Category Archives: Relationships

Heart Or Mind

‘The Bridges Of Madison County’….. one of the finest masterpieces ever made!
You have to watch it to experience it.

BridgesofMadison County
I’ve seen this movie every single time it’s been broadcast. That should make it countless. Yet, I keep channel-hopping every night in anticipation.  This movie is something magical! It brings some sort of mental peace and stability all through the time it plays …and even after that. Love between two middle-aged people or consenting adults!

Whether Francesca should have listened to her heart or was she right in conforming to her mind… Every time I put myself in her shoes, I wonder, would I do the same? The love-bug bites me hard and the selfishness just creeps within. But then, I’m yanked out into her reality of having a home – her husband and her kids. May be, her family of many years desired more of her than her love of four days. She wouldn’t have turned her back towards her responsibilities. May be she was right.

But the scene, when her hand’s at the handle and her eyes are fixed on her love who she knows will be gone forever…. I want and crave and desire that she opens the door and runs out straight in the arms of her love!

Organs at war –  the heart and the mind! Its mostly the heart that walks away with the title 🙂

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Lost And Found

It was 7 years back, when I’d newly joined a multinational. It was my first day. Being a new recruit, the first to join my department and without a boss, I was all lost. There was no one to induct or introduce. It was then I met Bianca. She called me for a coffee and we hit it off immediately. Though from a different department, she made me comfortable and settled me down. She knew very little about the rules and regulations and almost nothing about the company policies, but she did give me a good brief about all the employees and their dos and don’ts. This is how we gradually became friends. Thickest of friends. Our group strength later increased to 5. All of us from different departments. But there was always a special bonding between me and Bianca.

Dont know why, but I always felt protected when I was with her. She was one of a kind personality. A tigress under the skin of a teddy bear. A jackfruit, rough from the outside but soft from the inside. To me she was a female Napolean Bonaparte. But she had a different kind of warmth to her, a warmth that a mother has for her kids. She knew me in and out… a girl who trusted people blindly. She knew the world and its working. So she wanted to protect me and she did with all her might.

More the number of people, more the number of characteristics and more the understandings and the misunderstandings. So it happened. A misunderstanding creeped in between the best of us two friends. I tried my best to sort things out, but there was nothing I could do. Bianca wasn’t the person to forgive, nor forget. I couldn’t bear the distance between us. I couldn’t bear to see that anger for me in her eyes. We were in the same concern, coming face to face with each other everyday, but not talking. So I jumped my job.

Its been six years after I changed, but I couldn’t forget Bianca. How could I? She was my first and the best friend. If she din’t give up on her anger, I too wasn’t the one to give up my friendship. I had a clear conscious, I hadn’t wronged her in any way. Then why would I give up on her? So I kept messaging her, wishing her on all possible occasions… her birthdays, Christmas, Easter… I din’t miss any occasion to tell her in some way or the other that I still loved her.

Initially she didn’t respond. Then it was the start of the monologues. But I was not content with her “Thankyous” and “Same to yous”. Though they did make me smile. I was determined to get her back. Whatsapp has played a major role in my success story since last year. Now I could see her through her profile pictures.

And it was only yesterday that my tigress finally roared. She had posted her baby’s pic as her profile picture. She isn’t a baby anymore, although she was six years ago. She’s metamorphosed to a beautiful young collegian. I started talking about her little daughter who was as good-looking as her. This time there was no monologues. But an entire sentence and then sentences. I had got my friend talking… umm…chatting. We spoke….chatted for good 2 hours. These two hours did include long pauses. But I dint mind. She was chatting with me after six years. My wait was finally over. My efforts and persistence paid for.

Friendship! A ship sailing two friends or may be even more. How would the journey be sailing alone? Misunderstandings do creep in. But is it ok to let go of a relation without trying to sort things out? And when I say trying, is there a predefined or specified limit or time-period for this trial? When is it that you should let go? Or should you keep holding on like I did, not knowing what the end-result will be? Should you be expecting the other person to respond or should you not? When you really love someone, how far are you ready to go to have that person in your life?

Well, may be we don’t have a specific answer to these questions. May be it all depends from individual to individual, isn’t it? Me as a person, I don’t give up easily on my relationships.
At this moment, all I know is that I have found my long lost friend …well, almost 🙂

Friends Forever! Really?

Friends

Tanya… a beauty with lot of brains. Her height and long, black wavy hair strikingly made her stand out from the rest of our group. She always tied her hair in a bun, except for that thin, long bundle which she kept loose as if to allow it to flow on her pretty face. I always felt, she was partial towards that particular bundle of hair. It was her trademark. Did I envy her? No. How could I? I loved her to the moon. I was so proud to have such a gorgeous friend 🙂

Me and Tanya had been together for ages… together in school and inseperable in college. One common thing that brought us more closer was… we dint have boyfriends. Actually, we dint need a boyfriend. We were the thickest of friends. She was my valentine and I was hers. We came from different faiths. But that dint stop us from being together, sharing our happiness and our lives with each other. We were soulmates.

‘Were’? Yeah… ‘were’… Its been ages I’ve seen her; and more than a decade after we graduated. She came home with a big bouquet; to congratulate me on the evening of our graduation results. I stood second in our college. And it was only her gesture that made me realize my achievement. That was the last time we were happy together.

After that she never spoke. Never answered my calls nor returned them. I never saw again. No, I did. Once, when she’d come to give me her wedding invitation, which she did while standing outside the door of my house. Couple of years before that, we used to study together in the same house, we had such great time together.

I’d been to her wedding. She looked like a fairy to me in that flowing white gown and sparkling tiara on her head. She gave a tough competition to her groom who seemed to be quiet in awe or can I say ‘envy’ of her height. Her heels made her tower over him. Oh yeah, that trademark bundle of hair was still swaying over her face and it looked so happy to me. She looked divine! I went up to wish her, we hugged each other. It was her wedding, but I could feel my stomach churning the entire day. That day, all my prayers were only for her, I wanted her to be happy. While leaving, I smiled and she smiled back at me. Yeah, that was the last time, the last moment we saw each other.

I never did understand why we drifted apart after graduation. I tried to be with her. But seemed she dint want to. She avoided me. Later, she cut me off completely. I missed her so much. I cried, kept asking myself why she was avoiding me. I never had an answer. She could have spoken to me and sorted, fought with me, instead of leaving me just like that. I loved her so much. There was no way I could have hurt her. The question why she went away will be unanswered forever.

I never did forget her. Don’t know why, but I see her in my dreams even today, almost every other night. Those days we dint have mobiles. Her land-phone number was the only connection I had with her. I may have changed a number of mobiles in the last few years, but I always ensured I had her number saved in each one of them. I never called her though. There were whole lot of ‘ifs’ on my mind. What if she dint like me calling her, what if she cut me off again….and so on…

I always remembered her birthday. Last year, on that day I decided to put an end to those ‘ifs’ and  listen to my heart. And I dialed, not knowing or thinking if that number still existed. She answered. I couldn’t have mistaken her voice to anyone else’s, although it was more than a decade after we last spoke. She was married. She could have been in her marital home. But she was there on the phone. Nothing on this earth would have given me the happiness that my phone-call did that day. We spoke for five minutes though she dint seem that keen to reciprocate. I left her my number. I waited that entire year for her call. She never called.

Last week was her birthday. I called again. Turns out, she hadn’t penned down my number last year. And I crazily waited for one whole year for her call. We spoke for ten whole minutes. Five minutes more than last year… I kept the conversation going for that extra 5 minutes. She said that her birth date was registered in my subconscious which is why I remembered it. Really? Was it just the subconscious thing that made me remember her birthday every single year for the past fifteen years? Couldn’t there be any possibility that I still love her? Well, I gave her my number once again and ensured she wrote it down this time. How? I made her read it out to me after she said she wrote.

Two days later, I read a quote somewhere, “if someone wants to be a part of your life, they’ll make an effort to be in it. So think twice before reserving a space in your heart for someone who does not make an effort to stay”.
My eyes struck wide open reading this. I felt as if there was someone shaking me… shaking me to the core, telling me “wake up”. Was that quote for me? I don’t know.

I’ve been thinking day and night over it. I’ve made my decision. I’ll wait one more year till her next birthday and I’ll wait every single day for her call. I really hope she calls. I really want her to call. Coz that will be the day I’ll have made up my mind.

Consensual Sex – Cheating or Rape?

cheating
I saw an episode of “Crime Patrol” on Saturday. Its been playing on my mind repeatedly ever since, forcing me to finally put it in here.
It is a real-life tale about an older girl and a younger boy falling in love, leading to a disastrous end.

Shilpa, a gorgeous 22 yr old worked for a call-centre. Roy, a teenager and a son of a police sub-inspector, had his eyes on her way to office. He offered to drop her to office and she obliged. Couple of meetings later, sweet-nothings were exchanged via messages  and eventually both of them fell in love. Little did Shilpa know what lied ahead for her. Roy once convinced her and took her to his house. He wanted to have sex with her. She wasn’t ready. She refused upfront and stormed out.
Thereafter, there was no office-drops, no messages and no calls from Roy. His intentions were clear. He just wanted to have sex. But Shilpa was in love. Her heart overpowered her mind and she offered herself for the sake of their love and relation which was supposed to head towards marriage.

After a month of getting physically involved, Roy again stopped seeing her. Apparently, his parents were against their marriage and he was a couple of years younger to her. Shilpa was heart-broken. He had never mentioned this to her before getting physical. He had clearly cheated on her, used her body, tormented her, and tore her dignity and self-respect into pieces. Shilpa wasn’t ready to take this lying down. She dint wanna let Roy do this to any other girl. So she confided in her family who stood against her like a rock. Fear of society!

She went to the police station and filed a complaint of “rape” against Roy. He was jailed. A month behind the bars and he was out on bail. His father tried all possible ways to make Shilpa withdraw her case – persuasion by love, persuasion by threat. When nothing worked, he bumped her off. Shilpa was murdered.

Did this love story had to have such a tragic end? It was incredible and heart-wrenching, sending shivers down the spine. His intentions were clear from the time she refused. He only wanted to have sex. Roy had clearly used her body like an object and then dumped her.

A monstrous question arises here. Was Shilpa right in terming this as rape? Is the judiciary justified in terming this as rape?
Definition of rape – Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration initiated against an individual without the consent of that individual.
Punishment for this gruesome offence, if proved, is minimum 7 years imprisonment.
It seemed more of cheating and misuse of trust. It could have been termed in that way. The punishment could have been something else. The end would have been something else.

What happened between the two was consensual. Roy had discontinued meeting her when she had refused. His intention was clear and obvious. She was the one gave in to his demands and offered to get physical. She was the one who went to his house and kept going for the sake of love. There was no force of any kind and clearly no sexual assault.
If it was she who was forced to exit the relation due to similar reasons (age gap/ parents dissent), would it still be called rape?

Roy being a 19 year old, would have lost his career, his youth, the precious years which would make his life. This wasn’t going to be just a 7 years punishment. He was going to be punished for life. His dad was not ready to see his son getting destroyed. According to him, shutting her off forever was the only option to save his only son. So he did it. He killed her.

Wouldn’t things be different if Shilpa had understood Roy’s obvious intentions and stopped their relation right there?
Who is to be blamed here? Shilpa, for wanting to teach Roy a lesson for outraging her modesty and tormenting her soul? Roy, for using her body as an object and then dumping her? Roy’s father, for taking that extreme step to save his son? Or the judiciary for terming this breach of trust as rape?

When such cases come out in public,  will a girl ever trust a guy who promises marriage? She’ll always have the fear of getting used and then dumped for some stupid reasons. Will a guy ever dare to get intimate before marriage? He’ll always have a fear of being termed a ‘rapist’, if due to any reason he isn’t able to fulfill the commitment. Today, people are smart enough to find loopholes and find their way out of even most stringent judicial laws.

Where is all this heading anyway? Who was right? Who was wrong? What if this was done…and so on…the questions still remain unanswered.
The only fact that has our eyes wide open and our hearts filled with empathy is that a life was lost. And two families left shattered forever….

Two’s a Company, Three’s a Crowd…?

I was speaking to my friend, Gita the other day. She’s in the US temporarily with her husband, Dipak and her 5 year old son, Gaurav. She’s the only daughter of her parents who are now in their early seventies. They had Gita very late; more than a decade after their marriage.
Dipak is his parents’ only son. He lost his dad few years back.

Gita and Dipak have bought an apartment here in their hometown…. a spacious 3 BHK. She insisted on buying a bigger place which could house her family, her mother-in-law and also her parents.
Now, the question arises, are three families too much of a crowd under one roof? Or are they not? Traditionally, a husband looks after his parents when they are old. And a daughter-in-law lends him her precious helping hand. They all stay together in one house.
In Gita’s case, her parents are old and she’s the only one they have. Her point is, why cant she have her parents also stay in the same house as her mother-in-law; so that she looks after them too.

In our group, this became a topic of discussion, rather debate – is it right to have the parents and in-laws stay together? Or is it not?

Can so many people from different relations really co-exist?  In today’s world where husband and wife are considered to be at par, a husband still gets to live with his parents and a wife still has to leave her parents. Sometimes there’s a relief if she has a brother – he might look after the parents. Not guaranteed though…

But what if the girl is the only child of her parents? Are there too many options to be considered? Like, keeping them in a seperate house and paying them visits or having a full-time nanny to look after them. The question is, how much of it is practically possible? Specially, when the girl is a home-maker. Will her husband readily pay for the maintenance of her parents?
After marriage, how frequently does a girl really visit her parents? After becoming a mother, the frequency reduces all the more. What happens to her old parents then? Are they to be left alone by themselves?
In the brand new age, if women are considered to be equal to men, why can’t the stone-age traditions also change? If not completely, its definitely possible to make a few amendments, isn’t it?

Is Gita’s approach an apt solution to these problems? Why not? I really appreciate Dipak for going all out and supporting her decision. Right now, she’s happy in the US and both her sets of parents are happy in their own world. But when she shifts back home in her new 3bhk abode to stay with her 3 parents, will they all enjoy the same happiness together?
Only time will tell….

Why did Mr. Big breakup with Carrie?

Relationships! Its a vast, deep, infinite subject. And this a food and travel blog. Why relationships in here? Travel and food are two sides of the same coin. They also bond us people in some sort of relationships…meandering though. I always say “Life is a journey”. And there are relationships formed at every stage and step of life…some temporary, some are forever.

I’ve been wanting…umm… craving to write on Relationships since long. I love watching the sitcom “Sex And The City” that’s aired on AXN every night at 11. It has sex, it has city and moreover, it has 4 inseparable friends. I watch this sitcom for its last part – four best friends, with different characters, natures, backgrounds, styles and diverse careers but still together…rather, inseparable. They are there for each other…no matter what…
I still remember, it being aired in the late nineties when I was with my parents. The word “sex” was a taboo then. So, all the channels that aired such programmes were banned in our house. “Baywatch” being one of them. It was the late 2000s that updated me on Pamela Anderson having starred in Baywatch.

Well, what literally pulled me into writing about Relationships was last night’s episode of SATC – “Ex and the City”.
A little detour of SATC if you aren’t aware of what SATC is – Carrie Bradshaw is a gorgeous writer who writes column “Sex and the city” for a magazine. Mr. Big is a rich, handsome businessman who doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship. Carrie has been in a in-and-out relationship with Mr. Big. Well, I completely agree with Big not being able or ready to commit. He has his own good reasons for doing so. He’s been in unsuccessful marriages and relationships before Carrie. I love the way he loves Carrie and vice-versa. She craves for commitment. He flies to Paris and they break-off. He returns to NYC only to be tagged along with Natasha, a girl whom he’s engaged to. Carrie and Big run into each other in a party. They plan on being “just friends” and having a lunch together and this is when he breaks the news of his engagement to her. She goes berserk and devastated.

Only friends can heal a broken heart. Miranda and Charlotte tell her that Big broke-up with her coz she wasn’t a straight-haired simple girl like Natasha.
This is what hit me and pulled me into writing about Relationships.
Why did Mr. Big breakup with Carrie? They were so much into an intimate relationship. If he could get engaged to Natasha, why not Carrie? He never wanted to commit, was scared of marriages. What made him change his mind so drastically? Were Miranda and Charlotte right? Was Carrie’s curly hair, stylish persona and outspokenness the reason? Or just that he couldn’t break Carrie and mould her into the one that he wanted. I’ve never hated Big how much I did since last night. Every guy has the right to choose his partner for life. But Big had clearly contradicted himself.

I have a friend who was proposed by a guy in a coffee shop. And this proposal came with a condition “But… I cannot marry you”… which means “I can only date you, do all sorts of stuff with you and then say goodbye to you”.
The questions still persists. Why can guys not marry Carries and marry only Natashas? Why are Carries only for affairs?
Do curls look like hurricanes to boys? Why do revealing clothes, makeup, a puff of smoke and a drink make a girl a “not a marriage material”? Why is it that girls have to be chosen? Why cant a girl be on choosing end?
Big loved Carrie for who she was. But dint want this love relation to culminate into a marriage relation, just because he could’t change her the way he wanted her to be. Rather, she dint change herself. He never took her to his mother.
Now, mothers play an important role here. They are the ones who set this “Natasha” criterion for their sons. And then the sons go bride-hunting based on these criterion.

The foundation of any relationship is love. which is followed by trust, adjustment and so on. When you love a girl, its her heart that you love. Then why try to change her external appearance only to make her a showpiece and get approved by your mothers? And If this is not possible, reject her and break her in and out? Cant a Carrie kinda girl make a good wife, a good mother?
Does that mean all the Carries out there are gonna be single forever? And what happens when all the Natashas are exhausted? This situation is just like window seats in a bus. All the window seats get occupied first. After they are all occupied, passengers are left with no option than to occupy the non-window ones.
Give it a thought, guys. Being fashionable and outspoken is no sin. Whatever our external appearance may be, we have a heart that knows how to love. And this is more than enough to change your world. Isn’t it?

About my friend in the coffee shop, she finished her coffee, picked up her purse and ran…never to see him again…

Tia, my passport to motherhood!!!

This is definitely a food and travel blog and I must have left you wondering, what’s a dog doing in here. Nonetheless, I want to share this wonderful phase of my life with you. Life’s a journey and I’ve promised to share my travelogues with you. So, let me introduce you to Tia, our princess and my first baby… a priceless part of my life’s journey.
I am a dog lover. A distant dog lover to be precise. So I’ve always been apprehensive about getting one home to be a part of my life. But the moment I set my eyes on Tia, all those apprehensions were burried somewhere deep under my love for her. She is a gorgeous dog. Well, I don’t call her a dog anymore and neither do I let anyone call her that way. Love changes everything for sure.
Tia, keeps me on my toes all day. She is loving, innocent, mischievous, and stubborn. I see myself in her eyes which are cutely hidden under the fringes of her hair. She has those big, round eyes which seem to have gathered all the innocence of the world in them. I love the way she touches me with her paws, jumps over me, follows me all around the house, practically every single things that she does. All the unconditional love that she showers on me and without expecting anything in return.
Being with her for last couple of days, has activated every thoughtful area of my brain. Can we humans ever be like Tia? Is there anything at all that we do unconditionally for each other? Is it so difficult for us to be like her? We are animals too… Homo Sapien Sapiens…aren’t  we? Although, an ongoing evolution has got us here with a brain that has enormous potential to bring the whole world down or just love each other with all our might and make this world “a” heaven on this earth. I could have used “another” instead of “a”. But I chose not to. I haven’t seen the first heaven after all.
Well, right now, I want to live in this moment with my baby… my daughter from another mother. Welcome to my world, Tia. I promise to love you the way you do. We have a long journey to travel together. And with you, this journey is sure to be fun…