Category Archives: Marriage

No Pay…No Holiday…I Am a Housewife!!!

A full-time housewife and mom, Gurulakshmi Iyer-Hait believes that its easier to face corporate competition than take on the onus of becoming a homemaker. 

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I work. I work  24/7 without any pay. I can’t afford to take offs too. Yes, you guessed it right. I am a housewife. Bored, did I hear that? Where is the time to get bored? With a growing toddler and a husband (no less than a toddler), my hands are always full.

Till I had a kid, I’ve worked and have always believed that housewives have ample amount of time. They can pursue so many hobbies, do so many things. In fact as kids, we always took our mom, who has been a home maker throughout, for granted. We always thought she has so much time to do our work too. However, today, I realize how unreasonable we were….Life at home is definitely not limited to watching family sagas or reality shows in TV.

KRAs here aren’t defined by my manager though. And I must say they aren’t also limited to my potential and capability.

full-time-housewifeMy morning starts at 6. If there is a slight delay because of some fairy tale dreams, hubby dear has to manage with corn flakes or muesli for his breakfast. My entire timetable depends on my kid’s and my husband’s schedule, on the basis of whether is a working day or an off for them. If one of them get delayed, the whole day’s routine goes for a toss. Oh, above all things, I have realized that delegating and getting office work done from your subordinates is much easier than getting your household work done from the maids. However, over the time, you really get used to their whims and fancies!

And then you have your extended family to satiate. You are a house wife and you are expected to welcome more number of guests, more frequently. You are always available for hospitality! It is something that full time home makers might be habituated though. And then your maid decides to bunk on such days with your house full of guests. And I tell you, no production issues or office tension can compete with this particular stress.

Of course, I do get my time for rejuvenation. Once my kid is off to school, the next couple of hours are mine when I sit back with a cup of tea and read up on the current affairs or just decide to chat on with a friend. But then there are sometimes so many other impromptu chores to be done too during that time. While all the household chores get done, the bigger responsibility lies in molding the growing up kid. That’s an achievement that can’t be appraised or rewarded by any boss!!

While I run around behind my toddler, I must also admit I don’t have any guilt pangs of not being to work in the corporate. I now have a bigger target to work on and that too without a boss. After all, I am a house wife by choice!!

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Love, Life, Career…and Mommyhood

Another must-read from Gurulakshmi Iyer- Hait. This time she writes about the new and most adored addition to her family, who is not a part of her life but LIFE itself! How confusing and emotionally-racking the transition was from a full-time professional to a full-time mother, but how rewarding it feels at the end of the day! 

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
– Elizabeth Stone

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It’s 3 in the morning! I wake up hearing the meek cry of my baby. He feels famished at this hour of the night. I know this and get up immediately. I have been religiously following this sleep pattern for the last two and half years now.

Around 3 years back, we were ecstatic to have achieved our so-called ‘biggest priority’. We bought our dream flat. At that point of time, our priorities were mostly material possessions…an iPhone, a sedan, a SLR camera, etc. Little did we know that the sudden news of an addition to our two-member family will change the whole perspective of our lives. As a couple, we have thoroughly enjoyed our courtship and marriage. Weekends were usually spent either sleeping till late afternoons or partying hard till early mornings. It took us a while to digest the fact that we will have a small little thing amidst our inconsistent schedule. And once that realization occured, everything seemed to change.

I would feel like eating a pastry at 1 in the night .Hubby dear, who is usually very fussy about his sleep, actually wakes up and drives around to find some shops which remain open at that hour. I must say, as a pregnant woman, I have offered prayers to all the Gods and Goddesses in the world. Not that I wasn’t spiritually oriented before my pregnancy. However, the news enhanced the piousness and spirituality in me. Or perhaps, I was scared to have a tiny little being inside me.

Oh, did I mention the pampering I got everywhere I went? Now that’s something worth mentioning.

With that bulging belly, people treated me like a VIP. I got into a crowded bus and there were at least three people offering their seats to me. Whenever I went to the grocers, two or more people would come running to push my trolley. My beautician, who never had appointments for me during weekends, used to arrange a separate chair for me to enjoy a massage without any discomfort.

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And then after nine months of suspense, pampering and fear came the D-day.  You’ve just delivered the baby (Caesarean or normal, the physical and emotional pain for both are every bit excruciating) and have just sworn off men for life. You catch yourself staring at the dyke that caused you to go through all the shit. Yes I’m talking of Messers Tiny Feet itself. You stare at those tiny eyes and wrinkled skin and try thinking charitable thoughts. A little finger wriggles. A mouth opens into a yawn. You’re all ready to ooze over it. Then it oozes over you.

Office meetings and Training programmes are now bartered with nappy changing sessions and feeding sessions. I tell you, one becomes an expert in nappy changing within 3 months of motherhood . In fact, you learn to fathom when t change the nappy by your little ones’ facial expressions. As a working professional, I must admit I could never make out my boss’ mood by simply looking at him 😛 but suddenly reading faces comes naturally and becomes a hobby.

Feeding bottles, baby lotions, teether, bathing tub, potty seat, walker, pram, tricyle, high chair and loads and loads of toys are major portion of our recent possession which we proudly display, in the name of furniture. I might forget to wear the right top for the jeans or a matching salwar for the kameez for a family dinner but I don’t dare to forget the bibs and high chair for my kid.

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Experiencing the milestones of growth were so tempting that I did not give a second thought to letting my career take a backseat just to be able to become a full-time mommy for his initial growth years. Obsession with material possession has been replaced by the latest kid’s gadget toys and newest child related insurances and investment.

All the pains, sleepless nights, uncombed hair for months and a laid-back career life does not really matter when my child finally comes running to me hugs me with all the love in the world. The pleasure and the satisfaction of raising the child are more than euphoric! They are priceless!

After love, life, marriage and career……..for me, it’s that phase of life called Mommyhood!!!

….And I Completed My MBA….

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Gurulakshmi Iyer-Hait narrates an account of how difficult it was to manage a husband alongside a regular MBA course. Husband looked more manageable than MBA. Read on…..

I am sitting in the examination hall sweating. It’s the QT exam. Well, I had memorized all the formulae. To all those who are unknown to Mr. Quantitative Techniques, it cannot be mastered by memorizing. But I had done it. The examiner distributes question papers and answer sheets and I go blank. I just feel like going to deep slumber. Just then my sub conscious weak mind is woken up. And Ah!! it was a dream!! What a nightmare, I realize. People dream of missing a train, being left in front of a monster and here I was, dreaming of going blank in the examination hall. Having woken up I could not resist thinking of my B-School days.

Well it was difficult to manage home and college. Yes, I was married when I enrolled for my MBA. After trying all the career options in professional financial courses, I decided to end my jinx by getting married. For parents, this was the safest bet. Finally they were getting rid of me and alongside my whims and fancies of another expenditure involved in a professional course. This definitely was a two-way victory for the Iyers. However the aspiring and restless mind that I have, I just couldn’t remain composed without getting into something fruitful. This time I decided to convince my better half to get me enrolled into this prestigious course called MBA!!!

College after marriage wasn’t easy to say the least. Day long lectures, challenging presentations and assignments. No wonder it was a monstrous task to get placed after all that toil that went in for 2 years. A great balance and adjustment was needed at the home front and husband dear readily agreed to such adjustments. Did he have an option after the kind of money he had spent and also his belief in me was at stake.

The thought of again attending college brought back memories of graduation .The good memories though as usual did not last long. The initial excitement was replaced gradually by over whelm, anxiety and cut throat competition. Late night lectures, Sunday presentations became part and parcel of life. Getting half a day off on Sunday was a bonus for both of us. We actually learnt to live within constraints then. But when I entered corporate world, I remember frowning on six days working culture. What a pun it was?

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Guessing the lunch menu while sitting in the lectures seems so funny now. The IP messengers were such a boon to pass on secret messages within the class or to exchange jokes on professors.

And finally the thought of the tension during the placement season. Even today I feel butterflies when I think of those days. Companies came in and picked up students, both friends and competitors while you waited for your turn anxiously. Someone will surely be fooled by you is a strong belief which starts to fizzle as the placement season nears its end. As you wait, someone selects you and all that you enjoyed in those 2 years seems to slip away faster than water from your hands.

After two years of excessive pressure, fun and sweat, I finally became an MBA, something that was very important for me to break the jinx and get started with a new life altogether!! Today when I get up from my nightmare and think about those days, it really seems like a great achievement to me, an achievement or rather an opportunity not all married women get!!

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Hollywood: You Have Sci-Fi! We Have Mythology!

Ra.one cover

 

Ankush Kumar writes on why we should understand the charisma of our own Super Heroes in Bollywood films when we so easily lap up nonsense in the form of sci-fi thrown by the West. A must read for all cinema critics.

Disclaimer: ‘The Rashomon effect’ is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it.

Good Morning Folks! I have just come back from watching ‘Iron Man’ their third installment of the Comic strip produced by Marvel. Shane Black the director of the movie has been someone who has executed some great works in the past, but the one that is closest to me is ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, all his movies have one common element, they have all been buddy movies.

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This write up though is not a review of the film. I have been watching a lot of these sci-fi movies ever since I have started watching cinema. We at India too have many film industries, but the one that is most talked about and often compared to with the west is ‘Bollywood’.

In the early nineties Indian television produced great epics in the form of Ramayana and The Mahabharata. The battles shown on screen were unheard of, it was almost unbelievable, that a man could have multiple heads, or an arrow could create fire to win battles. But they did and the audience was entertained. That is the bottom line my friends ‘entertaining the audience’. The writers at the helm linked it to mythology, knowing our nation’s pulse the audience lapped it up to. And they gave apt explanations behind every sequence; they convincingly linked it to mythology.

That has been a similar case with the West (Read Hollywood). The West has made imaginative movies based on the concept of future. They termed it as Science-fiction films, popularly known as Sci-Fi flicks. Not all of them have been great ones, some have been trendsetters some absolutely lame (Iron man 3).

The point is in the name of ‘cinematic liberty’ ( A term used often to justify stupidity) Hindi cinema has shown Our Hero hammer 100 people at one time, the West has shown an aircraft window being breached. (Hello! It’s a godddamit Air Force One Plane).

If Iron Man and its entire series ‘on the name of future’ can be realistic and wow, so can be our Dabbang movies and their action sequences.

In fact our HEROES are born avatars of LORD HANUMAN (something which Arbaaz Khan & Co can use in the third installment of the Dabbang franchisee), hence have extraordinary powers, we do not need logic; it’s there in our history and has been told for centuries through mythological literature.

If you the reader cannot buy this logic, nor can I that all these Sci-Fi movies make sense. And in fact if these Sci-fi movies makes absolute sense to you, then so does the Singhams and Dabbangs. The West needs superheroes generated through graphics and they can only hope that their dreams come true. We in fact live with baggage of having super heroes in our history.

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Coming to this movie ‘Iron Man 3’, during the entire promotional time Ben Kingsley’s act was suppose to be the biggest evil act in cinematic history since Sajid Khan took to film making. Unfortunately he performs his level best in a half baked character and his role has no logical culmination.

The other aspect that has baffled me to the core is the kidnap of the American President! (Dude he is the most powerful man in the world), time and again they have shown him an easy prey for a lot of film makers. It is more like the ‘Phone cut’ in our industry. Phone cut simply means, when a writer is stuck and wants to take the scene forward he uses an escape route. They have the funds you see, we are still stuck with a phone!

Hence next time when you see another super hero flick do an honest critique, try looking beyond the obsession of their futuristic stars and do not trash our Dabbang and Singham heroes!

 

P.S: Last year when ‘Agent Vinod’ released everyone trashed it, see the movie again and see a James Bond movie, there is not much of a difference there. The critics cried ‘how can a spy romance in such an important mission? I say why not? If 007 can have sex, romancing is still less energy consumption.

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Why Misogamists are Wrong: A Rebut to “A Misogamist’s Conundrum”

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Our anonymous author tell us why Misogamists are wrong when they blame the institution of marriage without event looking into the reasons of why is it failing. A must read.

This post put me in an inebriated frame of morbidity; first because, I am currently reading the suitable boy, and second, partly due to the whole concept of marriage as an institution that we have built. For me the reason, why marriage is an institution is because, it has stood the Test of time. Another reason why it’s an institution is because, any institution which embeds itself in humour and self-loathing, yet continues to survive is an institution.

The misogamists in our society, like a fellow author pointed about, draws on a crux, which has been prevailing in society since time-immemorial. For instance, when Anuj pointed out the significant increase in wants and comfort, and money after the marriage, little did one think that the origin of marriage was based on the concept of economics. A societal structure was created to preserve wealth, pass on wealth to generations and showcase the survival of fitness.

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Why then are the misogamists complaining? If you look at the construct of marriage, it has evolved, through expected rig morale of expectations. Today it is even more visible. Take any matrimonial website, if the girl is fair, she wants a richer, smarter, better, astute looking husband. Try this, use the same photograph, same qualifications, and same job; however increase the salary by 40,000 a month and a significant increase in expectations arise. Why won’t immaturity between couples arise and conflict take its place. The system didn’t become this way, the system was designed this way. Another way to date an Indian girl is contact your astrologer and connect with your girls’ astrologer. If they are commensurate, the date happens.

I don’t want to be a marriage counsellor, but I think, no amount of medicine can help an ailing society. If the crux of marriages has to saved, it has to begin from the beginning, the same way; Vishnu did come up with avatar after an avatar to save the society, though Lord Shiva preferred destruction.

For the whole institution of marriages, we need to break the system and bring a new one. I can’t speculate, how the new system would want to be, but to emerge an institution based on a legal contract is baffling, I’d save grace to Anuj when he mentioned the reasons marriages can be viewed in a positive way. These could answer the question of, why should marriage, be a legal contract. Arranged marriages technically are statutory rates, taking the stated down measure of the first night.

One solution (which may not be practical, but a judgement call for self-illusory tendencies) is to strip down the very essence why marriages don’t work and look beyond to see, if a sub structure can sustain itself in a metaphysical verse. For instance, strip the education, caste, creed, religion, gotra, colour, race, education, employment, size, height, weight, region, city, country, expectations. You will get nothing, the nothing, which is the silence in the storm, precedes love and unconditional love can yet, save this entire institution of marriage. 

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A Misogamist’s Conundrum

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Anuj in his inimitable style tells us why marriages can’t be made in heaven and how two different individuals have to make it work. Read on and enjoy.

Well! Well!

We do have many misogamists in our society. Some are misogamist in their mind but do not openly accept it. As babies, people are innocent and pure, the reality and experience is what changes them. So it’s simply the experiences they see, feel and have that make them a misogamist. Not that being a misogamist is totally incorrect; anyone can choose to be so.

Based on the negativity that misogamists see around marriages, they do think, feel and say ‘Marriage’ is a source of all evil.

Some negative aspects that a Marriage could bring are as follows: –

1) A significant increase in wants and comfort

2) Money! Money! Money! All the time.

3) Setting high expectations by both individuals and significant difference in what each may want from marriage.

4) The Immaturity it brings between couples which further results in conflict.

It’s totally asinine to think that marriage is a waste. Yes, if deeply analysed, the factors mentioned above can make most people agree and turn them to a misogamist. But, there is a need to have a much better perspective.

Few reasons why Marriage can be viewed in a positive way are: –

1) Sharing lives and thinking in an altruistic way.

2) A sense of trust, responsibility and commitment does help both individuals for the betterment in life.

3) If solitude is the real enemy for people who are single and brings unhappiness then marriage could definitely be the panacea.

4) Some studies say that people happily married are likely to have better health and are more supportive.

Key to good Marriages :

– One that has mutually supportive relationship (Socially, Financially and Emotionally)

– Accepting of each individual as how they are and learning to appreciate the differences

– Understanding that marriages always have ups and downs and learning to cope with adversaries

– The element of Friendship in Marriages can make it work a bit longer than most people expect

 ‘Change’ is what we can be assured about. So marriage will bring about a change in all men and women. Whoever said Marriages are made in heaven is/was certainly out of his mind. It’s the two people along with many external factors that make it work.

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Happiness is Just a State of Mind……Success Comes In All Shapes & Sizes!

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Amruta Goswami Shyam in this touching copy writes why people should try finding happiness in the right places and not always associate it with material happiness. Must read

Success means different things to different people, but in maximum probability if a person is ambitious and career centric , his/her definition of success would be to achieve a certain position in the company by a certain time frame with respect to this age. To add to the position, things like foreign trips , bigger house, bank balance etc would also figure in the list.

Five years back I would have mouthed the same things. But as they say ‘man proposes … god disposes!’ My dad’s heart attack changed my perspective of life drastically!

During the same time, I married my best friend, who was now an army officer. I left my job and joined him at his location. The transition from civil life to army was wonderful, and I took to it like fish to the water.

Most of my well wishers and family were surprised at my decision to leave my job as they knew me as a career oriented person. Some of the usual response s I would get were like  “ what! You left your job?”,”Why did you study so hard to become an engineer, and MBA, and waste it like this?”… and so on , you get the drift .

To be honest, even I was not sure of what I was doing , quitting my job, moving out of Mumbai,  not having a career to fall back on ..sometimes really got me! I am sure all those who had to leave their jobs, for some reason or other, would relate to this.

But then I asked myself ,the basic questions , What did I want out of life? And what did success meant to me? Where does my happiness lay? And like they say, rest is history, the answers really cleared my mind and put new energy and enthusiasm in me.

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I loved doing social service activities from very early part of my life. Helping people would make me happy. I started taking active part in the welfare activities ,conducted by AWWA(Army Wives Welfare Association).These are the activities conducted by Army officer’s wife, for the wives of Jawan’s. Most of these women comes from villages and are not that educated or well aware of their rights.

It was here that I made presentations on women education, domestic violence, child welfare etc. I did all this with lots of enthusiasm with lots of pictures and graphs. And to my surprise these presentations were a HUGE success!

My presentations impressed my seniors and the wives of Jawan’s loved it too. They came time and again to tell me how my presentation and information helped them, and how they look forward to the lectures and presentations from me! For me that is SUCCESS!

Also I took up oil painting and stitching (It’s another story…it will need a new article altogether!) recently. These were things I always wanted to do but never had time for. I recently stitched a dress, and when I went to a party wearing it, many came up to me, to ask, from where I had bought it. I was ecstatic! I told them with a smile and humble pride, that I had stitched it! They were pleasantly surprised. That to me is success!

I may not be a great painter , but I do what makes me happy, I draw with my heart and soul and when I see people wanting to buy my paintings, requesting me to make paintings for them, and seeing my paintings adore the walls of their lovely homes …It is success for me!

So what if I might not be working in a big MNC (who knows , one day I might!), but I am definitely successful, because success comes in all kinds of packages and no size fits all, isn’t it? So go ahead and do things that bring smile and happiness to you and others, for life is too short for regrets ! And if we are satisfied and happy with what we do and remain honest to ourselves, then I think that is what can be termed as huge success!