Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 'Thanks-for-having-my-back' Day!

It's that day of the year when you go scouting for a brother. That day when you meet a brother you haven't met all year. Or if you're lucky, it's just another day to celebrate a really strong, solid bond of friendship. But is it really a relationship of protection and security any more? Nope.

I have brothers whom I love and adore. And I have a sister who is my life. Why isn't there a day to celebrate that relationship? She is not only my best friend, she is my mentor, my guide, my support system. And it's unfair that there is no day to celebrate her. So ever since last year, I tie my sister a rakhi.

I know a lot of people do this already - and how heartening is that! Rakhi should be a day to celebrate an amazing bond, not of protection from evil - as an independent woman, why should it be drilled into my head that at the end of the day, you still need your brother to take care of you. Let it be a celebration of a sibling relationship as it is - friends for life who have each others' back. Sis, I love you, and if ever I need a 'protector', that person is you. So happy Rakhi to you all. And happy 'Thanks-for-having-my-back' day to my amazing siblings.

Friday, August 14, 2015

On Being Free and Pet-friendly

I was free. Finally, free. Free to live the life I had imagined. No rules and chains to tie me down. I could live life the way I wanted to. I had imagined this moment so many times, I couldn’t believe it was real. Living in shackles had made me so servile, it took some time – not much – to stop following those invisible orders. No reason to come home before 8 pm. No need to argue in muted voices. No need to hurriedly change into something ‘decent’ before stepping out of my room in the morning.

It was liberating. And yet, suddenly, I didn’t know what to do with my life. It was a blank slate. It felt great to not know what has to be done, but now what? I felt myself twiddling my thumbs, as I sat in my empty living room. I looked around at the bright white walls – so new, just like this new life of ours. What would you do if you could do anything? It was, at once, an overwhelming thought!
Once I realized the massive possibilities of this teeny-tiny question, there was no turning back. This is what I wanted – a life to be lived on my terms. An utterly selfish thought, but who cares. I didn’t have to care anymore. This was my life and I was its God, its creator. My life was my oyster for the first time in life. What was overwhelming a minute ago, turned into an empowering thought. Yes, my life. My rules.

We got a dog.

We weren’t dog lovers. At least not in the traditional sense. Neither of us had ever had a pet, so we didn’t know what it meant to have one. But the hubby had this desire to have someone he could call his own. A loyal friend, I guess. Someone who needed him – but I knew he needed him more. And I went along with it (okay, I was not as free as I would have thought). Our little puppy came home on an assuming day and we called him Dexter, after the serial killer in the TV series ‘Dexter’ (yeah, what were we thinking, right?). Hubby, instantly became the nurturer and I became the distant aunt – you’re so cute but keep distance pliss.

World, meet our sleepy pup, Dexter Kapoor

So let me clarify this. We’re not that couple. You know, the couple that replaces having a baby with a puppy? We’re the ‘we’re so not ready for a baby, but let’s experiment on a puppy’ couple. So Dexter is our experiment. And each day he tells me more about us, than we know about him. Isn’t that a scary thought?

So I went from being tied down to responsibilities I didn’t much care for, to being tied to a responsibility I care for deeply. Freedom then, is a myth. Or it is a series of choices. Freedom is choosing what will be the guiding principle of your life. And I’m convinced my life is led by one principle only – love. Selfish-wala love.