Saturday, October 31, 2015

Beginnings and endings

It's shaping up to be a strange, strange weekend.

I'm not a parent. I don't foresee becoming a parent anytime soon, and contrary to the beliefs of everyone around me who likes to tell me I don't really mean this, I'm totally and absolutely okay with that. Because God forbid I should know how I feel about parenthood.

Two weeks ago, I got to work, parked the car, and checked my email. I usually have my phone mounted on the dashboard, and glance at messages as they come in during my drive to work; that day, for some reason that I can't recall, I had chosen not to. So I checked my email as I was getting out of my car, and I see a note from my manager that my team mate's son had died the previous night.

Today was his memorial service. And as I sat there, surrounded by my coworkers, including my manager and VP, mothers all, hearing them weep silently as the priest spoke of the loss of a child, something I've always believed was reinforced even more - I may not be a parent, but I don't think there can be nothing tougher than having to deal with the death of your child.

Tomorrow, I'm hosting a baby shower for a friend. I'm the only unmarried woman in my current social circle, but somehow I've ended up being in charge of this shower. Organizing this shower has created a good deal of stress over the past couple of weeks, because despite having studied and worked in women-only environments for close to a decade, I've never quite got used to just how utterly bitchy women can be. And some of the women who are helping and attending the shower tomorrow have been stark reminders.

But my friend is having a son in a few months, and that needs to be celebrated, even as my team mate mourns the loss of his. And so it's shaping up to be a strange, strange weekend.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Parental conversations, Part 2

This post is a complete cop out because I realised we're almost at the end of October and I haven't posted anything this month. Having said that, these gems have been collected here over the past year or so, just waiting to shared with the world. Characters, my parents are.

The father, on whatsapp, on being sent photos of wounded hand compared to the previous week:
"Looking much healthier.
Letting the nail polish show itself now."


Conversation between me and the parents before the mother came to stay with me for two months:
Me: Can Mamma's phone be fixed so it logs into her Skype account and not Baba's?
Mother: Arre we are ek jaan since 1983.
Me: Yes but if you're here and trying to call him on Skype you'll end up calling yourself na.
Father: Now that is a good example of a closed loop as used in circuit designing and programming languages. :D
Father: And. i will not be able to call M on Skype because... :(

I don't even know what the man means half the time. And he uses way too many emoticons.


The mother, seeing me the morning of her day of departure after a two-month stay with me:
"Are you dressing up so much today because I'm leaving?"


Mother: Listen, when you land for the wedding, there'll be just a week to go. You're not going to insist on going to China Bowl for dinner, are you? There'll be a lot of work to do.
Me: Yeah, but we'll still have to eat, won't we?


Late night Skype calls on wedding outfits:
Mother: For the sangeet toh I am going to buy.
Me: Everything else you're going to rent or what?


Over whatsapp:
Me: Look at these amazingly comfortable linen pants I bought. They're perfect for summers, do you want a pair?
Mother: No, I have plenty.

Two days later, on the phone:
Mother: I have to tell you what I did. I didn't want to spend money on new pants, so I got all my pants shortened and made them into capris.
Me: Well, what are you going to do in the winter then?
Mother: ....oh.
Me: Sigh.
Mother: Achha, I hope you know that when I said no to those pants I was just being polite.


Mother: Have you talked to your brother lately? Why is he losing so much weight?
Me: I *just* told you how much weight I've lost. Why do I not get asked that in such a tone of concern?

(In all fairness, the brother has always been a stick who just doesn't put on weight, the lucky schmuck. And I'm... not like that.)


Me: Next time you call me on Skype at 6.30 am on a Sunday to watch a puja the entire khandaan is present at, can I get a 5 minute heads up so I'm dressed a little more appropriately? I had to wriggle off camera before I let anyone see me.
Father: I noticed.

The master of understatement, this man is.