Friday, November 28, 2014

To Do or Not To Do...

Life, one day you are this carefree teenager fancying the lead singer of a band while on another you find yourself ducking the shells life throws at you. Yes, like it or not, life is as unpredictable as unpredictable can be. You never know what you end up as; even where or with whom. It’s like a ground full of tripwires; one misstep and nasty explosions become the order of the day. But what can you do? You've got to keep going for there’s just one way out. Forward.

Looking back, sometimes I wonder if I knew what I was getting into with Engineering. And I can honestly tell you that I never really did. I just went with the flow. How I wish I hadn't!

Truth be told all I want now is to be engrossed in books, reading and experiencing life from different perspectives. Yes, even if through fiction. And then of course, write. Basically do something, anything, related to stories and books. Is it too much to ask? I don’t say I’m very good at either but fond of those, I certainly am. That is supposed to count, right? Doing what we love is important, they say, so I want that and in the process, maybe, earn a living too. Working on excel sheets, testing applications or raising defects don’t really make the cut for me.

A switch of career paths seems to be the logical option then. Clearly. But it isn't that easy. Besides in India, it is looked upon cynically. In fact why only a change of streams, anyone who takes a break in between jobs usually ends up in the ‘not too keen’ list of perspective recruiters here. So what chance would I have? It is a big step, a huge change, anomaly even. What do I do then? Continue with this job that I don’t really like? It sure pays the bills and of course money is a huge factor here. But reality is I don’t particularly enjoy it. I just do what I do for the heck of doing it and the pay obviously.

Maybe I just need to be in it till the time is right to take the leap. What do you say? But would I be able to recognize ‘right time’ if it ends up staring at my face? Would I?

An incident with my colleague of how the gigantic egos of managers are more important than the hopes and aspirations of an employee makes me realize what a terrible hell hole I’m in. It makes me think if I really want to be part of this industry. But another voice inside me tells me that such morons are present everywhere. But still isn't it better to deal will them in a field that I rather enjoy?

I don’t know what point I’m trying to make here. Perhaps, I just need a change. I know though that it isn't that simple. So maybe I’m putting it out there in the universe for some clarity. Who knows I might actually gain some perspective in this process and end up with the answers to my questions? Possible?

Have you ever felt this way? If yes, what did you do?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#MicroblogMondays: Clothes, Control & 2 Books

The weekend went by at whirlwind speed but, tell you what, I have no complaints at all. Two books read, ‘Angel of the Dark’ & ‘In the Darkest Corner’, in two days’ time while soaking in the winter sun sitting in my cozy balcony. Time well spent, don't you think? And I can’t help but grin from ear to ear basking in the glow of these wonderful books, two awesome tales. I can say that you need to pick these up immediately too, if you haven't already. Of-course, if I had to choose one among the two than I'd pick the latter. I think it was one of the best psychological thrillers I've ever read.

Back to the reality of office and I put aside books, though reluctantly, for some time. And when in between excel sheets and applications, I ended up having a chat with my project mates today, all girls, I simply had to write something about it. 

The conversation veered from one point to another finally resting on the topic of how our society demands so much out of women, especially when married. Particularly on what women should wear. Yes, that age old discussion of what is apparently 'appropriate' for a woman to wear however irrelevant and annoying it sounds.

One of the girls I was speaking to, married just 3 months back, told about how her husband only recently allowed her to wear sleeveless salwar suits. It seems he was against it initially. It’s strange, isn't it? What a woman wears is suddenly to be decided by another man? Very Sad. Unfair. And to my sheer frustration this is not the first time I have heard something like that. There are women who don’t wear leggings with kurtas because their husbands don’t approve of it. 

Do you see what point I’m trying to make here? Why this interference or this need to control a woman’s choices? I really don’t understand. I believe in wearing, eating and doing what I like to. In simple terms, I won't live my life on your or a third person's terms. And thankfully I have been lucky to have a partner who respects that. But I guess what I take as liberty is seen as a special allowance by another.

Maybe the way out is for wives to make it clear to husbands that what they wear isn't up for discussion. But is it that easy for all? I'm not in their shoes so I can't probably assess that. The fact is not all women can rebel even though I strongly feel that they should. So maybe as a society, as a country, we need to back off. What do you say?

In the book In the Darkest Corner, there is a character Lee, who tries to control everything in the life of the female protagonist, Cathy. What she wears, where she goes, whom she talks to and perhaps what she eats even. He did that because he was a sociopath. This urge or need to control another person is not healthy. And I think it's high time we as a society learn to live and let live.

To the control freaks I say...

Let women be. Let them wear what they want to. And if you are so particular about how women should dress and seem to be losing sleep on it, then maybe you yourself can wear or not wear those clothes instead? Don't dump your thoughts, likes or dislikes, in guise of the culture card on women. Give it up!

Remember, live & let live!

It's time we toss these controlling habits away for good.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Missed Touch

It had been two months, two very long months since Pete left for an assignment in Lucerne. Autumn had turned to winter bringing the holidays along. Yes, it had been that long, a season had changed since he had gone while Mary waited, waited for him to be back.

© Nabanita Dhar
Yes, there were calls, text messages, video chats too but then it wasn't the same. She knew. And he knew too.

However, it was only when they were alone, in the silence of their own thoughts, that they realized how much they longed for each other.

Lying down on a cold, single bed Pete missed Mary curling up against him. Their very own jigsaw puzzle.

‘How I wish you were here to annoy me with you constant hugs Mary’ Pete thought every night. This feeling of absence, of being incomplete never seemed to let go of him. Her innocent touch, a pat on his bag back or just a kiss, he realized was what got him through most days.

Mary felt the same thing. She missed Pete walking up to her in the kitchen, sneaking up almost and hugging her from behind. His scent, the feeling of her back against his broad chest and the peck on her cheek, she missed them all. Just thinking about all these made her realize how empty her life was without him, how meaningless in so many ways.

‘Just come back Pete’ she murmured sitting in front of the television but not really watching it. The pictures and sounds were inaudible to her for she was in a different world, one where Pete's thoughts latched onto her.

It was the bell that finally shook her off her open eyed reverie. Keeping the remote aside she walked up to the door and removed the safety chain. Pete had asked her to be careful. He worried about her living alone while he was away. He hated leaving her alone even if he knew well that she could take care of herself.

It was late and she wasn't expecting anybody. So while turning the door knob she kept thinking who could it be?

Maybe because it was so unexpected that as soon as she pushed the door she froze. She stood dumbfounded at the sight of the man standing outside the door.

“Pete?” she mumbled and a smile appeared on her lips, one that had been missing for a long time. He stepped inside and keeping the bags down stood beside her. She could feel his breath on her face.

Slowly, almost in a trance, he pulled her close, placed his hands on her waist. And as they walked inside, waltzing their way to music which only they could hear, Pete whispered ‘I missed you. I missed your simple touch Mary.”

Tears appeared in the corner of her eyes as he then touched her cheeks softly, hugged her as he had never to make up for all those days they had been apart, devoid of that simple comforting touch that spoke of their love, their very own great boundless love. 

Pete had come back to bring back the security of that touch that he had himself been missing terribly, to bring back that feeling in their lives that made everything worthwhile. The touch of care, the touch of being there for each other. The beautiful and satisfying feeling of being just a touch away and not too far.


Bring Back the Touch Tweet using the hashtag #BringBackTheTouch.

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