Thursday, May 19, 2011

This one's for her: To our little Miss Sunshine!

Warning: This note is super loaded with the word 'cute'-----I don't know how the dictionary defines it, and perhaps the thesaurus will have a whole list of synonyms for it.....but the person being described here, is nothing but cute and cute and cute---just the way we typically use this word. So here goes:

My toddler is growing up everyday. Yet, everyday she is unimaginably cuter than the day before. I tell her dad almost every day that I will not forget 'this' day and her immensely cute actions of that day for the rest of my life. Yet, come next day and I have already forgotten the details of the cuteness of the previous day. And that's because, each day is so intense with her. I find myself so enmeshed in her being--she so much seeped in my mind, that every day is full of the same, but invigorating emotions. Never a dull moment in my life---courtesy her. And she is just being herself. She is not posing, she is not pretending to be cute.....she is who she is...and that's super cute!

Lil' one, you're a joy, you're love and you're a true blessing (touch wood!)

How cute and how lovely these little people can be, notice how:

Me:"Baby, your cousin brother is your aunt's SON, so what are you to me?"

Superbundleofjoy (very promptly, very matter-of-factly):"SUN-SHINE!"

Oh, you bet---you are----whoever coined that boring term 'daughter'---parents only have sons or sun-shines!

So, even when it rains incessantly now days---hey we have our sunshine! Thank you God.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How long does it take?

I have a helper who comes very early in the morning to help with my household chores. She is promptly at the door, at a wee hour, and tirelessly works for as long as she can, before darting off to her full-time employment elsewhere in the neighborhood. Every once in a while, when I have partied late, or sat too long in front of my computer at night--mostly sucked in by online scrabble, I go to bed, hoping that she will skip coming the following morning. I want to sleep till late that morning. Hoping, I sleep with my alarm still on, just in case. Well, my hopes of the luxury of sleep are obviously way too weak than the need to work and earn for the helper. Every minute she is inside my house, is money made by her. And she knows, as well as I do, that she needs that money. She needs it to send her two kids to school, for them to make even a marginally better life than she made of hers. She needs it because she and her husband are both very ashamed and very helpless about the fact that he is not being able to get any decent job at all. She needs it for all the reasons that basic needs need to be met, to enable every human being to live an honest and responsible life.

....And I appreciate her for everything. For being punctual, for keeping her word, for doing what she does, in a manner that satisfies me. For never grumbling about the assortment of tasks I hand out to her each time, or about the inadequacy of my tools I expect her to work with. She manages, she smiles, and she works. I know she hails from a cold place, and I imagine her to fancy a hot cup of tea just as much as I do. So occasionally when its too cold outside, and when she is busy scrubbing my bathroom floor, or sweeping through the living room, I prepare some hot ginger tea--for the two of us. And I expect her to finish the tasks on my list, and then even sit and sip some tea--not necessarily with me, but somewhere in the house, where she sits and rests and refreshes with the goodness of the warmth of the beverage. What--is she a super-human? Does time stop as she works? No, it doesn't. So, one out of ten times, she will sit as I had expected, but most likely she will pour the tea in a thermocol cup and carry it with her as she exits hurriedly, to be on time at her next appointment. I know I make tea to make myself feel good about 'kindness'....than for her.

Today, however, she did not even have time to pour the tea for herself, and she left without it. I almost ran behind her as she was getting into the elevator, reminding her of the chai, and despite a totally rained out, fogged out, dull, grey morning that it is here, she refused the cuppa goodness, because there was no time for it. She only said, "no thanks didi--its fine"----with her usual smile---her premature crow's feet becoming more prominent as she smiled, she waved and disappeared into the descending elevator.

I came back to a pot full of two cups of tea, to a very clean, sparkling house--everything arranged exactly where it should be, dustbins emptied, and to a morning full of a sudden coldness. Remorse grips me for I know I could have hurried just a tad bit and poured the tea for her. Those few seconds from me, would have supplied her a portable joy, even if very small. But no, my list of to-dos is knowingly, unknowingly, always longer than the time she has for me. How then do I expect her to savor tea----she never explicitly negotiated for a tea-break, and I know, that she would rather have her wage timer ticking than sipping tea as and when I make it for her--which as I said, is not always. I didn't even realize how conveniently I had slipped into the role of the text book 'capitalist' and she the 'worker'? It doesn't take long for power to seep in, wherever it can--does it?

I have poured my share of the tea in my porcelain cup----I have promised to the self to not consume more than a cup in the morning. So her share will literally go down the drain. All that milk, tea-leaves, and sugar...all that for which she needs money to buy, will just go, as she goes to get her other timer ticking. My 'kindness' can just flow into a drain today--its raining outside anyways.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Film Review: 'Thelma and Louise' (1991)

Film Review: 'Thelma and Louise' (1991)

Yes, I come late to this scene---more than two decades have passed since this Oscar winner was made. I had heard the name forever, and if I am not mistaken, had even seen a clipping or two of the Oscar award ceremony then, on our grand old Sony back in India with dad and others. Yet, film watching was not my pet hobby then, as it is not now. Moreover, now that I do have frequent access to streaming movies, to enjoy the latest in the luxury of my home, with chai and all, I often end up seeing the Hindi movies, since Hindi cinema has come such a long way too. From just women dancing around trees and the hero flying off men in ear-splitting fist-fights (dhishum-dhishum), to the Dhobhi Ghaats and 3 Idiots......it is a pleasure to watch contemporary Indian cinema and the range of topics that it manages to cover and meaningfully portray. Anyhow, so TL was always there for me, but I had not sat down to watch it. Until, I read a recent interview by Geena Davis. She is now an activist of sorts, seriously directing her resources to the study of the impact of women characters in TV and films, on children and on little girls in particular. In the interview she alluded to the movie. It was enlightening to read Davis's findings and I have always liked the roles played by Susan Sharandon. I was motivated to watch TL. Well then, in a total of 4 sittings (as and when the toddler slept early at night ----earlier than me), I finished this movie.

First for the end: I was left crying....I was moved, I was absolutely taken by surprise.....just did not see it coming. What a poignant end to a big picture. There was so much buildup of their being apprehended by the Police---a kind police and a brutal police. Yet, the director chose to end it the way he did---lovely (I do not want to give away the suspense for anyone of you out there, who like me has not seen the movie till now).

Second, loved the cross-country they did----loved the American landscape for the splendid beauty it offers. Life, away from the two coasts, is indeed so plain and simple that you ain't seen nothin' if you ain't seen the non-coasts of USA.

Third, loved the sweet friendship between the two girls.....its not sexual....its just what good old friendship used to be about....being protective of one another...being understanding...and above all....being there for one another. Their relationship is tender in the limitations that each of them has in her position in life and in her character, yet their friendship is all encompassing. Very sweet indeed.

Last, but not the least---superb performance---by the 2 leading ladies. From their accents, to nuances of walk and talk and dress and eye-movement, they did it all...suited where they were and did it so well.

This was an empowering movie of sorts.....particularly for women. Women in the movie did everything they wanted to do, but only because they wanted to, and to anyone who tried to treat them one way for them being women, these women gave a real fistful.....and yet all this was built up gradually.....really did leave the audience feeling the gradual transformation...the metamorphosis.

Two thumbs up!