Driving Lessons: A Memoir 

I remember the time I’d learnt to drive. My mom had come to the conclusion that my future husband will never teach me to drive and in order to achieve the so called self sufficiency it was mandatory that I learn to drive. 

And so there it was. My dad enrolled me in a driving school and paid up all the hefty amounts for the classes and the paperwork with constant monologues that he learnt to drive all by himself. Duh. And then it began. And as usual I idled around wasting still more of my dad’s money and monologues until it was finally the week of the driving test. 

It would be an overstatement if I told you that I was not yet clear about driving. The truth was that I didn’t know a thing. My parents brought me home from hostel so that I could have extra practice at the school. And they decided to accompany me so that I wouldn’t idle around any further. And that was just the start. Within the first few days me and my entire family turned out to be an utter embarrassment and nuisance at the driving school. Every time I tried to attempt the ‘H’ I had my mother shouting from the other side of the ground on how to turn the steering wheel without knowing how to drive. Or I had my siblings fooling around with the equipments. Or I had my mother asking unnecessary questions to the teachers.

Finally after all the extra classes and missed attendance at college I cleared the test. I still remember the faces of both my parents who’d locked my siblings at home to accompany me. I remember my dad missing days at the office. I remember him carrying my vanity bag around as I did the test. And I remember my mother’s tired face as she waited for me in the sun as I drove. It’s true that they try out things in the most embarrassing of ways. But I’ll tell you what’s worse. It’s when they don’t try at all.

 

Her Fearful Symmetry 

If you’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife then you’ve probably heard of Audrey Niffenegger. Her Fearful Symmetry is Audrey’s second book and no, its not like her first. For one thing, it has ghosts. Yes it does. Not the spooky kind that gives you goosebumps but the friendly ones that play scrabble with you on the Ouija.

But Her Fearful Symmetry is not just about ghosts. And that is what makes it different. It is about human relations, about how they are perceived in different points of life, about how you fight to get back what is yours and about love. And it is in this perception of human relations that it is similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I wouldn’t say it is an amazing read. But it is worth your time. And it can make you count the little blessings you have in the form of siblings.

Beginnings

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings ~ Lao Tzu

What can I say about change? Hmm… Nope, I can’t think of anything expect that I frigging hate it. Yes I do. I’m a big admirer of status quo.And trust me, I know a whole lot of my readers are too.

But as science has smartly put it, ‘change is inevitable’ (let’s avoid the physical change, chemical change bit for the time being!! 😛 ) And acceptance of change is hence inevitable. One fine morning you might find yourself in a new school, new college, new neighborhood, new relationship and what not. It might have succeeded something pretty amazing that you didn’t want to end. It might have caused you to leave behind something that meant the world to you. Or might simply not be the beginning that you envisioned. This is where Lao Tzu and his smart words come in.

 The ending that you’ve gone through was painful. I know it broke your hear to give up on something or someone that meant so much to you. And I know you despise this change. But, hang in there. You deserve something exciting every once in a while, irrespective of whether it is disguised as a painful ending. You deserve the growth that change offers. You totally deserve it.

So the next time you feel that a beginning has upturned your entire life and has resulted in sheer chaos, understand the beauty of the situation. The beauty of spontaneity. And finally, I know we can live through it. We are all one of a kind!! ❤ 

The Big Fat Indian Wastage!!

“Hey Aunt, you need some help?” I asked as my maternal aunt did a little balancing act with the three plates on her hand. 

“No” she said, “Go eat something. Stick thin you look” She rolled her eyes while shaking her bum to prevent the glittery end of her sari from dipping in pudding. 

The plates were for two of my younger cousins who were busy playing that they’d forgotten about the main course being served. Unlike ‘stick thin’ me. Duh. 

By the time my aunt got there my cousins had already started eating. The annoyed aunt pulled her face and then a chair, and started eating. The other two plates full of food were carelessly placed on the floor. They would soon find their way into the waste baskets. 

Yup, people all around me were doing just that. Wasting food. Wasting water. Wasting, wasting, wasting. Some were dumping untouched plates in the waste, others were drinking a gulp of water and spilling the rest, a few were leaving the taps open. I couldnt believe it! How can one be so careless? How can one waste so much of food when there are millions who would survive months with what we’d wasted. Even after hearing so much about the scorching heat and the lack of water, people were almost bathing in drinking water. Like literally. I saw younger cousins pouring water over one another. Parents laughing. Picture perfect. 

I wouldn’t ask you to think about the nutritional status in Somalia or to look into the global warming issues in the world. Simply contemplate on the money your host had spent on all of this. That should help. Money always sold.

Pic Credits: thebridalbox

The Flaw In The Plan

Education in India had been a steamy affair after all. There had been a time when we fought for everybody’s right to be education, where women, the dalits, the lower class, the semi-lowerclass and you name it, had taken up sticks and stones in the venture.

Iam not supposed to be speaking on the flaws of this system. Every time I did it, there was a general conclusion that my literary life would be a downfall. Not that it had been any better 😁. I have an entire clan of people throughout my neighborhood, school and college living the life of fighters for achieving grades and marks. Here they are going for double or even triple tutions, changing school after school after school (the same for college) to find the best one by trial and error method. And a few of them had even left the neighborhood as a whole in the act of above mentioned ‘school/college finding’. And I’ve got a mother at home who rolls her eyes at my lazy Arts Honors. “Look at Shobha’s daughter preparing for the exam. She’ll be in II* next year. (fill the * up with a T or a M or a SC or whichever consonant that appears in your fantasy) 

How can I not speak about the flaws in the system? How can you rely on mugging up and memorizing? How does education help you if passing the exam is your only aim? And how can an ambition instilled in you by a person take over your passion?

The Flaw In The Plan.

The ‘Social’ Life 

To be honest, I was one of the last people on earth to start a Facebook account. I had an entire clan of kith and kin who were into a habit of narrating the illeffects of having a social media account. 

Just when I had wooed my parents into starting an account, a random neighbor came with a random price of fiction: “My sister’s friend’s daughter ran away with a boy she met online” or “Look at Radha’s daughter, she used to get fabulous results. But now barely manages to pass. Thanks to all the time she spends on the internet” As if there are no better people around you to run away with. And hence I had my parents rolling eyes at the site (figuratively😝 ) and praising all the good children (especially girls) who didn’t do the vicious internet thing.

Today after using Facebook for almost 4 years, I had found out that there are better things to do on it, than run with unknown people. And there is nothing that could engage you for so long as if to hurt your grades. And I can say with full conviction that social networking is the future. Hail, Mark Zuckerberg!! 🙂