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The Ego
I don't understand something and I do admit it's a bit of an odd thing to be obsessing about ANYWAY... but... here goes...

...why is it, that in Hindi TV serials, a girl will wear salwar kameezes before she gets married (usually in the beginning of the serial) and only sarees after she gets married (usually within 9.5 episodes :P), and then will constantly wear said sarees unless she and hubby dearest go on a vacation without the in-laws, which is only when she permits herself to wear salwars again???

Is there some unwritten rule, that you're supposed to wear salwar kameezes before marriage and sarees after?

I heard (from my mother), that in some serial (which btw I do admit to catching if it's on coz it's just SO FUNNY; I feel like it's from another century or something), one old guy who's supposed to be the patriarch of the family, did say something like: "Doesn't she know that it's the tradition of this family that a girl only wears sarees after she gets married???"

At that point, I gave in to my cruder instincts to mentally say "WTF" when I heard about it. Ah well...
The Ego
How K-Jo of me to say that... but what can I say? Guilty as charged!!!

Anyway, here's the link to where I first saw the upcoming post, i.e. in Nick's blog, and this is where you can find the original post! I'm not going to say anything about it ... would just like people to read this as I feel it makes an impact on its own. Oh, and please leave your prejudices at the door; if you can't, then don't read.

My son is gay. I knew that he was gay when I realized that he had too many good things about him to be just one person; I think that he was two years old. His interests were varied, as were his abilities. Not only was he more able to get along with both genders better than most adults, but, as he grew up, he was able to converse on a multitude of subjects and participate in a multitude of activities. Do NOT insert snide remark here. He suffered because of who he was. I didn’t know it; he was that caring to protect me.

If you are not on good terms with your gay or lesbian child, you and your child will miss out…YOU more than your child. You will not be let in to his or her world and you will not be entrusted with their love. You will not be revered, respected or cared about if you do not know what a gift your child is. The fact that he or she is gay takes away nothing from the priceless life you brought into the world. It is another facet of who your child is and another piece of the magnificent puzzle that is life.

As my father said to my son when my son told him that he was gay, “Grandson, that means as much to me as the color of your eyes.” My father was an incredible man, just like my son.

Homosexuality is not a choice; it is part of a human’s makeup. Do you really believe that anyone wakes up one day and says to himself or to herself, “I think that, from now on, I will conduct myself in a completely different and largely unacceptable manner. I will make myself become attracted to someone of my same sex and I will prefer things that are confusing to all who love me. I will fight the urges of my physiology, sexuality and chemistry and do the exact opposite. I want to be someone who is often beat up, harassed and usually dismissed as being less than a human being. I want to be ridiculed and unloved by my parents and disciplined, sometimes unmercifully, for being other than what they had in mind when they created me.” Think about that for a few seconds. What in the Universe would be the gain of such actions?

If you have been unsupportive of your child because he or she is gay, you have just plain been unsupportive of your child. If you have had angry thoughts or have chastised or punished your child because of their homosexuality, you have acted against the very essence of life. Your child may very well go on and thrive anyway. However, it will never be because of anything positive that you did on their behalf. It will be in spite of all you have done to bring down the very being to whom you gave life. My son and his partner, Sam, had their committment ceremony over a year ago. As the most important icing on the wedding cake, they are now legally married. Sam is so amazing! I could not have asked for a better son-in-law!

Every child teaches his or her parents many things. They teach us what a true love really is, how much of a child we always will be and they teach us that the world is a wonderful place. They bring hope to the world while they bring validation to our existence. They are the children of the Universe…the future…the reason to face another day. Depriving your child of your love, trust, affection and esteem will cause you to wither and die an unfulfilled human; unloved by the very creature who was meant to love you unconditionally. Your days will echo with the laughter that might have been and you will look forward to the night because it brings sleep…and, with sleep, escape from the light.

If you are concerned about what sexual acts take place behind the door of privacy, are you so certain that the acts you perform behind those doors…or even elsewhere…are those which you believe are someone else’s business? If you show scorn to your homosexual child, or worse, you have done a crime against nature. Are you certain that it is wrong for two people to make love…ANY two people…more wrong than two people bringing fear and pain to each other? Have YOU ever been cherished?

I hope that I live long enough to see that marriage between same-gender people is accepted in our culture. There are so many people who accept hate between people and murder between people. The old hippie saying of “Make Love, Not War” is more blistering a comment on these times than I would ever have imagined. If you want to lose your connection to the Earth and to your time here, all you have to do is forsake your child.

Do not get me wrong; there is nothing for YOU to forgive. However, there is much for your child to forgive…if you ever get the chance and if you ever see the light. And this is the most important of all of my…tales from a broad.

The Ego
Warning: Long rambling post ahead!!!

I'm reminiscing a bit. I do realize this might be an obsession with older people, who say, "In MY time, things were different!" Sadly enough, I feel so much of a generation gap nowadays with people merely 4-5 years younger to me, that I'm the one saying the same thing.

What brought this on? I know a few kids who just graduated from the same high school I did, and as the ever-useful Facebook hastens to inform us what everyone we know are doing, I noticed the prom photographs online and I decided to take a look, remembering my own.

I merely state a fact when I say that apart from occasional meetings with my father's colleague's sons, I knew no boys growing up, certainly no friends whom I would actively call or meet or anything. It wasn't as though my family had said "DON'T talk to boys"; I mean, if they did, I wouldn't be allowed to hang out with those colleague's sons whenever our families would take outings together. It was just that being in an all-girls morning shift in school, I never found the need or the strange desire that many of my batchmates shared to know guys and then name-drop; as though knowing Mr XYZ put you on the top of the social food chain.

Anyway, I think I was about 15 when I first had a friend who was a guy. And only because I was involved in school activities that brought some chosen few girls and guys together. Anyway, by the time I gave my 12th Board exams and the school prom was coming up, I knew ... erm ... 3 guys maybe.

Hehe... anyway... ALL my friends were going to the prom. I wanted to go too. It seemed like an experience for me. I was a bit nervous, wot? Never having been in such a huge mixed crowd before. I don't know how my parents agreed, but they did and I went. I distinctly remember most people being smartly dressed (I wore an outrageous red TENT - which I still have stowed away in my cupboard for me to look at and shudder - and if anyone finds pics of me in it...please burn them doing me a favour!), guys wearing formal shirts looking dapper, girls wearing party outfits etc. I do remember maybe one or TWO at most girls who'd gone all out and bought designer gowns for the event (and I mean AED 1000 type gowns...remember this was 2004).

Now in 2009 ... not ONE person in those photographs was wearing anything other than a GOWN ... and 80% of them tube gowns and MOST of them looked like they were 23. Quite a few arrived in limos (seriously people??? LIMOS???) drinking what I can ONLY hope was soda and not champagne, and many of them clinging to each other like there was no tomorrow. I feel - personally ie, so you don't have to agree with me - that explaining clinging and skin-show is far easier when you're like 22, 23, whatever, than explaining why you're literally slathered over someone else (of the opposite gender) showing your boobs to the camera when you're 16 and 17. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I'd be embarrassed to say, "Oh yes, that's me at 16 and oh yes, that 5th boyfriend?" I'm not condemning it, I just don't understand it and I don't know how people are okay with putting up those pictures on the internet; to me, there's a line between being close/hugging your boyfriend or girlfriend in an online photograph and actually looking indecent in it. I mean, there were people in my batch as well who may have gone through 3-4 guys by the time they were 16 or 17, but I think they were smarter to keep it under wraps rather than embarrass themselves later, when they would've broken up with the person they were with. And most of these people in my batch, the most they did with those 3-4 guys was hand-holding and some chaste kissing. No, really. (Not all mind you, some I think were just horny buggers)

At 22, 23...I feel, you're an adult, you can make - hopefully - mature decisions, and if you think it's alright to have such photos online, sure...go ahead. Not when you're 16 and 17 for goodness sake. You're still a kid!!! Trust me, 50% of these people would probably cringe 5 years down the line.

I feel old. And I feel there isn't 4-5 years between me and these fresh school graduates, there's 20.
The Ego
Sorry about the long gap from the first part and the second, but judging from the lack of replies, no one cares!!! So I'm gonna wrap up the UK series in this post itself ... and move on to other topics I really want to blog about!!!

So, on the 17th, we visited the Tower of London. It's a pretty cool place and I do recommend you take the Yeoman guided tour if you go there. The area that houses the jewels was a bit of an anti-climax where the Koh-i-Noor was concerned. When I saw it, I was just thinking, "THIS is what the fuss is all about?"

18th was pretty filled up; visited St Paul's Cathedral, then headed to the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, then took a walk through Soho. St Paul's Cathedral showed me how many steps I'm capable of climbing if I really had to!!! It's a beautiful place inside, and definitely worth a visit. Don't go to National Gallery though if you're not interested in art and paintings. I felt bad about the lack of pigeons at Trafalgar Square though...last time I went there, they sat on my hand and ate from it.

19th was the day of my graduation. Not realizing the time of the graduation, we went to Southall and then scurried back when a friend called to say HELLO PEOPLE, GRADUATION IN 2 HOURS!!! Hehe ... mad rush but we made it JUST in the nick of time. After the graduation, which was presided over by HRH Princess Anne, a group of us went to the London Eye and took the flight at night, so we could see London in this amazing night scene... it was brilliant. All the lights dotted over the city and cars driving across... it was absolutely lovely. Then headed off for shawarmas (yes, I know I know...we're in UK and we're eating shawarmas from Beirut Express...:P) and returned home late.

20th was one of the busiest touristy days... Madame Tussauds (took the customary pics with all the wax figures), Green Park, Buckingham Palace, London Dungeon and Leicester Square. This squirrel was eating literally out of Kazz's hands at the Green Park :)

21st was dedicated to the Natural Histroy Museum (the dino exhibit was so cool!), the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. Then headed over to Hyde Park which was REALLY huge and terribly beautiful ... and passed by the Kensington Palace while we were there.
22nd was JUST SHOPPING!!! Oxford Street ruled the day, and I shopped and shopped like crazy. Just stopped off at Piccadilly for a few mins though towards the end of the day.

23rd was the river cruise...which me and Stained missed on account of unavoidable circumstances... so we went on the very next one ... all our friends finished on the earlier one though. Went BACK to Hyde Park after that, and it was raining ... oh, and then finally to Leicester Square to a place called Mermaid's Room or something like that to have fish and chips! That night, Bhangra and Kazz left for Dubai, leaving me, Stained and Fud behind for a few more days.

24th was, in my opinion, one of the BEST days I had in UK; me and Stained visited Hampton Court Palace, which was the residence of Henry VIII. The place opens at 10am and closes at 4:30pm and guess what? We were there the WHOLE time. It's MASSIVE... the audio tour is a must and the palace itself is huge, and then the gardens are a whole different story. It's impossible to finish earlier than 4:30pm even if you get there at 10am!!! I heartily suggest going here; even if you don't care about Henry VIII, you will enjoy it.

25th was very cool; me, Stained, Fud and a friend went to Stonehenge and Bath. Stonehenge was COLD, so much so I refused to remove my gloves to remove my camera from my bag, letting others do the bitingly-cold task. Bath was also quite amazing; you can actually see the steam rising from the baths. We took a bus tour, which was pretty interesting, as we got to see the country side while on the way from London to Stonehenge and then onwards to Bath.

26th...nothing much to talk about except MORE shopping (I bought the entire FRIENDS pack "The One With All The Ten Seasons" for just AED300!!!)... and packing... and...

...27th night I returned to Dubai with Stained and Fud :) The flight into Dubai was filled with turbulence from Doha ... I was freaked out. Stained and Fud however, were having a ball. I had to leave many books that I bought and the FRIENDS DVD set behind coz I had weight issues with my luggage. Jes, who's coming to Dubai soon, will bring everything though, thank goodness! I kept beeping though, while passing through security checks. In Heathrow, I was then submitted to a whole body check...VERY thorough; I was a bit embarassed at how thorough! In Doha, I beeped again, and the female security there was a bit odd... bloody lifting female's tops in public...I mean, she was properly covered, even wearing would she like it if someone just lifted her clothes in public??? Real idiots, I must say.

Anyway, that's about it ... will blog soon about other stuff soon :)
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