Saturday, October 28, 2006

Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me

MumbaiGirl, this one's for you :) I'm taking up your kind tag-vitation - as if there was any doubt that I wouldnt!

1. It has taught me to accept the occasional courteous gesture from men (opening the door for me, pulling a chair out, etc) without feeling that I am letting down womankind. I know that they're doing it not because I cant do it for myself, but because it's a nice thing to do.

2. I do "wifey" things for my husband because I want to, not because anyone (lest of all him) expects me to. It comes down to love, not "duty".

3. I dont need to be a "rabid" feminist to understand or accept what feminism is about. I dont resent men for being physically stronger and I dont think that being feminist means having to square up to them physically either. It's what's in the head and mind that matters most - size doesnt count there.

4. It has taught me to value my opinion and stick to it without being obstinate. The loudest voices dont necessarily have the most intelligent brains behind them.

5. "Women's work" - something I dont like doing but do anyway... some of the time. I dont like it to be taken for granted that I'll automatically do the washing, cleaning, cooking and the hundred other things that need doing around the home. We share according to ability and willingness - I hate hoovering. He hates washing up. And so on.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The three tag

Usual prologue: Love being tagged for memes, nobody tags me, I tagged myself, here's the result.

3 Smells I love:
- Petrol (call me weird)
- Pasi irukkum neram thalippu osai (I hope I've got the Tamil bit of it right, feel free to correct me if not. Yes, it's the Tamil version of Kajol's "awaara bhavre"). Translated to "the aroma of tempering/seasoning when you're hungry". Smells so much better than it sounds!
- Pete's deo (something by Gucci, I think)

3 Smells I hate:
- Silage/fertiliser in the fields. Ugh.
- Any perfume smelling of musk. Double ugh.
- Smelly sweaty shoes.

3 Jobs that I have had in my life:
- Journalist
- Journalist
- PA

3 Movies that I could watch over and over:
- Mrs Doubtfire
- Michael Madana Kama Rajan
- Sholay

3 Fond memories:
- Playing cricket with my dad, mom, brother, sister, friends and village kids in Songea, Tanzania
- My first trip to New Zealand, entirely on my own finances!
- An impulsive trip to Luxembourg where Pete and I cycled/walked everywhere.

3 Jobs I would love to have:
- Travel writer for a glossy upmarket travel magazine. All expenses paid to travel/stay first class everywhere, PLUS a fat salary to go with it!
- Looking after 2-5 year old kids in a creche.
- Editor in a publishing house.

3 Things I like to do:
- Read.
- Travel
- Sleep.

3 Of my favorite foods:
- Traditional southie snacks (thattai, cheedai, murukku etc)
- Idli-dosa-side-dishes combos in Saravana Bhavan
- Amma's mysore pak

3 Places I would like to be right now:
- At home (friends and family optional extras)
- Any of the CSI cottages in Kodaikkanal, with my friends
- In Peru/Mexico/Chile with Pete

3 Things that make me cry:
- Frustration (leading from fruitless arguments)
- Old people (especially those who are nice) being ignored/treated badly merely because they're old and cant assert themselves
- Migraines

Monday, October 16, 2006

The 18-wheeler truck loomed ahead of her like the behemoth it was. She should have pulled out to pass it earlier, but every time she decided she would try, there was someone else pulling out from behind her first. And now she was right behind the truck, with cars piling up behind her and no room to pull back. She could almost feel the concentrated impatience of the drivers boring into the back of her neck. She knew what they were all thinking - is she going to move out or not? Well, how could she? Why didn’t they drop back a little so that she could get some distance from the truck? She couldn’t see around the truck! Was there traffic coming the other way? Should she peek? Would a vehicle belting down in the opposite direction run straight into her if she did? Was this going to be her day to die? What if she caused an accident and someone ELSE died? She couldn’t bear the thought of being in the news, of having her family and friends know, or (worst of all) having to go to prison. She veered slightly to the right, then jumped as a car flashed past. See, there WAS oncoming traffic! She could have died, right there she could have died! Was that someone beeping their horn at her? She wanted to disappear in embarrassment. She HAD to do something before a concerto of horns started up. Oncoming traffic be damned, she was going to pull out, pass the mile-long truck no matter what, and if it was her day to die horribly, she would just… wait, the truck was indicating a left turn. It was turning!!! The road ahead was clear, hooray!
She leaned back in her seat and floored the accelerator. Driving wasnt that big a deal, really.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And another thing

People who abbreviate the phrase "Come on" to "common" - URRRGH. As in, "oh common, you must be joking." COMMON IS NOT AN ABBREVIATION FOR "COME ON"! "Common" means "not rare" or perhaps "not classy". C'mon folks, if you can type 6 letters, you might as well just type the entire phrase because it has exactly as many letters as that perceived short form! Let me say it again - and I think the guilty ones should read this aloud now - "Common"is NOT an abbreviation for "come on".


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

These are a few of my least favourite kinds of people...

- People who profess to be religious and think they are, just because they donate huge amounts to the Tirupathi temple... while really they're depraved, lying, swindling, money-grubbing offspring of unknown parentage!

- Noisy, smoking, drunken louts and loutesses (for want of a better word) who dont care that there are people other than themselves in the pub who would also like the chance to enjoy themselves - QUIETLY!

- Advertisers on TV or anywhere else who make ads with ridiculous claims while trying to sound scientific about their nonsense. Phrases like "micro-fruit oils", "fruit AHAs", "extract of ginger in its purest form" and so on really REALLY p*ss me off! I dont mind ads that deliberately exaggerate just to be humorous. At least those are fun to watch.

- People who call my office by mistake (dialing the wrong number, for instance) and sound annoyed when I tell them it's us, not whoever they wanted. I didnt call THEM, did I??? Luckily these morons arent that common, but I still dislike them.

- Salespersons who, if you buy something, immediately ask you for the names and addresses of 10 other people you know who would like to do exactly what you've done because if you "get 10 of your friends to join us/buy from us, you'll get this cheap, crappy plastic bag FREE"! A variation is "If you buy THREE of whatever, you can get a fourth whatever at half-price". Whoopee.

- People who cant spell simple words correctly and go ON spelling them incorrectly even though they've seen the corrected spelling - day after day after day after day! This used to happen an awful lot when I was editing copy in newspapers, but it seems that zillions of people who aren't reporters STILL DO THE SAME DAMN THING!

- People who keep using my name when speaking to me - in every sentence. This is for them - any of them, all of them: I know my name. YOU know my name. I know you know my name. Dont wear it out in one conversation! More than anything else, it's annoying. It's the most obvious sales ploy in the world! It does NOT make me feel closer to you or more willing to do what you want. And dont stand so close to me, the phrase "one-on-one" does not mean you need to be so close physically that I am forced to inhale your breath!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How about this for sheer gall?

I'm constantly amazed by what what some people can get up to. The bare-faced lying, cheating, skulduggery that takes place in the world is one thing - even though the liars, cheaters and skulduggers (?) cover the entire gamut between common criminals and super-rich celebrities - but I think this woman Carol Glover is one of those that take the cake, the icing, the cherry on top AND the whole bloody bakery for sheer brazenness!

Carol Glover stabbed her retired police officer husband to death, was sentenced to 2 years for manslaughter, was told that she would not receive a widow's pension - and actually challenged that decision in Court. After all, she was a widow, and as a widow she deserved to get the pension that was her due ... never mind that the reason she was a widow was that she killed her husband!

Good thing that the High Court
dismissed her claim. The thing is, I just cant believe that the Court actually thought there WAS a claim worth debating.