Influenced by Tom and Jerry


 

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Growing up in the 80s, I have vivid recollections of Tom and Jerry, which until today remains my all time favourite cartoon.  I have to say Jerry has influenced me a lot more than Tom only because I seem to have the tendency to to gravitate towards hilarious violence, although by nature, I can be seemingly calm!!! The definition of “seemingly calm” in my dictionary is that “stuff happens in my head”…… :).

On a rather serious note, this is one show that has shaped my life and helped me channel energies that could have otherwise turned into devious habits of addiction, physical violence and perhaps jail time…Hence, my gratitude to the program has grown no bounds 🙂

Stupidity : This is all-time-favourite of mine – Life has had uncanny knack of landing stupid people in my life.  I think I can moderately handle psychos and wierdos, but not stupids! When life puts me in the path of these characters, I often imagine how Jerry would react in a situation like that.  My “seemingly calm mind” conjures up images of holding the person by his feet and smacking them on hard steel a few times and it gives me instantaneous relief from the present torture.

Mean humans : Oh these get my goat like no tomorrow.  Now the scenes that I play in my head about these morons last a very long time. The meaner the human, the more Bollywood length of the scene with Jerry’s heroic presence in every single moment. This long scene will have multiple occurrences of the person concerned being smacked with iron pans, being chased and repeatedly bitten by sharks, being poked by sharp objects and also being rolled off from tall buildings on to hard concrete 🙂

My sister : My sister and I are 3.5 years apart.  We have never had sibling issues about anything major like family property, money, clothes or even  jewellery.  However, we have agreed to disagree on certain things.  Safety pins, hair clips and panties are absolutely no-sharing objects.  And every once in a while she will be sneaky and steal a pin or two and I would lose it on her.  And that’s when Jerry pops up in my head, with his ever brilliant ideas – I have run her over with cars, jumped on like a trampoline and even tried to feed her bread dipped in phenyl.  

My husband : Every lasting argument in the house would drive me to brink of madness and then Jerry will come to my rescue and save my marriage.  Little did the makers of Tom and Jerry realize how they could have made so much money on marriage counselling using Jerry.  I  concoct images of leaving live ants on his side of the bed to ruining a great movie moment by pulling the plug to playing pool using him as a ball.  

I have to say verbalizing (or should I say e-verbalizing), these thoughts has been therapeutic and for the first time I actually have the realization of I have been under the mistaken impression of being a “nice” person thus far.  Phew… Thanks to this blog, I have had an epiphany moment about myself. 

 

THE INDO-CANADIAN ODYSSEY TO MOTHERLAND


Well, well, Karma is indeed a bitch.  I remember the times I would laugh at foreign-returned folks while I lived in India.  Little did I know that years later, I would be one too.  Having said that, I have to admit, (blame on aging!) that stark disparities of India appeals to me far more than it has ever in the past.  And this has been one awesome journey thus far. 

This journey started for me with no angst of what the trip would hold, despite the primary purpose of it being medical tourism.  As my flight touched down, the already plastered smile on my face grew further.  Sure enough, my inner joy propelled more joyous occurrences in real time.  Immigration was a breeze and so was baggage.  Unheard of? I know. Thats what I have always heard.  The ride home is always fascinating. Since I moved out of the country 11 years ago, I have marvelled at the bustling activities of early risers in India.

Early risers : Now, I come from the belief system that sun rises past 7 AM.  Now that also means that the time prior to 7 AM does not exist.  There is only one 3, 4, 5 and 6 o’ clock and that is in the evening. It is not until I began flying that I realized that unearthly hours such as 3, 4, 5 and 6 AM exist!!!!!  Fascinatingly, all these early risers seem to be on some kind of Formula one race.  Each seems to be in a hurry to get past the other, just to compete with Shumacher. What race? Who knows!  

Now comes the real deal. The disarray of traffic, the sounds of tutting horns and above all jay walkers. 

Jay walking : We seem to have adopted many a thing from the west. However, if we adopted western laws on jaywalking, the government will make a ton of money.  Definitely a suggestion I would like to make to ruling parties!  What fascinates me is the lack of fear of getting injured.  People literally walk across extremely busy roads like its a piece of their patriarchal inheritance. And the drivers are so used to jay walkers that honking seems to be the only way to get their attention.   The sheer size of a vehicle does not phase these fearless jay walkers.

People : i think this is one thing that stands out for me beyond words can describe. In the western world,  I have enjoyed the clinical appropriateness and courteousness. However, in India what I experience is –  The warmth of complete strangers. Genuine smiles.  Deep concerns for your issues.  Heart-felt words of comfort.  It almost seems like I never recognized any of this while I lived here.  I am grateful for my western exposure because now my appreciation for this is far, far more. 

Social disparities : How did I miss such a big one before.  The social divide is so obvious and so visible and so acceptable that I am amazed if I even belonged to this country at some point in time.  If I walked into a store or a restaurant in the west, it would be harder to tell the social disparity. However, this disparity is jarring in India.  The accepted practice of this disparity seems to cause no friction at all amongst people.  

Courteousness : This brought a grin to my face as I stood in the line at the post  office to mail something.  By sheer virtue of having unconsciously adopting a Canadian attitude, I stood in line awaiting my turn patiently, only to realize that if I didn’t push my way through, I would be there for at least another couple of hours!  Young and the old behave similarly when it comes to awaiting turns.  Actually, on the contrary, the old considerate their privilege to break the line by sheer virtue of chronological order.  It’s a demand for respect from the young!  Yet another Canadian habit that has landed me with people looking at me twice like I am crazy, is when I say thank you to everyone starting from the auto driver to the grocer to the stranger giving directions.  People are stunned by the word “thank you”.  

A few more weeks await to be discovered by me.  Thus far, it has been one fascinating journey of discovering my own country, my own people. 

   

 

FAT FINGER SYNDROME


I am not sure how old I was when I first discovered that I suffered from this syndrome. I grew up in a society ridden with gender discrimination, complexion discrimination and religious discrimination.  None of that has ever affected me the way my self-imposed syndrome has.  Growing up I never envied models, movie stars or even the rich but I envied beautiful fingers.  It has always shocked me how I have never gotten used to something that I see all the time. I even remember saying to a friend or two that if I married rich I would have plastic surgery on my fingers. The ever hopeful optimist in me hopes that since another matrimonial relationship is out of question, perhaps the  second part of my wish may come true. 

 
The disadvantages to this syndrome are 
  1. Inability to perform nimble tasks. 
  2. Inability to gracefully place the hand on ones lap when in public.
  3. Inability to ignore the aesthetician’s look when she looks at them for the first time. 
  4. Inability to type on these darn smart phones. The suggestions that auto correct gives to the spellings that I type, are not public-know-worthy!!!
Having said that I have to say it has its advantages too like 
  1. When I am day dreaming a small look at my fingers can bring me back to reality, harsh though, but reality. 
  2. Just from the fear of reactions from aestheticians I don’t go for a manicures too often. That means I save money!!!
  3. I know that smart phone companies will find niche market in people like me!!!
  4. Last but not the least I am ever grateful that my face and fingers are polar opposites!!! (At least so I think!!!)

Library


Many a time I have wondered if I was meant to have lived alone. However, the answer seems to be that I like a companion.  Having said that, I don’t like a companion always.  Now this mixture of emotions sent me on a voyage within and the solution seemed simple and magical, hence I guess impossible? – A library for husband and children, rather more accurately, a husband-children library.

Here are its advantages:

  • You don’t own them, which means you don’t need to maintain them, cook for them, clean for them, laundry for them.
  • You can borrow them when you are bored. 
  • You can borrow them simultaneously or one at a time. 
  • There are imposed time limits on returns, hence you tend to enjoy every available moment.
  • You may have to be on a wait-list if you wished to have them again. The anticipation keeps you on check and hence there is a certain value to them.
  • You can rate them on a public forum.
  • You can have a chuckle when you know that someone else has borrowed them and is perhaps having the exact same “grrrrrr moments” as you did.
  • Last but not the least, if you keep them for too long, you pay a paltry sum as penalty and they can still be returned!

 

 

directly or inversely proportionate


This has been conscious thought inside me for a while now.  I don’t have a fix on the timeframe as to when this  started. However, I personally find that there is a direct and inverse link to proportion of things that affect / effect me, thanks to my growing age.

Directly proportionate to age

  • Greying hair : If there were a competition in the Olympics for greying hair, I would be a constant winner and they would have to hold the Games more often!
  • Waist line : Every meal adds an inch regardless of healthy or unhealthy diet. Sometimes, the healthier the food the worse the impact because I ‘indulge’ in the name of eating healthy, thus adding calories.
  • Patience : I surprised myself with this one. My patience level with children is growing multifold to the point where friends ask me, “Really?? Seriously??” (The catch, when I mean children, I mean the ones in my classroom, not my own!!!)
  • The size of my purse : If you can’t find a thing there, you can’t find it anywhere…. That’s been my motto. The days of a slim purse on my side are long gone.  The bigger the better.  I have even looked for those good looking ones in which I can put my child!! Apparently, child services will be called if I did that…. 🙂
  • Primary content of purse : The wallet has a whole bunch of plastic cards and some cash and receipts from neolithic age.

Inversely proportionate to age

  • Kind deeds : The smaller the deed, the greater the appreciation.  Something as small as eye contact, a genuine smile, the door being held, allowing me to pass ahead of their car, an employee at the grocery walking along with me to find a small thing, a button sewn on a piece of cloth from a five year old…. Countless of such incidents in any given day.
  • Messy home : The messier the home, the lesser I could care.  :)… This has to be associated with the growing older syndrome.
  • Being referred to as old : This is a good one. I must say though that this is one concept that has never bothered me. Growing old,  I believe it is a state of mind. It didn’t bother me when I was in my early twenties that teenagers called me aunty by sheer virtue of my marital status, neither does it bother me now when people ask me my age.
  • Bank statements : Let’s just say its not as pretty a sight as it ought to be!
  • Stylish clothing : The bigger the brand, the lesser the chances I will own it.

SKEPTICISM TO HUMILITY….


2013-09-20 09.07.41At 5:30 in the morning, as I drove to the train station to take the first train downtown, my logical side begins to question, “Such a big event? What a waste of time and money? What are you doing? Why are you supporting big organizations? It has not been a part of you for years now? Why are you going back down that path?

Thanks to the invitation from a close friend of mine, I went to the WE-day celebration.  As we took the train downtown and as we chatted away about our work, the above thoughts nagged my head, but I chose to remain mum about it until I was done watching what was yet to unfold.  We reached the venue by 7:30 and as we manoeuvred and weaved our ways through the crowds of youth, my thoughts had already begun to change and I said, “Look at all these young people.  I have hope for humanity.”  The day progressed from inspiring talks from the founders to contributors, celebrities, singers and also the REAL HEROES. Young children walked on stage, one after another to share stories that stunned me beyond words.  The number of speechless moments were countless. Tears rolled as  each child talked about the littlest way he/she made a contribution to the local community and the international community.  While some were passionate about women’s rights, the others about child labour, and yet some others were about bullying, hunger, education and the list goes on and on. Celebrities sang and danced and talked about how they got to the grass root levels to get involved in a project of their passion. The stadium of 20,000 people clapped, cried and waved. I knew that many were inspired.

As the day came to a close, I walked out in humility, my head buzzing with ideas on what little I can do to make a change to the community I live in and the international community….

Realizing the true meaning…


It was a normal Monday that started with the usual hustle.  A visit from a friend early morning at work was a pleasant and welcome surprise.  The day progressed with bouts of ups and downs and then arrived 3 PM.  A young teenager knocked on the door wondering if she could visit my classroom.  I didn’t recognise her.  Along came the mother who introduced herself. The girl came by to share her journey of life from a toddler to a teenager to a budding writer. She looked at the pictures on the wall and identified herself in three of the pictures.  It was already beginning to feel wonderful.

The mom explained about how this had been a difficult year for her daughter and while in counselling, she was asked to go to a place where she felt absolutely safe.  As the mom reached this juncture of our conversation, she choked for a few seconds and said, “She said, its my school from when I was three”.  So she came back just to see the space and meet the teachers.  She wants to volunteer with us. A full circle of life!!! 

The girl went on to add, “My love for writing started here. In this school. I remember how I used to write little stories here and how I was encouraged to do it more and more.”  At this moment, I was tongue-tied.  As a teacher I have always believed in being a mere catalyst to each child’s potential. Here was living proof.  It was a realization of the true meaning of delayed gratification, one that did not even come from my own effort.  It almost seemed like a lesson to me. Day in and day out, I worry for the children under my care and wonder if what I do is enough for them.  I guess just letting them be themselves is the greatest gift I can offer. It was a one blessed day. As tomorrow dawns, I will count more.

I wish for…


those who are conniving, vindictive and annoying to good people, that

  • during every air travel of your’s, you are sandwiched between a man who sweats and stinks and another who snores, farts and swears and you sit on the tarmac for a good couple of hours before you start your 14-hour non-stop flight.
  • you arrive at your beach destination with your new-found love and your baggage with your expensive beachware doesn’t arrive and you are forced to buy something local that is ill-fitting on you!!!
  • at your most important date you order the most exquisite dish only to taste it and find it super salty… (Oh the look on your face and your date’s face!!!)
  • just before you enter the christmas party, your sexy pointy left heel breaks !!!
  •  you are walking down a crowded street and your gorgeous dress does a Marlyn Monroe on the otherwise prude you.
  • someone puts an unpaid lipstick into your purse without your knowledge and you walk out of the store!!
  • your bid on ebay for your priciest possession is outbid by such marginal difference that you are left so annoyed that you punch a hole in your wall in anger that will cost you so much more money and time…..:)
  • a stranger gives you a tight slap across your face, only to realize that you are not his / her ex!!!!
  • All in all,  you read this and realize that the mean person being referred to in this blog is you and you change your attitude towards life and people,  be grateful for what life has given you and learn to give back to life in plenty….. 🙂

What if????


A trip down memory lane took me to a time when I was a lot younger and still unmarried. My first new job, a new circle of people around me called ‘colleagues’, a professional work environment, a pay check…. While I was still reeling under so many new experience, my path crossed with a man, who then must have been well over his mid thirties. A fondness grew between us and long conversations about nothings took place between us, many a time.  For reasons beyond my comprehension, he talked in detail about his pain. We strolled a couple of times at the busy beach near my house.  There was something beyond genuine in his voice.  

A few months rolled by and my affinity for numbers helped me spot his car on busy road.  As his car drove past my scooter, I raced a bit to catch up, only find him weaving through traffic trying to avoid me. The perturbed me peered through the tinted rear window of his car only to find a young child.  I was shocked beyond belief because I didn’t see any particular reason for him to have lied about his marital status.  A certain anger came over me although I was not in anyway romantically inclined towards him. I battled within wondering if he was a sadistic cheat….I still decided not to let my judgment be clouded by anger. I worked my sources and had confirmation that he was indeed a married man, something that didn’t cross my mind until that moment.  The bitch in me wanted to confront him, but the opponent in me won. I withdrew completely and shut him out of my life. I never asked for an explanation.  Although we connected briefly after I got married, I still couldn’t get myself to ask him why he had hidden the fact that he was married. We parted ways without a proper good-bye yet again.

Years later, I found him on Facebook. (I still chose not to befriend him) I saw a picture of his family and out sheer curiosity, I clicked on his wife’s profile. She seems to be a woman with a deep understanding of life. She is a blogger and her blogs seem about beauty of life. My instant reaction was, “Why did he do what he did? She seems such a nice person.”

That was my epiphany moment.  Was I being judgmental of a person that I ‘really’ did not know. While I have no blessed idea on what his intentions were in hiding his marital status, I also cannot blame the man for a single act of indecency. What if he genuinely craved a warm affection?  What if he genuinely thought that his marital standing would be a hindrance to our friendship? What if he was just a lost soul seeking plain simple friendship then?

I wil never know. 

The BS behind the PMS


I am not sure when I began to notice these extreme moments of emotional upheaval.  For the longest time I never paid attention to them and then I began to notice I would be teary eyed at the drop of a hat. I would then become self-conscious of my tears and then start to wonder if I am  pmsy.  I would then introspect on what I ate all month long that is making me so emotional.  Some such incidents of feeling extremely emotional were:

  • The day a child that would be so difficult to handle and so hard to understand, began reading for the first time. We read and read and read together. That evening when he was picked up from school, I saw the pride in his eyes as he showed off his first reader to his grandmother.
  • The first time I watched the P&G commercial honouring moms from across the globe during the 2010 winter Olympics.
  • The day my then-six-year old said to me, “I am grateful for a family like ours”.
  • The day a kind stranger paid for my coffee.
  • The day the parent of my student from a while ago, said to me, “Even after all these years, you are his favourite teacher and now I think other teachers are beginning to notice what you saw in him then.”
  • The day I watched a documentary of a cheetah that cared for the baby of a baboon that it had just killed.
  • The day I heard an abused man say, “I went to the funeral of my abuser only to forgive him.” 
  • The day I noticed the first burst of leaves one fine spring day.
  • The day I paid real attention to the lyrics of a song that has been my favourite for so many years. 

These are only to name a few. There have been several bouts of such incidents. It just struck me yesterday that the concept of PMS is BS to me.  Basically I am a sucker for GOOD STUFF, regardless of what time of the month it is. Good Stuff brings tears to my eyes because I believe that this world is a beautiful place to live in and beauty moves mountains in me.