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 πŸ™‚ ] since he married too! That suggestion was not welcome much!! Glad I didn’t change, less of a hassle considering what happened πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ ) 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. Β 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!

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!!

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!!

Why?

I think one of my mum’s favourite quotes is

Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die. -Alfred Lord Tennyson

Off late, this question bugs me! Why? Why are you doing this? Why don’t you think this over? I have been snapping at those who throw this question at me for whatever reason from something as trivial as why did you change your hairstyle to why did you take this life altering decision? I can understand someone who is concerned asking such questions…but the same thing from those who we say just hello & bye to?!? Ridiculous! What bothers them? How does anything affect them? Nowadays I don’t want to answer that question even if it may remotely affect the person asking it!! Like my parents!

In the down period from the blog, I am now officially single (rather divorced in Indian terms..). Got my divorce decree. I am waiting to join a new job next week. Nervous & excited. Yes, trivial things like I have changed my iPhone & car too.I have reactivated my facebook since I left my previous job (to come out of hermithood like my friend Laksh said πŸ˜‰ ) I have had to listen to the question “why” for all of those!! Seriously…I have asked the same question why for my divorce and never got any answers! Me aking that question I think is valid….and I ask it to myself or bug my close friends while trying to figure things out…

Anyways… lots of changes in the last few months. I certainly would like to thank those who drove me nuts who in turn I drove crazy! (think it is more me driving them crazy than the other way round!) Been through up & down emotions through this…so thanks to those patient wonderful friends of mine. May you remain as patient through our lives….just so you have to manage me!! πŸ˜€

I certainly don’t know what is in store. I don’t know what I will do or why I will do whatever… but as a colleague (rather ex-colleague) said…life moves on. Hope I get some of the patience that my friends have in enduring me so I can handle things better πŸ™‚ BTW, A seems to have immense patience!! πŸ™‚ Thank whoever!! (Don’t really believe in God or evil – this again is a statement by a very dear friend of mine about me! )

Well… I guess I will just do & die, not to be questioned/question why! πŸ™‚

Reflections

Happy New Year y’all! Done with resolutions? Broken some already?! πŸ™‚ Don’t quite know if I have any readers left… steadily reduced posting in this space of mine.

I have been contemplating seriously of getting my own space (as in renting a proper apartment) and stressing out on the pros & cons; neglecting this place which is mine 😦 Anyways, as the title goes -thought I would reflect a wee bit on the year past. So here goes…

Was it good? kinda!

I had an amazing time in the few getaways with amazing friends of mine & of course A. We connected at an amazing level! Can’t wait to do yet another trip somewhere πŸ™‚

A turned a year older and he is cuter than ever πŸ˜€ OK…mommie’s pride – I am allowed that!!!!! I turned a year older too, hopefully a bit wiser too πŸ˜‰

The divorce has finally been filed, so guess it is a matter of time before it is over & done with.

Made some new friends who I hope are long term ones. Met some old ones after ages.

Did somethings that I never thought I would. Quite an experience. Don’t know where all that is going, nevertheless some wise souls say that I must not think but just do. “Nike” Β in life a close friend of mine told me πŸ™‚

Less problems with parents (May be they just let go thinking well no point in telling anything to me…but then just that it has been a better year with them!)

Some close friends had babies. Yet to go see them (embarassed!!!) though that does not reduce my happiness for them!

Was 2009Β bad?! Kinda!

Had problems at work. Still have not learnt how to deal with such ordeals.I cannot figure out why all that happened! Been told everyone has an agenda but why me?! Ok…I must never ask that anywhere! I have to mention here that I am still on a contract that ends this month end. So, doubt in life after that.

Had major bouts of depression now and then. I thought I would not get to a place which I left behind long back, yet found myself there quite a few times. Reasons for going there varied, but still got there. πŸ˜₯

Misunderstanding with my close friend looms large! Just don’t like it, don’t know how to deal with it. Can’t just cut off neither can I let go. Process of growing up?!

Troubled a wee bit by how finicky people are. 6 months after getting married, people start thinking of divorce!!!! Have we become so intolerant, uncompromising?

Got some bad news from friends too. I so wish that they all get what they want as they deserve it!!!! Just their endurance with having me as a friend earns them major brownie points πŸ˜‰

Small things yet feels so big… still trying to figure out how to get a loan for a car without pay slips (again falls back to being a temp employee)

Blogged less. Hence cribbed less here?! I guess the few posts I did, I just poured things! πŸ™‚

I have not done things I am supposed to do. Been so scattered!

In retrospect, I guess I had an average year. Not great, neither too bad.

What does this year hold for me?! – I don’t know! That bugs me. I know that no one knows what is in store for them. Just that I am tired of this state for a long long time in life now! I guess & hope that the divorce is over & done with. Other than that, nothing.

I don’t generally make any resolutions. I don’t think I can keep any! Lose weight – I must. Gym more -yes! Be a good mother – I better be for A’s sake πŸ™‚ ! Keep my friends – rather I hope not to push them away! πŸ˜‰ Blog more? – Don’t know! I kept away from this just so that I don’t keep posting depressed posts. Get a space of my own, a car – becoming more long term plan rather impossible plans!

Just hoping that things don’t get to be worse than they are. Being the Libra that I am, the balance better be maintained!! πŸ˜‰

As PhoenixRitu had written as a status message

They tell me God does not give you more than you can handle … Man! Does He have too many expectations of me!

Honestly, I don’t think I can handle anything more!!! Enough is enough…just let me be πŸ˜€

PS: This post is as scattered as my brain has been so far! πŸ™‚ I have not bothered about grammar, structure or any such thing – Sorry. Just wrote as I thought/felt!

Caught!

For the past few days (more like few months! πŸ˜‰ ), I feel like I am caught between two worlds of thinking – the conservative world & the not so conservative (can’t quite say modern)! Β I guess I have been there all my life, and the realisation of this is dawning on me now.

My mum is an amazing woman – strong, pretty open-minded even though she was brought up in quite a conservative world and times. She did her masters despite lot of opposition from family & friends, thanks to my grandpa who supported her. She is grounded. She follows tradition, but is very practical. I must say that I am the way I am because of her -good Β & bad πŸ˜‰

So having her as a mother, I guess I have the same attitude – being grounded in values with a practical outlook. I must say that Β I am a little more “modern” in my thinking than her. This is not a comparison between the two of us. It is just penning down how I feel off late.

I chose the person I married. It was not something of norm at least in my family where arranged marriages are the way to go. My family supported me (some of them reluctantly) They are devastated now that it has failed with a kid in tow. We do not talk about any of these now, just waiting for the legalities to end I suppose. This is the family front.

To my personal battleground – my mind. I took the liberty of not following tradition, chose a guy. Now since it is a failure, going back to the whiteboard – I wonder if things would have been different had I accepted whomsoever my parents chose?!? At least I would have them to blame if it had failed πŸ˜‰ Is it weird that I expected the marriage to last forever?! I did hang on for quite a while thinking things would turn around.

Then, when I decided it was over, I started thinking that life is not over for me. I accept A is an important part of my life, but not the only part. There are days when I am made to feel guilty about that!!!! I also find myself defending my thoughts. There are days on end when I feel that this is it -this is all there is to my life now. I am amazed at how people are ever so ready to accept P moving on, finding someone else; but want me to be only a mother and nothing but. I find everything contradictory now. My mind is in absolute turmoil. Conflicting thoughts, feelings rule my life now. I am happy with A, scared/nervous/worried about future, depressed/angry about the past. How can one person feel all this at the same time is what even I wonder? How can I deal with all this? I know…live in the present – that is easier said than done.

Count your blessings my mum says. Hmm….?!?!? Anyways, this is what I was/am Β and probably will be (for a long time) ruminating on. Conclusion now: My life is an absolute mess with only me to blame and no solution to anything ahead. All I see is gloom for myself with periods of insane happiness with A till he decides to leave (Hope I don’t hang on to him too much!!! for his sake!!)

PS: I don’t know if this post is even remotely coherent…I just typed in whatever. I am not even going to try look at it to make it sensible. Guess this is how my life is now!!!

A tag by IHM

Mother’s Day today. It is not a huge deal at my place. My mum used to tell me, “do you need a mother’s day to remember / love your mum?” or that it is a western concept or commercialising love and the likes.Β 

Though, I just thought that it might be an ideal day to doΒ a tag about motherhood by IHM! πŸ™‚

What do I not like about being a mother? There are days when I wonder why I had A. Look at him as a complication or a liability. Would I give up on him? No, never! He is the one who brings a smile (a genuine one) in everyone’s face here at home. A source of joy.

So onto the tag… what do I no like about being Β a mother?

  • Worrying about how A would turn out. (Especially with a mum like me πŸ™‚ and no one else)
  • Worrying about what the impact of this divorce is going to be on him.
  • Terrified about whether I would be able to provide for him (anything and everything that he needs and knowing what he would!)
  • Being blamed for disciplining him.
  • Worrying about spoiling him rotten if I did not discipline him (Where is that line?)
  • Making him eat right being such a chore (Why can’t he just know what and how much to eat?! )
  • Seeing him being so sensitive at this tender age, wishing he would not grow up too soon.

A is young. I guess I have a lot more to go through. This is probably just the beginning. The list might grow longer. It might lose a few points. This is a love -hate kind of thing. I love being a mother, having A in my life. I also hate it. It is difficult to pin point how, why and all that. The balance keeps shifting. Don’t know when it would settle or if it would. All said and done, I love my son and think that people who have decided to stay away from a gem like him are the biggest fools on earth!!

There you go IHM. I don’t know if I have done justice to your tag but I just wrote what came to my mind as usual. It might be a little too blunt but it is just how I feel! πŸ™‚

Remarriage!

Reema had written this post on the issue of remarriage of widows, widowers, the attitude ofΒ  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?!? πŸ™‚ ).Β  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).Β  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,Β  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 clichΓ©s 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!