Welcome to my crappy world...

Welcome to my crappy world...
The inner landscape is often full of oxymorons...at least mine is!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

One Hairy Day....

One thing that has remained constant amongst the world humans under this lockdown (forced & self) is their involuntary quest for both introspection and extrospection. Whether we want it or not life has boiled down to the bare essentials even for the fortunate ones.
while we women fight for equal treatment as that of our male counterparts, nature has done its bit in making us realise that women and men are just a few levels of androgens apart. All thanks to the salons being shut. Some of us who are not that good at DIY techniques can give a complex to the males in the locked house with bushy eyebrows, noticeable moustaches and a dash of beard. Amongst the thousands of forwards being forwarded during this lockdown, there was one such forward that resonated with my current feeling so I too mindlessly forwarded to the other groups without knowing there would be a backlash by a man stating that I shouldn't engage in gender discrimination.
 I knew it was an exaggerated joke but little did I know that a self-deprecating joke had something to do with gender discrimination. Turns out it has a lot to do with that!

This post may not go very well with women who find waxing, threading and other dreadful methods therapeutic but will definitely ring a bell with those who don't understand why we do it but do it anyway.

Ladies, do your gentlemen get waxed?
Mostly, No
Gentlemen, do your ladies get waxed?
Hell yes!
A few every week, few every fortnight and the others, ok never mind!
However, irrespective of the frequency the question remains- WHY?  Because all the other ladies do. It's almost like a screening test for most to even make friends..."Oh she hasn't waxed her hands"... "Oh My God! She has worn ankle-length leggings and her legs look like Amazon jungle". In my defence, I am just thinking aloud here.

Recently my neighbour barged into my house because I normally don't invite people in. Hey before you judge me, I have two monkeys so if you show at my doorstep without my invite you are in for a surprise. The same kind of surprise when u see my unwaxed hands and legs.
So back to my neighbour, she asked if I would want to accompany her to the parlour to get the hands, legs, armpits waxed because there was some offer going on. I told her I just get my eyebrows and upper lips done and that too once in a fortnight so these offers don't help much. Also, they don't even give you that light massage on your eyebrows after they are done (Ah the little pleasures of a sleepless mother) like back in India so lesser motivation. I asked her to carry on.

She immediately realised that I had miserably failed in her screening test so she immediately decided to hug me with her sarcasm. "hahaha I know these waxing sessions are so torturous but I have to go today. I somehow managed wearing long sleeves till today"
And I  kept wondering, manage what?
She might have thought to put things into perspective for me before she left so she asked me a thought-provoking question (actually it provoked two ), "Doesn't your husband say anything? Don't you want to appear neat?"

My first thought, "How on earth is painfully getting your hair plucked which is god-gifted just to please somebody appearing neat???"
Second thought- She doesn't know that my husband recently got to know that I pay 40 dirhams just for eyebrows and upper lips. I recently made him wait in his car while I pit stopped at a parlour and
I was back in ten minutes. He was so surprised he asked if it was closed. I told him I was done with my eyebrows and upper lips so I had come to collect my wallet to pay them 40 AED. He was so puzzled.....40 AED for ten minutes job? No, he didn't dare say it aloud because I think aloud for him too at such circumstances.

However, he did ask what I had got done so I told him, "eyebrows and upper lips".
He kept gazing and finally asked what does upper lips mean..?
I had to explain! So I told him, we women too get facial hair that we need to take care of or else I will end up sporting a moustache unless he didn't mind me giving him a complex.
He gazed again only to break into a burst of loud laughter...
All this while he was imagining me with a moustache and not falling prey to my sarcasm. That moment I felt, this man doesn't deserve even this. Yes, that liberating moment when u feel u need to take a no-filter selfie. Trust me I was so strong for ten days that I had made up my mind to never ever undergo this painful thing again. Thought I will break the stereotype. Then on the eleventh day, all my facial hair was back and so was I in the parlour to get them trimmed.

This time around due to the lockdown I realised I am so relaxed about my facial hair because there is no peer pressure (exempting the DIY women). This feeling and the backlash made me wonder about our obsession with waxing or threading. Waxing apparently dates back to the ancient Egyptians, but they had a more egalitarian approach. Men and women both used to get waxed. The fact that most men don't do it anymore proves that they have found easier methods of self-grooming. Or have we tricked ourselves to believe that hairless body parts make us feel confident and not like an outcast?

Nonetheless, hair or no hair, we always know how to justify what we want! Also, an ode to all the skin-deep relationships. Turns out a few are not so smooth after all(pun intended)!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Particulars & Purposes!

The Oxford dictionary says,"A meeting is an assembly of people for a particular purpose". Let's delve deeper into the particulars and the purposes.
Going by the above definition, I have been attending meetings ever since I was a toddler. How? Let me tell you. As a kid, I have always enjoyed going to birthday meetings, because the purpose was always clear, "To eat the cake!"
It's pretty much the same even now, just that eating cake is not as simple as before especially when birthday meetings are planned as meticulously as a wedding where cakes are based on themes. The last birthday meeting I attended had a theme, "Love your animals" so as you might have guessed it the cake was a bone shaped vanilla cake which looked almost like a bone. To say the least, I wasn't pleased.
Talking about young adult days, when I used to attend conferences/lectures just to appear intellectual amongst my peers. Here too, the purpose was very clear- To ask random over smart questions at the end to prove that I wasn't dying to go for the coffee break.
A little fast forward to the BORED Board room meetings at my workplace. Here too, the purpose was clear (most of the times), but always long and boring. So, let's not talk about this one.
However, the purpose of attending meetings was clear at all these instances.
First, go to parties, eat the cake, come back.
Second, go to conferences, yawn tactfully, ask questions, come back.
Third, attend board room meetings, convince the client that nobody gives a duck about their requirements, have tea and snacks served by the client, come back.

The meeting I am going to write about now is the most fun meeting I have ever been to because this one has no purpose!
Unfortunately, I am a parent representative for a parent support group at my daughter's school who is in her kindergarten, that's right kindergarten. The day I formed a whatsapp group for all the parents, somebody suggested we share pictures of ours with our little ones so that we get familiar with each other. I quite didn't like the idea. I was thinking, 25 parents 25 pictures, do I have the space to donwload or do I have the interest?

Yes, the same feeling you get when you receive those Good Morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night images on your family whatsapp groups. You dare not ignore them all the time!
Needless to say, the pictures started pouring in. One parent shared a picture of her's and one of her daughter's, like two separate photos (now, the count went up to 26).
Another parent shared a family picture and had the courage to caption it and label it. The caption said, "We are Anaya's parents". 
As if anybody cared!
Then the labeling part, one arrow directed towards her dad that read, "Anaya's Father", another arrow towards her mom that read, "Anaya's Mother". Yes, there was every chance to get confused over there. Not to forget the third arrow pointing at Anaya herself. Poor thing, I thought.

Now, the fun part!we get a meeting invite from the school principal. I was wondering why have a meeting?the circulars are posted on the portal and for other important things like exchanging pictures of parents we have whatsapp. Nevertheless, I went for the meeting with my hair all shabby and a bag that had more diapers than money, only to see all the other parents suited up! Yes, suited up on a holiday! I am sorry, I am one of those lazy kinds who would just oil my hair while attending a Halloween Meeting. Don't give me that look. It can be a scary sight if you are not from the Southern part of India. Coming back to the Parent Support Group meeting, they also had writing pads and multi colored pens and what not. The meeting began and the questions began to hurl at the principal. 

One parent goes, "Ma'am the uniform pants' elastic is way too tight. we have been getting a lot of complaints from the parents and we need to do something about this." 

The principal seemed to be a pro at handling questions like these. She calmly said, "wrap it around a big fat pillow and leave it overnight. I am sure it will loosen up". (Just like her mind I thought)

The parent also seemed to be a pro at this. She said, "Ah Ah tried, not working".

Then the principal suggested her to go for a bigger size of trousers to which the parent denied saying that the length can be a problem.

By now, I could see the mother hiding inside the principal had popped out so she said with utmost confidence, "Put it in a turbo washing machine, I am sure your problem will be solved". Luckily for me, the parent noted it down(may be with a red colored pen).

The next parent I am assuming must be a bank employee because she asked for a receipt from school for having collected 5 Dhirams for lemonade festival. This time, the principal noted something down. I am sure she wrote, "Go to hell".

At this point, I could sense that the principal was standing at the edge of the cliff and ready to jump. Trust me, the next parent really pushed her.

The showstopper parent said, "Ma'am, the school has said a big no no to plastic lunchboxes and water bottles, but my son is way too attached to his old plastic sipper. Kindly help."

Though the verbal communication of the principal said,"Ma'am it's high time we teach our kids to adopt green practices, don't you think?", her non verbal communication said,
"Suck it up and deal with it"
So, the purpose of this would be to go to my next parent support group meeting ( Yes, I still have the guts) and find its purpose.

I recently read somewhere that a top tip for handling panic attacks during a meeting is to accept that it's happening.

9 months and more...

Motherhood is probably every woman's desire to be experienced, so has been mine. Its a different thing that you are best prepared to embrace it when it comes unsolicited. It not only brings a bundle of joyous occasions, but makes you believe that destiny is not something that is entirely in your hands. I am writing this blog the day before my little buddy is arriving and I can't put in words the calmness inside me. The past 9 months and more has not been less than a roller coaster ride with the unplanned emotional outbursts to nauseous mornings to coping with your partner who has no clue about your crazy hormonal changes. Of course, it was topped with everybody around you telling you to be active so that I will be able to have a normal delivery.