Healthy ...that's how Meghana described her marriage with Ashok to everyone. Lettuce and cucumber with a dash of lemon , a good amount of flax seed scattered on top and some Jalapenos thrown here and there . This is exactly how she described her marriage to her best friend. Ashok was a stickler for healthy lifestyle.
Meghana's day started with a cup of green tea which she would sip while preparing breakfast . She would sing to herself as she got the breakfast ready for Ashok . Wholewheat bread, omelette stuffed with alfa alfa sprouts , a fruit bowl and some freshly squeezed juice. While Ashok had his lunch at the office cafeteria , Meghana usually had a big bowl of salad -crunchy Lettuce , asparagus , baby tomatoes , olives . The only concession she allowed herself was adding paneer instead of tofu. Her
afternoon was usually spent with a green tea and a book . Evenings she would go out to do her daily shopping for fruits and vegetables for the evening and next day.
Ashok always preferred chapatis rather than rice at night. She would keep the curry and the salad ready but prepared hot hot chapatis as he sat down for dinner.
Most of the days were same. Meghana tried to add variety to their daily routine by substituting broccoli with capsicum at night or mushrooms would take the place of asparagus.
Meghana sat near the window looking at the rain outside , thinking about the day her whole life changed .
She was walking back home after her usual shopping when she noticed a wallet lying on the road. She kept her bag down and took the wallet. There were lots of 500 Rs note inside. She looked around but no one seemed to be searching for a lost wallet . She saw a few visiting cards inside . Since they had the same name and details she assumed it would be the owners. Suniel Kumar she read the name out loudly half expecting a Mr Suniel Kumar to answer back. She gathered all her courage and dialed the number. It was immediately answered by a sleepy voice.
"Is this Mr Suniel Kumar?" She asked with an accent.
"Look here right now I am not interested in going for any loan whichever bank you are calling from" a voice answered back and immediately she heard the beep beep sound.
She felt embarrassed but tried again. This time the moment he picked the phone she blurted " I found your wallet . Its with me , I just want to return it back" . There was an absolute silence at the other end . She could hear opening and closing of a drawer.
She looked at the address. It was on her way back. "Look here I am going to pass by your street in few mins . If you can come and stand out side your building ,I can hand it over to you."
"How can I ever repay you back? " A few mins later Suniel who looked nothing less than a bollywood star was asking her. "Its alright Suniel...No worries . Anyone would have done the same" She replied. She could feel her ears turning red which was a sign of nervousness. " At least allow me to get you a cup of coffee please. " he said . "Please .... "
As they sat in the Coffee day sipping their cup of latte , Meghana remembered her college days when she would sit sipping latte with her gang of girlfriends for hours.
Meghana and Suniel started bumping into each other very often. But she always turned down his offer for coffee.
One day she saw him struggling with a paper bag. The bag was almost torn and the contents were about to fall down. She helped him once again by carrying some stuff from the bag. "Mc Donald's have stopped plastic bags was his explanation.
Why don't you come up and share a burger with me he asked as they reached his house. Temptation got the better of her. She went inside his house. Crisp chicken burger with mayo oozing out and the golden french fries just screamed 'this is life' .
She was transferred to a different world, she was completely captivated . She looked forward to the evenings she spent with burgers and pizzas and the hot brownies with dollops of ice cream .
"So what do you think about this unhealthy lifestyle ? " Suniel asked with a twinkle in his eyes one day.
"I am just lovin it " she laughed.
"I would love to have a burger with you everyday"
"Are you proposing me by any chance?" she asked.
Meghana was jostled to reality as her train screeched to a stop.
"You can't just a bye like this ! " Suniel had exclaimed .
"But why ...darling why are you doing this ?" Ashok had asked. "I need a break. Let me be alone for some time and then we will make decisions " was all she said.
How could she explain to Ashok or Suniel that she wanted both the salad and the burger in her life ?
Craving arises only when you completely deprive yourself of something. Healthy diet is about moderation, not deprivation. ...A balanced healthy diet does not always mean that you have to give up the foods that you love. It just requires ...Moderation and no guilt. Meghana wished Ashok understood this simple fact.
Note : Just back after having a quick bite at macdonald's with hubby . Feeling guilty ? No !!!! cause tomorrow I am planning to go on a diet of salads and juices (if I can resist the temptations around me ;) )
As I take up the pen , numerous thoughts flow through my mind. Where do I begin ?
Should I start from the day when you made me stand in front of the psychiatrist who ripped me apart like a lawyer cross examining the witness ? Should I start from the day I dragged you to the marriage Councillor in the hope that everything would be alright between both of us with a two hour session ?
During these 30 years there were numerous times when I wanted to hold your hands and bring you into my world. But every time you pushed me so hard that landed into the world of reality holding my broken dreams in my hands. Slowly I started leaving you out of my world. I built a wall around myself , a wall so huge and strong that I felt secure and safe. Every time you tried to pull the wall down , I made it more and more secure. Today you feel defeated only because you cannot break this wall, try as hard as you may .
How can I explain it to you or a psychiatrist how I felt when you looked at me longingly every night and became a stranger the moment sun was up. The moment I spent looking at the burning candle realizing time was slipping out of my fingers while you typed away on you iPhone. How badly I wanted to share my moments of glory with you. Small, but MY achievements. How desperately I was looking for a shoulder to cry on while you peeled my clothes away . You blamed me that I was not involved but never realized the turbulence that was going on within me.
And then there were moments when I felt you actually loved me . A fleeting thought that perhaps it was just not desire or convenience but love hidden behind somewhere. And I tried to impress you then.Make you aware of my presence.
Finally one day , you decided to give a fancy name to my insecurities , my longing to be loved. You along with your fancy doctor called it Bipolar Disorder. I laughed . I cried . I felt helpless.
It is said that you derive strength from unknown sources when everything seems to be lost. I derived strength from the numerous helpless women around me. I decided to be strong. I decided to let go
I still believe in my fantasy world...I still believe love exists. I still believe in fairies. I still believe elves to be hiding around ...I believe in love ..I believe in life ...just that I decided to close this chapter of my life and write the next chapter which is full of happiness.
I look at my lovely granddaughter sitting next to me. I hold her tiny fingers in my hand and start reading a rhyme.
There was a little girl Who had a little curl Right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good She was very, very good But when she was bad She was horrid!
Hmmph ! another case of Bipolar Disorder , my granddaughter blurted out and I laughed.
Note : Today I was reading about Bipolar Disorder and a few random thoughts came into my mind which I didn't know how to put across. And yes i did try to live up to my reputation of a serial killer . Believe me I did try to kill the husband ...but really it just messed up everything ;)
Onset of a storm ? The pause before a lightening strikes ? Sun peeking through early morning fog ? The moment just before the pebble hit water and created ripples ? My silence said a lot And you kept searching for words !
Off on a well deserved holiday ! Tired ...saturated ...Need a break !!!
*********************************************************************************All characters appearing in this story are taken from true life. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional. If you can spot yourself amongst the characters, be assured that it is you *******************************************************************************
Once upon a time , not so long ago there was a Scarlet Macaw. She was a very beautiful Scarlet Macaw. She was so colorful and full of life . She had an incredibly bright plumage in colors ranging from the scarlet , through to light blue, yellow,with metallic gold iridescence, and even some green in the wings. Though Native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics, this beautiful bird had flown down to Bangalore after getting married to the most handsome Fire-tailed Myzornis . Our Scarlet Macaw was a beautiful and brave woman who was equally kind and compassionate. All through her childhood her dad had treated her like a Princess and told her she was no less than any boy if not better. So after marriage though she loved the Fire-tailed Myzornis very much she was very very cautious. Cautious about what ? Cautious that Fire-tailed Myzornis should not treat her as a mere female. After few initial hicupps she realized that he did not actually belong to the enemy camp but was one among what you called as "real men" shown on televisions. Soon they were blessed with two beautiful children who thankfully had the best of features of both the parents.
They were both taught the right values. While the Jr Macaw-Myzornis who was a boy respected every living being baby Macaw-Myzornis was full of life and radiated confidence .
The Fire-tailed Myzornis helped with dinner and also advised the Scarlet Macaw whenever she faced any problems as work place. The Scarlet Macaw was highly respected at the work place .She shared a good rapport with her manager as well as clients. There was a time when her client had sent her flowers all the way from the dense rainforests of Melbourne !
The Macaw wanted to something more . She looked for other options in the same organization and soon got a good role in one of the happening teams.
As always she worked hard . But this time her supervisor - the Harpy Eagle was not so impressed. He kept different types of competitions to judge his team and finally when the results came our Macaw got a shock of her life ! But why ? she asked. "That's because of relative performance " pat came the reply from the Eagle.
"Can you swim like the fish? " He asked
"N...no " she replied
"Can you crawl into a hole like the snake ?
"No I cannot " she replied
"But I can fly ...and I flew so high ! "
"Anyone can jump into a plane and fly " He replied.
I will take it up at the next level she thought. Definitely my skip level who resembles the guy out of Mani Ratnam's movie Roja will help . So she went to the Lappet faced Vulture's cabin. "Relative performance" he replied without bothering to look up. Learn to swim and crawl and we will see next year what happens" and he dismissed her with a mocking smile.
The Scarlet Macaw came home to find the Fire-tailed Myzornis' shoulders ready for her to cry. After she was done with crying she asked him for advise. He looked a bit surprised. "Ofcourse you fight " he replied. That was all she needed. "This is going to be your fight. While I will always be there right behind you , to hold you , to give you support, its going to be your fight entirely. And when you come back from the battlefield I will be right at the doorstep with a bottle of champagne... either to celebrate the victory with you or to drown the sorrow. Just go ahead and fight!"
So with these encouraging words our Scarlet Macaw went straight to the battlefield and called the Vulture and the Eagle for a fight. She had no idea if she would win or loose but she knew in her heart she owed it to all the females in the world - birds , animals as well as humans. Today she sat in a AC room in front of her computer talking about deadlines only because some women somewhere decided enough was enough . Some unknown women burned their bras some unknown women started the movements. She owed it to her dad who taught her to fly so high. She owed it to her husband who took leave to look after the kids while she attended her meetings. She owed it to her daughter and even to her son who looked upon her. And above all she owed it to her mother who prayed during her exams , who was by her side always, who readily took care of her kids while she worked. More than winning or loosing what mattered was that she stood up for something she believed in.
And thus the fight began.....The Eagle and the Vulture were powerful ...very powerful but our Scarlet Macaw had so much of strength in her that even she was surprised.
As she opened the champagne bottle that night for the first time she felt her life was worthy and meaningful.
I enter the battlefield
with my head held high
my loud heart beat
drowned by my arrogant laugh
will I win ?
will I lose ?
I do not know
but to all the women this much I owe
I sit in the AC room
talking about deadlines and issues
thanks to some women somewhere
who burned bras and stared movements
today is my lucky day
to fight , to raise my voice
to give an example to my daughter
from the chapters of my life
Note : I had decided to fight , to raise my voice against something I totally believed in . I fought ...fought hard and I won. Even if I had not won it would have given me the satisfaction that I at least fought ...fought with all my might.