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

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 🙂 ) 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.  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!

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Nine years

Scrolling through the memories on Facebook … Saw posts of friends added over the years, down I went a picture of my nephews I added to the family album, the last entry in the list was “9 years ago today” the post I had put in at 6:09AM  ” in India :)” 

It hit me! It has been nine years when I bundled the toddler of a boy that A was then, with his infant speech, wide eyes, chubby squishy one he was…. Friendly moving in from the economy seating coolly to business class charming his way through!! We were blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead. Now he is 11. As he claims almost a teenager. Not that open & trusting. Just crossed a milestone. Had his upanayanam officiated by my parents. 


He loved it. Being the centre of attention, paid attention to what he was to chant taking in the pronunciations, meaning, significance. I certainly had pride welling inside of me – the boy he has become. No!! I didn’t feel I have done anything for that. It is all him. He is one strong willed, kind & caring boy!! He does have his flaws but hey who is perfect right?? 

Nine years since we were ousted from what we thought of as home. ( at least I did… Thinking A thought where Amma was , was his world then)  Still trying to find a footing, a place to call home. We have come a long way. Loads of people to thank who have helped us along the way. Hurdles crossed, small wins…. Still a long way to go. 

I have no clue what is next- work, personal life,kid….I am not going to say the worst is over, and good times are ahead. I would rather think there is worse to come, but believe that we , both A & I , have the strength to face and overcome that, take pleasure in the little joys, be thankful for small mercies. Even if there is a miraculous change, here is to hoping that we don’t forget the tough times we have been through. I hope I can help A not lose his childhood ( though a part of me knows he is tough because of what he has gone through. Scratch that tense & make it present.). 

Toast to the unknown future. ( even the next few hours in the day 🙂 )

Navarathri

This is my third post of the same title!! 🙂 Trivia…

This made me look at what I had written earlier & when… 2007 & 2008. 2007 I have written about going back & following the tradition (don’t know if I have to laugh or cry at reading this!). 2008 just a wikipedia like note with pics taken from kolu at home. Then 2 years missing & this now!! 🙂

Got no new dolls this year…yet. Think I got a proper Bengali Durga doll the last 2 years when I had not posted. Mum tells me that I had asked for a similar doll better looking one ages ago – but was expensive & we could not afford it then. I like this doll too.

Every year, as we keep the dolls on the steps, we reminisce about how we got the doll. Other conversation invariably revolves around how the quality of the dolls are not up to the mark. I can actually see that here… the dolls we have inherited from my great grandparents look so good even after all these years, but those we got recently are broken, faded. It feels like the artisans of yore actually took pleasure doing the dolls while the newer ones are more of a commercial venture?! Or is it just my random thought?

This year, one small doll is missing (we are in the process of finding out where she is gone…) It is Ganga in the Bhaghirath story of bringing her on to earth! Aside we are laughing at how even he cannot do that now if he tried & may be it is symbolical that Ganga is missing 🙂 The weird conversations we have at home!!!! It is coincidental that in the 2008 post, one of the pictures is of the same set!!! So, we have her at least on that 🙂

I noticed some broken dolls. Was wondering if we discard them… and lo behold Mum & I had a debate ( been a while since we even spoke to each other – we used to have so many of these nice debates – not fights/arguments…but debates 🙂 ) She quoted “maha periyaval” saying He said that something to the tune of do we throw away old people if their limbs are broken or don’t function. My view was…hey these are dolls, we need to recycle. If they are broken, replace them…gives a boost to the artists when you buy, keeps commerce going. This got the response – well look at the dolls these days! 🙂 Guess what in the end, I did succumb and decided to mend the mendable old dolls with quickfix cos they still look good. Even the paint of the old dolls look good!! What did they do – use vegetable paint I suppose?!

Anyways it was one “ok” day. With some work done, debates (& some arguments) – the kolu is up…hope to improve on it the next few days , may be go against my parents get a new doll or 2 or 3 …(and of course find Ganga 😉 ). Must start calling friends and asking them to come over for the “vethalapaaku” . I keep saying I don’t believe in God & I do all this just cos this has been done all these years. I don’t want to influence my son with my views! He has to form his own ones… lets see!!

Happy Navarathri to one and all!

Republic Day 2010

Vande Mataram!

Woke up to watching the news featuring the new “Mile Sur Mera Tum hara” rather named “Phir Mile sur”

Check it out here

The older version or the original is here

I like both the versions. The previous one was simple, melodious while the newer one has more variety musically. Though both videos I think capture India.

As I was doing this, I read through some of the feedback on the new version. I see comments on how the new version has a “western” feel, about the clothes worn by an actress & how she must have worn more!!!!! The absence of people like Lata Mangeshkar who was there in the original. Is it just me?! Or do others also think these are harsh.  I suppose it is the same comfort zone factor. I don’t want to step out of what I am used to!! feeling?! Personally I felt that the new version depicted for want of a better phrase the “new” India – a blend of the old & new. I suppose the video link above does not the have the complete version of the song as I did see certain others featured in the news item on NDTV. On the same note, reading about the controversies surrounding the awards given out today also bugs me though I guess it is the same with any honour awards that are given out in any country! 🙂 Guess any one can get awards if people get a Nobel award just for intention!!!

Just wanted to add a note that it was a pleasant surprise that one of the tamil channels was not all cinema & cinema based special programmes today!! It is now telecasting a recorded show by  Taiwanese physically challenged artists. Amazing!!!

So typing this in as I switch between watching the Republic day parade & the dance/music show. 🙂 Waiting for “Beating the retreat”. Something I loved watching every year growing up 😀

Jai Hind!

Edit to add the complete video of Phir Mile Sur

I read more comments about how the video is more Bollywood than to show integrity. I just see the video as I would any other remix 🙂 I never ever thought that a remix(even a remake for that matter) ever matches the original. The point here is that intention is to sell India and Bollywood sells! I has more Bombay shots, less of all of India or cricket, not all the stars featured in the old video, many new ones here ! – so what?! Well,  as I said before my take! Why not just take this as it is and not compare?! Or like I generally deal with remixes let it grow on you 🙂

Hindu

I have written many a post talking of whether I believe in God or not. About whether there is any reason behind many of the customs we follow (or at least read and commented on many posts on my blog hopping!!)  I have also read a lot of posts on all this -why must I follow these customs in the name of tradition/religion? What is the meaning behind the way something is being done. Way too many questions.

My mum is not some one who used to say “This is the way it is done so do it.” She was one who used to explain when she knew or she would find the answer. We have had many discussions on lots of such topics. One book that P made me read and said that my mum would like (ok! bring those eye brows down….we have been married close to 8.5 years of which we have been together for 6.5 years of those – so we did have some good talks too!! 🙂 ) was Am I a Hindu? by Ed Vishwanathan. Not a bad read.

Now, my mum is hooked on to something on TV. Initially I did not bother to find out what it was though I know she is not the kind to watch soaps. Slowly I ended up watching the show with her. Obviously the show has something to do with my long winded introduction. I find the show pretty good. It is in tamil by Cho Ramasawamy. Features on Jaya TV  at 8 pm IST. Name of the program ” Engey Brahmanan” (Where is the Brahmin?) 

I find the series very informative. Down to earth. Cho explains various concepts in Hinduism, being a Brahmin and lots more using a story as a baseline. Quotes from various scriptures, explanations in lay person’s terms. So suffice to say I am hooked on too. Feels good to watch something with my mum, followed by discussions (sometimes heated arguments even 😉 )

If any of you is interested, do catch it. I know that Laksh  & Ms CP might be interested…. Catch it 🙂

Remarriage!

Reema had written this post on the issue of remarriage of widows, widowers, the attitude of  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?!? 🙂 ).  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!!

Expansionist…me?

Vimal tagged for this meme here. He has written he wanted more visits to that page…may be that is why this late tagging happened 🙂

I like tags. I guess I learn more about myself when I do them. This one : I learnt that I am pretty much open to most things in life; but certain stuff – I do have some boundaries which I think are justifiable.

Please thoughtfully consider the following, and choose one item for each of the categories below.(Be sure to describe your reasons for choosing)
One religious work from a non-familiar tradition you’ll read:
Am not a very religious person. Off late I have flashes of atheism too. Though I firmly believe in knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Besides I pretty much read anything printed!! (Stay totally away from self-help books – read a few though) So, what would I read from a non- familiar tradition? I should say that even Hinduism to a large extent is non-familiar. Though am game for any other work on whatever tradition 😀

One music video–that you like–from your “least likely to listen to’ genre:
Again I am open to any form of music and I don’t watch that many music videos. I am more of a listen to music kind of person. 🙂 “Least likey to listen to” genre is metal for me though.

A book from a genre you almost never read, that you have read, or you will read (promise!):
Self help books!! eeeks!! no way! Erotic stuff have never read! I would rather do nothing!!! NO!! I will not read these! 😀 so none listed!! 😉 No expansion?! no problem 😉

Somewhere you’d never thought to go on holiday/vacation, and why it might be fun to go there?
Timbuctoo or Mongolia….Don’t know why it will be fun. Just that I always think of some place remote. Run away from the maddening crowd…Any such place would be good 😉 May be it is just now!

A specific food you’ve never tried, but will because of this meme, honest!
OMG! Food….Well, I guess I will try anything lacto-vegetarian.

 

A sport or game you really hate, or haven’t tried yet, but are willing to give one more go:

I don’t hate any sport/game. Hate is a strong word!! Haven’t tried? Well, that would probably fill pages and pages. This is an expansionist meme, right? So am game for any sport/ game 😉

A style of dance you probably won’t try (we won’t make you promise on this one):
Again boring but truthful answer…willing to try any dance as long as it is not  characterised under perversion.

A career/ job you don’t feel you’re suited for, and why:
Marketing! I cannot lie to save my soul. I cannot sensationalise. I can almost never convince some one unless I myself strongly believe in that (which I know will not be the case in marketing jobs!)

An item that’s “thinking out of the box’ for this meme that hadn’t been included:
I have exhausted my thinking ability on responding to the previous questions. Cannot think of an answer to this one!

If  there’s one thing in life you wanted to do, and will do because of this meme, what will it be?
Again, I don’t think I would actually do anything because of a meme. There are a lot of things in life I want to do though! 🙂

Now for the tougher part than doing the meme itself. I am going to take the easy way out – leave it to who ever wants to take this up. One condition : Let me know so I can come check your answers 😀

Tags – 1 down 3 more to go! 🙂