The party update!

And so, we cleared our first test as hosts with flying colors. The little one’s party went off well without any hitch. It feels really nice to have planned the party, and all its smaller details like selecting the venue, menu, getting the cake designed, the decoration done and selecting a photographer, all within our budget. And all this amidst the normal routine of going to office, taking care of home and the little one, and having caught a bad viral infection myself.

The little one, as expected, had a blast on her birthday. She is quite a social bee and enjoyed all the attention she got from everyone present. She didn’t mind the numerous photo ops or just about anyone picking her up and having a conversation. She obliged everyone with a smile and some of the smaller kids with a shout and shove too 😛 Quite a badass she is that way 😉

But, as of now, I won’t be sharing any pictures here, or on FB, as S has caught a really bad infection just a day after the party. We have had to rush her to the doc last night at 1. Till date, I have not been much into this “nazar” thing and all….but now I think I have. I believe “usko nazar lag gyi hai“. Go on and judge me if you like. But such a high fever, exactly after the party makes me think that way! And the pictures would mean more oohs and aahs. So let’s wait for her to get well and then may be we can see my gorgeous precious 🙂

 

U unties Umbilical!

A child in a mother’s womb gets it’s nutrition from the umbilical cord. When the child is born, the umbilical cord is cut. And from that moment onward, the child, only moments old in this new world, has to do a lot of hard work. (S)he has to learn to suck milk out of the mother to survive. Breathe on their own. Pee. Potty. Seemingly innocuous things for us, but huge tasks for these little beings.

But some people, even as they grow up, can’t seem to let go of their umbilical cords. It’s like their umbilical cords have never been cut. Running to mommy or daddy for every little thing is the way of life for them. I wonder, if infants, as young as days old have to start taking ownership of their life, how come some grown ups refuse to do so?

I have also seen mothers having a very hypocritical attitude towards this phenomenon. The daughter with undying loyalty is fine, but the son-in-law with the same attitude is looked down upon. Similarly, the mother-in-law is absolutely fine controlling the life of her son and daughter-in-law, but if the daughter-in-law seeks her parents’ permission, she isn’t a part of the family.

Also, I find, there is a lot of gender bias when it comes to being tied to the apron strings. Guys with their invisible  umbilical cords are often referred to as “Mamma’s boys”, but girls doing the same are just “mumma’s pets” or “daddy’s darlings”. Girls with their umbilical cords are considered as very loyal and loving. However the same attitude from a guy is seen as a weakness.

I have seen many parents encourage this kind of childrens’ attitude because I guess they think it shows the child’s respect for them. I beg to differ. A child can be as or even more respectful to you despite the fact that he/she may not come running to you for every problem or asking or taking your advice. Or agreeing with you on every point made, In fact, I know of so many people who use this as a kind of excuse for not standing up for the right thing. I don’t think parental respect has any meaning if you continue to do wrong elsewhere. Have you cut your umbilical?

 

Being a Woman…

I had done the Being a Man post long ago. And had thought about doing this post soon after. But somehow, it didn’t happen. Majorly for the reason that women are too versatile to be taken up completely under a single post. And so I never got around to it. But off late, there have been so many things happening around, things that I have gone through myself, things that my friends are going through and it doesn’t make any sense. Or is it only me? And opposed to the funny Man, this Woman is pretty serious.

There are a couple of female friends who have apparently turned a “marriageable age” according to the parents. The girls believe otherwise. They are pretty happy with their single status and no-responsibilities-for-a-while life. Quite visibly, the parents and daughter have a difference of opinion here. But what completely evades my sane mind is why the parents choose to convince the daughter of their own opinion in an almost abhorring way. And no, I am not talking about some remote village in Haryana or Rajasthan, but about parents who always instilled confidence in their daughters that they were no less than a boy, had every right to good education and were brought up to be smart, confident and financially independent girls. And suddenly, these parents wonder about the fate of their girls if they weren’t married at a ripe age. What would the society say? They purposefully make her believe that she is indeed a burden on their shoulders until she goes off to her marital home. WHY????? I am not even trying to take any sides here, because 18+ years is a valid age in our country to get married and who am I to question it. But why are the girls always shoved onto someone else as a responsibility when they can clearly be on their own very comfortably? Isn’t there a better way to make them understand the point of getting married at an age their parents deem fit? Or do the girls have no choice at all? She can do everything like a boy, and still be a responsibility? I wonder how a stranger is ever going to treat your daughter as an equal when you so visibly don’t.

Another couple of friends have that someone special in their lives, but are finding it difficult to convince their parents of the same. Now again, I wouldn’t want to start the Arranged marriage v/s Love marriage debate, as different things work for different people. But what I clearly find distasteful is the way parents want to stick to the conventional way of Arranged marriages, wherein they are made to act like the ladkiwaala whose sole job is to appease the ladkewaale’s demands. The girls of our generation have been brought up with a mindset of boy-girl equality and no dowry policy. How do the parents even think that these girls can go on and live peacefully with such guys and their parents? Even if the girl doesn’t want to get married to such a moron to defend her parents’ honor, she is not allowed to do so. After all, appeasing the groom’s family is the norm…isn’t it? We are confused. If the norm of killing the girl child at birth wasn’t followed, then surely this doesn’t need to be followed too..isn’t it? What’s the point of making her aware of her choices and then denying them? Wasn’t she better off not knowing them? Isn’t ignorance really a bliss? Are you really that desperate to get your girl off your back that you are ready to pay any amount of money and goodies to a complete stranger to make way for her into their homes and lives?

I feel sorry for women who have been relegated to such behavior, spanning generations and across centuries. But I feel worst when I see parents doing it to their love-you-till-death “ghar ki izzat” daughters, who themselves are well read and in tune with the times. I know we have come far from those days when the girls were not allowed to study nor do anything of their own free will. But at that time, at least the people had some logic behind their behavior. They didn’t let the girls out of the house, the girls obviously didn’t know the kind of opportunities that existed for them outside the four walls of the house and were content with the house work. But it’s really worrying to see parents who have let their daughters let go so far and suddenly want to go all traditional when it comes to marriage and even expect the daughters to do a complete U-turn from their beliefs hitherto, and conform to the whims and fancies of a stranger and his family.

It would be an understatement if I said a woman’s life was tough. It was perhaps my naivety that I thought that girls were meted out an equal treatment in today’s world. Have you ever imagined what a girl would feel like when she is made to believe that she is only a responsibility on her parents? And when she does get married, she is always the outsider in the husband’s family. Is there nobody she can actually call her own? Somebody who will lover her for her person and not just doll her up so that it would be easy to get rid of her, the burden that she is? Will this regressive behavior meted out to girls ever go away? For no reason do they say, “Charity begins at home”. Perhaps some “new-age” parents do need to learn from the age old adage.

More than anger, I feel extremely frustrated and saddened. And lonely. 

And perhaps, that’s the reason why some people feel sad at the birth of a daughter. Because they understand that apart from fighting the demons of female infanticide, eve teasing, molestation and her physical vulnerabilities, she will also have to face the trauma of always being a burden on either her family or her husband, and still feel like she belongs to none in the world.

Quoting a few lines from one of my favorite books “Gone with the Wind” that aptly sum up what I feel about a woman’s life:

“Her life was not easy, nor was it happy, but she did not expect life to be easy, and, if it was not happy, that was a woman’s lot. It was a man’s world, and she accepted it as such. The man owned the property, and the woman managed it. The man took the credit for the management, and the woman praised his cleverness. The man roared like a bull when a splinter was in his finger, and the woman muffled the moans of childbirth, lest she disturb him. Men were rough of speech and often drunk. Women ignored the lapses of speech and put the drunkards to bed without bitter words. Men were rude and outspoken, women were always kind, gracious and forgiving.”

Poll khul gyi or really?

I have done a poll after a really long time. Not because I didn’t have any bright ideas, but because the poll option in Blogger wasn’t working. And so, I broke up with it and hooked up with PollDaddy. And I really liked it because it has way more options than the Blogger one. Anyway, I digress.

So this time, the poll question was “Why do you think people get married?” And no prizes for guessing, I really found asking myself this question after writing this post. I mean, why take so much pains for manaoing your parents to agree to a love marriage or go adjusting and living with total strangers in an arranged? When all you could do with your time and money is sleep, watch movies, read, and shop and have fun! Why this pressure to get hitched and settle down? And yes, it really is settling down because you are down and out with all your energy zapped because of the zillion responsibilities that come with being married. I think that the debate should ideally be “Marriage v/s Single/Live-in”. But whatever. And so I decided to ask this question to you guys. And as always, was I surprised.

The results look something like this:

And at least I had thought our generation didn’t fell prey to this “don’t know and doing it because everybody else is” and got married for some reason, even though that reason may be dowry, sex, love, or societal acceptance. Our society isn’t really keen on live-in relationships even though half the world I know is doing it. Live-ins are quite the ‘settling up’ thing as you get to stay together with your partner with the all perks of marriage without having to take care of the baggage of relatives, attending parties/functions of both the sides or trying to impress the in-laws. It’s like living the best of both worlds. But I think our society is really sadist in a way that people got married to get what they wanted and they make sure that nobody else gets it easy! It’s like, making you realize the importance of your action by having to pay for it! How mean!

 

But having said that, that’s a long road ahead and nobody knows in today’s world who’s going to remain married for how long. People change partners as quick as jobs and clothes and there’s nothing that can keep them together if they don’t want to, not even a marriage certificate. And that again brings me to the question, why do we get married? With all that fanfare? The phenomenon that has given rise to the dowry system. And dowry deaths. I mean, if you really need to change partner, why invest so much money on dikhaawa and marriage and dowry. Live with whoever you want. Live as long as you want to and then move away, without ugly divorces. But I guess the social bondage that comes with a marriage gives people the much needed blanket of security.

Interestingly, an equal number of people voted for Love and sex. WOW! Love equals sex? hmm…believe our generation to be practical and blatant. And how! But at least we are honest about it. But guys, seriously, a free advice here. If all you want is the four letter word, take my word. Marriage is the last thing you want. 😉

There are hardly any takers for the other options. Our fast-food generation doesn’t seem to believe in the institution of marriage, and neither do they see it as an emotional retirement plan. At least I thought that if you could somehow resist the temptations of marriage, you could do well for yourself only up to a certain point. But at a certain age, you need to have someone who would love you enough to find beauty in your wrinkles or poetry in the way you wobble without your walking stick. 

And now the most interesting part of the poll. People had a chance to write in their views too if they didn’t agree with my options. The top 5 happen to be:

1) To bring more complexity in their lives 😛
Haha…completely agree. Bang on!

2) Because their parents won’t let it be any other way!
Hmm….quite true…isn’t it?

3) To alive the ancestory (family) given name
Really??? To have kids? Please go watch Vicky Donor my boy! 😛

4) Social pressure on a girl
Or even a guy for that matter. *Sad but true!

5) To live with the person you love for the rest of your lives
True my friend. But the irony of life but Love is the most expensive thing you can ever afford in your life – in terms of money, energy, relationships and emotions involved. Choose wisely 🙂

I don’t know about the guys, but the real reason I think girls get married is for a wedding dress. Don’t we girls just love to shop till we drop? And what better way to do it other than marriage? And get drowned in the endless world of buying sarees, suits, bangles, necklaces, bindis, purses, and what not! And the effing wedding dress. I mean, pray tell me, why otherwise would any sane person wish to end her own life with responsibilities of managing a household, of being the perfect wife, DIL, and various other relations that come with the package? I think we are a narcissist lot who enjoy all the attention that comes with being a bride. I think the marriage industry is also to be blamed for it to a great extent. They have kind of romanticized the whole thing so much that girls all over the world have unrealistic expectations from it. Marriage in a real world means something else altogether. And just for the clarification, I am not cynical about the whole marriage thing. I am just trying to paint a realistic picture here. I think most people get married for the whole romance thing. It feels so good to be doted on at by all and sundry, laden down with gifts, parties thrown in your honour everywhere. Its like, you become the centre of universe for a couple of days. But that’s that! Some days later, it is someone else’s chance and you look around the money wasted on decoration, jewellery, clothes and food and have no option but to sigh!

 

I say everybody should get married at least once! Nobody is a success at it but then, you can always become a philosopher… 😉