America, grad school, life, madras, my crazy days, random

Notes from the water

Every summer holidays my mother would enroll me in some class or the other. So, I have done a little bit of everything – dancing, painting, drawing, playing tennis and swimming. The only activity I did for a longer period of time was swimming. Apart from the holidays I started going even on weekends and I enjoyed it. The lady who taught me swimming was a character. The pool we swam in was indoors and pretty small. There were around fifteen kids, one female coach and one male coach. The female coach, I never saw her in normal clothes but while inside the pool she would wear her thaali, one thick gold chain and three chunky gold bangles on either hand. She would shout at us every chance she got. But somehow I managed to swim quite decently, and by the time I got better it was 10th standard and all extra curricular activities had to stop because I had to concentrate on Board Exams because OH MY GOD the world will end if I don’t get in to a good college.

Now that my Board Exam days are behind me, I decided for the benefit of my overall health, I should get back in to swimming. But I cringed at the thought of wearing a traditional “swimsuit” in public. Yeah, I love my body and all that jazz but I am not going to risk a swimsuit riding up my butt in public. During my trip to Dubai last year I managed to find a “modest” swimsuit that a) did not cost a million dollars and b) did not make me look like a clown. The suit I got was very similar to a wet suit. It ticked all my boxes and I was thrilled.

s853wb

My University has a huge Olympic sized pool and I’ve been swimming there for the past few weeks and I love it! It took me a while to get used to the water and I still can’t breathe while I swim and I hang out only in the shallow 4 feet end of the pool BUT I feel amazing! My back pain which was one of the main reasons why I wanted to swim hasn’t bothered me as much, I don’t feel like I am lugging around a few extra pounds and I smell like chlorine. The only disadvantage is that since it is an open pool and the sun is crazy harsh in California I have tanned like crazy. I’m not tan like golden brown tan. For some reason I tan in an awful grey color. So unappealing. I tried using sunscreen but it was a fail. My arms are black and my face always looks dirty no matter how much I exfoliate. I could only think of this one relative who used to say, “You shouldn’t play¬†in the sun too much. You will get tan and your “color” will go off. Then who will marry you?”

Lady, I’m multicolor now.

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America, life, life lessons, random

Comebacks

PSA: This is a public service announcement requesting for smartass comebacks.

Have you guys ever been in a situation where someone says something mean to you and your mouth is open but your brain doesn’t act fast enough to come up with a smart retort but you still open your mouth and its just… air.

I’ve been in this situation far too many times than I’d like to admit. Growing up with an older brother we’d always have a battle of words and I would have the worst comebacks.

Brother: “God Zarine, you’re so fat! You’re like the Playstation game – Little Fat Princess!!”

Me: “Shut up! You’re a little fat princess!!”

Seriously, thats the best I can do. Call me a name and I will call you the SAME name, Say something meant to me and I will just say, ” You…”

Another scenario is where I think of a comeback two days after the insult has been thrown at me. So its like the usual routine – wake up, brush teeth, have breakfast, take a shower and then KABOOM! I got it! I have a comeback now, 48 hours later, and it doesn’t even matter anymore.

I’d really like to change this aspect in my life, guys. I don’t want to get burned anymore. I’ve been burnt so much that I’m blackened toast (Haha! Sorry, had to that, please don’t go).

So please, share your best comebacks, people!

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America, life, Marriage, random

Here, There and Everywhere

I never thought I’d ever say this but domesticity is starting to suit me. Sure, there are days when I just want to veg out on the couch watching Netflix and eating from a never ending bag of Cheetos but, there are days when cleaning and cooking feels comforting.

One of my favorite things to do is vacuuming the floor and laundry (not folding the laundry but just dumping clothes in to the washer). I love the luxury of not thinking that these menial tasks offer. I do dishes to the sound of Netflix. I’m watching Parenthood right now. Not as good as Gossip Girl reruns but it will do. I enjoy fresh bed spreads a little too much. What I do not enjoy as much is cleaning the bathroom. I think I have every kind of toilet cleaning liquid manufactured. Cleaning products are my crack. I miss throwing water around bathrooms like we could in India.

I need to get some cleaning wipes to wipe down my leather couch. Suggestions are welcome.

I need to load some dishes in to the dish washer. Can you do it for me?

While you’re at it, can you clean the kitchen?

I need to put the clothes inside the dryer. But I don’t want to get off my couch.

Also, need to buy dish washing liquid. The tangerine flavored liquid is awesome.

End domesticity.

 

 

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Black and White, life, movies, random

Highway

I finally watched ‘Highway’ over the weekend. I loved the movie, the locations, everything. The underlying message of the movie was so subtle yet so strong. I love how they treated something as scary as sexual abuse with such a delicate hand. It wasn’t got through hurriedly. Apart from just entertainment, this is what movies are supposed to. They are supposed to open our eyes and help us discuss issues which we’d rather not talk about because its not polite.

Silencing victims of sexual abuse is probably the most cowardly thing to do. Imagine going through life with no one to actually hear what you are saying, subconsciously pressing the mute button when your insides are raging and screaming.

Opening up to someone about the abuse us definitely not easy. Opening up is reliving it, it is digging up stories that were safely buried. If someone comes to you wanting to talk about this, listen to them. They trusted you out of all the other people in their life. They trusted you would understand, that you would help them and that you’d realize why they are who they are.

Everyone deserves a voice. And everyone deserves to be heard.

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America, college, Eww Stuff, random

I’ve Got Sweaty Boots, Not Sexy Boots

I still haven’t typically mastered to ‘dress for the weather’. Today I wore my brown combat boots, leggings and a flannel shirt with a pashmina scarf thinking it would be perfect for a chilly evening. I didn’t leave the house before this so my knowledge on the current meteorology was exactly nada. I stepped out of my house and three minutes later, as I was walking down the street I realized I was dressed wrong. It was warm and people were wearing flip flops and tank tops. My feet were sweating in my boots and I couldn’t walk back home because I was almost at the bus stop. I felt like I would never master this art. Its stupid, if you ask me. In Madras I never had to ‘dress for the weather’. I’d just wear what I liked and would inevitably end up sweating in it. I don’t understand winter, spring and all that jazz. I only know summer. And summer is hot. And summer is sweaty.

I was thinking about this on the bus when one girl got on. I noticed she was wearing a T-shirt and white patialas. That’s what I wear to sleep but this girl made it work. Then I saw she was wearing a fluffy winter hat and I felt better about my boots. If people think wearing a scarf on the head is hot (like sweaty hot, not ooh thats hot!, hot) then wearing a woolen hat is worse. So she passed me to go sit at the back and I noticed that her white patialas were transparent, as most white patialas and pants are, and she was wearing a HOT PINK CHADDI. I wanted to yell at her, “WE CAN ALL SEE YOUR CHADDI!”, but I had to get off.

I may still be sweating inside my boots, but thank God my pants are not see through.

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America, Food, random

I Talk to Myself

“What shall we have for breakfast?”

“You want dosa?”

“Mmm.. don’t feel like dosa.”

“Here have a banana.”

“No. I want something else.”

“There is nothing else. Don’t have breakfast.”

“But I’m hungry.”

“Just eat something and stop annoying me.”

“I feel like French toast. There’s some old white bread.”

“No white bread. You should stop eating, you fatso!”

“So French toast with some butter and powdered sugar will be good.”

“Fatty!”

“But I haven’t had buttered toast in forever!”

“Its okay. No breakfast.”

“French toast!”

“No!”

“Butter!”

“Fatty!”

“Sugar!”

“No!”

“French toast!”

“NO!”

“French toast!”

“NO!”

“FRENCH TOAST!!!”

“Okay.”

***

I had French toast for breakfast.

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life, life lessons, random

A Reminder to Myself

The past week I met two women who have inspired me. They didn’t let age, society or gender define them. They did what they wanted and pursued their passion. That’s the kind of person I want to be. I don’t want to be held back my the limitations I put on myself or by what society dictates I should do. I want to shield myself from the judgements of other people and protect myself form negative energy. What my second cousin twice removed’s maami’s husbands says about me or what my neighbors paati thinks I ought to do right now is of no importance.

Being true to myself should help me sleep better at a night.

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Fiction, random, Untitled, Word Pad

Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

***

Ruhi woke up from her afternoon siesta. The sun was blazing at the beach today and her pinstriped umbrella was her only savior. Sand stuck to her sweaty palms and her legs were a warm brown color, a little darker than the tan she wanted but it would do. Ruhi sat up and looked around. The water was sparkling, children were building castles in the sand while the parents soaked up the sun. There were a group of rowdy boys nearby playing volleyball and a gaggle of girls gossiping and tanning.

Ruhi was alone. The only company she had was a book and a half eaten sandwich. She did not mind being alone. In fact, she enjoyed her company. She lied to get herself out of a brunch. Today she didn’t need to be around people. Today she just needed to be with herself.

This new life she was having, she appreciated it more than her last. Her past life was filled with emotions, drama and situations she really didn’t want to be in. This time around she was going to free, take it light, take it slow. No more being obligated to people and no more feeling she owed someone all the time.

Her mind drifted to Farhan. He was so perfect. And kind. And loving. The worst thing was he expected her to be the same – Perfect, Kind, Loving. She was a time bomb, exploding at the worst times. He didn’t love her inspite of that. He wanted to change her in to his version of Ruhi, the one that resided in his head.

The moment she felt his presence nudging her in directions she didn’t want to go, Ruhi backed off. She wanted an education, a grand job, “and travel! And adventure!”. All the things Farhan thought were obsolete. So the moment she got her dream job as a travel writer she jumped at the opportunity. Farhan pleaded with her not to leave. “We’ve had so many wonderful times together, Ruhi, please stay. Stay for me. We’ll even get married one day and I will keep you happy.”

All she heard from that conversation was “Stay for me”.

Stay for me.

Stay for me.

Stay for me.

That meant giving him a part of herself. Ruhi did not want that. She did not want to wake up six years from now regretting marrying the man who slept next her. She did not want to look out the bedroom window and sigh thinking about all the missed opportunities and adventures she never had. Marrying him would mean the end of Ruhi and the beginning of Mrs. Farhan. She did want to get married one day but not half heartedly.

So she left Farhan and that awful city for the sun and the sand. Here, the water seemed endless, just like opportunities. And that’s the kind of life she wanted to lead, free from regrets. She stuck to her guns and look at where that got her!

“There will be time for relationships”, she thought, “There will be time for love. But now is all about me.”

Ruhi sipped on her tall blue drink with a rainbow colored umbrella. Everything was just as she imagined it would be. She snuggled back in to her beach towel.

“Everything was just perfect.”

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