That KITCHEN is dirty!

She comes from work at seven in the evening, she has been spending twelve hours outside the house trying to figure out the best for four days a week. He takes her out for dinner,sumptuous, delicious meal. They chill on the couch with a sundae and a movie. She is tired and almost retiring to sleep. He mutters,” That kitchen is dirty these days.” She replies,” I can’t do much about it in the weekdays.” He argues,” But it is not good.” She asks ,” Which part is bothering you.” He bounces back that it is unclean. She says,” You clean it if you are so concerned.” And they get up the next day.

When she was a kid, she fortunately or unfortunately had a male sibling. Half of her childhood went in figuring out the confusion around the fact that why can’t he cook in the kitchen, why  can’t he wash that pile of vessels after the dinner, why can’t he mop the floor -when he could drive a bike, when he could play football and when he could hang out with his friends late in the night. She was being told that he is her brother and the boy of the house.

Why nobody told him that she is his sister and she is as good as he is!

She was in her youth now,she was like a twine that beautified their world . Her sibling was a man now. She went to the college, she was falling in love. He started earning his salary and someone fell for him. They were both in their relationships. He disclosed first, they tied his knot to her. She dreamt of the same, talked about it to them, she was stamped ,stomped and married to someone. She did not know who he was. She was broken and she had to rise up again. She was someone else’s before she could blossom.

A few years went into understanding that she was transported from one surname to another and now that was her world. The new surname asked for more than just her name. She failed. She was queried every now and then. She went to a session a few weeks ago where they crossed some X s and some Ys and that resulted in another name, then why was she asked for the hospital visits and those multiple tests?Why was she expected to show a worry in her voice, why was she expected to change the God she believed in and why was she responsible for the X not meeting the Y?

Finally, they were blessed with two.She thought in her heart, she would not repeat the history. She breast fed them, bathed them, played with them equally and she worked harder to make sure they both knew how to cook a curry , how to play cricket, how to clean the house and how to drive. But she was blamed when her her part fell in love. She was criticised that she was far too liberal with her. She was reminded that she was her daughter and the girl of the house to clean that kitchen.


Tomorrow is 69th Independence Day for India. We have modernised, we have developed,we stand up as a country of billions, we have an enormous man power, we have brains that none match in every sector, we  have her active possibly in all spheres . She represents us  in the Olympics , she wins the Wimbledon , she is in the NASA, she is treating the dreadful diseases, she is researching and going on researching, she brings you the news, she stands up  in the parliament and runs the country, she is a daughter, a friend, a wife and a mother and yet she is a top notch performer but  we have failed to liberate her in our little minds.

We are still typecasting her!! We still think if the kitchen is not clean it is necessary to remind her! And she is still searching for independence in the many years that have passed by from those eyes  that have never failed to look down upon her! 


I can probably for now just say,“We shall overcome one day !” 

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Good days don’t last longer!

It is Monday. My another week into the training post starts and I am a bit reluctant today to sit in this stagecoach as my eyes are nearly floppy and wish to go back to the weekend. 

Last weekend had passed in a jiffy as it was the best weekend of the year. Why do I say so? Most days are fab and most days give me the satisfaction of being right in the role I am playing then why just one best day? Like I have been writing about the way I love to have people around , it was one of the my days-the 32nd birthday. I did not realise how old I am and I was yet looking forward to it like a 5 year old. I was all day on international calls hearing to the birthday jingles. The best was when my mother whats apped me at sharp  twelve STD India ,” happy birthday my dear daughter!” She is very new to using touch phones and instant message apps but she was spot on with the timing and ofcourse with  her blessings. So the day had already begun and the day begun just right:).

I was very tired towards the evening and was craving for some sleep. I slides in my couch watching the Tele and soon you could hear a rustle from my nose. I don’t remember when but I was shaken hard and loud it sang,” Happy birthday to you , happy birthday to you.” I was muddled , dreamy and not quite ready to believe until I saw a big home baked cake with a Yankee candle by its side( a candle straight from my bath). I blew it, sliced the knife through, exchanged a bit and I was fast asleep. That was the midnight 00:00 AM, when my dearest husband had given the cake rehearsals done last week a final touch with his panache! The outcome being a moist,tender, adequately sweet, rightly  flavoured, eggless vanilla cake with a strawberry on top. I was happy not only on him surprising me but also on making that effort after a long day at work.

  
Next day while I got up to embrace every bite of that delicious sponge with my tea, I was sulking already about being away from my people. I was at home !! I was home alone on my birthday!!

Back to the couch with Bollywood numbers to pep me, I scrolled through my FB. One,two three and soon a century on my timeline from all over the world and there was a sigh of relief. The day had started to roll and I was loving the internet already . Then it was my nephews and nieces who rang me to fill in the emptiness of my day. It was beyond pleasure to hear those birthday songs from each one of them. I was feeling like a princess enjoying with my little ones and the doorbell rang(. Triiiiiiiiiiiing!). Flowers in my face, what a surprise!! My work colleagues were at my place to wish me . Could have I asked for more ? I have not even completed my first year of work in the UK and I am so thankful that they remembered it and made the effort of pleasently surprising me. 

  
I was feeling while it was getting better and better , the clock was ticking too. Good days don’t last longer!! However, I was already made up so I decided to pamper myself now. I took a cold shower on the sunny day, wore the mango jumper my partner has left me as a birthday present on the couch and walked out of the home with my sling bag. It was the shop for yourself time. I picked up stuff as a present to myself that I have been longing for sometime now and soon I was sitting on a relaxing chair beautifying myself.

More calls ! More messages! More FB ! More blessings! What a MORE day.

By the time I was home,my pastry chef was home too with some plants and an old . He urged me to dress up quickly as we were to set out for a dinner in one of the finest dining restaurant in Liverpool  with another couple who had been with us in our hospital accommodation days. My eyes were blinking again. Hahaaha!! Food is my proclivity and good food is my penchant. Tough words – to simplify – good food makes me happy!

   

We were there – they were there -the clock was ticking. Hours passed and when I finally gazed at it , it was quarter to 12 GMT.A twenty eight and a half hour long good day was nearing to an end! I was glad that it went unexpectedly well and I despaired it will be an year before it comes back again.

I probably don’t open my eyes often to see the happy times, I probably look at the glum more than the beauty of it, I probably do not know how each day has been a blessing ever since I was born, I probably have split my good days as per the calendar events, I probably cannot see the countless blessings every day-that I was a smiley turned down at twelve in that grandfather’s clock!

 Good days why don’t they last longer , the thought battled while I slept in my mango jumper for next day morning .

Train journeys!-do they remind you of something??

 

On my 3 hours journey today!

 

They stand there on those sides lined yellow,hustle bustle,roar and rush,glancing at the paper in those hands,flipping it and eyes searching the cabin, A,B or C and the seat within,the whistle blows, we on our toes, bags and cases dash, finding our numbers after that squash,there it hails ,coffee on sales,another hiss and few hot sips, some with eyes closed,some looking out,some in their silence and some laugh and shout

This is what a train journey brings on! Memories and moments. 

I have been doing these long journeys since my birth, obviously I don’t remember all of them but I have some of my dearest memories on these. My paternal and maternal families are settled in south of India and my dad migrated to the north for his future prospects. However he made sure that we were visiting our roots and families every year in the summer holidays and that called for 48 hours in a sleeper coach of Karnataka express . My dad would get a station booklet with all the stations ,Kms and timings- famously called as the train timetable- the Google and satnav of those times . Mum would be cooking for two days for those two days- parathas,currys,mithai,halwa,khakra,namkeen- packing paper plates,spoons,water jug,fruits and biscuits. It appeared like it was a train picnic. Me and my brother would pack all our train games and our favourite bed sheets. We carried an extra luggage to fit in our sheets,pillows and blankets. At every station dad hopped out of the train and we two trailed behind him,he bought us ice creams and poori bhaaji on the station. He ,of course knew what was famous on which station and we were ready to ask for things always. We travelled across half of India to reach our grand mom’s place. On the way we met different people,made friends,exchanged telephone numbers and I made most of my pen friends then on these journeys. 

Once I left home started for my college I had to travel solo,again from south to north and return to see my three musketeers! I was 18 when I started enjoying the railway adventures on my own-48 hours without any food bags, extra wrap up luggage and company.

I grabbed my most memorable times on these ones. Often , I found a college tour gang, army troops and families going on holidays travelling along with me. Being a peoples’ person I ended up finding some good company to wind up my 48 hours and restored  my memory box. Once I travelled with a big commerce college group from Bangalore, I was done with my college by then and they had just started.The enthu was on its high and the unmatchable spirits got me into mixed feelings. I was nostalgic about that one college to back home journey via Delhi with a gang of 35-music ,food,drinks,hands in hands,friendships brewing,break ups patching up – two nights on a wagon. 

Not a penny in my hand ,not a shirt on my back . I am coming back home.

Some of my train journeys left me in a situation which I can relate to movies like Jab we met & DDLJ. I got down on Nagpur on my way back to make a phone call to dad. It was a busy station,vendors selling famous Nagpur oranges,Dinshaw icecream, and mags etc. I picked my favourite tuti frooti, stood on a STD booth, it rang and I started chatting. Soon there was a hand and a voice,” Behan ji , mere paise( my money) ?” I said with a frown,” Arey ! Baat toh karne do( let me talk!).” He smiled and replied,” Aapki train!( your train is leaving).” I was just 40kgs then, I ran and captured a hand. I was in, don’t know where but somewhere in my train. A sigh of relief and a thanks to the gentleman.

  
 I still love those solo journeys. In the UK these journey are very comfortable,peaceful and short. They don’t hold the variety and the chaos but they take you away from life’s montony to the beautiful countryside, through green forests and bridges. Again reminding of the beautiful scenes from the movies and you are nearly in those destinations idealising your dream to travel these escapes! Nowadays , I listen to my favourite music on these short day trips,sip a mocha, write here and look around and inside me feeling the sanity and peace. Nevertheless ,the journeys help me realise I am blessed and I am seeing the best that is on this green planet.

 

countryside from the window
 
I am sure each one of us have something to remind us about when we board a train,sit with that coffee and look outside the window. The busy strokes of life do not let us realise them but next time when you are sitting on that window do peep out of that little box you are into!

Until my next journey.:)