Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Status quo

They say life is full of surprises but for me it has it has been a case of history repeats itself. i have not been much different from the yesteryears happenings in most respects except that i have a few technological devices and that i can speak and understand English thanks to my convent education. But apart from that not much has changed and soon i'll be the one feeling the angst of what is called the generation gap. So i am in a way brainwashing myself to take it easy and not to become an old hag who points at the Gen X with much disgust and cribs about the good old days when things were so recognizable and uncomplicated. What made me know myself better is when i look at myself now in comparison to when i was a kid and this usually happens now because i am already missing the non-tech days when food was so much tastier with the freshly ground spices on the sil batta as compared to the almost ready to eat stuff that i seem to be endorsing these days.Not to miss the ramblings about the village women being fit in their physical self because they accomplished most chores manually. Funny it is that i almost cheated my family by making so many shortcuts to the so many dishes which require meticulous measurements, medium flame cooking and appropriate timings. Who has the patience now to make the Daal Makhani the traditional way when it was allowed to cook on slow flame for long hours? Besides, so much fuel will be wasted and there are so many more exotic dishes to try. So basically, inside i am the same who believes that a way to the man's heart is through the stomach but have very cunnigly made adjustments to that. At least all this while, till i have started having these cravings. Cravings for the same aromas that drifted across the rooms, longing for the same sounds of frenetic activity in the kitchen which heralded the delights of the day, and i yearn for the same excitement which got us ready to plop comfortably onto our dining chairs.

Strange but true i also seem to be endorsing the concept of men doing their own thing and women doing their own. And that, gather as many skills as you can, prepare yourself for tomorrow but women should stop wanting to be like man. This can never happen because not only are we different physically but also miles apart mentally. This sense of doing things together is getting on my nerves. Because a) men will be men and don't usually go into the nitty gritty of things and b) it saves a lot of fruitless confrontations. How can you get a man to agree what is good for you? If it is plants you want to settle down with, they will suggest something like online trading to make it your hobby. If it is a particular movie you want to watch, it will definitely be something you can never dig into. When you want to eat Chinese they will always want a simple Dal , Chawal and Sabji of which one should be dry and one in the form of curry and definitely greens are a must. And getting provisions for the month only spells disaster if it is done together. So i actually want to revert to old times when women managed the home and the hearth and men were left to see to it that this function of the woman went perfect without much interference. Going down memory lane i remember this that as kids we were most intrigued why Ma and Papa had separate pooja rooms. And when i had questioned Ma about this she had as a matter of factly answered that Papa created a lot of mess in his pooja procedures and on a daily basis she was finding it difficult to cope with, so finding a convenient niche she had placed her Gods there and was happy with her little corner. Yes she did mention that she does not want in any way to show disrespect to Papa so she preferred it this way.There was no confrontation and when Papa was way good in his finances, he constructed a separate pooja room for her where she would have her daily communion with God the way she liked...followed rules and precedures in her true Sumangali attire. My mother and father were like two extremes. Papa ,very modern and a liberal whereas Ma was very traditional and too particular about religion in an orthodox way. And now, other than the pooja room , i also long for a separate room for myself where i can read for wee hours in the morning with full lights on or listen to my favourite music or even to go on endlessly watching movies. So not much has changed except that i have become more confrontational than being adjusting. Plus my sense of discipline has gone to the dogs.

i don't know how true it is but i have seen in clippings and heard people talk about this balance which Japanese women maintain in their lives. i may be prejudiced at this as i am an ardent admirer of the Orient and their culture. Maybe i don't know much but i do adore their femininity.Their humility and soft-spokenness , that adherence to their rituals and culture and also the fact that no matter how far she may have gone so far as career is concerned, she gives it all up once she is married. Not for any other reason but the fact that family comes first.Everything has it's arguements but i know now that i have come to appreciate qualities like femininity and what an Indian woman was an embodiment of -humility, endurance, sacrifice,....purity. i see myself wanting to go back in time and make a few changes in myself. It is never too late they say but what about the damages done?

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