Monday, September 30, 2013

The Perfect Man List

Every girl, even the least girly of them, pictures her wedding even before she knows what love is. The fairy tales all ended in some grand wedding and we were brought up believing that that is how our story would/should end. No one ever told us that after a day of looking pretty, the wife is then expected to cook, clean and whatnot for her husband. Slowly, girls stop dreaming of the perfect wedding. Instead they focus on something more possible; the perfect man.

(Now men, if you are reading this, do not think this is in anyway one of those posts written for a specific person. And if you fit the description, please do not get your hopes up. I have a list, but I don’t actually want a perfect guy. Or even an imperfect guy. Or anyone.)

So first on the list is; no drinking, smoking or doing drugs. I know I sound boring but, drugs are dangerous, cigarettes make you smell like rotten vegetables and alcohol is deceptive. I don’t want to be a nanny to anyone, I don’t want to be embarrassed by anyone. So the PM (Perfect Man not Prime Minister) cannot indulge in the great evils of this world.

He also cannot gamble. Nor can he be stingy. Not that he should just throw away money, but he shouldn’t try to save every penny.

A warm heart is a must. If he shouts at beggars or never gives them money, then he’s not for me. I need a man who will happily buy poor people food or give them money or buy what they sell.

No non-readers allowed! Look, I read. A lot. I love collecting books and spending hours in bookstores. If you aren’t willing to stand in silence, browsing through books, then don’t even think of talking with me. I don’t even like it when my friends don’t read, so how can I expect my PM to not read?!?

Be a little childlike. You cannot be immature, but you can’t be a serious adult. Do random things with me, blow soap bubbles, sing Hakuna Matata!

Have patience. My job, scatter brained-ness and general way of living means people have to have a lot of patience with me. If you are as short tempered as I am, we won’t last long. We’ll just kill each other.

Get the hint! Look, I will most definitely tell you I don’t do a call a day or a text every three-four hours. I don’t need gifts or flowers or whatever. But I love feeling special, so when I tell you, “Oh I don’t need anything,” what I’m actually saying is, “go buy me a dozen flowers and maybe some green or orange TipiTip!”

He cannot be weight-conscious. I love food, and I love people who eat with me. Don’t go on about hitting the gym and your abs. I don’t like guys with ‘perfect’ bodies. Don’t count the calories you swallow. Just eat and don’t be a health freak!

The list goes on, but I’m still not sure of what else is on it. And yes, I do know that I will never find a man who fits the description.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The money and age connection

"Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take of themselves,” is something my granduncle lives by. He believes in saving every cent for a future none of us have been promised. Whenever he meets us, he inquires about our savings. We lie and tell him we make sure that not a single cent goes to waste.

The reason I can’t save money is simple. I do not like money. Whenever I talk about my ideals and beliefs, people tell me I can have such beliefs only because I’m still too young. They tell me that ten years from now, I wouldn’t be able to live by things that I believe in now. Maybe they can say such things because they’ve been there and done that. Maybe years ago, they too had dreams, they too had beliefs. However, life came in the way and they were forced to forego those beliefs. They think that my age, and the fact that life hasn’t made us deal with serious blows keeps us from being realistic. However, we aren’t dreamers because we are young. We have all these beliefs because we are invincible.

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are.” Looking for Alaska by John Green.

So we can still afford to have a bucket list or New Year resolutions because we are still young enough to dream. I can’t remember what the rest of my ten resolutions were, but one was to make a new friend and maintain that friendship. For a 30-year-old, this may seem like a silly resolution. Yet, at 19, I can still afford to have such goals in my life. I don’t need to aim for the highest skies. I can choose the stars I want, and aim for them.

Being young means that we have no need for money. Our parents give us everything we need and there is no need to worry about the future.  Thus, I don’t follow my granduncle’s words. I don’t save, and I give as much as I can. This isn’t something I learnt by myself. But, I’ve watched my parents and family give as much as they can throughout my life.

So I give, not because I want to make sure my karma is all good. Giving can’t be a selfish act. Yet, when you are older you can’t give as you please because you have a family to take care of, duties and obligations. Life stops you from giving. This is why we must give while we are young. All hearts melt when a young boy walks up, selling camphor, or when an old man holds his palm out for some coins. Yet, the hearts of young people melt more than those of adults. This isn’t because adults are heartless. They have been hardened by age.

This is why we can believe we are invincible. We can still afford to dream, to have our own way. We can still complain about the silliest things. For me, the biggest advantage of being young is being able to forget the future. To forget the pounds that will take care of themselves, simply because we are too young to think about the next decade, or the next year. We can live in the present, and we can only do this when we are young.

This may be idiotic thinking. I may be digging my own grave. Maybe I will someday look back at life and wish I had listened to my granduncle. I would wish I had given less and saved more. Yet, for now, I will spend my money on beggars and camphor selling children. I will spend and even waste my money on food and books. I will forget about the future and what tomorrow holds. I will do all this, because for now, I’m invincible.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Perks of Being a Girl

I’m not going to deny that I’ve wished I was born a boy. Men seem to have it so easy! Still women are lucky too. We just don’t want to admit it.

A friend was talking about how lucky we are to be females. If nothing works out, we can always just get married and depend on the man. The males have no choice, they must study and work. Ever heard a son being told, “It’s okay Putha, if you can’t find a job, just get married to a nice, rich girl”?

Now one of the best things about being a girl is bum shorts and shorts in general. Let’s admit it, a man should never wear shorts that are shorter than knee length. Boys can, like small kiddos, not anyone else. It’s disturbing! But females. Ah! Those glorious shorts! And clothes in general. We can wear guy colours and girl colours. We can wear guy clothes and girl clothes. We can wear any length.

So a female is gaining weight, no one would dare say it to her. A guy, on the other hand, isn’t so fortunate. Hello! They have no feelings so why not tell them they are fat? And we aren’t talking about subtle hints like, “hmm maybe a fourth slice of pizza is a bad idea” or “machan, shall we hit the gym soon?” we are talking about, “Dude! You are fat! Jesus, can you see past that tummy?”

Then we have male chivalry. Men hold open doors for us, offer to carry stuff for us and make us feel like princesses. Now I’m not to demand anything, but I absolutely love it when men fuss over me. It’s really sweet and cute! And how do women treat men? Like slaves!

We also have a billion and one excuses to avoid doing things. Men don’t understand the female body and mind so they never try to challenge our excuses. They don’t ask us what’s wrong when we say we are sick, the answer may scar them for life. And we avoid doing a whole lot of things, working hard, carrying heavy things and just anything in general.

Now I don’t drink or go partying or clubbing. I just don’t. But I’ve seen all those club posters that say, “Females walk in free” or “free drinks for females” and trust me, those deals just make me actually consider clubbing. If it’s free, then anything is worth a shot! (Also, Amma and Thathee, if you are reading this, you know that I will never ACTUALLY drink or go clubbing or partying or anything.)

There’s also the money issue. You go out on a date, or even on a not-a-date and the male is expected (by society) to pay. So we just smile and look around as if we didn’t see the waiter leaving the bill on the table. And then the guy takes out his wallet, finds the money and then we go all, “oh no no, I’ll pay, or we’ll split the bill” and yet we never even take our purse out. Because for centuries, the man has pain and we aren’t about to change tradition!

Dresses! I hate dresses because I don’t know how to sit like a lady and there’s a really embarrassing pic of me in my uniform, sitting like a… well, it’s not very lady like. So I avoid dresses, but they are awesome. Your body can breathe and even if you don’t look that good, dresses make you feel so effing gorgeous! And your bum looks nice, and in general dresses are awesome. Can men wear them? No!

If we are hanging out and we feel like a picture, we can always take one. Guys are a bit more awkward when it comes to suggesting a photograph, especially of them alone. And selfies! Good lord! We abuse our right to take and post selfies. Very few men dare take selfies and very few can pose. So their profile pictures can be changed only every year or so because they don’t have any good pictures!

We can also cry and be honest about our emotions. We can watch a Nicholas Sparks book turned into a movie and cry and no one can say anything. We can love boybands like One Direction and no one gives an eff! The puppy-dog look can make us cry and it’s not weird. Can a boy do these things? Can a boy admit Wall-E made him cry?

We can also be really mean idiots! So we reject a guy or we cut him off and the guy is supposed to respect the female’s decision. A man cuts us off and we turn into leaches and follow him around? It’s considered cute! I’ve been super mean to guys and they are expected to be men and take it all! But a man is mean to me, and all hell breaks loose!

So the list shouldn’t end here. There are many more perks of being a girl. But for now, we’ll stop here J

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Beautiful Night

Yesterday was hectic and tiring. Work wasn’t stressful but I had some things on my mind, which means I stressed my self out about nothing. Then the tiring journey back started and I was reading Perks of Being a Wallflower on the iPad while chatting with someone who people should pay me for being friends with. No, he’s not some difficult person you want to punch every time you see him. He’s an amazing person and we talk about the lamest things on Earth. Yesterday we were arguing about How I Met Your Mother and how it could be compared to the oh so sappy love stories by Nicholas Sparks. Needless to say, I won the challenge. Anyway, swiping through facebook and twitter and iBooks, I was slightly depressed. Rereading Perks, I was now at the last few pages. Where Charlie is depressed and it’s so difficult to read about another’s depression and not feel sad about it. Then I realized it’s been ages since I left work, it was dark out side and I look outside to realize we are still in Wellawatte!

So by the time we got to the New Galle Road, which meant the sea, the night sky and ten more minutes before I reach home, I was exhausted. My eyes were aching since I read for more than 1 hour, with terrible lighting, and I was ready for bed. I was also extremely hungry, and needed to answer a call of nature. I opened the van window just a bit because I love that salty smell of the sea and loved the feel of the wind on my face. It was just the sea and I and it was pretty amazing. The sea was dark and there were ships in the distance. But then I noticed the sky, and God! The sky was perfect. It really was. It was really dark and cloudless and there were so many stars everywhere. It was perfect.

And I hope you won’t judge my taste in music based on this but the song, “it’s a beautiful night, we are looking for something dumb to do, hey baby! I think I wanna marry you” started playing in my head. Because it was the kind of night to do dumb things. But while I kept ‘playing’ those four lines in my head, over and over again, I didn’t think of a certain someone. I didn’t think of just one person I would want to share the night with, to count the stars. There were many I wanted to share the night with; I wanted to share it with everyone I knew.

And that’s the beauty of such nights. You want it to be about everyone, not just one person. And in Perks, Charlie says, at one point, they all felt infinite. Such nights do make you feel infinite. So I enjoyed the night sky until the trees got in the way and the buildings got in the way and the clouds finally got in the way. Then I got home, and heard bad news after bad news. And I watched HIMYM S9E2 which made me sad again, and I made the HIMYM v Nicholas Sparks picture for the dumdum and finally my grandmother got back home and I had ice cream so I was happy. But I couldn’t stop thinking about those stars.

I sent the Bumbles a message not because I was sad, but because I hoped I could somehow share the night with them. All of us, in our different corners, going on with our lives, but the sky was beautiful that night, for all of us.

And today I heard a bit more bad news and my head aches a bit and my body too and I have so much of work, but yesterday’s sky just won’t leave my mind.

Which led me to realize something else or rather remember what I realized before. I was reading Perks and I can’t remember which paragraph it was, but it said something which made me realize something. You know how we always have these things we regret or wish we had never done? And it keeps bothering us because it proves we are useless or worthless or whatever? So there were a few for me, such moments, things I wish I never did. And those memories kept making me feel guilty. Then I read that paragraph and realized it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered because life was beautiful and didn’t deserve to go unnoticed. Why let memories haunt you when you can instead make new memories?

So that night, I went to bed tired and feeling a bit queasy. And I was worried and sad. But that sky! Ah! That was enough.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Perfectly Flawed People

You know how you are happily having a bath in the night and then, the power goes off. You have three options.

Stop bathing, stand/sit still and wait for the power to get back on
Look for your towel, hopefully cover your self and go find a candle
Take a risk, complete your bath in the dark

I always go with the third option. It's risky, let me tell you that. Having used the office washroom without a properly working light at least five times, I can be considered an expert on the issue. I've had to use... umm... a petrol shed bathroom and the only light I got was from a phone, which I tried not to drop anywhere.

So what happens is that you've used that same old bathroom, with the same old floor plan for years, and you think you can figure it all out blindfolded. But as soon as there's no light, your mind forgets where the fixtures were. So you try not to slip, because we all know that falling in the bathroom is utterly painful. And you look for soap and try to turn on the shower again. Then you find your towel, and wipe your self dry.

And then! The biggest challenge, getting into your clothes. Which in the dark is as complicated, exhausting and frustrating as trying to buy food from a crowded food truck!

However, having a bath in the dark does a lot of revealing. Not the kind of revealing any bath does. But being stripped off a sense you abuse and you never appreciate, makes you realize how simple life is, but how we complicate everything.

And darkness in general reveals.

I've spent the night at my cousins maybe three or four times. And on all those times, we've stayed up, way after we turned off the lights, chatting. Somehow we could be more honest with each other when we saw nothing. We would talk for hours, laughing at the lamest things, or sharing secrets with each other.

However, this post isn't about sitting in the dark.

It's about who we really are. I was once told there are no good people. Or bad people. You have people and they do various things that may make them seem like good people or bad people. But your actions can't define you. In law, the wording of a law is very important. What is theft, what is trespass, what is malicious, what is a wound... So assault occasioning ABH could be merely touching someone without their consent. But the more serious offense includes wounding, which is an injury that cuts through all layers of the skin, and GBH. So putting aside the legal jargon, words are important.

If you take a good person, it means he does good. But can't a good man do bad things too? Say I'm classified as a good person, does that mean I would never ever lie?

“So you see, Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.”
― Paulo Coelho,
The Devil and Miss Prym

So there are no good people or bad people. Just people, who are so flawed, but are so beautifully flawed. Now you are thinking, "OMG! Shailee is such a weirdo, calling her self beautiful." I don't mean the perfect eyes, or nose, or figure and so on. I mean that our imperfections make us all beautiful and unique.

Now imagine if we had no flaws. We wouldn't just have somethings in common, we would have everything in common. We would be clones of this one person, and we wouldn't know one person from another. But we have all these flaws which stop us from being 'perfect' and sometimes we spend too long trying to perfect our selves. We worry about our imperfections that we forget to live, we don't see the beauty in our selves.

Admitting you are a flawed human being, leads to identifying and accepting these flaws. You work on them, and improve your self, you improve your identity.

There's another important thing to do. When you admit you are a flawed human being, you can overlook the flaws in other people. We see the flaws of other people before we see our own flaws. And we let these flaws get to us, we let them choose who we like and don't like. But we should accept the flaws of other people. Not only because that's who they are and that's what makes them unique. We should accept the flaws of other people because we too are flawed. And together we are all flawed but beautiful human beings. We are imperfect but unique human beings.

And I know that I'm the worst person to be saying this. Sure, I accept I'm flawed and I accept that other people are flawed. And I do try my best to overlook the flaws of other people. But at some point the flaws get to me, and I tend to let these flaws decide the future of our friendship. Which is bad, but maybe that's my flaw. But I'm friends with people who I rarely agree with, who I have very little in common with. So I do overlook those flaws that nag me. Just not with everyone :)