Friday, December 30, 2016

The Ladies seat: Breakfast and a few learnings.

It was one of those Fridays when I woke up and decided – I wanted to have breakfast out. We do this occasionally, where we just go out for breakfast even on a weekday morning. It seemed like a good day to have some masala dosa. We woke the kids up and hurried their milk down with the promise of a fun trip to eat out.
As I got the car out of the parking, I noticed it was complete flat. A few minutes’ delay and Suresh ad the spare tire on. And that was low on air too. To think of the odds of that happening! The Maruthi garage is close to home and so we drove there. About an hour from the time we decided we had to have breakfast out, we were at the garage and told that something was wrong with the axle and it would take at least 2 hours to have it fixed.
As we walked out from the garage with two hyper excited kids (garage trips are always fun for them, since there is so much to see). Suresh pulled out his phone and said ‘Lets book a car and go have breakfast and come back.’
Ziva chimed in ‘Appa let's go by bus’
I remember when I was young I hated going by bus. I think my sister can fairly vouch that I begged, pleaded and nagged her every evening after school to take an autorickshaw home. She being the good child always refused to!
Ziva’s request gave me the giggles – She may look like me but we are poles apart.
We walked about 500 meters and go into the bus! Two excited kids and two adults trying to look like we fit in. I think we looked like those people who have never been on a flight get all excited when the seats recline back.
Isaac and Ziva took a seat all the way in front and Suresh and I found a seat close by. The bus was relatively empty. After a few minutes, Suresh looked around and realized that there were several seats empty around us, but none of the men were sitting on them.
‘I think I am sitting on a ladies seat’, he whispered a little amused and a little embarrassed.
He stood up and moved closer to where all the men were standing and I decided I would move closer to the kids. I picked Ziva and had her sit on my lap.
Both were curious on why Appa was standing when there was a so many places to sit at.
I pointed to the sign above that said ‘ LADIES SEAT’. ‘Its only for ladies to sit on’ I told Isaac.
Isaac looked above his seat and it had the same sign ‘LADIES SEAT’. Noticing his glance I  assured him . ‘ You are small Isaac. You can sit here. Its OK!’
Isaac: ‘ Will I have to get up when I am 8 years old’
Me : ‘ Maybe it will be OK for you to sit here till you are 10 years old’
I wondered why I put that cap of 10 years! What was I expecting him to do at 10 years that he was not doing at 7 years.
Me:  ‘Or maybe if you behave yourself you can still sit here. ‘
I went on to tell him why there were separate ladies seats.  ‘ If men learn to behave themselves, we wont need these separate seats’
When I told Suresh about this explanation he said that the main reason of LADIES SEATS was because women were considered the ‘weaker sex’.
I disagree.  In the Mumbai where there are tons of women working there are just two compartments (maybe 3 reserved for women). Separate compartments – because men don’t know how to behave themselves!
On the way back from breakfast, we got into another bus! As Isaac sat in his spot, he turned up to look if there were was something written over it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beauty is Skin deep ... But cooking is a must! Marriage - neogitable and non-negotiable!

Being friends with youth of our church and having them be absolutely free as they speak to us has given me a DEJA VU on what it was like to think about a life partner.

At about 23 I wanted to just have a baby - no HUSBAND. Could I adopt a baby?
Today after two children I know the value of my husband. I know his importance in my kids life as a father.
But 15 years ago - It seemed like I could conquer the world and make it mine.
I had my rules - The guy should cook, he should not smoke, not drink. He should not be egoistical and should let me do as I like. He should let me dress the way I want and work where and when I want.
I guess age does make you wiser. As I watch a few young girls making similar statements, my inner being is screaming out! Don't! That's not whats important!

This BIBA ad got me thinking.

I love the ad. Its very beautiful. And I love the lovely lady who tagged me! She's one of my favorite young people along with her friend who jumped in to remind me of all the lovely traits of her friend! Lovely lovely ladies... and they remind me of  ... ME ... 15 years ago.

Would you judge a man/ woman  if they choose a partner based on good looks? Most likely yes.
Because beauty is skin deep!
Would you judge a man if he rejected a lady because she could not cook? Yeaaa
Would you judge a woman if she rejected a man because he did not have a job? Yeaa
Then you must also judge a woman who rejects a man because he cannot cook! Or a man who rejects a woman because she doesnt have a job.

I know  a marriage counselor couple who advise young people - NO EXPECTATIONS
Now that, you would say is idealistic. I mean we all have expectations. But I think in expecting ... we forget that we are not able to meet ALL of the other person's expectations!
Is it possible not to expect? Unlikely.
But here is my advise to young folk ... Free advise hai - lena hai to lelo!

For both boys and girls : Don't expect someone who is drop dead gorgeous ... Even if you are drop dead gorgeous. Chances are you will eventually get fat and ugly. 😉😉😉😉😉😉. Or chances are you may grow ridiculously insecure :)

For girls : Don't expect someone who can cook, clean, do their own laundry ... etc.. etc.
Instead find out if they will stand and chat with you while you cook. Or someone who asks you how your day was while he tries to fold the laundry. Or someone who chops onions because you hate doing it. Or someone who will order food from outside  - because you feel exhausted.

For boys : Please don't ask a girl if she can cook, unless you can cook yourself. It's a big back fire question.

For girls and boys: Will you work after marriage? Do you know if you yourself will work for sure. Life brings about circumstances that make it necessary to choose family versus career or the other way around.

Marriage is not about cooking and taking care of the other person. Marriage is not about the perfect partner with all the perfect traits. Marriage is not all romance and singing around trees.

For me marriage has been about having someone I could hug and cry when I lost my father!
It was about being given the permission to hug my husband when he lost his parents! (I am a big hugger!)

How would you know these qualities? Find out if the person loves their parents... Because if the person loves their parents and you love yours ... chances are the person will love your parents too.

For me marriage was about having someone who watched me study for the longest time. Masters... PhD ... Residency .  And he brought home the bacon.  And then, I watched him do his post doctoral fellowship while I brought home the bacon. Marriage is not about stability in finance or jobs.  You don't know what tomorrow brings. Marriage is hard work and good times. They have to be balanced.

Marriage is not 50%
I help  50 %... my spouse puts in 50 %

I can't expect my husband to endure 50% of labor pains can I? Neither does he expect me to deliver a 7.5 pound baby and walk back to work the next day.

Marriage is 100% - I put in 100% of everything I do! And my partner will put in 100% of everything he can do.
But what if he doesn't?  Well then some things wont get done! Or ... you will fight a little... big deal!

Marriage is not about having a long list of non-negotiable demands ....  Marriage is about being negotiable in all your expectations.