Saturday, 13 December 2014

I, the missus

This is one more post bordering on feminism, neo-feminism or narcissism...reader's discretion absolutely essential ;) Lightning stuck me one morning, as I was spreading the washed clothes on my favorite treadmill. What was I doing here? In a no man's land...deep in the desert, where civilization existed only beneath the abayas and where life seemed to oscillate between the mundane and the prosaic. Time seemed to have plunged into an abyss of sheer silence and darkness. 

When did I last see the sun? When did I feel the wind whipping my hair? When was the last time I hummed the latest song? Latest now meant few years before...and movies meant blurry images on TV where I had to make out the images of a hero and heroine romancing as shadows...shadow...that described me better. I had forgotten what I was. 

"I" ceased to exist somewhere in that flight between Chennai and Saudi Arabia. "I" was someone with a Central Government job. "I" was someone who had friends. "I" had an identity. I was a self-made, working woman- a mother of two. I loved my job. I enjoyed to draw my pay from the ATM. The feel of fresh, crisp notes slithering in my hand which was the fruit of my hard work was a powerful aphrodisiac.

All that "I" was ended the day I landed up in the desert, pulling the kids and pushing the luggage through the haunted airport lounge. "Cover up properly" was the first comment from the husband. Cover up...stay indoors...keep silent...don't walk beside me...your hair is showing...pull your scarf..don't look at the other males...be careful...don't board a taxi alone...don't go out of the house alone...the list of "Don't Do's" went longer than my grocery bills. Too much of being tied down and I forgot what "I" was. 

Hours of cooking, cleaning, mopping and sleeping...that was all I did. My whole wide world was a 1500 square feet flat with a sloppy washing machine and a stuffy kitchen. All that changed one fine morning. I had to rediscover me. The miracle did happen. A laptop did all the magic. A blog was born and so was the freelancer. Writing an anonymous blog is a luxury that not many could afford and voicing your opinion in various burning issues on world politics in Arab world is a humongous task. 

Being a woman in Saudi Arabia is itself a confinement and breaking the stereotype of an Indian housewife with nothing to do rather than pampering her ever growing muscle mass is an arduous voyage intertwined with grit and determination. Yet...I found a way. The letters to the editor column of Arab News daily paper was sprinkled with fuming anecdotes and anti- Pakistan, pro-Tamil views, courtesy my new found passion for writing. When I started receiving mails as feedback on my letters from unknown persons...I was overcome with glee. 

I was here to stay. I had made a mark- as a woman who was bold enough to voice opinions in a totally male dominated, exclusively Arab ruled Kingdom and I loved every bit of it. Cloud nine blog was receiving great reviews and finally..."I" was someone with an identity. "I" was a successful blogger, an equally successful freelancer and a perennial happy go lucky housewife. And with equal aplomb I landed back on Indian soil. 

That was when all hell broke loose. The country looked new, everything came with a price tag- friendship, honesty, dignity and affection. This is again a metamorphosis, I am learning the ropes afresh and two years back in my job, I am yet to find some proper footing. Life for the 'missus' is happy as always, provided we don't lose the identity of the 'miss'. 

Marriage and moving to a foreign country is just a chapter in the story of life and we need not ghost-write someone's tale. It is after all, our life. We do exist beyond the diaper changes, grocery bills and stinky kitchens. There is a blogger, writer, poet, wife, daughter, mother and sister within me. I can always don the mask that suits me better any time I want. No other name excites me like being called "Akka". Being addressed Mrs. L or the 'missus' of L never made a difference in my life. Despite all the struggles, I wouldn't say my life is all rosy and bright in my profession, "I" still live as "I", not the 'missus' alone! Never lose this "I" for being the missus or the mommy...Its your life after all, babes ;)

p.s.: Sorry about the erratic posting in blog. I am indeed busy traveling and unraveling the mysteries of life ;)
p.p.s.: This video should not be the p.p.s....should have found its place in the post. Ladies out there... enjoy watching ;)
 p.p.p.s.: How does one 'sit simply' idling in an office? In a crash course on idling and picking ear in a century old building at the State Capital. Another post on how to 'sit simbbbbly' follows...keep hooked ;)

Friday, 31 October 2014

36 and counting...

Dear me,

This is the last time you are going to try fitting into that jean. You are trying that one last time of natural 'tummy tuck'. Easy...close your eyes, puff out all the air in your lungs...and....pull in as much air as you can. There! Hold on...don't let it free. Look down at your toes, I bet that would be so easy as straightening Tommy the mastiff's tail. Try pulling the sides and fasten the button. Almost there...and...oh my! The right tail just slips. This is where I say Yoga classes come in handy. 

You always feel you are gliding through the corridor of your office, the whole wide world around you watches you with dilated pupils. Ever imagined what would be flashing in the deepest crevices of their ugly minds? " Is this a walking whale or a rolling rhino?" Poof! You are used to this, aren't you? Shrugging them off, you try your trademark gesture- tossing your hair to the back from your forehead. Ouch! That is when you realize, the hairline is receding like the sea before a tsunami. Gallons of ervamatin dutifully poured on the scalp has little effect on your depleting hair resources. 
That is when you become so self absorbed- your hair is definitely due for another change of style. Every time your favorite hair stylist touches your hair with reverence, you go dreaming as if you have the silkiest, softest, cutest hair. What you don't know is the poor fellow uttering Hail Marys, seeking divine intervention in helping him retain what minimal hair is left in your scalp after the cutting and styling.  

Every time you lift your eyebrows with that knock out questioning gesture of yours, the opponent will be trying to decipher the exact location of your eyebrows. Or the part of your face that you once saw arched like a bow. Had you tried to draw the same cranky eyebrows on canvas with your eyebrow pencil and eyeconic kajal few centuries back, you would have given Picasso and Rembrandt a run for their money! 

You were always a charmer...that million watt smile of yours can lighten up an entire room. You were once the brand ambassador of Happydent. Your killer smile had captivated and enthralled people. Squaring your shoulders, you try that smile every time you feel let down. Did I say squaring your shoulders? Yes, that must be toughest task- a frame of 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall, with shoulder length of equal size, you have got to pump in 5000 Hp power to shrug your shoulders leave alone squaring it.

 Smile...you remind yourself again. You give it your best try, exhibiting those molars that is left after numerous root canal sessions. As you imagine your laugh lines, all that is seen are the worry lines and frown lines kissing your forehead. A frosty smile and a throaty laugh later, you find yourself sidelined and pushed to a corner. Yes, that is where you are wallow in self pity. When you are 36 and pushed to a corner, all you encounter is the feeling of returning to the past. To turn the clocks back, to bring back the torn calendar sheets, to retrieve all those glorious moments when you were the glory lily in the wilderness. 

Middle age! Aptly called so, as it is a serious condition that affects your mid-section! Boy would you shell out a fortune for flat board abs and a hardly there tummy. The length of your pony tail is directly proportional to your age. The more the years, the higher the altitude. Your smile resembles that literally 'full blown' smile of the mask's Jim Carrey- minus the green. That is when you seek advice- expert advice, well actually, any advice. That is when you look out for someone in your life look at you and say how beautiful you are.

That is when you reflect that all along, you have earned brownie points called love, affection and friendship. That is when a cup of coffee and laughter with your middle aged agony aunt adda brings you immense pleasure. That is when a peck on cheek from your little one means a world and that is when a teeny weeny flower delivered as a surprise from your usually 'forget everything' husband touches your heart. 

Heart did I say? Yes. That is where the key lies. The key to being happy. The password to your dreams and passions. The one stop solution for all your appearance miseries and getting- into- the- jeans disasters. Something called LOVE that permeates your soul from the known and the unknowns. That is what you have to radiate with. That is what all other 36 something women out there lust for, thirst for. Share all that you got, lady! The kindness of the soul reflects and reaches far more people than the radiance of your so imagined happydent smile! Keep smiling and keep radiating the glow of your soul! Mwwwaaaahhhhh ;))))
Love,
Me- as I feverishly outline my shape in front of the mirror.
Courtesy: Aunty Acid
 p.s.: This post is dedicated to all the women nearing their forties. Aunties, we rock!!!
p.p.s.: Someone judged my speech as not worthy of even a third prize in a contest. Middle fingers to him!
p.p.s.: To the baby in me- I love ya...MMMwwwaaaahhhh :)))