The Life: In the United States of America…

12/12/2016  Time Unknown:Eastern Standard Time


I snoozed my alarm clock the umpteenth¬† time, because I was cozy and the warmth was too welcoming to leave.¬†The snow¬†has fallen and I give out a¬†groan. Let me tell you guys, snow looks way more cooler when falling down, but is way more bitchier once it has fallen down. For starters, my car’s windshield is buried under the snow, and I have taken a head bath. How are they two related? While I am brushing off the snow from my car, my wet hair freeze, yet again. They become hair popsicles, and I feel like I am Bob Marley with dreadlocks, only that my dreadlocks are made of ice.

12/11/2016 3:05PM Eastern Standard Time

I am in a queue of an Indian restaurant(Yep, I am a sucker of Indian food), where they serve lunch buffet. The butter Naan is not there, so I take the rice and wait for the naan to come. The Naan did come, but my fellow Indians took the naan, as if taking it for bhaiyaji, mausiji, mausaji, pappu ke papa and auntyji and for themselves. The scene was similar to your unimportant relative’s wedding where you have arrived to just hog on the food, but another unknown person to you has arrived for precisely the same reason and he has beaten you up in the competition.

I slightly elbowed in a ladylike manner to my fellow Indian and grabbed the last piece with a smug smile. After all, two can play the game.

12/7/2016  5:45PM Eastern Standard Time

I am frantically trying to make sense of my exam paper of Java. It is a known secret that I am pathetic at computer languages, any computer language. Since its a mandatory course,¬† I had to take it. So, while I am sitting there building on the pressure of reading the exam paper, the guy in front of me succumbed to the same pressure and farted. Noisily. I looked around to see whether anyone has noticed the fart of a life time, but everyone was bent down engrossed in their exam paper. I closed my eyes waiting for the smell to come and engulf me in my tortured state. I knew the rule of a well done fart: “Sound travels faster than the smell”. However, to my huge relief it never came. Ahhh, it never came!

By the way, not that it matters, but the person infront of me was not from India or anywhere from Asia…Take your pick…

09/01/2013 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time


I have met my future room mate just 5 minutes ago, and¬† another batch mate of ours comes towards us. She frantically congratulated my room mate, for receiving her GA from the very first semester. Then came another kudos from another Indian batch mate. We passed the library and there were people staring. I then turned and asked my future room mate, trying to understand her accolade before congratulating, “What’s a GA?”

“Its a Graduate Assistantship, like an on-campus job”, she replied.

“Ok, so why is everybody congratulating you?”,¬†I asked again.

“You have to really struggle for a GA, you need to apply to a professor and¬†then he interviews you…” she said,” Also you get paid and¬†receive some scholarship”.

Ahaan…That pinched a little. I absolutely had no idea.

Of course when you get a job that pays you, you can apply for a Social Security Number. Of course you can apply for a credit card if you have a social security number. Of course, once you have a credit card  you need to build your credit history. Of course, the credit history does not get built by only one credit card, you need multiple cards to upkeep your FICO score. Of course,  your FICO score is scrutinized  by your future employer, by your future landlord, by your future car company, and so on. Of course nobody told me that, I had to figure it out.

Of course, when I eventually had a job that paid, the social security office of Quincy, Massachusetts respectfully asked me to step outside the building because my mother’s maiden name was same as my mother’s married name. Talk about being thorough?

09/05/2013 6 PM Eastern Standard Time


I hate shopping for the house. Plus my room mate has just spent good 30 minutes between two aisles, color coordinating her bathroom blue or teal or something along the lines of light blue. By the time¬†we reached the kitchenware, I was plodding like¬†the¬†Frankenstein’s beast and cursing Walmart for having a million square feet of floor space.

I¬†am actually irritated more, because after barely landing into the States, I have to spend 100’s of dollars (talk about conversion and then buying) on buying not Gucci or Prada but bathroom cleaners and kitchen towels and toilet papers and daal and spoons and Lyzol.

Shit.

02/01/2014 11 AM Eastern Standard Time


I tried the weighing machine. GOD DAMN IT! The numbers made no sense, or the numbers added to too much. Or, am I holding a baby inside of me? The baby should be an elephant’s baby to weigh that much in a mere womb.

Don’t worry mommy dearest, I was not pregnant. I was just ballooning.

 

05/05/2016 9 AM Eastern Standard Time


Angel is with me and I needed to cook, but the hot¬†plate is giving a temper and I had to do my dirty laundry. Rule of thumb 1: Try to do your laundry on a weekend because there will be no fresh work clothes left mid week. There will be no clean socks, no matter how many new pairs of socks you buy. Rule of Thumb 2: Try and complete your assignment on a weekend because if you leave it for a weekday and attempt to do it after work, you will curse the lord. You will do a shitty job, and you will get shitty marks. Rule of Thumb 3: Don’t bring your work home on a weekend.

Then Karma says, “Break the thumb or break the rule”.

And who doesn’t comply with Karma?

Fin

 

Afterthoughts:

Hey there!

Thank you for making it till here. I assume that you have read the first two in the 3 piece series. If you haven’t, you can browse to The Loss: In the United States of America and The Love: In the United States of America…Its not mandatory but it is highly recommended.

Chitwan Puri, my mentor and my soul mate, my wife to be in another lifetime, and my partner in treason in any country, told me that she is looking for something light in the next article. Even though I have absolutely no control over the thought process and the mood swings(not dependent on the ‘time of the month’), I gave it a try. Love, Yadav

 

Advertisements

The Love:Living in United States of America…

If you had been my faithful readers all along, you may realize that I do not shy away from the topic. It has been a roller coaster ride for me regarding love, with heartbreaks and heartaches. I have been in love, and sadly out of love as well. My depression  post breakup was an overkill, in brief.

It happened in United States, where I knew that the followup “getting-back-together” calls would mean nothing more¬†than me being in the gutter once again. I cried my heart out and spoke to whomever that would listen that I am heart broken. I wanted to beg to the almighty above, that time should stop, that I needed to breathe, that I needed time to heal. I wanted to fall off the grid and become a monk, because for me this life was baseless. I started seeing my life in an alternate reality, parallel to my own. I would pity myself, and I would victimize myself. I had stopped looking at myself in the mirror, I loathed my face, my body, my whole being. However, the struggle reached its epitome when I could not sleep. I would close my eyes and hear the world sleep and get up again, when all this time I was wide awake. Finally, sun would hit the horizon and my body’s turmoil would reach an epiphany, and I could sleep for an hour or two if the days were good. It went on for months.Till now, after almost 2 years, when I have those nights when I cannot sleep, I completely and honestly lose it. My family, several continents away, did not know what their daughter was going through. I never told them, but I still ask myself, should I have taken the help?

I am currently staying with a girl, who ¬†is lovely and who spoke up about her love life. Rummaging through people’s profiles on shadi.com, she says that some people who register there do not intend¬†to marry. They are browsing instead of swiping left and right on Tinder. She mentions very jovially how she had been rejected in the past on the basis of her weight, her visa status, her skin color, and so on. She mentions the double standards of the candidates, who would be living in with someone and would still seek out “a marriage material” partner. She mentions about handsome guys, who have wives back in India and they still try to solicit with women for “fun” in United States. She talked about her previous room mate, who was sleeping with a guy up until one day before she was about to fly home. She was going home to get married to another man, the more stable one. She asked me today what do I see in a man before I commit. Without waiting for a beat, I replied, “Quality”. To which she asked again, “How do you ensure that the man is of quality?”

How?

Not a long time ago, I had met a friend of a friend, and he seemed interested. He had good qualifications and a great way of talking. He was smart, funny and courteous. He met my room mate and I met his friends, and things were fine. We also had some common friends, and I enquired diligently about his background, which never raised any red flags. When I asked him directly about his relationship status, he said he was single. The only time I felt uncomfortable was when his married friend (who was also his colleague) would always insist to hang out with us. We will be going for a movie, and I would find ourselves waiting for the other friend, also a woman. We will be going out for a dinner, and the other friend would be with us whipping out Groupon coupons. Those were the things¬†that bothered me, but I would eventually learn to ignore. I wanted the things to be slow. Lo and behold one day, when my “good on the paper” lad came to pick me up. Drunk to bits he mentioned that he had a wife back in Houston, which he married for Green Card. The wife and him were not getting along and were separated. By the way, the other married friend that busted our so called dates on many occasions, was his current sleeping partner. I had too much self respect to ask him, “So, who was I?”

On the other hand, relationships do work, but along the hinges of our visa status. One of my mentors, a strong woman, was living in with her boyfriend. Both her and the BF work full time for massive companies. Things were usual. The BF had the work visa, but the girl-my friend was yet to receive one. So on a day when her company told her to pack her bags and leave the country, she complied. She will leave behind her love, her life, her dreams behind . She will leave behind the security of being loved by a man. She will leave behind her faith in the system. When S tells me that he wants to shift to the other country for his further education, I go berserk. In a time, when finding a decent guy feels¬†like a mirage ¬†in the desert, when falling in love and staying in love is a lot of hard work and when you finally begin to trust the other person with yourself and your car,¬†the other person’s visa status comes into the picture, along with your own visa status. Trivial and strenious.

But I ain’t stopping smiling, aren’t I?

The 4 letter word. LOVE ‚̧ԳŹ


Fin

Note to the reader:This article is the second one in the series. If you are here by chance, I recommend the first  one The Loss:Living in United States of America.

The Loss: Living in United States of America…

I really don’t know what should be the appropriate title for this post, but maybe it will come along the way when I write.

Yesterday, I was having dinner in a slightly upscale Indian Restaurant located in Mass Ave, Boston. I was not alone, I had my friend sitting across the table from me and chomping on Goat Biryani. My dear friend was describing how his life had been in India. He had rented an apartment in Banglore (now called as Bengaluru) and had hosted parties (of all sorts) with his childhood friends. He described his sex escapades, his car rides, his money mis-handling capabilities and his love interests. He explained in real detail, about how his upbringing was privileged, being the only child of his parents. In my opinion, he lived like a royal in his own right, back in India.


However, when I had first met him, he was struggling to even find a job in United States. My dear friend after cold calling several local Indian Restaurants in Boston, found a job in an Indian Deli located in Faneuil Hall. His job was cleaning the vessels, advertising the deli, serving hot food to the customers where he was instructed to smile continuously, shifting heavy loads and standing for 8-12 hours straight. While doing his Masters in Computer Science, he would come back home late from work, his face occasionally burnt with the hot oozing oil/water, joints pains, headaches and lethargy. He would heave with a sigh, and would head again straight to work the next day for $7 an hour. Cash.

Similar story of S. When I had first met him, he would be awake till wee hours of the morning surfing on Craigslist so that he could find some odd jobs. I remember, he took a job for picking up a guy from nowhere. This guy, our client, had his ¬†license suspended¬†because he was found¬†driving under the influence of alcohol.¬†The client¬†wanted to attend his Alcohol Anonymous meeting some 20 miles up North and needed a designated driver. The directions were simple. Pick him up, drop him off to his AA meeting, pick him up again after 2 hours from his AA meeting¬†and dropping him back to his home. When S told me that he took the job, I felt a little scared and begged him to take me along. On a Friday night, when the friends of his age were busy squandering their parents’ money in India, S was driving a recovering alcoholic in Boston. All for $80. Cash.


Coming back to my dear friend, who was still sitting across the table in the slightly upscale Indian restaurant, I felt a pang of relief. He is not working for the Deli anymore. He now works as a cashier for a dilapidated Indian store located in the suburb of Boston. His job responsibilities are many. Opening the store in the early hours of winter mornings, closing the store after his shift, selling lottery tickets to druggies and drunkards, maintaining the decorum of the almost empty store, shoveling snow and sometimes snow-turned-ice, and so on. To reach his workplace, my dear friend travels for 2 hours one way, in snow and in wind, in rain and in sunshine, in sadness and in happiness, so that he could earn some money. $8 an hour. Cash.

I look at my watch, and I see that its almost 10:30 PM. Talking to S would be such a bad idea now, due to the peak rush hour at his work. To give you some background, I suspect whether S has even lifted a finger back home in India. The younger son, S, was spoilt and mollycoddled since his birth. S was gifted a car in India when he turned 16, owned the best toys, lived in a super-posh locality in Mumbai and travelled in the best. Now, he is a proud co-contributor/crew member of an ice -cream shop in Arlington. His part time job is to deliver super expensive ice-creams 6 days a week, from 7:45 PM till 2 AM in the morning. S also goes to school and takes 5 classes. That is full load. To give you some perspective, you CANNOT take more than 5 classes or 15 credits. Sometimes he comes home wet from the rain and sick from the cold. Sometimes he comes home hungry because he went straight from class to work and did not get time to eat. Sometimes he gets home irritated because he did not get enough tips. S delivers at breakneck speeds to clients who can sometime put $0.50 tip on the bill. He calls me then all jacked up, exasperated with his annoyance and indulge. I feel defeated at times. I feel saddened and helpless when I cannot begin to imagine how he must be feeling. I feel pride for my beloved, but at the same time I feel that it is too much for him. It is too hard of a life for him, I think, my melodrama subsiding in wisps of silence.

We wrapped up our leftovers and my dear friend picked up our parcel. I looked at the young waiter who was serving us. She was in her early 20s and definitely an Indian who gave us a spectacular service. I tipped her by putting a crisp note, and walked off, thinking how lucky I have been.

Fin

 

 

Lets talk about Love <3


(PS: Picture taken by yours truly on the middle of the road around 3 years ago)

PPS: I did not want to talk about Bra Dystopia anymore…)

In the dreary mist of the morning due, I figure that the most dreaded 4 letter word has somehow become a luxury. A necessary luxury.

We love the idea of ‘Love’. We absolutely adore the fact that we will have somebody for the rest of our lives. We have somehow associated our minds with the thought that “Love is everlasting”. Well what if Love isn’t?

What if the pressure on Love is so much, that it crumbles under our expectations?

We place so much importance on the feeling of Love, that lack of the consistency of the mere ‘feeling’ leads us to break our relationships. Love is like wine, it tastes better with time but it does not guarantee long lasting intoxication. We are so drunk with the whole idea of falling in love and then being in love, that we feel guilty if we perceive something else. We feel judgmental about couples who aren’t in love anymore but choose to stay together. We feel nauseous¬†when¬†your friend comes to you and announces that she is bored of her long time partner.¬†We feel so trapped in our own relationships sometimes that when the other person says, “I love you”, you feel almost compelled to say, “I love you too…” ¬†even if you don’t feel like you do. We all want to maintain a fairy tale, dancing with romance , making love on heart shaped beds, champagne¬†oozing¬†and rose petals¬†falling on you from nowhere. We want to be the Prince of the fairytale sweeping¬†our Princess off¬†her feet. We want to be the Princess,¬†being woken by a kiss from a¬†handsome prince. We want to feel alive and wanted. We want to feel special and pampered. We want to feel treasured and romanticized with long letters, flowers, vacations and I do’s.

Does that constitute Love at all?

The Bra Dystopia-II

Fast forward a couple of years and I moved to Gurgaon after being handpicked from the mass recruitment conducted at my college by an MNC. I stayed in Sushant Lok and met Rubal. Rubal was the owner of a small brassiere shop in the dilapidated  shopping complex. Coincidentally, the shop had no changing rooms, could fit a maximum of 3 people but despite of that, I WAS NOT BUYING MY BRAS OFF THE ROAD!

On another tangent, seriously, what is wrong with you people? Can’t you build a “Sulabh changing room?”

Coming back from the moon and into this writeup, Rubal(who coincidentally shares the same name as my younger brother. Coincidence?) was a free spirited jolly golly woman who “finally” knew the product that she was selling. Her personalized advises were enlightening, funny and actually useful. She defied all the self-schooling that I had done in the bra department and taught me life lessons that I will carry to my grave. She talked about elasticity , cup size, durability and longevity like a scientist and I could ask her whatever I wanted without being judged. Well, to come to think of it, I could have asked Bhaiyaji from “She”also anything, but I feared my mommy dearest. Not because she was scary. It was because she had the capability to¬†recite the anecdote to¬†“Pallavi didi ki mummy”[Pallavi’s mom] who is our neighbor’s neighbor, and I had no patience to deal with that.

Rubal(again the shopkeeper and not my brother because it would be weird otherwise) taught me “the stuff” and I went an extra mile and categorized the whole institution of bras into 4 major categories. Boys and girls, watch and learn:

 




To be continued…

The Bra Dystopia- Part I

Bra- to those who don’t know(really?) is an undergarment worn to cover and support breasts.  Its just like underwear and trust me when I say this, a good quality and well fitted bra is a luxury for women in today’s times. While many claim that the quality of the Bra actually accentuates a lady’s figure, I feel that the whole breast to bra thing is a mere strategy to enhance pain inflicted on my body.

I am not exaggerating here when I say that my whole pre-teen, teen, post teen years were troublesome in the arena. I am well endowed everywhere(I am talking about fat content on my body of course) and my boobs enjoy the same adjective-endowed. However, if your sole teacher in this area was your mommy dearest, who was thin and lanky in her teenage years to adulthood, she had technically no idea what was going on with her overweight daughter. Add to this cauldron that our so called ‘brassiere’ shop’s name was called “She” in Ajmer. The bhaiyaji(brother- a term used for addressing any shop owner in India) who used to sell the said material screamed unconventionality in many volumes in a conservative city called Ajmer. In a female dominated market, “She”was a shop where women sellers were nowhere to be found. There were no changing rooms in “She” because the shop was miniscule. Women from all walks of life, buying bras for all sorts of reasons- from the sleazy first nights to the sturdy basket ball games- would seek solid support from “She”. This shop could barely fit two customers, and you were practically on the road with honking scooters and rowdy cyclists when buying the most important piece of your closet. The bhaiyaji would ask you your size, will try to keep his face straight and then announce your size to his chotu(technically means small chap, normally referred to a person working for you or your child, depending upon the situation) located in the upper storage area-marked by a hole in a ceiling.

“Chotuuuu size XX of brand YY dena!”[Chotuuu, give me size XX of brand YY!] he would scream after looking at you from top to bottom in a non-sexual way, and Chotu whose face I have never seen in all these years would drop a box from the hole in the ceiling. In my size, colors were limited and this was the best shop that could provide me my garment. Bhaiyaji could suggest you another size if in his opinion you were asking for the wrong one. He had magical powers, he could only do that with a glance!

Mommy dearest on my side-my shopping partner from hell- would be passing silent judgments on my queries and color choices if I had any color choices so as to speak. It will be an understatement to proclaim that till my graduation, I have worn the wrong size and one of the following colors- black, white and nude. I felt extremely uncomfortable and uneasy almost three quarters of my miniature life span. “She” was also the shop from where all- and I mean ALL my classmates and female teachers would buy their undergarments from, if they are buying their stuff from Ajmer. To give you clarity, I was in a girls’ only school. It was an exhaustive process of going to “She” and select something which was so personal to you. To emphasize the popularity of “She”, my mommy dearest, my aunt, my neighbor, and my hairdresser were all buying from that godforsaken shop. To further give you a wow moment- my sister who was getting married at that time- got her honeymoon underlings from “She” as a gift from my mommy dearest- WOW!

Certainly Business was booming.

 

 

 

 

 

Fair and Handsome anyone?

My usual phone call with mom lasts longer if we are gossiping or talking trashy about people in general. She and I often squirm around the paraphrased ‘I-know-I-can-tell-only-you-this talk’ when we are doing mouth diarrhea about relatives, friends, friends of friends and almost nobodies in our life.

Mommy dearest on one occasion commented that she attended a wedding of a neighbor’s daughter. The daughter had to wait for 5 years to get married to the guy of her choice, simply because her parents weren’t agreeing. I casually asked, ‘Where is the guy from?’ to which she replied ‘Somewhere from South India, but in spite of that he is extremely good looking.’ Slightly annoyed, when I asked what is her definition of a good looking man, she replied ‘I mean, he was gora’[I mean that he is fair] When I proceeded to tell her that ‘Aishwarya Rai’ is a South Indian and is amazingly good looking, she did a double take. I then proceeded to tell her that S is dark- chocolate shade dark and the line went dead.

Right then and there I knew why Fair And Handsome obtained its niche market. The old and harboring industry of melanin suppressor, was tired of torturing women since 1971(Obtained from their Wiki page). I remember Shahrukh Khan endorsing the brand at one point of time. I wonder if he was indirectly calling himself ‘Unfair’? Sorry about the lame attempt at a joke…

When I told about my conversation with mommy dearest to S, his annoyance was perpetual even before I finished my story. He wasn’t taking this lightly and wanted me to send a picture of him to my mommy dearest. This tactic was to prove that even though he was dark, he was handsome. My boy is sure as hell handsome but I ain’t sending any pictures of him to my mom. Period. His annoyance gathered momentum when he heard that I said-quote/unquote ‘That he was of a chocolate shade’, to which I replied that I had precisely mentioned that he was of the color of a Milk Chocolate for example Cadbury. He heaved his sonny chest and wanted to throw me like a rag doll outside the window, when I bribed him with a Mc D 1 buck Sundae in return.

I wonder if my remark has hit a nerve. I wonder, whether my sister who is dusky, feels the same. I often sense it in her remarks sometimes when she compares herself to her fair husband. She is beautiful with her Trident smile and S is handsome with his love dimples. I look at myself in the mirror and gaze at my fairness and truly wonder whether that makes me any lovely…

Fin