Thursday, September 30, 2010

Etiquette in Grief

It's always nice to have a support system and lot's of people helping around when one is grieving.
there are always a few do's and don'ts. Etiquette to be followed when you're around people experiencing a loss. There are things that should just not be allowed and also people, if you may !

  • I fail to understand - why crying is necessary. If someone doesn't want to, then they don't want to. Crying is a way of letting go and is not a sign of weakness. So, let them be.
  • Not beating their chest, not banging their head, not wearing dull clothes and not eating food - are NOT signs of any kind of "strength" People are trying to be normal and taking each moment as it comes. So don't tell someone "Wow, I admire how strong you are !"
  • Don't assume that you know "how well I have taken the bad news" - You weren't around to know what it is like. You have no idea how many tummy flips and crazy migraines the person went through. So assumptions - no !
  • If you have witnessed the death scene - then - unless asked - please don't describe the scene to the absent grieving members. Let family or close friends take on that task.
  • There is no "right" or "wrong" age to die. Just because a dog is 14 years old or a man is 85 doesn't give you the authority to decide that "it's okay for death to have come knocking"
  • Just because the man of the house has left behind a family - "marriage" is not the next best option for any of the children. They have a life to lead. Study, earn money and deal !
  • You may have never had pets or interacted with any. So don't disregard someone's grief over their lost pet. He/she was a member of the family - not for you but for them, yes.
  • Don't pretend to care when you don't.
  • Do your best to stay around but not step on toes and intrude.
  • Do not post your condolence messages on social networking sites for the whole world to see. Especially, not on people's statuses. If you can and want to - drop by, call or send a sms. If you can't do any of these - then just smile when you see the person, next.
  • Don't be afraid to talk normally about the happenings in your life and laugh or sing. But, pick on cues and non-verbals of the grieving person before going 'over-board.'
  • Don't tell someone "I can see you have gone through a lot" - unless you really 'know' - because let's face it, you don't - one can "only imagine."
  • If you can't say something appropriate, then keep shut. Don't say anything at all. Trust me, they'll be grateful.
  • Give people space. Give them time. If you can't - then you're free to walk away. I'm sure they wouldn't mind.
I could go on and on...Somehow, I feel - it will not be worth it. Let's hope this is a small beginning for how we should conduct ourselves when in such situations.

As they rest peacefully....
We say a little prayer
We hope that they're happy
They will be waiting
at the check-out counter
Till then...
We wait here,
tears and memories as company
As they rest peacefully....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To ?

Dear(est) You,

I will want to run away and hide - Don't let me. Pull me back into your arms and tell me that "we'll figure it out."
Sometimes, I'll want all the attention to myself - Smile and leave me be - because drama is what I'm good at.
When I want to cry - help me - with tissues, dark chocolate, Grey's and your shoulders.
I don't have baggage - and there's no other way of convincing you about it.
My ponjees and I go long back - so sometimes, there'll be excess giggling and long distance phone calls - be happy, that I have an amazing support system.
Cravings are not just incessant desires but a need that drives me up the wall - so be a doll and help me satisfy them !
I will love and treasure your family as mine - but interference will not be met with a pleasant smile.
Flowers are nice - no matter when, no matter why.
Let me sleep a little longer on Sundays and we'll have an amazing greasy brunch together.
Don't worry I won't make you carry all my shopping bags but you can be generous enough and lend me a credit card.
If I die before you - then don't weep in a corner but always be happy that we are together - and do not even think about bringing another to my house.
But, if you die before me - I'll be mad at the world, for a bit and then I'll sit by myself eating your favorite ice-cream, watching your favorite videos and thanking my stars that you put up with me.
And most importantly - Be the "best friend" I've never had.


P.S - Remember, I'm always right because I'm awesome.


Because - we're waiting. Come and find us.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Growing pangs !

The most baffling question of all time - Why did we grow up ?

What happened to the carefree life of being a toddler. Daddy and Mummy picking scooping us into their strong and protective arms, putting us to sleep, giving in to our every whim and fancy.
Eventually going to school and studying nothing but the basics of a language. Playing all the time in the sand, water, at home, in the play-pens. Birthday parties were about colored juices in even more colorful paper cups, fairy tale characters - chocolate cakes, return gifts and tiaras.
There was no worry about clothes matching shoes, hair being untidy, and most importantly the "looks" members of the opposite sex gave !
Suddenly and believe me - very suddenly you're neither small enough to play with your baby sister and her friends or big enough to sit the aunties and uncles while they munch on kebabs. You're not old enough to watch Bold and the Beautiful but you have to be responsible for your own clothes strewn on the bed, getting "good" marks and looking after the small children that visit your house.
Thereafter - it's nothing but a roller coaster ride. The best one you will ever remember and most often cherish !
Making friends has never been easy for most. But relationships at that age hold a different position throughout your life. You learn how to ignore, love, dislike, care, treasure, hold and promise.
Again, Suddenly - you're an expert on how to impress members of the opposite sex, SMS in two seconds, control your emotions, travel alone.
You learn to survive in "the big bad world." You lie to save your face. You cry to release discomfort. You laugh at complete random intervals. You run away from confrontations.
You, have finally grown up.
You stay out late and enjoy the stars. Clothes and shoes hold a different significance in your life. The advancement in technology amazes you. Colorful "juices" help you forget and let go !
Suddenly sleep and "healthy" food is your priority. You're careful with the money that comes in. Birthdays are less hectic and more silent.
Over the years losing family and friends teaches you to be strong and tall.
Driving Mummy around to complete house chores is actually fun for you.
Of course, Suddenly, people are asking you about "career" paths ! There's more to come with - "marriage" plans. You're scared, worried and overwhelmed at the same time.

Growing up - True Story !

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I grew up in different parts of the country but majority of my life was spent away from it. I made frandships with many. But each city had one particular "star" that stole my heart and since then we've been through it all.
It's not about the distances. It's about knowing that despite everything at some point in life and somewhere along it's journey - You'll meet. You'll talk. You'll catch up.

I hadn't seen my oldest friend for over 3 years till a spontaneous visit to city#2. Nothing had changed in all those years. Really ! Nothing.
I hadn't seen my mental friend for over 9 years till another spontaneous visit to the capital. A lot had changed in terms of growing up and getting bigger. But really, nothing had changed.
I hadn't seen my sooper smart tooth doctor in over 3 years. Spontaneous visit again and it was like we had never separated.

Friends getting engaged and married. Big, big moments. Sooper awesome modes of transportation make it easy for you to be part of those !
Buying BBs and skyping. FB and otherwise have revolutionized "distances make the heart grow fonder."
I want these distances to never ruin what I share with my pinkster ponjees.

It's about being secure and having faith in the strength of your relationship. You don't have to talk everyday. You don't have to meet constantly either. You just know ! A phone call after 5 years can still be the same as it was when you were in school together. You only get closer and adore more. Many missings happen and you laugh over it.

Book tickets. Just go ! Make that effort and see the wonders it can do for you.
True Story !

I have a jar full of love and respect. A lot of care and many many memories.

"It's always a beautiful day to be friends." There's no doubt about that !

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

he's just not that into you - I

Hello !

Time and again, women have been wondering why they don't get picked from a crowd to be a lawfully wedded wife of a handsome young man; to walk alongside a very cute tall boy as his chirpy girlfriend; blah; blah; blah !

They are told lies. The are sometimes misled. They are very often misguided.

By whom ?

Their own kind !

On a very special day a year ago, my group of frandships gave me a small pink book. I haven't had the "courage" and most importantly the need to open it - as yet ! Finally I did. Besides the pink-ness making me happy - the words of wisdom that flow from this tiny collection of wholesome truths (by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo) - make me happier !
As Kiki, I have decided to share a few sections of this "gift" with You !
Because you're worth it !

# If a (sane) guy really likes you, there ain't nothing that's going to get in his way. And if he's not sane, why would you want him ?
#We're taught in life, we should try to look on the bright side, to be optimistic. Not in this case. In this case, look on the dark side. Assume rejection first. Assume you're the rule, not the exception. It's intoxicatingly liberating.
# If a dude isn't calling you when he says he will, or making sure you know that he's dating you, then you already have your answer. Stop making excuses for him; his actions are screaming the truth: He's just not that into you.
# One hundred percent of men polled said they've never been too busy to call a woman they were really into. As one fine man said, "A man has got to have his priorities."
# It doesn't count unless he says it when he's sober. An "I Love You" (or any semblance thereof) while under the influence of anything stronger than grape juice won't hold up in court or in life.
# "Doesn't want to get married" and "Doesn't want to get married to me" are very different things. Be sure about which category he falls under.


All that has been written here - is not directed at a boy/man/boys/men. It is a well constructed and thoughtfully written piece of art by 2 famous writers about how women should avoid heartbreaks and try to not get themselves into a mess. Your comments, therefore, should be directed at the matter ONLY.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The maroon sofa was torn. A little.
He sat on it - thinking and wondering if he did the right thing by showing her the door. His green mobile kept ringing and ringing. And ringing. He didn't answer it !
With a blueberry cheesecake sitting in the fridge and a grilled chicken sandwich waiting in the microwave, he sat.
His purple shoes set aside. Waiting to be cleaned.
The blue sky gave way to the yellow-ness.

Finally it was over. The red, red louve. It was over.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Charmed !

Break !
That's what I wanted. That's what Sleepy was on. K said "chalo, come off !"
Refusal to such a tempting offer almost seemed impossible. Then, Queen Mother suggested a trip to her place of childhood. Refusal to that also, seemed impossible. But the prospect of heavy rains, no sleep, HRC and the company of mad hatters - lured me to book my tickets onward to the city of dreams.
While sitting at the airport, I had my first tryst with stardom. Hardly a star, but well ! Famous - relatively speaking. Nonetheless.
We reached. There was the lime juice to welcome us and a very happy K ! It started the moment we entered the space. Then on, there was no stopping us.
HRC was a crazy evening. While, making new frandships and trying to understand how tiny our feet were, a lot was going through my mind. It wasn't the effect of the kamakazee served in a wine glass or the awesome brownie fudge sundae. It was the city itself.

The thing about the "air" that engulfs the city is that it's fast paced and melancholic at the same time. It's sooperly welcome while getting you all sad and lonesome as well. While, there's no time to sleep or pace yourself, you just know that it has worked it's charm on you when you don't think twice about booking tickets to pay a visit to Neo-Xanadu.
The ride back in the taxi set my mind in motion. Full-to 5th gear. I was over-whelmed. The number of thoughts running through my head - crazy ! While singing (silently, in my mind) - I thought to myself "I wish I could be like this forever."
Having not to worry about the next day's official emails and calls. No in-laws to fret over me. No bills to pay for a while. No crying child to put to sleep. This is it. The rains, terrible roads. The stars, late night food vendors. The you-tubing and "contemplating."

The overwhelming thoughts got to me. With tears that refused to stop flowing, my Ponjee and I discussed that there will be better times. We weren't sad. We were just - carried away. We also would have liked to be carried away, in any case !

A walk with K made me realize that the charm had worked. It's part of my system now. I will want to pay a visit again and again. This time hoping that Abhay Deol makes an appearance. Till then, I'll be sooperly thrilled with dancing to "our funny songs", eating one meal a day and getting completely drenched. Old or new - I have a family, now ! And, I'm honored, to say the least !

Friday, September 3, 2010

Unlimited !

Lot's of unlimited food makes most of us happy children. I believe that a la carte menus are as much fun as buffets. The latter tends to give one a variety of choices of cuisines to pick from thus not leaving the decision of how much food from which section of the menu, to order, for a big table !

My tryst with buffets began in Dubai at a place that never changed it's menu for the next 10 years that I lived in The Emirates. Moving here got me to enjoy and love a special buffet The Girls and I would go to on Sundays. The menu there too - almost sort of never changed. But we never complained because - thanks to my wonderful interpersonal skills, we always managed to get a table even in a completely full house !

I do not mind the concept of a sit - down buffet as well. Infact the afternoon laziness gets to us so much, that sitting down and being served "all that you can eat" is a wonderful and very pleasing thought ! One such place in Bengaluru - is pretty and calming. It has a variety of cuisines to choose from and they are kind to you on your birthday. There are other places that have re-fills of unlimited soft drinks/iced teas as well as bottomless chips ! Now, that is something we haven't been able to resist in sooo many years !

The unlimited grilled starters, the over flowing chocolate fountain, the never ending array of biryanis. Buffets make us happy children. Value for monies. Skip dinners. Have a nice long nap and you're set for another 2 weeks !