Category: Customs Traditions

Showered with love

Some 3 weeks back an almost unknown blogger to me (won’t give her name as she gets a little upset at it and all) left a very cryptic message on one of my posts.

Want to talk to you. Please get in touch with me at xyz@abc.com It’s urgent

My first instinct was that I had somehow broken some unwritten blogging rule and I was going to be educated in rules of blogging (sort of initiation since I am new to the game and all). Well I did get initiated but in a way far different from what I had expected.

What I was being asked was to get on board along with a few other bloggers to throw a blog baby shower for one particular MTB. With a single email which just said ‘Sure‘, I became part of the inner circle, with a lot of plans on how, when, where discussed. Does anyone remember the excitement of the first time you got an email address and started receiving emails.  The time when you rushed to get to the internet first chance you got (internet not being easily accessible those days). The time you opened your email and had loads of emails from friends. Forwards they might be, but you opened every single one of them, saw every single PowerPoint talking about the beauty of friends, read through every single Santa Banta joke, even forwarded those..send this to 10 friends in 10 mins to get what you wish in 10 days mails. That was the kind of excitement I got up to every single day. And this in the age where email, holds no more excitement, something I take for granted.

Anyways I would get up in the morning to 200 plus emails in my mail box and would read through every single one of those, even though I knew most of them talked about food that someone was having, or was about to have, or wanted to have. I got reviews for ‘3 idiots’ from these email. I got must watched movie recommendations from them. But the underlined theme was that I made friends. Some of them where people whose blog I read and commented on regularly, some were blogger whose blog I lurked around on, some were gals whose blog I had never read before. But friends I did make with all of them. And the most impressive part was how selflessly they were giving their time, their creative ideas. The giggles that were shared while coming up with clues for each blogger, the gush of admiration that was passed around as baby picture were shared, the less than five minute response that was received when a new MTB was suggested and then promptly added to the list to celebrate. This was about making the fabulous ladies who are about ready to bring the next generation into the world feel good and everyone was up for adding a MTB on the list. The extra work that needed to be done was not even discussed over much. 

Finally came the day of. Email flew all over. The clocked ticked. Countdown over email. Publish. Message left at all MTBs blog. The wait begins. When will they get to it?

Parul, started almost immediately. Leaving a trail of messages at each blog. And all of us panicked at the speed at which she cracked all the clues.

Everyone else seemed to be quite. Where they following the clue? Had they seen the message? Was the baby already here? So many questions..so many emails exchanged.

Then a little bird came up with an interesting nugget of information. AHK was doing the hunt, but was being real quite about it. So what does the little mischief maker do? Tells AHK that there are 22 clues to be found. This was when she had 15 clues in her hand. Poor things went round and round in circles. Where she was suppose to find one more clue, she went looking for 7 more.

In the mean time a MTB not part of the blog shower wrote on one of our blog ‘Oh blog shower. I am six months along. Can I join in‘. The comment was just so sweet, so full of enthusiasm, that all of us went aww..can we please add her? In less than a minute off we were scrambling to read up her blog, write a post congratulating her, getting virtual gifts for her, putting the post up.

As the post finally went up, we saw a comment by Cluelessness on the new blog. She did the hunt and was at the blog, in tears but happy.

Next came a comment from Jotting. She had been all silent about her hunt as well (What is with all the MTB and them silently doing the hunt? We would have loved to follow their trail just as we did Parul’s) 🙂

And then came a message that Monika had already delivered a baby girl. This I think was the biggest surprise for us all. Her, we expected to get to the blog. What with her c-section date set for Jan 8th. But the baby we guess has other plans. 🙂

As Takshaka finished her blog hunt, reports poured in of all the MTBs almost in tears, overwhelmed with the surprise, but happy, real happy about their virtual shower. And we all 16 of us send high-five email across. Mission accomplished. What more can we ask for?

Well there is one thing we can ask of all of you reading. Please stop by the baby shower blog and wish the 5 MTB and one Mother who is. They, we are sure, would appreciate it and that is what counts. 🙂

Gifts and their giving

One morning around mid November as I walked into my office building, I saw the Christmas tree was up decorated with little pink cards tied up in strings. Everyday more and more cards disappear and more and more boxes, gift bags appear below the tree.

An organization around this area collects a wish list from little children in foster homes, old people in old age homes, women in protection homes. Writes the list down on these pink cards, puts a tree each in all the company buildings and places cards around the trees. People based on the amount they want to spend and what they want to buy, pick the cards off the trees and place the gift with the card below the tree once they are done.

The ‘Tree of Giving’ is all about ones wish to give. There is no one banging on your office door to demand that you give, there is no impact on your annual review if you give or don’t, there is no one you tell if you give and how much you gave. It’s all about the spirit of Christmas, of ensuring that people less fortunate than you get to open at least one gift over Christmas, of playing Santa for one person in need and brighten their Christmas. And as I watch the pile below the tree grow, I am always amazed at the complete trust people have. The gifts are kept in a common area with people from all walks of life walking by. But never have I ever heard anyone being uncomfortable about leaving what they brought out or of any gift gone missing. Everything is accounted for always.

Today I walked in to be greeted by a bare tree. Not one pink slip on the tree and it warms my heart that everyone got their one wish.

Tomorrow all the gifts will be gone to be distributed over the holidays and there will be no better site than an empty tree..till next year when it’s all back.

On being tuned out

Over the weekend the extended set of girlfriends met up..for time away from husband, babies (if they had any), family (if any is visiting)..to just hang out, relax, talk. Everyone was having a blast. Talk turned to wedding and wedding days, with everyone sharing fun, not so fun antidotes of days leading to and the day itself when they tied the knot.

One friend got really quite and said: I have secret to share. This is not my first marriage. I was married before I married G

A hush fell over everyone.

She: Can you guess who I was married to??

Now D and G are very good friends and I had met her one on one a number of times before they got married and also after they came back after the wedding. I had heard their wedding story a lot of time in a lot many different conversations. So as soon as she asked her question I knew exactly what she was talking about. She had always joked about this other marriage of her, referred to it in passing, laughed at absurdity of it all. And I guess based on her attitude of it, I never gave it much of a thought. I remember thinking of it, the first time her first marriage was brought up, but not too long, not too hard. This time as she announced it to everyone and as her eyes filled up with tears, I actually stopped, and started really looking at the event from different set of eyes.

Here is some background..She was born is India..her parents moved out here when she was 2 years old. Hence all her values, her thought process, her growing up days are not Indian. She sees them, hears about them from family but does not believe in them. Anyways she goes and falls in love with an India guy who is a Mangalik..where she is not  (or is she and he is not..not sure). Which is apparently a big no no..and if they did marry her husband would not survive. So what do her parents/family do?? Get her married to a Matkaa (earthen pot).. and then the pot is let go in a river..symbolizing the husband is dead and now the curse is lifted and a Mangalik and non-Mangalik are free to marry each other.

I know she is fairly vocal and so is G, so I can’t for a minute believe they were not opposed to the whole first marriage thing. But customs, kundali, gund all had to be followed. And my question is why?? And even if they have to why does the girl have to take the burden of it all? Why could not the guy be married to a stick or something. Why is it the woman who has to marry a pot or a tree (Ashwarya Rai anyone) or whatever? Why is it that if the kundali’s number of gund don’t match that the solution is to change the girl’s name post marriage? Why not change the groom’s name? Does the bride not have a right to call the love of her life her first husband or to be called by the name given to her at birth?

I for one claim to have no knowledge of the planets and their position and the effect of their position on a human. There might be some logic to it, there might not. The above questions have been talked about and discussed in detail by many. But my basic question is how can someone not listen to the silent cry of someone close to them, how can someone force their dear one go through such a humiliating experience, how can someone tune out the voice of their loved one..??..