Reality Vs Writing Goals

I promise my absence isn’t due to my procrastination. Here is a list of excuses reasons why my writing has been benched.

1. My baby sister is pregnant (due in October). She came to visit us for a month in India during her 6th-7th month which, of course, was the harbinger of a tsunami of nightmares and worries. I wouldn’t even let her climb up to our first floor room because NO. Just, no!

2. I visited my boyfriend in England and also attended the wedding of his little brother. Weddings make me nervous. Especially big weddings with fancy cars and a bride and groom that look like they could be on the cover of a top fashion magazine. Fortunately, I survived without making too big a fool of myself and the alcohol stocks weren’t overly diminished. There was a side effect though – words ran away from me.

Ben and Mwila
Proof of the Magazine Cover Claim. Source? Stolen off their Facebook!

3. I had the most perfect holiday in the world. My phone didn’t work and I visited some of the most gorgeous places in the coast. For our anniversary, he rented a little cabin that was just so romantic, I started crying and he thought he had broken me. Aah good times!

Glamping
I learnt I don’t deal very well with romance!

4. Despite the fact that he lives with this view – I will take a moment to show you this view so you can feel my pain –

Millington
Damn you perfection! Damn to hell!

– the world has a rule that if you live in the 3rd world, it’s going to be near impossible to be with your boyfriend. I just don’t have the right passport. I imagined I would do a 2nd Masters degree in England but their asking rate £20,000 (not a typo).  That’s  £13, 000 for the course and  £7000 you have to show in your bank account so the government knows you can manage on your own. I applied for about a billion scholarships which all went to more worthwhile students of theatre or well, engineering!  So what is the actual price of living in England, you may ask? One year in England = 20 grand + a student loan at 15% interest per annum + a debt you have to pay for the rest of your working life. Bravo!

5. Gutted but not yet close enough to giving up (These silly youth people and their nonsense resilience!), we decided that we would try somewhere neutral. Maybe teach English in Asia somewhere. Thailand, China, Vietnam. The possibilities were endless. So we started making plans only to find that my passport can’t find me a teaching job because “Asians don’t want other Asians teaching their kids!”. Even if I did have the right qualifications and years of English teaching experience in India and Tanzania, a high school drop out who says should of instead of should’ve gets the job. It isn’t fair but that’s how the world works right now.

Not to fret dear folk, I’m not one to give up that easily (Pssst, anyone hiring a writer in Bangkok? I’m good. I promise!).  I noticed a trend in my writing – apparently all my life’s troubles happen around the time of monsoon – July – September and then I suddenly find my words again! I feel it starting to come back again. I have this amazing story about a haunted bar and time travel and sword play. I’m hoping the words will sniff out the nectar in that story and stick.

Until next time, big hugs!

The Odd Even Dilemma

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a walking talking Indian stereotype. I am 27, unmarried and have a white boyfriend. However, I live with my parents, work in an IT job and love cricket. Whenever I have travelled in India or abroad, there’s always been a good long soul searching session to figure out how Indian I am. The verdict, maybe a 2.5 out of 10.

Streets of India

I truly felt the guilt of not knowing enough about my culture when I was in France as a teen and had to conduct a 2 hour workshop on India. I drew a blank and my peers took over. I had spent so much of my youth trying to get out of the country that I forgot to take a look around.

Shame on me!

I spent the next few years growing to love the quirks that make India who she is. All communities in India are usually divided by language they speak, geography next. The language you do speak is usually an indication of the culture you grow up in. Despite how we are typecast, India is not of homogenous language and culture. We don’t all speak ‘Indish’ or ‘Hindu’. Those are not even languages. It wasn’t till I was at a work lunch that I realised people identify which community/religion you belong to by your surname.

ROTFLMAO

Of course. I don’t have a surname.

And while most situations go like this –

“What are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, Kannadiga, Tamilian, Malyali …”

“Erm, I don’t know”

“What language do you speak at home?”

“English”

“So you’re Anglo-Indian?”

“No. I don’t have a single British ancestor”

“What is your mother?”

“Erm, I don’t know”

“What did she speak at home?”

“Kannada”

“So she’s a Kannadiga? So that means you are a Kannadiga”

“No, she just grew up in Karnataka so they learnt to speak in the local language”

The conversation gets really, really confusing after that. If I were to sum up, we are a non-traditional family. Mum’s parents were from two different communities and spoke two different languages. But, they both grew up in the same state and so the local language of Kannada was their go to language. It’s the same with my parents. Their common denominator in terms of communication is English. So what does that make me? A cultural melting pot of South India with a hint of Malaysia? Or just plain old confused?

My despair at being a terrible Indian has gotten less intense after I started dating an Englishman. I notice everyday how some of our conversations start with me saying “In my culture …” and then I wax ad nauseum about things I’ve been told not to do (or do 3 times a day) because that’s the Indian way.

 The latest in this string of conversations was about the Indian gift giving etiquette. I am visiting the UK this month and I was starting to make lists of presents to take for everyone to the sound of the boy’s great confusion. Apparently, I’m a weirdo for wanting to buy everyone presents because the gifting culture among the youngsters has a motto – ‘meh!’

However, we have very specific rules here. Everyone we meet after ages gets a present. If this everyone stays in your city or country, it’s usually a box of sweets or dried fruit. If it’s someone abroad, it would be something that screams India. If you are just returning from a trip abroad, EVERYONE gets chocolates. Even your colleagues whose name you don’t know.

Raj Kootrapalli Gif

We have this odd rule about gifting in evens. If you don’t want to invoke a butterfly effect type disaster, you have to make sure to gift in pairs. You can’t take just one cushion or throw, it has to be two. I think that this comes from a wish that you won’t ever be alone and that you will always have someone to share it with. So gifting in even numbers is a blessing of sorts. This rule does not apply to money, if that’s what your preferred present is. At weddings, birthdays and any big event, we always add a Rs. 1 coin to make it an odd number. So you would gift Rs. 1001 instead of the boring old Rs. 1000. There is a feeling that odd numbers in finances are lucky and will lead to your wallet being quickly filled up till you reach the next 100 and then another 100.

All this to say that I’m really confused – my Indianess dictates that I buy presents. I am in no doubt though that I am going to viewed as a total weirdo. So just in case, I’m looking up YouTube videos so I can blend in the rest of the time.

Oooh look. Already found one about pub lunches!

We Might Fall

The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore
The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore

Let’s go on an adventure. There are clouds to be jumped on, warm golden rays to be stolen, wings on whose back we can steal a ride.

We could drown in the crow’s feet that your laughter creates. You could twirl me around till we’re so giddy, it makes the world a breathtaking shade of magic. We could walk the journey of some obscure person and throw popped corn at each other while the black mirrors fill up with “must watch” moving pictures. We can tick off lists of movies, of books, of places to eat, sights to see, things that make us feel alive and full of purpose.

We could run around carelessly, tripping as we try to catch the sunshine in your hair and the sparkle in your eyes. We could don ourselves in explorer gear and go hunting for giggles – your giggles – that make me light headed and make me float off the ground.

We could go looking for the moon and have it tell us stories by the fireside. We could even accidentally run into the biggest adventure of them all –

We might fall.

How to Snag a Boy Post Valentine’s Day

This “50% off Valentine’s Day Chocolate” concept does not exist in India. We sell everything at full price, even if it’s past its expiry date. Except when it comes to clothes, then everything’s on sale ALL THE EXPLETIVE TIME! For a person whose idea of shopping is strolling for hours in a book store, this does not work out for me. So what does one do during the post Valentine’s Day lull? From this end of the calendar, St. Paddy’s Day seems too far away.

Yesterday, the traffic was surprisingly light and I was close to home nearly an hour too early. And you know what happens when you work long hours, when you find yourself with free time, you panic. I walked into the saloon before I realised where my feet were taking me and before I knew it, the hairdressers had all cleared their schedule so they could pamper me.

Sweeny Todd

This isn’t a new phenomenon. On account of my hair being really long and black and thick, these ladies usually fawn over me with the hopes of trying out new hair spa stuff. They think it’s therapeutic to blow dry my hair. After a while they all start to sound like my good friend Sweeny Todd, in that, I can never say no to them. This time though, I was determined I would be in and out in 40 minutes.

Horrifying Hairdressers

On account of my strong ‘NO!’s, they sat me under that hair steamer thingie (what is it called?) and punished me by giving me a HUGE bridal magazine to go through. I realised that they knew me too well. An hour where I couldn’t move, if they couldn’t play with my hair, then they might as well torture me with the one thing I freak out about – all things wedding!

Panic Attack

I was determined to enjoy myself, just to spite them a bit and came across this very interesting articles about the 4 most erotic things for a guy. It started with snippets from what could also be a blatant plagiarism of some questionable Penthouse letters. Followed by an increasingly amusing list.

1. Being Ravished
Nothing is as erotic by being slowly undressed by a woman’s eyes. If there’s lust in her eyes, there’s bound to be movement in the pantal area. A man wants to be ravished. Doesn’t matter if you know him or not, just make sure to check him out and make sure he knows it. Even if you have to follow him two blocks to his house.

And here’s a penthouse equivalent quote –
“My favorite is the heart. It’s a locket.
“You can put a picture or whatever in that.”
“A picture of you.”
I glance at him through my lashes.
“Always in my heart.”
– Ana Steele, 50 Shades of Grey

Pro Tip – Remember to look at him THROUGH your lashes so that he looks like he’s caged in jail and your saviour complex comes rushing up to the fore.

246

2. Being a Virgin
Go get your hymen fixed. I don’t care if it’s the 21st century. If you want a man who will stay with you beyond the Valentine’s Day desperation, you better be prepared to be doe eyed and innocent and willing to submit to anything a man says. Being in control, having that sort of power drives the man insane. This explains the whole “dress like a school girl” phenomenon.

“Like a virgin, touched for the very first time”
– Madonna, Like a Virgin

Pro Tip – If you don’t look like Madonna, you need to do something abour your lady part situation. Statistics are on your side

3. Being Open Minded.
One word. Threesome. There wasn’t enough written under this except a line about how a man is extremely turned on by being kissed in two places at once. I was curious about whether it had to be two women and a guy, two guys and a girl, three women, three men? The mathematics of this really tormented me for the rest of the evening.

“A love triangle is a threesome delayed.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Pro Tip – To spice things up in the bedroom, hide his PS4 and let’s be honest. That is the real threesome situation in your life.

epic-love-triangle

4. Being Naughty
Sexy times in a public place – so HOT! Elevators with CCTV, restrooms with a million budding diseases, car without its handbrake on. LET YOUR IMAGINATION FLOW. You are bound to be aroused by the sheer adventure of it.

“Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.”
– Billy Crystal

Pro Tip – Never leave home without washlets and a litre of sanitizer. Also, wave for the cameras.

Smile and Wave

Just remember, if you want someone who will stay with you FOREVS and not just on socially sanctioned days of love, do this for you man. Bonus, if you do all this, you’ll get to keep them even after death do you part!