Thursday, February 10, 2011

Of Family Reunions and the ensuing Conversations

After some thought, I decided to bring some color through the blogger template. I do find it too strong a color at times, but let it remain for sometime. 

Getting back to the thing that I wanted to blog about,  a recent family event at my house saw me meeting the relatives whom I don't have too many memories of interacting. The 'hi's, the 'hellos', the 'smiles', the 'chitchats' all proceeded smoothly. Well yes, how can any meeting with the extended family go on for a long time without the quintessential question? Since I am known to express my angst over any unwanted questions in a very obvious manner, the question that came to me was - How long have I been married for? The answer was taken with a smile and a well directed stare. The next look was at my unmarried cousin and even though there were no questions, the stare was loaded with meaning.

I was pleasantly surprised because until now most people ask me about the 'good news' directly. Well, I did not have to be surprised for long because I soon saw these ladies heading to my mom. Now, having a daughter  like me, she has learned to tackle these questions without a flinch. The questions were terrible it seems, some one asked whether I have been taken to a doctor. Someone commented that may be she has already discovered the 'problem' and is not telling you because you may upset. Later, someone came to me and said if you 'reject' when God gives you, later he may not give at all.

No, don't get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against babies. In fact, I totally adore and drool over them. The blogs I read are mostly about mamma's sharing their adventures with their kiddos. Babies are the most adorable little things ever. It is just that I have no idea why there is unnecessary curiosity. It is not just for me, but its for every girl who is of marriageable age who is unmarried and every married girl who is not yet pregnant. Over the course of three and a half years, I have learnt to effectively tackle any such questions. The assumption that there is a 'problem' if you do not have a child after a couple of years of marriage is really uncalled for.

The thing that upsets me the most is that there would be couples who are battling the problems of infertility. Already, they must be going through a challenging time with those medical tests and treatments. After that, if you encounter such questions, it must be affecting their mind. The general answer to such situations is that ignore it. Yes, you can ignore it to some extend but when you hear the same thing more than once, it is not easy to cut it out. I have not yet thought of a smart answer and I just smile it off, just because I do not want to create a scene and these people are not even important to me that deserve an answer.

Are there any polite ways of saying, "Mind your own business" ?

Until later!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Morning Encounter!

The old newspapers have been piling up and it was the time to sell them off. Selling old newspapers have pleasant memories for me. When we were kids, we would eagerly await the day that Dad sells newspapers to the local kabadiwala. The money that he gets by selling those old papers is divided among my brother and me and that was one major source of pocket money those days. The amount would never be greater that Rs 50 for each of us, yet it was a much awaited event. Anyway, I digress.

The bell rang and I opened it to see a young guy dress in a pair of jeans and t-shirt holding a touch screen Samsung Corby. He wished me good morning and he said he has come to collect the old newspaper. He said all that in impeccable English. This was new to my preconditioned mind. We started taking the newspapers out and in between he asked us if we have checked the papers properly to make sure that there were no important papers inside. He sorted them to double check and did his job swiftly. Weighed them properly, used the calculator on his phone and calculated the money. We were sort of surprised because generally both S and I have fought while we sell the newspaper as they invariably weigh it less.

Finally, I succumbed to it. Though I am not very proud of it, I could not resist asking him about how he knows good English. He smiled and replies saying that he is just learning it, because most of his customers do not know Kannada and he does not want to lose good clients because of not knowing a language. He said soon he will learn Hindi too. He said he watches TV to learn sentences and its not difficult to learn. He added that business is very good for him and its going in a profitable way but the competition is high. Wow, impressed I was by knowing that he understands some business tactics.

After he left, I could not help thinking about why was I so amused about he speaking English. Well, I know for a fact that knowing good English does not make you an achiever or bring automatic success to you. Yet, for him, it was necessary to impress his clients and strike a rapport with them. Even then why should I be surprised? I guess it goes back to my conditioning where we naturally assume ideas and create stereotype. As much as I like to assume that I stay away from stereotyping anyone or anything, the subconscious preconditioned mind intervenes and baffles me. This takes me back to a good post by Arushi.

May be the next time, I should not get surprised and just take it as normal. Will I succeed? If I don't, it may find its place in the bog. If I will, then it may not because then I would have matured enough to pass it off as something normal.