Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When you win some, you lose some

Yaaayyy… There is a wedding round the corner, on Saturday, 16th July 2011. Joe’s niece is getting married. Actually this family is so close to us, I seldom remember they are my in-laws. I guess it is a wonderful thing that you get accepted into an in-laws place as one in the family ( you also end up getting brickbats just as much as a family member would, which is a flip side, but considering the love that’s coming my way, its fine) and you feel the in-laws are your own people. I must be really lucky !!!

Last couple of months have been running and rerunning verbal lists and what-to-do’s for the wedding, meeting up at odd hours and finalizing, whitewashing their house ( ofcourse professionals were employed to do this job) and rechecking with each other on the status. With just a couple of days for the wedding and a large entourage of guests coming in from kerala on friday, the activities are going on in great rigor.

Last Sunday J and I came up with multiple lists and both families sat down for discussions at around 11.00 pm. We finalized the lists and came up with a firmed up plan ( finally after several rounds of discussions and confusions) from an earlier jelly like wobbling plan at 2.30 am. We really burnt the midnight oil and of course the AC.

So I finally put all my organizing skills together and came up with a date wise plan for the wedding, in an excel sheet titled Wedding planner with activities and responsibilities assigned to various members in family, date wise and also mentioned the time by which each activity has to be completed. So there are worksheets titled pre 15th, 15th July and 16th July with activities sequenced in time for every day.

After I sent out the mail to the family members on Monday, J sent a mail back saying “great work” –which is equivalent to the Bharat Ratna received from the President in my case. J seldom would appreciate the work that I do and hence any small adulation coming from him is of immense value to me. The bride’s brother wrote back saying Aunty.. Sammadichu.. ( which translates into Aunty I agree you are a genius ha ha ha)

So the lists are done and we are into the final leg of the wedding plans. I am so excited and I am looking forward to this wedding and am hoping that all the events as part of the wedding would go as planned.There is a whole flip side to the wedding – especially when you are on the bride’s side. You have to let go of the bride and bridegroom walks away with his prized possession. When you win some, you lose some. We win a groom and lose a bride.

I am dreading the moment the bride is going to walk out of the house, already. The count down started from last month infact. I am fervently hoping that I will hold on to my emotions. When I got married this child was in std VII, pretty, demure, soft spoken, well mannered, reserved and quiet but very studious and talented and I have seen her grow over a period of time into a fine young woman that she is today. We are pretty close to each other and feel comfortable in each other’s company and have spoken for hours together on multiple topics, especially after this wedding thing came about. I have had the unique liberty of questioning a lot of her decisions, giving my own perspectives on life and such things, supporting her wherever needed, probably giving my shoulder for her to cry and making sure she gets the right perspective on life. We have had some very intense conversations in the last two years and many of them ending in soaking up tissues with tears, justifying her decisions to me and using me as a sounding board for her thoughts.
She is an intelligent girl and I know her decisions would be right and she has the backing of her parents’ good deeds (they are such wonderful people – I probably need a separate blog post on this topic) and I am sure she will do well in life.

I keep telling her that her parents come first to me and only then she would, but I really doubt that statement myself.

But you know what, I am going to miss her like hell after she leaves. Will she ever know this?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Networking sites and their small mercies in life

While my head and heart are still reeling under the pain of a good friend’s father diagnosed with cancer, I seem to be unconsciously calling the Lord and saying little prayers for strength for their family members to go through these moments of despair. The surgery is tomorrow and whatever I do, this thought stays in the background. I am trying to get away from thoughts of complete helplessness and am hoping & sincerely praying everything goes on well tomorrow and beyond.

I had been postponing a call to a friend, its been quite hectic at work front, ( kind of lost and found – I lost contacts with this friend after school and found her through Facebook) and decided that I have to do it today and so I called her ( lets call her L) with a lot of excitement. I am speaking to her after around 23 years and it was amazing how we could connect instantly with each other after sooooo long. I met L when I moved from a CBSE school near my house to a school in the city in std VI and we studied together till std XII and we remained good friends during that period. While I had other friends L was someone I stuck onto for most of the time.

I remember after finishing school, the last time we met was when we came to take our marksheets and I was surprised to hear that L was going to work and do her graduation through correspondence course.  I had enrolled into SMC for my graduation and later was invited by my school to receive the awards for getting first mark in Language and English in the board examinations for plus two.  I think it was because of my semester exam at college or so, I didnt go to school for receiving that award.  and I also knew that none of my friends would have been there.  Whatever, I didnt make it that day for the awards.  I continued writing to her, but by the time I was into the second year or so I lost contacts with her and I was also enjoying college life, I had so many friends, and some of my cousins ( from our place in Ennore)  were in the same college and we were freaking out and we did have a terrific time together at college.

Coming to think of it, I realized today that she was someone who accepted me without any inhibitions, for what I am because I remember  back then, I was, so na├»ve, so very bare and had no pretensions about what and who I was. Completely in a new environment at school, I remember she gave the solace of a very good friend. We went to each others houses, though our homes were far, our parents knew each other and we got to know each other’s families.

While we were talking over phone we recollected incidents of school days and how we enjoyed ourselves at school, discussed teachers, other friends, the scoldings that we got from teachers, punishments, assignments at school and what not.. I was telling her, even recently I was narrating an incident about how L’s brother was in Ohio and sent a Christmas card from Ohio and that was the first time I heard this name and I pronounced it so funnily and L corrected me and taught me how to pronounce it the right way. I am glad I have not forgotten that.

And L recollected how good my handwriting always was, when I mentioned about a common friend’s good handwriting at school and she also remembered how I used to leave handmade Birthday greetings in her bag as a surprise and she used to wait to come to school the next day to thank me for it. Honestly, I had forgotten that – she said I used to do it from std VIII and also said I used to be good in drawing and painting. How true. Am I not continuing that legacy through glass painting now?

We laughed about the style of Sr.Concordia and how I used to get scolded by Ms.Pearly, the terror at school ( she was our english teacher in plus one and two & she just hated me for whatever reasons and never gave me the first mark in the class tests and I feel good that I got the first mark in the board exams), my craze for plants and about lots of our friends. Sadly both of us are not in touch with any of our other friends – we spoke about our families, our jobs, our routines. It was so nice to recollect those days of innocence, love and camaraderie.
We spoke for quite some time and even after I disconnected a whole lot of memories of those days came flooding to my mind like the time we both bought same type of dresses and came to school on those rare occasions when " colour dress " was allowed in those similar clothes, how we both continued to sob and cry, much after the movie “ Passion of Christ “ was screened during the retreat at school and my feeling of complete safety and trust with this girl.

I remembered her second sister pretty well, she was an aspiring actress, extremely stylish for those days with fringes adorning her forehead and I remember she wore stilettos and I used to look at her with a lot of awe for her style and persona. Infact everytime I wear a stiletto myself these days I used to remember her – sadly both sisters of L had passed away in the last one and half years and L was telling me that her second sister used to like me a lot. The liking was mutual and she had just passed away a month back. :-(

I also remembered she was the one to whom I confided ( the only one those days - I was so scared to tell even my parents) about the guy who was following me in Std IX, who we used refer as "blackie". Blackie followed me from Std IX to Std XII and he very stupidly (?) never attempted to speak to me or ask my name or even smile at me.  This guy just used to gape at me and kept following me from my bus stop to my house ( Phew !!! thats quite a distance)  in the evenings every single day ( sometimes in the same bus that I was travelling and when I started travelling in a ladies special, he followed my bus in a scooter) and in the mornings he will stand in the balcony of his house while I pass his house from bus stand to my school.   I used to so scared of this guy there were many days I got down in the earlier bus stop and walked 15 minutes to reach the school just to avoid being spotted by this guy and he cracked my secret in a couple of weeks.

What a waste of time, energy and resources!! I still wonder what was the reason behind this kind of behaviour. Blackie's sister studied in my school in a different section and i dont remember her name, I remember they were muslims.  L used to make fun of me calling her my sis-in-law and I used to get so irritated with her about that.  And L also gets so excited when blackie misses to see me pass his house ( which was quite rare)  and will be waiting in the balcony much after I reach school.  Infact, the initial years 9th and 10th I used to be so petrified about this guy following me, that I used to cry when i was alone and then by 11th and 12th I sort of got used to this routine.  In fact, I think many people got to know about this guy in my bus ( ladies special) because this guy will follow the bus in a scooter on the side I am sitting and will keep turning around half the time to look at me.  ha ha ha ..  I sometimes have wondered how in the world he drove with head turned sideways.  Surprisingly I had no soft corner for this chap .. all i had was contempt because he was coming behind a girl like an idiot ( imagine the kind of carbon foot print he must have had then..) and I guess I was tough nut too... Ahhh.. those days...

L and I have planned to meet up some time (after a couple of weeks) my weekends are completely engaged for the next three weeks and yes, I look forward to meeting L after 23 years.