This morning a friend shared her relationship with money over the phone. I was surprised at the many layers and dimensions to it. I want to explore this for myself too. So first time I have my topic and I have to write on it or about it. Usually I go the other way round. I write first and give a suitable title later.
Money is not something I talked much about. Born into a rich family, my Dad being a self made man. I always had money for all that I wanted or needed. There were no lack of money conversations in the house. In school, I did not talk money with this fear that I wont be accepted if I talk too much about what I do or where we go or what we buy. At home sunday dinners were always to the best restaurant in town. I remember a school friend asking” Tum Log har sunday skylark mein khaana khaate ho?” Skylark being the best hotel in town. I didnt know whether to say yes or no. The friendship was important and I did not want to offend her in any way or rather what I thought may offend her in any way.
Gran had made us all in the habit of saving. She had bright coloured SBI/UBI bank plastic pouches for each of the children. She would give us money every month and we d collect it in that and she d put it in her cupboard. More savings and then we went to the bank with Granny and she d make FD s for all of us. I remember accompanying her to lot of these bank trips. I was also priviliged to go to her locker where all her gold was and she d show it all to me. I was allowed to wear during Diwali a chain with a locket. I used to be very thrilled about it. So money was not something I spent it was always kept safely.
Then when I grew up a bit more, I used to keep some money in a navy blue wallet in my aluminium peti which was a small box which children carried to school. That peti was locked. One day our house help stole all the money from there. I am still upset about it. Then in college , I was going with gran to jamshedpur in someone s car. I had my money in the bag. The driver of the car flicked it when I left the bag unattended. I am still so upset about loosing that money and more for all those thieves who stole my money.Money gets stolen is what I thought.
In college, I always had more than ample money from Dad to do all that I wanted to and buy what I wanted. I remember respecting his trust in me. I did shop a lot when it was time to go home. Some students got very little pocket money and I felt sad and worried for them. Most of them had boyfriends who d spend on them. It was college days so some had BFs who would not even feed them food. So unconsciously, I had all male friends with lots of money. College friends remarked that I was having so much money or showing off about it. Hence I learned that money was not to be talked about.
Then came a phase when money was scarce for me and friends used to give me without asking for it back. My needs were taken care of. I always had money. Then I started working and money was flowing in again. Soon I got into comparison mode. Who earned more than me? I always was keen to know how much each person made.
Then the colleagues who were all senior in terms of number of years they worked, got higher salaries. So there was hurt there with money and bosses who gave me a lower salary. In all this I always had for all my wants/ needs.
Then came a phase where all the friends I had were paupers. I was always paying for them and feeling very proud about it. Finally I got fed up of paupers too, people who could never manage their money. I could not stand people who did not know to manage and live within their means.
In all this , when I grew up I was always told that I will marry a well to do guy. Now I started looking for class with money. What was it about me or about money I have no idea.
Even penning these things is an eye opener. More later, when I make more money:)
I am just not open to people telling me what to do. I always think I am so right. I am not too sure about being open to any kind of criticism. The fear is that criticism is bad. If someone criticises you, then you are not good enough. The fear came from school days. Every word the teacher uttered was the ultimate and if it was harsh, then it was etched in the memory for ever. I would be completely de moralised for days, of course I didnt know what it meant at that time. There was so much fear that I can feel goose bumps even now.
In school the early years, I craved for acknowledgement from my teachers. It never came. I am sure I would not have forgotten it if it had come. Later around fifth sixth standard, I became very good in studies. Like from a rank of 32 to 27 to 8 to 5 is how I moved up.So I was a bit acknowledged but it was always reluctant praise. Like this girl is not so good in studies, may be her marks are a fluke.
Being the eldest in the family of six children, the pressure to do no wrong was always there. I lived in that fear for years. If someone said something to me, it only meant they do not love me or that I am unloved.
Once the maths teacher in ninth standard asked all the girls who got above 90 in maths to stand up. She looked at me and said” This one is hardly competitive.” I dont even think I knew the exact meaning of that word. But I was terribly hurt. After getting the highest marks, this was the comment. I had cried alone when I had got home. Then was this determination that I will do my best but will never be competitive in life. I started treating competitive as a bad word.
Another thing which brought about fear was when Mom said “If you do not listen I ll tell Dad.” That would be the killer. I d sweat for days if Dad was out of town and pray that Mom does not remember when he is back. Dad would just say not to do it but the built up to that fear was so high.
Once Mom was angry because i said something bad. She told me she ll go away. I was so scared. I thought she ll go away because I did something wrong. All came to if I was not criticised,my life went fine.
Later I had become an ace student , was always first or second in class and some of the confidence started coming in.This was all due to a Maths teacher Mitra Sir whom Mom had got. He really encouraged me to my optimum and did it in fun and play. With him I just scaled really new heights in studies.
Then I came to Mumbai to study and boldness came along the way.
Till now I cannot handle the word constructive criticism. Forget that, if someone want to give me feedback ,I am scared. All the fears I am carrying for years come back.
Today to write this, was like overcoming all those childhood fears.
My first real birthday party happenned when I was 23 i think.
we celebrated earlier when i was 7/8 . Dad had got a fairy land cake for me from Calcutta and a car for my brother Parin. I was in a royal blue silk frock, all scrubbed and cleaned for the event. Lot of children and relatives invited and room full of people.later all the black and white memories.
So this birthday at 23 was funny. we had moved into a palace like house called Ganeshalay. It was truly amazing. We had not given a house warming party for some time. I had moved back home after 7 years in mumbai. all So we combined it but called it my birthday party. I was thrilled to bits. Super excited. House was clean and shining. Terrace was washed and lit up. All lights lit up. Caterers arrived. I dressed in a saree. People started flocking in on time or rather early. They wanted to come early and spend time with my Gran before the party began. I got two tables full of gifts. Super exciting. One guy my whole building adored gave me Sherlock Holmes ka pura series fat books. I loved them and loved him but never read the books. This guy had a house which we could see from our balcony. Building was V shaped so all balconies you could see without any encroachment into the privacy.
The guy lived in nepal and benaras and came her occassionally on work or else his servant lived in the flat. When he came all girls in the building called each other up. The vigil at the balconies started, in case he came out. He read India Today and we thought he was so intelligent. He never ever looked at any of us or thought all of us to be a bunch of fools.He never came for the birthday.
My cousin said why are you in a saree. Looks like we have come for engagement party rather than a birthday party. I propmtly went and changed.
Was smiling about all the goodies for days to come.
Thank you family and friends.
What if just for today I want to be myself?
What if just for for a day I dont want meet my family and friends?
What if just for today I dont want to drop my kids for class ?
What if just for today I want to ignore all I know?
What if just for today I dont want to remove clthes from the drying line?
What if just for today I want things to bother me but not do a thing about it?
What if just for today I want to party alone?
What if just for today I am not a part of anyone s life?
What if just for today I live for myself?
What if just for today I get all that I desire?
What if just for today I dont want to welcome guests in my house?
What if just for today I dont want to answer a call on my cell which starts with Are you out?
What if just for today I dont want to return calls or smss?
What if just for today I dont want to plan meals in the house?
What if just for today I dont want to be called Aunty in the building?
What if just for today I have no identity?
What if just for today I am not a wife?
What if just for today I am not a mother?
What if just for today I am not a sister?
What if just for today I am on my own?
What if just for today I am not buying what I want?
What if just for today I want to be not what I like to think I am?
What if just for today I want to be free of all responsibilities?
What if just for today I want to find neverland?
What if just for today I want to watch a film and cry my heart out?
What if just for today I want to laugh with the dolphins?
What if just for today I want to flirt with someone I have known for years or never known?
What if just for today I do not want to judge anyone and myself?
What if just for today I want to be exploring the world alone?
What if just for today I want to be left alone?
What if just for today I am happy being on my own?
Does it make me bad???
People s love stories are so different. Each one has so many dimensions to it. I can listen to love stories for hours.I have only one criteria, The love stories just have to have a happy ending. I feel if you loved and did not get that person then your love was not truthful enough or strong . I cant understand all this societal pressure nonsense. We make the society and our mind makes those things we call society pressures. out here, i get to know so many things from the locals. The maids have a wealth of information on the rural love life. If you stay away from in laws in the village , then you have to pay money to the village panchayat. If you marry a guy from a different sub caste, then your parents have to pay money to the panchayat. The only joy is that they only ask for money and there are no so called honour killings.
Some of them just enjoy love stories with a tragic end. Like i loved her and lost her. Or my parents/ his parents wont listen. Or i realised how much i loved her only after she went away. Then lots of them refuse to get over their first love, first kiss, first marriage. No one is forcing us to get stuck in life. Is anyone asking you to remember your first love? No. We want to not enjoy our present. We want to live in the past or future and that too not truthfully. We are such great story tellers. And the best stories we make is about ourselves.
Actually, I am substituting the “we” with “I”. As this is all about me.Worrying about the future and cribbing about the past is my fave past time. What wrongs my MIL did in the last nine years are on the tip of my fingers.I know exactly all the wrongs each of my friends and family have done.Am I even present to what i am doing? What games am I playing? Am I just moving to the side jahan palda bhaari hai. Some times our mother tongue expresses things so beautifully. Do I have the courage to see myself truthfully. Just knowing myself and accepting myself exactly the way I am. A reluctant mom, a harried wife, a good friend, an incorrigible flirt, a great employer, a bad employee, bad accounts keeper, good cook, average house keeper,lazy teacher,good talker, sharp observer, keen learner and not so interested in sports tv, world.
Please give a title to this post> Too much truth makes me unclothed.
Love is when children come back from school due to fake cyclone warning.
Love is smiling the whole day without sharing the reason with anyone.
Love is smiling without a reason.
Love is missing someone.
Love is writing an ambigous blog.
Love is getting subtle and charming.
Love is wondering who you are writing for.
Love is doing full vasooli of the internet.
Love is not dialling a number when you are dying to.
Love is not talking when actually that is the only thing you want.
Love is inviting and he refusing.
Love is him asking you to wait.
Love is being impatient.
Love is when you want to share all your college fantasies and stop as it is not appropriate.
Love is being in appropriate for a change.
Love is checking out all guys you had hots for on FB.
Love is when your friends warn you not to be naughty.
Love is watching the day break.
Love is when he says when he saw you first you were in a cream saree with green border .
Love is not knowing which school or college he went to.
Love is not knowing where he travels or has travelled to .
Love is just trusting.
Love is not making meanings out of anything.
Love is when he is concerned about your common cold.
Love is when you open the door in your old night shirt and he still likes it.
Love is wearing his fave nightie.
Love is cooking a bad meal and him just eating.
Love is ordering out.
Love is just not talking.
Love is being married.
Love is behaving like a teen.
Love is shampooing your hair.
Love is some one offering a hair massage.
Love is all my mills and boons.
Love is just letting be.
Love is thinking of all the men who line maroed you.
Love is avoiding all the men you flirted with.
Love is watching ranbir in ajab prem ki .
Love is your child singing Tera ho raha hoon with open arms and eyes closed.
Love is crying for no reason.
Love is watching the dawn break alone.
Love is bribing your children with chocolates.
Love is not wanting anyone home.
Love is wanting the house to myself.
Love is him having hots for you.
Love is both of you being married not to each other.
Love is being truthful.
Love is hiding your feelings.
Love is ignoring in a group.
Love is calling to check how you are.
Love is decorating my house with flowers.
Love is wanting to share a bottle of wine.
Love is hating liquors.
Love is knowing to drink only beer.
Love is being a student.
Love is being a teacher.
Love is when you dont care who is the boss.
Love is going to buy veggies together.
Love is being awake.
Love is feeling alive.
Love is just being.