Sunday, November 30, 2014

Observations in the waiting hall

Yet another day at the airport. My ears plugged with Seinheisers and my eyes staring into the HTC. In front of me is the gate to my flight. The waiting area is in the middle of the duty free shopping area. Most of these shops are usually empty with the sales folks close to falling asleep out of boredom. For whatever reason, this airport is busy as a bee. Every shop filled with customers. Every billing counter with a queue.

As I continue to wonder, I randomly look around to take a glance at my fellow travelers; everybody drowned into their gadgets. Paati and Tata looking into their iPad and scrolling through pictures of thanksgiving feast their kids had back in the US. The uncle with a football sized paunch looking into his over-sized Samsung phone. The suited gentleman with salt n pepper hair busily typing into his Blackberry. The dude with bright yellow t-shirt and red shoes mildly head banging with his large white iball headphones. To be fair, I am sure there is somebody else noticing me tap away to glory on my phone. To sum it all up - Typical crowd :)

The gate is now filled with indigo employees preparing for boarding. A group of women wearing blue uniforms, a hat and a hard-to-miss blue neck accessory walk-in. All of them were 3" taller than their original height, thanks to their blue heels :). Each of them masked in fat layers of foundation and kajal. And to complete the look, their hair tied up and soaked in hair spray. Don't get me wrong here, I appreciate the effort which went into looking neat and well groomed. I just don't seem to understand the logic behind getting all dressed up for a job which requires a lot of running around. Why couldn't they just show up in a Kurta and leggings or probably a T-shirt and cotton pants matched with crocs? Am sure one can look pretty good in that attire and can do the job in much more comfort. Me as a passenger would not mind it either.

I snap out of that train of thought when the PA indicated that my flight was ready to board. I pick up my stuff and proceed towards the gate. In my head, I still haven't rationalized the reason behind the need to look like you were going to catwalk. However, as with any other random thought, I leave it unresolved and go back to my play list.

All in all - 2 hours of waiting time well spent ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Taboo to bust!

Disclaimer: Thought-provoking, uncomfortable, sensitive, "shiva-shiva" or "haaawww"-kinda-reaction topic 

Early this year, the sanitary napkin brand 'Whisper' launched an initiative to bust the myths of periods - Touch the pickle. First, hats off to the company for thinking out-of-the-box and coming up with something meaningful. I mean seriously, who wants to see a blue color liquid poured into the napkin to indicate that it can 'absorb' heavy flow ! Anyways, I must say that they not only picked a good point, they made sure the point was getting across by strategically adding "old maamis" in the commercial indicating an indirect approval of change from the elderly!  Applause! 

This got me thinking, is touching the pickle jar a worthwhile taboo to bust? To me it is the least of the "taboos" to be worried about, I am so short that I can never reach the pickle bottle on the top shelf and my man always gets it for me! The harder one for me is restricting you from having a formal chat with God!

From the time you come-of-age, you are restricted to touch the Quran or pray namaaz. I am not a big religious person, but I have my way of connecting with God, sometimes it's just closing my eyes and meditate and sometimes it's reading a page from the holy book. Till date, I have never really understood the logic behind this restriction. In fact, of all the days, we feel low and moody during periods, why take away the connection with God? May be if allowed to pray, the pain in the abdomen might just lessen. 

Well, this disconnect is mandated across many religions. Not allowed into the temple/church, Not allowed inside the pooja room, Not allowed to touch/clean the idols, not allowed to participate in prasadam preperation either (Thank God, we can atleast eat it!) If you are born or married into a Brahmin family, you're in for a treat - 5 days of the month chutti from pooja room, kitchen, dining room, hall - basically every place except your own room! I have also seen restrictions like, wash your own clothes, sleep in a secluded room, do not share bed with spouse etc.,

What boggles me is not that these beliefs have been passed on to us, the fact that we are religiously following it - like a habit, like a routine, like an unspoken rule. If this is a rule, I would like to see it broken! Am pretty glad that 'Whisper' has actually taken the first step, but I will not be impressed until I actually see the same set of maami's from the Ad allowing the girl to not only touch the pickle jar but to also walk into the temple and touch the idol or open the book shelf and touch the Quran or even get into the church and take the communion. 

Like my better half just said - "Why wait for a maami? Just do it yourself!" I guess I will! 

Oh BTW- Don't risk your life just to prove a point though ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Waiting for Gas!!

Ayega ayega ayega aaane waaala ayegaaa ayegaa
Intehaan ho gayi intezaar ki ..ayi na kuch khabar mere….ki
Jaaaanejaaaa  dhoondhta phir raha hu tumhe raat din mein yaha se waha…tum kahaaaan??

Wondering who I am waiting for?  Read on.

For the past few months, hubby and I have been trying to run the household to make sure that the home my in-laws have taken a break from is in one piece when they eventually come back. Part of that responsibility is for me to cook and for him to eat :D.

So far, so good. However, the problem starts when this simple life starts depending on agencies and people who have no flexibility what-so-ever! One such is the insane… sorry Indane gas agency. These guys expect every household to have folks available at any time they feel appropriate to deliver the LPG cylinder. If not, they simply cancel your booking and leave a slip at the door. A slip at the door!? Wow, they actually left a note!? How kind. As if all this kindness was not enough, they also go ahead and cancel the order! (sarcasm alert). We tried to explain to the agency that both of us are working and cannot be at home during the day. The guy just said "sorry" and hung up. Customer service score = -100!

So,  now that we are at the mercy of our agent, hubby and I are taking turns to stay at home and wait for his highness, the cylinder delivery guy to show up! Well, all of you already know how I love working from home (more sarcasm)! It is not just inconvenient, it is annoying at levels I cannot describe.

So to kill this annoyance, I have a playlist full of intezaar (waiting) songs! Here's hoping that this playlist will last till the royalty deigns to put in an appearance! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The essentials of a bohri house

Lists are so popular these days that half of my news feed on facebook is links to lists about various topics. Since then my mind has been itching to write a list. More importantly a unique one. 

What can be more unique than writing about my own household :). As some of you know,  I belong to bohra community (yes my faith was written when I was born)

Here is a list of things you will absolutely find in any bohri house and is considered to handicap our house in their absence 

1. The universal oil. The healer. The king of balms and pain relief oils. The axe brand oil aka Abu faas. The Axe effect in this case works!


2. The wall filled with pillows. We call them 'khaba na takiya'. The most comfortable back support ever!

3. Tiny boxes of saffron in the egg tray of the fridge. There will be one from every possible country :)

4. The famous freshener and cleanser (also acts as a mosquito repellent sometimes). It is our very own 'bukhur'. These days the bukhur sticks are very in.

5. Jhatakwani pinchi. Beats every highend duster or cleaner. Very economical and easy to customize.

Have more to add to this list ? Add them in the comments section :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wake up call!

Its that time of the year when every muslim wakes up every morning (I would rather call it midnight) to gobble some food with the hopes of surviving yet another fasting day. Don't get me wrong, I am  not against fasting, I just find the early morning waking up a little too disturbing as I am not a morning person.
Anyways, back to the point I was trying to make - It's 3:30 am when my phone starts buzzing (alarm!). My eyes still fighting to open and my body still trying to convince me that this wake up call is worth it and its only 25 more days to do this and I am being a good girl by being the best daughter and what not when this massive blood sucking horrendous living being bites me! I wake up in a flash and slap my arm to find a dead mosquito on my palm. Rest of my sehri (suhoor) went singing "Khoon choosne tu aaya khoon choosne
Bloody khooni Monday Macchar kyun aaya khoon choosne

What a start to my day! Wonder what was yours?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Work Home - Home Work

As some of you at work might have noticed, I am not seen in office, occasionally offline on communicator, sending emails from my phone, online at ungodly hours and continuously setting up conference calls to catch up. In short - I am Working from home :)
Many of us have the privilege  to keep an office laptop providing the so called flexibility to work-when-you-like at any convenient place. The added benefit to this is the option to Work from Home (WFH). Even though hubby and I are in the same field (IT), employed with quiet good companies (let's just assume this for now) and have similar privileges,  our typical day is vastly different -
My day - Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, drive (traffic  these days is more stressful than watching a soap on TV) and then get started with work! Numerous breaks (don’t judge me!), drive back, cook, eat and continue with more work until midnight!
His day - Wake up, eat breakfast(not forgetting the gazing at the newspaper), get back to his room and get started with his work! A lunch  and a dinner break and he is back to his spot until I signal my end of day!
Personally, I have never understood how anyone could be productive working from home.  One reason could be that when I am at home, I forget about work from home and instead indulge into working at home.  In addition, my nature of job is to collaborate with people; working from home is simply counterproductive.

Well, that’s just me! The better half however, is the complete opposite. He has utilized the option to WFH to the fullest. Sometimes days, weeks and even months pass by and he would happily sit at home and go click clacking on the laptop!  At one point, I started to doubt if he was still employed ;). Of course the paycheck at the end of the month was very re-assuring :).
No matter what I think about WFH, this option now has come handy when I absolutely need it and whether I enjoy it or not, I do appreciate the importance of this benefit :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

From the daughter's heart

It is exactly 3 weeks since he opened his eyes to the angels of heaven. His last moment is still fresh in my mind. Just about the same time 3 weeks back, all the family members were sitting around him and praying the Quran. His eyes were half open staring at the wall in front of him. I lovingly called him "Papli" and got not response from him. The only indication that he was alive was the movement of his diaphragm. Time was ticking towards the night, and as much tired I was, there was no sleep in my eyes. I didn't want to lose sight of him. I just didn't want to! Suddenly, his eyes opened wide and he started breathing heavily, it felt like he was watching somebody up above. "The time has come" my cousin brother said.
I had seen him deteriorate inch by inch in the past week. The last hug he gave me was on my anniversary day. He was already a little weak and was coping with a lot of pain. My sister and I had made plans for alternative treatment to give his body strength and immunity. We were planning a trip just after my anniversary to an Ayurveda place as well. But God had something different in mind. Like they say - Man proposes, God disposes!
The next day after my anniversary, he seemed completely zoned out. He had drifted into a sub-conscious mode and had completely stopped talking. His only response was through blinking his eyes. Mom looked strong on the outside, but I could see the turmoil in her eyes. The doctor visited us and after examining him said "Please inform everybody possible". Her estimate was that he would stretch it for a week max! Honestly, I do not have the words nor the courage to explain how the days have passed after that. All i knew was, my parents need me to be the strongest daughter ever; I was and I am! That one week we saw him cripple into a skeleton. From blinking eyes, to half open eyes staring into space. From frequent anxiety attacks to a motionless body. The Doc was right, he survived exactly a week after that.
All through that week I was only praying to God to stop the torture and grant him relief and peace. But when my cousin uttered those words, I was not sure if I was prepared to handle that moment. For sometime, I moved away from the room. I made a list of people I had to immediately call once anything happened and gathered the courage by saying to myself "I need to see this through". I went back to his room and sat next to him. My elder aunt had taken him in her lap and had her palm on his chest. He kept breathing heavily and tears rolled down his eyes. I closed my eyes for a minute in prayer and when I opened, aunt said "I cant feel the heart beat".The entire room stood still. I looked at mom and saw here eyes fill up. I tried to see if his diaphragm was moving, no sign. Looked at his face, frozen. I shakingly held his wrist to feel the pulse, just one pulse and nothing. I stared at mom and said "No ma, nothing, I cant feel a thing". He was no more! He was my Dad.