Hi! Hello! Happy New Year!
I just realised that I've written 10944 words spread over just two blog posts this year and not even once did I wish thee kind readers a happy and prosperous 2020. How rude. So from the bottom of my heart, may this be your best year so far and a decade of so much personal growth that all the previous decades of your life will step aside and take a bow.
I ushered in this new year and decade in India, a place that brings out the best and worst in me. I see my parents and the love they shower over me and think to myself that I could never love someone the way they love me. If I choose to be a mother, especially, I hope my own mother's around to reign in some of my "control-freakiness" and to remind me that a mother grows with her child, as she did. My mum has gone from being someone who asked me, "what will people say if you marry a half-Christian?" to asking these same people to sit their asses down as she lists my various personal and professional accomplishments when they probe into why her daughter hasn't squeezed out a baby in nearly five years of marriage.
This is where India sometimes brings out the worst in me.
I've finally started watching The Morning Show on AppleTV and Reese Witherspoon in the first episode is basically me in India.
I've lost count of the number of times I lost my shit at grown-ass adult men and women (entitled, egoistic, chauvinistic men and women) in the past few months. But losing count is what drives me nuts. I need a list to make sense of my fucking life.
So I'm going to draw one up right here. Let's go by themes instead of actual events this time and I'm sure I'll be able to cover most of my grievances without rambling on for another 10,000 words #famouslastwords
"It was a joke"
Yes, do blatantly insult that 20-something at my table and when I stand up for him/her, do try to gaslight me by saying that I'm the one missing all the context because I don't know how close you are to your victim.
OK Boomer. Now take a seat while I explain to you that making inflammatory statements such as "getting a degree in the Arts will only get you a job as a receptionist" or "your child will forget you if you spend so much time at work", is never a joke. You're being a dick and you won't get a free pass in my presence if you try to pretend as if your "joke" was only meant to be understood by people close to you. Like the people you just insulted at the table where I paid for your dinner. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen. Be scared, nay terrified, to open your mouth in my presence (and Shane's for that matter) or I'll do us all a favour and stop inviting you to these dinners, which I'm sure you'll find insulting but to me, would just be a little inside joke between us because we're so close.
"But, why are you still holding a grudge?"
Ummm, bitch what? Are we really going to play this game where you fuck up royally, do and say unforgivable things to people, and then act surprised when those people don't greet you at a social gathering?
An auntyji I know once said that the girl her son was about to marry was going to die of cancer or by getting hit by a truck (whichever came first), WHILE THE GIRL WAS ON THE PHONE TO HIM. She made it a point to scream into the receiver so that the girl would hear this and flee in fright. Now, if you know me personally and you're reading this, you're probably wondering which auntyji this is because there are so many and any one of them could have said it. It's that common, and as I discovered recently, happens that often where I come from. Because it's straight out of an Indian soap opera and if it happens on TV, then clearly it's okay for it to happen in real life.
But coming back to the auntyji, her son went on to marry this girl anyway and the bride obviously had her reservations about pursuing a relationship with someone who literally wanted her dead.
A while later, when auntyji straight-up tried to pretend as if she luuurved her daughter-in-law from the minute she heard about her, both kids protested and "reminded" aunty of the many atrocious things she'd said and done over the years. Aunty was SHOOK! Aunty was clutching her pearls. Aunty was...
And then came the best line ever.
"But, why are you still holding a grudge?"
OK BOOMER. Take a seat.
It's one thing to be a bitch. There are bitches everywhere and people deal with them on the daily. But it's a whole other ballgame to want people to forgive you and move on from your bitchiness WHEN YOU DON'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG. Forget about asking for forgiveness. I get that your ego is as big as you wish your husband's dick was but at least try not to pretend as if nothing happened? Because that's doubly insulting auntyji and it this rate, trust me, you ain't seeing no grandkids.
"Did you forget your mother tongue lol?
Bitch, did you even pay attention to the garland of thousand tender praises I just decorated you with? Did you hear me compliment you on your accomplishments and life choices? And yet, all you could take away from our conversation was that the compliments were delivered in English? A language we were forced to speak at school because we were told that kids who didn't speak it were never going to be successful, just like the kids who scored less than 85% in their 10th boards? (I scored less than 85% in my 10th boards)
Do you remember that school? Do you remember all the "Speak English" signs that adorned its corridors?
Now, do you remember that when I joined this school in the 5th grade after spending my entire childhood in North India, I barely spoke any Malayalam at school, not because I wasn't fluent in it (I had a very disciplined mother who took pride in our mother tongue and even taught me how to read and write in it - a skill I'm yet to put to use), but because I was a strict rule follower when I was ten years old? And I'll be honest, I also did it because it was great to have you all believe I couldn't understand a word of what you were saying about me, to my face, in our mother tongue.
But you didn't have to know that. That's my story and it is of no consequence to you. It's not important.
But then again, did you know that I studied English at University because I loved it and was good at it? That I went on to become a business-skills trainer for a major MNC in India where I taught people how to communicate effectively in the corporate world (in English, might I add) and I was good at it? That I live and work in an English speaking country and I'm constantly speaking in English with my colleagues and my friends and my husband in the presence of our friends and sometimes (most of the time) even when we're all alone at home, because that's how language works and we humans are generally good at it?
BUT, you didn't have to know that. That's my story and it is of no consequence to you. It's not important.
What's important is that you learn how to take a compliment and follow that up with a simple "thank you". That's all that's required of you. And no, it wasn't a joke and we're not that close anyway.
"You will regret this" or a similar hollow threat made by a toxic older family member
Oh, look! It's a rapist, a child molester, a racist, a facist, a homophobe, a chauvinist or a plain old egocentric dick. All in one family, and in some cases, one person. One "adult" person who for some reason refuses to fucking die and leave us all the fuck alone.
And what happens when someone younger calls them out on their bullshit? Because let's be honest, it's always the younger people who call these folks out while the rest of the family pretends to be resigned to this person's "eccentricities".
It always surprises me how surprised everyone gets when someone stands up to a loud-mouthed bully. Some people go, "huh, didn't know that was something one could do" and the others, especially the ones being "attacked" or feeling threatened that they're going to be next, resort to threats.
I'm going to list a few but I'm sure I'll miss some gems from your own families so please do leave them all in the comments for all of us to enjoy.
- "You'll regret this" which either means "I'm going to cut you out of my will" or "Son, you gonna feel guilty when I die".
- "God will not forgive you"
- "I can see the writing on the wall, your downfall awaits you"
- "You mark my words, the day is not far when you'll fall at my feet and apologise for what you just said"
And I'm sitting here thinking, bitch, you have no control over any of those things you said. Except maybe the part about you dying but then again, you love yourself too much to take your own life and even if you did, you still can't control whether someone will feel guilty or not. Or maybe even the part about cutting someone out of your will (if they were in it, to begin with) which is valid. More power to you. Although, we all know that it hurts you more to leave all your "stuff" behind to strangers at a charity than to someone who's your own blood, despite how much you hate them so, nah, everyone's called your bluff on that one too.
So go ahead. Bring it on. You and whose army?
" I'm getting really good at this wife thing"
First of all, hearty congratulations on getting married. I hope you're both stupidly in love and find joy in each other's company forever. But pray, tell me, what is this "wife thing" you're getting really good at? Oh, COOKING? I'm thrilled for you. Is it a hobby? No? You don't really enjoy it but it has to be done because that's what good wives do? Says who?
We all know who. So please, dear fellow women, a lot of our mothers and all of their mothers before that have propagated this list of wifely duties that need to be done before one can leave the house to fulfil other dreams (if that's even possible without a struggle). So try not to be like Annie. Don't show the younger women in your families or those who follow you on social media that getting really good at being a wife entails getting complimented by your husband on the food you make.
I do hope you get amazing at cooking if that's something you enjoy. Because then you can make yourself and your loved ones tasty food and from personal experience, save a bunch of money too. But don't do it just because your mother was the only member of the family who cooked or because that's what's expected of you from the minute you sign a piece of paper binding you forever to your partner.
Also, while we're on the subject, try not to make a big deal of it every time this husband of yours chops an onion or does the dishes. Cooking and home-making are equally important for his survival too so, you know, share the load as often as you can and let that be the norm and not the exception in your household?
"What are you feeding him lol?"
Oh, does Shane look different from when you last saw him AS A TEENAGER?
I know all the Jens (Lo and Aniston) are setting the bar really high for looking the same through the decades but come on. You can't expect someone to have peach-fuzz and lanky long teenage limbs all their life can you? I mean, aren't you glad Mila Kunis grew up beyond her 'That 70's Show' days? The world would have been a sad place if she hadn't, and my world would have been a sad place if Shane hadn't either.
Also, why so shocked, aunty, when I replied with, "I don't feed him anything lol". It's true. He's better at cooking and I'm better at being organised, getting him the ingredients and cleaning up. If you're still clutching your
pearlschunky gold tali-mala, aunty, please refer to point number 5.
"I read every single one of your posts even though sometimes you're irritating with your opinions 🤣 and maybe you could swear less? I'm scared to bring up your blog on my work desktop"
This blog hosts nearly five years of memories from the time my husband and I started our lives together so as much as I appreciate the many readers who've been on this journey with us from the beginning, I live for moments like these when Shane and I scroll back through the 900+ posts here and reminisce about our past. Me swearing like a trooper every three sentences adds to our mirth and honestly, our mirth is more important to me than yours because, you know, you're a complete stranger.
But I acknowledge your feedback and will put up an NSFW sign on my homepage so that innocent readers such as yourself are warned in advance before having to open my blog at work.
I'm flattered that you read every single one of my posts despite all of my irritating opinions. Fuck you so much for that compliment 😊
Oh sorry, did your eyes fall off when you read the word "fuck"? Maybe try covering them with your dusty puritanical bonnet and also go churn some butter in a corner while you're at it.
And next time, get that butter you churned to make first contact with me because I'm sure it'll have better social skills than you, dear complete stranger on the internet.
Stranger: Hi, you live abroad so I think you can help me!"
Ankita: "How can I help?"
Stranger: "I need to speak to a lawyer based in London"
Ankita: "I might know a few lawyers in London. Are you looking for pro-bono advice or...?"
Stranger: "It's a law firm actually that I need to get in touch with."
Ankita: "Okay, which one?"
Stranger: "X and Associates"
Ankita: [frantically Googles 'X and Associates']
Ankita: "Did you mean London, Ontario or London, United Kingdom?"
Stranger: "Ontario. Why?"
Ankita: "I'm in the UK"
Stranger: "Oh, I'm really weak in Geography lol."
This didn't annoy me as much as some of the aunties and uncles did, but still, to quote alleged child molester Michael Jackson, "THAT'S IGNORANT". Google things once in a while FFS.
Don't forget to tell me everything YOU'RE done with this year (and decade) in the comments and make my day :)