Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Tis the season

So winter is officially here. My favorite time of the year. It is treacherous though since the sun is shining real bright but should you step out without adequate insulation, you would freeze instantly.

I have rediscovered my love for hot chocolate and the Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate powder has never tasted better. My sister-in-law and I picked up a box each from the Ghiradelli square in SFO and while her stash goes into the yummy cakes she's been baking ever since we got back, I have been ODing on hot chocolate. I finally get to wear my lovely, soft sweaters and my ankle length boots to work. I also get to feel super hot in my knee high Aldo leather boots and woollen skirts. My craving for chai at all odd hours of the day is no longer frowned upon and my co-worker willingly agrees to accompany me to the local desi joint.

And the shopping.Don't get me started on the shopping.This year the Black Friday sales have started earlier than usual to try and lure unsuspecting, hapless folks into parting with their hard earned money in exchange for some incredibly satisfying retail therapy.I have decided to do my part by jump-starting the economy with my shop till I drop policy.

Thing at work are slower than ever since most people are on vacation. It gives me time to take stock and get some fresh perspective on the way I want my professional life to be from this point on.

Did I mention that I love winters? And you?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Repressed memories

Chandni said it all when she wrote.."Its like opening a Pandora’s box...". I read SnS's post on the same topic and I just had to vent.

I guess all our experiences with perverts while traveling in buses are more or less similar. My story goes one step forward.So there was this guy,a classmate in college, whom I was so totally oblivious to that I had no idea he even existed or that we were in the same class.Turns out that he lived very close to where I did and when he did attend college,we would take the same bus from the same bus stop.One day on my way back home from college,he accosted me and asked to borrow my Computer Science notes since he hadn't attended college for god knows how long and exams were around the corner.I obviously refused politely since I hardly knew the guy and I needed my notes to prepare for the upcoming exams. My turning his request down for some reason seemed to have had a very adverse effect on him and he took it upon himself to make my life miserable since that day.

There was this park that spanned across maybe half a mile from the bus stop to the street in which my house was.This creep and his friends would sit on one of the benches in that park every single day and the moment they saw me, they would all yell out my name as loud as they could.Initially I didn't pay much attention and just ignored them.Soon they started passing weird comments as well.That really got to me and I would turn around and glare at them and they would just laugh and do it all the more.I tried talking to that guy but it was of no use.I was after all this meek, bespectacled,class-nerd whose polite words were no match to that guy's abusive language.I told my dad about it and he went and talked to them but again it was of no use.My dad is again a very soft-spoken man who has never uttered a harsh word in his entire life. These guys would pretend that they did nothing wrong in front of my dad and make it look like I was making it all up.The moment my dad turned around the corner, the whole routine would start all over again.This torture continued day after day and I felt so miserable and helpless and angry and violated. That 4 minute walk from the bus stand to my house used to the worst part of my day and I dreaded it with all my heart.

A few months later,I was with a group of friends and I just happened to casually mention this episode to them and how frustrating my life had become.And just like that, from the very next day, it stopped. I never saw that guy or his friends ever again in that park and there was no one torturing me and making my life a living hell. I was of course thrilled to bits but I was also super intrigued about the sudden change. It was too good to be true.

It was only a year or so later that I found out what really transpired. In that group of friends that I mentioned earlier, there was this guy.Lets call him S. S was actually my best friend B's classmate and a very close friend of hers.I used to hang out with B and her friends all the time so I knew them quite well. S is the quintessential guy with a golden heart but a toughie on the outside. After hearing my story, he decided to take matters in his own hands. He along with a couple of friends confronted that creep and beat the life out of him and let him go only after warning him that if he ever messed with me again,they would throw him under a bus at the very same bus stop. That was enough to scare the living daylights out of that guy and he never bothered me ever again.

I don't think I ever managed to thank S enough for what he did for me. Everytime I brought it up, he used to just give me a hug and brush it aside as nothing. Except that it was not nothing. It meant everything to me at that time. Though there was no physical harrasment involved, those guys did lot of damage to my already fragile self esteem. It was frustrating that being in the same locality made no difference to them. It was frustrating that neighbours who saw them bullying me did nothing to stop them as they brushed it aside as boyish pranks. After all those huligans were merely shouting out my name about a 100 times.It was frustrating that I couldn't handle it on my own and that I needed someone else, a tough guy nonetheless, to make it all go away.

I remember the day I told my husband about this incident. I told him every single detail and I wept.M held me close and I could feel his body tightening and his jaws clenching in rage.It was so therapeutic to just let go of the demons and unburden myself. And then there is today. This is where I undergo another round of therapy by writing about it and opening up to you all.

I did learn to stand up for myself and be more outspoken and bold after that incident.I just feel that the price I paid for it was a bit much.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where was I?

Right here actually.Just that I have been really busy over the past few weeks.It was work initially and soon after, my mom-in-law came to town for a month long visit.She has been shuttling between our house and my brother-in-law's who lives in the same town.So a lot of fun was had and a lot of family bonding took place.A 5 day trip to the Bay Area with the whole family also happened which turned out to be one of the best vacations ever.Just that all the walking and standing in long lines took its toll on my back and I am still recouping.

Talking of family bonding, I guess every family has its own way of coming together and expressing affection. My family is loud and we believe in expressing our emotions openly and yes, loudly! We hug a lot and talk to each other all the time.M's family on the hand is quite the opposite.Both my in-laws are scientists, astrophysicists actually and they have their share of quirks and idiosyncrasies thereby living upto the general cliches` associated with professors and sciencys! So last Saturday, the weather was gloomy and the clouds threatened to burst open any minute. It was the perfect weather to curl up with a book and a mug of steaming hot chai and thats what I did. M and his mom spent all afternoon bonding with each other. Just that their idea of bonding was to sit in front of the big screen TV which has a CPU connected to it and browse through the map of California for hours on end! They both had so much fun just looking through the maps and figuring out the best possible driving options and flying options in terms of distance. I just sat there on the couch, looking at and listening to the mother and son who were perched in front of the TV on over sized cushions with their backs facing me and having such a good time.Something about that picture right there touched me very deeply.I only wish I had taken a picture to capture the warmth and tenderness and unspoken love in that moment.

M and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow and it just dosen't feel like it has been that long since we got married.I have this weird problem of not being able to express myself all that well when it comes to someone very close to my heart.I wanted to give him a hand written letter tomorrow but knowing how words will fail me for sure,I did the next best thing.I asked him to write me a letter instead!He agreed readily so lets see how that goes.The journey so far has been wonderful and having M in my life has always brought out the best in me which I guess sums it all up.

Happy 5th, my love....and here's to many many more to come...