Spicy Rasam

Not a cooking or food blog! I just share what's cooking in my mind.

I was a kid in the 90s. This might seem cliché, but it really was the golden era. We saw the WWW grow to become Internet. We saw the evolution of computers. We saw the evolution of telecommunication and the birth of the millennium.

Before the Paytm, mobiWiki, UPI, internet banking and debit cards, there was the “physically take money from bank”. My mom did this every month (of course, there was no fear of demonetization then). She would take money from the bank and save 100 rupees as God’s money. This money was then donated to charity during Diwali every year (this started when her salary was 1000 Rs and continued to be the same amount even when her salary multiplied; not so impressed now! are you?). My mom would save the money in a plastic box that was in a very protected place (even the maid knew the protected place; I have actually seen her clean around the box and place it back where it was). Then during Diwali, my mom will take the money and donate. The highlight of that donation was….. She never counted the money (She was a bank’s branch manager guys; she counted everything. She used to count the number of clothes being washed; I am not even kidding!!.)

teacher

Come one! Lets all  count now… a one… a two… a three

This non-counting gave me the liberty to, well, borrow some money from God’s money (Fine! I used to very very occasionally steal money. Oh! Please…. don’t judge me. I used to put it back using my brother’s piggy bank money).

The 100 Rs was always a currency note I admired. There was something about money that starts with an one and a zero: 10, 100, 1000. Maybe it was because my mom was a bank person or because I love 10s, I used to love 100s and 1000s. I was weirdly proud of the two notes.

notes

Baahhhaaaaaaaaaaa………. I miss you!!!

And when I started to work, I followed the same tradition and collected 1000s for charity. It was a great tradition; I am saying ‘was’ because, then Mr. Modi brought in demonetization. Yup, he took away 1000s.

Although I am very angry at losing the currency note I love, that’s not what I am going to write about (I should be awarded for self-control). Indian currency is usually, sorry! was… was identified by its trademark color combination. That’s no longer the case.

The notes now come in all the VIBGYOR colors. You have violet, green, brown, yellow, pink. I will not be surprised if they introduce a burgundy 150 Rs note. Now, this is hard for us (because I feel like I am playing monopoly and that I am going to remove my virtual reality mask anytime now…. Now……..Now…..), but this is extremely tough for uneducated people.

monopoly

Maybe Mr. Modi loves Monopoly too… Hmmmm

The other day, I was in the SBI ATM. You all should know SBI ATMs are now used by many people with bare minimum income. Thanks to Mr. Modi “encouraging” everyone to open a bank account. One construction worker was there with a helper (a guy who knew which buttons to press to withdraw 100 Rs). As the helper guided, the construction worker kept pressing buttons and out came a “beautiful” violet-colored small note (I wanted to add more adjectives). The guys were visibly puzzled. They were not sure if that was 100 Rs. The helper said that this is not how 100 rupees note looked like. It came from the ATM, there were no bank employee present in the ATM to answer to their question, therefore they looked at me (now! you think I am going to talk about how, I, like a good Samaritan, helped the helper and the construction worker, right? WRONGGG). The ATM security, who was having his lunch below the air conditioner, started to explain to them that this was the new 100 Rs note and the old 100 Rs is still in circulation too. There are 2 types of 100 Rs note in use nowadays (he said all this is fluent Marathi). They were still puzzled; therefore, the ATM security got up, washed his hands and clarified every doubt they had. It takes a special person to go out of their way and help people. The ATM security guy was one such person.

Throughout this incident, I kept thinking about how difficult it must be for the people who are not able to identify the currency by reading the number on it. The construction worker was familiar with the design of the 100 Rs note that is in use for the last many decades . He is not aware of the new violet currency. He took it out from a machine. A machine that, again, contains numbers and words that he cannot identify with.

When I enquired about it to the ATM security, he told me that he does this to every uneducated, unaware person who comes to the ATM to take money. He was worried about how people manage everywhere else and that the bank should appoint someone to communicate and guide the people.

It was gut wrenching for me. How was that this particular problem was not factored in when releasing, violet, yellow, pink, brown notes for various values? Why was there not a relevant communication about all of these? More than half of India’s population lives in the rural areas with not-very-good schooling services. They make-do with the minimum knowledge of numbers.

I am not saying the pattern was the same in the last many years. They did keep changing. But these people did not have to worry about whether the currency note is going to go out of date. Whether the money they have will no longer have value. They never had to worry about the authenticity of the currency note. This was new to them.

These people identify currency notes with their design. NOT NUMBERS. They cannot be expected to be digitized. Because they were not given quality education. Before encouraging digitization and e-money, government should increase availability of proper guidance and services in every part of India.

This ATM incident was in a metro city. The ATM security informed the construction worker about the new violet-colored notes. But what will happen in rural areas? There are hardly any ATMs. If a person gives a colored currency note with some values and say, “Hey! This is the new 1000 Rs note that Govt. has introduced. This is the new red-colored note. You can accept this”. Should they accept it? How can they believe the giver? If there really was a red 1000 Rs note, then how can the giver convince the receiver to accept it?

Introducing a currency note should follow a process that is fool-proof and has factored in all the scenarios and consumer problems. Without proper procedures and proper communication, people will suffer.

Economic reforms and new alliances with countries are important. But in a country like India where there are so many people with lack of education, “not taking life-hampering decisions” is just as important. Now, I do not support or not support any particular political party. Just felt like writing about this.

In a gist, I hope the government will think about the rural citizens when introducing a drastic change that will affect daily life. Inform them prior to the introduction of a big change. Educate them through proper channels and take actions to ease them into the change. Let’s not make their life more difficult than it already is.

This is the ninth part of a long story.

First part of the story: Long Story 1

Second part of the story: Long Story 2

Third part of the story: Long Story 3

Fourth part of the story: Long Story 4

Fifth part of the story: Long Story 5

Sixth part of the story: Long Story 6

Seventh part of the story: Long Story 7

Eighth part of the story: Long Story 8

holding hands

Prabha; India

Prabha picked up Charan and got home. A wonderful smell welcomed Charan and her. “Grand maaaaaaa” shrieked Charan with delight, put his bag on the sofa and went straight to the kitchen. His grandmother was making Mysore Pagu. She welcomed Charan with open arms and hugged him tight.

“Oh… you have grown taller kutti (Means small child).” Vatsala said.

“Yeah! See” Charan showed her the Fortnite dance that he’d learnt. She laughed with appreciation and happiness. “WOW! That is awesome. Give me 3 mins kutti. I’ll give you Mysore Pagu.”

“What?? Coool!!” saying that, Charan ran to the bedroom to change his uniform.

Prabha kept the bag of fruits on the dining table as her eyes searched for Arun. Arun swiftly walked into the hall taking Prabha with him to the balcony. He closed the glass doors and said, “We can’t tell my mom.” Prabha raised her right eyebrow in question. Arun sat on the gardening stool and cradled his head in his hands. “I am afraid Prabha. I am afraid something will happen to her.”

Prabha squatted on the floor. “After I come back from USA, let us tell her. Not now. But you have to tell her eventually.” Arun nodded his head.

Prabha and Arun went inside the house. Arun went to the bedroom to check on Charan and Prabha went to the Kitchen to greet her mom-in-law. “Hi ma!” she said and got a greeting-stare in return. Prabha was so immune to the stares that they no longer affected her. Prabha took a Mysore Pagu and started to eat, “Sooper!!” she appreciated her mom-in-law and got more stares in return. She took 2 more pieces of the sweet dish and went to the dining area.

“Prabha! I arranged the kitchen shelves more relevantly. It was haphazard.” Announced her mom-in-law. Prabha smiled at her mom-in-law in return. If her mom-in-law was the fire, Prabha was the water. Nothing her mom-in-law did affected her.

“Have you eaten?” her mom-in-law asked her.

“No! not yet,” replied Prabha.

“Then, don’t fill your stomach with sweets. Come! Eat. You have to land in a different time zone. Keep your stomach happy”

Prabha smiled and got up to go to go and eat. She liked this side of her mom-in-law. The mom side.

Charan came running from the bedroom and picked up a Mysore Pagu from Prabha’s plate. “Grandma, I want more” he said and fell on the sofa.

“Charannnnn… crumbs… get up” shouted Prabha.

“Here!” Vatsala put some pudina chutney on Prabha’s plate. “It is good for you. When you get to California, keep drinking buttermilk. It helps with the jet lag.”

“Where will she get buttermilk ma?” asked Arun as he was bringing Prabha’s luggage into the hall area.

“You get yogurt there. Just ask and see if you get buttermilk.” Insisted Vatsala.

“Ma…..” Arun started, and Prabha interrupted “OK! Ma.. I will.”

 

By the time it was 6:00 pm, the luggage was weighed, closed and Prabha was ready.

“I’ve called the cab for 6:30” Arun said.

“Thanks.” Prabha said and rested her head on the sofa’s headrest. She closed her eyes and let he thoughts drift. She wanted to clear her head and give herself some breathing space. She had called her parents, talked with Shalini, talked with her mom-in-law, and talked with her son. Now, she needed to talk with her. ‘How are you?’ she asked herself. She was tired. She wanted to race bikes again. She wanted to turn on the music and just read a book. What was she going to tell her mom? What was she going to do? She was more afraid of how Arun’s news will affect the people in her life than her. She wanted to see Vishu just one more time in her life. She was already considering divorce. What will Vishva say? Will he say the right words to make her relax? Her brain wandered off to the past. She and Vishva were having snowy cone ice cream near the Thiruvanmyor bus stand. Vishva was laughing hysterically to something she had said. He tried to pay the ice cream vendor with credit card. She was happy. She was 20 again.

Prabha and Vishva; India; 12 years ago.

It was 2000. The millennium. The Y2K problem was evaded, the IT crowd was rejoicing. Few people were flaunting cellphones. They were hand-held phones without any wires. Alaipayudhae had released. And Prabha was obsessed with the songs and with Madhavan. Prabha was standing in the Engineering college selection que in Anna University. She was listening to the song “Endhendrum Punnagi” in her walkman. Most students were tensed and were praying, distracting themselves and keeping themselves busy. But that can’t be said for Prabha. She just did not care. She did not even fill the application form. She was there because her mom made her. “Want some?” asked her mother. Prabha looked at the chocolate drink in a paper cup. She shook her head and started to rewind the song she just heard in her walkman. “Electronics.” Her mom said. “The news is electronics is going to be biiiiig in the next few years. So, pick anything with electronics in it. That’s the next thing!”

Prabha increased the volume and started to day dream.

 

“Vishvanath…” the counselor called, which startled Vishva and he got up suddenly from his seat. The marksheets and all the documents scattered down along with the empty file. His Father sighed heavily and bent down to pick all the documents up. As Vishva frantically tried to put all the document in the multi-folder, named, file. “Vishvanath Kanniyappan!!!” called the counselor again. “Dad!!!! Go and sit there. I will bring the files.” Vishva said with pleading eyes.

His father sighed heavily again and walked to the counselling session table. Vishva gathered all the mark sheets and started to check whether all the documents are in place. “Here!” he heard a voice and turned to look at a girl handing him his 10th std. mark sheet. Vishva smiled brightly and got the mark sheet form her. “Thanks..” he said. The girl giggled and walked away.

Vishva ran to the counselling table and said “Computers! Anything with computers… IT, Computer science..” The counselor looked at Vishva with a bored expression.

“Your father here says you are too rich to work. And he wants me to talk some sense into you.” At this Vishva gave a death stare to his father. His father just grunted and tried to act aloof.

“Well! My father is rich. I am not. So… Computers.” The counselor typed some words and numbers which brought in the list of colleges that was suitable for Vishva.

 

“Prabha! I know MGR is near out house but let us go with RCM. There are very few electronics courses. RCM has one.”

Prabha looked at her mother like she had grown horns. “Mom! I want to learn linguistics. I do not care what engineering I do. Just get the college that is nearby.”

Her mom sternly turned towards the counselor “RCM please.. ECE” “–––– OMG!!!” screamed Prabha and raised her hands dramatically.

“Look girl! I need to get you married to a good boy. Preferably one in a good job. IT is the right way now. IT brides are good in market.”

“––––– decide fast please.” Said the counselor, visibly irritated now. “ECE..” said Prabha’s mom “Linguistics..” shouted Prabha.

“Look! Your marks are good. Why do you want to waste it? You can get into a good college,” said the counselor and turned to the mother “Electronics is not that good. Go with Computers. RCM is a good college for computers.”

“Electronics! I know it will be big.” Said Prabha’s mother.

The counselor sighed and started to fill the online form.

“I will fail all subjects mom! I swear.” Prabha threatened. “No! you will not! “ said her mother, smiling.

 

“Your marks are a little low.” Said the counselor to Vishva. “You can get PTP college. It is in Trichy.”

At this comment, Vishva’s father chuckled. “Look! I want RCM. Is there any way?” asked Vishva. “Errr RCM is in the second band. Your marks do not make the cut,” said the counselor.

Vishva leaned back rejected. “OK! What college has computers?” “PTP, MRM, Sanjoy’s––––“ the counselor started to speak, when Vishva’s father interrupted. “Look! My son wants RCM. What should I do to get it?”

Vishva smiled to himself. He knew bringing his dad was a good idea. “Sir the only way is ‘Management Quota’.” Said the counselor.

“Fine!” said Vishva’s father. And got up to leave. “Thank you!” Vishva said with happy eyes to the surprised counselor and walked with his father.

 

“Here you go ma’am! Your daughter’s seat in RCM in ECE.” The counselor gave Prabha’s mom the receipt. “Thanks” she said and got up to leave. Prabha rolled her eyes and she too got up from her chair.

Two days later Vishva’s father had acquired a seat in RCM. “Management Quota” means getting what you wanted. The problem was he got a seat in ECE. The correspondent of the college told him ECE is the best group. And his son always gets the best.

 

“Your bus stop is Thirumangalam” Prabha’s father was saying, “You will have to catch a PTC bus to the stop and board your college bus from there.” Prabha nodded her head in response. They were sorting the Engineering ECE, first year books. There were a lot. Nothing she can’t handle.

 

“Dude!” these are so complicated” Vishva’s sister was saying looking at the Engineering Drawing book. Vishva grabbed the book from her and placed it inside the book bag. “I will manage.” He said. She laughed, took her Rajesh crime novel and walked away.

 

“You have to take all your books in the first day Prabha. That is what is given here in the joining instructions,” said Prabha’s mother. “Sure mom!” replied Prabha as she was switching channels in the TV. “What are you watching?” Prabha’s mom asked. “New channel.. Animax… It is cartoons. But they are a little different. See…” Mom and daughter sat to watch “Samurai X”. It was nice.

 

“Why can’t you just buy Raymond shirts?” Vishva’s mom was asking as she sorted through shirts. “Because I am not a business executive. I need something formal yet, casual,” replied Vishva. “Try these…”said the shop’s shopping helper. “These are called semi-formals. They are new.” And placed a bunch of casual-looking formal shirts on the table. Vishva looked appreciatively at the clothes. “Nice!” he said.

 

Prabha came to the stop at 7:00 am. The bus was said to reach the place at 7:30 am. There were few other kids in the bus stop. She was not sure if they were going to the same college. So, she quietly went and sat on the waiting spot. She took her bus fees receipt from her bag and kept it ready.

A Maruti 800, red, stopped near the bus stop and a plump guy came out of the car. He talked something with the driver of the red car and started to walk towards Prabha. He came near her and sat near the waiting spot. The Maruti 800 driver parked the car near a tea shop and got out of the car. “Hi!” said Vishva and Prabha turned to look at him. “Hi!” she said. “I am Vishva. First year. ECE.” Prabha smiled “Prabha! Same…”

 

Tenth part of the story: Long Story 10

 

Related image

The sun is harsh,
The ground is dry,
Air is thick,
And hot,
Very hot,
Trees stand still,
The scene is still,
Still like a picture.

We can think of water,
But thinking won’t do,
Keeps getting hotter,
Hotter, hotter, hotter

We long for a breeze,
That sweeps through our hair,
We seek the help of trees,
As the sun keeps up the glaze.

But there is no place to hide,
Hide from the light,
That roasts the place,
The place we live in.

We want to escape,
Escape this summer,
We want to escape,
Escape from the Sun…

I am an engineer. Before joining engineering, I had to go through counselling. I’ll explain! We were counselled (more like count and selling of college seats for the highest bidder) on what courses to take and what college to join in. (electronics was the hype then, and we wanted to take anything in electronics! No amount of counselling was going to convince us to take computer or IT or mechanical. Yup! We were that sure electronics was going to rule the world of…………… We had no clue! We just knew it will rule the world. )

engineer

Infosys, Cognizant, TATA, Capgemini, you name it we work there!!!

There were quota systems and engineering seats were reserved for certain group of people. If you are not aware of the Tamil Nadu quota systems, let me explain in brief. It was a caste-based quota system. Special preference to SC, ST, OBC, and BC (I am not going to expand the abbreviation. Just google these along with Tamil Nadu, you’ll get a lot of information. ). None to OC (other castes, more like outcasts). There was a guy in the line for candidates attending the counselling along with me and several others.

The candidates were being called out for counselling based on our score in the “engineering entrance exam” and HSC finals. The aggregate was a sum of the entrance exam and math and science final exam marks (Am I boring you? Are you bored? Tell me damn it? Now don’t doze off….Interesting story ahead). The guy’s score was a good 40 marks below mine, and he was called out before me and a few others. Caste-based quota!

Now! this is a very normal situation. I’ve faced this a ton of times. The calling out was not what was irritating, it was the guy’s father. He was blatantly asking people for their score and boasting that his son got into a good college when his score was this low (I had never seen anyone this ecstatic that their child had scored low marks…. My mom could have learnt a few tips from this guy!). This incident has stayed with for more than 2 decades. This is the first time I am writing about it.

quota

Is this healthy? The guy was obviously wealthy (he was wearing a Raymond shirt to engineering counselling. Seriously!!!! My brother got a Raymond shirt for his Wedding!! His WEDDING!!!). So! Why did he opt for a quota? Isn’t quota for the underprivileged? The unfortunate? The financially struggling candidate? It is. At least that seemed to be the intention. Then where and when did the operation go this wrong? When did we become indifferent and “OK” with a rich, dumb guy taking away the seat of an under-privileged, brilliant guy/girl?

Government of Tamil Nadu’s educational quota for the underprivileged should not be used by a well-to-do, dumb father and son. So how were they and so many others who are over-privileged able to use the quota? How are they able to flaunt quota seats like some Gucci shoes (Seriously idiots! It was an engineering seat. It wasn’t a degree or a bright future. It was literally a stepping stone and you got there because of a lumpy ladder called quota)?

Some may argue that this quota was started to help students in rural areas. To give them an uplift and help them achieve their educational dreams. But is this really what is required when it comes to helping people in rural areas? A free pass if you are the “downtrodden”. I really do not think the bright minds, irrespective their castes, will be OK with getting a free pass.

That being said, I am just going to make a point with an analogy here! If you have fever and it is because of the ruined mango pickle you eat every day, will you stop eating the pickle or keep taking fever medicine and keep eating the ruined pickle? Of course, you’ll stop eating the pickle right? (yup! This happened to me, I got food poisoning by eating ruined pickle!! Keep it in fridge guys! Keep it in fridge! Summer kills pickles)

Then why is that rural India keeps getting horrible, sub-par education and keeps getting quota? (I was clear right? Fever medicine = quota and ruined pickle = sub-par education…. You guys got it? Right? I do not think you’re dumb. Just being clear… cheeezzzz chill people)

rajnikant

It’s high time we change this vicious circle. We want underprivileged people to grow in all aspects. The government’s schemes should be in a way it enables them to holistically grow, not in a cancerous way. Owing to this practice, we can already see a lot of unhealthy changes in the state. Students who are really deserving are not aware about the quota or they quit education. Students who are not deserving go on to do professional courses and become engineers, doctors, lawyers, and other government officials. The country is losing bright minds and nurturing rotten ones.

Education is a very significant step in improving a country’s economy and status. If and only if the citizens are quality-educated, the country as a whole can flourish. This is a priority the government has to take up and start making changes in the primary level.

When I say primary level, I mean increase the quality of teachers. Increase teachers’ salary in every educational organizations. Standardize the salary structure in private and public sector in education. The increase in salary will attract the right talent. Because let’s face it, to live, we need money and no one is going to take up teaching when there is a more prospective option available.

After the primary change, there should be stringent selection process to study B Ed and other post-graduate courses. There should be competitive exams to gauge and select the people with the right mindset to become the country’s growth architects. The competitive exams will filter out the best so that the country’s children get the best education.

Teaching should not be a hobby-like profession for people looking for an easy, less time-consuming job. The selection process and remuneration must push people to take up teaching seriously and attract good teachers.

therasa miss

I know teaching is not a high-paying profession throughout the world. When I talk about remunerations, I do not mean compete with the other countries and out-win them.

In India, good teachers become software professionals, lawyers, government officials, business person, housewives, and other professionals. The salary structure of an entry-level teaching professional in a government school for primary education should be more than the entry-level IT professional (Now! don’t argue that IT professionals don’t make as much! This is true, teachers make much less people).

These good teachers will be the best thing you provide for the bright minds of rural India. Rural students do not need quota.

kids

These primary changes to shape the educational system will definitely be a worthy investment in the long run. Most of my hard-earned salary goes into paying my child’s school fees. And when I come to know that his teachers do not get a lion’s share of what I pay to the school, I am severely disappointed. No amount of facilities and infrastructure will replace a good teacher. Teachers are the architects who will shape young minds. Seems cliché, but this simple truth carries a lot of meaning.

 

I don’t have any hobbies. Yes!! I don’t. I am addicted to WhatsApp, I don’t know what to watch in TV and I am very bored. Does this sound familiar? Welcome to the bored-human club.

My Physics teacher used to say “ if you’re bored, you’ve got no imagination.” Does this mean I’ve lost my imagination? Am I not imagining? Does day dreaming count? Or zoning out? Anyway, I am bored, and according to my ex-Physics teacher, I can’t imagine stuff.

So, as always, I sought help. I Googled “Bored mom” (see below Picture).

bored mom

I am not alone. There are so many moms who are bored. It has nothing to do with motherhood; I guess people are just bored. Is it the fact that humans get to live longer? Or it is the fact that “making a living” is not very exciting anymore, or is it that nothing excites us anymore?

I'm so excited

Honestly!! I don’t know. I grew up in the 90s, and it was awesome. My mom never told me she was bored. She hardly had time for TV. She worked at home and office. She raised me and my brother. She socialized.. well, in the literal sense (no internet, those days). It was simple, small, and fresh.

I used to ride my bicycle to school, I played in the school grounds after school hours. My friends and I hung out in the local bakery. This was my childhood. I grew up witnessing the evolution of technology. I was awestruck by the idea of cell phones. I was amazed by the idea of internet. It was awesome that a site named “Google” helped us search for websites that provided relevant information. (That’s right. Once upon a time, google worked for the internet. Not the other way around.) Now this is going to sound cheesy, but those were good times.

I mean it was actually possible to part ways with a friend. It was possible that we can never ever see them again in our life. It was possible to have friends who were physically present in our life. We can boldly use the proverb “friend in need is a friend indeed”. Because they were there to do the deed. Maybe that’s why it was not possible for people to get bored back then. There was no comparison, no audience, no mindless socializing, and no instant photography.

instagram

People lived their lives in their own little world. They compared themselves with their neighbors, their colleagues, their right-next-to-them friends. They were not doomed to be “friends” with the photography freak, the update freak, the whatsApp freak (this is me), the “it’s all peachy” freak, the “I am too cool for you” freak, the “I am so cool, I run marathons” freak, and “I am always Happy” freak.

Let’s face it. We’re all freaks and internet set us free. It’s like the Jurassic world (the movie) of dumbos. Now, coming back to the topic of being bored. I think the bored people are bored because they know too much. And yes! Ignorance is bliss. As long as you did not know somewhere, some place, someone you once went to school with is living it up, you are very much happy with your uneventful life. The problem is now you know. The person living it up posts a photo in Facebook, pinterest, Twitter, and WhatsApp. The person who posts the picture needs an audience, and they get it. Whether or not they are happy is not the question. They just want to sell their “happy life”.

Actors are acceptable critics and thanks to Internet, everyone is an actor and everyone can criticize. You get married, people have stuff to say. You lose weight! People have something to say. You have a baby! People have something to say! And if they don’t say anything, you feel depressed. You post a picture or comment crap, you feel entitled to receive comments. If you are an outcast in a social network, you are, well, an outcast. It doesn’t matter how good your life is. And worst! you start making plans to get yourself noticed. You go outing, go to places and post on Facebook. You want people to know how awesome you are. How rocking your life is. You might have suffered diarrhea, fever, cold or cramps during your trip to Malaysia. The food would not have agreed with your stomach. But, no one has to know that. Just fake it till you make it.

chandler.gif

Let’s be positive people!!

 

I am writing this article because I was bored. You guys are probably reading this because you’re bored. Well! Life sans fight for survival (literally), hunt for food (literally), and procreational activities is very boring. But all the above three without any hint of surprise anywhere is boring too. That’s what we’re facing now and that is called civilization. We created this monster. Let us now suck it up. Happy boredom people!

 

Are you 30 plus years of age? Did you cry when you turned 30? Or did you rub it off as just a number? I’ve always wondered how life would be if we did not measure it with numbers. 20’s, 30’s, 40’s. I am not saying turning 30 is bad. I love my 30’s. Why? ‘cause in my 20’s I was busy coping, marrying, mom-ing and daughter-in-law—ing. But my 30’s; they are rocking. For starters, they are long, and I feel like I have a lot of time. I am sure every woman in their mid-30’s get what I am saying.

goodbye-20s-hello-30s

Don’t let this crying man fool you!! 30s are awesome!!!!

Then why are we so worried about the age? Why did my co-sister cry when she turned 30? And console herself saying 30’s are the new 20’s. (Well! Then I guess 10’s are the new 0’s. Let’s use face creams to go back into our mom’s womb ya’all). Let’s face it! We hate to age. Anything that is young is fresh and wonderful. Right? We want young vegetables, fruits, house, car, furniture, phone, oven, and grinder (Well! Except rice. That we want the aged ones).

lionardo

see! even he looks great when young!! before the award…

Has this fear of aging always been there? I was so curious and asked my grandma. She told me she got married at 16 and by 34 she was old (by 34, she lost a husband and had 5 kids). But she never followed the aging process like we do now. I mean she lived wonderfully and aged happily.

old

Last week I raided the Korean products store in a mall and bought a ton of anti-aging creams (yup! They stop aging. Have you seen the Koreans!!!). I even bought face packs and sheet masks. I promised myself I will use these diligently and regularly (I did not! I was told the cream will last a year. The way I am using it, it will last 2 years). Why?? Because I could see some lines on my face. Those were not there before (Well! We shifted and the new house has better lighting!!).

The face products market claims that the increase in pollution has led to faster aging. Has it? I mean my mom tells me even at 32, she used to look like a middle-aged woman. And nowadays women don’t look that aged. It’s true. We do have more freedom. We can wear clothing that suits us. We can opt for a hairstyle that suits us. We have better financial independence than a woman in 1980s. It’s not the face creams ladies! It’s just that we feel young. No one can stop aging (trust me! I’ve tried! ) but we sure can feel young.

Feeling young doesn’t necessarily mean grooming yourself to hell in the beauty parlor or using a ton of beauty products. Feeling young is not knowing you’ve aged till you die. Let’s live in denial and embrace life.

Hi guys,

You know! there are some times in all of our lives when we are in the lowest of the low. It feels like the whole life is a nightmare that is going to end anytime now. And then you wait for it to end. You wait, wait and wait some more. It never ends. And then… You breathe… you live.. you love.. you love yourself again… It is called a grieving process, recovering process. Basically, you just process. Live through the mess. Not avoid it. Do these words ring a bell? Strike a chord? Yeah! you’re not alone!

I wrote this poem at a time like that. I process with words (what do you know! I love paper work! :D). It is called The Grief:

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My life did not stop,
Nor did my heart,
The gift that I got,
Is the gift that I regret.

“I won’t let you go”
“I won’t let you go”
I fought till the end,
I fought till your end.

Life is precious,
Neither you were cautious,
Nor was I.

I got away, away from death.
You got away, away from life.
You left me dear,
In this empty sphere.

Sharp as a spear,
It cuts through my heart.
But not as sharp.
I’m still alive.

Alive and cursed.
Cursed with solitude.
I cared for you,
Hath you no gratitude.

I’m counting my days,
The days to my birth.
’cause without you my love,
I’m not complete.

Full as I’d seem,
Less I am than empty.
Less than space,
Lesser than vacuum.

Hath you no mercy?
You left me by myself…
Hath you no mercy?
Mercy to take me with you!

Cruel you are my love,
Cruel you are my god,
Cruel as you are,
Cruel is my death.

Take me away,
Take me to the heaven.
Take me to the light.
To the light, my God,
The light of my life… to my love.

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