Solo Date- N Block Market

Full Circle, Greater Kailash
Breads And More

Since one is adamant to not take the medication, that is being repeatedly recommended by the professionals, one has to come up with other ways to try to keep oneself (relatively) sane. The verdict it turns out, is that one’s a bit loony ( someday when one is in a better space, one will share more). Well, if you’ve ever read any of my posts, I bet you already knew that!

Par, janemans humme dava ki nahi, dua ki zaroorat he aur kitabo ki. Since it was raining one couldn’t go to the Dargah today, so the next best alternative was a bookstore. Gurudwaras are just too crowded for one’s anxious heart. I wish the paijis sang kirtan like Harshdeep Kaur or Jagjit Singh, I would sit near the Sarovar and listen to it but they don’t. There’s no crescendo, most of it just makes me sleepy.

As it poured, one found solace in a familiar space- The Full Circle Bookstore, in N block market. Books have a way of finding us at the right time and the first few I chanced upon were – Healing is the new high and Failosophy. Though, one is having a hard time concentrating, so one invariably only reads poetry these days but they seem like interesting reads. Let’s see if they help.

Calmed my tumultuous mind with a cup of coffee at Breads and More, with the books and the rain keeping me company. Gobbled up a lemon tart, that reminded me so much of my mum. Whenever she would get angry with me, she would recount what a good kid I was and how painful I’d become as an adult. She told me, apparently that when I was younger I was low maintenance and quite a content child. I would never ask for anything, when we went out to shop, other than lemon tarts. I have no recollection of it but lemon tarts will forever remind me of Ma.

When it stopped, I parked myself on a bench in the garden for a bit. The luscious greenery would have normally pleased me to bits but ……….It will get better, I’ll make it better, somehow.

The last one

Due to Covid, it was impossible to meet all the friends together so the birthday celebrations got extended. To a part of me, honestly, It has seemed like a slight vulgarity. In the middle of a pandemic to party, I realize is insensitive. But one is struggling with something these days and someday when one has overcome it, one will write about it. But for now, that kind of sharing has been deemed unadvisable.

For a person who hated her birthday and has invariably wept on each one, I’m really going at celebrating it, with a vengeance after a certain age. Anyhow, last night, was the last one. It was an eventful evening, to say the least. The ambience lovely, the food not so much. But a friend made a very valid observation about my existence. In the middle of a conversation about something else, she said, ‘you can’t lead the life that you lead and then feel bad when people gossip about it. Either don’t care or if it bothers you make different choices!’ Wise words.

This is the second time in a week and probably more than a dozen time in one’s life, that one has heard some version of this sentence. But to me, though well meaning, it sounds like I don’t have much of an option. It’s like, If you’re not going to follow society’s rules, the repercussion of that is going to be, that anyone can turn around and accuse you of anything, that you haven’t done, at any point, just because they have a mouth and you haven’t bothered to be a hypocrite to brush your choices under the carpet or you don’t have a man to hide behind. Henceforth, don’t throw a fit, just bite the bullet, don’t be unreasonable by confronting it. I guess, my silence is supposed to be the payment one has to make for one’s life choices- not being married, choosing a certain profession, having a lifestyle- which seems all fun and frolic, being open about my relationships- having been in more relationships than a good Indian girl, would probably be in three lifetimes and a naughty Indian boy, in a couple of years. Sorry for the deets, I’m just putting things in perspective. It’s good advice- gracious, definitely, practical of course, reasonable and it will make one slightly likeable ( here’s hoping) I guess.

But hearing that ‘you’re starving your father’ or ‘ eloping’ ‘having an affair with a different man’ every few days, honestly pisses the hell out of me. I wish I could be calm about it or even take my Dad’s advice,’ concentrate on your work and stop worrying about people who only want to steer trouble in our house. You have better things to do in life!’ Or even take the advice of my male friends, ‘ just take out your anger on us! Don’t say anything, to anybody else!’ Am I being too sensitive, too touchy, too unreasonable? I’m sure, I am! Do I wish, I could laugh it away? Hell, yeah! Not be reactive and give people another round of bullshit to spread through the grapevine? Of course! What are the chances of it happening? Unfortunately, at the moment, seems highly improbable.

Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Sheikh Imaduddin Firdausi

Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Sheikh Imaduddin Firdausi
This is like a sanctuary. One of the nicest places to do the zikr, to weep or just to hide.
Throwback image. The only time I took mum to a Dargah.
Surat Al Bayyana

Self Made

I always say, one has a man’s ego trapped in a woman’s body. But even someone such as myself, isn’t egoistic enough to believe, in the term ‘self made!’. There are many things one doesn’t understand about society, this happens to be one. Somebody was saying something about being self made to me today and I said, ‘everything I am is because of my mum!’

So what is this terminology and how are people audacious enough to use it? First of all, if you were self made, you would have been floating around with your father only, you wouldn’t have been made at all. Don’t imagine what I said, let it go. Your genetic makeup, your mother’s milk and care, the school that you went to, the places you were sent to play ( exposed you to your friends, teachers and mentors) the nutrition you were given, the childhood that you had, that’s what has made you, directly or indirectly, that’s what formed your body, mind, psyche and has made you the glorious mess that you are!

This coming from us Indians, seems even more hypocritical, where at each instance, I am so and so’s daughter or son, is thrown around casually, to get the minutest things done. Ninety five percent of the people I know, lived with their parents till they got married. If we talk about the women-the parents supported them through college, paid for their big, gigantic Indian weddings, gave them humungous dowries worth the size of a plot of land and even after the wedding continue to shower them with gifts, every month, as is the custom in our society. Most of their husbands too belong to business class families. The ones who work, the parents baby sit their kids, as both husband and wife aren’t home and let’s not even pretend nepotism doesn’t exist everywhere. That seems like another irrelevant debate to me. Musicians, dancers, carpenters, plumbers, everyone who is in the arts, pass on their knowledge to their offsprings. That’s why we care about gharanas and gotras. Of course there are but a few women I know, who live away from their parents, run their own homes but every time they need someone, still look for their mum and dad.

Now, let’s talk about the men. Most of the one’s I know, come from business class families, meaning everything is inherited. Even if from ten, they’ve made it to a hundred, I’m amazed at their claim, of being ‘self made’. The inheritance should have then been donated and they should have gotten jobs, according to their qualification and had weddings according to their own means, then. The one’s who do have jobs, the siblings, take care of their parents and of course the wives, take care of everything else.

This Westernised version of independence doesn’t even work in the Western world, forget about working in India. Look at their model. They leave their homes by eighteen, then start living in or get married soon after, as they aren’t ready to grow up just about, yet. After a few years they get divorced. Remarry at some point, leave their kids to grow up any which way, drop their parents into old age homes, grow old and get fleeced by strangers. The aping of a system that takes care, neither of the youth or the aged seems, quite non sensical to one. The more and more people become ‘independent’ and ‘self made’ the parents and their contributions become an after thought.

So no, one will never be self made. One will be, made of all the women who came before me, my grandmothers and mother, who were unabashedly themselves. My Dad, with his tongue and his attitude. When I was younger he told me, ‘don’t ever let anyone blackmail you into anything. If you do something, come and tell us.’ That made one forthright with them and like people accuse me, brutally honest. Though one always did tell the parents everything, the one thing I hid from them, I told my Dad today. I thought the KM part would scandalise him but he has changed a lot in the past eight years. Instead of being mad he reassured me, ‘how does it matter who you hooked up with eight years ago? For all I care, you could have hooked up with eight men in the past eight years but if you get married, you take it seriously, don’t split! Don’t ever let anyone, put you down, tu meri beti he, khatarnak he, kissi ko kuch bhi bol sakti he!’ I’m not self made, I’m made of wonderful people.

A Day in Mehrauli

At the Dargah
Jumme Raat at the Dargah

Post birthday celebrations continued with friends, this week. The culmination of it was today. What a euphoric day! Spent the afternoon with a friend at Bo Tai, then went to the park to lie in the sun. Got dirty looks from the lovers, who hated the intrusion. Made my way to the Dargah. Spent a few hours there till I could feel the depressive thoughts of the past few months, leaving my body. Mujhe aap ne bulaya yeh karam nahin to kyaa he?