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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Living next to schools

[Image courtesy: Google]

For as long as I can remember, we have always lived closed to a school, either across the road from one or right next door to one. In Madurai, we lived across the road from the school, the one I went to. And then came Tirunelveli, where we two streets away from one and then moved right next door to it.

Oh and guess what, now that we are in Chennai, my folks live in a street with not one but 5 schools on it and I live in a house that is bang opposite one,went to a school that was within walking distance as well.. hahah.. what are the odds of that right? 
Now, why am I writing this post? Well, I just felt like sharing my experience about living in a home so close to a school. So, here goes... 

The Frills and fancies- Advantages
  • Walking distance– When I was in school, it was so cool. The school was just a hop skip jump away. I could leave home with 5 minutes to the 1st bell and still make it with few seconds left. There were times when we would be away for the holidays, and land back in town the morning of school reopening. It was courtesy this lack of distance that I could get ready in a jiffy and make it to school.  
  • Safe neighbourhood—Now in Chennai, since we live opp a school, there is always movement during the day, and there is a police van parked right outside day and night.  
  • Access to park, walking track and play area- These days, it is good to have some space to walk or run in, I just strap on my shoes and hit the area. Similarly, I have had times when I ended up playing basketball or volleyball with school kids [works cos the security guard/school nuns know me].
Shouts and Rants- Disadvantages
  • Too close for comfort- During school days, everyone knew where I lived and so it became easy for people to just hop in home [back when I was in school, you had to pass by my house to get to anywhere].. have had teachers hop across to speak to mom or friends drop by for snacks at odd hours..
  • Parking drama - We now have cars, autos and bikes blocking our gates constantly.. twice a day for a few hours every time. No matter how many times we tell them, they just don't care... 
  • Traffic woes - Noise and air pollution from traffic, come 7.45am I run inside home and stay put for an hour till things settle down and similarly in afternoon around 3-4pm..
  • Loitering–I know that during my school days, we would all loiter about near home, sitting around on platforms, or playing in the streets. well, it is no different now. we still have students loitering around our house while waiting to be picked up.
  • School buses and vans parked forever outside our gate... 
  • Noise from school events– Oh gosh, don't get me started.. Republic day, school day, sports day, etc etc.... the march pasts, the dance recitals.. whatever it is, there is constant sound and yes i call it sound cos it is loud...  I work from home and so it i get quite painful trying to concentrate..  
  • School/teen romance- Oh read it right... there are always the girl or boy lurking about waiting for their boyfriend/girlfriend to come over so they can have a rendezvous behind a bus or van... And then there are a few who lurk about sneaking in a smoke.  
And now all I can do is grit and plug in my headphones to drown out the noise... Well, do you have any such experiences? Do share em... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Battle with the body - VIII

Sorry, it has been a while since I wrote the next post in this series... Just been busy with life- aka no internet or mobile connectivity.. :/

Few months back I was out for a coffee meeting with a friend , we were catching up on a while and so it was something I was looking forward to. I wore a blue printed shirt with black pants.. The minute I walked into the coffee shop, I was generally scanning the place to see if my friend was already there. I then went over to a table for 2 and took a seat. There was a couple in the table next to mine. I looked up, made eye contact with the lady who after a second smiled a half hearted smile. I smiled back and began to rummage through my bag for the book I was carrying. 

Couple of minutes later, my friend landed and we began yapping away. During the course of the conversation she mentioned how it was nice to see me in stuff apart from Salwar kameez. She said she wished she could also bring herself to try something different. This statement had me frowning and I suggested she give it a shot. I went on to tell her how these days I barely wear salwar or kurti, it is always something different and am enjoying it. Especially given the fact that I can find clothes that fit me easily. 

Jokingly, I asked her how she was managing the saree and 3/4th sleeve blouse, especially in this hot weather. She commented "err, how can women of our size wear all these clothes?".... "some are short, show off our butt, hips, arms and well doesn't look nice na"

The Aarti from 10 years ago might have agreed with her and sighed. but today I disagree.. I looked at her with a straight face and told her "who the eff told you so?" "have you looked around you,  noticed how pretty you are and that you can actually carry off anything you wear?".. "Also, why do you care about others..."

She sheepishly admitted that all she wanted most days was to blend in and be a part of the background, almost remain invisible. Her husband keeps telling her she is big, she is fat and should stick to salwar or saree. Now that is a topic for a later post.. but for now, I was just zapped. The R that I knew was a spunky girl, one that loved dressing up in bright colours, she would wear lipstick and eyeliner even if we were just stepping out for a movie.. And today she has become this... 

It was a moment of revelation. Words can take such a toll on one's confidence and this in turn affects all other aspects of their lives. They get beaten down royally, left thinking they are not worthy of love, affection or a second glance and resign to living this way... wtf right.. 

Not only that, but she is so caught up with this whole scenario that she refuses to see there is more to life than the words hurled at her... she needn't cower and cave in. Sigh. After our coffee, I took her along to this store I shop from  and got her to see some of the cool clothes they had. She tried on a few, infact loved almost all she had tried on but hesitated to pick them up. Why- cos her husband would not approve... I took it upon myself and got her a top and trousers, telling her to just give it a try.. maybe wear it the next time we met..  She reluctantly accepted the package, but not without protesting and making excuses.  

I am yet to see her in those clothes, asked her about them once but shall wait for her to make the change on her own... Just wish she sees herself for who she is and not what others say.