Don’t Wish Me ‘Happy Women’s Day’

8 Mar

Stop.
Just don’t.
I see your mouth beginning to form the words, readying to trot out utter garbage.
Halt!
Don’t do it.
Tell me to celebrate being a woman on a measly day eked out for my ilk and I’ll ask you why. How do I make joyful noises about being female in a world where my gender is relentlessly at the receiving end of systemic hatred? When our heads are constantly dunked and held under water, only to be permitted half a breath before being choked again, but look, you did get that teeny window to inhale! To which you’ll look exasperated and say “But nobody is doing it to you!” And I will begin to enumerate:
1. The number of times my body was touched without my permission, how the semen stain on my school skirt remains as dark as ever, how pain feels as a 14-year-old when there’s a thrust, a gasp, and then he flees the overflowing bus.
2. The number of times my daylight hours and nighttime hours and spaces to just be were policed: by those who birthed me, by a system meant to educate, no no, you are a girl, bloomer check! We’re going to lift your skirt to ensure your modesty lives in granny knickers.
3. The number of times I have heard “nobody wants a girl who…”, “nobody marries a woman who….”, 5 kilos less and you’d be perfect, one cup size larger, you can wear any color, lucky-lucky, your hands are so soft, your boyfriend will love them, don’t ever cut your hair or I’ll be sad.
4. The number of times “good” girls don’t sit this way, don’t wear shorts outside PE class, because the men, oh the men, the men! All males, absolute strangers included, are given shares to my anatomy, only I’m not invited to the feast.
“Excellent mother”
“Obedient daughter”
“Ideal daughter-in-law”
Until I want to stitch your mouth shut without anesthesia and scream TROPES!!!
TROPES, TROPES, TROPES!
You’ve drowned in your paltry puddle and think you’re in St. Tropez, every utterance further plasters you to your pigeon poop ridden cubby, how does it feel inside that cage you’ve built, do the bars come out at night to play?
Rapes and moral policing. “Just jokes” and unoffered opportunities. Wage gaps and a permanent seat to butt and breasts on the buffet, let’s not serve brain today, rather pointless wouldn’t you say?
Not a chance in hell at life, and if lucky, then an education is all too much good fortune.
I’m a ‘happy California mum’, I was told in summary, a catch-up call that ended in a pert label, even as my vocal chords shut down in outrage.
No women are free until all women are free, I scream at you in my fantasy. While you suck on patriarchy like a lozenge and I pause to watch you choke. While you make plans to shop sales and celebrate having internal plumbing and paint your nails as the platitudes dry.
Happy Women’s Day, you say, expecting a smile in return. I smile, as I smile for many senseless things and inane people, and quietly wish you sight. And maybe someday, if it happens to be in stock that season, even a modest serving of sense.

Truesday Tales 3.1

1 Mar

[From around this time, last year]

Q. Which silly goose toots so loudly that he startles himself awake?

A. My silly goose.

And, just like that, we graduate from Newborn to Infant and bid adieu to the Fourth Trimester. I can’t take it, this time whizzing by faster than light. It’s breaking my heart. Slow down, let that baby scent linger!

~

Madness is being passed out on the recliner after a nonstop day of solo caregiving, missing him acutely as his Daddy puts him to bed.

#WhereIsOJAndWhoIsThisFreak #NeedOneMorePeek #BringBackMyBaby

~

‘Tis true, men with Parsi mothers are the yummiest creatures to walk the planet. Case in point:

1) Farhan Akhtar 2) Rahul Khanna 3) John Abraham 4) My son

Q.E.D.

(P.S. Rahul Khanna responded, saying his mother will be absolutely thrilled to hear this. Guess who was absolutely thrilled to hear from Rahul Khanna.)

 

In An Anthology

26 Feb

A post I wrote on this blog more than 7 years ago took on a life of its own and first made its way to an online journal. I have the vaguest memory of receiving an email from the editor last year, mentioning it was going to be published in an anthology, to which my very enthusiastic response was:

“Oh, that’s wonderfzzzzzzzzz…..”

And so, when another emailed arrived two weeks ago, saying the book was now out, I had the pleasure of surprise all over again. It could be my family history of Alzheimer’s. Or the fact that I haven’t slept in 15 months. But yes, the anthology of which my piece is a part:

our stories too

 

 

Here is the link to the Amazon page. And here’s what the book is about:

Our Stories, Too is an eclectic collection of personal narratives by women from around the world: America, South Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. You will see in these stories how the very ordinary threads of our lives are interwoven with the grand tapestries of world history. We are all, the famous and the unknown, part of the fabric. Gathered from 2013 – 2015 on themes of home, place, belonging, trauma and life change over time, these stories will take you behind the scenes into the lives of thirty three women.

Among my deepest beliefs is that we are made of water, cells, and stories. This, combined with my lifelong interest in gender, makes me honored to be a storyteller among women sharing their histories.

Okay, thank you, byebye! See you next week with Truesday Talezzzzzzzz……………..

Truesday Tales 2.3

18 Feb

Thursday is the new Tuesday: old jungle saying blogger coming up with new rules.

Let’s just say Mummy is losing a million neurons for every tooth baby sprouts. Onto this week’s Truesday Tales, served up from last year.

~

In which Senor Baby tries to stuff a binky in Mummy’s mouth, since she realized it’s only Tuesday and needs pacifying.

~

In which Mummy informs Baby that Itsy Bitsy Spider probably had a touch of OCD, given his penchant for climbing the darn water spout on repeat mode.

~

In which we deconstruct Itsy Bitsy Spider and conclude that:

a. He is training for a Himalayan expedition

b. He has a touch of OCD

c. He runs a thieving arts academy

d. He is likely to develop identity confusion because Mummy calls him Itsy and Daddy thinks he’s Incy

e. He is not a California resident (hello, down came the rain??)

f. All of the above

g. This family needs help

 

#ThisBabyLife #TheMummyDiaries #WhatDoesYourTuesdayLookLike

Truesday Tales 2.2

9 Feb

Snippets from last February:

I have killer abs too. Anybody who sees them will die of shock.

#TheMummyDiaries #PSA

~

In which I optimistically set an alarm 6 hours into the future.

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!

#YeahRight #DreamOnFool #NoSleepNoDream #NeverMind

[P.S. Nothing has changed on this front a whole year later. It’s official: I’m a bot.]

~

Finally tossed my empty prenatal vitamin bottles today, after sentimentally holding on to them for the last few weeks. I had those tablets religiously for a whole year, through so many changes of body and circumstance.

It’s the end of an era.

#TheWholeSoLongFarewellSong

Truesday Tales 2.1

2 Feb

[First shared in February 2015]

I stand over him, watching him sleep, gushing about the perfect curve of his cheek, loath to go to bed. Daddy is under the covers with his tablet already, rolling his eyes at Mummy for being this besotted. I ignore him and continue to gaze at Mr. Bean, soaking up every centimeter of his babyness.

Until, something occurs to me and I realize that the pater hasn’t been reading at all. He’s been admiring the 3000 pictures he clicks of our son each morning. While the fruit of his loins is 4 feet away.

But I’m the besotted one. Right.

Turning 10: 2006–2016

26 Jan

Truesday Tales is on break this week, for the following reason:

I’m trying to remember whether there was snow on the ground that day. I know it was bitingly cold, the sky was a glorious winter blue, the sun shone like a superstar who couldn’t acknowledge his best days were behind him, and my biggest concern was fitting all my precious shoes into two suitcases as I readied to begin a new chapter in the country of my birth.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, I casually wrote a post called Shoes Blues. I even uploaded a picture, because that’s what you were supposed to do, nobody only read words. All of two people looked at the post, not counting myself. Who knew what this whole blogging thing was, anyway? It was January 26, 2006, and life was about to change big time. Only, I didn’t know back then that it was the blog that would propel the biggest changes of all and remain my steadiest constant over the next decade. A page I goofily christened Wisdom Wears Neon Pajamas, after the bright orange Eddie Bauer pjs I happened to be wearing that very minute. Yes, imagination has always been my strong suit.

It would be interesting to look back at my journey since: the amazing highs, the stressors only a twenty-something can handle without turning grey, the lessons that chiseled away at me, the teachers, nasty and kind. But I’m on a tight clock with a wakeful baby and don’t want to sound like a granny reliving her heyday. I’m a steady sort, a creature of habit. I’ve had the same bestie for 21 years. Ditto favorite authors and hairstyle. I like my coffee exactly the same each morning, and only the Boy’s surprises aren’t stressful for me. So it’s not really a whoa moment for me that this blogaroo baby has lasted a decade, because it’s been such fun! Really, such fun. It married words and community and fresh ideas from some terribly sparkling minds. And gifted me friendships. A solid, warm, sustaining sisterhood. So much gratitude to the universe for it all!

This blog isn’t going to last another decade. I have my doubts about the end of the year. But that’s okay, because everything has its time, and other platforms were bound to shunt out this early form of self-expression. So pardon me if, between the books I race to catch up on and the simmering something on the stove (hey, can’t have a birthday post without an alliteration!) and Herr Toddlemeister’s shenanigans, we don’t exactly party here anymore. But thanks for all the fish. For reading, chiming in, telling me that you exist. For seeing the heart on my sleeve and treating it gently. Funnily enough, only a clutch of folks in my offline life know that I have a blog, and that’s exactly how we’re going to keep it, you and I.😉

To 10! It’s been a whopper of a journey. See you next week for Truesday Tales?

Bear hugs and neon confetti,

Still in Pyjamas