Summer threatens to continue forever, baseball season is on, and the NFL pre-season games are just wrapping up. Planeloads of vacationing families are returning Stateside, Labor Day barbecue grills are sizzling, and guess what? It’s that bitter-sweet time again: back-to-school for thousands of kids. Just last week, I commiserated with a couple of friends who were seeing off their recently graduated High school teenagers to university.
"Just let me be" is a philosophy that screams for an existence - without being noticed or judged or applauded or criticized, to just be and not be bothered by worries of tasks or chores that don't interest you.
I've always wondered when looking at my parents’ wedding album, why my grandmother was in tears at her own daughter’s nuptials. I didn’t cry at my wedding, but I saw my mom wiping her eyes when she thought no one was looking. The night before my wedding, my heart skipped a beat when my dad told my fiancé ‘I am giving you my heart, take care of her’. My dad’s eyes were a little moist.
Recently I had a row with someone.
You know how it is, you don’t mean to, but tempers fray and a falling out happens.
The next day I got an email. A very strongly worded and emotional email. It was upsetting.
And for a moment I wanted to hitback, to shout and rage and scream, because of course what they said just wasn’t fair. I wanted to justify myself and point out where it was wrong and to generally shout down this email.
Three things happened in the past few days. A friend’s hard working colleague, the head of an important FI division died suddenly, but within the week, the office was humming efficiently again. My sister was upset that her boss would not give her role clarity despite her being the top grossing broker for her company. And Indra Nooyi’s comments on juggling and struggling with a family and career, hit the social media.
It got me thinking. Life is too short to feel guilty about wanting to be superwomen and over achievers in every role we play.
It was an absolutely strange feeling to wake up one morning and feel a vacuum. I felt light and at peace. It took me sometime to figure what was different that morning. I had finally let go. Let go of anger, hurt and bitterness that had been part of my life for some time. I am fundamentally an optimistic person, so these emotions were uncomfortably alien to me.
When one person stretches the truth, it’s called lying. When an entire country stretches the truth, it’s called Indian Standard Time (IST). IST refers to the geographic time zone carved out on a map for both India and Sri Lanka. But IST also refers to the well-known joke about how bad Indians are with time. Because time is malleable here, Indians themselves have renamed it Indian Stretchable Time. They’re almost half-proud of it.
“Yeah, yeah, come to my place by 9 p.m. IST, ok?” (Decoded: Call me at 9pm to see if we are still on).
“I’m sorry to ask you this,” she said. “But something I do not understand. Why are Indian people always late? I have noticed this ever since I have been here. No one here comes on time. Even the musical is now starting late, why?”
Dear Chennai, I have returned. I have returned to your burning bosom, and I am once again engulfed, nay, ensconced– in your warm, scorching embrace. You may remember when I wrote you a letter, full of nostalgia and sentiment. In a happy miracle, it was immensely popular among us Chennaiites, much like the Jigarthanda outside Murugan Idly Kadai.
My husband found a CD full of pictures of my birthday in 2008. Most were horrendous pictures really- of a plumper me, with a shorter haircut (killer ones that no blackmailer should ever get his/her hands on).
As I flipped through the pictures I saw many faces - of friends, and not friends anymore. There were a handful of people who, six years hence, are not in my life . Some that I threw out of my life by choice and some that chose to not be my close pals anymore.