Diary: These kids seem to LOVE their diaries. It totally beats my adult brain but their love to note their timetable down in it. And mark their homework for the day in it, and to doodle all over it. Maybe it’s a little like us adults, holding on to little, trivial things; owning that little, trivial thing purely by writing our name on it. Maybe it’s them owning that little, trivial thing as their own.
Nature walk: I had my first nature walk today, with a part of class 5 and class 7. We walked over to the lake behind the school, single filing behind CoordG. As I brought up the rear of the group, two chatty 7th graders tagged along, telling me stories about a certain Sandy uncle in Bhoomi, who caught a rattle snake in this area once. Interesting personality, and I discover more of these every day.
Jumping down boulders and skipping stones on the lake is still on top of most these kids’ minds right now. Those and watching out for goat poop. So, the cynic in me is still ratifying the effectiveness of these activities in making them more Eco conscious. I’m hoping that since this is set into schedule to be once a week, they are repeatedly exposed to the outdoors and in the process, they’ll learn to attach more to it.
ShyTee: I’ve been noticing ShyTee from day 1 and I am more convinced by the day that the child needs some personal help. He is amongst the shorter ones in the class and yet willingly chose to sit in the last bench. He barely talks to his benchmate, or most of his classmates for that matter. I force him to converse as often as I can, and does so, crisply and with nil eye contact. He answers me to the point, while staring continuously at the ground. He tells me that his mom works too and his dad is away on an extended work engagement to Germany. I’ll be watching him more closely this year.
I’ve cried my last tear for you.
You knew exactly what to say,
The right things
at the right moment.
But it’s actions,
It’s actions that define a man.
This last tear tells me
To judge you
By your actions
And not by your flowery words.
So, here I go.
I’m judging you!
And I’ve cried,
Cried my last tear for you.
Only 50 kilos a? That’s a little too less, no? How much do you have? Some 80 at least? Yeah! Then 50 is too less. I mean, nothing wrong there. 50 for 5.5 is good. Only from our side, we’re not all that perfect. What to do! At least a 70 would have been manageable.
But how can you decide just by looking at a picture and reading the specs? Don’t you have to see with your eyes and decide based on things that matter?
It’s the same thing as online shopping, no? You buy a product on Amazon. Do you touch and feel? So, you look at the product and that’s how you decide; based on their pictures and yours. And compatibility.
But… Are we buying mangoes here?
Scotch: Relationships are after all like buying mangoes, S. You pick one based on what you think is the best. And then you’re committed to it all the way until it ends up in your stomach. A juicy one, a ripe one, a wormy one – you pay for everything that you picked. No?
I see the OldMan going through a major life struggle, something that is affecting him so heavily that it is evident in his every interaction with the family; especially with the OldLady. He is invariably aloof, struggle with his inner demons through the day. He lazes around during the day, making minimum conversations with us. When forced to participate, he generally snaps or spits his answers out. He’s given enough of those that OldLady responds in an equally frustrated manner. For a third person, their conversations qualify for a road-side brawl between sworn enemies.
He diligently dresses up at sundown and steps out for his daily dose of intoxicants. With it in the system, he suddenly gets very verbose, would like to know what my life plans are, would advice H on her marital woes and would push OldLady’s buttons some more. The daily drama is painful, an all too evident sign of a crumbling relationship. And yet, he finds no value in salvaging it.
It would have been much easier if I were able to relate to either sides; I would have easily picked a person to support and fought the other. Unfortunately, I’m unable to see either positions of view. I do not understand why one would resort to escape routes to sort their life struggles. I do not understand how one would blame their family for all their life’s sufferings when they would be nothing without the family in the first place. I, in fact, do not even know if that is the reason for all the melancholy. On the other side, I do not understand how one could be so submissive for these many years, without a voice of their own. I definitely do not understand a woman building her entire life around one man, making him her Achilles’ heel.
I do not understand relationships.
“Humans are so complicated, S. All this yelling and screaming and loving and doving. Why!
Eat, Sleep, Repeat, remember?” Scotch
Any trouble in married-land and we are already ready with our guns pointed at the girl. H and her married life has proved to me that marriage is invariably a union of two dysfunctional families, one that makes your own weirdeties seem like the better of the lot. It’s also a union where one party invariably makes more sacrifices than the other and they spend the rest of their lives either making up for it or being morose about it.
What is critical for them to realize is that sacrifices are expected, and are justified as long as they are balanced out. I’d like to see the man live in Bangalore for a month, working from here, while building his social circle here. He would understand exactly what H is going through after moving to KL to start her life with him.
Invariably, the woman is expected to make the grand sacrifices, of her economic, emotional and social stability, and is expected to fit in seamlessly into the newfound circles. Any inability or trouble in doing that is automatically deduced as the girl’s disability and poor upbringing. Any leniency or support from the man’s side is seen as him being a pussy or wife-whipped. He himself walks with the superiority of having done a favor, while a relationship is equal work from both ends.
What got me thinking on these lines today was the conversation with dad, when he almost seemed apologetic for his daughter’s temper and the trouble in the marriage. It’s funny how little they had made an effort to see what might be causing the ill mood, the trigger from the other end. I dared him to tell me one instance where the mother of that son would have accepted his flaws openly. To her, he is the unspoilt unpolished diamond from the lines of South Africa. And on the other side, we let our daughter take the stab for everything, even something like marriage that takes a village to run the show right.
The patriarchy was evident when he justified himself by saying, ‘How can I say that the guy is at fault when I’m sitting in his house and eating his food?’ What happened to the part of the meal that his daughter had paid for? I thought the house automatically became ‘their’ house because what is his is hers. No?
“That’s why I say the girls should stay home with their mummies all their lives, S. Then you have the comfort of the same bed all along. Aaah those pleasures.” Scotch