Tag: rant

About being a harried 24-year-old tax payer

Life has suddenly gotten too overwhelming, hasn’t it? People my age will probably understand. I’m 24 right now. Will soon turn 25. As each day passes, I expect things in my head to get sorted out, but it turns out there are just more and more complications!

This evening, I found myself debating taxes and insurances with my parents. I’ve to shell out Rs.40,000 a year from now on for insurances, just to be exempted from paying taxes, but unfortunately that amount happens to be more than I’ll ever pay for my taxes! What’s the point? My parents say they’ll pay the amount; but apparently, I have to pay my own insurance money to not pay taxes. And if I mention anything further to my parents, they lose temper within minutes and I’d just rather say OK and get on with it. Aaaa it’s irritating to even think about it.

Tweens

Why can’t we just earn, keep the money in our house, spend it and be happy? Who the hell invented banking and insurances and taxes and shit. I truly hate that person. (I might not be saying that many years later when I get my money back, I’m guessing. I’ll be richer than ever! I had better be.)

Well, money is perhaps 10 per cent of what’s eating me up. All over Facebook, people are getting married and having babies. People my age!! Some girls I went to school with and sat next to, on the same bench, wearing pinafores and drawing margin lines in notebooks, have two babies already!! And here I am, thinking about whether I like pizza or pasta better. Sigh.

I’m not saying I want to have two babies. I’m not going to have any. I’m going to keep puppies instead. But the point is, I don’t know how they’re all confident enough to have babies!

But then again, babies aren’t even the problem right now. I suppose marriage is. There’s so much pressure from all sides to get married. It’s not just me. Even people around me are being pressurised everyday. It’s so ridiculous. My parents don’t bother me much, but my grandparents won’t let me hear the end of it. If I relent and say “Fine, I’ll get married,” they start attaching dates to it.

“How about next April? Like your sister?”

“No, tatha. I don’t want to get married in summer. I prefer winter. Maybe December.”

“Really? This December? Wow that’s great! Now we’ll just have to figure out whom you can marry.”

The concept of prioritising just went flying out the window.

Fine, let’s say I’m alright with getting married, which I kind of am, I guess, since I’ve found someone and everything, but the next ten questions pop out at me like boxing gloves. Kapow! Where, how much to spend, what kind of wedding, on what scale should it be, whom to invite, should I do it how I want to or should I relent and let others organise a traditional wedding. My god! Really, it’s mental!

I told my grandpa last week that I will have a simple wedding with 50 people, if I do. He lost it. He said, “Look, the wedding is not about you or how you want it. (Wait, what?) It’s about us being happy about the occasion and sharing the happiness with others.” At most of our family weddings, everyone gets to invite everyone they want. So there’s usually about 2,000 people.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t exactly want to have my grandpa’s walking friends or some tenants who lived twenty years ago in some house we built. It’s so pointless. I just want to have people who mean a lot to me and no one else. Why can’t I have things my way! Why can’t life be easier, god?

Even on the work front, there’s so much going on! Working at a start-up really is a rollercoaster ride. I’m literally playing some ten roles at work and I wish I could add two more hours to my everyday.

Home (my room, specifically) is the only place where I’m at peace, in my mosquito net, with a book in my hand. And it kills me to know that I’m gonna have to give my room up and go away if I ever get married. Which is so ridiculous. Why does the girl have to move into the boy’s house and why not the opposite? Life is just so worrying man.

Turning old sucks. Wish I could go back to college and deal with mindless assignments and chemistry practicals again. That was so much simpler.

Now, I have to deal with too many complications and I’m not ready for it.

How am I gonna tell my grandpa that his walking friends aren’t invited?

Sigh.

PS: I just needed a place to rant. :P

I don’t need your civil war

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been afraid of war. I know that sounds like the kind of statement that would come from a war-experienced person. But no, my life has always been pink and happy. The idea of a war, however, has always scared me.

I remember, back in sixth grade, in 2001, when the World Trade Centre was struck, there was speculation of a Third World War. I didn’t know much about war, but I was scared. The next day, when I went to school, the topic of the WTC came up in the first period. Miss Juliet was our class teacher and she was generally talking to everyone about it. No one seemed perturbed except for one girl, who began to sniff and cry. Yeah, it was me.

I don’t know why I was upset. For the rest of the week, I had nightmares of everyone I know being dead. My house was a rubble of cement and bricks. I woke up one night and threw up because my dream was that bad. I don’t know if it was the same fear of war or if it was something else. This hazy memory brings to my mind a quote I read in The Sense of An Ending, “History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.

Anyway, I prayed that no one would start a Third World War. I had no sense of international relationships back then. I didn’t know who was pissed off with whom. I didn’t know which country was deemed bad and which one, good. I knew Osama Bin Laden was a bad guy. And I was scared of him. I once dreamt that he was in my balcony.

IMG_20150409_083559
A Star of David bookmark for Exodus. Most of you may know it as the branding that was stitched onto Jews’ clothes during WWII

But that’s history. Fast forward err… 14 years (Ok I’m getting OLD). Yesterday, I finished reading this book, Exodus, by Leon Uris. The book had sat in my cupboard in the Will-never-read-these, don’t-know-where-they-came-from section forever. Just out of curiosity, I opened the book, read a few lines and I was hooked. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s a classic novel that documents the history of Zionism (influx of Jews into Israel from all over the world) and the creation of Israel. It’s part fiction and part truth. It’s a powerful book with deep characters. While reading it, I felt like I was part of everything. I felt like I took part in the creation of Israel, a region that is portrayed as overwhelmingly powerful.

The book documents the numerous wars that happened between Arabs and Jews over Israel (especially the Civil War), about the British pretending to help the Jews, but never really helping, about WWII concentration camps, about unrest, about terror, massacres, air raids, genocides, murders and destruction of any means of livelihood. And yet, it’s a story of victory, faith and courage.

Through out the book, I kept thinking, “Oh this was all so long ago. These people are such barbarians. Nobody hates the Jews any more. Thank God it’s all over.” The book was published in 1958 and it documents history right from the 1800’s until 1949 I think. I don’t know why I thought that was long ago. It was some 60+ years ago and the world hasn’t changed much since then. I was but a fool to think it’s all over.

I feel so naive to have convinced myself that during those wars, people were uneducated and they just wanted to be dumb and fight for land. I look around me now and I see mindless violence everywhere. It’s so frustrating! One day, I see that 147 students have been massacred in Garissa University, Kenya, and the next day, I read that India is evacuating people from Yemen, because some two sects of the same religion are fighting each other for power. Actually, the intensity of the situation hit me only today when I read this personal account of what it’s like to be in Yemen right now. It sounded strikingly like a girl in Exodus narrating a war scene. Added to that, today, I saw my own country, amidst all the heroic evacuations, has turned into the first country to use weaponised drones for crowd control.

I just don’t get it and I don’t think I ever will. I wrote this post to simply rant about how ridiculous everything is. I recently saw a picture of a bunch of men standing over a writhing cow, whose throat was slit off. Why? Beef ban. Because the cow signed some papers and made the ban? Why are people so bloody irrational all the time? Why do they let their minds be directed by anger and violence? Why can’t they pause, think and talk it out? What ever happened to the idea of a compromise? Or forgiveness?

Where is the love?Transparent box

Just a rant because we live in a material world

I’m typing simply because I’m using a Mac, just for the experience. It’s quite fancy, but I don’t think this keyboard has ever been used to type a document of any sort. Or someone spilt something on it.

There’s so much talk of technology happening around me. I’m buying a new phone, a Google Nexus 5 I think. These phones are so expensive. Sometimes I think it’s pointless to spend so much on non living things. (Silly statement because you can’t really spend on living things, unless you buy things for those living things. Ok this is a complicated topic.)

I remember meeting a lady for an interview – the founder of Daily Dump, and her position in office was ‘Compostwali.’ She is the most environment friendly person I’ve ever met, save perhaps for my vegan cousins. She had the oldest Nokia phone, one with a monochrome screen. She simply shrugged and said, “It serves the purpose.” I wish I could be like her, an immaterial person.

A few days ago, I read this, an article about a great big elephant in Kenya poached for its tusks. It was one of the most depressing articles. I’ve read about crocodiles being killed for bags and deer being hunted for their antlers. I’ve also read about elephants being poached for their tusks, but this article was especially sad, because it was a rare species of elephant. Here’s an excerpt from there.

Satao (the elephant) lived in Tsavo East National park in southeast Kenya and was celebrated as one of the last surviving great tuskers, bearers of genes that produce bull elephants with huge tusks reaching down to the ground. It’s hard to imagine what was going through the minds of the poachers on the day that they approached this mountain of an elephant and shot at him with crude bows and poisoned arrows. It must have been terrifying and yet the sight of his massive gleaming tusks probably left them salivating with greed.

I don’t understand why materialism creeps into EVERY aspect of human life. Well, I know this doesn’t quite fit the “materialism” bill if you go by the definition of it – a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values. But I’m using the word in a broad sense. Don’t go all editor on me. I wish whoever decides what is precious and what is not, just makes a worldwide statement that ivory, leather and silk and other animal-killing materials have absolutely no value anymore. How can any man have the heart to kill all these animals that ask for nothing, except to be left alone? It’s ridiculous.

Courtesy: The Funk Hunter (Some page on FB)
Courtesy: The Funk Hunter (Some page on FB)

I’m not bragging, but I don’t feel the need to own anything that’ll make me feel rich. I don’t like jewellery, I live in a modest, cosy house that doesn’t boast of anything luxurious, I don’t understand why people go gaga over expensive branded shoes, clothes, Swarovski stuff, and bags. Heck! Someone in my office owns one of these!

Coach bag

Who pays Rs.20,ooo for BAGS? My frolleague argued that Coach bags are an investment, and once they’re vintage bags, you can sell them and makes tonnes of money. Pfft! Whatever.

Buy me that, buy me this... Gahh...
Buy me that, buy me this… Gahh…

Bags are meant to store things. How does it matter what word is written on them in a fancy font? Similarly, I wear clothes to cover myself up. No matter how inexpensive the clothes are, they can still serve the purpose. My theory (I cooked this one up last night) is that people need brands to compromise for their image, or the lack of it. I believe I can pull off even a roadside tshirt that I paid Rs.50 for and don’t need a brand name to make me look good. I’m not saying I don’t indulge in Adidas and Nike sometimes; it’s just that life is not all about that. As I write, I can imagine shopoholics thinking, Hey, we’re not asking you to join us. What the hell is your problem? Well, I rant about it because it bothers me. What annoys me the most is when these same shopoholics hesitate to spend some 200 rupees for a better cause, like donating it to the poor or for their own meal, or for a gift or something. You get what I’m saying, right? They spend enormous amounts on diamonds, shoes and dresses, but think twice before spending it for a good cause. Ok, maybe shopping is what I have a problem with. Who knows!

You know what has made me more and more furious these days is the outrageous amount of money people spend on weddings. What is the point? You want to show off how much money you have? Isn’t marriage supposed to be the coming together of two souls? I’ll bet 50% of the people invited to weddings in India are meeting the couple for the first time on that day.

I’m not even sure what I want to say. I’m just sad that the basic purpose behind all aspects of life are lost in this pitiful material, money-loving, greedy and pretentious world.