Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year’s eve – it’s a numbers game

There are many New Years- depending on which calendar you follow. Most Hindus celebrate the next day of Diwali as the New Year. For Tamil’s there is Pongol, for Maloos there is Onam, for Maharashtrians there is Gudi Padwa, for Sindhis there is Chaiti Chand, for Parsis there is Navjot. And if you get out of the religious sphere, there are New Years based on the academic year- again varies which school/curriculum you follow. For many it tends to be June or Aug. And then there is financial New Year which again depending on where you work it could be Jan, or March, or I don’t know when.

So what’s this obsession about 31 Dec? I doubt many of us celebrate our religious New Years with half as much gusto as we do on 31 Dec. When in fact, 31 Dec is simply the calendar New Year (and the Roman calendar, the Hindu calendar follows a whole different set of dates). The date on the calendar changes. (And as when I was in school it felt that the only thing that changed was that number I wrote on top of my books). Nothing else really changes. It’s a numerical difference.

So again what’s the fuss about 31 Dec?

One of my sisters thinks it’s probably a legit excuse to get drunk. Some of my friends say it’s just another excuse to PAAARTTYYYY! Some others believe why over think- everyone is celebrating, just join the fun.

All of the above would be cool had there been no social pressure (or self-inflicted pressure) to make this night special. It’s one more marketing hype that we can do away with. (and let me remind you here, I work in advertising. People like me generate such hype. Am sure my karma bank is reeling under all this hype I am instrumental in creating. Ok digressing again...)

It’s a numerical difference. And therein per me, lies in the answer. As humans we need to quantify everything- the number of years one has lived, the price tag on the designer bag, the number of Michelin stars a restaurant has, there %/rank you scored in your exams, the number of rooms you have in your home and the list goes on.

Because we have a need to quantify everything, 31 Dec has significance. The next day, the number changes. From 2009 we are moving to 2010. The number has changed. It MUST denote something big. Let’s celebrate! Yoohoo!!

Celebrate, drink, have a party, have fun- but there is no need to wait for 31 Dec to do it. The build up is purely unnecessary. Celebrate life with people who you love and people who love you. It’s that simple. Celebrate whenever you have slightest excuse- and trust me, if you open your eyes to look, you shall find many.

So this New Year’s eve I am going out with my friends:

- To get drunk- YES
- To party- YES
- To flaunt my new LBD- YES
- To have a whale of a time- YES AGAIN

But it will only be special because it’s with these special friends. The number is completely immaterial.

Wish you all a very happy New Year. Live each day as if it were 31 Dec! (and no it does not mean you can get drunk everyday!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The perfect Christmas presents

Wish these were available off-the-rack as Christmas presents

1) Ready to wear spines for the ones who have no backbone

2) Thick skin coats for the overtly sensitive

3) A custom made smile (tailored to the face so it does not look fake) for the grumpy

4) A ‘change the channel’ button for the boring ones

5) A built in kind heart for the meannies

6) A laugh track for the humorless

7) A volume button for the loud ones

8) A mute button for the loud and stupid ones

9) A punch in the face for 7 and 8 above who continue being loud and/or stupid

10) And finally a doze of patience (not the prescribed variety) for me when I have to bear any or all of the above

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

L’ll Ms. Anonymous Me

In India I am someone. In Singapore I am no one. In India I am defined by the innumerable relationships that I own (and which own me). I am someone’s daughter, someone’s (ex) daughter-in-law, someone’s sister, someone’s maasi, someone’s bua, and list goes on. In Singapore I am no one but Seema. Simple. No-fuss. Straightforward. Just Seema. Accept me like I am. Don’t like me? Well, I really couldn’t give a damn.

Here in Singapore, I don’t bear the responsibility of any relationship. I am not judged by any standards. And I am neither put up on a pedestal or fall from grace for seemingly inconsequential matters. I am simply, L’ll Ms. Anonymous Me.

I can wear my ugly cut shorts and 13 year old Tees and walk to Leisure Park Mall, do my grocer shopping leisurely (no pun intended), stop for a cuppa at Starbucks and take the shuttle bus back- all without being recognized by a single soul (except perhaps the shuttle bus driver).

In India I wear my ugly cut shorts and 13 year old Tees too (like I am right at this moment), but here it’s a transgression. My dad takes objection (not at length- since my weight loss it’s acceptable to wear shorts), but by the fact that they look ugly. My mum does not particularly favor them as it gives the impression I can’t afford expensive, nice-looking clothes. My darling niece is not pleased as they make me look far less pretty (especially as I aspire to compete as her favorite maasi and fail miserably- the shorts so don’t help). And many others for whom the length would most probably be an issue- but know me to well to ever mention it.

In India you carry the cross of every relationship. Each one comes with its own set of expectations and I seem to fall short on all counts. Not living up to them makes me “too arrogant” and “too independent”- when the latter became a bad thing is simply beyond me.

But in India there is TREMENDOUS LOVE. Every time I come here its like I am showered incessantly with so much love that it helps me tide the year to my next visit. But the love does come at the price of expectations. And even though most of them are silent ones, you know they are lingering there. May be if I were my own person in India things would be different, but right now I am just someone.

In Singapore I am no one. I get defined by no relationships- except Sanil’s mum.That’s the ONLY aspect where Singapore rules over India- here I can be L’ll Ms. Anonymous Me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The recently turned Desi Boy

The only times I think Sanil is unlike me are:

1) When he does things slowly (and not chop-chop-chop like his mama)
2) Refused to try bhel puri (why?????)
3) And has not taken to Hindi movies (how?????)- though his penchant for drama is heavily borrowed from the Hindi cine world

I am a die-hard Hindi movie buff as anyone who knows me knows. One of my old friends used to call me “filmy” and my niece has been trained by my sister to call me “Bolly maasi”. So when Sanil did not naturally gravitate towards Hindi movies I was a tad bit disappointed.

Well then naturally I was very surprised when he told me yesterday that he liked the song “Zoobie Doobie, Zoobie Doobie…..hoon paagal stupid main”. Errr its paagal stupid mann”. But Sanil refused to believe me until he heard the lyrics on my iPod. (Sanil is ALWAYS right until proven wrong by someone who is not his mother).

He actually wanted to perform a solo dance number on Rock On!! at his mamaa’s Sangeet. Rehearsed it even! He refused at the last minute much to my intense relief as he has inherited the legendary Punwani-men 2 left feet, even though he refuses to acknowledge it).

He even pointed to some random hoarding and recognized Hritik Roshan and admitted to kinda liking the Desi Girl song. WOKAY!

Guess Sanil just needed the Bombay ki hawa to convert him. May be if we stay longer, he will give bhel puri a try too :)