I was 14 when I first wanted to run away from home. Dad hit me on my shin with his leather belt for refusing to make him tea. Mother still believes it was not why he hit me. It was the tone in which I refused that triggered his mad anger, she says. I let her believe what she wants to believe. I’m not really interested in how much they and I have grown since then. I’m more interested in the rebel that was born that day, just like that.
Frankly, the fact that he hit me does not bother me much now. Now that I think about those red lines on my shin, it’s clear why most of my important acts of rebellion have been staged against the periphery of home making skills. That was probably the defining moment of my life. And what has followed since then have been but just small time rebellions, all against my father or father like figures.
Over the years, the desire to run away from home became more and more immense fueled constantly by their need to keep me from becoming too independent. They feared it and much to my delight, still do. It was crazy.
Attending phone calls from male friends in my PU days were challenging. This one time, when he found out that I was talking to a boy, he screamed for hours together. That evening, I remember, trying really hard to salvage the situation. Mother was trying harder. She said that some uncle from Dubai I had never met before is visiting soon. I enquired more about him. It was my lame attempt at normalizing the evening as much as I could. And even to this day I still do not know why for the life of me, I said the words I did. I wondered aloud why I hadn’t heard of him before and all hell broke loose.
He yelled at me for not knowing the names of my relatives. No, actually he yelled at me for storing the names of my male friends on my cell phone. He yelled at me for talking to boys, he yelled at me for knowing boys. Nobody at home had dinner that night. Nobody turned on the TV and nobody teased my little brother. Dramatic, I know. Like somebody died. But that’s how it has always been. Like somebody had died. It still is that way. Like somebody is dying.
I am 24 now. And I still want to run away. I am now wondering why I haven’t run away yet.
On the Evening of September 10, 2012 I was frantically browsing through my hard drive to watch a movie, ANY movie. I was restless because I was back home from work too early, like I have been; every other day, ever since I started work a week before. And this is sad because when I graduated, I had a picture of me working my ass off on a job that I really love, that I looked forward to being at; every single morning really early and returning home late. I know right? What was I thinking?
Maybe I could have had that life, maybe not. Anyway since I’m a little too happy to talk about Richard and Emily Gilmore right now, I might as well start off with Julie & Julia. So I had the movie downloaded weeks before. It was just sitting there on my hard drive and I was wondering why I hadn’t watched it yet. I decided to watch it since I had nothing better to do and was I glad that I watched it!
The movie really got to me. The movie is an absolute delight and on so many different levels. I’m one of those people who cannot and will not cook; but drool all over Nigella Lawson’s famous chicken and other chocolate thingies.
I absolutely love watching her cook. Having said that, I love reading about a writer’s progress and especially a woman’s at that. Watching movies or reading books about women writing or working or doing just about anything that they love somehow liberates me. Mostly that’s why I love watching movies that begin with a woman waking up to the noisy Alarm clock, ONLY not to get her husband and kids ready and set to go live their lives outside but to go live her own. To get to work early or to get coffee to confront a busy hard day.
Don’t get me wrong. Because yes I absolutely hate watching or reading about women waking up to be housewives. YES, even if they are happy doing it. When I say housewife-ry, I do not mean cooking and cleaning, I mean devoting her entire life to her family and being taught not to want “more” from her life than to keep her husband and children happy.
Yes, I am one of those ‘feminist people’.
I have heard from many a people what a liberating experience cooking can be. And I have absolutely nothing against it. In fact I often dream about making a beef steak with red wine on the side of mashed potatoes, beans and mushrooms, ALL BY MYSELF. What I liked about the whole cooking experience in the movie was it seemed to liberate the women from a society that is hell bent on consuming a culture that is obsessed with borrowed and dry ideas of what success is or what a successful career is.
So even more than the cooking in Julie and Julia, I really enjoyed the way Julie Powell progresses as a cook and more importantly as a writer. It took her quite sometime but she figured out what she wants. She figured out that cooking and writing about cooking make her happy and a better person. I quite liked the idea of the deadline: 564 recipes in 365 days. And as is painfully typical of me to feel inspired by most of the movies and then deciding that I am going to do this this and this and then waking up the next morning and be my grumpy self; I decided to give it a shot and discipline myself with deadlines. The project: As many books as I can read in 365 days, starting today.
If I feel up to it, I could start by finally confronting the BBC book challenge. The challenge is to have finished 100 books, out of which I have finished only 11.
Sound good? I just hope I get back everyday and record my updates with the books.
See ya next time, hopefully in a non Face – palm situation!