Thursday, December 29, 2016

The World in 2016: Year End Saga (III)

The Government's deadline for the 50 days is coming to a close and while there are lines everywhere (yet again), the light at the end of the long tunnel is neither visible nor seems any bit closer. Today, while India coped with the ordinance that makes keeping of the old notes a criminal offence, the world in general is coping with the loss of two great artists- George Micheal and Carrie Fischer. 

2016 has been in general a year that has defied all logic, in all possible spheres of life, and not just here in India but all over the world. 

It has been a bad year. From Mohammad Ali to Fidel Castro to David Bowie to Carrie Fischer, some of the deaths had been in the offing, while others were just plain shocks. The New York Times says 

"The year 2016 saw the deaths of an unusually long list of political titans and sports icons, famous musicians and Hollywood greats"

On the other hand, as the whole world looked at America, the Americans (who call themselves progressive) proved otherwise and elected a business man, without any experience whatsoever, as their president. The world is still reeling under shock, and all they are hoping for is that the choice of Americans is right. The worst thing though in this election was the amount of interest and opinions that Indians had, on two presidential candidates, in a electoral system that they have no idea about.

Talking about opinions, 2016 has been a year of "trolls" and a lot of opinions. With each decision of the government creating ripples across the country, and affecting everybody without sparing the rod, the year saw too much of news, about the same issue, with no real concrete basis in the allegations. From the GPS tracker in the 2000 rupee note to why the PM is the best, and no one has any right to say anything against him, there were half baked, full baked and what not kind of opinions floating around all over social media.

Women of the world were aggressive about being heard, and while we had the bhoomata brigade fighting for gender equality in religious institutions, we also had the likes of Deepika and Priyanka taking over the international film/TV industry.

Another thing that had me cringing throughout the year was amount of cruelty that was being advertised on my timeline. The number of dog abuse and abandonment posts and news reports broke my heart several times and it made me wonder if we have shed whatever little was left of the humanity that we had?

As I write this, the news reports say that the PM will address the nation on 31st December, 2016, and I can only hope that he says things that benefit us, and not inconvenience us, again. His speeches have become like dictatorial orders creating panic.

All I hope is that when the new dawn in 2017 arrives, the world is filled with hope and happiness. I for one can't wait for 2016 to get over.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Road to Self Discovery and Self Destruction: The Year End Saga (II)

I have been nothing sort of angry this year.

Ask the husband and he shall be happy to provide the proof.

The worst part of the whole me being angry thing is that I have no clue as to why am I angry. Okay, so not really. I know that there are various reasons why I am angry, upset and/or orritated almost all the time. But, what I don't know is, why am I heeding to the negativity of these things, and why can't I look beyond the obvious. Why can't I be a better person?

And guess what, that question right there, flares me up. It just fucks with my mind, because, ain't I a better person? No one is perfect, and neither am I.
But- am I not a better person already? I forgive, even when people walk all over me. I try to make everyone happy. I try to do everyone's bidding, and in all that, what I expect is truth, sincerity and love from those very people, I become the "not so better person" and then, this loop of "maybe I should be a better person" starts! And I get angry.

Then there is this whole baby issue, which is very intricately connected with a few other things that I can't really talk about here, but that also hits a raw nerve now and then, and then I am angry. Because, try as hard as I can, to curb the nonsensical thoughts that keep me on my toes, I just can't. I get anxious, because I don't get any answers, and then all I can think about is, how, our life is off track (till I read, some or the motivating memes/stories on facebook). The whole circle that it takes quite overwhelming and emotionally quite draining, and that makes me angry. And because this whole thing runs in my head, and spirals out of control, when I talk about it, I get angry because there is NO ONE who wants to understand me or guide me, or for that matter even sit and talk to me. So me struggling alone with the burden of this whole thing seems unfair. And thus I am angry.

I am angry generally at the world and at life, because things are just not falling in place. The amount of hiccups that have happened over the course of this year are enormous, and I can't seem to wrap my head around them. I have been so stressed this whole year, about something or the other, and that shows. In my general attitude, in the amount of effort that takes to infuse the happiness in me and the smile that stopped reaching the eyes long ago.

I know that I have issues. And that is something that I have agreed to, and have accepted. I also know that I need to work on all those things. But, I just keep wondering over and over again- Why am I so wrong? Do, only I have to really improve upon things?

As a gamut of emotions wash over me everytime I question myself, I feel more lost than ever.

And this year, I have been leading myself into a discovery to destruction pattern, over and over again, and I see no end in sight. Do I want to be less angry- Yes. Do I want be happier- Yes. However- Do I have to undertake this journey all by myself? Oh well, I don't know that! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The "Demonitized" Winter: Year End Saga (I)

As the political will of a meglomaniac ruler of the largest democracy in the world unleashes the horror of worthless currency, and we are trying to make ends meet on the chillar that we have in our pockets.. the Winter has set in.

The last month of a very weird year is here and I have absolutely no clue as to how to react to this year end.

November this year marked the completion of 1 year since we have moved to Delhi, and things in the last year have changed drastically. Like, losing my grandmother, and the BFF having the cutest baby boy ever, and several of my girlfriends either getting pregnant or having babies.
Husband's friends too, having babies. We actually went to a baby function in Bangalore!

I had a lot more personal anguish this year, and while I have had several ideas to diffuse this anguish, my powers of procastination have over shadowed all the attempts that I had intended to undertake. I do want to break the mould in the coming year, I just don't how, as yet.

We travelled much less than what we would have liked to, but I cooked my heart out this year. Like really cook.

I think that I am batteling a weird mental state, where, I can't seem to go beyond the gloom and even when I am happy, I feel irritated. This is a new kind of me that I seem to be discovering this year. Ask the Husband and he would say that I have always been like this.

In just about 15 days the year will change, and I wonder, if the patterns will ever break? 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dear Zindagi

Gauri Shinde is a genius.

When she re-launched Sridevi in "English Vinglish", she took the industry and the viewers by storm. The movie had only Sridevi as a "star", who was doing this movie as a comeback. Apart from that, there were the character actors, and a foreign star or two. But the movie was backed by powerful performances by all the actors but most of all it was backed by a solid story and great direction.

The story was so relevant. The dilema of a woman who is constantly battling with her battered confidence because of her lack of education/knowing english, it hits hard even to women who are educated, but decide to give up their careers for families! While that story was all about empowering the woman in you, Dear Zindagi hits a chord which no one is willing to discuss.

The story of DZ is about a girl, who is always angry, except when she is with her core group. She angry at the boys that she is dating, and she is angry at her parents. She hears about the "Brain Doctor" (BD) from a friend, who says that he needed to go see him not because he had to come out of the closet but because he needed to accept himself being gay.
The story then follows the journey of our protaganist with her therapist and the various bits of advisory that he gives her. And, while in our world of too much knowldege and opinions (and because I know that there is a psycologist/therapist, who follows this blog), there are people who are saying that "therapy does not work this way", all I have to say is that it is a movie and they disclaimed that it is a work of fiction and that they are not endorsing any medical advise. And from my limited knowledge I think the common thing is that- there is no definition of psycology and that each patient that a counsellor/therapist interacts with gives them a new insight, because we all are inherently different.
So that aside, in the movie we find that our protagisnist Kaira, has abandonment issues because of an incident etched in her mind and that is becoming a vicious circle for her. We see how in the sessions, our therapist Dr. Jehangir "Jug" Khan, pulls out a lot of wisdom, and helps her cope.

While the movie deals with only one of the major aspects of our lives "abandonment issues", I feel that it encourages the likes of us (the new age, always running) people to stop and evaluate our lives, to really think about things that matter and to let go.
And yes it does touch upon the chord of mind illnesses being a tabboo in our society and how it is time to really embrace our pshycological needs as a part of our health issues. In an interview that I read of Gauri Shinde, she empahsises on the fact that it is important to recogonize the fact that sometimes we are not okay. That we are emotionally drained and that too should be recogonized as a legit reason to stay home,

For someone like me, who does believe in power of therapy, because I have been through it, this movie really did tug my heart strings. It was not preachy, just practical. Alia Bhatt and SRK have given great performances, and if you really go with an open heart and an open mind you will come out with a lot of points to ponder, and some that you may want to really inculcate in your daily life!

So, go see this movie for a refereshing break from the usual cinema that you watch and for some life changing lessons, that you may like!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

As the Season marks change!

Fall is finally approaching.
And with the way the weather is looking, winters are gonna be long and hard this time.

The best thing about being here in Delhi is that one can actually sense a change in the weather, and can feel the nip in the air, when one steps out in evenings. A general sense of happiness is slowly descending on the city, along with unbearable traffic!

With the change in weather, there is a change in our lives too.

A sudden action by a complete third party, had put us in a precarious position, and we had been struggling with the weight of certain decisions that had to be taken. And, today, all of a sudden, there is clarity, and concrete decisions have been taken.
And, now, life is going to change.

And this time round, when we were to take our decisions, we sought a lot of wise counsel, and I personally am very thankful to all the people, who have helped us out. Who have given their genuine opinions, and have also given us their valuable time by answering questions.

There is a sea of change that this Diwali is bringing for us.

And for the festival season, I hope and pray, that you all, my readers are graced with love, properity, happiness and contentment.

Happy Diwali!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When You are 30

In your growing up years, you realise that there are challenges everyday.
Every single day during the school days was comprised of, why is it necessary for me to sit and study academic books over and above the novels that I loved.
And in later years, it was always about the pressures of the high school, while I saw my sister sailing through it all (schooling system changed, and I was the first born, hence, experiment baby, and to give her some credit, she was better than me).

In class 12th, the sole aim of life was to ensure that, I somehow meet some sort of expectations of my parents, and through my college years, I breezed through academics (because I realised that I can actually enjoy studying), however, at that point in time, I had the boyfriend and how to ensure that I have enough money to keep on have recharges in my phone to get to talk to him. Other troubling aspects included my dance class promotions, fending off marrige proposals and wondering how in the world will I end up getting a job.

World was intact when I passed law; when I told my parents about the boyfriend/husband, and I got a job, which converted into firm practice. By the time I hit my quarter life mark, I thought that things were under control. I was this over-excited, ready to please the world, and eager to move forward in career phase. The marriage did sort of spin things out of control, and the expectations of "OMG, you have to be responsible for the husband and father in law" were gifted along with the entire band, baaja, baraat. I thought that I would be able to pull this. I knew the husband for a long time, and we had battled the odds in our relationship and whatever the worls had to say, love is enough. Our first fight happened, less than a month of being married. It was a bad fight, and it broke my heart. It also made me realise that 24x7 vs a weekend here and there are different things all together. And, for two years and 3 months, I shut out the "responsibility" part. I did, only as much as I could, and as much as I wanted to (to keep my own guilt at bay). It was still a lot of roses and less of thorns. Till, we had to move from the "sarkari" to the "bhada" circle. All of a sudden there was rent to be paid, and an FIL, who had too much time on his hands (though to give him credit, he steps back when he realises that husband and I are talking angry code words).
But that was in Mumbai and it was for 1 year only!

Today, we are here. It is going to be a year in Delhi, and I turned 30. And several people (older, contemporaries) have been commenting "ha", what is age? Just a number! I too was like, so what, I am just 30. It is the new 20ies! But, then, I guess life has a plan. And for all those years, that I have shied away and shirked away from responsibility, 30 seems to be the right kind of age.
Life decided, that enough. You need to start being an Adult. And no, earning money, and paying your taxes doesn't count. So, all of a sudden, there comes a curve ball and the last 3 (three) weeks, all I (okay, we) have been doing is going from one stress to the other, one crises to the other. Just when, we got one part of our affairs in order, wham, came one blow. The moment that got somewhat sorted, wham came another.
To add to that, all of a sudden, I have too much work on my desk (which is the BEST thing), but I can feel the burn-out. I can feel like life is looking at me.
I can feel that it is waiting. To pounce.

How does, 30 become such an "age" issue? Because, between 25-29, it is about getting married. Somehow, marriage is not such a big deal. But now, all of a sudden, all (okay, almost all) of our friends have babies. People who got married as late as 2 years after us have kids and, we obviously have none (Sugar, is of course an exception), and it is weird. My BFF has a small lil prince, and while I love him to the core, it becomes weird, because parents are parents, and even though they are cool, all of a sudden, they have responsibilities and priorties that go much beyond partying and other social engagements. Even as a BFF, you become secondary. Since you don't have a baby, you are expected to visit, and keep batting questions about your own plans. While you bat those questions with other questions or the usual "hmmm", your mind goes to the biological clock that is ticking, and your doctor and your mom's voice in the head. You know things have gone over and above, when your FIL tells you that it is high time that we plan, and you smile at him, and tell him that you can't do it alone, laugh it off and move on.
You are left to question every little action of yours, cringe at the thought of reaching out to certain people because you are snubbed, or told that you are inconsiderate. You think about several other things including about the "Me" times and the "Us" times, You go to the Durga Puja and when you try celeberating with your parents, you realise that they wont, or realise that the husband still can't have a comfortable equation with people who you are close to, and that you will forever be answering the questions about the "husband, who won't socialize" and the one who still can't buy a gift.

This turning 30 business, is not turning out to be pleasant. But one can hope? right?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Have you ever..

Sat and wondered, 
about how life is, and why, 
you are doing what you are, and,
why you are not doing, what thy neighbours are. 

Have you ever sat and wondered, 
why it feels like life is a roller coaster, 
when you hate the thought of getting on one, 
in the most loved theme park? 

Have you ever sat and wondered, 
about why you believe, and why, 
despite it all, you have the faith? or, 
why in that Harry Potter series, 
it was only love which prevailed, and
why in real life, only persistence and will, 
will prevail. 

Have you ever sat and wondered, 
why despite your best intentions, 
everything fucks up, 
and why, just, OH LORD why, 
things never work in your favour. 

Have you ever sat, wondered and questioned, 
the beliefs that you felt were instilled, 
not by your family or friends, but,
by the self help book, which claimed, 
that the universe has it ways, and if you really, 
really want it, it will come your way. 

Have you ever sat and wondered, 
about, why are you always in a conflict, 
about why, you want your cake, and eat it too, 
about being jealous of people who seem to have it all, 
while you are still struggling, 
travelling 30 kms in one haul.

Have you ever sat and wondered, 
when you were told about being "lucked out", 
why is it that you are always out of luck, 
and even though you know that, 
there are ones in situations worse than you, 
you can't empatise, and still wallow about you! 

Have you ever sat, wondered, and hoped, 
that things will be set right, 
and life as we had dreamed, will, 
finally be realised, 
and all, will be okay. 
One can after all, sit, wonder, and hope against hope!

Have you ever sat and wondered...about why it is home that you always want to come back to,about how it is that kiss at the start of the day that lifts you up.about how that one tight embrace at the end of the nights makes everything feel worth it,about despite all the despair, it is only the love that helps you conquer it all?Have you ever sat and wondered, that you've probably lucked out on love.Love, that prevails. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Curse of being a Harry Potter Fan

So yes, I read the "Cursed Child". And NO, it is NOT written by J.K Rowling. It has been written by two people who have appearently written a lot of great screenplays, and believe me when I say, that it would have definitely looked really great on stage. (Did you know that they screened the thing live from London at Habitat Centre, New Delhi.. I did not even know that things like this even happen.)

So, the thing is that it is a reharsal script. It is therefore written like a rehearsal script. And it is at the end of the day "fan fiction", where the playrights have used their imagination to take forward the story of the Deathly Hallows. Deathly Hallows leaves us with an Albus Severus Dumbledore Potter asking his father about how his life in Hogwards is going to be if he gets sorted into Slytherin and the reassurances that he gives by saying  that he is named after two Hogwarts Headmasters; one was a Slytherin (Snape) and possibly the bravest man he ever knew. Harry also confides to Albus that the Sorting Hat takes the student's own choice into consideration, as it had done for Harry when he was Sorted - something Harry has never told his other children.

Despite the original ending being so amicable, the Cursed Child talks about the failing relationship of Harry Potter and his middle child, and his best friend Scorpious Malfoy. While, it is all good that a Potter and a Malfoy become “best friends”, the animosity shown between the families seems to be a little over the top.

I am a biased reviewer here because, I have read all the Harry Potter books with a devotion of a fan. From all the reading that I have done, I think, (and I also believe devout fans all over the world) would not be able to relate to the Potters, Weasely-Grangers or the other characters that have been shown in the “Script”. One of the major flaws of the “script” was to show that Ron and Hermione know about Snape’s real loyalties, despite the losing the battle of Hogwards (where Harry dies). But, if we go back to the original story at Deathly Hallows, we find that Ron, Hermione and Harry only get to know about Snape, once they realise that Nagini is a horcrux, and they stumble upon Voldemart killing Snape once he figures out why the Elder Wand won’t obey him.  This is where Snape gives his memory to Harry. The alternate reality in the “script” deviates from this plot.

And this may or may not be counted as a blooper, but it surely is a turn off.

And for all those who bought this thinking that it was written by J.K. Rowling, people, read the news reports. For the fans who are in love with Harry Potter, while we would love to know what happens next (and await this news), read the Cursed Child, as an independent fan fiction only, because thinking it to be anywhere close to what J.K. Rowling created would only disappoint you. This is the curse of being a Potter Fan!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

13 going to 30!

It even sounds weird!
"Hi, I am 30!"

I mean I know and I have heard enough about the "age is nothing but a number", but it is weird when you sit back and realise that all of a sudden, you are neither in your traumatic teens, nor in the drama twenties, but you are suddenly thirty.

It is like entering the teens. All of a sudden you are a kid and then wham bham you are teen. And in all hoensty, your twenties are usually an extension of your teeange years.You are in college when you are 18, 19, and 20 (and even more if you are in a professional course or pursuing your masters!). So you are being taken care of, you are being paid a pocket money or you are doing odd jobs to support your passions and even when you are fresh and out in the world to do a proper job, you are full of adrenaline and enthusiasm to take over the world.

Suddenly you are 25. And if you are in Delhi, that is a BIG deal because now you can officially go drinking. And by the time you end reveling in your quarter life crisis, you are 27, all of a sudden it is all about getting married (you may also be married for a year by then!). And by the time you realise that your life has suddenly changed, from the teens to the twnties, from school college to work, from single to being married (and being a parent too in some cases), you hit the thirty mark.

You are expected to grow up. To take up responsibilities like they are sacrements and always, always make sense of all the decisions that you take. Whether it is about your marriage, your family, your career, everything. It is like, from a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being the lowest), you are allowed a margin of error of (minus) 1.

Is it like changing everything overnight? No. But it surely does instil the feeling of "change". It makes you feel inadequate.
When you are 30, you tend to look back, and look back alot (or at least I do) and assess about what all have you achieved.
Unfortunately, the society has put the assessment in a straight jacket of: marriage, family, kids and career. And as you assess against these you have a panic attack, because, you are failing. If not in all, then definitely in one (and if you are the kinds who has it all- then, please share, how?).

While I have definitely not failed the complete assessment, I also know that maybe things could have been better. But, jab jaago tabhi savera!

I think, the most important thing in my life that I have done and am proud of is finding my dear darling husband. He will disagree to say that, we fight like maniacs, so how can he be my best find? The fact of the matter is that, while I assess my life in the societal straight jacket, I am grateful to have found someone who is willing to change the norms, and who is willing to question everything (it does get annoying.. but..) . It makes life a little bit more exciting when we have a million apps to satiate our hunger for binge TV watching or when we just take the car and find ourselves at places like bhootgaon!
Of course life is up and down and I am not particularly happy about reaching an age where I am judged because my uterous has aged more, and us having kids has become a conversation starter. But, I am here now and I can't really help it!

I think, what I take back from my last 30 years is that while I have effectively changed as a person, from being totally hopelessly unsatisfaioed, angry teenager to a little less of the same, I am slowly becoming into my own person. I am blooming maybe a couple of years late. But I am blooming. From cooking awesome food, to learning how to argue better (respond and not react), from realising that mornings have always been under-rated (especially post the rains!) and that exercising should have been started at least 2 years ago.. from the emotional, and financial mess to trying to untangle the mess by taking control of things.. it seems that there is a lot of catching up to do. All the things (including relationships) that have been taken for granted need to be rebuilt. And these are the tasks that have been cut out for me/Us!
One more task that is just for me, is to learn patience and satisfaction. There is no dirth of things that are happening with people in my so call friend list, and I need to stop assessing my life against them. I need to learn the art of letting go, and embracing whatever comes my way. Another thing that I have to learn and accept is that even with the closest of people you can't expect them to completely change and/or adjust to yourself, there has to be a middle ground. Maybe it is time to get into meditation, and to move towards a little bit more stillness. And by that I mean, grounding your emotions to train your mind to not have oscillating emotions. To think through situations and to really be able to assess the consequences of the words coming out of my mouth. To be less angry, less unsatisfied.
This would be like a emotional rehab for me, I may lapse and re-lapse into my old patterns, but I have to try. I have to be a better person, a more solid person, because it seems that, this is what is holding me behind and has husband doubting my skills to be a grown up.

While, I try to be zen, I will also try to dance to on the crazy songs, just to remind myself that life maybe a struggle, but as kids, the most we worried about was the homework and the vacations, and how life was simpler.

Happy 30th to me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Has it been 10 years since I entered my twenties? It seems like yesterday. And as cliched as it sounds, it does seem like yesterday. And it has been half a decade since I discovered that when you hit your quarter life mark, you don't grow wings either.

I remember my 20th Birthday to the extent that I still have the collage that the sister had lovingly made for me. We had it framed and it hung proudly in my erstwhile room. I call it erstwhile, not because I am married but because the character of that room has also changed. And that change had begun exactly a year back. I surprised my parents and they surprised me back. The layout of that room and the furniture of that room had always kept me grounded, and always reminded me of the times and nights that I had spent there weaving my dreams. Now most of it is with me in my house (pati ka ghar) because I am in NCR. Including that collage- Which hangs on a wall above our bed. It is quite a placement, because on the other side of the bed is another collage that I had made on our first marriage anniversary. So when I stand on the foot of my bed, I can actually, physically see the change in the circle and see the times that have gone by and the people who I have lost on the way to death.

Apart from the BFF, the only other constant has been the Husband and I have to give it to him, I am not an easy person to deal with, and he has done it. Not only did he date me, but about 6 years back on my birthday eve, he proposed to me. We were going through all the pictures the other day on the ipad, and just as 2010 was getting over, I was like oh, after this I wont be in any pictures, only to realise that, we have been together from 2005! So yeah, my Mr. constant, and my support and my everything too!

So now, a decade later, a week to my 30th Birthday, I have been forced to sit and think about life. It has been more than a decade since I turned 18, and while the world has turned upside down, I have never assessed what I have achieved on adulting!

Whenever we have gone for job interviews, and otherwise also, we have often been advised to make life plans and life goals and garner satisfaction from achieving those goals that have been made and ticked on the "Goal List". What they don't tell you is that when life happens, the goals get fucked.

I also had a life plan. And according to that life plan, I would have had reached a point in my career where I was the boss or atleast someone senior, and that I would have had a family (kids), and a house and whatever the best version of a happily after. And trust me when I say that none of the life goals have been achieved.
I had thought that 20ies was when one struggled, and that by the time the third decade rolls in, there would be stability.

But, life happened my friends. While my BFF is settling down in a family as per her plan (yeah baby and all), we are on a completely different planet. The questions have become so uncomfortable that, I avoid unnecessary spending time at my parents. And when I have to be there, I have to change subjects because, I have no answer to their question of stability.

Life is becoming like a dark alley without a light where I am groping in the dark trying to make sense of things. I am not completely disheartened, I am just tiring down. It is like a never ending road.

I don't know, whats happening any more, and I hate the fact that I am almost 30 and I still can't control whats happening in my life.

My crazy antics, and my stupidity are the only thing that are keeping me sane, but, now life calls me to be always serious, 30 after all is a responsible age. Just about it. Or so I guess.

As I countdown (in my head) to my 30th Birthday, Madcap Loon's advice keeps pestering me- Age is nothing but a number. For men maybe. But for women, 30 is a psycological mark. It is when we start using the anti-ageging creams, and it is when we the society starts telling you that you have missed the turn, and that you better hurry and hope that your child is healthy when you have him/her. This is also an age when however hard you try, even air makes you fat and then it takes you forever to shed it off, when you need a full night's sleep to recover from a late night party and all of a sudden there are friends who seem all grown up, and make you feel juvinile.

I don't regret the last 29 years of my life in any manner, I do believe in whatever happens, happens for the best. But, in the next decade, I think, I want to be a better version of myself. I want to be less stressed. I want to be more settled, and I want to be at peace.
And all of this- I want with the Husband.

Let us see, from here, where life goes!

Monday, August 8, 2016

One Lakh and Counting (hopefully)!

I opened my blog after a week and the first thing that stared back me was a 6- digit number for the page views. Now for the "Royal Bloggers", who have been regularly blogging about fashion, short- stories, beauty and even politics (sattire) and humour this must have come a long time back.

But for a blogger like me, who has taken quite a few haituses and who usually talks about her personal dilemas and dramas rather than reviews and views, this is a big milestone.

The old (and the gold) readers know that the only reason that I had started blogging was to impress this certain someone (now my Husband, who, BTW has stopped writing). Most of my initial posts here (and before here on the other platforms) were very random (an e-mail forward that I really liked, or love quotes etc.)

It has taken about 9 years and 660 posts for me to reach here. It has taken a lot of encouragement from my fellow bloggers (Uncle Jack, Kashvi, Suruchi, Harini, Roop, Alka, Divya, Harshita, M, Vagabond, Anuradha, and all those whose names I have missed!!!) and ofcourse from the Husband for me to continue my ramblings. For me to dabble in poetry, and to write my reviews and views on movies and current affairs.

Yes, there have been times when I have written things that have offended people and have also compelled me to shut this blog or make it private. While I do agree that somethings are too personal to be shared on a public fora as such, I have tried my best to protect my privacy while opening my life to the world of the wide web.

It has been an interesting journey, albeit a continuing one.

Three cheers to my dear readers who have bought me so far :)

Thanks & Love!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It has been 8 months since 2016 started.
Though, while on one side, I believe that the year has just gone too fast, on the other I feel like I have been having an out of body experience, where, I am observing everything that my life is all about, but I feel stuck. Stuck in a vacuum, from where I want to scream at myself, but I just can't because I feel like a third party.

I have been home for the last two days. It took a lot of convincing to myself that I need this break. Without anybody. On a weekday, binging on netflix and doing absolutely nothing. I am no wiser, and I definitely have no solutions to the problems in my life.
I still feel like I am a third party to my life.

The other day, Husband asked me about "my plans to join Dad"; and that turned into a defensive argument which in turn led me to state "I'll find the solution to our problems" And The Husband did not believe me. I wish that he did. But I guess you spot a loser when you see one.

I just wish that I could make everything right. I wish I was not always in the wrong, always saying things that are not logical.  
I really do wish that I could finally steer my life instead of being an outsider to it.

I wish, I had some answers. But all I have are more questions. More complications. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Neigbourly Love

I grew up in a "colony" in Delhi. For the uninitiated a colony in Delhi is a block, where the houses are tightly packed and the community values are really strong. We had moved into the colony about 40+ years back, and most of the neighbours are known to us since time immemorial.

I had been the poster child for most of the neighbours. Because, me being me, I used to go with my grandma to all the local temple functions and kirtans, and also the local aunties and their kitty parties (with both Dadi and Ma). Most of the "grandparent"- type figures in the colony were my grandparents' friends and loved my Dad and his siblings like their own (since of course they saw them grow up, attending their weddings, and also saw their kids grow up and attended our weddings as well!!! and we also of course attended the weddings and played with the smaller kids when we were growing up).

However, I never really thought that, all this neighbourly love will backfire on me!

So while I was unmarried, a lot of questions were thrown at my Dadi and Ma about when? Luckily, my Dadi was a very strong woman and she would shut her mates up by telling them that "Let he first get settle" and as chance would have it I got married at the "suitable age". That satisfied the world at large.
But now, the neighbourly love is back again. And unfortunately, my Dadi is no more, and even if she had been alive, this time she would have actually pursued the agenda of the neighbours too (like Ma is currently doing). The agenda is "Kids".
One of the neighbours stopped my Dad the other day (or so I have been told) and asked him "Are you Nana, yet?"
And the other one apparently told my Ma, that "How is it that she has gained so much of weight on her ass?.. how will she have a baby? and.. she has been married for so long... why don't you push her?"
I laughed it off when Ma told me all of this on phone. I was cringing on the inside and seething too.

It is hard to make people understand. Okay strike that off, WHY DO I NEED TO MAKE ANYONE UNDERSTAND?
Well, in all honesty, I never thought that I would be made answerable like this by all the neighbourly love. I had definitely thought that I was above this.. but as it happens in our society no one is above the societal norms. I also understand that this may be a way of my mother telling me to hurry up already.

The whole idea of having kids, and being responsible for a tiny little life is daunting. And to be honest, I can't make the decision alone, and nor do I plan to raise them by myself. While I understand that my biological clock is like a ticking "time-bomb", I also know that this decision will bomb my relationship with the husband if it is a forced one.

The almost 30 years old me feels like I a 3 year old being reprimanded from everywhere. C'mon how fair is that?
Like I said, this adulting business is killing me. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nodus Tollens

July has been particularly a cruel month. Yes, I am using the word cruel. Not tough, not exasperating but cruel.
The Husband turned 31 in the first week of July, and it was nothing short of shoddy from my side. From giving him no gift, to writing him a birthday note on a piece of my office stationery. It was bad. The only saving grace was that I cooked. And cooked my heart out in the past few weeks. From fancy iced cakes to desserts which looked absolutely awesome, I can cook baby.

The amount of adulting that has happened in the last 3.5 odd weeks is nothing short of adulting on steroids. I have been dealing with A.C guys non stop. And the amount of shouting that I have been doing because of the shoddy job that they are doing still makes my head spin.
I have been stuck in traffic jams both while travelling to and back from office, practically crying because I want to give up on this and on the other hand thanking my stars that my job is actually not bad considering the last three years.
I have been busy in office. Like SUPER busy.

For the first time since taxes have been filed for me (by my Dad) it seems that I shall be making a payment to the IT department. And so is the Husband. "Mera Desh Badh Raha hai..aage badh raha hai".
Taxes spell money, and well, if I have to spell it out for the world: Then we are some trouble, Mister. But because, "Halki Plulki si zindagi hai, bhojh to sirf khwaaishon ka hai" (Credit: Piyush Mishra); I will stop wrting about this right here.

The BFF had a baby boy. I was still recovering from her announcement, and then the Godbharai and the Baby Shower, and boom, her little prince just came. This is too close to home, It is not only her, but at least three other friends in the close circle who are having babies (in the next couple of months). All of them (including the BFF) were married a year or two after me. So, obviously, all I hear from my mother dear is "Are you ever going to have a baby?". I have in this steroidal phase of course learnt to let go, and stop registering the complaints any longer. Because, that is exhausting.

Talking about exhaution and friends, (I have just 1 friend per se), the rest are friends (Okay I have 5 friends.. who are my mainstay). Some only for benefits and with expectations and conditions attached with them. But because, we are social butterflies (or caterpillars or whatever the fuck!), I make the effort to stay in touch. To call, to message and of course to FB. How many times have I sat and wondered why should I make the effort. Why should I be the bigger person, only to realise (from their FB feeds) that the "friends" have their own social circles and they really don't care if we are in them or not because they have the others.
We on the other hand, hardly have any. And thus, we have to maintain our friendships. Not them.
It gets exhausting. If not uncomfortable for the person on who we are forcing the friendships.

And then I have "Altschmerz", the weariness with the same old issues that I have always had. The same boring flaws and anxieties that I have gnawing at.
Is the Husband Happy? What, did I do now? Oh fuck, Husband has diabetes.. and he wont listen to me. I am doomed. (You get the drift)

I am almost 30. And, I have no idea about where I am. We we are (as a family). I keep jumping about trying to do the right thing (whatever that is), and always trying to balance the scales. Sometimes I want to just give up on everything and cry in a corner about what the fuck is happening. And why the hell can I not get a control of things.
Hence, Nodus Tollens "The realization that the plot of my life doesn't make sense anymore"

Monday, June 13, 2016

Re-defining, from inside to outside!

In your eyes I looked, 
a future, like an adventure, 
a trail of discovery, 
with more thorns and less moss; 
but nevertheless you hold on.

Slowly the adventure turns, 
now it is a venture; 
a slow execruciating process; 
of an everyday; 
and of struggle, that defines; 
a struggle that confines. 

Of cutting corners; 
to make the ends meet; 
of loving a little less; 
and exisiting a little bit more. 

Eagerly pushing one happiness
behind the rock; 
to see the smile on your face; 
with the happiness that you hoped for. 

In our little world; 
the struggles become real; 
the adventure becomes; 
The daily becomes the norm; 
and excitement is just another word;
to put behind the rock. 

Befooling myself on my ability; 
for I still hope that being with me;
excites you more.
More than a piece of wire; 
a piece of music. 

But love is nothing but a mirage; 
life on the other hand a jarring light; 
that wakes you up and throws you down. 

and that is when you get up; 
dreams and hopes; 
and still hold on, 
for faith and belief,
are like that little plank of wood;
keeping you afloat, in a tide, 
called life. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Perennial Pain

Pain is perennial. It just hides on most of the days. But on some it just comes out and hits you hard. Right on your gut.
And leaves you moaning.

This year, on May 22nd, I was partying with a friend. We got drunk, and somewhat stoned. But were mostly sane. I must admit, that for the first time in 12 years, the date did not strike me. The tears did not wreck me. But at the back of my mind, I had a hollow feeling (could be attributable to my inebriated state). As chance would have it, while on our way back from our late night excursion, some roads were blocked, and we were forced to take internal routes, and bang, in a minute, I was on those roads, in front of those landmarks where I had spent a good part of my childhood, with Her. Where, we would walk by ourselves, holding hands, lest someone tries to take advantage of two little girls. And boom. I was numb. I could not cry shamelessly like how I do, every year, thinking about, the fateful night, and how, if only, I was a little more bossy, would things have turned out. But, my stomach was in knots, and I could not speak much. I think from thereon, I just went through the motions, like a robot. Do I feel guilty? I think, I always do. Maybe, one of the reasons why I can't ever be the same with the person, who I practically think of as my second mother. Am I the accused? Often, I go back to what transpired all those years back, and wonder, if I deserve the guilt? Whether, I could have changed anything. But it is a game of what if's that I keep on playing in my head.

Today, about 5 years back, another death, changed my life again. I know things would have been completely different had she been around. But then, I guess, life just does not make it any easier for any of us. I still don't know, how, the Husband has been dealing with this loss and in all honesty, I don't know how to make him feel better. The bitter sweet memories of the past, like the waves of pain often hit you hard. I don't have many memories with her, but the few that I have are awesome. I owe her my Husband, in all respects, and I just wish that wherever she is, she is not disappointed in me.

It is less to do with love, and more to do with pain. The binding power that is. And it is all about the memories that you keep in your heart.

I have been dealing with death and pain for the last 15 years now. And, when Dadi went, it was like an end of an era for all of us. Because, she was always there. But, we also knew that she lived her life. She saw her great grand kids (my brother's kids), and she was there, always. I spent 30 years (okay 29 years and 3 months) of my life with her. Even, in the last 4 (almost) years of being married, the one person who was the happiest to see me was her, and coming home to her, was the bestest thing ever. We celebrated her, even in her death. By eating her favourite food, and just remembering her. But, every time, I drop in to my house to say hi, I miss her.

The pain is always there. It just hits you, when you don't want it to. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Just Average

I was always an average student. A happy go lucky kind of a girl who wanted to be friends with everyone in school. I was/ am not very talented either. I dapple in dancing and now I can bake a cookie or two, and that is about it. 
I do have a gift of gab, but apparently, I don't make much sense when I talk and half the people think that I am making up stuff, so yeah, I don't talk much either. 

I went through a fiasco when I was out of Class 12, and it was time to pick up a career, and despite the fact that in my heart, I always knew that I wanted to be an advocate, I did one year of engineering, failed badly at that, and then, I re-started in a B class law school. I of course look back at that and wonder if I could have been firmer at my decision, maybe then not changed my school, or maybe taken up arts, and then done law from a good law school, and then maybe had a better career. Or better still, had I been a little bit more intelligent in school and studied harder, or maybe been serious at some sport or maybe even at my dancing. 
But, I have always been just average. 

So, when I passed law, and I joined Ms. MA's litigation practice, I saw that she stayed with her parents, while her german husband was in Germany, and they had a "long distance marriage"; and when the practice merged in the law firm, my boss was a single mom. And a lot of others, who were in their late twenties/ early thirties, who were dating, breaking up, and were unmarried or unhitched. I was dating the husband, and after a rough 5 odd years of being in mostly a long distance relationship, we were in the "lets get hitched in marriage" kind of phase. When this happened, I made a decision, that I would try to achieve a work-life balance, and wherever required I would want to be more of a family person versus the always in office person. 

I was doing very well before I got married. I was doing good practice and I was a part of the firm that had a positive growth story. I had a great boss, and some really really great friends in the firm. And then I moved to Mumbai. I went from being in a home, where I had my grandmom practically feeding me breakfast every morning to a house with no woman. I knew about taking care of the house, but being the only doing everything was a little too much. Not only that, I had to travel for a minimum of 3+ hours each day in mumbai locals/ public transport in dastardly weather, to go to office. The husband was in a "work from home" situation, where, he worked during the nights. We were newly married. Had moved into a new house, and for the first 20 days after I joined work, I had no maid. I used to get up at 5 a.m. and all that shit. I know how much I had cried myself to sleep, because, we had no time for each other. Not that we have any now either. Yes, I do wish, that I had pushed myself harder, and instead of 6 months, given myself a little bit more time in the Mumbai office of the firm. And then, of course, I stumbled and fell at each step, trying figure out where the hell am I going. I changed 3 jobs in 3 years of being in Mumbai. I hated myself for doing this to my career, but, I had to think about everything. Put perspective to the familial life as well as the career that I was trying to build. I remember, the very first interview that I had given after moving to Mumbai was with one of the top law firms. The only reason that I did not get a call back was because I was wearing a choora and I was a newly wed. Yes, it works against the women. 

Nevertheless, I have paid the price of being the not so driven/ passionate lawyer, I am behind by 3 years from all my contemporaries, and, it is almost like I have re- started. I am now a part of the firm which is new, and therefore, a little eased out. But, I am getting to learn a lot more than what I would have had I been in a bigger firm. I may not be overtly ambitious, but the deal with me is that, as I lawyer, I should be learning the correct things applying them for the betterment of my clients. Who wouldn't want more money. But, am I willing to sacrifice my family life for my career, I don't know. I don't know, if I would be able to always just work, and never be around the people for whom I am earning. What is the point then? So, does that make me less ambitious? Or less of a hard worker? Or less driven? I think so. 

In this whole deal of ensuring family doesn't suffer because of work, I have, I think managed to make a mess of both the things. My career and the family. I am turning 30 in about 3 months from today, and I have nothing to my credit. 
But, I have been nothing, but an average, even as a failure, just that. I don't know how to better it. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Dancer and the Mirror

I had started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 7. And, if I have to be honest about it, I hated it there. I was tired after school, and was siphoned off from the bus stop to a dance class in the interiors of qutub area, and I understood nothing.
The dance school had a huge hall with s stage and there were senior dance teachers who would be teaching various groups in various corners. If my memory served right, you started with one teacher where you would do warm ups (being the basics), and then go to the next teacher who would take your class - meaning who would ask you to do the items that you have learnt. And then finally, you would go to the teacher who would be teaching you your new set of steps in the item that you would be in the process of learning.
There was also a mandatory singing class, and a lot of complaints from my guru to my mother that, she is wasting her money on me by making me learn dance and that I can never learn. Maybe I was/ am beat deaf.
I remember taking a sabbatical from bharatnatiyam in Class 9, citing pressure to study and the class 10th boards. And I remember studying very hard and praying that I get good marks so that I can ask my mom to never send me back to dance class. It was in the months after my class 10 boards and before the results that I joined the summer workshop at The DanceWorks Studio by Asley Lobo. I was lost there too. But, somehow felt a little familiarity. After the summer workshop was over, and I started school again, I forgot about dancing. And it was in college that I joined the regular classes at the DanceWorks.
It was there, that I after months of training, finally looked at myself in the mirror, and not to set my hair, but to check my posture, and smile while enduring the pains of the pirouette or the extensions. It was there, where I met dance teachers, who always encouraged, and who were always positive. It was there where I learnt that to look in the mirror is an act of courage and confidence. We all look in the mirror do our make up and hair and see how we are dressed, but we never really look. The moment we would really look, into our own eyes, and our own soul, is when we realise the real pain inside our heart and the fact that we are always overlooking at things, all the time.
Those 4-5 years, I was at the peak of my confidence. I was a much happier person, and I looked superb. It was a time where I felt a part of something.

Right now, today, as I write this, I realise that I have not looked in my own eyes for a really really long time, and that I am at a point in my life where, I want answers, and I don't want to second guess any of my decisions. I want to be a much happier person, and I want to really make the most out of the life that I have. I don't want to think about how much would I have to cry in the night, because I laughed a lot during the day.  I want to be that dancer again, with her mirror, who was ready to conquer the world, come what may. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The mystery of the missing dupatta and about being thoughtful and thoughtless

This morning when I left home, I distinctly remember carrying my duppatta with me, along with my purse and my tiffin. I sat in the car, and throughout the 30 minute drive that dupatta did not trouble me. It did not slither down to create hurdles while I was driving, and because of all the things that are happening around me, my drive becomes my thinking zone, I forgot about that dupatta.
(I usually put the dupatta along with the tiffin, the purse and the other jing bang on the passenger seat so that everything is accounted for, and today, I did not follow my protocol.)

So, at the end of my drive (which is at the starbucks close to my office), when I got down to go and collect my coffee, the dupatta did not slide down, and I believe that I missed it falling off me, when I got out of the car. When I got back into the car to go to office, I of course did not remember about the dupatta. Three minutes later, about halfway to my office from Starbucks, I realise that I had a dupatta and its missing. I stop my car, frantically search in the car, turn around the car and drive back to where I had parked my own car, but there was nothing there. No dupatta.

And, in all honesty, I have NO freaking clue, where, why or how the hell did it even fall off me and I did not realise it? It is not a small thing. It was a big green and black printed dupatta! The good thing though is, that the kurta that I am wearing is not with a dupatta, so, there is nothing missing per se. And the kurta with which this duppatta came, has faded, and I was going to throw it away in any case.

But, the fact is, that I am not a careless person. I believe that I am a careful person, and I abhor losing things because, I have not followed protocol (as set by my own self!). This is precisely THE reason, why at times, things need to happen the way I want. Because of the protocols that I have set. Sometimes, one has to adjust, but for things as regular as going to work, there are things that I like to follow, so that I don't miss out on important things. Like, I have travel kits. When we were in Mumbai, we used to travel a lot, and because last minute frenzy often makes me anxious, and I hate forgetting (because, I get reprimanded for forgetting), I had prepared three small bags with travel toiletries, things that I can't travel without and which are important (even a toilet paper). It always helps me because, if we have to travel on the shortest of notice, I have these three bags that I toss in and I am set. Plus, of course, my purse has everything that I need too!

I am sometimes jealous of the people, who don't care. But I think my anxiety tops that feeling of jealousy. I'd rather travel in peace than with worrying about pooping in dirty toilets without paper.

So, yeah, there are things that have been protocoled (I don't think that this a word), and when it is just me, I can follow it. But when its a team (like having the Husband), it becomes too many questions, answers and logic. As has been established via the previous post, I lack logic.

So yeah, my dear dupatta, wherever you are, you served me well, and I miss you, and I am sorry that I lost you.

Being thoughtful is again a perspective. I mean, what being thoughtful means to me will not necessarily be akin to your perspective. And rest of the disclaimer about the thoughtfulness will be somewhere in between the post or towards the end.

So, I have a colleague in my present office, whose girlfriend's birthday is on the coming weekend and he has been working super hard for making it super special for her. I know this because almost all of us in office have helped him :D.
The thing being, that he has picked up stuff for his girl by observing various things, by carefully scrutinizing the conversations that they have had (albeit in the last three months, but give the guy the credit!). His girlfriend is also a lawyer, and she has travelled a lot, and she had in a conversation mentioned to him that she is looking to create a space in her room where she can probably have a map which is marked in some way to mark all the places that she has been to. So, he starts looking and finds a quirky map, which he gets mount on a softboard. The map is foil covered, and the person can scratch the places where all they have visited, and each scratch is a different colour, so you have all the fun rediscovering the places that you have been too, and literally scratching the travel itch. In another conversation he heard her mentioning that she is looking for a phulkari dupatta (traditional punjabi embroidery duptta), and he asks around, he asks us, we help him find vendors, and he reaches out to at least 10 vendors (found via facebook and instagram) and finalizes on a beautiful piece. Not only just finding the vendor, but asking the right questions as well, after consulting I believe his mom, and us girls too in office. Apart from the other knick knacks of gifts, he got her a pair of swaroswki earrings. And mind you, they were not just selected on a whim. While helping him go through the on-line catalogue, he was so sure about the earrings that she wears, because, he notices. Yesterday, when everything came together, my other colleague SR asked him "So, boss, how much was the dent?" and he replied by saying that "This not a dent, but an investment! After all, she also thinks through, and ensures that whatever she does for my birthday is with as much thought and effort.."
Now how sweet is that!
Of course, there is a dinner planned and what not, for the birthday.. but I think, it is just such a pleasant change to find a guy, who actually thinks through the gifts (most importantly, thinks that he has to gift).
Like I had said above, that this may not sound so thoughtful to a lot of you. But I always think that the art of gifting is an art too. It takes, so much of an effort to find the right thing for the person that you are buying a gift for. Sometimes its easy, sometimes, it is a task. For my BFF, whose godbharai happened about 10 days back, I drew a blank on what is it that I can gift her, especially since she has said no baby gifts till the baby comes. So, I had read somewhere that to be mums should be gifted "ladoo gopals", as a sign of happy healthy babies, and boom, I got that for her. It may not have been expensive, but it was thoughtful (her mom in law said that, so I know).

It need not be expensive. But it should be thought through. Like for Husband's 30th, I went to great lengths. Though him being him, he did not tell me, whether he liked it or not or whether I got it right. But, I would like to believe that I did do a good job. I started 3 months in advance. I literally learnt how to use a new program. Did so much DIY, that I was super happy and satisfied.

You know, when you do put in the effort, things just work out. One has to be more observant, ask the right questions and look for guidance, where one can find.
 As a matter of fact, even between my parents, I see that there is no gifting thing, but then when it is their anniversary or one of their birthday, they do reach out to us. My dad will always ask.. so what is it that we should by for your mom, or mom will always observe that Dad may need something (like a phone or a camera, or even a night suit) but nevertheless they observe.

I always used to think that movies and romance novels have raised the bar. But then there are the kinds who really look around and find the thing that is right.

This maybe a materialistic perspective to being thoughtful, but of late, I am in a place that I can't see my half full glass, so maybe this post helps in colouring that water, so that I can see damn glass which is half full.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Continuing the "Nobody" rant..

I read a lot of articles written on "artparasites", they are the articles, poems which have a flow in them. Even if it is an essay, the words flow like perfection. So many of those essays and poems resonate within me. Often, making me realise that the inflictions of my imagination and the traumas of my daily life are not my own. There are other people facing the similar (if not the same). (Like I had said, I am not even a hero in my own story).

So while browsing through the website today, I came across an essay , which was titled as "Mediocrity is Underrated", and it is written by a 19 year old. This nineteen year old writes, "Perfection might be the order of the day, but it’s an incredibly lonely place to be. "

And, while I agree that you may have less to no real friends, it also a place where, you wish to be.

Who doesn't want their world to be perfect, and in worlds that are perfect, perfection may not be a lonely place.


I looked up narcissist, and it seems that me wanting appreciation from the people around me doesn't fit in the definition.
In any event, I think, I have figured out my problem, or the so called problem about the identity crisis that I am facing. About me being a nobody.
I think, I just can't make up my mind about what is it that I want, and what is that I want to be. Do I want to be the "tyag ki devi" types of bahu and beti.. or would I rather be the mean and the selfish kinds, not looking beyond my own interests.
The thing being, that I believe that I cannot be mean or selfish. If I am, I keep looking for ways to make up (to the person, to whom I was selfish). It is as simple as this: The husband wants to go out on a weekend to meet a friend outside the city. And he asks me, and I am like "Oh, do you have to, its the weekend." And he doesn't go.
In retrospect, when we both would look back to it, he would say, that I don't "allow" him to be. And I will retort, but I did not stop you. And he would reply back by saying, "I know, that you did not say no, and that I was free to do what I wanted, but I was not welcome to do it".
This statement because of the way it is, would take me time to understand, and then when I would finally understand this statement (or the likes of it), I would continue to swing like a pendulum thinking.. "Am the kind of wife that stifles her husband?" and on the other hand thinking "Why the fuck won't he want spend time with me? We only get the weekends" And because, in my brain there is another dimension, I would also end up thinking " But, if I have to go and do something on my own, on a holiday, he never stops me... I should be more acceptable" and then back to the square one "He lets me go, maybe because, he doesn't want to spend time with me". By the time these thoughts are processed and something comes out  of my mouth, it is totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and I sound like an ass, rather than someone who deals with logic day in and day out.
I end up feeling all kinds of guilt, then all kinds of frustration (why do I have spell it out every time.. its been so many years how come he doesn't know how to please me...which in a usual couple argument is often thrown back at me with the line "that I never see the glass as full")... and any action taken after such an argument leaves me even more confused, "Did he do it because he wanted to.. or because, I wanted him to?"
My emotions, and the range of thoughts are totally haywire, and maybe because, I am so dependant upon people telling me what to do, how to feel, how to react all the time, I become deranged with all the emotions. I mentally prepare a very strong speech about a certain situation, and that speech never comes out. Instead some blabbered nonsense comes out, almost like there is no connection between my brain and my vocal chords.

I hate sounding the way I sound in this post. Miserable. Confused. Angry. Antsy. And somehow plain needy. I wish I was a better person. A smarter person. But alas, this is me, And I am sorry.   

I am a nobody

For all my life, and trust me it's not been short, all I have done is trying to live up to the expectations. 
I just don't know how else to live. I try to make everyone happy. I don't remember the last time anyone bent too sideways for me. As for me, I think all I do is appease. Appease the Gods, the fate, appease the family, appease the boss, even my dog. 
I remember all those nights in my teenage, when I cried myself to sleep just hoping that I am understood. That for once my parents are proud of me. I remember windering about what is it that I do wrong. Why can't I ever get things in my brain. Why am I not tall, or pretty or thin? Why am I not talented? Why am I never good enough? Why is it that so wine else is better than me. I remember getting all the accolades in college, and being told that I am the one eyed kind amongst the blind. So much for being at the top. 
I am still not good enough. I still can't talk properly. I can't talk think properly and I can't seem to comprehend properly. 

It's almost 30 years of my being and I still can do nothing right. I am as ordinary as anyone else, the whole thing about being special.. It's nothing but new age mumbo jumbo. I am not even the hero in my own story. I am a nobody here too. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The tales of the Twisted Truth and White Lies!

We lie everyday. Every single day we lie to ourselves and to the people around us. Sometimes it is to save our own skin and at other times it is just for the sake of convenience.

Saving our own skin is mostly the reason when people would like to twist the facts.. and present it in an empathetic manner so that the punishment is not so severe. Like, when the marks in a math paper are poor, its often the paper that is tough and not the effort that is less. In work situations it is even worse, because unlike an exam paper, when one is working, there are so many circumstances that often play into one situation that even if you don't want, you end up twisting the facts to suit your ownself. When this is done by the boss, and all the blam is put on the juniors, the juniors feel that they are being short changed often leading to conflicts at the work place.

I am not condoning the lying and the scheming of the bosses and seniors, but we live in times of greys and not black and white. Sometimes, these twsited facts are the line between you being called a great and not getting a promotion. I would want to believe that each time any one of us decide to twist a fact in our favour we know what we are doing, and hope to God that the repercussions or karma does not come to bite back at us.

And then we twist the facts just for the sake of convenience. I know of an ex colleague of mine who would often tell the boss that "the work is done, but I have asked the Client for some information, and that has yet to come" even though she had not even started on that work. She admitted to this over lunch, and simply substantiated it by saying "You know the boss, right!". She said this to avoid any conferntational situation with the boss in front of the whole office. She claimed that she indeed has asked for some details from the Client and would only start work on the assignment once she receives it.

We do this a lot. We twist the facts, to save our asses and to avoid questions and confrontations. In work situations, it is like controlled nuclear reaction, you would often know what is the worst that can happen and you would accordingly take precautions ASAP, in order keep chaos at bay.

But in personal relatiohips, more often than not it creates a rift that you don't how to fill.

About 11 years back, when my parents had left me and my grandma (and the maid) to our own devices for two months, I did nothing that a teenager would do. My boyfriend was an online one, so the only thing that I would do is sit till 2 a.m. chatting away to glory. I did no sneak outs (helped my BFF to do them) and no partying per se (having my bff over and making pasta and pizza and staying up all night just the two of us does not count because my parents did know that I was doing that). However, I did do one thing stupid, I harboured a friend who decided to run away from her own house because her parents were very strict and even though my grandma showed that she knew nothing, she knew everything. The parents tracked her down to my house and police came, and the parents realised that we were just a teenage girl and grandma, they apologised for bringing reinforcements, and took their daughter away. My grandmother forbid me to meet that friend ever again in my life, and I obeyed her. Once my parents came back, she very gently broke the news to them and they just pulled me up for it. But we did not hide it from my parents. So, thus we came to learn the art of "breaking the news gently" to the parents.

But that was with the Parents.

In relationships of more intimate nature, lies/ twisting of the facts kill it. I learnt it the hard way. The husband also (this happened almost 6 years back) learnt this the hard way. But when you are married and everyday life is like a set of tasks on a to do list, the lies of convenience are often the way out. No further questions! Simple things like, "Did you do xyz thing?" .. is often responded as "Hmmm, oh I, I tried, but did not happen" whereas you wouldn't have even tried doing that task because you forgot. Forgetting is a sin in a relationship, especially if the tasks are time bound (a.k.a- bill payments/ ordering groceries!). Oh, and it does not happen initially. In a new relationship, it starts with "Oh, I forgot" and with the constant nagging and arguing that is entailed between the couple, one just never gets to know when lying for the sake of convenience takes over. It comes to the forefront when the one who has been lied to gets to know about it and doesn't know what to say or how to react. The first instinct is to fight. Then the next is to ignore. And often that is the course of action that you take. Ignore. But even though you ignore, you start second guessing each action of your partner. And then, you start feeling guilty. You start feeling like it is you, who has been behaving in a way that is an anamoly and that you do not instill enough confidence in your partner that you should be told the truth. And finally you start questioning your own credibility/ worthiness and your place in the life of your "life partner". Which leads to frustration and trust issues.
And the vicious circle continues.

You fight. You make up. And then you slip back in your old habits, till something comes up and you follow the same cycle again.

Yes, there is no black and white. And I am the last person to preach about "truth, and nothing but the truth" because truth is often a perspective to a situation. My truth maybe your lies. But we are not talking about morality here. We are talking about situations between people, in circumstances, where it can be avoided.
I am the kind of person who would bend sideways a lot for someone I care, often even take the blame.. but I am also the kind of person who expects that I am in loop, and from people who are like super close to me I don't expect twisted truths and white lies. And therefore I try that I don't twist the truth to the person from whom I expect the simple truth.
But alas, we are human, and we are flawed.
Or maybe we have become so grey or maybe the times have become so complicated!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For the love of "grey": A take on TV and its shows

Since the time I have been married, I have hardly watched TV. Which basically means that I haven't watched the cable television! My dear darling husband got me hooked to the idea of having our own media liberary. Hence we download our shows and religiously watch them as and when we get an opportunity. As a ritual we watch a couple of those together and then there are some that we watch at our own pace.
Add to the mix the launch of "Netflix", and boom, we have a plethora of shows from the west to whet our appetite for the television series.

The latest one that I have been hooked to is called "Blacklist". It is about a fugitive (an FBI most wanted) who has a blacklist of various thugs and who insists on engaging with a single FBI agent (who is the other protagonist) in the show in order to help FBI to take down the most wanted.
Similarly, there was another show in the past called the "White Collar", in which an ex con man teams up with an FBI agent in a twisted legal fashion to complete his prison sentence.
Then there are other shows, like "Madam Secretary", "the Good Wife" and the cult "Friends"; and various others that tackle various subjects that are different.
The shows are an exaggeration to an extent but the exaggeration is rooted in the reality of the people and who they are.
Almost all the protagonists in the western shows are REAL. They make mistakes and are not honour killed by the show writers by dialogues and music that is like cat scartching a wall. There is no black or white. There are women, yes the lead women who express their anguish, and who fall in love, despite being married. Who get re-married or find love again.
There are hidden agendas that they are pursuing for their own sakes, and which does not necessarily mean that their moral compass is OFF.

These real characters put shame to the protagonists in the Hindi television serials. It is impossible to relate with the Tulsi's and Parvati's and even the younger "yo" kind of characters that the Hindi TV Channels (or as a matter of fact, the Indian TV Channels) put forth to the viewers. How am I to believe that if I think about myself a little bit more than what I think about my family in general, it makes me a proverbial bitch who doesn't care. Or that, if I want to kiss a few frogs before I find my prince charming, I am a whore/ slut or characterless.
It is exactly this mind set that the country is trying to free itself from (thanks to the well read, and the internet). There are few who believe that it is okay to be selfish, and to sometimes put your own interest before the interest of an extended family who has nothing better to say.

The most glaring example of the disparity in how the television shows are treated (or rather how the television studios think about the intelligence of their audience) are the reality shows that are aired. Barring KBC, there have been no reality shows that are crisp. Even KBC for that matter now has become fraught with sob stories.
Another example of this disparity is the MasterChef series. MasterChef Australia as a show is just raising its standards every year, by the participants and the food that they portray. The hosts cum judges have become international celebraties thanks to the way the show runners have been running the show. And MasterChef India, oh well, from the bad quality of the food and the judges/ hosts, it is nothing but an emotional journey. There is no food journey at all.
And that is exactly the same with all our reality shows. They are fraught with more drama than talent. In an episode of 60 min while 15 minutes are kept for adverts, the rest of the content is not worth a 45 minute show. From antics of the host and the antics of judges, the sob stories.. it just gets worse every year. The singing/ dancing/ talent shows break your patience. With celebs coming there to promote their movies and then dancing/ singing with each contestant.. it is like publicity at the cost of the audience brain.  The show "Dancing with the Stars" which was adapted to "Jhalak Dikhlaja" was actually quite professional in the first 4 installments, and then it became like the rest. More antics and less content.

While the good thing about the reality shows is that it is a season based format, they trouble you only for a month or two or three but the drama shows on TV, the daily fix of the wives and mothers and some of us (till couple of years back) just go on and on and on with the same thing. A villian who will never change and a protagonist who is the epitome and a mixture of all things nice. There is always the family which is interfering in the love life of couples (married and unammried alike) and people scheming for the property of the others and they just don't stop. Unlike the shows in the west, where each season comprises of limited episodes.. here it will take two months (which is like 24 episodes) for one little thing to happen. In the current season of Blacklist, in episode 7 the protagonist finds out that she is having a baby, and by the 18th episode she has delivered the baby. The timelines are almost real.

Thank GOD for Zindagi TV, and Pakistani shows, which follow the similar format as the shows in West. Where the acting is good, the script is strong and make up plays NO role in a woman's life. Hell, they are even better dressed than the indian counter parts. As a matter of fact, two indian serials matching the genre and the style of zindagi were also introduced on the channel, but the writers just could not find that magic.
I am from the time when Waghle ki duniya, Buniyaad, Shanti, Junoon, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Shriman Shrimati, Tu Tu Main Main were in vogue and they were GOOD SHOWS. Even Flop Show by Jaspal Bhatti, was a social sattire and as a matter of fact, Movers and Shakers with Shekar Suman was a great show too.

While TV has moved into the realm of 24x7 liecenses, unfortunately the content has degraded to nonsensical shows and I wish that K revolution bought on by Ekta Kapoor had not happened and that TV viewing was a refreshing experience rather than a cringing one.

It is from the world of TV and Cinema that we, public at large set our compass. And while there is always meaninglessness that one finds on both these platforms, it is imperative that the audiences also start demanding meaningful content.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Turn on the HEAT!

The month of May has arrived with vengence. 
As Delhi recovers from the failed Odd- Even 2.0, the ban on the taxis run on diesel as a fuel by the Supreme Court (which was extended twice, btw) came into effect, and therefore today, the traffic was on a stanstill on the arterial roads of Delhi (because these taxi people wanted to protest). 

The temprature is being shown at 46 degrees celsius, which makes the travel to and fro  from office a free sauna experience. The only reief being that, I am driving and therefore I son't have to go through the pains of the public transport. 
Which by the way is one of the major reason's being cited by the 'experts' for the failure of the Odd-Even 2.0. 

My thing with traffic is that, people do not adhere to lane driving thus choking at the bottlenecks (especially at certain points, where everyone knows that there will be a bottle neck). 

In other news, it seems that the holiday that I was looking forward to is not happening. 

Little Sister is finally wrapping up her masters and is all set to come back for a longer period to home, before she joins the work force in full fledged capacity, and then we will be planning things according to the limited casula leaves, paid leaves and any other kind of leaves. It will be a huge thing for all of us, because, officially everyone in my family will now be in the "adult zone". Which is not a great thing. (For all that it is worth, growing up is the MOST overrated thing in the world)

I completed ONE month at my new job, and barring the cussing situation by the guys of the office, which I am getting used to, this seems okay for now. Being too optimistic about your workplace means that you are looking for an utopian situation, which vis - a vis an office is not true. 

And that is all there is to the start of May. 
Lets hope that the doubts remain as it is. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Celor ce duc mai mult dorul,le pare mai dulce odorul

This is a romanian proverb. The google translator gives it a weird meaning, but in essence it means that "Absence Sharpens Love, Presence Strengthens it"

While we were dating, we were apart for about 5 years. Hell, we started our relationship on a virtual platform, and the amount of times that I read first half of the quote to calm my head and heart, I can't even count. When we were together (at times meeting for a couple of days once in a year), we wanted to be inseparable but at that point in time we would hardly take any risks and told lies that were beyond our control.
The first time he came to meet me, about 8 months after we had started dating, three bombs went off in Delhi, and one of them was at a hotel 500 meters away from the one he was staying at. We had known each other for 8 months. I had met him for the first time EVER in my life, and I felt crushed, when those bombs went off and I could not reach him. It was probably also the moment that I must have realised that I am totally madly in love with him.
I also remember the times when Ma (his Mom) used to call me just to get herself reassured that I had indeed spoken to him, and the confidence with which I used to reply to her while my heart was in a flutter (because I had obviously not spoken to him and I did not want to worry her). And then, the struggle to find him all over his college (I am so thankful to all his friends who used to do the legwork for me!) only to find that he is playing a stupid LAN game.

I remember the first time ever when he came to Delhi to work, and how every other day, when I used to leave for college, and eventually bunking it to spend the day with him, holed up in his house coaxing him to cook for me, watching some movies on his laptop, and just being with each other.

While I enjoy the perks of being married, I do miss the quintissential times of our dates at his house or the movies. The fact that we just could not have enough of each other.

I still worry about him. A lot. For when he tells me that he is leaving his office in 20 mins, and he doesn't reach home even after an hour, I get worried sick and call him. Even if I try to put my head to other things and not think about the time, I end up calling him. We have had numerous arguements about his track record of keeping a track of time. While I trust him and his driving skills, my heart is usually in my throat when he is driving and driving fast. Poor guy has heard so many "Jaan, careful" while he is driving that I often feel bad. But, I am just worried about him.
Or more so worried about us.
Okay, about me. (for obvious reasons)

We have been together for so long that people (and I believe, him too) feel that the novelty has worn off and that things can be taken for granted. Yes, things like farting around each other can be taken for granted, but I just cannot think of taking him or my relationship with him for granted. He does happen to be my universe (and I wish he would know that), and that every little thing that I do or say, is because of my love for him (and a little selfishness too). And each hug for me from him, even after so many years is as exciting as the first one, almost 11 years back. I just wish that he was not so wary of my love. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Of Hill stations with weird names and Animal cruelty that I can't comprehend!

The last weekend was a long one (surprisngly two long weekends in two consecutive months!! How awesome is THAT!!)
And we had Husband's cousin sisters over from Kolkata. Delhi is hot (and getting worse by the day), so it was decided that we shall take a trip to the hills. What was supposed to be a relaxing weekend for me and my husband turned out to be a super tiring affair.
In any case so we went to spend a night at Naukuchital and also saw the lake of Bhimtal. Naukuchiatal is a very very very small place, and to access it you have to drive via Bhimtal through a super narrow road! It is about 8 hours drive from Gurgaon, and the roads have become really awesome. I have of course visited the saat tals during my child hood and I was surprised that the usual stink that was associated with the lakes was not there any more.
We spent the night at small little 10 room boutique hotel called Spring Bird Hotel with an awesome staff and a cook who even though took 30 mins + to cook a meal would do an amazing job with the food!!
These guys (husband and the sisters) did para gliding and while I would have liked to attempt it, I just could not get around to do doing it. It may be because I was scared, or maybe because I thought that it was too much money and that it was not worth it.. or maybe because I just did not feel like it. So, these guys had a lot of fun gliding down while I sat down with some peace in sun and caught up on a few pages of my book. We then went down to Bhimtal and took a ride on the boat and visited their aquarium in middle of the lake, which was surprisingly very very well maintained!
Our lunch at the I Heart Cafe however  was the highlight of the trip before we returned home that night.

Next morning was brunch and shopping at Lajpat, the market was empty and it was eerie to say the least. Girls shopped like mad, and it was finally time to say bye to them.

In this entire trip I realised that these girls are sort of spoilt by their brother a.k.a my Husband and that when they say that they feel stifled at their house, it is their own fault. (This topic will require another analysis altogether, and I don't think that it will be appreciated, so I will leave it at this only!)
<3 11="" a="" absolutely="" affair="" amazing="" ambience="" american="" an="" and="" been="" bhimtal.="" breakfast="" but="" by="" cafe.="" cafe="" chill.="" conversation="" couple="" food="" for="" fun="" go="" great="" have="" heart="" hindi="" i="" in="" india="" is="" it="" just="" kids="" kind="" last="" menu="" nbsp="" of="" owners="" p="" pizza="" place="" read:="" regular="" run="" school="" speak="" staying="" the="" their="" to="" which="" who="" with="" years="">
On the other front, Shaktiman, the poor horse who got injured because at a protest organized by BJP passed away yesterday after battling with infections on his leg that was injured and later amputated. This was a police horse, and because the media really does need fodder they sensionalized it (which was good, otherwise the poor horse would not have received as much love and care as it got).
But everyday (and I am not even exaggertaing), on my news feed on FB, I see posts from the animal rescues and NGO's working towards the betterment of animals about how people just abandon their pets. Dogs are left on the roads and the people just drive away without even looking back. How in the world is that even fair?
Why are we as people so cruel towards these animals? Why can't we just let them be? If you don't like them then don't keep them. And for the sake of everything that makes you human, DO NOT hit them or instigate them.
Even human life has no big value any more (case in point that idiot minor who took his car out and ended up killing a 32 year old guy who was just walking on his side of the road), so it is impossible to even expect that they would be nice to voiceless animals who have nothing against them.
It is a weird world that we are staying in!