Identity crisis

The following link has been sitting in my drafts ever since I came across it.

http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/who-we-are/dhoni-kohli-and-rahane-have-changed-the-names-on-their-jersey-and-the-reason-is-quite-legit-263656.html

Has this not been there for a long time? I remember a dialogue from an old Revathi movie – Marupadiyum where she says she wants to be her not carry her father’s name, nor a husband’s.

This had been something I argued about when a “friend” told me I “had to” change my surname cos I was married. I said, I would change if P changed his [ note: P never asked me then to change my name, he did later mention it in our many tiffs ๐Ÿ™‚ ] since he married too! That suggestion was not welcome much!! Glad I didn’t change, less of a hassle considering what happened ๐Ÿ™‚

Now A wants to drop his last name. Told him he can decide to do whatever when he is an adult. Now he carries whatever it says on his birth certificate. I don’t know if he will drop his last name, change it to something else (he says he will take my name or last name; or my grandpa’s last name; his gothra…choices are many).

So is it a case of rose by any other name?

This name thing apart, when like all out there, (or is it all out there??) I battle with the question of who am I? I have had many labels stuck on me. Some good, mostly bad ones. I am told by well meaning friends they don’t define me. How I look? What I am at work/home? Age? Education? Status? I have no clue! Wondering what I would tell my son when he asks the same questions….a cryptic find yourself?! Wouldn’t that be cheating?!

What is my identity? How will I be remembered? Someone who bungled her way along and failed in/ didn’t complete anything undertaken? A bad mother/sister/daughter/friend/student.(…and of course wife ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I know I have written about what success can be…at the moment, I feel like nothing ever will go right…ever in life. Do some wrong decisions spoil your entire life? Yes is my answer today! I have made a series of such wrong decisions! Will I never do anything right in my life? Let me guess…nope never!

Today is a day when I am not able to just smile away and show that nothing is wrong. Today is a day when I cannot just hear hey get over it, move on or anything that shows no empathy/sympathy. Today is a day when I cannot overlook people who have cheated me & taken me for a ride (emotionally/monetary/professionally…). Today is a day I wish I had someone to share my woes with , to hear reassuring words even if they were false. ย Today is a day I feel (and know) that I am a nobody; going nowhere. No….am not okay with it but feel helpless that I am not able to change this status quo. Yes, am on the other side of forty and have no clue! Yes I feel terrible. Yes….it probably is too late.

PS: Part of me does not feel like publishing this post. Part of me wants to cry out aloud.If anyone has come this far in the post, please do give a shout out so I can thank you for tolerating my rant!

Reunions

It has been a while since I posted anything here ( well what is new about that right?)
It has been two decades since I graduated from high school. This buzz of 20 years started a while back. Discussions about when to meet, where and all that started doing the rounds. Facebook pages created; school mates reminiscing. There were those who came out of hibernation. Some still are in their caves ( don’t even know where they are!)
Everything was fine as long as it was online. When it came to the actual event which happened in Chennai yesterday, I was apprehensive.
Reunions also are about what has happened since graduation; what you are up to ( how you look too!). Me the libra was quite ambivalent. I must say I have been in touch with quite a number of my school mates. So, they pushed me to make the decision.
D-day I was there in school. It felt good. Fifty odd of us turned up with some actually coming from out of town. It was just overwhelming to see all. Yes, didn’t recognise some faces but it turned out to be one fun day.
As a friend said, there were no pretences. It was genuine pleasure to see all, share laughs, pull each other’s legs. The guys who organised this chapter of the reunion did an amazing job!
I can truly say that I will look forward to the 25th year reunion. ๐Ÿ™‚ If by any chance fate takes me to the US venue of the 20th year reunion in July, I won’t shy away!!
Friends from school know you. They are not judgmental of what life had dealt to you growing up! It does not matter what you wear, how you look, what you do. Of course we did exchange notes about what we were up to but it was no big deal!! Thanks to those who did make me land there!
Now it feels nice to be reunited to my blog space writing a happy post! ๐Ÿ™‚

I crave normalcy

This morning my WordPress App pinged me to say there is a new post… Normal is boring said the title. I never miss reading a post on Saying it Aloudย  whether I comment or not ๐Ÿ™‚

Now having read the post, and considering what is happening in life now, I crave for what people say is normal. I wish I had followed the “normal” path. I wish I have not been hatke (hindi).

I wish I just was not fighting each day to prove. I don’t even know now what I want to prove to whom! To prove to me that life is worth living?!?

The last few days/weeks have been making me think I should go back and probably start somewhere in high school to change the route I had taken…..gone the way most of my peers went taking up either engineering or medicine. Fine I didn’t then, may be I must have stuck to my major & went on to do my post graduation. – Pointless thoughts I know!!!

I guess in all, I wish I had never married especially the way I did & stuck to my career path then. Yes, I would not have had A!!! May be he is better off without me who right now is feeling like I have failed in every single thing and I am tired, exhausted.

I wish for a normal life. A boring life –ย  so be it. I wish to get off the roller coaster. I feel sick of it. I do not want to be an outlier.

I know that even as I pen all this down, I am also thinking more off the ordinary for the problems I am having in life right now. Wondering what is in store and throwing my hands up saying I cannot take anything any more!

Hope A has a normal life at least as he grows up. Methinks he has enough of not being normal!!

Reaching out…

I had penned down a lot of experiences over the years. People choose sides in a divorce. Friends split. Some are put in an awkward position.

I had to look for some information in my old mails. I stopped & read many of the mails & conversations. I realised how much people had reached out to help me during that time. I lost touch with a few people. Today I have written to them, apologising if I had done or said anything wrong. I have asked if we could get back in touch. I don’t know if they would respond. I hope they do.

I always tell people who ask me about the decision to go apart….I tell them that it is their decision as only they know what happened between the two of them. I might have a version of my story. P would have his. I know some would choose to believe and back his version & some mine. I do not claim to be all innocent neither would I take all the blame. The divorce happened, does not mean that friends must not be together. It is highly unlikely that P & I cross paths physically ever again. We do talk to each other in a civil manner thanks to having to share a son.

I don’t know why I have the insane reasoning that I must not have any ill-will with anyone I know. There is a friend who said I try to please others too much & am stupid to do so. I think may be it is driven by the fact that I don’t like to lose people. I cannot ignore neither can I let go… It may be the result of my loneliness & lost feeling that I want people around me.

Whatever the reason, I do not want to lose nice friends. I know I will get remarks saying they moved on you do too. They don’t care why do you?! Well I do care! I dont know why?! but I do. That is me!!! May be stupid, crazy or however one might chose to describe it.

I know P has moved on but it does not take away the hurt I feel. I cannot explain it and I don’t think one can understand why I feel how I do. I don’t understand why; how can anyone else?!

As usual I digress….crux is I hope people I have reached out to get back in touch with me. At least just a hello to say they are fine!

I really don’t want to hear a lecture on how some people come and go in our lives….these are not some people who are acquaintances….they are good friends I care about even if I am not in touch with them.

I honestly don’t know why I am penning this down now…may be some day I will read these posts and rethink like I just read all those old mails/chats. Those mails & chats have brought a lump in my throat. I just hope when I read this again later, I smile and think I did right by reaching out!!

Just don’t fit in!

This is what I have been feeling for quite a while now! Working in a company where the average age of the employees is around 25, I am old there! I did write that I found a few friends; then why do I feel like I don’t fit in….not there not anywhere.

I have come to realise why there are support groups with similar people coming together! I didn’t before this. Now I am a single mother living with her parents. My friends are single either living on their own or with their parents. So, there are times they don’t get it that I have a kid back home with my parents who I don’t want to act as parents to my son! I really can’t hamper their plans just because I have a kid, or make them accomodate the kiddo! My other friends who do have kids, well,ย  that is another story! They are married and have a proper standard family. I can’t really hinder them either. I do feel I am part of neither group!

At work, I am older in the company than what I was when I joined but still not old enough to be tenured! So, I don’t quite fit in there either. As much as I dread being alone, it appears to be my only option these days. I would rather not trouble my friends and make them change their plans or conversations for me!

These aren’t the only reasons that make me feel like I don’t fit in. There are quite a few more….one more; some friends of mine are so out of the box thinking (I don’t have that thinking but admire them for it!) or they are so boxed in (which also I admire as I can’t do that either!)

Seriously contemplating to shut myself out from everything & everything, keep to myself rather than feel uncomfortably about not fitting in anywhere! Saves me the pain & agony – that is for sure!

I am a divorcee!

Yes I am a divorcee… I am not proud of it or anything. It is just a fact. I don’t know why I must hide or be ashamed of that? It happened…and here I am. I have my life ahead of me. It did not end there, did it?

Why must people “advise” me to not divulge this? It is not like I have committed murder, I am not a paedophile or any such thing to be secretive about this. The number of people who said…you are going to a new job…Don’t tell anyone that you are divorced. Just say that your husband is abroad!!

What is the reasoning behind this?! Should I be ashamed that I could not make my marriage work? That I am a single mother who has resorted to living with her parents?

I feel that those guys who assume that since I am a divorcee, I will be ready for flings & hit on me shamlessly should be the ones who must follow restraint. Those who box me into some stereo-type…

Why can’t I just let be? Why must I lie? Sick & tired…these are really the things that pain me about my divorce…. Grow up all!!

Decisions

We face many a situations where one has to decide. I fall back many a times on the fact that being Libra makes me indecisive ๐Ÿ™‚ Starting from something like choosing which route to take, what to choose out of a menu to eat, to life changing decisions… I take my own sweet time! I also do sometimes rely upon others to help me take the decision. Too many times have I been told – No, you decide what you want. (I don’t hold the other person responsible for anything that goes wrong… just to make things clear ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

When it becomes of the case of Hobson’s choice, don’t we keep wondering – what if we had chosen the other? I have been told and I do believe too that

No matter what you do, someone is going to think it was the wrong decision. The important thing is where your conscience stands on the issue.

Then why does my stupid brain go on overdrive? I totally admire people who make their decisions with ease (and รฉlan or at least seem to.. ) and more so those who do not have any regrets whatsoever.

I say I don’t like people talking in riddles. I know that this post would probably seem just that way (even ridiculous to some?!). Just that I am at kind of a crossroads weighing in a decision I took almost a year back. I don’t regret the decision, but I don’t also know what it means going forward. I now face the point where I wonder if I have to speak my heart out or just not. Questions alot in my mind. Do I? What if I do? Will things be different? Do I just let it go as it is right now? ย The worst part is I do know what is up ahead in a way. So, will my decision make any difference? Not really is what I come up with. I feel whatever it is, I would have at least been truthful to a person I care about a lot (and to myself of course). Yet, I wonder what is holding me back!

There are days on end when I wish I could turn back time, tweak a few things here and there. Well, I can’t. No one can (if any one can…please let me know. Need to make a few requests ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Looking forward, hoping everything turns out alright and no one gets hurt. Human emotions & relationships are weird to say the least!!! I can’t please all as much as I strive to. All I can be is true to myself and those I care about (more importantly those who care about me! … now shouldn’t those two actually be the same set of people?!?). We have one life to live, and I want to live my life to the fullest extent possible. I wish have no (or minimal) regrets and when I leave this life; I hope that if at all I am remembered by anyone it is with fondness. ๐Ÿ™‚

I better stop now before I go on every tangent possible. My ruminations are random indeed!

 

Accents & English

Recently, I was chided when I did not talk “Inglish” to a white person. I wonder if such people know how Indians are perceived by most of the other parts of the world.

This post by AP Lawrence is a classic example. As an Indian I am offended by the “No India” option but at the same time, I wonder if people working in the customer service industry can put in a little more effort.

In fact, here I must pen in my experience with CS here. I was phonebanking. I clearly chose English as my choice of language. The customer support officer could not understand a word of what I said and distinctly had spoke english with tones of tamil… eg., “transfera?!” She could not understand simple banking terms.

Another time, I called some one in the US. Spoke in English the whole while, and he in the end had to send me some documents over for me to look at and sign up. He asks me if I knew English! I responded saying I did and was wondering what I was communicating in so far?!? May be he was wondering if I knew how to read! Benefit of doubt ๐Ÿ˜€

I know many take pride in talking “Inglish” but if we as a country want more business as outsourcing points, at least those sectors must get themselves trained in English. I suppose they are; but old habits die hard right?

Anyways, why do I let go off “Inglish” is simply because I was tired of repeating when others say pardon, excuse me… Good if I can get the other person to understand in the first go, right? To me the key to any language is communication. If one could get the other one to understand without accents – well and good!ย  Though I wonder if it is possible over the telephone, where accents get accentuated. Sign language works too ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Again not possible over the phone unless you are video conferencing ๐Ÿ˜€

Remarriage!

Reema had written this post on the issue of remarriage of widows, widowers, the attitude ofย  Indian society toward both. I agree to every single thing that she has written.

This post though stems from a different situation – an extension to what she has penned in already. From what I have heard and faced over the recent past; I should say that the attitude extends to divorced men & women too. In this day of rising divorces & broken marriages, I don’t know how many go through all this!

It is so easy for people to accept a man take on another wife while it is blasphemy if a woman thinks of the same. There are some who say, if it happens it is alright but don’t go looking for a relationship. A relationship went south once…so take care or live for your kid, get a career. Suggestions to forget one’s needs or replace them (one supposedly would be too busy to notice and when you do, you would be too old and it would be too late. Worry about it now – then the response Why are you thinking of something so far away?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ ).ย  A woman is not strong enough if she looks for a partner – get a grip! is what one hears. You will be fine! Though it is absolutely acceptable that the man “moves on”, dates, finds a partner proactively!!

I am just reminded of Revathi’s Marupadiyum (Shabana Azmi’s Arth in Hindi) where the woman chooses to be single. The dialogue sticks out in my head now : the heroine says the woman has grown up being a daughter of some man taking that name, then she takes on her husband’s name, then the mother of her kids.

So, when ever will the woman live for herself and not be penalised for it? Let a single woman be; if she wants it that way, let a woman not take her husband’s name; if she wants that….and if a divorcee (well in India you are that…not single again!) wants to live alone – so be it or if she looks for a relationship…why not?

Personal choices have no place! Being judged by society, being stamped as whatever – will these ever stop?There are times when I think single women (widows & divorcees) make that choice because of the attitudes she may have to face finally. It gets to you – the society….even if you don’t want to care, at some point it does overwhelm you to resign yourself to fate!

If this is the plight of women in a city where most of the population is educated. I don’t even want to think of those in villages where “tradition” has its place! Poor women stuck in marriages where abuse is the norm (physical, emotional, sexual….)

I doubt if these prejudices would ever end! At least I don’t think they will in my lifetime. I don’t even think I am being negative here. I feel that I am being practical – cynical yes, but pragmatic! Here is to hoping I am wrong!

Next time, some one wants to say “get a grip!” , “stay strong” – Stop!! The woman probably is doing it already!!

Neither here nor there!

This post has been coming for quite some time now! I have shared this with some people I know about how I don’t feel like I belong. It was not that I felt like I belonged in the US when I was there. I was adapting to the life and learning to love the weather, the people – Many friends who were there who shared my dilemma or did not (I mean those who got the opportunity to work there).ย  It was not a great life, but it was supposedly my home. I put in my time to work on it, decorate & maintain it. Put in thoughts to make it feel like a home – welcomed friends to home cooked meals, hopefully made them feel nice. I did not like American football. To me, football would always be their soccer. Though, I was initiated into it by a friend who taught his kids’ school teams. I remember one time when we had friends over for the Superbowl when the guy taught P the nuances of the game and he was surprised I had picked up so much in just a conversation in some summer barbeque. We had watched the game over Indian food, red wine & awesome cheese,ย  pleasant company.

I digress….anyways…the point is after almost 5 or 6 years, I guess I had actually grown roots there. Fast forward to now! I am living under my aging parents roof facing divorce (phew …even I am tired of saying “soon to be ex” when I talk about P) I have been hearing about how he has been packing my stuff since Dec ’06, how he has been talking to the lawyers since only he knows when!! I am yet to receive the papers or our stuff! Life has been weird here. Bittersweet in a way. Found new friends in fellow bloggers. We connect well. They care a lot for A & me….still I feel lonely. Desparate. Feel like I don’t belong here now. Another 5 year haul to grow roots here with A in tow?! I am scared of facing this conservative society – when they hear of divorce it is my fault! At 32, without many skills to boast of , I don’t know where I am headed. I have realised that it is each to one’s own. Everyone is busy, they have their lives. I was one who let go of everything if a friend asked me for help or just called to talk. Guess, back in the US, friends become family. Here I have a family. They are concerned…I know that but are not always considerate because of their own circumstances. Friends are at a loss for even words. No one knows what to say. I am not trying to play the victim here and enjoying it as one person told me. Believe me it is not fun being the victim. Just plain fact that things are not easy. I feel like I don’t belong.

I feel like I left my friends behind there but when I read their blogs or chat with them, I no longer relate to them or their lifestyle/attitude even. I feel like I have no one here in India. I know my parents would rather not have me here at their place; but they are glad I am not somewhere suffering alone. They can’t do much but they can provide a safe shelter. They don’t know what they must do except know that their daughter & grandkid must not suffer. I don’t speak much to my parents because it mostly ends in confrontations ( a whole different post…probably will never get written!) I am just tired of being the depressed person that needs to crib to friends. I feel like I am pushing them away. They don’t know what to say because I don’t want to hear clichรฉs or talk about karma /God/ time. Nobody can really help me out in a way either.I know I have A. Though I know that he right now is more of a responsibility; I cannot think of how I would manage if P stops sending the money that he is sending me right now! What then? My parents have no income and are living off their savings. So, A, unless I am financially stable, makes me think I made a huge mistake having him. Live in the present people might say….then when I am broke tomorrow, how do A & I live?

Just a day when I think it must all end!