A Cute (?) Letter from a newly married Indian girl to her mother

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Yesterday I received what I liked to call a little red riding hood message in a group on a chat application. I call it thus as it reminds me of the wolf in the ever famous tale of our childhood, the little red riding hood.

You the wolf, that pretended to be the sweet, frail old grandma but was actually a cunning thief? Yea, That’s the one.
Let me first share the message and then give my thoughts on it.

A Cute Letter from a newly married Indian girl to her mother

Dear mom,

Like every normal girl, I was excited about marriage right from my childhood days. I never thought beyond the time that I would spend happily with my prince charming. But today when I am married, I realize that marriage is not all roses. It’s not just about being with your beloved and having a gala time. There is so much more to it. It comes with its own share of responsibilities, duties, sacrifices and compromises. I can’t wake up anytime I want to. I am expected to be up and ready before everyone else in the family. I can’t laze around in my pyjamas throughout the day. I am expected to be presentable every time. I can’t just go out anytime I want to. I am expected to be sensitive to the needs of the family. I just can’t hit the bed anytime I want to. I am expected to be active and around the family. I can’t expect to be treated like a princess but am supposed to take care of everyone else in the family. And then I think to myself, ‘why did I get married at all?’ I was happier with you, mom. Sometimes I think of coming back to you and getting pampered again. I want to come home to my favourite food cooked by you every evening after a nice outing with friends. I want to sleep on your laps like I have no worry in this world. But then I suddenly realize, had you not got married and made such sacrifices in your life, I wouldn’t have had so many wonderful memories to hang on to. And suddenly, the purpose of all this becomes clear- to return the same comfort, peace and happiness to my new family that I got from you. And I am sure that as time would pass, I would start loving this life equally as you do. Thank you mom for all the sacrifices and compromises you made. They give me the strength to do the same. Love you.

It’s an excellent letter for all daughters.

 

My thoughts on EACH LINE:

Like every normal girl, I was excited about marriage right from my childhood days.

Either I ain’t normal or that is just WAY off the mark, coz I sure do not remember spending even a second of my childhood thinking about marriage.  Pirates, Fairies, Rainbows, Teddy Bears, Chocolates, witches….sure!! Marriage..naaah..

I never thought beyond the time that I would spend happily with my prince charming.

I read Cinderella, and I was more attracted to the fairy Godmother instead of Prince Charming. Plus, please note that Cinderella had asked for a night out, THAT is what she herself was thinking of…just going to the ball and enjoying herself. Prince Charming was just an added bonus.

What I am saying is, even Cinderella did not spend her life thinking of Prince Charming…Why would you? There is hell lot more interesting things to do in life, if Prince Charming does come in your life, let him come and accept you for who you are.

But today when I am married, I realize that marriage is not all roses.

Obviously, nothing is..this is life, not a fairy tale.

It’s not just about being with your beloved and having a gala time. There is so much more to it. It comes with its own share of responsibilities, duties, sacrifices and compromises.

How obvious! But this sacrifices, duties, compromises should be done by both parties involved and they should do it because they want to do it, not because they have to do it

I can’t wake up anytime I want to. I am expected to be up and ready before everyone else in the family. I can’t laze around in my pyjamas throughout the day. I am expected to be presentable every time. I can’t just go out anytime I want to. I am expected to be sensitive to the needs of the family. I just can’t hit the bed anytime I want to. I am expected to be active and around the family. I can’t expect to be treated like a princess but am supposed to take care of everyone else in the family.

Umm…I am sorry to say that ain’t an ideal marriage and you are just a maid with benefits that does not get paid. A healthy union of two people does not happen when one person is supposed to be a dumb servant to everyone while everyone lords over her.

How can an adult human not have the right to decide what she wants to wear or when she wants to sleep or get up? Even my dog decides for himself the time he wants to get up and go to sleep!!!!!

Yes, you need to be sensitive to the needs of the family, and your family needs to be sensitive to your needs. It goes both ways, and it’s NOT that hard!

Also request you to read: https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/tag/get-married-stay-married/

And then I think to myself, ‘why did I get married at all?’ I was happier with you, mom. Sometimes I think of coming back to you and getting pampered again. I want to come home to my favourite food cooked by you every evening after a nice outing with friends. I want to sleep on your laps like I have no worry in this world. But then I suddenly realize, had you not got married and made such sacrifices in your life, I wouldn’t have had so many wonderful memories to hang on to. And suddenly, the purpose of all this becomes clear- to return the same comfort, peace and happiness to my new family that I got from you. And I am sure that as time would pass, I would start loving this life equally as you do. Thank you mom for all the sacrifices and compromises you made. They give me the strength to do the same. Love you.

Seriously? I see the life of my married friends in traditional household, I see the change in their personalities, I see the laughing, sparkling, dancing eyes turn dull and forever looking on the ground, and I think, why? Why do we even get married?

I get that if I were a guy, I would want to get married. Why not? I would get someone who cooks, cleans, dusts, lays out my clothes, takes care of everyone including me…and also contributes to the household expenses if she is working!! It’s like the BEST THING EVER!!

But as a girl, why do I leave a place where I have absolute freedom to be myself, get all the love, get all the freedom, for a place I can’t even have basic human rights like sleeping if tired or which clothes to wear? or when to meet my friends or family? Seriously? Why?

Also, this is a classic patriarchal conditioning. Your mom felt the same humiliation you did, now you will face the same and ask every other female on planet to do the same, all in the name of tradition!!

Also, p.s. where is your dad here? He had no role to play in your upbringing? If I ever write a letter of thanks to my parents, I’d give equal amount of tribute to my dad as well. Just curious, How come only the mom needs thanks?

Marriage, my dear, is when two adults decide to share their lives, troubles and happiness together.  Where they add to each other’s personalities. Where they support and understand each other and allow each other to grow. NOW that is marriage.

 

It’s an excellent letter for all daughters.

Ummm…as a daughter, I disagree…It’s patriarchy in a beautiful gift wrap called tradition.

 

So, PLEASE can’t we just STOP glamorizing the sacrifices and everyone becomes an adult and takes responsibility for themselves and let the girls be themselves?? It would be a hell lot of less pain and unhappiness, thanks!

Private India: Book Review

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Author: James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi

22755795

 

Book Blurb:

When Santosh Wagh isn’t struggling out of a bottle of whisky he’s head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest PI agency.
In a city of over thirteen million he has his work cut out at the best of times. But now someone is killing women – seemingly unconnected women murdered in a chilling ritual, with strange objects placed carefully at their death scenes.
As Santosh and his team race to find the killer, an even greater danger faces Private India – a danger that could threaten the lives of thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens

 

My Review:

It has been a while since I picked up a good murder mystery, so when Blogadda sent this book over for a review I was ecstatic. Also the copy is Author signed! :)

The book is fast paced and the chapters are just two or three pages long, which means every time you feel like putting the book down a little voice says: But the next chapter is just 3 pages! And so you continue and it takes immense self disciple to put down the book as you need to do some real world work too. The book is very easy to read and the bigger letter size helps one to read faster!

The story has not just one, but a series of murders happening in Mumbai in a short span. All ladies from different walks of life are found dead and the only way to tell that they are done by the same murderer is that he leaves a signature yellow scarf around the neck of the victims along with  few random objects.

Along with this there is a subtle larger plot of ISI and bombing, which makes it all the more interesting as the readers are not given a clue as to why this is going on.

Also along with the familiar streets of Mumbai, we see subtle glances of Indian Mythology weaved intricately into the story line, which was a first and interesting twist.

I loved the fact that in between there were chapters from the murderer’s point of view in a way that the readers know what the murder is thinking, But do not know who is he or she nor do we come to know the motive of the murder. I believe that really increased the interest.

The ending was just exceptional, the last parts where you think you know the killer, but maybe you don’t just makes you want to read faster!

This is one of the best murder mysteries I have read, and definitely the best that I have read by an Indian Author.

If murder mysteries are your thing and you grew up on Agatha Christie’s go for this, you won’t be disappointed!

I have not read private series’ other books, but I will definitely pick it

(This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!)

Liebster Award!!

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Quite some time ago, I got this unusual award from Elena (http://tipsfromonerussianbear.blogspot.ru), and finally got around to posting it here. Thanks a lot, Elena! :)

Libester means dearest or beloved in German, and this award is for the people who love to travel! It is also a great way to know people!

Here are the rules:
once you’re nominated, you must answer 10 questions, then nominate 10 other travel bloggers and ask them 10 questions of your own.

Here’s my attempt to answer Elena’s Questions:

1.Why do you travel?

Just like reading, my love for travelling also comes from My Dad. For as far as I remember, we would always be going for some new place in all vacations.

So, I guess in my mind holidays = travel.

Travelling is a way to explore new places, experiencing new cuisines, soaking up new experiences, it’s just too much fun!

2. What is the country/city you keep returning to and why haven’t you moved there yet?

I try to visit a new place every time, but if there is one place that I could go again and again, its Ladakh, India. I have been to a lot of places, but that is one place that is just too amazing. The sights, the sounds, the people, its par extra ordinary.

Moving to Ladakh permanently would not be a practical option, I believe, due to it’s difficult terrains and lack of basic amenities.

3. Do you have certain thing without which you wouldn’t jump on the airplane?

Books. I ABSOLUTELY NEED books while travelling, especially if the journey is long.

On second thoughts, traveller’s cheques and cash are also equal necessities ;).

4. What to read for inspiration if I go to your favorite destination for my first time?

This answer is going to surprise you, but NOTHING! Just reach the place and enjoy the experiences!

5. Who is your favorite travel photographer and why?

I enjoy photographs from Tim Clinch, as his photographs are extremely clean, honest and showcase a wide range of places and people.

6. Do you prefer trains over airplanes?

Not really. I used to, as it was interesting to see the sights and sounds and to see the landscapes changing, but off late to travel the railways in India one needs to book AC compartments, if one needs a decent travel, and traveling in airplane is so much better than that.

7. Which city you’ve seen and didn’t like and now you wish you could give it a second chance?

Fortunately, I have yet to encounter a city I did not like.

What is your favourite airport for connecting flights and why?

Doha, as it has wide variety of things to do.

Describe your best day from your last trip!

It was a weekend trip with my two school friends to Pune, India. We just spent the day walking along the busy city roads, trying new places to eat, visiting stores and had a gala time!

What was your first travel you loved so much you cannot forget it?

The time we went to Haridwar, India. It is THE place for worship for many people, and they have a huge aarti which was beautiful. But, the trip was memorable as we had stayed in a Hotel very far from the city called “Himalayan Hideaways”, it was a beautiful rustic hotel in the middle of the Jungle and we could trek down to the valley to visit the river. That was the first trip I could experience rappling and white water rafting. It was insane!! Being slightly out of our minds, and accompanied by the guide who was even crazier, we had even jumped in the Ganges and held on to our dear lives clutching the floating boat as waves rushed over us. Yup, that was FUN!

 

And now for my 10 questions:

1.  Which is your dream holiday destination?

2. What is your idea of an Ideal Holiday?

3. If you could choose one place that you could move to right now and live forever, what place would that be?

4. Tell us about the most weird travelling experience you ever had

5. Who do you prefer to travel with?

6. Three things that you NEED to carry with yourself when you travel

7. Tell us about your Worst traveling experience

8. Name one place that you feel everyone has to see in their lifetime

9. Do you have a favourite travel blog? Which?

10. Who is your favourite travel author?

 

And for this award I nominate:

Dhiren Shah from hitchwriter.wordpress.com

Shail Mohan from shailsnest.com

Sucheta from suchetabiswas.wordpress.com

Charukesi Ramadurai from traveholic.wordpress.com

Snigdha from getsetandgo.wordpress.com

Karthika Nair from karthusblogs.wordpress.com

 

Being a Potterhead

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- The WB logo at the start of the movie give you chills like never before, every time you watch the movie.

 

-   “Always” is more romantic to you than “I Love You”

Always Happy Birthday, Snape! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

 

- The feels when you realize that the match in third year was the first time Moony saw Prongs in 12 years!

 

- It breaks your heart to see at the time of death, Tonks and Remus’s hands are almost touching..almost

 

- Seeing Draco Malfoy in any scene in sixth and seventh part, and just wanting to run and give him a bone crushing hug and whisper “Its ok…I understand!”

 

- You went into depression when Dumbledore died and the tears you shed in book seven could solve the third world water shortage problems.

 

- When someone talks of studying plants…you think of Herbology instead of Botany

 

- When instead of normal wedding vows, you want to make an unbreakable vow at your wedding

 

- You get frustrated with the “DID YA PUT YA NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIYAH!”

 

- Hedwig’s Theme is on your playlist

- You want to know what butter bear tastes like, and have tried to find recipes online.

- You to say “Honestly, Don’t you read” to non-readers, and in your mind you feel just like Hermoine

 

- You read number 394  and say obviously in Snape’s voice, always!

 

- Once in your life, you have dialled 62442

 

- When a stranger makes a random Harry Potter reference, you develop a sudden liking to them.

- You do not understand when people ask just how many more times will you read the same books and watch the same movies again and again.

- HP stands for HARRY POTTER and LV stands for LORD VOLDEMORT, you have a Harry Potter Laptop and a Lord Voldemort bag.

  

- Football? It’s Quidditch without brooms, and half the fun.

- Someone sends a “jk” text to you, and you mentally add Rowling instantly.

- You follow Professor Snape on Twitter ;)

 

 

 

 

Some Mistakes Have No Pardon: Book Review

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Author: Girdhar Joshi

Some Mistakes Have No Pardon

Book Blurb:

This is a story of a monk who was not a monk long back. He was a charming boy who, despite of a deprived childhood, grows to riches and achieves professional excellence by his grit and hard work. But before he realizes the designs of destiny, he finds himself struggling to find love, peace, and happiness; and ends up in losing relations after relations amid the compelling pressures of profession, passion, and maladjustment of life.
What made him to metamorphose into a life of a monk? And, was he happy being one? The story finely unravels the maze and finds answers.
The story unfolds in an interesting and witty manner, at times it is humorous, sentimental, and emotional.

My Review:

The blurb and the cover gives a feeling that this book would be something spiritual or on the lines of the monk who sold his Ferrari, but it’s not.

The book starts with one direction song lyrics “Same Mistakes”, which, is what Girish, the protagonist of the book keeps on doing. I found Girish’s character quite irritating, like he expects his wife to be a certain way, and when that does not happen, he starts being irritated. In his first marriage, he wants an working girl who contributes to the family expenses, who would also cook for him, maintain his house as well as welcome him home when he comes from work. He gets irritated and aloof when his wife does not fulfil his expectations, and if she states her expectations, he just classifies it as “Nagging”. In his second marriage, he has the same expectations except he now goes for an illiterate girl from a village who is much younger, and then keeps calling her “Stupid”, and again whenever she asks him for anything, calls it “Nagging”. The problem was he listened to the entire world’s advice except listening to those he should have listened to, his wife and children.

He has this rosy picture in his mind on how his family and people close to him should act, and when they do not, he gets  frustrated. He believes he does everything for his wives and kids, but he does the things he thinks his wife and kids want, not the things his wife and kids actually want.

But the thing to note here is that there are too many people in real life like Girish, who listen to society, to friends, to neighbours and NOT to the person they should listen to.

Even Girish’s expectations from the marriage is not uncommon. Being in the arranged marriage market myself, I have come across guys who want a ‘modern, independent girl’ who does all that he tells her to do without opening her mouth, or ‘a career woman’ who puts in full hour shifts in office and then comes home to prepare food while he comes home and watches sports/news to relax and wait for dinner, coz you know, he’s tired after working in the office and real men do not cook.

This book cleverly charts out how a person can ruin a perfectly good relation due to preconceived notions of how their partner should be instead of accepting them for who they are.

I loved the character of Girish’s nani, who toils alone and facilitates his studies when his own father gave up. Such a strong woman, toiling in the fields all day is no mean feat!

(I thank Girdhar Joshi for sending me the autographed copy of this book via Goodread’s first reads program)

 

 

 

Blogger Spotlight: Dinner with God

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Why this Blog? As explained by author:

I would like to tell you about a project I am working on. Dinner with God is a novel I wrote for my father to help him cope with the loss of my mother. When my mother died in 2004, the hardest thing – in addition to losing her of course – was having to see my father go through all of this alone. Because you can comfort people who have lost their spouse, but nothing can compensate for their best friend. The only one who can truly comfort them, is the one they lost. I felt so powerless. There was nothing I could do, I mean, I couldn’t bring her back. Or could I? And that is when the idea for Dinner with God was born. It started with a letter, then turned into a story, and eventually into a novel.

In Dinner with God, I send my father on one last adventure with my mother, to give them the opportunity to say goodbye the way life didn’t allow them to, in doing so, trying to show my father that he still has things to live for, to be grateful for. I had been wanting to write this book every since she died, but it’s such a big project, I wasn’t able to do it. I couldn’t understand why, meeting my deadlines for clients is never a problem, why should this be any different? Until I realized: there is no deadline. That is how the second part of this project was born. I decided to write my novel online, with just one rule: 1000 words a day. That would help me gain a following, and give me a natural deadline to actually publish 1000 words a day.

When the novel was finished, I got the opportunity to translate it to Dutch and publish it. The novel has been very well received in the Netherlands and now it is time to translate it back to English, again 1000 words a day. After the novel has been translated, I will leave it online for a week, and then take it offline to have it edited and published in English. You’ll find the project at http://www.dinnerwithgod.com.

My main goal with this entire project, is to share my father’s story. It has given him so much strength and comfort, that – together – we decided that we needed to share it with the world, in hopes that it would give others strength as well.