FORTY ONE

Before I got married, I already knew what my wedding anniversaries would be like. Yeah, I am opinionated and a dreamer at the same time. Hence, the day dreams and imaginary parties were pretty much part of my ritualistic futurescape. Even after getting married there was always that little part of me which planned and re planned the day, the weekend of the anniversary. But what marriage teaches you, sometimes, the hard way, things don’t go the way you plan, the way you want, simply because marriage is about two different individuals and hence the factors bearing significant control over the plans increases two fold.

Its like this, if one plans for a trip for oneself then one books tickets, arranges for transportation and lodging, budgets for expenses of food, travel and miscellaneous items, obtains leave from work etc. When one is married one has to do all these arrangements, but for two people, hence the twofold number of items to check off a “To do” list. And in all this even if one item on the list goes from a ‘tick’ to a ‘question mark’ the rest of the process comes to a standstill. You see, when you are married everything is about two people and not one.

So, does marriage mean only difficulties and unfulfilled plans? Of course not. There is more to married life than meets the eye. Without comparing with any other married couple, I can at least point out 12 things (little, tiny!) that I like to think as Perks of a married life.

1. There is someone to make you tea when your throat hurts. Actually, there is always someone to sooth you when you are down with illness.
2. Somehow even when in a rented apartment there is this feeling that it is a Home, just because there is that ‘someone’ special to share it.
3. You have a standing partner for new movie release.
4. You don’t fight over the remote because you tend to watch similar types of television programs.
5. Sundays are packed with possibilities of fun. In fact, everyday is filled with so many possibilities that it hurts my head to even think about them. Possibly that’s why they say ‘one lifetime is not enough’.
6. Nothing is ‘only your’ responsibility, there is someone else to lend a hand.
7. You are never really alone. Really, really alone. because there is always that thought of someone.
8. Festivals are cheerier and means gifts, always!
9. Surprise gifts make you smile more often. But more importantly you understand the value of the real gift. The companionship. You realize the significance of the smallest gestures, words and body language. Every smile, a kiss, a warm embrace is a gift.
10. You have ‘someone’ to listen to your long winded stories and bitching.
11. You have someone to complete a song or accompany you on a song when you feel like singing.
12. You ‘always’ have someone to give you a pep talk whether you need it or not.

There are ten thousands of quotes about weddings and marriages but the fact is none of them really prepare you for the tasks and responsibilities of married life. I am no expert on relationships but I know this somewhere The H. & I have found some form of balance. Yes, I truly believe Marriage is about Balance. Because only through balance can we live a fruitful life. Marriage tones down the excesses we all indulge in sometime in our adult life. But my marriage hasn’t changed me as the individual that I am. I am still the self opinionated, optimist but what it does, or has done for me, is, it has made me more aware of myself and given me some good habits, bettered my judgement and pushed me to take care of myself.

Now, back to the anniversary plans. Well, marriage is not really about the perfect days, its really about the ‘days’. its about the perseverance and time and a whole lot of hope. In the same logic, the plans for the anniversary can be chopped and changed, but what is worth is the spontaneity, the attempt to be together against the odds – bad weather, delayed confirmation on bookings, bad headache, you name it. And then just the pleasure of holding hands and trying to avoid the pouring rain.

I get sentimental!

For my 1st anniversary, I just have one message for The H.

“I was right to say yes to you, when you asked me to marry you. because like I told you, You make me a better person. And I like who I am with you.”

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

THIRTY SEVEN

O well, you know how they distinguish personality types on silly internet quizes with whether you like sea side or mountain?  I am the one who picks sea side always. I have a particularly soft spot for the beaches.

And the moment I am near a sea beach …. I pretty much forget everything,  and all I wish to do is splash around, often to the amusement of my companions and much to the delight of The H.

I think itis one of the first things he liked about me, that hasn’t turned out to be momentary,  forgotten after a while.

My experience with sea and beaches are many and unvaried. I pretty much do the same things wherever I go.

Out of these is my habit of losing things in the sea or to the sea, if you believe in that sort of things. In the past 2 years I have lost a mobile phone , one slipper from a pair ( mind you the sea was nice enough to return it after some time… and this is after I threw away the other one in frustration.  Finally I got bck both pairs in a gap of 30 mins). Unfortunately the mobile phone didn’t come back.

The same sea beach that took away and returned my favorite slippers, has now taken my favorite blue colored lens sunglasses.  This sunglass was a gift from The H. & drew a lot of attention wherever I went.  The form being steel rimmed blue lens on aviator shape, it was cool, funky, edgy and classic all at the same time.

And now it’s gone. I toppled over under the attack of a huge wave and the sunglass slipped away from my face.  It was gone in a matter of split seconds, not to be seen again. I waited by the waters edge hoping it will come back but it didn’t.

I let it go. I had the feeling someone on that beach would be finding it in the sand, and I hope its in some shape to be worn. May be some kid will pick it up and enjoy playing with it.

I have picked up many such little sea trash so to speak, I kept a few, others I gave away to someone nearby on the beach. It was astonishing to find The H. Eagerly poking around the beach picking up shiny, weird , colorful objects. I have not told him how similar we are in our treasure hunting quest by the beach.

Of all d weird things we have found, 3 are worth mentioning,  I wrist watch in perfect working condition,  a children’s video game again working fine, a weird looking bone of some animal.

The sea beach is a treasure trove …

Hope someone finds my funky blue sunglass soon.

TWENTY

I went into a makeup induced coma yesterday evening. The H. & me were out for our evening stroll through the local market when I chanced upon a new shop full of makeup. The shop housed everything from nail enamel,  eye make up, foundation and liquid makeup, lip liners and lipsticks, glosses, eyeshadow palettes and more. It boasted of brands I recognized,  V.O.V, Faces, L’Oréal,  Inglot, M.A.C to name a few.

The moment I stood amidst the trays bursting with nail colors I went into a makeup induced coma. The surrounding sounds faded and my mind was filled with colors, pops, pastels, glitters, nail art…. and more, the glass bottles held varied colors and they glittered under the lights and beckoned me like gems in a treasure. To me this find was like the Dwarfs laying their eyes upon the lost gold. My eyes glittered with glee. I felt like a kid who wanted to grab all the colorful toffees in front with both hands.

Slowly my senses returned as I began my research into this hoard of treasure in front of me. The basic problem facing me was no tester policy. So nothing can be tested. Although I found women surreptitiously doing it anyway. But that only meant there were more used products on the shelf. The other thing that put me off was they wouldn’t allow photography.  The prices were dirt cheap, which made me very suspicious of the origin of these products.  But I like my discounted stuff anyday. Why buy at full price? I wait for sale season, I can admit that without any embarrassment.

The H. suggested staying away from the skin products like foundations,  lipstics and compact. Instead I went on to buy some nail color and a nail paint remover. Both of which I needed. As I believe a woman can never have enough nail color, lipstick, shoes…. and… ; the list is long.

I am fairly impressed by the nail color and the remover- an acetone free one. Both are not imported and made locally. But with a discount tag of 70% it’s a steal. I am looking forward to picking up some pastel shades for summer nail color from the shop. The nail color I picked up is a pop pink, the texture of the polish is creamy, not dry. It spreads evenly, if you follow the 3 rules of nail color application, it gives a medium glossy finish, leaving no ugly bumps or brush stroke lines. I used a top coat to add shine and protect the color.

Update: The nail color proved to have less than normal staying power. It didn’t lose the shine and color because of the top coat but it started chipping from the tip. Of course my usual avoidance of household work has been put om hold for now, so this may be an effect of the cleaning, cooking washing activities.

Just in case you were wondering what the 3 rules are for nail painting.  Here they are:

1. Always use base coat to protect nails and top coat to protect color and make your nail color long staying and chip resistant.
2.  Nail color application requires patience. Never do it in a hurry, unless you are addicted to express finish nail colors. Always apply the coat of nail paint in three strokes starting from the middle. Do not use excess polish. Do not use a polish that has thickened, it will look messy. Use a thinner to dilute the polish.
3. Let the coats dry between application.  Usually to get the best color application of 3 coats is recommended.  But depending on ur choice you may restrict it to 2 coats. Never rush the drying process with blow dryer, dip ur nails in cold water instead.

After the initial drool inducing moment I thought The H. may have to drag me away because I sure as hell didn’t want to leave the shop. But I reminded myself, everything in small doses keeps things interesting.  I will be back soon to check out the shop again. My eyes are on the glitter range of nail polish this time.

Tell me about your makeup induced coma moment, in the comments section.

THE END

FIFTEEN

Last weekend me and The H. went for a evening out to a Park. This park is developed and maintained by the local municipality along a khari,  an inlet formed by the sea into the land. It is surrounded by a lot of greenery. It is near a big residential area and we were surprised by the crowd that swarmed the place. The actual park has 3 parts. One is a children’s park with jungle jims, swings, see-saws and it was over run by kids of all ages. There is one park which is serene and calm meant for the joggers and others who enjoy silence and solitude. Then there is this huge open ground facing the water. It has lush grass despite the hot summer here and is well lit and is full of families sitting around chatting, some couples chatting in hushed tones, several children running around or playing. There is an open area between these three parts which is sanctuary to pigeons, they are fed grains and drinking water is provided. There is a small ferry service for anyone wanting to go on a joyride around the khari.  The area has a lot of street food hawkers and is really a lot of fun for a lazy evening spent with The H.

On our way back from the park I stumbled upon a treasure trove of books being sold by a Hawker, dirt cheap. I will admit I have off late got addicted to e-books and seem to be doing most of my reading on my Tablet. But a feel of Paperback is still exciting. The H. and I started browsing the collection and found a eclectic mix of fiction and non fiction. I was happy to see Amish’s trilogy, Jeffrey Archer’s latest offering, along with the scattered Monk who sold his Ferrari and the likes. Finally I selected Rashmi Bansal’s Connect The Dots for him. The H. enjoys reading his Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Robin Sharma. I must confess with my Management studies I have no interest in these kind of writings. I am pretty lazy when it comes to my reading too, so I enjoy easy to digest literary work, otherwise it makes me feel like I am studying for a test, blame that on my Literature studies. And the other thing is I don’t believe self help books really help. But that is not the point of the post.

After I came back home I read author’s note in Rashmi Bansal’s  book. I liked a few lines from it and thought I would share.

” The truth is, there is plan. A bigger plan. Every experience in your life – whether good or bad – has made you what you are.

   A chance encounter.

 A stray conversation.

An article you read which somehow stays with you.

These are the unexpected turns on the journey of life. Which lead to a destination.”

The author goes on to extort the readers to go forth and embrace life, and the joy and beauty of it.

It felt good to read this. Just like it feels good to read some one line ‘fast food’ kind instant philosophy on Facebook so much so that we share it on our post or if you are lazy enough like it. But the words of Ms. Bansal stayed with me; so, even after a few days I didn’t forget to share the quote. May be some instant philosophies stay with us for a little longer.

 

THE END.

Nine

Very few people get lucky enough to meet a man or woman who loves them for who they are; fewer so get to meet someone who loves them despite of who they are and in spite of who they were expected to be. Such is the story I would be fortunate to tell about The H.

Many years ago while sitting with a group of friends in an adda session, I had noticed a couple exchange knowing glances between each other. I saw them smile at each other, the smile was not just on their lips but in their eyes. The beauty of their eyes and the light in their eyes far exceeded the dying light of the day and was brighter than the neon lights being turned on around us. At that moment I had thought to myself, this is what I want when I am in love.

Love has come pre-packaged with so many terms and conditions to our generation, so, it is very difficult for us to be really simple in our expectation of Love. We are heavily influenced by Bollywood actors romancing their lovers and looking deeply into their eyes and singing lyrical ballads to them. The similar and yet different effect of Hollywood is of the tall, fair and handsome man with sexy hair and dreamy bedroom eyes, driving the coolest car or a bike or a Fighter Jet, sweeps the woman off her feet. They serenade you, they offer a shoulder when you are down, they whisper sweet nothings into your ear and boy can they make love to the sweet background score. There is also the awareness of the heroes in Literature and romance novels who always say the right thing, in the best poetic language and despite all the trials and tribulations the lovers always meet and find a happy ending.

Can one man ever beat these superlative heroes? Although one is aware that this all makes falling in love an ultimately disappointing affair, I can at the expense of sounding clichéd, say having married The H., I fully realize how my expectations were limited in nature being born from fiction. Because in real life The H. supersedes, exceeds and pretty much leaves my expectations so far behind that sometimes I just have to stop and bent down and rest my hands on my knees, breath in and out heavily and then slowly, to let my mind come to terms with what happened with me.

It is true that it isn’t fair to judge a man based only on one or two instances of brilliance, but I have found when on different pages with The H. remembering the little “exceeding of expectation” moments he created it becomes a lot easier to walk a mile in his shoes or at least try it on for size. For the bad days that one has if one can remember one good day, then in the end life finds a balance.

Finding The H. has been one of the good things in my life. And the reason I write this is because a few days back The H. divested his trouser pockets of 9 toothpicks, the ones you would be offered at a restaurant. I was surprised and laughed at him for bringing that home. It took me sometime to understand the significance of his action. It is these little gestures that make me smile just when I thought the day was dreary and grey. Why do a bunch of toothpicks make me happy? Well, there are some things that remain private just between me & The H.

THE END