You know those people that look at you in irritation when your kids are trampling around the mall in their squeaky shoes? I am one of them.
I really have nothing against kids (I find they are adorable in spite of the mass destruction they cause); I totally have it against parents that can't control their wards. Every time I decide to have a meal in peace, even breakfast for heavens sake, there is a huge family that walks in. Four uncles, four aunties, one- two difficult teenage girls and at least four kids out of which three take it on themselves to kick the waiter in his shins and drop all the forks. The last one simply sits there bawling his lungs out.
*massaging my headache*
I make it my business to stay away from noisy kids. (I know, I know. How far can I run, right?)
To my enormous surprise, turns out I'm actually good with them, one at a time that is.
This other day,we went to a cousins house who had a 4-5 year old boy. He's the kind that beat up your kid and is responsible for all the bite marks on the other boys. If you have the audacity to ask why he bites other boys, his nonchalant response would be, 'Becuzz my teeths are sharrp'.
For the un-initiated, I am a Telugu, married to a Tamilain..so I understand a select few words of the language.
I knew I had to break the ice or I'd forever be that chitthi* that never talks. Believe me when I tell you, the four year old gave me the attitude only deserving of the Prince of Prussia. I tried making friends with him for a good one hour and the bugger refused to even look at my face. Then he stopped being adamant and turned shy instead.
So I changed tactics. I ignored him. I mean, I looked at him and then turned away with an amused smile on my face. Slowly, he got his face out of the pillow and got out of his bed. Then he went and hid behind the door, peeping whenever he heard me speaking to his mom. After about 20 minutes of this, he sneaked up to me, hit my hand, yelled 'hallo' and promptly ran away.
His mom looked at me and she's like, 'He's not a shy kid, wtf is wrong with him?'
After about another hour, he figured I don't bite and came up to me. He grabbed my hand and he goes, 'I have soooo many toys, you can play if you want'. I know this is a total drawn out 'awwww' moment but by now I'm exhausted trying to figure out this kid.
I went with the flow instead and by the end of the evening we became such great friends that he decided he'd abandon his parents.
He dad asked him , 'Who's party are you on? Mummy party or daddy party'.
He's like, 'Illa, chitthi party'.**
There is a moment, everyday when I think some people are better off if they simply remained eggs and never had a swimmer get to them. EVERY freaking day.
This other day I was sitting at a bakery and a bunch of college girls walked in. All of them carried these heavy duty smart phones.
Girl 1 : How come you don't use wifi?
Girl 2 (I am not kidding) : What to do...I don't have enough call balance on the phone.
*insert my incredulous expression here*
I choked on my coke and wanted to dunk the rest of it on her empty head.
At this point you must be thinking, 'They were both girls, what did you expect?' Hold on, hold on.
This old friend of mine pings me and half way through the convo..
Him : So what are you working as?
Me : I'm a Network Engineer.
Him : Is it a Call Center?
Yeah, I quit my job, did a whole bunch of certifications for half a year just to show people the magic of Internet Explorer. Which part of 'Network Engineer' did he not get?
I swear, had I been with him in person, I would have dug a hole, buried him and hopped a few times on it just to make sure he was good and dead.
This one's by far the most ridiculous one I was subject to. I was in this interview with his chubby guy in a blazer, who was a manager/ AVP/ VP something in this organisation. He asked me a question and I gave him a fairly straight forward answer.
He goes : I want details. I mean, do you dump ingredients directly in a pot when you cook or do you follow a recipe? I want the recipe.
I. Don't. Cook.
This guy just compared my professional skills to cooking, because I am a girl and I am married. Would he have asked the same question had it been a guy? Bloody stereotypes.
One of these days, I'm gonna lose it and simply whack someone in the face.
P.S - I did end up getting that job.
P.P.S. - Not only do I cook, I am an excellent cook. Still, the guy got the point.
Ever since I was old enough to make my choices, (you know, selecting what chutney I want with my idli and what topping I wanted on my ice-cream) I was/ am the object of contempt/ chagrin to many a bald uncle and shiny saree adorned aunty because 'unorthodox' is written all over my name. Of course, I was the one to ask awkward questions, like openly pondering where babies came from or being the one to talk extra loud just because everyone was deeply meditating to an idol. I wouldn't go as far as to call it 'make-believe'. Imagine the kind of storm I'd kick up. Definitely not 'make-believe'. I'm thinking you'll get my point if I say 'make-believe' often enough. 'Make-believe'
My ranting today doesn't have anything to do with bald uncles and shiny aunties.
Picture this, you're at your new job, you're also the only girl in a roomful of guys ( remember those smart choices I was talking about?). Obviously, this doesn't bother you because you've been a neon sign-board all your life. There's a round of introduction and hand-shaking going on. The first guy comes around hand-shaking and you're next. One of these three things happen.
1. He awkwardly retracts his hand 'cos he's too shy/ conservative to shake your hand.
2. He skips you all together.
3. And this one's the worst, he bravely offers his hand, but NEVER all the way.
It's like half a handshake. Don't even talk about eye-contact. Me, being the neon board that I am, thrust my hand out all the way, and this guy grabs only the tips of my fingers and abruptly retracts his hand like I bit him. I wish I had.
You know what I feel like doing at this point?
Run in the opposite direction. Screaming.
Believe it or not, this has happened more times than I can count. No, not the screaming part.
Indian men either put a woman on a pedestal and bow before her, or treat her like a freaking commodity they own. What in the world happened to finding a balance? A stupid effing handshake doesn't amount to physical abuse. And no, we don't bite.
India is a land of many exotic wonders. Indian men, darling, for most part are not one of them*.
*None of this includes my husband. Teeheee! He's adorable. Really.