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Amu and I

Same time last year, our house was in a major frenzy. Guest had arrived and I was getting ready for the big day.

It was strange being the centre of attraction. Me as a back bencher was suddenly on the stage with all eyes on me. But then it went rather smoothly.

And now, Its been exactly a year since Amu and I have been married.

Wife has been asking me “How does it feel?”

The truth is, I still don’t know. The happiness feeling is there but how does one have to feel after that?

Completeness! Maybe! Probably! Certainly!

I wonder how I lived before her. I was not unhappy before her. I took life as it  came and more or less it was a contended life even though it lacked that special someone besides me.

I think people who are never happy without certain someone or something are rarely happy after the someone or something in their life.

And now a year later, does it really needs to be analysed on how it all went?

I would say no!

Marriage has brought big changes, in me and in my life! I think I have become more responsible. I have become more rooted.  Marriage is about being responsible, taking things as they come and adjusting to the other person’s needs. Its about taking a step toward each other instead of expecting the other person to walk the distance.

Seems like I have become more preachy too.

So the last year as the question was asked has been really good that it scares me. I have been happy and with Amu at my side more happier.

We both wondered how the first year would be and its finally here. There is no celebration and nothing special. We usher the anniversary quietly.

Celebration are not needed as the whole year has been one big celebration.

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst!

Wishing you a very happy anniversary Amu!!!!

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The Ugly Truth

Aamir Khan made his debut on television today. As expected, the debut was different. The show titled “Satyamev Jayate” plans to take up hard hitting realities of the Indian society.

He hopes to involve the average Indians in the issue to change the way we think and act against the social issues in India

Hope he succeeds!

But this is not about Satyamev jayate

The next few days people will debate how the show worked or did not. Its expected and a debate might or might not change anything.

The thing that got me writing was a post on FB where the person wanted to have a sense of positivity in the show as we already have many issues in the country.

I wanted to reply but did not. How does making the show positive would change our thoughts toward the issue. Its like “Things are bad but somebody would be working on it! But not me!!”

Unfortunately I am too part of the same crowd who shout and do nothing!

Couple of days back, I hired a vehicle to take some guest around Mumbai. While dropping the guest at their hotel and returning back, I got talking with the driver.

The driver originally from Madhya Pradesh was asking me about Engineering and MBAs. The driver told me about his cousin who got married in his teens to have children reach colleges when he himself was studying his masters in medicine.

He explained how education was becoming a business. Educated individuals were more lucrative in the marriage markets. An IAS or an MBA or a PH.D was worth more in the marriage market.

Father would want to get their girls married to highly qualified individual and would go to any price to secure the marriage. In short, grooms could be bought for a price. The more educated the more pricey he was.

Especially people working in government jobs. He told me that an honest district collector can earn Rs. 10 lakhs and above. Knowing that government jobs do not offer that much salary, I was curious to know how.

He told me that by “Honest” he means that where the person does not make use of his position to earn money but where he automatically gets a share of all contracts in the district.

I may be old school but I guess that was not what honesty meant. The definitions do change with changing times.

I know a person who’s sister who is a professional herself got married and her family spent a fortune just getting her married. The amount of money spent would get me a house in a small town.

The point is the truth is out there. Its ugly! Its real! The world changing faster and the values changing even faster.

Not something we can brush under the carpet. Its not going to change even if we sugar-coat it. Maybe we will change it and maybe we won’t

But the first step in changing it…Accept it!

The rest will follow!

Jab Hum Met – 2

Bangalore is far away from Kodaikanal and Kodaikanal is far away from Ooty.

The South India trip was more exhausting. Based on our experience of earlier trips, Me and my friends had decided that we would take it easy. But we spent more time travelling than visiting the places.

Somewhere in the trip, just after new year, I got a call from Amu’s family again. I was totally lost who was calling. A couple of angry phone calls from office had completely ruined my mood.

I told them again that I would be out of Mumbai and would be coming later that month. Finally when the trip was completed, I was back in Mumbai. I opened my email to find one more proposal from a matrimonial site. There was another mail from my colleague in office who had sent a proposal from his neighbour’s acquaintance.

It was not like that I was getting proposals every week and it had so happened that there was no proposal for months putting my mother in panic mode and now in January 2011, I had got three proposal to choose from.

My mother always insisted that I match the horoscope so I sent my complete details with my horoscope to all the three girls. The first to reject was the one recommended by my friend. They probably did not like my photo because out of 36 supposed to be matched points in the horoscope, we matched 28. We did not even meet.

Meanwhile Amu’s brother-in-law called me again. I had not forgotten about it but then I had not followed it either and I couldn’t recall that they had sent me the mail. It was from her brother’s id and I said “I don’t remember”

Later Amu told me that she was angry when I said that I don’t remember. She snatched the phone from her brother-in-law and told me to look again. I apologised and promise to look again. She had decided that if I did not remember, she would not pursue the proposal further.

Thankfully she did not take the harsh decision.

The second was a girl (girl no.2) from far-away suburbs on the Central line of Mumbai local trains. She worked in the other end of the town, Churchgate. Compared to that, my travel to office was luxurious. I asked her to meet me in Dadar. She came with her brother and father.

We talked for sometime but then I did not feel it clicked. The girl looked good but she was the person I could say “hi” to someday but not one I would like to spend my life with. I still gave it a “50-50” chance with the promise of meeting again.

Meanwhile Amu’s horoscope was shown to our astrologer and apparently it did not match much. Going ahead was out of question now. I got a call from Amu’s brother-in-law enquiring about going ahead. I told them about the horoscope thing but they said that they had shown their astrologer too and he said it matched to the minimum points. Coincidently her mother and my mother believed in astrology.

I did not have answer to her brother-in-law’s query. I told them to talk to my mother because she had the horoscope checked. They called my mother and asked for a meeting. My mother told them the same thing but they said that it matched on the border and it didn’t harm if we met each other. My mother suggested to have a meeting in the temple again. The date was fixed to 16th January 2011 which was a Sunday.

Meanwhile after thinking it over, I was ready to say “no” to girl no 2 irrespective of what would happen with Amu. I decided to meet her again to see if meeting her alone would make me change my mind.

I met her 4-5 days before meeting Amu and we talked. It did not click again. Although saying no is very difficult task and I have said it a couple of times if not always, it stills difficult. Getting a negative response is quite easy and expected.It became more difficult when the girl was keen on the proposal.

I tried calling her to say no but she did not pick up her phone. Finally I SMSed her my answer. SMSing a critical decision like that on phone is not a good thing to do but I do agree its the easiest.

And just like that I was down from 3 to 1. With the horoscope going against us, I really did not have any hope for the Sunday meeting. But I was not keen on meeting them in the temple because of my earlier experience a month ago. I suggested that we meet in our home which was a walking distance from the temple.

And then without any expectation, I waited to meet her family on Sunday!

================================

………………..To Be Continued

Jab Hum Met – 1

Last year 16 January was a Sunday!

And last year on this very day, I met my wife, Amu for the first time.

Its been one year since we met for the first time but it started long time back.

I started searching for a wife way back in early 2008. My mother enrolled my information into number of Marriage agencies. I joined the many matrimonial portals becoming a paid member. Till 2011 came, I was a veteran in rejections.

When the rejection started 2 years back. everyone blamed me. They were sure that I was rejecting all the girls on some stupid flimsy reason. I for one knew that I did not have the luxury of saying no to most of the girl.

My mother was sure that I had big list of expectation which the girl did not meet. Coupled that with my insisting that I meet the girl alone added to the reasoning that I was wrong somewhere. I guess everyone was sure that I was wrong and me not getting a bride was my fault!

Even though I had proved that it wasn’t! I was totally frustrated with the matrimonial sites. They kept pestering me for more money promising me a match made in heaven. But three years of rejections had taught me a lot.

December 2010

The year had not been great

I was without a project for more than 2 months. The new project in November was turning to be frustrating. I had to leave my earlier project because of major differences with the higher-ups and I had spent all my Diwali in bed being sick for various reason. I am not even counting how many times I had been rejected.

Life was looking down

I was looking for the year to get over and was desperately looking for the year end trip to South-India. I needed a much needed break. To top it all, few weeks before the trip, I met a girl in the temple near-by with her parents. I hate the so-called “Seeing”/”Looking” program. Its embarrassing and does not hold any value. The only people who are happy are the parents who get to see the girl and boy squirm in their seat and analyze the person based on looks.

There is no value added exchange of words in the talk. Just a stupid smile and stupid questions. But then it has been the tradition. Thankfully it is changing.

Predictably  and thankfully the girl rejected me.

The trip was planned for 30th December 2010.

My mother as always had shared my horoscope and my information with various marriage bureaus and acquaintances. One such person was our neighbour in the adjoining wing. His son also had to go through a late marriage. He shared my information with his acquaintances, one of them being acquainted with Amu’s Mami (Mother’s Brother’s wife).

Amu was also on a trip in Christmas of 2010. The coincidence was she was in South but she came back before I left. Amu’s elder sister was still to be married and they were looking for a boy for her. Amu was not supposed to get married till her sister got married.

However when my proposal was sent to the family, they decided to see how far it went.

Amu’s brother S contacted me few days after Christmas and before my trip. Because of the bad bad year I did not want to take a decision. As always I was sure of nothing substantial and only thing in my mind was the break and the holidays.I asked him to send the information to my email Id. I replied back with my information to his ID also mentioning that I will be out of town for a few days.

And then……………. I forgot about it!

===============

….To Be Continued

The Year Gone By…….

Its that time of the year again when I look back at the year gone by. Earlier I would have lots of post mapping them would make the task easier. Now as I write lesser here, there is not much of a help.

The photoblog takes most of the time. Posting one photo a day has become a ritual, a habit. More than a thousand photos and without a break is an achievement. But then I miss writing here.

Its not that I have much to write here too or maybe I am just plain old lazy.

But its time to look at the year that went by!

Undoubtedly the biggest event was finally meeting Amu. When everyone said that there is always someone destined for you, I laughed. All these years I have seen people meeting with their partners but the destiny always missed me.

So unexpectedly at the start of new year, when I did not have any expectation, I met her. Its been 7 months since our marriage and life is a different ballgame altogether. Relationship and marriage is about understanding, patience, love and trust and for both, its learning on the job.

So for that single reason, 2011 would remain the most loved year of it all.

On the professional front, it was a year of learning new tricks with a major role-shift. I changed from being led to leading. Decision making changed from “them” to me. It also increased my stress level but then its part of learning.

The photographic interest became more than just an interest as money was spent on upgrading my kit. It was learning again when I took more than 16000 Photos and that statistics speaks volumes in itself. I still click with an instinct but understanding the technique a little too better.

The writing took a downhill with Full2 Faltu seeing lesser action. I guess it was giving more importance to other things in life and keeping that soft corner for writing closed. There was once a time when not putting up a post for 3-4 days would make me impatient.

Now I accept that I am not a writing machine. I am still at 3 figure post numbers  after 7 years of writing while my photoblog crossed 4 figures this year. But then in my defence, with more that 16000 photos a year, I have all the fuel to keep the photoblog going for years.

I stopped or let me say I wrote fewer post because I write what I want and when I don’t want, I don’t write. This blog is a place I want to visit when I decide to visit memory lanes. So good and bad and whatever in between, I will write when I feel like.

Its a new year and I decided to keep my eyes open for the world around me. Make some observation and speak my mind of. I don’t know how successful I will be but then I have never made plans and I don’t plan to stick to one. That’s why I don’t have a new year resolution.

So in a year when doomsday prophecies are making round and without any expectation, I prepare for a life full of expectancies and surprises.

And with the same surprise and hope wish all the few readers of Full2 Faltu a very happy and hopeful 2012!!!

 

Frightened

Last week I was hospitalized. The reason was simple. I had a panic attack and my blood pressure shot up. My heart beats went on an over drive and I walked to an emergency room.

Amu constantly tried to calm me but herself was very scared seeing me in such state. There was no physical discomfort but the fear of something happening was so overwhelming that I could not control the situation and it shown on my face.

The blood pressure and the heartbeats wouldn’t come down. I tried to think something else ending up thinking the same. Finally I was advised to stay in hospital so that they could monitor me. I was connected to a heart-monitoring machine where I could hear a beep everytime my heart pumped blood. I became more conscious of my heartbeats and then I started to calm myself if I though they went faster.

Actually by then the medication had done their work and the heart beats were under control but my freaky mind refused to believe and I was constantly thinking that I may be having a heart attack any moment even though all the 4 ECG reports in the span of 1 month reported of a healthy heart.

It had all started before my Europe trip when lots of work had me all stressed out and thats when I noticed my high BP. The high BP was only for that particular moment and would come down when the situation was controlled.

It was not the first time it was happening. But day by day, I am feeling more frightened. I don’t know what could trigger a panic/anxiety attack sometimes with or without reasons. And everytime I feel that small heart of mine racing faster than a Ferrari. I can actually hear my own heartbeats and I have this fear of even putting my hand on my heart just that I can’t offend it and it stops beating. The heartbeats are accompanied by irrational thinking and I see a very good possibility of having a heart attack and that makes the situation worse.

Come to think of it, its a bloody vicious circle!

Now I am seeing a doctor who has put me on medication and observation. Looking at my progress, I may be advised to see a psychiatrist. My mind has just gone cukooooo!

A panic attack is a very dangerous state for the person who experiences it. My whole life flashes before me and I think of my family’s future. Actually thinking about my family future, I should be calming myself but that does not happen.

I googled panic attack and its advised that I need to talk about it. Speaking about the problem is the first step of curing it.

So here I am talking about it! I don’t know if it will help but I will try

Everyone says that its all in the mind and I know that. But I also know that I am not myself when I get those attacks.

Like Aamir Khan said in 3 idiots

Kabhi Kabhi is dil ko batana padta hai “All izz well”

And that is what I am going to do.

So my dear heart, “ALL IZZ WELL”. Nothing to be afraid of. I have an army of family and friends who will help you get better. Who will help you beat normally and together we will grow stronger.

As for you who are reading this, pray to God to give me strength. I know I am making a mountain of a mole hill but the way I stand now, it looks like a mountain.

So help me God! Amen!

I guess I have grown up the corporate ladder. Now I am taking one day trip to other cities. These one day trips are good because it just like going to the office and then coming back home the same day except that the medium of transport is an airplane.

One day before Diwali and the airfare had shot up more than 3 times. People rushing to be home for the holidays. Considering the morning flight, the evening flight is not full. All the seats in my row are vacant. Most of us are home

Being the first Diwali after the marriage means I have to be home before tomorrow. Amu is waiting.

35000 feet up in the air, I am on my way home.

Even after so many flights, I have a scary feeling every time the plane takes flight. I have to calm my nerves when the plane takes flight, more when I am travelling alone. Its not just the flight but I think I am more scared nowadays…of everything.

For an unknown reason.  Hope this feeling passes out.

Maybe the feeling is because I am not alone now. With the responsibility of another person, I am worrying about the future, But then her "Don’t worry" can work wonders too. As everybody sleeps around me and I can even hear someone snoring over the engine’s sound, I am going through my wedding pictures. The marriage will be 5 months old 4 days from now.

Its the time of knowing each other.

We have married late in life and we have lots of catching up to do. I want to hold up to every moment that passes. The wait was worth it!

In all my trips to Delhi, this is the second most fastest stay here. The earlier one was back in New Year eve of 2010 when I landed just before midnight and was out of Delhi by 6:00 AM.

On my flight and return from Delhi, I have been travelling on Indigo flight. I was surprised to see the same hairstyle for all hairhostess until I realized that they were all probably wearing a wig. Having the same Uniform is mandatory for Air staff but same hair style is taking the matters just too far.

Its after many days I felt like writing. Just expressing without any topic to discuss. I want to write but work and life takes preference over writing. With a photo blog that demands attention everyday, F2F takes a back seat and then subjects become old and I lose the enthusiasm to write about that topic.

Reaching home in couple of hour and publishing this. Hope you all have a good Diwali

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali from Amu and Me!