Girl-Talk: Exes

I recently read a fabulous blog which concludes in this absolutely true statement.

A man is the sum of his ex-girlfriends.
I so agree. She then talks about (yes, it has to be a girl’s blog right?) how you actually do good karma when you “train” a man well.  I firmly believe a relationship changes both parties involved. While thousands of wife jokes do the rounds with marriage being described as end of happy times, I think the happy times end for the girl as well. You are suddenly thrust into this scenario where you have most of the responsibility ( oh yea now male chauvinists can flare up) and a late-twenty to early-thirty year old to take care of. Bah. Wait, I’m digressing from the topic. 
Exes are always a touchy topic. I call them the ‘X-files’. I never know what is the best way to deal with it or if one should open those files at all. I know of a friend’s older sibling who got married recently and being the extreme shy and docile girl she is, never inquired about her suitor’s past. It is funny how one can just block out the past years of your existence and start fresh. I always want to know because I firmly believe in that one line about you being a sum of your exes. I agree it is uncomfortable- almost like excavating all the past memories,the past happiness, joys everything. But I’d rather be with a man who has an X-file much rather than not. Because the most important thing a relationship teaches you is compromise and I am not ready to teach someone that.
I’ve learnt a lot about relationships from my past. I have transitioned slowly from a doormat to someone who knows what she can now live with. When I look back at my college self, I wonder how naive I could be.
So girls, I think it is a good thing to have a past. Because, in reality most of us don’t end up with our first crushes/loves. If your guy has a past too, stop fretting about it and learn from it. It is loads better than being with someone who has none!
Disclaimer: My opinions only. Also, mostly meant for girls.
PS: Reason for posts on consecutive days is a bad cold and cough.

Girl Talk: Sorrows and Joys

Sometimes, things just seem so perfect. Like when the only vegetable you have left is brussles sprouts and wonder what one can make of it and your favourite cookbook author posts a recipe using the very same vegetable. Aha, I like it. Anyway rantings apart, I recently read something about keeping your sorrows close and your joys closer and realized this was my biggest lesson of 2011(and of another blogger who I love). I feel this is a talisman that one needs to remember to survive. (This brief is for people who read just the first paragraph – so you can skip reading the rest 😀 )

The world is at its competitive best now. We are just fighting to gain that extra ounce of information or as Devdutta Pattanaik puts it – Sanatan. Because we didnt drink the elixir of contenment, we are always searching for something. Like that extra mile we want to go because someone has already been there, or that toy we want because our friend has it. Children provide the most blatant display of competitiveness and as adults we learn to mask it under the pretext of politeness, concern and nowadays just the word friendship. It is easier now than ever to look up a person and get all possible information without being in contact for 20 years or even being in contact now. It is easy to make friends, to upkeep friendships ( a hi on gtalk is so much easier compared to writing a letter, given the large-assed sloths we have been converted to).It is easier to access information about any and everything. All this media access has given us an all-encompassing ego where we pick our best photographs for the world to see, create online personalities, fake hobbies and do everything for an unknown reason. And most importantly has blurred the true meaning of friendship. We bare our hearts to these very people, since they are the support that we never get from a family but with statistics that show you are friends with the population of entire towns, you tend to wonder who is true and who isnt. Are people truly happy to hear you out? Are they smirking with inexplicable glee when you are feeling depressed. Do they secretly want you to fail so that they feel better themselves?

For women, talking is a cathartic process. I feel better when I’ve told someone what exactly is bothering me be it academically or personally. Its feels good to just share it with someone, giving it more reality and helps me cope with it when I acknowledge in e-ink or ink that the situation is real. But I wonder sometimes how much of it percolates as genuine concern and how much is just a part of everyone doing a silent jig at someone’s misfortune. I learnt multiple lessons all through, paid huge prices for my honesty but didnt seem to care because I always had a clear mind of having spoken the truth and being myself with everyone around. The same reason I kept close to a small set of people I was convinced are the true ones . But I realize time has come to change. This attitude is more harmful to me than anyone else and I’ve reformed now, to the ways of the world. I made a clear distinction of the ones who are rare and true and the countless others who are just names with a green bullet next to them.

Do not mistake me for being depressed or sad. I am infact the happiest I’ve been. (Ah, some happiness levels obviously sliding down). But this was an important lesson for me. In that sense, a very very important year as well.

Girl Talk: Packing and moving

This one actually doesn’t have a disclaimer. 😀

Okay, so the big day looms large. Gosh! I’m almost saying it as though I’m getting married or something. Well if life’s biggest change is associated with marriage, then this doesnt fall too short. I’m leaving the country to pursue my American dream. The dream that has had me in its grasp for the last decade or so and continued to enthrall me during my trips there. I have dreamt about this day and age for years now and now that its really here, its a heady concoction of confusion, nervousness, a lot of running around and multiple injections as well (the health forms).

Packing is the biggest task set out in front of me. I’m no newcomer to it at all. But the single thing that amazes me is how I never learn from my mistakes. Mistake being- shopping. I enjoy shopping. Yes, now the girl-part kicks in. I love exploring shops, the road-side stalls, checking out latest trends in mags or screening the reel-stuff which can be implemented into real life. I end up having loads of clothes and accessories and shoes and bags (not to mention books) and I just cant stop myself when I am on one of my shopping sprees. Maybe there should be a mechanism to remind me about my heavy baggage and all the trouble I have with it when I’m out there in the trial rooms deciding to buy something. I wish.

This time packing has to be elaborate at the same time not too heavy since the baggage rules are very strict.My family has given up on packing or helping me with my enormous and confusing stuff long ago. They give me the boxes, the space and the time-frame.So ruefully, I sat one morning trying to sort out the clothes I should be taking and the ones I should leave behind only to dismally find that my leave-behind pile did not cross 4 or 5 outfits after all the sorting. I have major issues deciding what to take and what not to especially when some hardly used clothes come out of the cupboard and I’m like “Oh yeah! That top is soo cute,why didnt I wear it before?”, only to get added to my heap of to-take clothes which unquestionably becomes too huge for comfort. The same goes with shoes and accessories. Its tough to segregate!

People might say packing is an easy job. Its definitely not for me. Not for all those girls with a lot of stuff and total confusion as to what to wear and take. Surprisingly, these decisions are tougher to make for me than the big ones in life. I have been out of my house since 11th standard. Six long years of all this and I haven’t mastered this art. Now that is what you call being pathetic!

Girl Talk: Men and mood swings

Though the title might seem a bit odd, given that it is the women usually blamed for the mood swings and the PMS owing to their hormonal changes routinely, I feel that men are no different. Perhaps their cycles are not as regular or attributed to some definite physical changes, but they do go through some mood swings in a definitive pattern.

What can explain the sudden outburst of anger or hate, sudden words full of spite only to be followed by they wondering themselves why they said or did what they did. Tell me then, how is it any different from the female mood swings? How many times have I seen sudden shifts of mood from extreme love to hate or anger with no external stimulus? If they blame the women to be unpredictable and moody, let me ask, arent they of the same nature too?

What else can explain the sudden outburst of philosophy at the dinner table or suddenly disappearing from the horizon only to return eons later to say “I just didnt feel like talking”. If a girl should say the same thing, she is branded eccentric or crazy. ( Well, boys should know they are too! 😉 ). How does one react when you give  the same opinion you normally do, only to be reprimanded suddenly “You shouldn’t say that you know , it is just bad”, only to get back to the usual the next day and you are left baffled. It is not that guys do not ask complicated questions whose answer in any way will ultimately lead to an argument or doom. This branding of the sexes is just prejudice. It needs rethinking.

Though conventionally considered the more “stable” or “balanced” among the two, I think the similar circumstances and education of both boys and girls makes the boys as vulnerable to emotions as the fairer sex. So, it would be definitely unfair to blame all the sudden anger, mood swings and all the other hormone related outbursts solely on the women.

So next time your friend (male) suddenly gets irritated or angry, goes into deep depression or says weird stuff out of nowhere, tolerate it.
Its his hormones at play. 😛

Girl Talk: : Locus of my Identity

“Your locus of identity lies exterior to yourself”, said a character on the popular TV series, The Big Bang Theory. This particular line stuck on and I wondered if that was actually true for most people including me.

Does our whole being exist for ourselves or for the justification by others? Do we define ourselves as what others think we are or do we believe in what we are irrespective of the world’s opinions? The former struck me as particularly true in many people I have met so far. They vanquish their opinions only to replace them with the more-socially accepted ones. They like something or choose a particular path just because the world approves of it. More often than asking themselves” Do I like it ?”, They often think of “ What will the world think of me if I do it?”. Do we mould our behavior because we are perceived to be of a certain type? Do we hide our anger, fake compliments or even do things because the society usually demands this of us ? In some cases it may be required, but till what extent?

I do agree that we are social beings and have to be accepted by society in order to survive. But in many cases, this question of being accepted by society gets to such levels that a person loses his/her identity. As far as I go, I have always been very independent in my thoughts. Worn and spoken whatever I have liked to, told the people I admire that I do and even openly confessed to liking people and telling them bluntly despite the societal norms being otherwise. This has led to many sticky situations, finger-pointing and embarrassing moments between me and the people concerned but I do not regret any of them. I do listen to people, take people’s advice and take a calculated decision when it comes to the greater things in life, but I seldom seek the approval of the masses for trivial things.

The reason I have tagged this post as a girl talk, is because more often than not, I find women succumb more easily to this habit. They are more influenced by peers and often take approval of their friends in matters where it really depends on the person concerned only making it very difficult for the person at the other end. From simple things to choosing what clothes to wear to whether they should go out on a date or talk to a so-n-so, they take the approval of their pals. I wonder in such times, is societal recognition the sole purpose of our existence? I want to ask them that is it not them who the person is interested in? Does the person at the other end really want your friends’ opinions or your choices?

‘The mark of an educated mind is to entertain a thought without accepting it”, says a popular quote. This is one thing I want to implement within myself.
I think we all should try and keep this locus of identity within ourselves. It is only then everyone will know the real you and not a mish-mashed,garbled version of the opinions of a hundred others around you.

This xkcd strip sums it up brilliantly!

PS: I just remembered, I think I have read a similar post on Pankaj’s blog a while back. No wonder the words in Big Bang sounded so familiar!

Girl Talk: The Female Brain

Disclaimer: The views in this piece are my very own and I am not generalizing myself anywhere. People who disagree may rightfully do so.

If ever there was an Idiot’s Guide to a Woman’s Brain, it would be no doubt, the World’s no.1 bestseller. It would be the biggest hit of all publishing time, a guidebook to unravel the complicated thought process of the feminine mind. But alas! It is one of the biggest natural mysteries I would say. (Being a girl myself, I have to admit sometimes my own brain does things I cannot fathom.).I am mostly clueless to the question “Where in the world did that come into your head from?” I cannot simply understand more often than not my own girl-friends, my mom or even my sister. The least I can do is pick up feeble indications of a storm approaching and hide myself and the others from the wrath.

A male brain on the other hand, I find fairly simple to unravel. Nothing is very unpredictable (unless of course insanity prevails which is a different domain altogether) or uncertain. I haven’t done those numerous researches on male and female brains and seen what they think of or respond (though Sandeep did show me a very interesting piece on sex and the male brain) but from my own experiences here is what I can discover for myself.

A male brain works somewhat digitally. It is 0 or 1, black or white, yes or no, this or that (to the absolute dismay of all the females in the world). The answers are monosyllabic most of the time and conversations are minimal. Women on the other hand believe not in black or white but all the shades of grey in between. (True masters of Fuzzy logic) I truly believe that of the two, women are more sociable and of course the more ferocious too. There is always that pinch of compassion, that slight concern for their image or self-respect, the prevailing memory of the last of such a situation and say five other parallel-ly operating thought processes which make the female brain not only capable of multi-tasking, but also analyzing the situation from every aspect, past, present or future.

I believe that the male brain is the easier one to de-code. Their brain might be closer to a computer than we think. I mean positively too. They are quick at numerical analysis, thinking in terms of numbers or codes or even programming algorithms (Of course girls are there too who are better than them…but again I’m talking in terms of the majority). But give them an abstract situation, a blam! They’ll fall flat on their faces. No wonder all the studies might show that women make better managers or decision makers which needs abstract imaginations, human emotional decoding and person to person connection. Of course, fuzzy logic is something that comes naturally to us women. 😀

I somehow though never understand the concept of the male-female relationship guide books. Though they make good reads on long journeys and their memory lasts long enough for just a chuckle, I wonder how many can actually remember the points and rules they make. But this is what I learnt from my relationships, successful ones and even the ones that went sour, never try to decode the other person’s head. Let it be a woman, let it be a man. Of course, we all rely on some degree of prediction in behavior (again I’m bordering between the sane and insane kind of predictivity). But to a larger extent, I believe the world is a much better place with all the surprises it can spring on you.

Predictivity in behaviour leads to expectations which in turn leads to the ultimate doom in any relationship, between friends, lovers, couples and what not. I never understand the point of boys asking the friends of the girl they are interested in, about the girl and her hobbies and ways to impress her ( trust me, I have been in this situation countless number of times and weirdly I haven’t found too many girls enquiring about the boys but maybe that is because of the skewed sex-ratio), not willing to listen to me that perhaps she should like you for what you are and the way you think of doing anything for her instead of a taught and rehearsed routine which would be too obviously pre-planned and detected. Undeniably, the co-existence of males and females so far owes its success to this guessing-game and thrill of surprises that each spring on each other.

I find it really easy to pick up a fight with boys. I have done that since childhood. I was the ultimate male-basher who started off with physical fights and later moved on to annoying them verbally or intellectually. They called me different names over the years (they became really interesting and colorful in college). But I simply love the disparity in our thinking. The way I chuckle at how simply they can look at things or look at them gawking at the layers we can add to a situation to make it so complicated they simply nod their heads in disbelief. Like how a top or a shirt in a shop would make a girl think all the way to the shades, the closest color she has, if the color exists in her wardrobe, if the people would like it, how many compliments she might receive, which jean she can wear it with, till where will it come, will it make her look fat or thin, if she needed jeans to go with it now, who wore a similar clothing, if the color will wear off, if the color would suit her skin, if she can wear it to college and so on and on…all this in a space of two seconds or less while looking at it. (I don’t know how guys shop honestly and find their clothes very boring to shop for: P) But I am sure their heads don’t travel all around the globe to decide. It is fantastic isn’t it? I love it when everyone I meet tells me “Don’t think so much”, but I actually want to tell them this is natural, I haven’t even started thinking! Some times complicating things helps (like shopping) and sometimes it doesn’t.

So here is a handy tip to all the boys, don’t even TRY decoding the female brain. Just enjoy it while it is cool and run for your lives when it is not! You should be able to survive.
Find ways to cool her down instead! 😀 (Never mind the reasons for the flare up)

PS: All this might seem too abstract or obvious or a waste of blog space to many, but it definitely is not the answer to the ultimate question of the universe: What we are, what is life all about and why do we exist?
The answer to that by the way is the number: 42 *

PPS: Give me work somebody!!!!

* Courtesy: Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams.

Girl Talk: Geek Quotient

Warning : Guys again, can choose to skip. ( Though I know everyone reads it…still its more of a disclaimer)

Every girl knows that geeky girls are not considered dating material. Deny it all you want, the truth and the vast majority prefer the so-called “girly-girls”. C’mon! Who likes to date a bespectacled girl, clad in a jean and loose-tee (just like any guy)with worn-out sneaker speaking of genetic algorithms, planetorial movements or the latest open-source software? It is not as if geeky girls are not pretty. Pretty they might be, but the presence of techo or geeky topics in conversations does turn men/boys off and they suddenly shift in perspective from dating material to friend material.

So I thought maybe there should be a geek quotient or something which would accurately define us girls so as to know where we stand on the geek-o-meter. Sheldon ( The Big Bang Theory does top the list!) but I sometimes wonder if the serial would have been a hit had it been a girl who was geeky and the guy hot. ( Hang on! Its a nice plot for a story na!..hmm..I’ll work on it!). But some amount of geekiness has definitely slipped into all of us girls in premier engineering colleges. Hasn’t it happened that you describe sari colours in percentages? I have. It is very common for me to say ” It has 75% grey and 20% yellow and the rest is semi creamy shade” or described yourself as “My x and y axes are not that tiny but my z axis definitely is”. What about ” I had this awesome dream which felt like a real-life simulation of a aeroplane cock-pit?” or sometimes “The soup was semi-solid, almost like molten metal” or “The probability of that happening is between 0 and 0.005″ or even sworn at people saying ” You are an as***** raised to power n where n tends to infinity”.Have you estimated the length of a floor-tile standing in a teacher’s chamber when he is yelling at you and then googling it to excitedly tell that tessellations is indeed an art and marvel at the way they tile the curves or bends in a corridor in front of an amused audience? I have.
Get my point?

So rating myself, I’d call myself a decent 7 on a scale of 10. I guess the worst I have done is remembering all the rice,chess board and probability questions sitting on the dining table at a restaurant using the table cloth as the chess board. Needless to say, I am without a date! 😛