Day 5- Decisions…

They are so deceptive.

At one glance, they look easy. You feel as if you have a complete hold on them. And then when you sit and ponder over, they get more and more difficult to tame.

I don’t know if it’s the right time to share here. Because we haven’t reached any headway in our decision, so it’s premature still. But since this is where I put my thoughts down when I can’t put elsewhere, I guess it’s only natural that I do so.

We have been mulling over bringing home a pet for quite some time. A pet dog to be precise because it’s Namnam’s wish and a wish that R completely backs because he is a dog lover to the core. As for me I have no real preference because I have never considered myself an animal person.

I know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Making a decision to raise a pet is no joke. It’s a huge step. Probably even as huge as the one I took when R&I decided to have Namnam.

So when Namnam expressed a wish to get a pet, even though it seemed like a natural progression and a simple one at that to make, R & I have been a little jittery.

Funnily though the dog lover of the family and the only one who has grown up with dogs as his best friend all through is the more jittery of us, while I have rather been carried away by our girl’s yearning which has been getting stronger by the day.

So you can imagine the scenario here. The more practical the more sensible member of the family is already running the risk of being run over by the other two chronically emotional members.

While I completely understand when R says that having a pet at home would entail a big responsibility, it may hit our social life in a big way, we may even feel curtailed to travel as often as we do since that would mean sending your pet to a pet care center which is an exorbitant option here. Not to mention a scenario when we will have families staying over. Will they be able to cope well? He has all the valid points. It IS a huge responsibility. Yet I find myself wondering what if it does work out. We wouldn’t know how well we can cope until we do tread that path and try, right.

And then again a worrying thought creeps in..what if it doesn’t work out? What if I don’t warm up to the kid? Because all said n done I, more than anyone, have to spend a good part of the day with him/her.

I really don’t know when it will all fall in place. There are so many things that we have to consider before we take that plunge finally and it might even overturn our lives completely.

Right then a friend sends a pic of the most adorable thing looking in hope of finding a home and I realize how much I want this to work out for my girl’s sake more than anything.

Maybe there is a pup out there who’s waiting to accept us in his/her life…

 

Does marriage change a person?

**For the long rant, blame me not, but PNA :D. Her post prompted me to write it 😀**

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Let me rephrase it and ask that question to myself. Has marriage changed me? Well, I’d say it will depend on the way I look at change. If it means change in the way I smile then I’d say no, marriage hasn’t changed me. I still smile the same. If it is change in the way I walk, then no again. I still walk the same- very fast! If it means change in my choice of clothes, then no. I like to wear my saris and suits just as much as I love to wear my jeans and tees. And I still wear them, albeit the size has changed though :D.

Thats the kind of change the society normally expects a girl to undergo as soon as she attains the ‘married’ tag, right? She is told, ‘Ok, now that you’re married, this is how you should smile, this is how you should eat, this is how you should sit, this is how you should talk to your husband, this is what you should be wearing,” ” What? Jeans? Nooooo, you should only wear sarees” so on and so forth. She has to endure piercing glares from them if she is heard addressing her own husband by his name and not ‘ettan/chettan** or A-ji, O-ji Sunoji. She is expected to change her approach towards her parents and give more importance to her in-laws. She is even asked to seek permission from them if she wishes to see her parents. Oh yes, I’ve come across households where such norms are practiced.

This is what bothers me. How can the society judge how a marriage should or should not work. Its for the people involved in the relationship to decide isnt it? If I choose to address my husband by his name, does it make me respect him any less? If I spend time with my parents just as much as I do with my inlaws, does it mean that I’m dishonoring my marriage? Or if I choose to put sindoor in my forehead can I claim that I wish for my husband’s well-being more than any other woman wishes for her husband? No. It will be so wrong on my part to even compare my love and respect for my spouse with anybody else. Its a matter of choice and understanding between the people involved. If my family and R’s family know what they mean to us and if R & I know and accept what we mean to our respective families, then I dont think any society can or should tell us how we should make our marriage work.

If thats what changing is then I can safely say I’ve NOT changed one bit. I’m fortunate and blessed to have grown up in a family which hardly paid any attention to these ridiculous societal norms as well as married into a family that didnt care for such norms either.

So when I was married some 10 years back I was accepted along with my giggly smile, my loud laugh, my brisk-walking style and much more. Not once was I made to feel as though I had to change myself. In fact R & my parents-in-law went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome from day one.

My mother-in-law, who hated cooking, used to make my favorite dishes and wait for me to get back from work so she could surprise me! Imagine coming home after a hard day’s work, to the delicious sight of your favorite mutton-curry! When it was the season of mangoes, my father-in-law, who couldn’t stand the sight of the fruit, would go about in search of the ripest mangoes so I could gorge on them.

When my mother-in-law, an ardent follower of Mata Amritanandamayi, expressed a desire to take me to her ashram in Vallikavu, I agreed to go, despite having my own reservations about ‘Amma’ because I felt for someone who cared so much about my happiness, my likes and dislikes, this was the least I could do to make her happy. No I was not forced to change my beliefs, I still maintained my reservations. I went there out of my own will, purely because, to me my mother-in-law’s happiness mattered more than my staunch beliefs. A mother-in-law who cared about my happiness just as much. Believe me, when she was showing me around the ashram, introducing me to her friends there, the glee and excitement that I saw in her eyes is indescribable.

If this is what change is then I’ve no qualms in saying that marriage has changed me. I have become more understanding towards relationships, more tolerant, more patient, more giving. And I can confidently say the same for my husband too. If I, who was a shy meek girl, am molded and pushed by my husband, into becoming this strong bold woman who is much surer of herself and if my husband who was a blunt and rough person, is molded into becoming a more sensitive and thoughtful person, then I’d say this change is totally worth it. If marriage changes you in a positive way, if a husband and wife help each other to grow as a person, then the change should be welcome.Of course it has to be two-ways. You cant expect only one person to change. The other person has to put in just as much effort and care to nurture the relationship.

So if I ask myself again, ‘has marriage changed me as a person’ I’d say it sure has. For the better 🙂

** In many parts of Kerala, malayali wives address their husbands as Ettan/Chettan as a mark of respect, which in literal sense means big brother

You judge me, I ignore you- fair deal?

I think it totally is.

Yes I’m talking about our ingrained habit of judging others. I say ‘our’ because I think judging is something we all do. Yes howsoever much we say we dont, we do. And its normal. Ok, normal may not always be right though. You see things, get affected by them enough to form your opinions and then blurt them out. Sometimes people agree with our opinions and sometimes they dont. Thats when the whole ‘judging’ angle springs up.

I see parents hitting their child, I judge them. Why, because hitting or slapping or beating is something I’ve strict policy against while raising my child. I have friends who hit their children and I do make a fleeting remark about how I dont believe in hitting a child to make him/her understand. They either choose to agree with me or ignore me. Fine by me either way.

I get into an argument with a friend whose religious beliefs differ from that of mine. I judge her. And yes she judges me too. But that doesn’t stop either of us from deviating from our beliefs. And that certainly doesn’t stop the two of us from being the best of friends. She chooses not to pay heed to my arguments. Why? Because she believes in her convictions. She is extremely comfortable with the choices she has made. So am I with mine. And that makes our friendship even stronger.

I meet people talking in fake accents, even using flowery language liberally. And I judge them. I dont feel comfortable being around people who swear. Fake accents I can still tolerate though :D. Does that stop them from not swearing? Do they stop talking in fake accents? NO. Why? Because they dont care what I think or how I judge them, right? Rather they are too comfortable with themselves to let it bother them. What I choose to do, however, is ignore them also and just stay away.

Yes I too have been judged many a times by a lot of people for my actions and decisions.

I felt I was judged when I studied in a school where my mother taught and my school-friends hesitated to confide in me with their secrets. The reasons invariably being, ‘ Oh, she is our teacher’s daughter, what if she spills it all to her mom?’ I remember being terrible bothered by it. But gradually I came to terms with it and learned to ignore such remarks. And whats interesting to point out is that the friends that I did make in school eventually didnt bring that fact up even once. For them what mattered was our friendship. And today they are my best friends, friends for life.

I was judged when I chose to quit my work and stay at home to look after my daughter. I have nothing against working moms. Believe me, I have the highest regard for them. Its just that this decision is what works best for me, my child, my family as a whole.. nd what matters to me is just that- that my family and I are happy and comfortable with this decision. So long as that is achieved I dont allow any regrets or guilt to dominate me.

Similarly another area where I’m invariably judged is when I see the perplexed expression on people’s faces when I tell them that R & I have decided not to have any more children. The judgments range from how we are depriving Namnam of a sibling to how she will grow up to be insecure to how the family will look complete with one more addition to how its time to welcome a ‘beta’ in the family and so on and so forth.

R & I took this decision because we felt bringing another child will not be feasible for us. We would not have been able to give him/her as much time, energy and security( financial and emotional) as we are able to give to Namnam now. In which case it would have been gravely unfair of us to be depriving the child of the same environment that his/her sister would have enjoyed being in. So we decided to give it our all to the one child who came into our life after much yearnings.

I know its complicated and not many may agree with me. But the fact of the matter is that this works best for us. R & I intend to stick to this decision, unless of course God has other plans :D. But for now we are done. And we are confident that we will be able to bring Namnam up to be as secure and happy a person as any child with a sibling(s).

The reason for this long rant of a post is that, as the days for my Delhi-trip get closer, I realize that I’ll be fielded by my well-wishers’ as always with umpteen questions about these very decisions. All I want to tell them is that they can judge me all they want. It doesnt make a difference to me anymore. I know I’m happy with the choices I have made and thats what matters.

In the end what I’m trying to say is that its fine if people judge us. So long as we are satisfied and HAPPY with our decisions, its time we learned to ignore those who judge us.