Thursday, January 08, 2015

Oh Screw You Too, Kangana Ranaut.

Ever since Pookie has made her gurgling way into our lives, newspapers have slowly made their way out. What was once used to grab quick updates on current events, is now used primarily as a poop scooper. Such are the joys of parenthood.

When I do get three seconds to glance at one though, it's a quick skimming of the bold, coloured headlines in whichever newspaper I happen to get my hands on. A couple of weeks ago, it was the Bombay Times. Agreed, calling BT a newspaper is like calling Kim Kardashian an actress - it's all very iffy, even if technically true. Nevertheless, glance I did and I happen to read a piece that was classic BT: Celebrities Share Their Views on Marriage.

Sonam Kapoor was there, a few others, some famous, some just about. And then, there was Kangana Ranaut, who said that "Married people need to get their heads checked."

I haven't watched Queen. I want to, though. By all accounts, she's done a wonderful job and the movie is pathbreaking and bold as it depicts how a girl needn't marry. Full points on message, but tell me, Kangana, why the smugness? Yes, I get it, there are plenty of obnoxious people in our wonderful country, who hunt down singletons and tell them they're missing out on life by not getting hitched. I know. I used to be accosted by them, not so long ago.

The thing is, there are also the rest of us out here. Married people who're just trying to do our best, going out of our way to assure our single friends that hey, don't worry, you're not missing anything much. Not out of condescension, you understand, but merely because it's true. There are aspects of singlehood that I will never enjoy again. There are joys in marriage that a single person cannot experience. We're talking about two different things, unequal and impossible to compare.

You're happy being single? Good for you. Go out and make merry in all the ways I can't. I'll cheer you on, from my living room couch on Friday night, as my year-old daughter rubs rice on my shirt. But if you're suggesting that my decision to marry makes me somehow inferior to you or clinically insane, then honey, you're the one who needs her head checked.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The name is Pookie. Baby Pookie.

In January this year, I gave birth to my daughter after a quick labour of "just" two and a half hours. It was a normal delivery, and if this is what passes for "normal" then I believe womankind needs to have a serious chat with the Almighty.

But that's a separate issue.

Daughter dearest, who we shall refer to as Pookie*, came into the world looking like a tiny, hairy Japanese man. I'm not being racist, that's really what she looked like. Since then, she's been photographed more than Prince George, videographed more than *insert celebrity name here* and has featured in more selfies than your average fifteen-year-old.

This basically means that now every time she sees a phone, she grins like she's on a red carpet.

Being the intellectual snobs that we are, Rook and I have named her after our favourite social anthropologist / writer. It's a nice, long four-syllable name which is going to make her hate us when she starts school. Or trying to pronounce her own name. I'd be more sympathetic if my name had been, oh, I don't know, something short. We've also refused to put up her photos on Facebook because a) I'm superstitious like that and b) we need something to blackmail her into good behaviour when she becomes a teenager.

But till then, this is what happens when I come home from work every day.

* We didn't set out to nick-name her after Garfield's teddy bear. It's just a happy coincidence. We had actually nick-named our unborn child 'Mo' after the little white robot who whizzes around in Wall-E saying "Mo". 

Friday, November 15, 2013

You Want Good News? Fiiiine!

The charge? Criminal neglect of this blog.
The accused? Me.
The plea? Not Guilty by reason of temporary insanity.

Yes, I've been watching reruns of The Practice these days. What gave me away?

Look, I know, okay? I know I haven't been posting much these past few days weeks months. And by much, I mean at all. But it's not what you think. I haven't been jet-setting around the world on whirlwind book-tours and signings and readings for my now hardly-famous-at-all book There May Be An Asterisk Involved (available in less than fifty bookstores across the country, but on most websites selling books and ebooks).

No. It's just that I've been terribly busy throwing up and being tired and getting nauseous and being tired and losing sleep and being tired and let's not forget, being tired. I've also been piling on the kilos, not fitting into any of my old clothes and trying to make peace with the fact that all this is considered good news.

Because wouldn't you know, I'm preggers. Knocked up. With child. In the family way.

Kind of takes the mickey out of the creative urge, I can tell you. It's like the body sends a 'Go Slow, Creation Already In Progress' signal to the brain. Which promptly slows down, kicks off its shoes and raises a tall cool glass of non-alcoholic sangria in response. You can imagine how much fun that is for a hyper-productive, performance-oriented Type A personality like me.

Which is why I couldn't have come across Sheryl Sandberg's epic 'Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead' at a better time. It's a book that makes a startling amount of sense. It talks about how women themselves slow down their own progress in the workplace. It states facts you always suspected, raises questions you're too scared to ask yourself and in general, makes you realise you've been suckered for most of your life. Suckered into believing that it's okay for a woman to give up things she wants to do because marriage, motherhood, family are all more worthwhile pursuits. As if anyone ever tells men that it's okay to ignore their careers because spending time with family is "more fulfilling emotionally". But this is just me paraphrasing the book awkwardly. Go pick it up and have your mind blown, whether you're a man or a woman.

I know my decisions from here on will definitely be filtered through a more rational lens, thanks to Ms. Sandberg. Who knows, I may even post more often.

But let's not get carried away yet. By all accounts, the next two months are going to be the best time I'll have. After which the baby comes and I cross over to the Twilight Zone. Of sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, irritability and the other joys of new motherhood.