Handbags & My Mom(s)

All she ever wanted to do was to go to work with a handbag. There was an association with confidence, respect in the society, etc. She asked her husband, “Ellarum handbag matindu velaiki pora. I’ll also go?” And he answered “Neeyum handbag matindu Kesavardini bus stop vara poitu va”.

It sounded funny then.


She started doing things that made her happy. Tailoring, selling sarees, making paper bags from home. She was a budding entrepreneur. But timing and her daughter didn’t let her proceed. The daughter needed her mom’s attention. Between a whiny daughter and a sick mother in law, paper bag dreams went out of the window. One would not blame the MIL. She never bothered to visit earlier. But the daughter, one might think, what a bitch would do that to her mother.

I was one.

May be if she had channelled her energy earlier, my mom would have made a great designer, a photographer, an entrepreneur? Truth hit me when I was in college and a friend of mine introduced her mom as the Vice President of a huge MNC. I was awestruck. I wanted to become that lady when I grew up. And realised, my mom would have been one too.

But her obsession for handbags never ended. She still picks up a few when she visits Pondy Bazaar!

Fortunately, I know another woman who shares the same dreams (and love for handbags). She never ended up an entrepreneur either. A bold lady from a small town.

“Happy Friendship Day” she said. I was busy texting a few others the same thing. Turned to look at her, with a mixed feeling. It would have been the first time in Indian history that a Mother-In-law wishes a daughter-in-law for Friendships day. I smiled and hugged her. May be that’s all she wanted to be. Good friends.

Lucky to have two great women guiding me through ups and downs. While one mourns with me the other says, “Oh I went through the same thing too!” that puts a smile on the face.

Both of them have survived the typical mother in laws, husband’s mood swings and kid’s tortures.

I tried associating these thoughts with PMS guilt rides. But this is beyond hormones. Happy 2018 to me and everyone who is reading this.


The 1

“What’s your bike’s cc?” were the first few words I spoke to him. It was one way of bragging “I ride a gear bike too, you know?” and he understood. I didn’t listen to what he said for my mind was busy processing his image, side by side preparing the next few questions to ask. We worked for the same company and one fine morning, I saw him at the parking lot. My heart was jumping in joy for I was going to keep my bike next to his. Being pathetic at math, I couldn’t recollect his number plate. There was 8 and 6. But his image along with the bike got plastered inside my head. His strong jaw, always-2-day beard (classic Mallu style), his long legs and perfect ass; Ha, what more would I’ve asked for. Impeccable eye contact, slight lisp, loud laugh, light attitude and cute smile were the icing on this cake. Have I really found the one, I wondered. And the rounds began.

Marriage is every girl’s dream and nightmare. May be because it is so confusing, some girls start the selection process from childhood. As a firm believer of *Footwear and husband are the most difficult and important decisions for a girl*, I started with the guy I played *doctor-doctor* and *teacher-student* with. He lost points after he grew permanent teeth.  Also because I joined a cooler school where I met my childhood sweetheart. It lasted longer than I thought for the guy got cuter each year! I changed school again, thanks to the RAMAN gang. Everyday cycle rides were combined with Hanuman Chaalisa on the lips and a silent prayer to accidentally run into him. And I did, 8 years later, just to learn he had moved on to an high school sweetheart.

Every guy went through this rigorous evaluation process in my head which was more complicated than Google’s. There was just seeing, seriously seeing, just talking, friends, good friends and close friends. Or, it took a diversion from talking to flirting, going out, dating, relationship and serious relationship.

Generally, moms play a major role in this process. They read minds and voice their opinions out loud. You follow a guy with your eyeballs till your sight can reach and she knows. Even the slightest of the smiles you try to hide on hearing his name, leads to an hour long questioning. And by chance your opinions on the guy don’t match, hell breaks loose. Mine was no exception.

Yet, somehow, this guy slid through all the rounds with ease. Influencers (read: Parents) were convinced and the buck stopped with the RAMAN gang. “Machi, please marry him”, they said. And I am.

Except for the increase in the Malayalam accent in Tamil and English, one year has gone by without boredom and regrets. I really had found The 1.

Happy first year to me.