Category Archives: Womanly talk

Whether it’s a battle or a war

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A recent conversation (as is usually the case) triggered a thought process which is still causing me to toss the whole conversation and its resultant threads around like a challenge in my head – it’s bouncing around within the walls of my head. Is it? Can it? Should it? Why is it so?

My only thought: Who are these people who behave so irrationally?

When any of my friends were to be married in the past, few weeks before or even a couple of months before, they would slowly begin to take out more time for their families. It turns out not just my friends but a lot of people, most of whom I don’t know, also do it.

Natural, I would think. Even though you are going to still meet your family after your marriage, moving houses brings with a certain finality and one tends to hoard things, one knows one will soon not have.

So, after running out of other neutral things to ask a soon-to-be-married friend, I asked her if she was going to spend the last month before her marriage with her mother. She currently does not live with her mother.

Her: No. He (the husband-to-be) won’t like it and gets irritable.

This gave me a pause.

Me: He will get irritated if you spend time with your mum?

Her: No, he will get irritated if I am not around.. when he needs me (something to that effect, not her exact words).

Oh.

Me: But won’t you be married in another month? He will have you (SIC) whenever he wants, in another month.

Her: Yes. But he’s particular, even now.

Me: But isn’t that irrational, even as demands go?

Her: I guess. But then men are always irrational, I have realised that.

Me: Sure they may be. But do you have to agree to what they ask, perpetuating this irrational behaviour further?

Her: I don’t mind losing the battle, if it means I will win the war.

War? At this point, I wasn’t sure we were still talking about the same thing. Somewhere later in our conversation, she listed more reasons but this phrase stuck. War.. what war?

I guess she wanted to be the person he wanted. That’s her deal. She knows what she is doing or, at least, is old enough to have to deal with the consequences.

But my bigger grouse is because there are women like her, who will willingly bend to be something they are not, women like me and some of my other friends, find it difficult not to get labelled.

We are modern, brash, rude, independent — take your pick. Mind you, this friend is also independent. But chooses not to exert it by the looks of it.

While trying to talk her out it, (I have no idea why I felt so compelled to) I kept citing my parents as an example. My parents are great as parents but perhaps have aspects in their marriage I don’t agree to, only because I am required to do things my mother agreed to do for my father.

What seem like small habits and start off as trivial, assume mammoth proportions as one grows older. I see it with my parents. My mother doesn’t register it but dinner has a pattern, thanks to my dad. Certain cups of tea just have to be made. With a certain kind of milk.

No, making all is this not the problem. The problem only arises only when one thing doesn’t get follow the pattern it usually does. No exceptions are made. Which is irritating. Assuming my sister or I will run the house in the same fashion my mother does is a mistake. It can lead to huge arguments and usually does. My mother’s logic: Just do it to avoid the hassle. I may even, most times I do. But I even land up telling her that she’s spoilt my father. She encouraged habits and behaviour patterns 30 odd years ago, which now all of us have to do. None of us have such quirks, except my dad.

I have seen a similar behaviour in my neighbour’s house where my friend was the girl in a brother-sister duo. Patterns were formed around her dad when he worked and now, for most times, around the son. It’s again around tea. Or specific items for meals, even if it means that the lady cooking has to make to a different dish for each member. In all fairness, my friend also got her specifications but it still bothered me. I remember telling my friend that if I were her mother, things would be different.

May be her mother didn’t mind. I know my mother doesn’t. But these men are spoil and don’t even know it.

And when I see people in my generation doing it, it pisses me off even more. I would have been happier if she just said she didn’t want to spend time with her mum.

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A bearded lady..

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The last few months.. the weather has been kind to Mumbai. I chew my nails as I say this as it’s becoming unnervingly hot even as I type this. But I plod on nevertheless.

We have a huge tree of thus far unknown origin in the office premise (that only means that I can’t identify it) and a few days ago.. while standing in its sun-dappled shade and puffing away and trying to keep chai from spilling and hair from becoming a total mess, I discovered one lone hair on my chin.

I have a beard was my immediate thought! That was it! Destiny (and to a degree, hormones) were deciding my next career. Cigarette promptly abandoned, I ran to look for a mirror.

There it was. Not a stray hair. One very definitely attached to my chin. Ohdeargod was all I could think of.

I had visions of shaving daily…my chin ie and a stubble and all kinds of names and freak shows that would call me.

My worry was very evident on my face. A colleague asked me what the matter was. As I reluctantly told her my problem, she laughed… loudly… attracting nosy ears and mouth from adjacent bays..

“C’mon yaar! Every one has them and that’s what threading and waxing is for.” I felt like a school girl being introduced to various feminine rituals.

As days passed I got used to the stray hair on my chin and as it turns out .. every woman has a few stray ones on her chin.. mostly ruthlessly plucked or just as painfully yanked out.. So for now no tufted chin!