"The Grapes Are Sour!"

It is a very common phenomenon of our lives that whenever we are unable to do something or when we have little faith in our ability to do something -- when we are scared we might mess it all up -- we tend to categorize that "something" as "sour grapes"! Rather than acknowledge our fears/failures regarding that something, we instead put on this false air of indifference towards that something. We start pretending that we are better off without it!

That's exactly what I have been doing with marriage for the last several years -- because of my own fears related to it!

Whenever anyone asked me about it, I replied -- with the most "devil-may-care" attitude that I could manage -- "Oh! Marriage is not my cup of tea... I am too independent to settle down in a typical 'housewife' role!" Or I would turn my nose up in disgust and exclaim - "Pleeeeaaase! Who wants to live day-in and day-out with a huge balloon... having the letters E-G-O spelled on it in big bold font... ready to burst at the slightest prick!"

Just my different versions of "the grapes are sour"... you know!

A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend on yahoo and was listing the various fears I seemed to have associated with "MARRIAGE" over the years. I don't want to go into all of them here because there are some parts of me which I don't like to make public. Anyway, I'd already decided in Delhi sometime last month that the only way to overcome your fears is to face them head-on. In fact, I think I have mentioned this in one of my previous posts, on this blog.

Haahhh! But look at how the mind tends to delay or postpone that which we fear! Back in Delhi, I decided that I'll start posting my profile on various matrimonial sites AFTER I cleared my SCJP exam! My "escape route" you see. Playing for time, so that the mind could think up some other "excuse" for not having to face its fears!

Then, just a couple of days before I left Delhi for home, I managed to finally get the contact number of an old friend whom I had worked with in Dell Tech Support and whom I hadn't heard from in the last couple of years! Oh by the way, he's also the same guy whose "marriage proposal I accepted" back in early 2003! He he! But that's another story! Coming back to my recent conversation with him... when I told him about my above mentioned plans (of starting the "groom hunt" after clearing the SCJP)... his immediate response was - "Kaddy, your problem is that you keep waiting for things to become perfect first!"

And it was a "Bull's Eye"! A perfect hit! Dead on target!

The truth really is that I HAVE been waiting for things to become perfect in my life first... before I take the plunge! It's almost as if deep-down I believe that my life will come to an end once I get married! And so I want to do everything before I marry! Whatever I have ever wanted to do in my life - personally or professionally - I feel like I must accomplish it all before I tie the knot!

But that's so completely ridiculous, isn't it!

Life doesn't stop after marriage - it just takes a different dimension! You don't stop pursuing your dreams and aspirations - you just get a companion at your side who's a constant witness to your journey and your adventures! You don't stop accomplishing big things - you just don't need to look for a "date" anymore each time, to accompany you to the dinner party that the company has thrown for you, in honor of your achievements!

Ok the last one was a bit too far-fetched! But what I'm trying to say is that do I really need to wait till everything in my life is in perfect order? People usually set their things "in order" when they are about to die. So is marriage synonymous with death?

And even if I DO wait till I've achieved whatever I want to in life before I settle down, what is the guarantee that my "perfect life" might not run into an "earthquake" in the future? That is after I have "taken the rounds" finally!

Besides, what is the definition of "perfect" anyways? What may be perfect for me may be completely wrong for someone else!

Or is it that I feel I have to "make myself salable first"? Is it that I don't consider myself worthy of deserving a life-partner right now? Is it that I feel I won't be able to keep a man happy being the way I am right now? But is it really my job to keep my husband happy? Is it really anyone's responsibility to keep someone else happy? Aren't we all responsible for our own happiness?

And even if I do have a role to play in keeping my family unit intact, then why do I doubt my abilities to do so? Why do I give such a low credit rating to my self-worth? What right do I have to judge anyone -- INCLUDING MYSELF? Who am I to decide that I don't deserve "everlasting love" and a "fulfilling relationship"?

And what exactly is "everlasting love" anyway? Not a single day goes by when my Dad and I don't quarrel about something, but are those quarrels strong enough to kill the "everlasting love" between us? My sister and I have completely different styles of working - she's super careless & I'm super-organized; she hates sitting at home & I rarely go out; she likes to drink Pepsi (for Heaven's sake!) whereas I'm into herbal tea! And yet we have "everlasting love" between us... despite all our differences and the regular fights!

The truth is that all these excuses are just some stupid games that our mind plays on us... to provide a "cover up" to our underlying fears! All around us, we see people proclaiming that they are "not marriage material”… or that they are "not cut out for business"… or they "can't get the hang of modern technology"... blah blah blah! The bottom-line is that we're all simply trying to avoid facing our fears by creating these baseless ideas which we put across as FACTS about ourselves! All nothing but "SOUR GRAPES"!

Being Independent

Here's a recent picture of my nephew Yuvraj -- the one whose birth marked the birth of this blog too. This photograph was clicked after he had just devoured a bowl of one scoop each of chocolate and black-currant ice-creams... completely ON HIS OWN! That's the reason for his messy state! Of course, right after this photo session, he was picked up and carried straight into the bathroom -- to be deposited in a bucket filled with water!

The kid is not even 2 years old yet, and is already showing hard-to-miss signs of complete independency! And that's exactly how I was when I was his age! The only difference is that I used to eat mangoes like this!

My Dad tells me that I also hated being "helped" with my meals! So they used to place me on the floor of our huge terrace -- which was right outside our dining room -- and put my food in front of me -- porridge, "rice-daal", "curd-daal" (which is still one of my favorite dishes) or mangoes! They never could figure out though as to how much I ate and how much my clothes ate! But, once I was done with the food, my parents would connect the long rubber hose-pipe used to flower the hundreds of potted plants in our terrace, turn the tap on, and give me a thorough "jet bath" right there on the terrace!

I'm not so messy anymore... I don't need to be given a "jet bath" on the terrace after every meal! :-D In fact, I don't even have a terrace like that anymore! But, I'm still as independent as I was when I was a toddler! I still hate being told what to do, and worse - HOW to do it! I have ideas of my own -- at times really weird ones -- and I want to try them all out -- for good or for bad!

PuzzleBee Jigsaw Puzzle: Artist's Eye

Remember I mentioned earlier about the "Biggest Brain Game" on FaceBook?

The "PuzzleBee" Jigsaw Puzzles application on Facebook is another of my current favorites there! It has got a huge collection of some really awesome, high-quality images, that you can play as jigsaw puzzles. I have even saved some of those images to use as my desktop wallpaper!

I just discovered that this application provides a code to embed their jigsaw puzzles in your blog or forum etc. So I decided to share this very beautiful and colorful picture puzzle of an eye here. I call it the "Artist's Eye", 'coz it is so creative.

Do try it out and let me know how long it took you to solve it.

PuzzleBee Jigsaw Puzzle: The Artist's Eye

Don't miss this other jigsaw puzzle from PuzzleBee: "Food Cycle".

And here's more in Games!

Nostalgia Strikes Yet Again!

Another year gone by... and it's the time for "Diwali Cleaning" again!

Synonymous with the "Spring Cleaning" of the West, "Diwali Cleaning" still remains a very major event in most Indian families, even though the families have split into nuclear units now and most people don't have any human resources available to them for this mammoth task!

I have been involved in the "Diwali Cleaning" of my house since last Sunday. And now that it's almost completed, I am finally struck by nostalgia again! I managed to keep the memories at bay for the last several years, but this time I couldn't fool myself!

"Diwali Cleaning" used to be a real fun "adventure" back in Kanpur... when my mom was still alive! We had this huge terrace right outside our home... and my dad used to own a factory, so he could call the staff from the factory for the "Diwali Cleaning". And... best of all... my mom used to love to hoard stuff up in the house -- old clothes, her hand-made dolls and different kinds of wall hangings, other little odd trinkets -- so it used to be a major "treasure hunt" for my sister and me!

The staff from my dad's factory would take one room at a time, put all its furniture and other stuff out on the terrace to soak up the sun while they cleaned the rooms. So the terrace was where my sister and I settled ourselves!

We used to rummage around in all the several dozens of boxes and suitcases lying all around us... and every time one of us found something interesting, we would let out a squeal of pure joy and run to share our "discovery" with the other sibling! At times my mom would let us keep some of the things we really took a fancy for!

Then there were the cartons of books! My dad and all his 4 brothers used to be bookworms when they were young! And they even had a couple of friends who owned 2 of the major book shops in the town back then! Needless to say, they got a lot of books to read for free, and also bought many of them at discounted prices! Then there were those books who had some kind of defect -- their covers were apparently returned to the publisher for a refund -- ONLY the covers and NOT the complete book! So they even got some of those slightly "defective" books for free! Those book cartons were *my* personal heaven each year! :-p

After all the "big" stuff had been done by the "big" people, it was time for us kids to take care of the little details -- the brass items were polished using brasso, the TV, fridge and telephone set cleaned with colin, the almirahs wiped clean with damp cloth, new papers for the shelves and drawers -- it used to be fun!

And finally we went shopping to buy something new for the house... to replace the discarded stuff. I remember the time we bought artificial flowers for the very first time! And mom gave me one of her precious possessions -- a brown flower vase, probably ceramic -- and asked me to decorate the flowers in that vase in whatever way I wanted to! Yupp... creativity was always encouraged in my family, by both parents!

Anyways... the point of narrating this whole long story is that I'm missing the old times... I'm missing my mom... and I'm missing my sister here too! She won't be able to come home for Diwali 'coz of work.

They say that the world has become a much smaller place today than what it was 10 years ago. But then how come our loved ones have gone so far from us today?

Each Child is Unique...

Continued from my previous post -- "Home... Sweet home!" -- here is the post I promised on the 4 babies of my family!

They say that "a picture is worth a thousand words"! So here are my four-thousand words for this post! :-D :-D

VATSAL (Calcutta)
"The Suave... the debonair... the cool dude!"


YUVRAJ a.k.a. KRISH a.k.a. UV (Patna)
"Wild... untamed... and furious!"


"The Little Princess"


RISHIT (Mumbai)
"The Silent Observer"


Home... Sweet home!

Will be with Dad this time 3 days from today... back home on Dusshera!

I first came to New Delhi in 2001...

Since then, I have been here many times... for studies as well as jobs... but for some strange reason, each one of those times (except the "pre-planned one-week trips to visit my sister") I've had to go back to Patna very abruptly!

Guess Delhi and I are not "made for each other"! :-p

Can't wait to be with Dad again... and to see my nephew Yuvraj! Gosh! It's been almost 2 months since I last played with him! Been told that he has become naughtier than ever before!

Oh and I have also been told that my other 2 cousins are planning to come down to Patna too for Diwali this time -- one stays with family in Mumbai and the other stays with family in the US. And both of them have a baby each! So 3 babies in the family at the same time! It's gonna be some fun watching them interact with each other!

That leaves just the one in Calcutta -- Vatsal -- my cousin Gudiya's son! He is in fact the oldest of the 4 kids from his generation in our clan -- but I doubt Gudiya will be able to visit us during Diwali.

Next post coming up... about the 4 babies!

They say that each child is unique... well, they couldn't make them any different in our family! Keep watching this space!