of famous author Jane Austen)

In the era when humans were surviving on hunting and foraging, women enjoyed equality where they used to go to foraging while men hunted. With the development of farming, when women could not participate in plowing, they started staying back at homes. Since women were not physically strong, they took up the charge of raising children and managing household chores and men became providers. The work was divided into two equals. However, from that era their conditions started deteriorating. 

With the change in time, culture and traditions were introduced in our lives and different civilizations were formed. Here women, who were managing home, naive to the outside world, were bound into traditional dos and don’ts. One thing was common in every civilization, they were taught to be compassionate, quite, giving and enduring. They were discouraged to talk their heart out before others while men were left free and independent of such things. Women’s beauty became more of a duty than of a natural gift to them. While men started making marks in the world, women were like water- adjusting to the environment around, having no identity of their own.


The rules of marital alliance were simple. A woman should be good enough with all other qualities that a husband and his family can accept. She should abide by all rules of marital life and should always serve her new family, even if it means to be at her own cost. She should have endurance to stand behind her spouse in all thick and thins. She should practice patience to receive the love of her husband, no matter how much time it takes. Before her marriage she was known by her family and post marriage by her husband’s family and then her children. She dutifully followed her parents, her husband, her in-laws and her children. And meanwhile she lost her own self, amidst all. A time came in India, where after marriage she was given an entirely new name along with a new family name, to tell her that now she had a new identity, that she no more belongs to the parents and family she was born and raised in. 
And what after that? Sometimes she was abandoned by her husband, sometimes she was beaten by her in-laws, sometimes even worse happened. On the other side, her family, in the fear of stigma, pushed her back to her new home. She was repeatedly told; she could only leave her husband’s home over her pyre. 


Then time changed, she became educated and independent. Men started liking the ones who had their own say. Sharper, well-read, wittier women took over the shy ones. The measurements of beauty were no more their fair complexion or small waists, but their independence and confidence became priority. Although some males were still orthodox or traditional, but majority preferred to be in the company of exciting, knowledgeable women who stood as equals. Slowly women took the charge of their own lives and picked up the lovers/husband of their choice. The talks shifted from 'who will accept her' to 'who she will pick' as her prospective partner. 

Meanwhile old traditions continued to ferment in the families. “This is your new home! Now that you have left your old home and parents, you should forget them and start a new life here with your new parents.” After being independent having an identity of her own, she was still fighting for where she belonged to. Now she was allowed to keep her name but she should be known by the surname of her spouse. Patriarchy still dominated, feminism was still struggling in the clutches of old traditions. Now, her in-laws loved her even more than those in the past. Elder women were more accepting of their new independent daughter in laws. But somewhere, some scraps of orthodox values and thoughts stayed glued to them. She dutifully accepted her new parents, new home, and a husband as her lifeline. But now she retaliated harder, when her husband got involved in infidelity. Even now her parents asked her to woo him and take him out from the clutches of another woman and her in-laws blamed her as a reason that their son had to go outside marriage. She still struggled with dilemma of how to handle these things. Soon world around her advanced a little more and she was told that her own life should be her priority and till the time she is not tranquil with her present state, she couldn’t take care of others. The atoms of compassion, endurance, love were still in her with those motherly instincts that were provided to her by nature. 
But now she wanted to retain her own identity, the way she was born. She knew that only her parents will accept all the follies in her and still love her. She knew that even if she was tied with a man of her dreams, she still was the same human, with same genetic structure and upbringing with which she was born and raised. The fact that she was her parent's child was immutable, so she decided not to give up her family name. Traditions still tried to interfere in her decisions, and tried to find a midway of keeping her old surname and new one in that order behind her name. But she didn’t want to make a train out of her name. She had a social circle and old forgotten friends, who could still find her on social media with the name she had lived with all those years of learning and growing up. She didn’t want to change her documents from her old name to new name after marriage; then her new name to old one, if ever they part (due to any circumstances); then again old to new after remarrying. She knew that she and her partner were assembled in one relationship but she still was who she was. Her old home and parents still hold as much priority for her as they did before her alliance, and that didn’t mean she would ignore her new home. She decided to retain everything she was born with, no matter where she went.

P.S. I told my husband that I would not change my surname after marriage, that made him curious. He had never thought about those age long traditional subjects before and hence he asked me for reasons behind the same. I gave him my reasons, and told him if all of a sudden he changes his surname, how would he feel, he understood what I meant. He felt proud that I wanted to retain my own identity in the world. A lot of my cousins also appreciated the fact and decided that they too would not force surname change on their spouses. Even if a woman leaves her home for you, she still belongs to the place she was born in. Her parents and siblings still are a priority and most prized possessions for her in the world like yours are for you. A marriage is merging of two families together and no one takes a backseat in the process. Respect that! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Vitamin-Sufficiency! #Smoothies

Back at home my mother always used to grumble about us not eating fruits. She was anxious about how we will satisfy the need of vitamins in our body. “You will live on supplements and pills if you don’t get careful with what you eat!” She always reprimanded us. 
Post wedding, I realized there was no one here to discipline me and put that plate full of sliced fruits to eat in my hands. I was now my own nutrition-tracker as well as of GK’s. Being a health & weight conscious couple, we both have almost no tantrums when it comes to choice of food (provided it is vegetarian). We both prefer home cooked food. For two weeks I took good care of balanced diet full of protein and minerals, along with a glass of milk to ensure the intake of calcium. But soon I realized we were missing on fruits in our nutrition. We started eating them but soon got bored. So while my fruits were about to rot in boredom, I decided to churn them up into smoothies. 
I am sharing here fruit based drinks that have successfully satisfied our tongues. Try them and do share here how they tasted!

Mixed fruit Smoothie

Contains: yogurt, 1 kiwi, 1 frozen banana, 4 sliced strawberries, frozen blueberries, a little orange juice, mango pulp and a scoop of protein powder.

Triple berry smoothie
(contains yogurt, blueberry, kiwi, strawberry and a little orange juice, whey protein powder)
I read somewhere it helps in weight reduction too.

 Banana-strawberry smoothie
Contains frozen Banana, frozen Strawberry, yogurt, orange juice and whey protein powder
(Note: Freeze fruits one hour prior to churn them)

  Watermelon Drink
This one is GK's favorite. Churn seedless watermelon, black salt, mint leaves and squeeze lemon in it.


Upgradation…the real upgradation!

I was planning to change my handset, when GK gifted me an I-phone. Some people are tech-savvy, some are mad for I-/phones while some are status conscious, I was none. 
“You know with that kind of money I would have bought one good phone and two additional lenses for my camera.” I gazed at GK. 
“Can’t you just thank me for that surprise?”
I smiled, “thank you. But seriously a good android phone with the latest technology would have costed much cheaper and served the purpose.  I am not tech-savvy. There was no requirement for this.” 
He was staring at me, straight-faced. 
“I am sorry, thanks again.” I bit my tongue.
My new phone had some trouble in it. So I was asked to use my old phone for the time being and he will take care of the product after getting back to US. 
We went to the mobile store, the very next day after our arrival in US. While getting our product exchanged, GK told the lady at the counter that I was a fan of android, and how he told me that I-phones are really comfortable, especially when you are in America. 
She took my old phone in her hands, looked at it for a moment, took out my card, looked at me, and talked in a very convincing and insightful tone, “You know you are getting a real upgradation.”, raising her eyebrows. Somewhere her tone had a hidden meaning in it.
I was oblivious to what she meant with those words for a moment. I still didn’t know what she said was about my phone-set or my status, but no one has any right to comment on either of them. I was soon fuming in rage.  Since I was very new to the place, I couldn’t respond to her at that time. But then I thought that ignorant lady doesn’t know the meaning of real-upgradation. My upgradation does not depend on these trivial things. It is no one else’s business on earth if I use a basic nokia phone or an android or an iphone, that is entirely my choice. It was time to call home and rant before my sister…

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tell me that is not romantic for you, please!

It was two in the morning, when I entered our room and GK was still occupied with one of his papers. It had been a month to our wedding. I was about to snooze, when he asked me if I would be interested in watching a movie. It was certainly not one of my insomniac nights. After fighting with my sleep for almost an hour while talking to my in-laws, I was feeling too drowsy. Even though I was least interested in watching a movie, I said yes. That is the beauty of being newly-weds, they eagerly oblige each other in starting. 
“What type of movie you want to see?” He probed me for my preference.
“Anything that is not heavy on head. Some rom-com or comedy!” I said smilingly, holding back my yawn.
He surfed through Netflix and played a movie.
I widened my eyes, “Why did you ask for my preference?” I said in a complaining tone, “That is not a rom-com, I don’t want to see any of those slow art movies. Well let us watch some nice romantic flick.” 
“Oh! I am sorry. Let me explore and find something else.” He apologized and started a new search.
“Ah! This one looks awesome, let us watch this.” He exclaimed, and played another movie.
I looked into his eyes, sharply, intensely with a stern face. And after a second turned my face to the opposite side and slept. He had selected MI-3, an action packed movie this time.
“What happened? You don’t like this one? Is it not good?” He was asking me. “Are you upset? Why are you not answering?”
“Let me sleep.” I spoke hiding inside the quilt, “switch off the lights.”
He had heard about abrupt female mood-swings. 
That was his idea of romance. Men are certainly from Mars. Within a month I realized I was married to a Ph.D., they have a very different idea of romance!!! 


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