Can you imagine the happiness of a nation
of a billion people resting on the wrists and shoulders of a mere 11 Indians?
Mine is, today. Never considered myself to be a cricket fan, but here I am,
glued to the television, waiting for the big moment. And itís finally arrived! I
smile quietly to myself, soaking in the victory. Suffered nervous moments at
the start, almost dejection a little later. But the anxious anticipation was
worth it all. The entire nation must have risen together in a roar when Dhoni
nicked the ball for a fantastic 6. Well-done boys!
Is it easy writing words of wisdom that
people nod their heads at? Pearls that will†
get repeated over and over again? Shared between friends, lovers;
tweeted about, posted on Facebook, mentioned on blogs? Am I kidding myself?
After 15 years spent writing for other people, today I have the time put down a
few words of my own. And what do I do? Nothing. Thatís right. I have excuses to
make, games to play, statuses to update, pictures to upload, friends to chat
with, long-distance romance to conduct. Everything but keep the promise to
myself. Write Sonali, just write.
Grief makes me uncomfortable. This is a
recent realisation. I cannot cry in front of others; let them know I am
vulnerable or capable of getting hurt. But when others let down their guard and
let the eyes cry, I am left standing helplessly. I donít know what to do or say.
The right words elude me. Donít get me wrong, Iím not emotionally detached. I
cry a lot, copious amounts of tears. But I like to be left alone, mostly, when
I do so. And I donít think false words can help someone going through their
moment of weakness.
Everybody told me to put myself out there
if I had any intention of getting a man. And I thought, Ďcome on, there are
better ways to do ití. And I didnít. But when all else failed, I tried. Result?
Zilch. Itís like this Ė every time I take the extra effort, I either get myself
someone vacuous who just wants to get laid, or I frighten them away with my
initiative. Iím confused. What exactly is a woman supposed to do? Do I
invariably like the kind of guy who doesnít fancy me? All through life, thatís
whatís been happening.
Am I too sensitive? All my life Iíve been
told to Ďdo unto others as they would do to youí. Then why do I end up
disappointed? If I can be excited, happy, sympathetic, sad, proud, angry,
concerned for others, why canít I expect the same from them too? I believe when
you have nothing good to say, donít say anything at all; If you have no words
of encouragement, keep silent; If you canít be happy, donít be jealous. Donít
be a heavy weight if you canít be a support. That is all I am asking, that is
Things are picking up at work. Though
calling it work is doing it injustice. This is more like life. Iím doing what I
want, mostly when I want to. Trying to get into a situation where I can pick
and choose what I want to work with. The deal with living should be to not work
like a donkey and then lie on bed wondering what to do with all the money. Have
it, spend it. Try and save a bit for the later years, when the bones
are-a-creaking and the mind isnít working. But mainly, live for the now!
The wait is finally paying off. I enjoyed
my time-off from conventional work and the tedium of office and the rigmarole
of daily commute. After suffering pangs of worry and bouts of anxiety, things
are looking up. Writing for books is something Iíd have killed for. Luckily for
me, I neednít do anything of that sort. Tender Leaves has come at the right
time. Mentally, Iím fresh Ė free of any baggage I might have from last year Ė
and eager to sink my teeth into good work. Itís not plenty of money, but itíll
do for now. My wants are simple.
Iíve come to the conclusion that Iím
fickle. It takes just a look, a warm smile or a reason to be together, for me to
get a crush on somebody. I wonít deny heís cute and, given the circumstances, just
out of my reach, that makes him all the more enticing. I sense a bit of
attraction from him too. If only weíd met earlier. How much earlier!? A 5-year kid
at 30 means he was never within my grasp. I didnít know younger boys existed. But
look at it this way. At least it takes my mind off Texas.
We want more. We always want more. Never
happy with what we have. Thereís always a niggle, a nagging doubt, ĎCould I
have got more? Could I have asked for more?í Unless I learn to recognise and
still this inner voice, Iíll never be satisfied. Quitting the cushy and
well-paying corporate life wouldnít be easy. I always knew that. Now Iím
starting slow. Being able to live is more important, correct? I agree, but then
why do I feel dissatisfied with my lot? I have to learn to be able to ask for
more, at least when I deserve it.
Age is a number. So is the amount of beer I can drink at one sitting. I can drink any number, mind you. Itís the day after that worries me. What four full bottles would do to me two years ago is easily accomplished by just 2-3 pints today. Sort of takes the fun out of a drink-binge, doesnít it? But hey, why am I even complaining. What if itíd gone the other way? Imagine the horrors of that! Never thought Iíd say this but at 36 I need to count my beers. But then, age is just a number.
Men in India are so well-equipped sexually.
Besides the usual, they possess sensory ends at their elbows and shoulders too.
How else do you explain the urgency with which they seek out women to rub
shoulders with? Do they consider us equals? Partners in crime in their needs?
Crime it certainly is. Can you ever enter a crowded area in India, and
leave without feeling violated and seething in fury? Platforms, streets, malls,
restaurantsÖ everywhere men preying on women, trying to get a quick high at our
expense. Disgusting! It boils my blood, makes me seek vengeance, with a
I saw myself on television today. Not
exactly on television, but the programme that aired on television 2 weeks back,
I saw that on the computer today. Felt great, seeing myself on screen, knowing
2 weeks back a lot of people across the country were watching me. My diction,
my thoughts, the poiseÖ I was impressed. Was that young and confident woman on
screen really me? I had thoughts, serious, valid thoughts and I could put them
across to succinctly. Canít wait to share it with people who matter. Canít wait
to see what kind of a response it gets.
Is this a global phenomenon, men preferring
a certain kind of woman to date and quite another to mate? I get admirers
frequently, but more often than not, they stop at fun, adventure, thrill and
excitement. And eventually marry some quiet, sober, Ďsubservientí girl. I
wonder if, for all the modernity and openness of Indian men, they are really
capable of looking the new Indian woman in the eye and taking her for what she
is. Docile girls, traditional girls, girl girls get married. Meanwhile, I wait
for someone who takes me for what I am Ė not just an image.
Change is so unexpected. It creeps up on
you, without your intervention, without any warning. I never considered myself
to be proficient in the kitchen. It would be a chore, planning meals and
cooking for myself back in Mumbai. Ready-to-eat meals and quick fixes was more
of my expertise. Salads, soups, noodles, pastasÖ at times healthy, mostly
unhealthy. But here I am, at home now, discussing with my mother, menus for lunch
and dinner. Not stopping at that, I take pains to cook. And I actually enjoy it
and look forward to it. If thatís not change, then what is?
Iím writing this late, 3 days late. What
was going on in my mind then? I thought I was getting more regular with my
writing. But then I discovered, much to my dismay and delight, that entries are
accepted even 3-4 days late. Terrible, isnít it? When entities that claim to be
serious and unyielding suddenly go soft on you and say ďye, ye, go onÖ we know
just how difficult it is to be regular.Ē Ok, so where was I? Yes, talking about
my lack of discipline. Somewhere somebody had mentioned the 21-day golden
period. Is it really true?
I saw two men of my dreams yesterday. Up
close and sort of personal. Swapnil Bandokar and Rahul Deshpande are the latest
sensation in Marathi singing and I managed to get tickets to their fusion
concert last night. The rains did threaten to make it a washout, but my
willpower was tested and fervent prayers answered. Rain it did, but the
programme was shifted to an indoor venue. Sigh, watching them from the fourth
row, while they did what they do best Ė sing Ė was possibly the best night I
could ever have, outside of my home, with my family around.
How important is education? Yes, it lands
you a job, gives you money, makes you self-reliant. But does it also give you a
Ďsocial tagí? Wouldnít agree with me, right? Well, it shocked me today, and Iím
really ashamed of myself for it, when I judged a person on the basis of the educational
institution. Itís a big reality. However much we try and hide it, itís there.
Starts as a child, when parents look for a school, a pre-school even! Then
graduation, post-graduation. Seems like, somewhere along the way, we forgot it
was education that counts, not the institution.
Every family has secrets. But those are
usually secrets of the family, kept from the world. Not secrets within.
Telling one thing to one person and something else to another is confusing. How
is one supposed to keep track? My favourite quote in life is Ďwhen you tell the
truth, you donít have to remember it.í And itís so true. Avoids many misunderstandings,
keeps you relaxed, not focussing all your memory in trying to keep up with the
latest tales lets your mind be free to make other plans. I am an advocate of
calling a spade a spade, always.
People have kids because they want them or
because itís something that has to be done after a certain number of years of
being married? I have been introduced to this guy Iím supposed meet for
Ďmarriageí. The biggest worry I have is if the guy wants to be a father. Iím
not sure about my motherhood instincts. I donít seek fulfilment through
pregnancy and midnight feeds and walking-the-talk to lull a cranky child to
sleep. But most people automatically assume thatís what all women desire. Iíll
be ostracised for thinking otherwise. Iíd rather be labelled selfish than be
2 more days of writing 100 words. And Iím
stuck again. A little push. Thatís all I need. I should be able to get there.
Spew some words, write some drivel, just get the task over and done with. As I
do with so many things. Bah, just 52 words completed here. Another 48 to go.
Actually 68 by the time I reach the end of this sentence. That was 20 words
after my previous count. Not bad. Drivel can get you quite far. And I just have
to get to one number, the first 3-figure number. The number 100.
Bleh! I start negative. I want to finish
one month and see what I can do with it. This month I concentrated on writing
my thoughts. In the next I will try my hand at poetry. Think I have it in me to
do that? Limericks I can manage. Rather well, in fact. Even silly poems for
people. But writing serious poetry, that too a limited number of words. Tough. But
I shall persevere. I have a goal. I want to tell myself that it is possible to
write every day. I quit my day job for that, didnít I?