December 10, 2011

The way I am.

So in my family, we have this term "AKS". I am not really sure who came up with the acronym but it stands for "Aala kandaa samudram" and it denotes the trait in some people that makes them dance to the tunes of someone. The someone can be someone we met by chance or a visitor or a relative dropping by for the evening. If you are an AKS, in a few minutes, you would act as if your world only comprised of this new person and their every wish is your command.

In Bits slang (actually, it is a pretty common slang), we had a "sort of an" equivalent -- Kadalai. A senior once explained the difference between talking and kadalai. If you cut classes for your "talk", it's kadalai. If you forgot to say hi to your friend walking past you, it's kadalai. If you just skipped dinner at Meera bhavan for the talk, it's kadalai. Or if you came running back to the bhavan to make it just in time for the 11 PM curfew or stood there begging the watchman to let you in without signing, yup, definitely kadalai! Anyway, AKS is sort of kadalai but platonic in nature.

An extension to being an AKS is being someone who wants people around all the time and I firmly belong to this extended circle. Sometimes, I think I should return back to India to see if I feel more comfortable just hearing people around me...but that's another story.

Once k (unfairly, if you ask me) blamed me for making him overly people-wanting just like me. He doesn't get why there are certain things that I just won't do alone (and I tell him, (wo)man is a social being, the last I checked -- not just virtually social!) like eating alone.

Now that we are on the topic of eating, it demands its own paragraph! The standard rule in our house is that dinner is a family affair. Everyone needs to be at the dining table, books and tech-toys put away, the idea being that dinner-time is a congenial, healthy together time where we eat leisurely in peace and share some food and laughter. In reality, it turns out to be a time when k or I make up ludicrous stories to keep r~ from pouring the sambhar on herself or warning her for the 98th time that she or Simba will get timeout if she insists on washing her face with apple juice but you get the point.

Going back to the eating alone bit. I don't think men are made to eat alone. Eating is what I call a together activity like going to a coffee shop or cooking. In the case of cooking, I make an exception -- I either cook while on the phone or like cooking with k. He doesn't think that's a great idea. He likes having the kitchen completely to himself when he cooks (like a King (who cooks) or a Chef)!

(Reminds me of how girls always go to the rest room together while I haven't heard a man ask another if he wants to use the rest room -- k especially doesn't get this.)

I don't like watching movies alone. I don't even know why that is because you are focusing on the screen not on the other person but that's the way its wired in my brain.

I don't like walking into a new place (work is fine but if its to socialize then it's not) alone.

I don't like staying home or staying anywhere else alone with baby. It's ok if the other adult is just staring at the ipad or reading a book, it matters. Coming to books, that's probably one of the few things I don't mind doing alone.

Basically the "together" list gets pretty long and sometimes I wonder if its the AKS in me that wants to share the activity with someone else or if there are other women out there who are like me. I don't think its growing up in India that's the reason for this umm...trait because k is perfectly fine doing his thing in his space, alone (with his ipad). It's not one of those psychological single child etc thing either because I grew up with l~ and my parents spent a lot of (if not all) their time focusing on their kids...I guess its just the way I am :)


Sriram Krishnan said...

'kadalai' meant something very different in Chennai colleges :). It lay somewhere between flirting and making up a pretext to talk to the girls in your class.

And totally get k's confusion on girls going together to the washroom. I never understood that either. It is one of mankind's unsolved mysteries

RS said...

Sriram -- :) Need to find a better analogy for AKS then! It would be interesting to see if the going together to the powder room thing is inborn or learnt behavior -- should watch and see what r~ does as she grows older :p

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sriram. Kadalai in Chennai means "going out of the way" to talk to a girl.

powder-room thingy... man can never understand it... similar to talking while in the "stall"

SK said...

even Idont get going to the restroom in a group... coffee/tea may be, restroom no..
and i am a girl ya.

I am more like k i think.

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