Friday, October 26, 2007

Big Town Living

What is about growing up in a big town that gets to people? If you have spend your years growing up in a metropolis or a big city you shall always meet some city-basher who shall talk about the perfection of small town life.

Or there shall always be the one weirdo who shall keep trying to prove a point about being open minded and 'modern' despite having grown up in a smaller place.
A long time ago I had a friend from a small town in North India who would hate revealing to people where she was from. A move to the capital city of India meant this pal of mine underwent a mini personality transformation - from using 'cool' language to being clued in about stuff she only just heard about. It was weird. Because I used to like the original, in your face, straight talking yet slightly shy person who she was before.

I dont know if this need to prove a point is more obvious in women, but it looks like it is. Women tend to put themselves out a little bit more, while men seem to be happier in their own skins. They shall remain pals with their school friends, they shall not hesitate from saying where they are from, while women - well women will be women, any chance to deceive and impress shall be grabbed.

I know I might be using a rather wide brush here, but this came to mind today when at work this nice female colleague from a relatively small place in England called Middlesborough decided to jump down the throat of a male colleague from Manchester. It was plain weird. There seemed to be competition about knowing the best clubs, seeing the coolest gigs, holding season tickets to football clubs, using cool acronyms of 'cool' things, having been there done that bought the t-shirt..and it just went on and on. So while I peacefully ate my lunch I had sparring companions, food being spat out, and the over arching eyebrow raised coolness on either side. Got caught in the cross fire when asked where I was brought up...well yes I am a big city girl, but I have done my time in a little valley in the foothills of the Himalayas and hold no grudges. But I was not taking sides...oh no...I was thinking about putting my thoughts onto the blog.

But I still do not get why people from smaller places feel like they have a point to prove and a memory to over write and omit. Why oh why do people pretend to be cool..when they so obviously are not..and it does not matter anyways!! Look at Posh Spice, house, clothes, family, friends and accent changed - to wipe her small town roots...someday..the Good lord shall shine the light on her, and she shall take those sunglasses off and see it, meanwhile she me while I find a bucket)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Amelia Jane

Amelia Jane plays all sorts of tricks on the toys. She steals the teddy bear s necklace, causes chaos with a boomerang and scribbles all over the nursery walls. The toys try to teach her a lesson, but it seems nothing can make Amelia Jane be good again!

She is a character from Enid Blyton's books. A naughty doll with short curly dark hair, she causes a lot of trouble wherever she goes.

I used to like reading the series when I was very young. In college..a long time ago someone compared me to the naughty Amelia on account of appearance as well as supposed expression. Many many years later, today when I went for a haircut, the hairdresser smiled at her own creation of my hair and pronounced me Amelia Jane. I dont know about the political correctness of the name and I certainly dont want to discuss Enid Blyton's writing's political incorrectness, but the name did bring some sweet memories back.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trust - Pain: Mum

Trust is directly proportional to pain.
The higher the pain the more likely we shall go to someone we highly trust.
High trust often causes pain too.
Not so painful situations can be handled by
people who dont need too much trust.
But when you are at your vulnerable best, and in pain.
You would want only that one who you can trust with your life.
The one person who will always fill this post,
irrespective of who comes and goes is Mum.
The list might get added to,
but Mom is who you will remember first when in pain,
she will remember on the top of your trust list.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Female: Female

Always happens. Put three straight women, married or otherwise attached and a gossip session happens. Whether it is the sad state of the house when you come back from work and he has got home early enough to randomly throw socks around the living room. Or it is about the difficulty of finding decent clothes and shoes. About the need to work hard and also therefore play hard and spend time relaxing. About doing the next course, job application of fill tax returns and figure out the CGT. About not having enough shoes, or about the laziness of the husband / man around the house.
It starts with standing around in the kitchen, or sipping cups of tea, or near the car while the men discuss the new computer, iPod touch or whatever new technology catches their fantasy while you get the time away from his ears to moan about life in general.

We women dont moan, we just discuss things, men dont get this point of cribbing without REALLY wanting anything to change. We talk to other women, who will shake their heads and within 3 minutes tell you a similar instance that happened to them or someone they know. Its oddly comforting!

So, a few of us were sitting and talking about plans for Christmas and how things have changed post marriage, now that we are supposed to divide our time between our own parents and the in-laws who would also like to see us. The need to see where the man stands on the issue and how we would really like things to be, to the extent of what we would expect from the would be wives of our would be sons, should we decide to give into parental pressure and produce off springs.

The talk extended to useless gifts received by all of us at some point of time from well meaning relations of the husband. It then went on to how all spouses think we do have too many material possessions and how we always went shopping too often.

Then we spoke to this mother to be who is one of us, and she moaned about the traditions of not buying anything new in anticipation of the new baby as it acts as a temptation to evil things. So she can buy nothing till the baby is born, she is actually DYING to stop at Gap and Mothercare and buy tonnes of stuff. Once the little on pops she will be in no shape to go shopping alone and wander around looking and sighing at stuff. So we, the female gang, have decided to take her shopping and hide the goodies and then spring them on her as a surprise when the little on arrives.

Another one of us hopes to take up a job which her in-laws are not too keen for her to do. Left in a limbo she does not know what to do. She is applying anyways, if she gets it, she shall figure out how to go about doing it.

Yet another one needs to go using her credit card till it sizzles with heat of being swiped for Christmas goodies for her new in-law family. She is wondering how she will cope.

Another one was talking about needing to make small talk to wives of her husband's friends, most of who are airheads and think about nothing but gym and shopping. And of course comparing kids and the classes they attend.

The girlie in the group wants to move town and take her only too willing boyfriend along, but his mates have an issue with that and call him all kinds of names, some not so polite, for being ok to move with her to a new life.

So we moaned, we bitched, ate some chocolate cake, drank some tea, thought about work and problems, about careers and husbands, shopping and the approaching festive season. Got it all off our chests and went back to our men. Who, none the wiser, were pleased to see us looking de-stressed and smiley. Yes we do come from another planet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snob? Moi?

Naah! Cant be. But in the deeper darker recesses of my mind I do wonder. Sometimes.
Yes I do look down at people, but don't we all, I just voice my snobbery, at least I am honest and not the bitching variety.
Yesterday I was in Southern England, a 'posh' part of a posh village. The high street boasted of designer boutiques and posh nosh. Michelin starred chef's, the cool people's watering holes, all kinds of haberdashery, knitting needles, hand made chocolates, tearooms and a complete lack of retail chains, riverside properties which boasted personal boats parked outside the house. It was kind of cool without trying.
It was the kind of picture perfect place you watch on TV, with the river and green banks, windmills and old wooden bridges and locks. Pretty.
I did see the mandatory newsagent, run by an Asian looking person, and this is what got me thinking, why oh why and how oh how do Indian's run so many shops in other parts of the world, and am I being a snob by noting this down?
Having lived in places where a huge number of people are Asian or Afro Caribbean in origin means, the 'white' population is not too high in this place. This going to a place where there was hardly any colour but white also made me think. Can a place not be posh if it has a mixture of cultural backgrounds? And does a lack of Chav's make a place posh? Or is it a lack of graffiti, dirt, empty packets of crisps, cigarette butts?
And am I a snob when I observe such things?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Status: Married

Nothing much changes after one gets married, especially if you have been spending a lot of time together before marriage. So after being married when people asked me, 'how does it feel to be married' my response has been, well pretty much the same as before really.
So it was quite a surprise to find my status changed from being the woman who walks around the house with nail paint, cotton wool and a nail file to being, Wife, The Finder of All Things Missing. I am due to the sheer dint of being married, should have been gifted with an all seeing, all locating ability to find objects that have gone missing or are not in the place they have last been left at. Thus I am asked about missing socks, towels, house keys, papers, pens and pretty much anything and everything that is not right under His nose. His nose being a decent size meaning most things are not exactly under it.
My surprise was manifested in all its glory when I was asked to find the TV remote, the shape and size of which eludes me at most times as I dont really watch much TV. I was also asked to locate the mobile phone charger, we have quite a few phones around and so the chargers keep changing..which means it was a long monosyllabic conversation consisting of, 'this?', 'no', 'this?', 'no', and on and on it went. The fact that I dont see the difference between two black cables does not help here. From my point of view all wires look the same and there are far too many around this house of ours.
My hope is my ability to locate things shall become sharper and almost intuitive as the years pass by. But I still wonder why women (read wives) are often thought of as enquiry offices. Does it say something in the terms of marriage which determines the Wife as the keeper, locater and finder of all things missing?
The flip side ofcourse He would say is, the garbage gets taken out magically, have not changed a bin liner since I got perhaps he can moan that he has changed into the One Who Empties The Bins.
The woman doth protesteth too much I hear you say?
If I did want to work as a finder of things I would work within the Lost and Found departments. Try it..try being at the end of conversations that end with a question mark, followed by an incredulous look when you reply, I dont know!

Friday, October 05, 2007


World Bank's newest report on India...glows
Unleashing India's Innovation.