Laundered Thoughts

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

#IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob?

In India, yes it was until a few years ago. Honestly, when I was a kid, I never bothered doing my own laundry as I was totally dependent on Ma for it. She indulged me probably considering that academics took a toll on me and I needed more time for games and books. Now when I’ve been living away from home for about nine years, I realize the monstrosity of laundry. Baba has been doing his mini laundry himself for years now. The same holds true for my father-in-law. What I mean by mini laundry is washing their inner wear daily while bathing. They would put the dirty clothes in the laundry bag otherwise, not bothering the lady of the house with trifles like kerchiefs and socks.

For everyone else I know, including my cousins and friends – they believed that mom would do the laundry, or the domestic help, and more recently the washing machine (operated by mom again). Sad but true, Ariel’s survey with AC Nielsen is a glaring fact that 76% of the men still feel that laundry is a woman’s job. From my knowledge and experiences spanning over three decades, I won’t blame only the men for this blasphemy. Our Indian moms and grandmas pamper their men to infinity. I’ve heard so many say “Babu’r toh porashuno achhe, bari’r chhele boshe kapor kachbe keno, amra toh achhi. (Why should Babu do any laundry when we’re there for him, he needs to study instead). The range of this ‘Babu’ spans anywhere for men aged 10-50 years.

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Back to the Future

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

He was waiting very patiently at the new terminal of Kolkata Airport. Though he looked patient, he was trembling from inside. It’s been ten years he saw her. And when he had, they were only in high school. Together. Now that’s a term unfamiliar to him since long. He’s been single, committed, married, divorced, complicated and much more in all these years.

He knew she always loved him. ‘Always’ though, began when they were entering their teens. Lectures in classroom were interrupted by tiny scribbles passed via friends. He enjoyed the attention, liked her eagerness to sit beside him in Mathematics class, was glad to help her with Economics problems. But, he didn’t love her. Not like the way she did. Crossing the eternal friend vs lover hurdle, they never had a relationship as such.

Much water passed under the bridge, she went away to study. Hurt, perhaps. In fact, he was certain she felt hurt. He went on in life, got married. She kept tabs on him from a distance. She still loved him. Why, that she failed to understand yet. Men came and went away from her, but none were like him. She remembered the way he looked in high school, sporting a light stubble, pretending to be all mature and grown up. She liked him that way too.

Things have changed now. She heard from friends that he was divorced. She wanted to see him again. Not ‘see him’ seriously, just see him once, the way friends do. She had applied for a job in Kolkata and got it too. Now came the chance to see him. And he agreed too. Who knew he still remembered her, considered her a friend.

She landed. As he had anticipated, she looked beautiful. She was, anyway. He wondered why he never fell in love with her while others did. His heart was fluttering. Is that something only to happen with women? She arrived at the lounge. Her eyes took a few moments to locate him. He still sported a stubble, no, a beard in fact.

She noticed that he looked tired. And a little old, exhausted, heckled. She decided to ask him to shave, and get rid of not only the beard, but the past. The same bitter past that had aged him beyond his years.

They might get together. They mightn’t. But she’d make sure he steps out of the past and lives. Again.

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This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

I was tagged by R and I’m tagging Maria, Manjit and Manjulika in this post. Please acknowledge the tags and mention that I had tagged you in this post.

Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 3 Chapter 2 – Taken

N.B. This is the second chapter in Week 3 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (1) here. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Wake up, dragonfly!’

‘Oh, Papa. Can I not go to school today?’

‘No, Priya. I’ve allowed you the tattoo because you came first last term. You are not going to be able to repeat that if you start becoming late for school, dragonfly.’

‘Ohkay. Five minutes more of snooze, please?’

I had laughed at her vivacity. My little one, my Anupriya, was turning into a mirror image of her mother. While that lady chose to leave us early for God’s abode, dragonfly and I had stuck together. Or so it seemed to us, but God had other plans. How I’ve been writhing in pain all these years, away from Priya, crying for her every day, hoping to find her in the unlikeliest of places. I had become her father and her mother and amazing, as she grew up, a curious role reversal had started to occur; she had started to become a mother to me – making sure I ate with her and did not skip a meal, ensuring I took my cholesterol pills every night, removing my glasses when I fell asleep in bed while reading. I cannot lie: I was proud of her, equally excelling in academics and dance. Even with the loss of the one who brought us together, we had managed to still become complete once more.

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Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 2 Chapter 9 – The Divulgence

N.B. This is the ninth chapter in Week 2 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (8) here. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

(Three weeks later)

The Dutta household resembled a Tower of Silence after they had heard Jennifer’s story hitherto. She seemed to be immensely tired and spent to the core of her heart narrating the gruesome events. Every time she described herself reading Cy’s text “I am innocent,” her heart shattered into a million pieces. She broke into inconsolable tears at the end. Cy, her Cy, was still in jail. She was fighting for him and their love, scraping around evidences based on Cy’s research and TMJ posts. She and their lawyer would produce them at each hearing in court and try to inch towards proving him innocent. But redemption was still in a faraway corner of the courtroom.

Shekhar and Tara were stunned at this revelation. This was beyond their expectations and the normally smart couple seemed at a loss of words this time. Tara, the tough journalist, was sceptical about Jennifer even though her heart started melting knowing about Cyrus. Shekhar on the other hand was more logical and he inclined to believe in the story as he had read about Cyrus Daruwala being arrested for the minister’s murder. It was an unnerving situation to handle when little Roohi finally broke the silence.

“Don’t cry, aunty. Please.”

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Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 1 Chapter 6 – The Princess and Her Pied Piper

N.B. This is the sixth chapter in Week 1 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (5) here

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

‘Daddy!’

Shekhar rushed out of the kitchen as soon as he heard Roohi screaming from her room. He had checked on her a few minutes ago, peacefully asleep clutching her side pillow, her cherubic face gleaming in the peeping morning sun through tastefully done curtains of their bedroom. He and Tara had been hugely thankful to Jennifer last night for accepting their offer of moving into their home and looking after Roohi, whenever needed.

Roohi was wide awake on the huge four-poster bed in her parents’ bedroom. Her forehead glistened with a tiny film of sweat even with the air conditioning on. Tara almost flew out of the attached bathroom in her robes when she heard Roohi’s shrill voice cutting through the smooth humming of her shower. Despite both her parents flanking by her side, Roohi seemed to stare blankly at the wall before her.

Ki holo shona, what happened?’ Tara tried to be as gentle as possible with her princess.

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Love Thy Neighbour!

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

True. Having been taught the gospels of Saint Augustine in a school named after him, this is one of his teachings I believe in. You cannot discover more than half of yourself unless you have travelled. Each new sight and sound, flora and fauna unravels a part of you hidden hitherto from your own soul.

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

I have travelled in India, yes. As a family, we’ve done the usual ‘South India’ tours, the ‘Bombay-Goa’, ‘Rajasthan’, and the shorter ‘Puri’, ‘Darjeeling’ ones. There’s one more tour that people from Calcutta usually cover early in their life – Nepal, our beautiful neighbouring country. My parents had missed it, somehow. My in-laws have visited there recently. It seems we’re one of the few couples in our family not having been there. I’ve always longed to visit Nepal as I primarily adore mountains. The alluring chill of the hills, the tranquility that is hard to find in the plains, and the familiarity of the people in language and habits are reason enough for a visit or two. So I had planned a Nepal trip long ago including places to visit, food to eat, adventure, religious shrines, national parks and lakes. The itinerary got easier with Skyscanner providing a credit of 1 lakh rupees to accommodate all my plans. Here’s the plan all chalked out for any one to have a great trip in Nepal. I have pointed the key places I’d like to visit in the map here – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan (5 km from Kathmandu), Royal Chitwan National Park, Pokhara and Lumbini. Each has it’s own significance in my trip, read further to know how they fit.

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An Equal Mother

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Write Over the Weekend theme for this week:

This time we’re having at a mother’s day special! Your post must contain the word ‘MOM’ and you have just 5 sentences to complete your story.

‘Happy Birthday, Mom,’ Shruti had a glimmer of smile light up her face as Aanya was approaching her.

Her smile faded into oblivion as Aanya walked past her towards her mother’s portrait, like she usually did each year.

Shruti has been yearning to be addressed as ‘Mom’ while raising her dead twin Smriti’s daughter Aanya for the past ten years.

While Aanya’s father has moved on from his dead wife to her attractive twin sister, Aanya could not accept Shruti who looked like her mom but didn’t smell equally divine.

Shruti decided to wait for Aanya, ageing with her dead sister on the wall.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Selamat Datang Ke Malaysia!

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” ― G.K. Chesterton

True. I have always dreamed of myself as a traveler, rather than being a touch-and-miss tourist at popular destinations. There is a certain charm and mystery of being a traveler, of not knowing your destination to the tee, the joy of discovering new and uncommon spots, and to come back satisfied at the end of the day. I think all of us want to break free from our routine daily lives of hectic work and flow in the current of travel to faraway places. Malaysia has been on my travel planner ever since the advertisements of Tourism Malaysia – Truly Asia began airing on tv. South East Asia is the melting pot of nature, culture, heritage and technology. Malaysia is probably one of the oldest vacation destinations in Asia. There are innumerable things to exoerience in Malaysia but I would choose the best five among them in my trip.

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

1. Petronas Towers – World’s Tallest Twin Towers , Kualalampur

The main attraction of Malaysia’s capital Kualalampur is the Petronas Twin Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, and currently they are the tallest twin towers and fifth among the world’s skyscrapers at a height of 1483 ft comprising of 88 floors. The sky bridge connecting the twin towers is also the highest two storey bridge in the world. You can enjoy the 90 second adventure from the basement to the top floor via lift, of course if you don’t suffer from height-sickness! I’ve seen the towers many times in movies like Don and Entrapment. The chases have made me greedy for some adrenaline rush nearer the sky.

Petronas Towers also host one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia, the Suria KLCC with superb and stylish interiors and glossy foreign brands, ideal for shoppers.

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Home Is Where The (He)Art Is

I am not much of an interior decorator by nature. I have always dreamed of great interiors while living in rental places. In fact, I still do as I don’t ‘own‘ a home as yet. Having a couple of rooms to stay at my parents’ or in-laws’ place is not what I call home. Those are pieces of architecture that they have built spending their money, sweat and often blood – decking them up in their own styles. I can add bits and pieces to those rooms in order to claim them as ‘mine‘, but they aren’t really so. I believe in creating a home at the rectangular box of an apartment where I live each year. I have this plan of a dream home which I have chalked out putting puzzle pieces of blueprint together and adding my own touch to make it my home, our home.

Image Courtesy: RippleLinks.com

Image Courtesy: RippleLinks.com

Asian Paints has been a part of our childhood as far as I can remember. It has been the epitome in the paint industry of India touching our lives in some way or the other. In our friends’ circle, whenever we have a doubt about any hue/chroma/value, the parley always leads to , “Ab Asian Paints ka shade card laaun kya? (Do you want to verify from an Asian Paints shade card?)” . It is heartwarming to find them catering to customers like us in more than one way. Asian Paints Home Solutions sounds perfect for people who are venturing into building a home for the first time. I would look forward to asking for their help in choosing the colour, theme, texture and paint protection requirements when I build a home for my family.

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A Close Shave

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

R shifted uncomfortably in the uber plush revolving seat. It was his fourth day of interrogation at the Cyber Crime Branch. Not really bothering about his fate as a professional hacker, he was more interested in exploring M, the investigating officer for this case. She had her eyes on him as the prime suspect of carving through national security. He had set his goal on piercing her confidence and getting off this case without asking higher authorities for help.

M glanced at her suspect from the other side of the glass cubicle and rolled her eyes.

I hate that unclean stubble. It makes me uneasy and takes away his boyish charm. Is he too worried about the case?’

Brushing aside her little crush, M donned the persona of a stern officer and went in the interrogation cubicle.

“Care to explain these?”

She added a little drama and dropped a few documents on the table with a thud. R was startled and opened his eyes to the lady he was dreaming about. Having been up all night at home researching his way out of the allegations, he hadn’t slept a wink. Waiting for the officer in the plush leather seat cooled by the air conditioner, he had probably dozed off.

It was going to be a bad day. In order to prepare for the case and his defense, he hadn’t paid attention to grooming up in the morning. He would have to try without his handsome hacker’s charm this time.

With a sigh, he started resting his case in front of her.

 This post is a part of the Protest Against Unlean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

I would like to tag The Whitescape and Manjulika Pramod in this post. 

I am accepting Manjit Banerjee‘s tag in this post.