Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wedding Woes

For those who have already assumed that my wedding has been fixed, and that I am going to plaster my blog with all the pre-wedding woes, the trousseau, the venue, the menu... hold that thought right there!

Those who know me well will know that I have managed to evade that pretty successfully till now. This is about the woes of not being wedded! Not that I am desperate to get hitched to the next thing that is male, and that my dreams comprise of only settling down in connubial bliss. But, I am sure 20 somethings (or, should I say 18 somethings) will agree that there comes a point in life when all you hear is about marriages being fixed, or you end up being asked, "So... when do you plan on marriage?" or variants along those lines. It amounts to nothing to many. You may wonder why I am making a fuss out of considerate people quizzing me about my plans to 'settle down' (ain't I settled otherwise?).

But believe me, such thoughts can get on your nerves, especially if you are toeing the 'golden age' of marriage or (God forbid) are well past it. A woman shouldn't be asked her age; to save you that embarrassment, let me declare that I am past 24, well onto being 25 years old next August. I don't know whether that's within the 'normal' range or beyond it (these lines were, after all, only our creations). But the fact is, it is a step to be taken. And I cannot hide from it (no, not only physically!!!).

And so, owing to social pressures (read: pestering people at various family functions), and our parents' concerns (read: after-effects of talking to the pestering people at various family functions), we (my sister and I) decided to give this thought some merit. As of date, the only step (in the right direction) we have taken is to create a profile for ourselves on a website (yes, the new-age marriage brokers: marriage portals!). Our parents went ahead and availed paid services. And to date, there has been no real action taking place. I can't, plainly speaking, take a fancy to screening profiles, staring at photos, reading the bio-data of a thousand men and then going into the intricacies of horoscope, the match, and so on.

In fact, at first I found it amusing, then irritating and now.... totally annoying to see messages in my inbox. And the fact that we are here in Mysore, and our parents are in Kerala do not help either. Thus, in effect, we have handed over the responsibility of searching out decent guys to Mom, who's often found peering at profiles at odd times in the day. She then sends us some profiles she finds interesting. We have a cursory (or rather perfunctory) glance, and we respond by sending an "interested" message if we also concur with her choice, which has been far and few (not my choice, silly! The number of profiles she sends!). And since a horoscope match is a must, and our horoscopes aren't the kinds for which matches are found easily, I think it is a long way ahead.

But there are some observations I have to make at this point of time. First of all, women these days seem over-qualified than their counterparts. This happens to be the trend these days. Women are mostly doing their post-graduation and most men aren't (well, generalizations have exceptions). Thus you find that when you are trying to make a match, this stands out. When I set out to do my post-graduation, I did hear comments from some people who said that doing my Masters would put me at some disadvantage in the 'marriage market'. I can see what they meant now! I don't think I have any problems marrying a guy who has done only his Bachelors; but wise people tell me that it might end up as points of arguments, post marriage. I would love to hear guys' views on this. Any comments?

Another VERY important trend is that men seem to be eager beavers when it comes to marriage! It is maybe the IT industry (or the plenty of employment opportunities) that makes men breadwinners early in their lives. The net result is that they want to get married by 25 and even less. Of course, if I had to talk of love marriages, it happens even faster! With the result that 24+ women seem slightly at a disadvantage; as men want younger life partners. Again my opinion; those willing to disagree are always welcome.

As of now, we have unofficially put it to some kind of halt for now. But it's a thought I can't escape. Wherever I look around, friends are getting married: from school, undergraduation... and even here, in my post-graduation college! Marriages are taking place left, right and centre; and of all kinds - love, arranged and so on. I open social networking sites to see my friends (and even my juniors!) change their relationship status to "committed", plaster pictures of their pre-engagement function, engagement, pre-wedding function, wedding, reception, honeymoon, post-honeymoon... well, you get the drift!
Couples raptured by their discovery of a new life together, posing away to glory in their gorgeous outfits, the million dollar smiles, the glowing faces, the hope for a bright tomorrow putting even the flashes of cameras to shame.... I no doubt wish all of them the best in their lives; but it increasingly worries me to see so many get married! It reminds me of my spinsterhood! Just yesterday, I got to know of three of my friends' engagement. And some of my married friends are proud moms already (or are expecting).

Jokes apart, I sometimes wonder about when mine will take place, and how it will be. Frankly, I find this whole groom hunting business a tad too tedious. And I should be the one proactive in finding a guy; it's not like my mom should be the one looking out. I do have some few friends to accompany me in this minority.

Well, as of now that's where I am - 24, single and happy (for God knows how long). This story aint over yet. Some day I hope to announce my plans of wedding on my blog. Till then, as they say, I am going to enjoy this party while it lasts!

Thought for the day: " A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then, it's too late."

~ Frank Sinatra, 'The Joker is Wild'

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - The End of a Legend this seems way out of place in my blog! Michael Jackson? On MY blog?

"Why?", you ask?

The most important reason is that, since childhood, I have known that I share the same birthday with him (i.e. August 29th) and my memories of him start with that. I used to think, "Hey, I have a famous celebrity with whom I share my birthday!". I also used to think that, as I grow older, maybe I would end up being light-skinned as him too! (Now knowing why he turned lighter....I'd rather not!)

Most people remember him for many things -the "Jackson 5", his trademark howls which go like: "Ouuu", his changing nose (thanks to nose jobs), changing skin colour (No, not bleached! He apparently had Vitiligo) , the moonwalk, the pop music, child sexual abuse, the Neverland ranch, bouts of drug addiction, marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, holding his child aloft from a balcony (& stirring yet another controversy!) and much more. He was much unlike the typical Virgoan who shies from being in the limelight. He was literally the cynosure of all eyes; either for his music, or for his antics.

I haven't really followed his music, and I confess, I am fairly ignorant about his work. But I think he has made some of the most eye-catching and path-breaking videos, of his times. The fact that even I know of some of these songs is testimony to his reach & popularity! Now, for some of the videos I really like (of the really few I know):

* The funky "Black or White" video, with the morphing faces at the end! I thought that pretty cool then (and now too). I was also very happy, as a child back then, to see an Indian dancer in the video!

* The groovy "They don't care about us" video ! It can get anyone on their feet!
(I am referring to the Brazil video; not the prison version).

* The really touching "Heal the World" video. I used to later think, that the Colonial Cousins' video, "Krishna Nee Begane.." was inspired by this video, in its treatment; not that the message was entirely the same.

One man, many facets.... and literally, many faces even (if you will!). He had a generation of youth swooning and gyrating to his music. And we all cherish some memories of this man - good, bad or ugly. He made a space for himself; I'd rather say he made an industry on his own. This is no requiem for the man. I find myself fairly unequipped for that, given my knowledge about him or his music. There are far more die-hard fans. And this measly blog is a misfit even as a tribute. I don't claim it is, either. He's like a candle snuffed out before it could die its natural death. Some part of me feels sad about it. It was unexpected and seems tragic.

May his soul rest in peace. And rest assured, his songs live on.

Thought for the day:

“Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries.
Life gives up and life tries.
But life looks different through everyone's eyes.”

Friday, June 05, 2009

Silent Thoughts

Gauri was waiting for him to come. Where was he? He said he would be here by 4 pm.

What’s taking him so long?

Gauri was oblivious to all the fun and frolic around her. Her friends were having a ball at the farewell party. Their last get together. But her object of affection had not made his presence yet. ‘Abhilash would be here any minute’, she mused to herself. As she sat in a corner, far from the crowd, her mind strayed…


“Guys, buck up! Let’s have more energy!”

Gauri was worried about the Annual Day dance performance. She wanted it to be the best event of the day. Though an exemplary dancer herself, she was interested in choreographing rather than being in the limelight. The team was low on energy on the eve of the D-day, and worse, the co-ordination was non-existent.

She was so engrossed in getting the performance perfect, she did not realise time fly by. Before she knew it, it was past 7:30. "Oh no! Mom had asked me to be back by 6:30; now it’s past 7:30! I am dead meat!!!” she shrieked. Abhilash consoled her. “Don’t worry; I have my brother’s scooter with me. Come, I shall drop you right away”, he calmly offered. Gauri knew it for a fact that her mom’s blood would be boiling by now and she gave out a loud sigh in apprehension of the drumming she would receive. She mentally prepared herself to listen to her mom rant and rave; and decided that she would not react, come what may.

And so, together they set off.

The drive was calm and the cool evening breeze had a soothing effect on Gauri’s frayed nerves. Her home was at the outskirts of the town and as Abhilash took a detour, the concrete jungle gave way to verdant paddy fields.

Just when she thought the worst was over, it happened.

The scooter spluttered. It choked. And then it stopped. They were stranded in the middle of nowhere. Gauri could not believe it! “Today is the best day of my life!” she exclaimed as she gritted her teeth. Abhilash tried his best to bring the scooter back to life. But it refused to obey like a wanton boy. He tried to console Gauri, but it fell on deaf ears. She was busy fuming to even pay heed to his words. He decided to look for help, albeit it seemed certain that there was no soul nearby.

A few minutes went by; and then a few more. Gauri suddenly woke up to the fact that she was alone on a dark road with just a dead scooter for company. And suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She screamed out loud. “Hey, it’s me! Relax!” Abhilash said. She was so consumed by fury, she yelled, “What the hell do you think you are doing? I was scared out of my wits!!! First, you desert me and go. Then you just scare the hell out of me…”

All he did was stand calmly and take her wrath. She suddenly felt sorry for him; after all, he was only trying to help. And here she was, insensitive to the helping hand he had extended.

“Do you think I would desert you?”

“I am sorry Abhi. I was getting late and then the scooter incident…I lost it then…”

“Your mom will understand if you tell her what happened, won’t she?” he interjected. And then, he drew her closer to him, to console her.

Was it the night?

The next thing she knew, she was in his arms. He looked at her face. By the moonlight, her face seemed to glow. She felt a kind of rush she had never felt before. She instinctively closed her eyes.

Will he…

Even before she could complete that thought, she felt his lips on hers. And they kissed. After what felt like an eternity, they parted. He hugged her tight. And she reciprocated. She slowly slid her arm on his. That’s when she felt his watch. She shook herself out of the reverie and was appalled when she checked the time by his digital watch – 8:30.

“My God! I have to go home!” she shrieked. They rushed to the scooter, confused as to what to do. He decided to try the scooter one last time. Much to his surprise, it kicked back to life. There were no two souls more surprised than them!

What was that all about?

As he dropped her off at the gate, he said, “Sorry, it was unintentional. It was a mistake. Please forget it… and forgive me.” He rode off. She walked in; confused.

That night was a long, sleepless one for Gauri. She kept thinking – why is he sorry about it? It did not feel wrong. Of course, the ‘moral police’ would beg to differ. But she felt it was a natural expression of love. Abhilash was her best friend. But she began to wonder – is there more to it? And it perplexed her even more. A thousand apprehensions tore her heart. The night was long gone when she finally dozed off.

The next day, she went to school with a million thoughts tormenting her. How would he react? Surprisingly, he seemed as if nothing had happened between them. The school’s Annual Day went without a hitch. All the while, she was astonished that Abhilash was refusing to acknowledge the previous night’s incident. Was she taking it all too seriously? Was there nothing to it? Was it just a passing moment?

She accepted his silence with dismay. She had hoped it would be the beginning of something. She felt like she was stuck in a no man’s land; somewhere between friendship and love. And she felt trapped by her thoughts, which constantly wandered back to the same point.

Did it not mean anything to him? Is it just me? Why is he running away from what happened?

Was it a moment of weakness or a moment of truth?

‘Life is a bunch of unanswered questions’, she dryly thought.


He smiled at her, as he came in. She smiled back. Abhilash was finally here. Again, the sinking feeling of being caught in no man’s land crept into Gauri.

She consoled herself. Life is a bunch of unanswered questions.


"Thought for the day: No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved."


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