At the coffeehouse…

“You really don’t share anything with me, do you?”, I asked.

After many years Akash and I went the coffeehouse we frequented before we got married. The cashier chuckled and winked as we walked hand in hand, eons ago. The place had changed significantly and so had the people…

Akash put down the cup on the table and stretched back in his chair. He folded his hands behind his head and looked out through the window. I sat looking at his face and thinking, this is the man I chose to marry twenty years ago. He looks the same, then what changed between us?

He leaned forward and took my hands in his. He fiddled with my bangles for a bit and looked into my eyes.

“Nandu, I am moving out. There is someone else…”, I sat in silence, my eyes were welling up, why do they do that? Why can’t they wait for the right moment, maybe when I am alone? I looked up, in an attempt to send the tears back to where they came from.

I withdrew my hand. Gathered my purse from the table, my phone and the keys. Why don’t I put everything in a bag instead of carrying fragments, why ain’t I whole? My sunglasses, where were they? Oh they were on my head, holding my hair in place. As I stood up, my saree got stuck under the chair. I chose to wear a saree he got me for my birthday, a beautiful pastel green and now it was stuck. Can I make a clean exit?

I finally walked out… of the coffeehouse…


Prince Charming

One of my friends today was pouring out her woes on how she is engulfed with guilt that she cannot get her arms around everything at home and work. Nothing is completed perfectly, leaving everything half baked piling up on the guilt factor.

I told her, to stop killing herself. There is only this much each person can do. And we have another person living under the same roof who is equally responsible for everything we do. The overtime we do is making up for the things that the other half so conveniently ignores.

Every girl has an image of her prince charming. She grows up with it. Its like its in her genes to form the image. Okay, atleast most girls. There are some who don’t. The unlucky few. They get married and then start forming the image of Mr. Prince. Duh! Sorry girl, too late.

I believe most girls look for the below basic qualities in her spouse –

Mr. Prince should be her best friend. This is the shortest sentence I can possible write about the person she would desire to spend her life with. A person she can talk to, to any length, about anything under the sun, with no pretense or hiding.

Mr. Prince should consider her a friend. She should be his best friend. He should be able to share everything with her. That’s when the relationship is balanced.

Mr. Prince should respect her opinion whether he likes it or not. He can disagree, she is fine with that, but he should not shove her opinion into the trash bag.

Mr. Prince should know her interests. What she likes, what she doesn’t like and stay by her at every occasion where she likes something or dislikes.. He should encourage her likes and not blame her for her dislikes.

Mr. Prince should be interested in the children they ‘produce’ (for lack of a better word) and their lives. The children should be a joint first priority and they should grow up in a happy environment.

Mr. Prince should not judge her. As Sreedevi’s character in English Vinglish says, family should not be judgemental. ‘We are in this together, come what may’. When one person starts judging the other, you are separated.

Mr. Prince should pamper her. Okay, that’s a big ask. Atleast occasionally, with flowers, with a movie, dinner, small talk or whatever her interests are.

To guys who are reading this, if you have got your cards right, your lady will treat you like a king. If you get your basics wrong, boy you are in for hell.

What if you marry the wrong Prince? You literally cannot go back and say, uh oh! sorry, you got the wrong one. I know the stylish, famous and ‘in-thing’ now is a divorce, but no! You just talk… 🙂 That is where you need to put in overtime, not to do his chores, but to make it work..

Baar Baar Dekho


Spoiler alert –

My kids and I watched Baar Baar Dekho today. After many hours we were discussing as to why the movie was titled ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ (see it many times). My older one said ‘Its because he gets to look at his life many times’. He was right, I thought.

The character Jai Varma gets many chances at life and is able to trace back to the exact point where the problems started. He can then relive his life and take the road less traveled. Lucky for him.

That was a movie and we all know that in real life we don’t get even a second chance. What is done is done, the past never comes knocking on your door, holding out a chance to relive your life.

The future, well, that’s why its called the future. Its distant and unknown.

As I put my kids to sleep today, we read a story from the Bible about how Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread. We then sang songs from the movie in chorus. I remembered to tell my older one about how my younger one was missing him, while he was out this evening. We pulled the little one’s leg, which he didn’t like and hurled some punches my way. We spoke about how you either swallow or breathe and the esophagus. This topic got my little one dozing. I strode to my older one’s bed and stroked his hair till he fell asleep.

Wow.. so much in the present.. in the now. All this must have lasted about ten minutes, but those ten minutes are precious for my little ones and me. They go to sleep with togetherness on their mind. And I, hold on to these moments, to now; because, I definitely don’t want to feel in some distant future, that I didn’t have fun with my kids in the past.

So much so, for Baar Baar Dekho.



I happened to open the matrimonial classifieds supplement sheet this morning and to my amusement found some hilarious descriptions of requirements.

I have always thought, how do people find life partners with this, me being a happy victim of the socially classified “inter religion love marriage”. The concept of arranged marriages with these newspaper descriptions is outright hilarious.

Let me quote a few phrases/words used in these ads –
Seeks fair employed girl – how fair?
Seeks pious beautiful girl – is going to the temple everyday pious enough?
Vegetarian with clean habits seeks fair,  well educated girl – clean habits ?
Seeks highly professional affluent boy – how affluent might that be?
A gentleman 58 seeks sincere committed pleasant lady – committed to?
Seeks soft good nature bride – so she should not shout
Fair qualified brides – qualified for?
Very fair employed in USA seeks professional qualified bride – like being employees in USA is an added feather or extra qualification to filter out the desi employed girls.
Hindu girl senior position mnc abroad, widely travelled, multi lingual, modern outlook, traditional values seeking well educated and settled, broad minded groom – PHEW!
US citizen doctor parents seek alliance for their US citizen daughter, born and brought up in India with strong Indian values – they need the US tag but Indian values !!
Hindu healthy rich active widower 79 needs a healthy beautiful lady life partner around 65 – beauty matters even at 79.
Good family background professionally well qualified and well settled. Honest good human values  clean habits vegetarian tee totaller – aint you asking for an ideal guy who is non existent?

… and the list is endless.. I may be mocking these ads here, but marriages do happen this way, and in large numbers everyday. What amuses me is the first step in the selection process of a spouse are the phrases listed above.
And the flip side is you stand very less chances of getting married if you do not for into these flowery adjectives. The outlook that people enter a marriage with is defined by these phrases and it is none of these things that makes a marriage happy. Well maybe parents think that these are pointers to a happy married life.

Long live marriage and classifieds !!