Fuck Sensitivity.

Recently, I fed my baby in full public view in a Starbucks outlet, and Mister clicked a picture of us. I loved how we looked in the photo, so I posted it on my real-life (for want of a better word) Facebook account. In fact, it is now my profile picture.

My newly-addicted-to-Facebook-but-not-that-savvy mom was quick to comment that I shouldn’t have posted the picture, which was expected because in her fifty something years, she hasn’t ever seen anyone do this. I politely (I hope) explained that there was a need to normalize breastfeeding so people get used to women nursing in public.  I think my exact words were – Breasts are meant to feed babies, not to sell cement and chips and cold drinks.

So far, life was good.

And then, I got “advice” from several people, which was basically smooth talk asking me to take the photo down because “it’s in bad taste” and because “feeding in public can make some men uncomfortable” and “can’t believe you fed him in a coffee shop where even kids go”.

Seriously?

You think you need to protect children from boobs?! The first fucking human contact that a child has is with breasts – there’s nothing sexual about that contact and your kid knows it. It’s you adults that have it all wrong.

Boobs are meant to nourish, not to lure/entice men OR sell lousy merchandise. The reason why you cringe at the sight of a breastfeeding mother is that you see women and breasts as inherently sexual objects.

Why else would you know so many (a) women with smaller breasts always looking for “push-up” and “maximizer” bras and (b) women with larger breasts forever trying to cover up?

Why else would you be ok with a man going shirtless, nipples showing and all, but recoil at the thought of a woman’s nipples becoming visible (nipslip) even by accident?

And pray, how do you intend to raise awareness about larger issues like breast cancer when you’re so embarrassed by breasts? By posting bra colors in a group restricted to women?

Fuck your sensitivity. My photo’s staying.

NIP
Okay, I went and changed the image. I’m supposed to be a woman without a face, remember?
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of fractures

I meet the ex-husband.

Initially, it is rather awkward, particularly the sideways hug, which both he and I usually reserve for people we don’t really want to hug. It is painfully obvious none of us really wanted to be there. Okay, it is probably easier for me, seeing as I have moved on and gotten married, but being on the receiving end of that sideways hug is still pretty painful.

When we finally settle down and swoosh past the pleasantries, awkwardness leaves, but silence takes over, which is oddly unsettling. He seems comfortable, but I am clearly fidgety. We smile and nod and wink through the first thirty minutes, which is how long it takes us to finish our first few drinks.

And then he opens up to me. He talks endlessly for an hour; more than he has ever talked in the nine years I’ve known him.

In the background, I can hear songs that only rub his philandering in my face. My girlfriend knows, and she’s okay with it. He laughs aloud. We were on a break. He says it just like he means it; he says it just like Ross.

I cannot believe what I’m hearing. We’ve broken up too many times anyway. He adds with a wink, and I kinda prefer the grey area.

I walk out of there with my head whirling, my eyes wide, and my heart shrinking. I made him this way.

A month later, I still believe that’s true.

I did this. I broke him. He’s like a fractured bone that can’t be set right, and I am to blame.

of strangers in the night

So I’m back from the 2N3D offsite, and predictably enough, will now regale you with stories of the weirdness that ensued.

I was picked up from the highway next to my house in a bus with forty people, out of whom I have only ever spoken to six. Two of these six people were newly married men who had brought their wives along, and were pretending to not know me.

(Did I ever tell you that I’m the hottest maal in the office. People have been saying that to my face, which is really awkward coz I don’t know how to react to things like that, mostly coz know it’s true. So feigning modesty becomes really difficult coz I’m not familiar with the concept.)

So anyway they pretended to not know me, just smiled as I dragged my luggage into the bus.

The rest of the people I knew were basically three girls and a cute guy who works in graphics, who kinda smiled at me throughout the offsite, despite the fact that he was traveling with his wife and baby – and oh what a cute baby! Let’s call him Gfx, shall we?

The three other girls waved cheerily and welcomed me on board the bus, and then quickly resumed their laughing and hi-fiving. I put on my earphones and listened to music and clicked pictures.

We stopped for breakfast on the way, and reached the venue, a should-be-five-star-if-it-isn’t-already hotel just before the National Park. Then I met the girls for the unnecessarily lavish lunch and retired again. I skipped the team building activities too and tried to bond with my roommate instead. I asked her, why haven’t I ever seen you in office? Are you new? In response she told me that:

  • She was indeed new to the office, worked with XYZ in ABC department as assistant manager
  • It was her birthday the next day
  • She had lived alone in Indirapuram
  • for ten years
  • Her parents lived in a different city
  • Her biker buddies had planned to kidnap her from her house and bring her to Jim Corbett, but then she ruined it by coming to this offsite, so they changed their plan and were going to pick her up the next day and she was going on a vacation with them on their bikes
  • She owned the same pair of floaters as I did, but couldn’t carry them because she had brought high heels

At this point, I picked up my camera and left the room, because of all the bonding. (I realize that I don’t really make it easy for the other people to get to know me.)

I hid until the evening snacks were served. Later at night, there was an extremely boring dance party planned. The ekdum latest music seemed to be from the nineties, and they played everything from ankhiyon se goli maare to oonchi hai building. The crowd was unruly. One guy got drunk (we were allowed to carry our own alcohol to the offsite) and fell on the floor while people pointed and laughed for a full two minutes before someone ventured to pick him up and walk him to his room.

I decided to sit in a corner, but this guy (from the senior management, someone I’ve never even met) wouldn’t let me. He kept walking up to me and offering me his hand to dance, like a prince from the Victorian age. I’d oblige, stay for three seconds, turn to his wife and dance with her for a bit, and then slyly walk back to where I was sitting, but he kept coming back. No matter where I hid, he found me.

His wife was there on the dance floor all this while, glaring at me like she was going to claw my eyes out, giving me the you’re-stealing-my-husband look. I felt like I should say something to this guy, but then he wasn’t doing anything obviously wrong, and I didn’t really know how to react. I left the party and went back to my room to read and eventually fell asleep.

Thus the night ended. And another day of misery began.

The girls from my bus were in the room adjacent to mine, and in the morning I heard them screaming like they were being murdered. Still in my bathrobe, I ran out towards their room, and I found the door slightly ajar. What I saw next made me wish my eyes had melted in their sockets before I ever laid eyes on it, but you can read about that later.

For now, why don’t we talk about the strange things that you’ve seen drunk people do? Or the things you do when you’re drunk? How do you deal with non-obvious sexual advances from senior management? Would you run away like I did, or give it back to the guy?

of chronicles

You always thought your life should be chronicled.

Biography after uninspiring biography, and you are left wondering why their lives are more important than your own; you’ve had ups and downs too, and more downs than ups, to be fair.

But then you think of all the people whose biographies you’ve read and how Continue reading of chronicles

Wedding Chronicles – Day 4

My highly opinionated mom thinks I’m a freak, too “modern” for my own good, trying too hard to run away from tradition. And trust me, I’m not even that outspoken about my views. I know we will end up having ugly fights long discussions if I start  talking.

Mom doesn’t know it yet, but Mister is two steps ahead of me. Sometimes I feel that he is far more progressive than I am, and that he should’ve been born in the U.S. He is opinionated and REALLY vocal about it. He will NOT back down in arguments discussions.

So imagine how much I was dreading the journey back. Mister and my mom on the same damn train, making me wonder if I should jump out before or after the discussion began. At the same time, I was really curious to see who would win in the clash of the titans. So I stayed. Alert.

It started soon enough. Continue reading Wedding Chronicles – Day 4