Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Recently, I began writing for a novel & exciting travel website carved out for Europe-bound travelers. Indian Compass, started by two lovely ladies, Chetna and Sakshi, is not our run-of-the-mill travel guide. For starters it is designed to suit the needs of the Indian traveller. The idea for the website was based on an astute observation made by the owners- an Indian’s travel needs are quite different from what the Lonely Planet caters to. And they focused on Europe because both Sakshi and Chetna have travelled the continent extensively and have very very useful tips and suggestions to make. What better advice can there be than one made by the ones who have been there and done that. (For more one the website’s creation, pop over to Chetna’s blog.)
Following is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the Indian compass. I hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Think London, think art and culture. On offer are plays, recitals, exhibitions, musicals and then some. Unfortunately, most of these come with a price tag. But there is one way you can still experience some excellent Western Classical music without paying a dime: attend a church service.
Believe me, I’ve experienced it myself. Last year, a few of us wanted to get together to watch the England-Germany world cup quarter finals in true English style: in a pub. But the day being Sunday, us good Christians had to first pay obeisance to the man upstairs. Fortunately the places of worship and gaiety were in the same neighbourhood. And this brought us to the Westminster Cathedral (mind you, not the Abbey, where Prince Williams is set to marry).
For more click here.
Monday, 14 March 2011
No, this one is not a hissy fit. For once it is a calm contemplative thought, reflecting on some things I do and he doesn’t and the reasons why things come to be so. Don’t be looking for anything profound here just some thoughts that manifest themselves one morning last week.
While I have penned down many a rant about the husband and our run-ins. They have been in jest but the narratives have in some way or the other helped me keep sane too. Not because he is a bad husband but because life threw many a curve ball at me and laughing about silly matters seemed a good way to keep my spirits up.
But there have been times when I have marvelled at how different he & I are. Sometimes I attributed it to differences of our respective cultures, at other times blamed it on his gender and so on. After a slightly upsetting morning today, for a change I did not look for reasons to blame him. Sure, he was very self-centred in the way he behaved but then was I not to blame to be playing victim in that exchange; something I realised I have done often.
I will not go into details here but offer you a background to put things in perspective. Of late, I have worried about his health- stress and BP and all that. I make sure his lunch is packed for him to take. I spend inordinate amounts of time looking at food labels to pick up items with low salt content. I remind him to take his meds.
What I do not do is take care of my own health. I am not even half as motivated to keep myself fit. Well I have the intention but it gets waylaid somewhere down the line. Needless to say, some issues have cropped up. To be specific, back aches. What I expect from the husband is to show as much concern as I do to him in these matters. Again to skip the specifics, the fact is that he doesn’t. And no, I am not asking you to think that he is a bad person. It’s just not in his personality to express (or if I may dare to say, even feel) these emotions. (To be fair, he comes to be by my side if I make enough noise J )
He believes, and rightly so, that a person has to look after his/her own self. And that’s the lesson he has grown up with. To be fair, my parents tried to instil the same attitude in me. However, I knowingly or inadvertently did not do so.
I chose, however unconsciously, to emulate the many women in my life. Them, who put their family’s needs first. I used to feel sorry for them as they struggled to keep their heads above water even as they made sure the family stayed afloat. I swore never to follow their lead. I promised to never to lose my health and find my worth in keeping my family happy and well. I fell in to the very trap I was avoiding. Somewhere in the last two years I embraced the notion that a woman who can’t look after her kith & kin or keep a house sparkling clean or cook like her mother-in-law does, and so on, is not a “successful” wife. And somewhere in the woods I also stumbled on the mental block that reminded me that if I wasn’t earning a salary, the least I could do was run the “perfect” household. All this i did to myself.
Maybe I am being a bit harsh. But I am happy that I realised what I did. You know why, because I am taking ownership- off my weaknesses and drawbacks. And I also know that this knowledge is the way to shake these very notions off. I hope what I learnt about myself today would help me give myself more credit. No not validation from others but a sense of accomplishment that I would come from within and matter more than accolades and praise from others. I know the latter is important but I also realise that the former is quintessential for a happy life.
Thanks for listening. xx