Sunday, 29 January 2012

& I am back

I know my English teacher would have cringed if I put in an ampersand in the title. And if I started with an ampersand. And so on. But! I have had my PMS-ed outing for anon and feel all super liberated and free as a consequence and anyhow its not like you come here for lessons in grammar or whatever, right?

So, I sat down and thought about a lot of things. I slept extra. I always sleep extra when I am depressed. I vow to keep my mouth shut. I think its my parents who said this sometime. And I started believing it. That I just talk too much, and thats why I get in trouble. It sort of doesn't ring true. I love words, for sure. I use a lot of words all the time, also true. But I am just not sure...

To some extent, we are all a little messed up by our parents. I mean there is obvious relationship strife between parents and grown children that I see. You know, like the mutual lack of respect built over  years of being each other's road blocks. I think mum & I grew out of that one now. We love each other and are amazed by each other and think of each other as role models for generations of women to come. So thats sort of cool. But there are all these statements from them - growing up year statements - that still haunt me often.

Dad was sort of easy to love. He was very laid back in approach. Rarely lost his temper. Was pretty zoned out all the time. Was game about his surgeries and illnesses and discomforts. He had a sense of humour, that guy. Used to make all these awful jokes related to whatever he was going through at that time in terms of his health. "No more a visionary" he would say on the days his eye sight was blurry and he couldn't see well. It was only gently he would say that he was frustrated at not being able to read. And he would burst out laughing and ask us to stop if we read out the newspaper or anything to him (just trying to be helpful, old man), claiming we paused in all the wrong places and anyhow he cannot bear listening to female voices really. (He would only really listen to male singers, annoyingly, except for Gangoo Bai Hangal who sounds like a male anyhow so same thing there).

But in the midst of all that love and the "benign neglect" style of parenting practiced by him, some twenty-thirty odd years after he said all these things to me, I remember a lot of things. Coloured, of course, by my perceptions and various hues given by me as I grow up. Quite a few of them surely shattered an adolescent confidence and it has taken years of hard work to build back. For example, to this day, I have issues with my voice, how it sounds when recorded, or amplified by microphone. I would like to blame a couple other people also for that, one is my husband. Who back in early 1992 made some quips about how I sounded announcing something for Mardi Gras (no, not that one, never been, this was what our college festival used to be called). And a little tiny friend of mine who used to buzz every single time I tried to say something in JAM and say "I hear a squeak" But hey! Free from all these things and happy and liberated and so on, I tell you this - Its alright.

All this stuff was long ago. And that silly period of 6 months when I tried to learn to smoke so my voice would deepen (didn't work. I gave it up as useless as it made my hair stink and seriously, I hated it. I crave it sometimes though. Usually, very contradictorily, after an awesome round of exercise, feeling lungs fresh and heart pumping well). Well, that was just silly of me. The smell did remind me of dad, before we discovered all those things that were wrong with his heart. And now its out of my system, pretty much. At any rate? Ridiculous.

I hate speaking on the phone for about the same reason. I have to be really really really comfortable with you to just chat on the phone with you. I know choxbox 'Yaks away to glory' as she would say on the phone. I..cannot. I call a few people regularly. Very few. One is mum of course. When we were long distance, okay, I am going to name my husband something here - Lets say POTUS cause he sometimes acts like he is - generally so very important and busy and sure he loves that Harrison Ford movie in which Mr. President lands Air Force One or something. Anyway POTUS & I used to talk a lot when we lived apart. "Now we do not even say hello" 'cause we grunt at each other and stuff. You dissect a fifteen year old marriage and surely you will find them grunting at each other (and finishing each other's sentences and falling asleep in the middle of a serious discussion about Kareena Kapoor's eye make-up).

I have tried very hard to be the 'strong, silent' type. Its just as ridiculous as some of the other things I try. I am not that person. Sure, I don't do well on the phone. But I do this, here. Chatty blogs. I have my 'class voice' - the one I used to shout over the voices of hundreds of young people I teach (they are, thankfully, not so young. I am incapable of shouting over pip-squeak voices such as my daughter's friends. In an idealistic dream world, I wanted to teach in a school. Last year I discovered that thats not possible. I am fine with my twenty-something year old bacchas, thank you very much!). I can deepen my voice when I want. I can talk to you in whispers. I can yell at passing runners in out and back loops in races and make them smile. I am occasionally the only female voice in a meeting, and everyone looks up when I start to speak, but I don't care. I don't make excuses.

I missed dad immensely this past week. I also missed a cousin of mine - a person I consider my true brother. I felt sad for myself. I slept a few extra hours. I weighed everything in a virtual balance in my head. I solved a problem - after I overcame the emotional angle, the solution was super easy. I made my logistics plan for the upcoming week - which has its share of challenges but I am EAGER to see how I meet them. I met some friends and we drank beers and chatted. & I bounced back to my usual form. My usual enthusiasm. Today, if I had to work as an RJ for a day, I would. I would train myself but I wouldn't start with the assumption that my voice sucks. 'Cause thats so yesterday. 

4 comments:

Choxbox said...

Hmm. But, I dont yak away much these days - not sure whether to be happy or sad about that..

And, on an unrelated note, met 2 no.s branchies of yours yesterday - any guesses?!

kbpm said...

Chox - i guess things change with time - one way or another... Hmm.. No idea. Sandie? Atwo?

Choxbox said...

Yup Sandy and Uma.

dipali said...

Being oneself is the only sane option! Which is not to say that one doesn't grow and mature in so many different ways.
Love you as you are:)