Wednesday, December 1, 2010


As the new money is being pumped into modern India, it has brought with it an influx of women that would care for the children of the rich. These slum dwelling ladies feed them,put the babies to bed,tell them stories, accompany them to schools,keep them entertained at the parties while the biological mothers drink,eat and indulge.

The new age nannies do it all. They hardly look the role though, still saree clad, still poor, still living in holes, still getting beaten by the their drunk husbands and still underpaid, these surrogates refuge in the homes of the rich,make the wealthy's children their own from morning to night and some well into another day.

We are talking about the baais' and we will call them the surrogates. For they are,in kind.
But there is more to talk, about the mistresses.

On our annual trips to India,while attending the flood of social invitations, one thing that stands out is the co-existence of the two women in every household. Long gone is the pairing of two women as the mother and daughter in laws in a family, the new age pair is the nanny and her mistress.

One is incomplete without the other, they go everywhere together, whatever step of social ladder they are attempting to ascend or stand at,they are joined at the hip.

These pairs of the mistress and her employee give new meaning to the concept of need and want.
On a day they don't unite,the mistress is typically handicapped without the surrogate, the surrogate is deprived of the haven she lets herself in every morning to escape the sweltering heat outside and constant deprivation of her unfortunate world. In this marriage of need and want there is a third angle that brings these two women,each coming from extreme realm of the societal plethora; together. Its the child.

In today's India,it is not unusual to see the child rather eat sleep and be happy with the surrogate more than the mother.
It is also not unusual for a child to find consolation from whatever is troubling him in his little world, in the bosom of the poor woman more than his own mother,for she the surrogate is always around.

This is my interpretation of a day in a life of an emerging mother in India.By emerging I mean someone who has just stepped into a life of wealth that comes with luxury of doing nothing.
The day is usually governed by tea in bed,luxurious baths,not running like a mad woman in the morning to fix lunches,spending a lazy afternoon chatting on the phone while getting a pedicure and ordering the cook to make whatever, for dinner; with some social gatherings thrown in.

In that madness is a child or the children.I fail to understand why they exist in the first place.

I live in the west,we generally devote 3/4th of our lives after our children, I will not deny that the devotion is not all willingness in entirety, it is also out of circumstance.
Whether you are an emerging mother here in the west or a commoner, the way of life dictates us to spend time for and with our children. WE feed them and put them to bed. We read stories to them and drive them to school. We collect for their college fund and do not isolate them at the parties. While we secretly hopelessly wish for a day for ourselves,we inhale in the morning and exhale at night.

We are exemplary epitomes of old world principals that ' a child is a reflection of the mother'.

Do I wish to change places?
No. Not for forever. Most certainly on some days.

Am I jealous?
Yes. Rarely but definitely.

Does it mean I refuse domestic help?
ha! of course not, who does not like that!

I am thinking if I were in India, and had the luxury of a this new kind of a surrogate, would I take it up? I don't know the answer but I most certainly will not say no.
Is moderation possible in an arrangement where your job is done for you ?
I doubt it.
Habits are not formed for nothing.

A bird's eye view tells me that my child is mine not because she is born out of me but because I give definition to her life by being there in person.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why I can't get enough of India.....

BJP says India should support Pakistan in combating terrorism. I could not laugh louder. One has to be shameless, senseless and blind to even suggest that or insane, while the ‘successful’ age is closing in more than ever,30s is now the new 20s with the young brooding money and living it up; from a street vendor to a domestic helper to a 5th grader to an 85 year old man, all have cell phones and Indian women have finally unlocked their tresses to male hair dressers. I mean it’s the coolest thing ever...

India has probably never had as much adrenaline as now...

The insanity our politicians display is almost plausibly funny. You don't know if you should laugh at them or kill them. Probably do both. While we are still squabbling over inappropriate remarks on Islam, Varun Gandhi and Shiney Ahuja and what not, the fairer sex is letting their hair down and into the hands of skilled men who swiftly chop off the Indian locks to give them bollywood cuts. While accepting homosexuality is in the process of germination, thanks to the film makers who are responsible to open up the pressing nerve about being gay, jaws don’t drop and eyes don’t pop when the cat gets out of the bag for some celebrities on their sexuality. Its like we have wide-open pores and we are absorbing everything we can. Penetrating into Indian skin is so easy, we change, we adapt and we adopt almost anything that has a potential of trend setting. I doubt if any country can boast of absorbing the aftereffects of a corporation going belly up like India did, there is always someone to rescue the dying and throw them back in the rut, Can't be said the same about lets say America. When GM went belly up, people like us ended up paying their bail out and it still died.

I had gone to a friend's house and while exiting, I saw a maid talking on the cell phone. In my head, maids can't afford cell phones. But seeing her holding a cell to one ear dressed in rags was the most contradictory sight ever nonetheless very amusing at the same time...

Every time I come here, which is lets say quite often, I can't get enough, my hate list is larger than my like list since my abode was transferred a decade ago, almost giving me a right to display my affection for America without feeling guilty of being less patriotic; but I think India is like an extra large can of red bull, at the end of it, you have wings.

Its like the place has a bag full of secret ingredients that it churns out every once in a while, adding to already complex flavors, making it even more impossible to pinch it out while it always retains its splendor.

Hail!! Javed Habib,middle class man and empty headed aging politicians; what would we do without you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why I love India

Can't wait to write about the incredible experience I just soon as I get a breather..Oh my god!! I love India more and more..what a revolution..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Which one are you?

Women to me are synonymous with chaos. Women are chaotic. We are engineered to be multifunctional,simultaneous,neurotic,random,instantaneous,if-you-try-and-understand-us-you-will-fail-miserably kind of creatures who constantly analyze everything from the neighbor's garden to what's going on in the mind of that stranger at the airport.We have a wide range and we nail it every time. Period.

In my opinion nobody came close to represent us as accurately as 'Sex and the City'. Samantha,Carry,Charlotte and Miranda may just be some characters in a sitcom but I think there is one in every one of us..its only a question of which one are we?

I have plenty of women around me to pick and choose and compare them to Charlotte,Miranda,Samantha and Carry. So for fun, I picked my neighbors. Now neighbors are special because you are always curious about them,you smile at them,hang out with them,share stuff with them but you are always curious about them.

There are four women who classify as my immediate neighbors. Each one is dramatically different from the other and represent Charlotte,Miranda,Carry and Samantha to the hoot.Tchh tchh...I am not going to barr myself out of this entertainment. I know exactly who I am like. That comes later.

The one who lives one house down is Samantha. Now Samantha is a wild spirit, bed hopping,don't care a damn kind of woman who will never die with a complaint of not having an eventful life. Now our Samantha (a.k.a my neighbor) is not this bed hopping woman in the least,but we are talking about the spirit here,not the actions.

So when I first met her,she was just like Samantha,a harmless free spirit who had all the answers,no pun intended but it was like, you get into trouble you go to her.Ther is a secret wild side to her that emerges as you know her.You want to know how to fix something you go to her.Coach bags,martinis,night outs..yeah the works..

The one who lives two houses down is Miranda.Articulate,matter-0f-factly,thinker,would rather spend a day strength training than waste it on hideous nothing..
Now in the show,one would think Miranda was the serious type,but if you observe closely she had her moments behind that calm facade.Our Miranda is also successful in her profession,would go great lengths to keep the family happy,secretly steal the show..yeah retrospect, all of us want to do that but not all of us can...

The one who lives across tucked in the corner is Charlotte I. Charlotte is the woman you take home. Torch bearer of the family,you can die in peace knowing your 100 year old tradition will be aptly carried on for next 100.Charlotte has a map drawn for everything.There are dos and don'ts and its important to follow them.Our charlotte will carry on the legacy of her family undoubetly.Charlotte is never wrong,now some of us may choose to explore the path less taken and finally come back to where we should have never started but Charlotte always ends up knowing better.

The one who lives across in the middle is Charlotte II.Our charlotte no.2 is a step up from charlotte I.This charlotte will not only carry on the legacy for next 100 but will make sure there are no modifications just so to rule out any alterations and that steaming hot food is methodically serverd every night to the family.Charlotte was always secretly rebellious and every once in a while when no one was looking allowed herself to walk off the path.

Now its my turn. I am self proclaimed Carrie Bradshaw.Not because i can write but because I bend the rules as I please,fall flat on my face several times walking on the same path again and again,get miserably emotional and inflict self torture for things not worth a penny.

Once in a while we all have the pleasure of hanging out together,no,we are not as tight as the women of sex and the city but when we butt heads,we talk just like them.

So, which one are you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are malls the only place unaffected ?

With all due respect to those who are going through hell and are affected by 'the recession' why do I see the malls and the shops chock-a-block with shoppers oozing out the greens?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am suffering from writer's block.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why are men like this?

Why are men like this? Does something go wrong when one X chromosome meets the Y ? Does it produce a wrong combination of chemical reactions that cause psychological malfunction?

We just saw the movie 'The Breakup' and the only part that said it was a movie and not real life,was Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. We could have easily substituted them without acting lessons in at least half the movie.
Here is a very interesting dialogue between them and one that I and Manas replay in real life over and over again.

Aniston to Vaughn:"you could have offered to help me with the dishes"
Vaughn:"Do you want me to do the dishes"
Aniston:"I can do the dishes, I just want you to WANT to help me with the dishes"
Vaughn:"why would I WANT to do the dishes"?

It seems vague to ones who have not seen the movie, but to those who have,it cannot be more real.

A woman's answer to Aniston's question would be "because I should help",its really that simple but I bet a man's answer would be "It can be done tomorrow,lets have another drink" and if you are smart you will guess who ends up doing the dishes next day!

Why is it that men refrain from domestic work? OK may be not refrain but their intentions do.
Why is it such a rocket science for them to understand the priority of time?

Take for instance,after a party,I bet a woman cannot sleep with dishes lying in the kitchen or garbage strewn around but a man is a different story altogether.
They can snore in 30 seconds even if the garbage was right under their nose.

So what will it take to jump start "I should help her without an instructions list and finish the work without being reminded and it is my eternal duty and responsibility to do my half part and whether or not I have that eternal instinct;it is my house too and I am a human being not an animal and the house i live in should be kept clean" feeling??

Are women inflicting self torture by spoon feeding men with giving them a detailed list of how and what to do, which in most part fails to be followed, followed by immense wastage of time followed by half done work followed by women finally doing it themselves.
So, should women omit the instructions part which in turn would omit the expectations which in turn would load us with more work but relieve us of the anxiety of hopelessness which in turn would give men a free rein for whatever little work they are used to doing which in turn would make them take the whole thing for granted which in turn would start the cycle all over again.

whew!..that was a long sentence, but you kinda get used to speaking a lot when you are the half part of the epicenter of this never ending domestic war.

One complaint I hear a lot from married male friends is that women apart of always having a list on hand are never satisfied with the work men do.
So basically the difference lies in the definition of the word 'perfection'.

But when you are given a flow chart, where using your brains is strictly optional and just following it will get the work done,then why take a detour and invite trouble.
Like feeding your kid a bunch of cookies right before dinner or letting them sleep for 3 hours into the evening so they can jump all night or drying clothes on the bed because they were ever so slightly damp and it did not make sense throwing them in the machine all over again or not putting the toilet seat down because the bathroom is your personal universe and everyone else using it are blind.

Don't even think for a second that I gave you an exclusive peek at my life,I bet 9 out of 10 women have this going and 10 out 10 men would be in denial.

I am not even touching the communications part, that is a different world which should be left untouched. :)

Enduring the atrocities of domestic mayhem, we can't live with it and we can't live without it either.

Cheers to marraige and kids and husbands (who,just to be fair to the X chromosome,endure endless nagging from Y chromosomes)and to all women who enter the battle field with such vigour and ambition and still end up doing the cleaning after the war is over. :)

p.s:over look all the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors,correcting them was not as important as venting like this ;)