Work your way up the grave

Another morning spent grumpy and rethinking my choices. When you don’t like your work one bit and still you keep doing it since past 9 years.. well you are struck in hell like yours truly.
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Banking, finance, credit, loans, CASA, cross selling, investment management and insurance are not for me. I was born to breathe, experience and live the finer life of poetry, music, words and crafts. I was born with a sensitive personality, terrible mood swings, maddening passion, high scope for drama, quest for thrill, lust for literature, interest for communication (not about target achievement, motivation or ownership of a useless work role but a heart to heart, soul nourishing talks) and general appreciation for life.
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Until my job happened and killed all the above in one easy stroke of a daily grind. The finer things in life gave way to SARFAESI, Balance Sheet, fund flows, NII, DRT, Compliance, fraud and other jargons completely devoid of any scope of creativity (unless I creatively fudge the projections to suit the seniors expectations), communication (unless I count the strong reprimand doled out lavishly in all the P review meetings) or joy.
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Now everyday atleast one hour of my precious day is devoted to general grumpiness, malice towards unworthy seniors, disgust towards meek or acquiescent collegues and the capitalist world in general for creating this materialist, commercial and mechanic world with no survival for any other ideology, atleast for commoners like me.
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Google might have lost count of times I have searched for ‘bankers who quit’, ‘creatively satisfying yet well-paying jobs (its important unless you can afford to work for 5k for a 10-12 hr shift), ‘is quitting a decent paying job a suicide’, ‘how to make work bearable’ or simply ‘how to end misery’. Since I am still cribbing and crying needless to say Google hasn’t be able to help much here.
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It’s not like I have gained anything in the past decade. No sir there are a few top gains, like my health issues, weight, tolerance for stupidity, time management, false image, parents/relatives/ neighbour’s perception of a successful you, some money and general hogwash. I may be good at my work or how else can I explain the promotions and appointments in the past or my almost super hero like ability for multi-tasking where I hate my job and yet do it well. May be the only reason I am so deft and fast in my work because I hate it to a point and want to finish it for once and for all!
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But like pests’ work keeps adding in geometric progression despite a state of ‘ceteris paribus’ in general work environment meaning no freaking change in sales/ disbursement/ sanction/NPA data since morning! You know the world may come to an end if today’s 44th report on the same data in a different excel format sent by a fresh dork from the Regional Office on the order a the older dork in the Head Office created by a bigger dork from a ‘premier Management Institute’ is not sent my 4 p.m.!
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Until next rant!

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Till death do us part or before?

I am so much more when I am quite and away and separate. My mind is so active and naughty and curious and silly. But when I am with you I don’t know why I become so sullen and killjoy and contemplative and serious. I don’t know why my shoulders become so heavy, don’t know why I feel weighed down and tired and mature and old.

Never imagined our relationship to come to this. Yes, we still care about each other but it is definitely not love, more of fear. Fear of the misery, work and inconvenience that would pile on us if the other were to be unwell! You deny it but I cant hear conviction in your voice. You hug me but I cant feel the closeness my soul needs. You smile through my tears but I cant see the joy in your eyes. When I say that I am drowning you hold me but I cant see the morbid fear. May be you don’t know the depth of the wounds you have carved on my soul or maybe you don’t care. I don’t know which is worse.

Our bodies do not crave each other anymore, maybe they have guessed the looming truth while we still keep pretending.

I cant shrug off this feeling of being fooled into this, of being used, of being played and of being smothered. I cant remember a time where you stood up for me or you cared about me or you kept me before yourself or anyone else for that matter. I am angry with you, Yes but its nothing compared to the seething lava I harbour for myself, for my naivety and stupidity. You don’t let me leave and honestly I don’t know if I am brave enough for that. Though I do have doubts about which is the braver option.

We are not bad people, definitely not. Infact you are a heartthrob and a sunshine where ever you go. It is I who may be said to have character flaws.
You the sweetheart, have hurt me so many times in you,’don’t- care- ways’ and I, the bad one, have given nothing but love and devotion to this. The irony is not wasted on me. So, I don’t share my problems with any one, afraid of their increduality, shock and judgement over this ideal couple and this unthankful lucky bitch!

I have tried to tell you these things in my half baked ways with half formed sentences and you have always rubbished me with a laugh. So here I am writing and deleting words yet again. Having conversations with you in my head which I know we will never have in person.

I don’t know why you deny it may be working towards mending ways could have saved us, but it is too late know. And I sit here again talking to myself, again getting crushed by the weight of unresolved issues and presumed wrongs. Again thinking of ways to hurt you when we meet in the evening, thinking of mean things to say that would sting you deep, deep enough to extract my revenge (cant believe I said revenge) for the myriad unspoken, misunderstood, neglected times. And in effect again thinking of you!

Whatever it is, its maddening, all consuming, compelling and toxic.

Boy you are growing up so fast!!

Only the other day you were holding on to my breast for dear life and now you teach me about stuff! Boy at 2.5 years you are growing up so fast and doing so many new things daily that I feel like I am unable to match pace. I am afraid that I may not be able to rembember all the awesome insanely cute things in few years and what a loss of treasure it would be to me, worse than the loss of kohinoor to the nation.

What if I forget the way you give me one kiss and say (in your beautifully innocent sincerity) stock finished when I request for one more.

The way you can follow conversations. The way you laugh hysterically when we are all laughing. The way you cry when you seee cry.

Your angry iron man tone you use to express your volatile temper. But always calm down in a few moments (thank god) and come hug me.

The way you love to play with kids older to you although you never understand there game.

The way you learn telugu , Hindi, gujtati, English in record time depending upon which city we are in ( currently Ahmedabad).

The way you gel with all your care givers and give them your on sweet nicknames like Pacha to Sajida Begum, Bujji to Vani. The way you learn there religion with them by saying bismillah before every meal with Pacha and singing our father hym with Vani.

The way you become grumpy after a scolding but always melt after few kisses.

The way you obsessively love automobiles like fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and bikes.

The way you fervently dislike food.

The way you have starred telling cute little stories like once upon a time there was a fire truck and crocodile. Both went home in the night to sleep. Love the Exquisite finish!

The way you do you your best to adjust to frequent shifting and working parents. The way you try to remain happy and busy throughout the day and give a grand welcome fit for a queen when I come home in the evening.

The way you play with everyone, mingle with everyone but always come to me at night to tightly hug me to sleep. I can give up everything for those few moments with you at night.

A good morning

Its 5 am in the morning, sleep eludes me and to escape the clutter of my thoughts I browse through other blogs to be lost in other people’s thoughts and clutter. But hubby has gotten up to resume his studies (he is giving his actuaries papers). Off late he has a rigorous work – study schedule.

He grimaces seeing me up so early specially since I had slept late at around 12. I try to tell me through signs as my 2 year old son is sleeping next to me that I don’t feel sleepy but he insists I go back to sleep. I don’t want to argue because first I don’t want to disturb his studies and second he is quite a bully and would not let be browse in peace. Hence I give up and lie down next to my son lost in my thoughts. Strange feeling to be finally free of the clock.. No busy morning schedule ..no office to go to today as yesterday was last day of my notice period. Feels strange to have a whole day ..week .. Month free to myself. Don’t know what to do with all this extra time.

Yesterday’s events play in my head the farewell party,the good things people said about me, the warm wishes and the lovely goodies. All the positivity made me realize that I would fair well in my next job as well. Things would be fine.

My son turns over and places his small hands on my tummy and I know what I will do with my new found time.. a whole free month to myself before joining another job. I snuggle next to me and go back to sleep.

 

Each day a judgement day!

Her fingers moved dexterously on the chopping board, while her eyes surveyed the khoya on the stove. Cooking to her was like a therapy, it gave her pure pleasure paralled only to reading her best quality literature.

Today’s cooking was all the more special because this was a first dinner get together she had planned after her daughter’s birth. She would also meet her office colleagues today after almost an year. Though she considered herself an strong woman but she was nervous about their judgement of her. Would they also judge her like so many others for quitting work to take care of her now almost 2 year old daughter. While leavung the room after instructing her maid to wipe Kisha’s pee, She had overheard her maid complaining to the other that what was the use of quitting her job if she could not even potty train her daughter by now! It shocked her to be judged at so many levels and by so many relative acquitance and strangers advising what she could or should have done. The smirk on the face of some working mothers in the park who on very rare days had the luxury or time to bring their ward to the park was so evident that she could spot them from a kilometer away. Intact this had become her past time in the park to guess if the other woman was a home maker or working woman.

She did not want to quit for financial reasons purely and deep in her heart she knew that she was not career oriented but saying it out loud to her feminist sister or her friends was out of the question. This coupled with deep love for her baby and frustrating engagements with several nannies made her opt out of the perennial race in the consumeristic arena and be a hands on mother!

Initial days she wore this tag of home maker with pride and a sense of self righteousness.. You know like never feeding her girl processed food or missing her park outings or helping her learn and explore the world. But soon the novelty wore out, while other women in her society headed out in smart confident fashionable looking plazos, she was still in her night gown smeared with sweat, food and often tears and snoot while trying to shovel some food in her head strong stubborn daughter. She didn’t confront much in any one as there were a plathora of’ I told you so’waiting for her.

2 hours passed in this self pity and it was almost time for her guests arrival. She quickly gave finishing touches to her food, hyderabadi Biryani, chicken do pyaza for non veg and paneer khurchan, gatte ki sabzi for the veggy in the group. She figured that one non veg and one veg starter along with coconut water mocktail lwould suffice.

She put on a clean salwar kameez and waited for her guests. She pondered if she should wear some makeup but being a no make up person the idea seemed unnatural to her. Finally with a bindi adoring her forehead she considered herself looking passable. She had stopped considering herself pretty long ago.

They all came in together, all smiling and hugging her. They looked her up and down trying to find some extra ordinary change but probably found none. They may have found her plain look too holier-than-thou. Butpraised her hand crafted kurta.. Perhaps as a courtesy as it was quite ordinary in comparison to their fineries. They asked about her daughter , applauded her brave move to abandon the professional bandwagon and sacrifice herself for her family. Sacrifice!! She thought it was a heavy word.. She prayed for the topic to change as the woman in her was already struggling with this crisis.

They all praised the food and few even mentioned how lucky she was to have time to cook..  While it was weeks even months since they had this luxury of burning time on the gas stove. The fact that she cooked even before quitting was conveniently side stepped. Her daughter returned from the park, they all gushed at her, scanned her from head to toe and asked her several questions which a child her age and of reasonable IQ is expected to answer. Their expressions hinted that they found her daughter normal! Not too bright neither too dumb. Perhaps they were trying to gauge if a hands on mother’s kid is any different and perhaps what they found pleased them.

She sensed judgement in few remarks but it could also be her over active brain and insecure heart doing their tricks. She knew that this is what her husband would tell her and she would hate to hear it. Yet telling him all the stuff and getting his response ( no matter how predictable ) soothed her.

Finally the evening ended, while having her night cup of relaxed chain after completing all chores and putting her daughter to sleep she evaluated the evening and all her anxieties associated with it. She realised that even if she had an option to change her past she wouldn’t want to.

 

 

 

 

 

Time heals! But when?

Writing after months and yet nothing has changed. Same anxiety for mojo same loathing for this job same hatred for the vampire same feeling of being trapped same helplessness same hollowness and same urge to break free.

I may seem morbid but that’s just months of frustration and new nervousness. Nikku (my sis) is going to Netherlands ..going as in to settle!! She has got a cool job and I am happy for her but I am so nervous for her. All the beautiful memories come as flashback.. She is so young and innocent. In my head she is still a child..can’t get up on time.. Can’t reach school/college on time.. Can’t manage her finances.. Can’t manage her affairs!! But I reluctuntantly admit that she has grown up now. Doesn’t need her Didi for anything now. I miss her already!!

The vampire is getting successful in sucking my confidence. I am bending over backwards to do my very demanding job sincerely but she has made it her personal agenda to make my job hell. Yeah you would say that there is an option of quitting but I have several financial obligations.

Bit by bit I am breaking ..my anxiety and constant sadness is irrititating even myself. I may be clinically depressed. All people around me are tired of the negative me.

Then the in laws .. Man where to begin! Let’s just say that we are at different axis of the earth.

My dear darling son would have to be left alonein a maid’s care.. Something I had vowed never to do.

So ya all in all it sucks to be me right now.

Yet I am (at least Rohit is) pretty sure that things would improve for sure. So waiting and wining .. Same old same old

I am in her shoes now

When I joined my new branch post my one year of probation.. I was full of enthusiasm, energy and adrenaline to kill it!! My pride was routed in the fact that in a nationalised Indian bank you are cherry picked to work in corporate branches.

It was a big branch of approx 45 ppl..largest I had ever seen in my small career. There were many contractual employees there who we looked down upon..as they lacked loyalty (assumed as they worked on contract)..worked less..stuck to one another.. Flirted brazenly (as had to to get there contracts renewed).. Often had there own pizza burger parties while we ate panner pakoras.. All in all there was a huge gulf amongst us.

One of those contractual woman was A. She had just been married..about a couple of months ago and had applied for a transfer from Delhi to Hyderabad and was getting anxious by the day to join her husband in Hyderabad. Our bosses (all sarkari)were not to keen to that and were piling work on her. We often found her crying.. She used to wear Punjabi wedding suits tight enough to squueze all air out of her. I felt like if she excreted even a little pressure, her suit would burst. All her suits were very gaudy as expected of a Punjabi newly wed. With lot of make up..hands full of chudas and her neon coloured dresses she was often the butt of our jokes.

She made mistakes in the simplest of work..was openely ridiculed and insulted and all in general declared her a good for nothing useless contractee.. Undeserving of the double salary she was earning. I found her attire, her lifelessness, restlessness, her make up, her wish to leave highly unprofessional. Yet pitied her for the reactions she garnered. I replaced her professionally when she was relieved from Nehru place branch. I also went about collecting contribuions from everybody to arrange a farewell for her. I chose a suit for her as a farewell gift. The only other meeting I had with her was when I handed over a suitcase to her sent by her family in delhi ..when I had come to attend a training program in Hyderabad. It had been 4 years and I had completely forgotten about her.

Cut to today when I joined an MNC in hyderabad .. Who do I find? Yes God’s sick sense of humour prevails and I find A.  As a site head for the Singapore market which I am to join. Now she in western corporate attire ..all lean and mean.. Working there from 9 to 8 may be.. While I sarkari bhen ji ..fat after child birth and one eye always on the clock to rush back home at 6:30 pm.(I come in at 8:30). Worrying about my son..her nanny my mother.. Dinner..diapers..fever etc. Going mad balancing everything (will describe 1 day in my daily life in detail some time soon) while she finds fault in my work.. She finds my financial analysis sloppy and no doubt thinks my work underving of my salary (who cares actually)

What triggered this thought process.. Well a comment she made this Friday after listening to some household issues i was discussing with her that I was a full time housewife and a part time employee.. (I want to mention here that she doesn’t have a kid although she is 7 years older to me)

Talk about tables turning dude:)

Ps : in writing this post I was called upon by my mother (3 times..pooja Khana kya banega beta) my son ( twice for feeds) my husband (5 times..pure sadist pleasure) my sis (once to know why I was such a bitch!!) So as always request you to kindly overlook any spelling grammar errors.. Mann ko padho

 

Indian bahu and mom in law..an indecipherable equation

There I write it in black and white. My equation with. My MIL is civil:) we never fight..I never answer back.. She never gives orders like you see in the unending saas bahu saga. Yet there is an under current of tension. Please don’t judge me (judge her for all I care :)) its not just me. I have many friends who all report the same!!. OK not all but 98% for sure. Its strange that a normal woman (me for example) would become a vicious suspecting planning plotting gossiping humiliating MIL when my ain grows up.

You know my over productive mind has given a lot of thought to this (imagine my productivity if I brain stormed so much in my work:)) and it has dug up the third universal fact- its the hunger for power. Yes ..mwomen in general are smart enough to accept the fact that men are different species who consider themselves superior to us but can be controlled/manipulated/managed by our other tactics..you are smart enough to understand

But women..we know each other in and out!! We know our secret weapons as well.. So the real mind game is between us.. To assert power.. To tell the other who actually holds the strings.. To claim dominance.

That is the precise reason why a woman boss pelts havoc on her biological counterpart (I am a sad victim.. Praying ardently that she either gets promoted or transferred or dies!!)

So yes coming back to MILs.. Her dominance/empire is her son..so she can’t accept that he loves his wife and tries to lead a life independent of her. Hence the eternal power struggle. Universe is witness to zillions of such fierce wars on a daily basis. Mine being just another of them.

Have a lot more to say on this topic.. But as usual the office CCTV is threatning me. So see you later.

All one wants is to be heard really

You get up and rush to office. You work..and work and work. I know you do take a few coffee/chai/cig breaks but do you really talk in those breaks!! You speak what others want to here but don’t say a word of what you are actually feeling!!

For instances how would you feel if while having a cuppa chain with my team I say “I am sinking people I need help..or I can’t find an answer to life’s ques or plain simple I hate you man.. I just can’t stand your presence!!” I would be immediately reported/axed.. Right. No one wants to hear any psycho babble ( not even the HR guys)

So rather I discuss the safe topics..sports..politics..economy (actually others discuss while I just nod my head) gossip.. Movies..(ya that’s more like it!). Actually its happening to me right now.. I was better in a nationalised bank..probably 5 years there conditioned me a Lucca sarkari..you know no politics (as no job fear) lot of honesty and yes regular office gossip and boss bitching. But now this corporate culture is killing me..you don’t say what you wanna say.. You don’t talk to other teams..you always reply all is well to all questions..you nod your vigorously to affirm your happiness here .like you are stoned or something!!

So there is just 1 another girl in my team and as a bhenji I stick to her in the coffee/lunch breaks. She is absolutely boring, lifeless emotionally dead money making and fault finding (in me) machine. So I end up talking to her about only either work or climate or her silly flat which she considers her life time achievement or just goddamn silence!!

At home I am busier than office managing home and dear darling baby boy. By the time I hit the sack I am brain dead and bone tired. So the entire day’s frustration keeps building up! That’s the reason that I am writing now after putting my baby to sleep.. Had I not felt so ..let’s say pent up.. I would have slept by now.

BTW who do I write to/for as you know I havnt told anyone close about this blog (its my private diary) and no stranger would want to read an ordinary woman’s sob story. So I think I write it for myself as this at least keeps a busy mind occupied.

You know if we could only talk to each other then the second most important problem of the world could be solved..psychopathic behaviour!! Don’t text or whatsapp or do any hitech nonsense..plz talk to someone who would listen about any thing that’s bugging you like Donald trump’s candidature or refugee crisis or your low increment.. I feel better already.