Perfect

They were madly in love.

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So, when he dropped subtle hints about things he wanted her to do differently, she made changes without batting an eyelash. She became exactly what he desired, and the changes? Minor adjustments in their relationship.

But, he still walked out on her. Leaving her sobbing on her doorstep. He said he was unhappy. That she was so perfect, she had unfortunately become quite boring. His words, uttered so callously, were daggers in her heart for she was now in a peculiar predicament. 

She had successfully become Ms. Perfect, but she was no longer Ms. Right…

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Written for 100 words hosted at Thin Spiral Notebook. The prompt was “peculiar“. Check it out!

Things women should know

Being a woman in a world that seems to have lost its sense of humaneness is anything but easy. We have been called the weaker sex for so long that most of us have come to accept it as the truth. But, we are so much stronger than the men who called us weak in the first place. Sure, we might cry at romantic movies and we may struggle to carry heavy things and blink at discussions involving bikes and cars but that doesn’t make us weak…women are the child-bearing gender remember?

Too many men have forgotten that we are amazing beings…but unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones. There are so many women who seem to have forgotten it too… As a result, we end up doing things simply because we think it’s what is expected because we are female. We question everything about ourselves, from our looks to our capabilities and rarely, if ever, take compliments seriously. We even assume that when something bad happens to us, it’s probably because we did something wrong in the first place…how much longer will we treat ourselves like that??

So, I sat myself down, thought about it and figured these are seven things (among others) that I think all women should know:

1. There is nothing wrong with saying NO…in fact, if you are with some one who really loves you, he / she will respect you red-39951_640and your decision. If the other person doesn’t and pressures you into doing something you really aren’t comfortable with, you need to get out that relationship and get yourself away from that person. You always have a choice.

2.  When a person who is physically stronger than you takes advantage of you, it is NOT YOUR FAULT. I hate that politics and our society say different. The way you dress, the food you eat or the way you walk is no reason for anyone to hurt you. It is a shameful thing to happen…but not for you…for him! Remember that if, God forbid, something like that ever happens to you, your world has not ended. If there was any justice in the world…his should.

3. Contrary to what certain products claim, you don’t need to be fair to be considered lovely nor will the use of a particular brand of sanitary napkin guarantee your success in the world. The television airing those advertisements is called an idiot box for a reason. You truly want to make it big in this world and do something that future generations will remember you by? Then go on ahead and do it….nothing and no one can stop you, except you.

4. Learn how to be independent. It is so important to learn how to do things on your own. Learn how to drive, fix small things in your house, go for a movie alone and eat at a restaurant by yourself among other things. You shouldn’t always need someone to look after you…you are stronger than you give yourself credit. But, that being said, we do not live in a secure world so be ever aware of your surroundings and stay safe…which brings me to my next point…

stick-31346_6405. I really really think that every woman needs to learn at least the basics of some form of self-defence. There is no better way of keep safe than by knowing how to kick some ass if you have to. I wish they would make karate/judo classes compulsory for girls in school instead of just dance and music. The art of self-defence is so important given the state of things…

6. Pursue your passions. A lot of women tend to give up things they love to do because their husbands and children consume their lives. Remember, you are just as important as your family is.

7. Finally, ladies, remember that there aren’t a whole lot of men who can do all the things you do each day as efficiently or as well as you do…you are perfect and never let anything convince you otherwise. You are real live “superwomen”…it’s just that your capes are invisible…

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

Write Tribe

Lessons from my first year of marriage

So, the Monday past, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Last night, I asked him if hewedding-cake-toppers-115556_640 could believe we’ve been married for a year already only to have him nodding impatiently. (In his defense, I ask him that question quite often). But, the thing is, sometimes I find it difficult to believe that we have been together for that long. It feels like a couple of months ago at the most that I was sitting nervously in his parents house with my parents trying to decide whether or not I wanted to marry him.  I can’t quite grasp the fact that a whole year ago, I suddenly became a grown up.

Anyhow…

In light of my recent anniversary, I’ve decided to post about what I’ve learnt this past year…my lessons from my first year of marriage:

There is nothing wrong with different:

My husband and I decided to get married the day we met each other (it was an arranged marriage, this is kind of how it works!) and between then and the wedding day we met each other a handful of times at best. We didn’t really have the opportunity to get to know each before we said “I do“. So, it was only after we got married that we had conversations about anything really serious. Initially, it used to bother me that we disagreed on things I considered important. I would spend ages wondering how his ideas, sometimes radically different from mine, would affect our future. But I’ve learnt that just like I am entitled to my opinion…so is he…I am wiser now and therefore no longer worried.

Nobody is perfect:

Why point out the speck in your brother’s eye and ignore the log in your own? I remember reading something like that in the Bible…What I’m getting at is even though my husband is the love-of-my-life, there are things about him that annoy me more and more with each passing day. (I’m pretty sure there are things about me he detests too). But, no one is perfect and it wouldn’t be fair for me to expect him to change since I don’t really think I’ll change that much myself. Over this past one year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that neither one of us is perfect and I’ve accepted his shortcomings, just like he has accepted mine.

Compromise:

Of course I like to have things my own way! I’m only human after all. But, I’ve figured out this past year that sometimes it’s better to give in to my husband and just do what he wants rather than have a huge fight about it. Mind you, I wasn’t born wise and I didn’t arrive at this conclusion very quickly. It’s taken countless hours spent annoyed that my husband won’t do what I want him to do the way I want him to do it to realize that if something can be done another way that won’t cause me too much trouble, by taking a deep breath and doing it his way, it is somehow so much better than brooding. I’m not brilliant at the whole compromise thing yet…but I’m getting there…

In-laws:

A marriage involves the union of two families and not just two people…at least in India anyway. Now I was never naive and did not expect my in-laws to be exactly like my parents. So, I think I always knew that adjusting and learning to do things that the in-laws expect and want is essential to a peaceful marriage. I’ve made adjustments and honestly, so long as meeting their expectations doesn’t require me to change who I am, I’d rather do it than fight about it, because a disagreement with the in-laws means a disagreement between the two of us…which is never something I want so, bottom line, if it will help keep the two of us happy at the end of the day…more often than not, I’ll do whatever.

Men are not mind-readers:

Before I got married, I lived with my best-friend for years and usually, we didn’t have to say anything much to each other to get our point across. Just a gesture here or a frown there or in some cases, merely a hint would send the message very effectively. But then, she is a girl. I’ve learnt such subtleties do not work on men. No, I did not marry a mind reader but fortunately, I married someone who I am very glad can at least tell when I’m angry. I’ve come to learn that nothing beats being absolutely direct with a man. It’s like women and men are wired differently. While we learn to read body language and facial expressions, apparently they do not. Only direct instructions work and after I understood this, I’ve been saved from a lot of frustration…

Not every argument needs to turn into a fight:

man-97976_640I’m sure it’s not just my marriage so I’m going to say this, you are going to disagree with your spouse. But pick what argument needs to turn into a full-blown battle. I still haven’t worked this out entirely, but I’m a lot better today than I was this time last year. I’m trying everyday to let the little things slide…to swallow that irritation and remember that it’s okay to let him win sometimes…It sucks when we are fighting and if just shutting my mouth will save us both from a lot of unpleasantness, I’m willing to sacrifice my pride.

This is probably the most important thing I’ve learnt this past one year.

If you are married, do you relate to any of these things?

Are you beautiful?

I was watching videos of the new Dove “Real Beauty” campaign…the ones that are circulating round Facebook and those on the Dove website (www.realbeautysketches.dove.com). According to their studies, there are only a handful of women (4 percent) who truly believe they are beautiful and I thought, “No freaking way!”

Then I realized it’s probably true. Women think other women are beautiful…most women I know don’t think the same about themselves.

Is that really what we see?

Is that really what we see?

As women, we often downplay our best features and focus on things we think make us look less than awesome. Women with chubby cheeks (and I speak from experience) look at women who have prominent high cheek bones and sigh  a deep sigh of envy. But, it’s not just that, I know women with large eyes who wished they were smaller, thin lips who wished they were fuller and long noses who wished they were shorter and vice-versa. Even the texture of our hair bothers us…women with curly hair straighten it while women with straight hair perm. And lets not even start on body build and size….

We try to cover up our blemishes with make-up and try to wear only those certain types of clothes that are supposed to be styled in a certain way to camouflage our imperfections. But, even though we do all of that, most of us are never really satisfied with the way we perceive ourselves. There is always something wrong with us when we look into the mirror. So, we look at other women and covet their beautiful features forgetting that they are looking at us doing the very same thing.

To add to our woes, we have the complimentors. These are people who tell us we look good. Do we dare believe them? Are you kidding me?? Of course not! How can we believe them? They are just being kind to us. We almost never accept that when people around us compliment us…they genuinely mean it! We usually look at the complimentor uncertainly and then laugh off the compliment awkwardly. We seem to have some problem accepting that other people could find us better looking than we find ourselves.

That’s why I found the Dove experiment amazing. Yes, it picked only a handful of women but those women stand as examples for us, the rest of the population. They were able to see themselves as other people saw them. They were astounded to find out that the people around them found them so much more beautiful than they thought they were. It helped them see themselves in new light and feel better…much better about themselves too.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a world where the way we look makes a difference in the way that our lives pan out, more so unfortunately for women than men. To be able to realize and accept that we look good, just the way we are, every day of the damn week would make us instantly more confident and sure of ourselves.

I look great…and you know what….so do YOU!

(Please note that I am not affiliated to Dove in any way what-so-ever. I just appreciated the idea behind showing real women how beautiful they really are).