Sunday, November 06, 2016

Poem: The Runner

mornings or afternoons
opening that door
sitting across at a diagonal view
he sees her
imagining she did too
or maybe just imagining

large monitors
cover his gaze
past those walls
he wants to talk
shy as a butterfly
he just does not

she is away
in a new land
far far away
chasing her dream
running with passion

tired and jet lagged
sleepless and unsettled
she writes innocently
a 2am email
perhaps unusual
how he sees it

delighted he feels
dreaming the impossible
wishing it were
a reason beyond reason

nervous and impatient
he waits for hours
screen refresh
screen refresh
days and nights
with wishes not despair
another 2am moment
never does arrive

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Middle Class

She wakes up. Starts cooking and in parallel, dresses up her son for school. Off he goes. She packs a box of lunch for her husband while he gets ready for work. She hears him complain that he is getting late. That's "ALL" she hears from him. Then she goes to work. They get home in the evening. She makes dinner. They all eat and go to bed. He is in the mood. So he has sex. She doesn't seem to enjoy it. She is aware that their son who is sleeping less than two feet from them might wake up and you know what next. But he continues to arrive.

Its their middle class life. She goes to work and he goes to work. That's what they all do. A one bedroom apartment with very minimal privacy has its own boundaries but he is not bothered. He just wants it. He gets it. He gets it every day. He doesn't care about what she wants. That's how he imagined life should be.

One evening, his phone rings. An unknown caller. She questions. He brushes it off. She realizes. He is cheating on her.

She wants to give it back. She decides to cheat.

In between, there is also a reference to the great poet Bharathiyar and his thoughts on women. On how he wanted women to be what they want to be; on how they should carve a path for themselves and not be dependent on a man; on empowering women.

This was a short film. When I finished seeing this, I had many thoughts going on in my mind.

What makes a marriage work? Is it equally distributed commitment from two people? In the case of an imbalance, is it okay for one person to give more?

Deception or infidelity is just wrong. Doesn't matter who. If he does it, does it mean that she has the right to retaliate and do something similar? How does that work?

What if 'she' gets a call from an unknown caller? Let's say we let Bharathiyar's dream version of women to choose what they want to do, and let them find romance outside of their relationship. What if he finds out, but he doesn't think that he needs to take revenge. How does that play out?

We are a high class society who have enough problems at our own class, where women are slightly ahead of the men in these familial circumstances. And we dramatize/empathize about middle class and low class.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The princess of Shiraz

Married men should be subject to very strict rules when it comes to conversations inside the office with single women. When asked what they did during the weekend or what plans they have, they shouldn't talk about how much they love their partner's or what stuff they do for them. Reference to taking children to the animal farm or doing an art project with them - all of this and everything else about family that makes single women so emotional, has to be STOPPED! And then the single women are like - "oh that's so lovely! I need to find a guy who does all that too!"

I am sitting there listening to all of this and I am thinking - "hello! you need to talk to the single men about that!". Yes, single men don't have to do all that. Doesn't mean they will not do it when the need arises!

Rewind 13 months. I hear about her. I don't know who she is but I am curious. I just carry on with my work. One October morning in the not-so-cold meeting room, I see her walk in with her moon boot. I tell myself "yes, she seems nice". I actually hadn't talked to her up until then.

Now. She's the most awesome person I have met in this office. She is smart, intelligent, driven, has a great smile, with a bit of chicness. And she runs marathons, swims, does bootcamp. I could just say "I don't know how she does it" (reminding me of Kate Reddy).

Over the period of a year, we managed to chat a bit - about my job, crossfit, a bit of family stuff. I tried inviting her to crossfit. Never worked. I guess I should stop talking about crossfit to women. Probably puts them off. I don't know. I just don't know!

Past. I walked back with her from the city all the way past Domain Interchange. It was perhaps the 'one and only' time when we had a good conversation. Just once. It never happened again. I hinted to her once that I'd like to join her on a walk. She declined politely (Maybe she sensed something. Sometimes women just know so much and men just don't get it. Rather I don't).

Now. She always talks to the married men in the office. And they "all" flirt with her. I see it all the time. I am like, god! you men are ridiculous. I think she knows that (that the men are flirting or I hope she knows). I think she likes the attention. Don't they all?

There's so much of this work ethics, sexual harassment and colleague rules that single men need to be mindful about. The married men - not so much. For them, all that is banter. Not for me!

Mustering up the courage to ask her out - I don't think I could do that. If she absolutely does not like it, it would put  a huge risk to my job (which, by the way, is going bloody good well). If it becomes a soft decline, then the oddity of sitting across in the office and being reminded that this happened.

Its all so complicated! Well, isn't that what's life is all about? Some letters are best delivered as "return to sender"

Sunday, October 02, 2016

To plan or not?

In 2006, when I moved to India, I had a plan. I wanted to live and work in India. I could say that it wasn't the best decision because my other option was Switzerland but my job at the point sort of sucked. So, coming to India was my way of escaping from my job.

In 2012, when I arrived in Australia, I really didn't have a plan. I went with the flow. And when things happened, I made a plan to stick around for a bit. But I don't think I want to live here permanently.

I met a girl online recently. She lives in India (city doesn't matter). She works as a corporate lawyer. We started chatting. It took some effort. This chatting business is pathetic. Long distance kinda sucks because you are just waiting for someone to reply and you just don't know what they are thinking about. All you get to see is what they type. Their expression or tone is unknown (which makes it a lot scary). And emojis are a pain in the ass. I have no fucking idea what each one of that means.

So we exchanged a few messages. I wasn't trying to break the ice. I was just taking a Kalashnikov and shooting into the ice. Totally honest and open answers. 

One of main points of discussion was around where I wanted to be. I have always maintained that I want to go back to India and live there. Australia is great but I don't see myself living here permanently. My social life here revolves only around crossfit and I think that will destroy me after a point (not crossfit but just the fact that I have friends who do crossfit and the social circle ends there).

So this girl was like - how can you not be certain about what you want to do? I am like, why should I be certain? I have the education, experience and confidence to do what I want in my life. I am not worried about taking any risk or being jobless. Yes this was the case before, but life "has" taught me a lesson. Today, I want to experiment going back to India and see what I can do. If things don't work out as planned, then I'd like to come back to Australia (its a backup). And she was like - this is an arranged marriage situation and my parents are not comfortable with all this uncertainty. At that point, I couldn't do much. So I said - good luck with your search.

What baffles me is why people still look for assurances in life. There is no guarantee for anything! I could lose my job tomorrow. I could have a job in India, relocate and then lose my job. Shit happens. Why are people so hung up on a steady life? I wanted a steady life back in 2012 and these days, thats the last thing I want.

My plan is "not to have a plan". I had a plan in 2012 or around that time frame. To settle down with a good job, buy a house, have a family etc. All that went down the pooper. So now, I am going to take life as it comes. Just for a few years.

I understand where some of these women are coming from. They want to know if the man they choose, can support them and the future family etc etc. Also the fact that some of these women have had a terrible experience (thanks to a previous marriage that ruined their life in one way or the other). 

So listen you corporate lawyer woman - you've gotta grow up. You've got to let go of your insecurities a bit. You cannot ask for an opportunity to step into the corporate ladder, break that glass ceiling and also say that men are ultimately responsible to take care of you. Yes, when you are on mat-leave, I can take care of you. Sometimes, I think that I need a break from all the work. Maybe you should take care of me, for a few years, while I figure out a new job or decide what I want to do.