The Leftover Pizza

Daily life Pizzazz, some nuggets, some fun

Archive for the month “March, 2011”

I refuse

All my childhood, I was a yes girl. I morphed myself, changed myself, fitted circles into squares and did whatever it takes to just buy peace and keep things nice for everyone but me. But not much was made of all the contributions I made and in the end when it was my turn to ask for help, I was on my own. I refuse to do that anymore.

I refuse to bow down just because you think that’s the way things should be. I have as much of a right to my reality as anyone else.

I refuse to deny my feelings or my view of things because it is uncool, uncomfortable for you or any other reason. I choose to live my life as my own person.

I refuse to abandon my principles so that you can live with your illusions.

I refuse to be drawn into a conversation where you question my way of coping with things.

I refuse to acknowledge your judgement of how  I should react to the world around me.

I have had enough of being told what to do or how to be. This is who I am, not the child you imagined, not the colleague you want, not the yes man who you are comfortable with. Yes, this could mean that you will become more difficult around me, this could mean that you find that you dont have any use of me anymore, this could mean that the whole foundation of things is wrong. But I refuse to pretend anymore that things are better than they actually are.

Seeking validation

Always been my downfall this trait. I slogged my you know what off to always be acceptable. School topper, girl who followed all conventions, traditional Indian girl, the works. Got out of home to get to the cosmopolitan big city and all that had to change to be accepted to the new definitions of acceptable. Now acceptable was pseudo-modern, pseudo-liberal and all other pseudos you can think of. One has to be very careful about not becoming truly modern, liberal and all that, because then people called you communist or rebellious or all talk and no action etc etc. The key word in the corporate world is status quo, all progress, all development, everything has to happen without challenging the status quo. The status quo stays, you may leave.

The trouble with seeking validation is that you are living your life for others. What’s in all of this for you? The moment you have reached a particular point, the goal posts are shifted. You are forever adjusting yourself, forever trying to fit in and nothing is a right fit. Most of your life is spent in trying to seek approval, parents’ approval, boss’ approval, spouse’s approval and the cycle goes on. You pass through each day with a distinct feeling of having not done enough. Oh, by the way you are not supposed to think this much either, its not cool.

Question is, is this the way it will always be?

500 :D

Whoopie, cheesychic is grateful to all the visitors on the blog. Sometime yesterday the blog crossed 500 visits 😀

The fox and the grapes

All of us have heard the story of the fox who couldn’t reach the grapes and cried that they were sour. As children we were taught how the fox’s attitude was wrong, how it was so silly to blame the thing you didn’t get. Fair enough, but we were not told the story of the other fox. Let me tell you that one.

So there was a fox who knew that he loved grapes. All year long he had waited for the vines to bear fruit. He would dream of them every night. He also exercised regularly so that he would be able to stretch as required when the grapes would be within reach. Once the vines had started getting small, raw bunches, he started making rounds of the vineyard at night. It took days of patient watchfulness to know the watchman’s schedule and enter the vineyard and leave without being caught. Once that part was taken care of, now the fox had to choose the correct vine, the one with the juiciest grapes and also easily within reach. After a lot of observation and searching, he finally found the perfect vine. The grapes were almost ripe by now. But it was almost dawn and so he could only return the next night.

The fox went home to sleep and prepare for the eventful night. Now unknown to him, during the day one of the watchmen noticed his footprints in the vineyard. Simultaneously the owner of the vineyard also was on a visit. The owner felt the vines were hanging down a lot as they had become heavier with fruit. Coupled with the sight of footprints, the watchman thought it would be better to raise the bamboo supports and tie the vines a little higher, a step that was undertaken swiftly.

The poor fox was unaware of all this, he returned that night, full of excited anticipation. Sure of all the practice he had done of leaping, the fox made a valiant attempt. But what was this, how could his calculation go wrong? He tried again and again and again. But the vine was still out of reach. He looked all around in confusion and suddenly realised the vines had been raised. What would he do now? He had been starved so long, he had tried so hard and the vines had now been raised.

He had put in so much effort into figuring out this vineyard and there didn’t seem to be any other in sight. He had two options now. He could follow his ancestor and walk away in a huff blaming the grapes and the vineyard owner. Or he could remember the natural principle that as soon as the other grape bunches also ripen, the vine would start hanging lower again. Could he wait till then? Or will the owners pluck the grapes before he got a chance? He has been sitting on the fence, watching, ever since that day. What do you suggest he should do?

The curious case of Cheesychic

For the first time, I have been realising that people view me much differently than I view myself. The last week has been full of such realisations. My stand in a lot of life situations used to be I am not ok, you are ok. Heck was I wrong!

So many hours I have wasted thinking that I was doing, being something wrong and all for naught. Turns out I was always the better one off in most interactions, I just approached them feeling I wasn’t. Heck, how much of a poor little rich girl type syndrome is that.

People have done things to impress, hidden things to keep me happy, tweaked things to present the ‘right’ picture to me, even let me conclude so that I could get what I wanted. People have always wanted something, and instead of seeing that as a compliment, I either felt pressurised or I felt inferior. Well people only come to you if they think you have something better and my only crime is foolishness of not realising this. I chose to believe people who would exacerbate this fallacy too. After all, some of those who want something from you, want to act as if they don’t and what better way than to make you feel less than so that you give it up on your own. Foolish, foolish, really foolish I know. How did I get to this point even? I was a more self assured kid than this, growing up made me lose perspective, heck. Quite a reverse case I am, was wiser as a kid. But better late than never, atleast I know now.

The dichotomy of the ‘liberal’ Indian parent

Just read this piece on parents of daughters and their attitude towards marriage by IHM. Triggered a lot of things I have concluded about Indian family system till now. Will be talking more from a girl’s perspective only because I am a girl, but I do know a fair number of guys also face similar attitudes with respect to their work or other life decisions.

A ‘liberal’ Indian family is mostly a dichotomy (exceptions might be there, but they are rare). Post feminism, educating one’s daughters has also become part of a status symbol. For many first generation feminist ideology inspired mothers, the drive to see the daughter as a very successful career woman is higher and while this is a good thing, the problem is the increased expectations from the child. The girl not just has to be a good girl (read sanskari, agyakari etc etc) but she has to excel in studies. To justify the fact that she is a worthy enough human being she has to try twice as hard as the boy next door or the mamaji’s son to be the absolute best student. The messages she receives right from childhood are that when it comes to career and education she is as good as any boy. The girl generally grows up in a bubble of equality.

But just after she becomes an adolescent the bubble suddenly starts going pop. Suddenly there are restrictions about what she should do. She could study yes, but not that particular course, its manly you know. When she questions the equality, she is told that well she was always brought up to be an equal, but there are some things that haven’t changed in the outside world and so this is for her safety.

Then she grows up, sometimes rebelling and going on to do the job or course that her parents thought would make it tough for her to get a husband later on, stuff that renders her less ‘homely’. Now she has more competition to handle, that from the ones who didn’t rebel and lived on to marry someone and have happy marriages. God forbid she is having problems at her work, she would be told you were the one who chose it (this I believe happens even to boys who choose a career that their parents didn’t like). What parents fail to understand is that the child made a mistake and is not asking you to clean up his/her act, all they are saying is to have the confidence that they have the unconditional love of their parents in whatever they do. Of course, conservative parents (read control freaks) would say that what the hell are you talking, we are parents, we don’t want the child suffering later and that is why we are asking him/her to stay put or do whatever we deem is right because of course, we know better. Lets get one thing clear the parents are not wondering if the child might not be able to handle it, they are more concerned that they might not be able to handle the so-called societal glare. It is about being called as ‘failed parents’ because the child is not a super star.

Also all ‘liberal’ thoughts vanish when it comes to marriage. If she has had a love marriage then she has to bear the consequences. If she married someone of their choice, then she has to ‘adjust’ and many times she is told how ‘education’ has turned her head or has made her expect too much. Even when it comes to the job, it is not easy if she says that she made a mistake and wants to quit and figure things out for a while. The whole discussion in both the cases is about how they have grinned and borne everything that life threw at them and so the daughter should also.

The biggest fear Indian parents seem to have about their children is about them ‘failing’ to live up to some social expectation. It doesn’t really matter if the child is happy there, but the ‘appearance’ of happiness or success is what is important. Log kya kahenge rules everyone’s lives. It is also the tragedy of the abused that they become as insensitive as they accuse the abusers to be, by asking others who are being abused to just grin and bear it. This is praised in our popular culture as resilience. We  look for that one fairy tale where the ‘patient’ victim finally managed to change the abuser and we pay no heed to the actual reality of the abuse. We infact encourage the victim to live in denial because we ourselves want to live in denial, its the only thing that keeps the status quo intact and after all if the victim goes through the same shit and remains there, it will be easier for us to justify why we remained there. It will be easier to say the world is unfair and ‘accept’ it and live isn’t it?

Peter Pan syndrome

Peter Pan syndrome refers to someone who wants to be young, childlike forever. In a conversation with a friend, recently I was reminded of my own need to be childlike sometimes nee make that a lot of times. While I like the idea of being mature and all that, making decisions is something that I hate, absolutely hate. Simple economic concepts like opportunity cost and diminishing marginal returns are to be blamed for this 😛 Or rather my inability to process them.

So a typical decision in my life goes like this. Situation A is unbearable, it can be replaced by situation B and C. Or we could go straight to Z. Now B is somewhat socially acceptable compared to C, so B looks good but then B is also an option not easy to get. So someone might say then go for C if C is accepting you. But then C is not that great in the public eye, though who knows C might just work out for me. On and on this thought process goes as I cannot figure out the opportunity cost. Meanwhile the diminishing marginal returns at A are a pain in the you know what. Finally tired of making decisions and all the stress I put myself to, I think Z, which is unlike any of A, B or C is the good thing. Then comes the fear, oh no, have never done anything like Z or comes the reality that Z is really not my cup of tea, its more like I don’t know where A, B or C are taking me.

Round and round goes the merry go round and I end up wishing, heck why did I grow up at all? It was so easy in my time as a kid because parents were the ones who even chose your clothes (primarily because kids my generation were a little less brand conscious and believed parents knew it all) and not just that the problem of choice never arose back then, simply because there were hardly one or two options. Now suddenly its not just up to you to make all choices, there are freaking too many. The fear of either losing out on something better that might come up makes it tougher to choose. I guess I understand why there are so many commitment phobes in our generation, its easier to stay in limbo and not wrack your head with choices, rather than choose something and take responsibility when it goes wrong. After all, how long can you blame other things, people? (Yes, yes, I have taken your advice seriously, no more of what I was taught to do, only what I need to do now)

So Peter Pan has to acknowledge that he has grown up and he can’t reverse the clock and now that everyone knows he has grown up, he has to behave like one (you know that is the tough part, we can grow up but behaving like one is so tough also because who decides what is grown up behaviour?). But Peter Pan thinks, hey I dont look like it, or hey can I just keep going back and forth? Its funny that Peter Pan does everything else in a grown up manner except when it comes to making difficult decisions. (tsk tsk, that is the most important part of growing up no?)

What I am grateful for

1. The internet thanks to which I am here and someone is reading me 🙂

2. My friends and people who care enough and get worried on my behalf.

3. My parents

4. The roof above my head.

5. The crazy life I have led till now and all that it has taught me.

6. Chocolates and cheese 🙂

7. The random things I get to do as ancilliary benefits of my job.

8. The variety of films I have seen.

9. All the fun I have had as a kid, the places I have seen.

10. For myself 🙂

The wrong track

What happens when you know you are on the wrong track? What happens when you know you just can’t change it yet? I think it feels as painful as it feels to a caterpillar shedding the shell. But are there any guarantees you would turn out to be a butterfly or would you die trying? Going to the next level in life is just so damn confusing and difficult. And what exactly is this next level? What the damndest is growing up, growing out of and all that jargon? All one can be sure of is that just now, right now, feels like watching your life from somewhere else, existing and trying to figure out what is the next level. You just know the track is wrong, you don’t know which is the right one either.

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