Monday, June 30, 2008

meinei dus saal pehlai yei zindagi chuni thi..thik hai mujhei todei bahot compromises karnei padei..magar compromise kaun nahin kar tha? [ 10 years ago, I decided on this life..alrite i had to do some compromises..but who doesnt do compromises?] - Rock On

i think i've always been wary of the word compromise. and sometimes will even vehemently deny that i have ever compromised and have only done whatever my heart has told me to. all or none. more none than all. yea rite. I do know that it is not the truth and albeit no major compromise but i and everyone have done so at some point or the other. some compromises have been done whole heartedly, some resignedly, some happily, some without realizing, some grudgingly. if something is too pricey in a store, we compromise by buying something cheaper.if we can't make a deadline so we compromise by showing only what we can complete. if we can't find a job we love, we compromise by taking something, anything, that helps us pay the bills. i always wanted to be a detective, now i think i should have gone to med school, there are times where I feel I should be a movie director or a script writer. But in never a million years I ever wanted to work in banking. I actually do like it, but I know I don't love it. Did I actually compromise?

i am tempted to say after all the stories i' ve been in or have listened to, the measure of success in life for most, is directly related to the amount of compromise you have done. success at work, brought about a lot of compromising of one's own free time and family time. in a city like dubai, 90% of the people working here dont like what they are doing. sure, they may make more money here, but many of them can't afford the luxuries here. The disparity in wealth is so obvious and at times depressing, at one hand you have people who are living in penthouses in high rises and then on the other hand you have 5 pple bunking together in a studio apt. and everyone thinks if they compromise now, bear the crap now, they will one day not ever have to compromise. others just know, that no matter what they do, things will never change for them and they compromise with their destiny and future too.

success in a marriage, a whole diff ballgame of compromising. a relative recently had a proposal, from her mothers friend's son. the families have totally different cultures and don't even speak the same language. but since the parents were friends, they thought this would translate among the kids as well. another case, a supposedly "gharelu" larka (whatever thats supposed to mean) entrepeneur in advertising owning several business possibly already having a girlfriend but his mother looks the other way and tries to find him a match that fits her sensibilities. who compromises eventually is yet to be seen. a typical punjabi meat eating sardarni bindass girl finds herself making vegetarian khana for her vegetarian husband. not only does she make it but now enjoys it and takes pride in the fact that she can make vegetarian parathas from scratch. a wide eyed romantic, idealist compromises to the fact that she probably wont ever fall in love with someone and love will have to happen after marriage, thats if it ever does. a decent, educated, respectful 25 year old boy rejected since the parents didnt want their daughter having to compromise and bear the burden of "interest sin" as the boy worked in banking ironically in a division absolutely nothing to do with interest.

sucess at parenthood/dinkdom(double income no kids). most people, when they decide to have a kid forego a lot of things that were taken granted, examples: the ability to hang out with just each other. ability to live the no structured, do on the spur of the moment things. I speak from the case where you don't have hired help or family to help you. the interesting thing is that most parents dont think this is a compromise and perhaps is the most selfless thing one has done and one will still never have it any other way and though there are those days where as a friend puts it of her 3 year old," sometimes she just irritates me so much i want to spank her bottom". she can't imagine her life without her 3 year old and how much love and joy the little kid has brought to her and her husband's life. a single parent friend takes so much effort, pain, a few dirty looks in the bargain for not showing up at work and planning her 5 year olds birthday. I dont even remember my 5th birthday and there's no way I would remember all what my parents did for me to make that day special. But parents do it wholeheartedly. And sometimes its very contagious, sometimes a few hours in company of kids can brighten your day too.

on the other hand you do have those who can't feel it until they experience it themselves too. another friend bluntly says that despite her being successful, hardworking, intelligent (made it through with a full scholarship) she is totally useless to her parents, parents who reside in a totally different continent. and therefore after all the energy, effort, love, money her parents spent in raising her she feels its all in vain. coz in her own words she is of no use to them now. and there is no point in having any children. her parents don't want her to return and stay with them, coz they know this is whats best for her career and also most importantly that her husband does reside there too and its now not just a single decision. perhaps even unconditional parental love is a sort of compromise, maybe not for the kid but for the parent?

how about success in your own health and well being (as in being fit). does it involve compromising good food, compromising lazy lamheins for heavy duty workouts.

the real question is in which compromise do you find meaning in and happiness in and realize its not actually a compromise but exactly what you needed and perhaps give it a new name, a decision that worked? and i dont know about everyone else, but the word for me itself has such a negative connotation - perhaps we are thinking it all wrong and perhaps compromising is actually a good thing? a. doing so you may realize that this is what you don't want or b. you realize that this is what you wanted all along.

inspiration for this post, mostly triggered by rock on's trailer.

heres a dekko below. looks like a good movie. courtesy a youtuber.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

you can be your hero.

so recently I read an article on Muslim Americans (will try and search it out) on the challenges that the youth, especially educated women, face in finding a like minded spouse. I guess one can even argue that mostly a higher education will place you in a higher income bracket. and despite the whole women and men equality thing, there are very few women and men (yes both) who will be okay with the fact that the woman is earning more than them. The article as I remember points out, one girl's experience where a potential suitor made it clear that even if she is working, she should not use that as an excuse to "dump" some of the house work on him. I once spoke to someone who blatantly asked me within the five mins of the conversation "Do you believe in gender equality?". Didn't wait for a response, and placed his cards on the table right away by saying that he didn't believe in this "feminist nonsense" (err, okayyy? who said anything about feminism?) and "the woman is expected to be subservient to the man." Needless to say that pissed me off a lot, and not just me but my entire clan.

But if you think about it, it amuses me the fact that one feels that way when in reality no matter how progressive your spouse claims to be or how loving he is, you can never escape the fact that you probably as a woman will do more than half your share, without even realizing it or keeping count of it - because thats just the way it is. (sorry dont have a better reason) And sometimes, I dont even think that in some cases, that one may actually require this additional help by your husband. [ I speak from my own observations, I may be totally wrong]. My sister has given up on my brother in law's cooking and is like its just easier if I do it myself rather than him doing it (ie less wastage of food). But, it a. makes you feel good that your husband cares enough about you to help you and b. it gives that whole feeling of teamwork, and by team I mean both being on the same side. Perhaps Im romanticizing this a bit. But yes, equating this to subservient is not the same thing.

So if you aren't working, can you actually evade all this "mess" created by your working. Does it then become okay for the woman to shoulder all the household responsibilities. Because your "work" is deemed less important. From the example of the above guy, do you really think he would equate the wife's household work to his work at the office? Would he really understand and appreciate it? I think not.
of course perceptions are just perceptions, these basic theories that a higher education will ultimately give rise to a power struggle between the couple time and again get disproved but pple stick to the law that does not withold in every situation. a relative had to give up her promising future of dentistry for marriage followed by a move to another country where the degree is not even recognized. and her mom, ironically the woman, thinks this was the right decision, since "aagei jaa kar rishtei milna mushkil ho jata hai". i dont pass judgement, since what may seem logical to you may not be so to another person, each his own. it's never about the wrong or right decision, its more about the wrong or right decision at that particular time. another aquaintance, was extremely particular in choosing her daughter in law, her requirements were pretty straightforward, she should be a high school graduate and should be pretty. since her major fear, is a way too educated girl will try to usurp all the power, and the reign on the highly coveted son. ok im being too sarcastic now. long story short, the girl turns out to be all what she wanted and all what she didnt want. Time and again your perception will break, but you will still feed off from your prior judgement.

I try to equate this with a supposedly fallible financial model, time and again it will spit out some random output, exposing flaws in your fabricated model, and sometimes you will continue using it because it works most of the time and then sometimes you will break out of the mould, and come up with a completely new strategy.

so my question, yes there is this trend among muslim families that wasn't there before, a good trend of pushing children to get an education. But is there such a thing as too much education? How about the other trend, get married and then get an education?

now for some randomness, will be doing my yearly yatra to dubai. yayyy! Next post from the other side of the atlantic.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

jaddon na kujh agge disse tahiyon bandaa vekhe picche- when you cant see ahead, you turn to look behind - Rabbi Shergill, Gill Te Guitar

I absolutely adore Rabbi Shergill's music. I think his solo album is absolutely great. And even his first attempt(at least I think it was) composing for movies, Delhi Heights, is a good album. So much better than the latest albums that sound the same. Sadly, I dont know why it didnt really get the kind of exposure that I thought it would get like AR.Rahman's first albums. Anyway, my favourite song has to be Gill te guitar. I think I appreciate it much more now since I know how hard it is to play the guitar and how much practice it takes. And now that Im trying to develop the "ear" for chords, you just get how talented the person must be to be able to play like that. You know how pple imagine their perfect wedding. My perfect wedding is for the couple to be able to play their acoustic guitars open-mic style, and yes all decked up in desi wear, for friends and family at the wedding. Rather than sitting aimlessly on a throne. Hopefully that will happen in my case.

Speaking of music, on a similar tangent(yes, the paradox), went to a ballet performance yesterday. I confess I am not particularly educated on ballet and its techniques, I took ballet as a kid when it was part of the curriculum (hahah). My parents were very enthusiastic about it and I started practicing even after school. But then something happened, I grew up and that took a backburner(repharse that wasnt even considered anymore). Plus you cant really do ballet with a potbelly. (and yes kids do have potbellies). You have to be super slim with not an extra ounce of weight to look good doing ballet. At least according to me. I did see nutcracker in Boston, two years ago or so and it didnt really impress me much. But last night's performance of Jewels was spectacular. There was no storyline as such, well there might be, Im just not educated enough on ballet or even the musical compositions on which the ballet is based. There were three pieces, each based on a particular jewel - emerald, ruby and diamond. And each piece's musc was based off a country, like the ruby composition was more american style jazz composition. People dont just go to see a performance, its a whole experience, nearly every one was formally dressed, the theatre itself is spectacular (wish I had got my camera!). Anyway, I dont think I have been converted to a fan of ballet (I do find it a little long), but I do have tremendous amount of respect and awe for it.


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