When I was a teen I was pretty sure I’d always feel the way I did then about things. Funnily enough, in less than a decade, I’ve changed my mind about many of them.
1. Jewellery on men. I was brought up to think this was as wrong as wrong could get, but this was before George Michael entered my life. Know what I’m saying? I don’t always dig the jewellery men wear but I now know it can look very, very right. Vicky wore a couple of my anklets strung into a necklace for a while once and believe you me, it was hot.
2. Bikes and SUVs. I used to find them really sexy. Now I equate bikes with bad driving and messy hair and SUVs with bad driving and fuel waste. I like cars these days. I still like convertibles as much as ever.
3. Behenjis/Ammammas/Aunty types/Maamis. I like re-defining these terms now. But I’ve never really had a problem being called Aunty, come to think of it, although I did get a jolt last month when a shopkeeper in New Market called me Boudi.
4. Abortions. I’m no longer as judgmental as I was wont to be. I’ve never said that one should be forced to keep an unwanted pregnancy but I’ve often thought that people who had them didn’t try hard enough to keep the kid. I guess I’ve grown up about this.
5. My parents. I always thought they sucked at parenting but I now think they did a darn good job. Of course, Ma continues to insist that I brought myself up and that she and Baba oughtn’t be held responsible.
6. Clothes. In my early teens I continued to think clothes were over-rated. Now I may not remember people but I mostly remember what clothes they wore. Or I can be made to remember people from a description of the clothes they wore.
7. Waxing. I’m so very comfortable with my hairy arms now. I look at them occasionally, and mentally chide myself for not caring enough. And then I go back to my hairy existence.
8. Crackers. We as a family were never big on bombs or even crackers in general but we always had some every Diwali. Now that I have to buy them myself, it feels too much like burning money so we buy very little. I prefer to spend my money on mustard oil for diyas (which somehow doesn’t feel like burning money.) On that note, a Bihari vendor rang my bell this morning, selling fresh ghee. It smelt wonderful. I bought 250 gm at Rs. 60.
9. What other people think of me. It still matters but it matters so much less than it used to. I don’t lie awake nights wondering if I should have said this or not done that. I still analyse my behaviour but it doesn’t keep me up at night.
10. Money. I always wanted to marry money or earn lots because I wanted the lifestyle. But all my choices have been directed (deliberately or not) at a very laidback lifestyle. We seem to always teeter on the verge of not having enough but we seem to pull through too, touchwood.
So what have you changed your mind about in these last ten years?