Monday, September 20, 2010

Letter to myself

Dear Sonia,

Next time you and P get into an argument or get mad at each other, remember not to try to give him the silent treatment, its not going to work, you will not win, you will just torture yourself for many hours during which you can cry/sit with a Meena Kumari look on your face or try to starve yourself and none of these things will register on him because he will go into super ice cold stubborn - eyes and ears closed mode.

Next time it will be better if you yell and end the fight in five seconds flat and spare yourself the agony.

Remember genes - its very very very hard to shrug off genetic inheritance and upbringing. All the things that you do not like in your in laws are transferred to your husband, its his default setting so try to be more accomodating and understanding. Any change takes time.

You are a positive person, one who has always been told and taught by your parents that "Happiness comes from within, one cannot always look for situations/people to make oneself happy" so remember that and always keep the big picture in mind.

The truth is that P, no matter how dense and stubborn he may seem at times loves you to death. He will not be able to function for a minute without you. He might not communicate his love but it is evident in his own way. Please accept that you do not have a romantic gushy husband who will verbally proclaim his love for you. But you have a husband who will stand by your side no matter what and hold your hand (i.e. if you dont let go first, if you do, then its back to sulk master and dont expect him to even try to coax you back etc, so dont try that, he will live in misery for a lifetime but will not abandon his ego/self esteem issues to manvofy you, understand and accept).

Set aside the petty/silly things which are so common to any marriage, a result of two people, man and woman staying together and bickering sometimes. Look at the big picture and you will realise what you have is awesome! Love, respect, admiration, moral support and loyalty is all there, open your eyes and look when its fight time..

Dont freak out over remote possibilities in the future. You will find a way, you will find a way together.

So the next time you feel the urge to weep over silly arguments like a newly married drama queen, pull up this post and chill.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The known errors of my life (Aka Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)

I vaguely remember reading somewhere about people calling to apologize for things they have done to other people in the past etc – for closure etc – blah blah and while I am all for “let sleeping dogs lie kinda philosophy”; it did make me think about the mean things I have knowingly/unknowingly done and regret (not so much that I lose sleep over it) but do regret…..This awesome post triggered one such memory for me…so here goes….

1) I can’t even remember how old/young I was, but I was in primary school (somewhere between 1st standard to fourth standard) and we had been having a problem with stuff vanishing from our school bags when our class would be out for recess. Small stuff like pencil boxes, erasers, books and what not, which after a point of time added up. A small group of me and my friends decided to hide behind/under the desks etc to catch the culprit. We did this for many days in a row, the rest of the memory is blurred but I can remember being taken by the teachers from room to room to identify the “thief” from his class. I remember following the teacher to the packed classrooms and looking around at all the boys (it was a guy who we had detected, I think) and then I had pointed one out to the teachers. Even now after all these years, I doubt if it was the right guy :( And it nags at my conscience – what if I had pointed out a perfectly innocent boy and bechara has life long trauma and psychological issues because of me :( Why did I not say that I was confused and all boys looked the same to me :( but anyways this was a long time ago and I have made my peace with it, I refuse to let it bother me ;) If I was wrong, I am picturing the teachers say Sorry to the boy on my behalf and shake their heads and swear never to believe a young bacchi again.

2) Fast forward to 6th-7th standard when I went on a family vacation to one of the islands off the coast of Southern India. It was a one day one night travel by ship to get to the islands. On the way to the beautiful islands, I got miserably sea sick and spent most of my time throwing up. On the way back, I had my sea legs and was free to wander around the ship while the rest of our group was lying down miserable in their bunks all tired and sick. I got to be friends with the kitchen staff and one of the cooks who specially made limbu paani (lemonade) for me every time I walked upstairs plus whatever snacks I wanted etc. When our ship was docking, he asked me to give me my home address so he could keep in touch. I blindly followed him through the maze of corridors into the depth of the ship’s lower quarters to his room. And entered it, and sat down in his chair while the door closed and started writing my address. Somewhere during that time I felt something take over me, a strange panic which I couldn’t explain at that age as I looked around the room and realized where I was, far away from my parents, at the mercy of this stranger, everyone on board pretty much busy with the docking/landing procedures. I slowly wrote out my address, blurted out that my parents were waiting for me and would launch a complete search party if I didn’t show up, they were paranoid that way blah blah and ran to the door, he was blocking my way and then he turned and let me pass and I opened the door and ran through the maze miraculously finding my way to the upper deck and my parents! Am such an idiot!!

3) Fast forward to tenth standard, my building friend and I had somehow gotten into this routine of writing letters to each other. We went to different schools but lived one floor apart from each other. My mother accidentally intercepted and read one of my letters and it so happened that I had written a sob story about how I felt like an orphan in it. The drama of an immature teenager :( My mother was so heart broken when she read it. I was in the middle of my board exams so my father took her out. When they returned her eyes were red and puffy. My mother is not prone to tears, she rarely cries. And I had made her sob. She came back and told me that even in her deepest dreams she never differentiated between me and my sister and why would I even think about it. My father diffused the situation by saying lets discuss after her exams are over etc. I did provide an explanation, there was one, there was a reason why I felt the way I did and it had nothing to do with lack of love or affection from my parents, it was due to the brainwashing which her mother, my grandmother had inflicted on me. And we have resolved that feeling and my mother and I have always been super close all our lives. She is truly my mother in every sense.

4) On to SYBCom, I had appeared for my Chartered Accountancy Intermediate examinations and all of us friends went to view our results at the Institute. My boss at the time had been mean enough to not give me enough preparation time so by the time I entered the library armed with my books, my friends were on to their second round of revision. I was doomed from the beginning, sorta. My sister accompanied us to see our results. I remember the horrible sinking feeling I felt when I didn’t see my name on the board and every single friend of mine had passed. I was the only one who failed. And turning around and taking it out on my sister – saying through tears those mean words – I failed because you came with me, you gave me bad luck. I have no words for how much I regret saying it to her. It was so baseless, unreasonable and downright mean. Over the years I have never mustered up courage to bring up that memory again and apologize to her for it or ask her if she remembers it and feels bad about it. We are extremely close and love each other a lot and I am scared to bring up ghosts of past – of our childhood/youth when we might have unknowingly, immaturely said mean things to each other. But this is one incident I wish I could take back :(

How about you? What known errors have you made?