Every angle, every direction I look, there’s something new,
I wish I could explore more, if only I was not strapped and chair bound.
I keep trying to see things in these clouds,
Any shapes and figures my mind can conjure,
Seems ethereal, like a mystical mystery it shrouds,
That makes me look out in amazement and ponder.
The soft, fleecy clouds floating about,
To my inner child’s imagination, could be a million scoops of icecream,
Or sometimes, my devout heart can see God’s divine rays peeking out.
Other times, my logical mind can only marvel at the Creator’s scientific genius, while the poet in me can simply stare and dream.
Myriad thoughts, endless emotions,
Gives a chance for me and the infinity to converse.
Every time I am flying through the clouds, I feel like I am entranced with some magic potion,
Coz I am always left in awe of the magnificence and humbled by magnanimity of the universe.
I have been fortunate to fly many times in my life. Yet the view from the top never ceases to amaze me. ⛅☁️❤️ The pristine white clouds floating by, maintaining perfect balance, stretching as far as my eyes can see till the horizon, always casts a spell on me. And unless it’s a very early morning flight (in which case I am probably sleeping even before takeoff 😂😂), I am always looking out, soaking in the beauty of the sky, lost in a plethora of thoughts and sometimes remembering to capture some pictures that can help in day dreaming when I am back to mundane life on land..what are your thoughts when you’re flying? What do you think about? Please tell me in the comments. You know it wouldn’t hurt to know there are a few crazies out there just like me 😊💟
As most of you must be aware, Tokyo Olympics 2020 just came to an end recently followed by the Paralympics, where the best athletes from all around the globe competed to win the much coveted medals and make their countrymen proud of their heroic efforts and achievements.
When I was a kid, I loved watching the Olympics. So many different events. So many people from all over the world competing. To this day, I am quite an avid follower (although I am hardly a sportsperson myself. Maybe I would be, if being a couch potato was a sport 😂😂). I may not have the time to watch all of it anymore, but I do check the highlights every day. It’s not just the competition that appeals to my heart. Its always been the burning fire in their eyes, the passion to bring all their years of hardwork and dedication to fruition and also some exemplary acts of sportsmanship, friendship and respect for each other. Any form of sports can really teach us a lot about all such virtues which we can learn from and try to inculcate in our own lives, even off the field.
I particularly like reading about the winners and their journey. The many obstacles and hurdles most of them have managed to overcome to come and compete on this global level. Whether it’s physical disabilities, poverty, discrimination, exploitation, racial and gender biases, each one have their own struggles and their own journeys, each of which is absolutely inspirational and really admirable.
During one such reading spree, I came across a very interesting article about a rather bizarre sight quite often seen in the Olympics as well as in other sporting events. It’s called something like ‘Sad Silver Face’ or ‘Sad Silver Syndrome’
In the various pictures taken of the medal winners, it was seen that the Gold and Bronze winners had the brightest smiles while the Silver winners are often seen sulking, brooding or frowning. They have a look of disdain, disappointment, dejection or even anger in some cases. Isn’t it wierd that this person is being awarded the 2nd best position in his/her game and yet somehow they’re not happy or satisfied? And right next to them, is another person, who has achieved lesser (bronze winners) but is still so much happier.
This is because the Silver medalist actually Lost the match to the Gold medal winner. That’s why they look so disappointed. Because in their minds, they keep going over their own mistakes, analysing where they went wrong. They keep wondering how different and wonderful things would be, if the game had ended in their favour. If only they had not made that tiny mistake, if only the opponent had conceded a point. This constant comparison with the one who fared better, really depletes any joy of their own victory. They are so preoccupied with the what ifs, that often times, they don’t value the precious and historic moment that they have actually created for themselves. And hence the ‘Sad Silver Faces’. 🥈😩😖😟😡😭
On the other hand, there are the Bronze medal winners. They achieve a spot on the pedestal by WINNING against their opponent. Unlike the top 2, securing a medal is not guaranteed for them. It’s either a medal or no medal. Either they get to kiss a medal and secure their place in the history of the sports or they go home empty handed with so much regret and disappointment. So when they defeat their opponents to secure the Bronze medal, their happiness understandably knows no bounds. And that’s why they are often seen to be smiling from ear to ear, celebrating and enjoying every moment of it. 🥉😊😄🥳🎉
I guess we can also relate this to our own lives. Its all a matter of perspective. Just like the silver medal winners, most of us are so busy looking and comparing to those that have more than us, that we forget how far we ourselves have come, how much we have achieved. We forget to appreciate what we have and be thankful for all the good in our lives. Constant comparison with someone who has more or has it better, only diminishes the quality of our lives. It takes away from our own accomplishments, contentment, happiness and peace of mind. For the few wise ones who adopt the bronze winner mindset, they will definitely be happier, be more in the moment, savour every minute and celebrate every little accomplishments along the way. Be thankful that at least they came this far.
So, in this race called LIFE, which medal winner do you wanna be? Do tell in the comments. 💖💖
This is precisely the thought on my mind of late. Being stuck at home and waking up every day to do the same thing I did yesterday, I think I have been sucked into the monotony of life. And trust me, I ain’t complaining. I love monotony. It’s predictable, it’s boring and boring is comforting. I know only too well that It doesn’t take much for things to go awry. One phone call, one visit to the doctor, one mishap and life can turn upside down and chaos can set in. And I don’t function well in chaos. I don’t like chaos. God knows I have had more than enough of it in my lifetime.
For the past 2 years, I have led my life in a pretty routine manner. Wake up, office work, household chores, use whatever free time is left to attend to my little garden, binge watch, read, paint, walk or exercise on some days. And the same thing next day.
I take each day as it comes and truly try to live in the present and give my best in the present moment, without much (or any) thought or plans for the future. But is that really enough? I thought so, but seems like people around me disagree. It started with a discussion with the husband when he told me that it’s not enough. That I must try to broaden my horizons. That everyone needs to have a vision of where they see themselves in a few years and then work on a plan to get there. Smarty pants gave me a full blown lecture on the importance to plan for the road ahead. And I do know it comes from a place of concern and good intentions, but this is sort of a sensitive topic for me, so everytime we have such a discussion, I act out, get defensive and the discussion turns into a spat!! 😵😖
The thing is, I have had some bitter experience in the past related to dreaming big wonderful things. Whenever I have dreamt of doing something for myself, planned for something, wanted something so bad, life’s evil tricks have landed all such plans and aspirations flat on their face and shattered all the dreams. Like one time, I got into one of the best MBA colleges. My undergrads college experience was quite dull and boring so, I had gone there with the determination to make this count. I wanted this post-grad experience to be epic. To party hard, study hard and excel. And I did. For a few months. Until a blood clot landed up in my lungs and I ended up in the ICU!! I lost out on a year. I could have gone back. I could have finished. But I just ended up going back to work and never completed my post grads. And this is neither the worst thing to have happened nor the only time. Such things have happened again and again. Everytime I pick myself up, something new and worse knocks me right down.
So, I have made peace with the fact that planning and dreaming is probably not for me. I strive to live wholeheartedly in the present moment and make the most of it. After all, even the worst of obstacles can’t shatter a dream you haven’t dreamt or kill the hopes you haven’t built. Just going with the flow, each day at a time. Just drifting. You could say it’s my defence mechanism, my safety net. My make-believe-cocoon-of-happiness.
However the recent spat with the husband continued to bother me. Not because we fought and said things. We did reconcile the next day. But I kept wondering, is he right (can you imagine how hard it must be for a wife to admit that😛)? Does he have a valid point?🤔 Whenever, I have such existential crisis questions bothering me, I resort to some advice from my bestie. Whenever in crisis or self doubt, she’s my go to person. My free therapist!! She lives in another country, she’s awfully busy but she understands when I NEED to talk to her. And this time our chat was immensely uplifting and an eye opener of sorts for me. And this is what she had to say.
She asked me the same thing that is the title of my blog..‘ Do you want to drift or do you want to be driven?. If you drift along, go with the flow, with no certain plans, no direction, no aspirations, no expectations, then you will probably lead a comfortable but mediocre life. Wishes will remain unfulfilled, desires will remain dormant, achievements few and sense of accomplishment even less. Years later when you look back at your life, you will probably realize it wasn’t the best version of the life you hoped for, with many unfulfilled dreams, many items not checked from your bucket list. And then you might wish you had taken a different approach. That, despite circumstances, you had taken the reins of your life in your own hand. Been the one riding the car of your life rather than being in the passenger seat and see life just whisk past you. But then it will probably be too late and all you will have is just regret. Regret for not doing more, not doing better for yourself. Instead, now if you decide that you don’t want to just drift from one day to the next but instead be driven, by taking control of your life and deciding on a direction, a path and work towards it, then irrespective of how things turn out (and by that I mean Fate being a total b**ch and F-ing up things), you will atleast have the satisfaction that you tried. You tried to make a difference, you tried to make your life more fulfilled, more meaningful. Even if things don’t work out as you planned, You can accept things without regret. And that will also give you some much needed peace and satisfaction.‘
Needless to say, her words really left an indelible impression on me. And yes, it’s given me some courage to atleast think about things. What I want, who I want to be down the line. And after many many years, I am atleast giving it some thought. That itself is a big step in the right direction for me.
And this is the exact reason I am sharing this here. So that , if any of you reading this, find yourself in a similar predicament where you’re afraid to dream, to hope, to aspire, that reading this may give you some food for thought and propel you to think about not just drifting along, not just surviving from day to day, but actually driving your life in the direction that your heart desires. Would love to hear to hear your thoughts on this. Remember, we are all in this together. ❤️❤️
That could totally break you and shatter your near and dears?
Would you wait and wait longer,
Or would you face reality and come out stronger?
Would you just ignore your imminent troubles?
Or rather come out of your pretend-to-be-happy bubble,
And face the reality that awaits,
Just ready to barge in and desecrate
Everything that you hold dear,
And make all the little joys disappear.
The truth is seldom pleasant,
But the fear is omnipresent.
So i wonder out loud, is it better to continue to live in denial,
Or to muster the courage and face whatever ‘reality monster’ awaits and fight for your survival?
Have you ever felt like this? Like you’re so scared of the outcome that you prefer to live in denial rather than face the music?…it could be a breakup or a visit to the doctor or a thesis submission or any other situation that needs to be addressed and dealt with, but there’s always the possibility that things won’t go your way and will have significant consequences that might adversely affect the course of your future. So, instead of just getting done with it, we just sit on it, too afraid of what the outcome might be. On the surface, everything is normal, everything is mundane, but underneath the veneer of normalcy, there lurks a hidden fear, that just eats you up little by little. Have you ever been in such a predicament? I know I have. And it’s not a happy state to be in. Would love to know your thoughts and how you handled it..Much love to all of you fighting such secret battles 💟💟
So about 6 months ago, when we had just about stepped into 2020, I had written a post (read My Quest for a new ‘Talent’) basically elaborating on the lack of any special skills or talents that I can brag about or post on social media to make my ‘social media friends’ go awww in awe of my talents and also be a source of joy to myself in the process. So I set out on a quest to look through every nook and corner of YouTube, Instagram to see if it would give me new ideas that I could pursue in this quest for finding me a ‘talent’. A few such activities/ideas did make it to my coveted ‘Talents to be tried’ list…some worked out, some not quite … thought it will be fun to share it with you all.
Wait, is that 👆👆 me? Well, I will let you be the judge of that…let’s get started 😀
1. Paint by numbers : 👎🏻
When I came across this, I was blown away..I always thought painting was fun but it’s been years since I have held a painting brush in my hand. So the idea of numbers guiding through was so encouraging. I mean it had 2 favourite things of mine..numbers and paints. It could never go wrong. As the Amazon package arrived, I looked at it and immediately made plans to hang the ‘masterpiece’ in the living room to soak up praises from anyone visiting. 😎
However, it’s only when I started, I realized it was no mean feat. The canvas was quite big and the numbers minuscule. It was a test of my patience and my eye sight. But I didn’t give up. For the next few days, every night I was hard at work. And I did make some progress. But the end was nowhere in sight. After more than a month of such perseverance, I realized I wasn’t even halfway through. My enthusiasm and patience was weaning off. My husband saying, ‘hey I can’t figure out what the hell you’ve been trying to draw for the past few weeks’ was the last straw…it’s still lying there waiting to be finished. Maybe one day I will pick up from where I left it and finish it. Maybe once it’s finished, it will really look good. Honestly, it’s a great idea. If you are really really patient, this is perfect for you. For me, I ran out of patience and this talent didn’t quite work out. 😔
2. Gardening: 👍🏻
Well, I know this is more of a hobby than a talent. But it’s something I have picked up pretty recently so I thought it deserves a mention. Now if you do read my blog regularly or even scroll through some of my recent blogs (My Mini Garden Tales, Spring for my Soul 🌻🌼🦋🌺), you will know that I have totally fallen in love with gardening. Every morning, that’s the first place I go to. To see if seeds have sprouted or there are new flowers blooming or some plant needs some pruning. I make a mental list of the things to do in the mini garden later in the day. It’s tedious and time consuming but hell, I love it!! So yayy. thumbs up alright 🌼🌻🌺🌹
3. Bottle Painting: 👍🏻
I have to say, this has to be the best thing I stumbled upon on YouTube. There are some amazing channels on YouTube with detailed tutorial videos on painting bottles and decorating them with different things. I am as addicted to watching these videos as I am into trying them all out..so far, I have tried my hand at mandala art, glass paint, tissues, lentils, pista covers, Charred paper and currently clay…all on glass bottles..it’s so engrossing and creatively very satisfying.
And once done, they make way to my work desk where they are displayed in all their glory and just looking at them makes me happy. At this rate, I fear I have to get a bigger table just to fit them all. 😂😂 Earlier, I would get Amazon packages regularly with new clothes, tops and dresses. These days, it’s all about my art supplies. Colors, brushes, varnish, glue, clay etc etc. In fact at the back of my mind, I am always thinking of my next project, what to do and how to do it. So this one definitely gets a big thumbs up 👍🏻😀💟
4. Good ol’ painting: 👍🏻
Since I already had all the colors and brushes for bottle painting, I thought, why not try the traditional water painting. Honestly, I am NOT a great painter. I can draw sceneries but I CANNOT draw human figures, I just don’t get the dimensions right and they end up looking more like hobbits. 🤷Yet, it feels so great to draw and paint in a coloring book. Reminds me of my childhood. I haven’t done much although. Definitely hope to do more of it in the coming days. But that’s a thumbs up too 👍🏻🎨
Infact I have been using up all the paints to paint whatever I can find, mugs, cardboard boxes…Its just fun playing around with colors and giving them a makeover. 💟💟😀
Apart from all these, I am always looking for new DIY projects that aren’t too complicated and will be fun thing to do. I have made a list of few more things like wall decor items, making artificial flowers out of waste materials. We’ll see how that goes.
But what I have realised in the past few months is that we are never too old to try something new. We just have to take the initiative and jump right in…maybe the first time, it won’t be that good or not any good at all, but who cares. As long as we have fun and enjoy ourselves, thats all that really matters.
So if there’s something that you have always wanted to try out, but couldn’t , for whatever reason, now’s as good a time as any. Give it a go. Am sure you will enjoy yourself. Do tell in the comments. 😀✌️
The other day, I stumbled upon the most beautiful sunset I have seen in a while.
One that caught me by surprise and made me break into a smile.
So many shades, like a painter’s canvas,
Or a writer’s cathartic poetic stanza.
Just stood there soaking in the beauty with a fixed gaze,
Nature’s magnanimity and magnificence never fails to amaze.
Left me with the profound realization,
Just like every sunset promises a new dawn,
In the same way, the bad times eventually gives way to the good ones.
Which ushers in promises of new hope, some laughter and even some dance.
So, no matter how awful was the day,
Keep some faith in Mother nature’s mysterious ways,
When you least expect, she will send the most beautiful surprise your way.
One that will momentarily make you forget your worries and take all your stress away. 💗💗
Due to the relaxations in the lockdown restrictions imposed in my city, Last weekend stepped out to have lunch at a friend’s house..they have a beautiful south west facing balcony and the sunset view from there was just breathtaking…clicked endless pics…sharing a few with you all..do let me know if you like it. What are your thoughts or realisations on seeing such beautiful sunrises and sunsets? Do tell 😊💟
The pandemic hit us all hard and left us stuck at home with the same mundane routine of office work, incessant zoom calls and endless household chores (man,they never get over)..but if social media is any proof, it’s also given most of us some spare time to reconnect… reconnect with ourselves, reconnect with our old friends and also to reconnect with our hobbies and passions…I see endless posts from my friends/acquaintances putting up pictures of their culinary skills or fitness routines, or artwork or poetries…just like them, even I have discovered a new found love …for gardening 🌱🌿
First of all, it’s been many months of lockdown here owing to the ravaging second wave. The nearest nursery from where I bought the plants has been closed forever. So it’s been about 5-6 months that I couldn’t buy any new plants. So to keep up the garden, I knew I had to take extra care of the pant babies already there and make sure that they continue to thrive. And to my utter joy, they did. Most of them anyway. 😊😍
However, despite my best efforts I failed to save 2 of my plant babies…I tried to water more, water less, repot, everything a novice like me knew or could think of. But they just gradually withered and slipped away. ☹️☹️
But, Mother nature works in mysterious ways. While I couldn’t save 2 of the plants despite trying so hard, a few stems just sprang up out of nowhere and blossomed to full sized healthy plants… with zero effort from my side!! Talk about Circle of life. Funny thing, till now I am not even sure what these are called. If you guys have a clue, do let me know in the comments section. But they are beautiful and thriving. So name or not, I Ain’t complaining. 💟🌿😀
A few weeks back I went down to get some groceries and on my way back I noticed some beautiful potted plants near the security guards’ room. I came to know that the owners were not living here currently so they were left to his care. So took his permission and cut out a few stems and used them to fill my empty pots. And with some nurturing and care, they have been doing pretty well so far. Welcome home babies 💟💟
Next up, I turned my attention to the kitchen. I did some research to see what veggies or greens can be grown easily and how to get started on them. For now, I used some pumpkin, papaya, lemon, chilly and coriander seeds and slowly they are coming out. Yet to get any fruits but it’s a joy seeing them come to life from a few dried seeds. I never realized how fun it is to see new stems popping out of the soil to form full grown plants. Here they are 😀😀
And like before (read Rebirth…), I planted some dried up leftover flowers into the soil and I can see new plants. Whether they bear flowers or not, we will have to wait and see.
Well it’s been less than a year since I started working on my mini balcony garden. And I am still learning. Must say, being a plant parent is a lot of work. You gotta ensure you’re watering them right, make sure unwanted insects don’t eat up the leaves, get rid of them if need be, ensure they get adequate sunlight. But it’s also been a very enriching and fulfilling experience. It keeps me busy. It keeps me happy. And most importantly, it keeps me hopeful. Every time, a flower blossoms or a tiny little stem sprouts up from the soil, it’s just pure, unadulterated joy. And for that I thank my beautiful plant babies 🥰😍.
It’s amazing how the smallest things sometimes trigger memories from the past, flash moments from days gone by and takes you back in time. Something similar happened the other day as I sat down in front of the TV and while surfing channels, suddenly a movie being aired in one one of the movie channels caught my attention.
As the title suggests, the name of the film playing on was called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The film released many years before I was born. And I was introduced to this musical family with a magic car by my grand father. It was probably the first film I had seen or maybe the first one I remember watching and loving. If you ask me today how much of it I understood as a toddler, then I would perhaps say…. not much..but I do vaguely remember being amused by this family singing, dancing and flying off in a custom made, very cool car. But what remains etched in my mind till this day..is the image of me and my grandpa enjoying the film together. And the camaraderie I shared with him even as a toddler.
I sat there watching the film…trying to recall the storyline…didn’t remember much… instead was taken back in time…to the time I spent with my grand father and the many memories I had with him over the years…how he would smoke his much beloved cig and explain the workings of the world and I would just sit there, listening intently, soaking it all up and truly enjoying his words of wisdom and loving him for being the most doting grandpa one can have…it was truly a walk down memory lane..And the movie was just as enjoyable this time as well..😊😊
The other day, while talking to my mother-in-law, she told me “dear, you have been living in isolation at home for the past 6 months, you must make phone calls and talk to people more often. Call your friends, cousins..just talk to them regularly about anything that’s bothering you and which you can’t discuss with us oldies. It’s always good to get things off of your chest”. I know it was a well intended piece of advice from someone who cares a great deal, but as if on autopilot mode, pat came the reply “No thank you, I don’t need to share my problems with anyone”. The reply was brazen and there was an uncomfortable, awkward silence for a few seconds before I said “I am fine. Really. Don’t worry”, in an effort to get past this awkward juncture in the conversation.
Truth be told, the sheer bluntness of my reply caught me by surprise. And am sure it surprised her as well. Because, anybody who knows me, sees me as a bubbly, cheerful, talkative individual. And it is true. I am that. I am comfortable talking non stop, even with strangers!! I love socializing, meeting people, be it family or friends, having pleasant conversations. Forwarding double meaning WhatsApp chats 😛😛. You can talk about anything under the sun. And I will have my 2 cents to add to that. I am easy going and have no airs or pretences. I am just as comfortable with someone I met recently and know nothing about, as I am with my oldest friends.
But that happy go lucky exterior is just a part of me. A part that all people see. The part that I want them to see. And like I mentioned earlier. That part IS me. I am not faking it or pretending. But there’s a whole other part which is unknown to the world, including many I have known my entire life.
This is the part that is fighting a silent fight every moment of every day. The one that’s in constant pain. Physical pain? Yes, very much so, due to the myriad health issues. But much more than that, it’s the mental pain. Pain of not having so many things I wanted, of not getting to experience so many things that most people take for granted. It’s the part that lives in constant fear, anxiety and grief. The part that’s always afraid of what the future holds. The part that always overthinks, over stresses and over analyzes and is basically in panic mode 24/7. Most people who know me have no clue about this other part. This other side of me. It’s like 2 dual personalities coexisting, almost like the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Just that, here it’s not a case of good and evil. Rather, a case of happy and sad.
This brief conversation really got me thinking. Why is it that I find it easy to share my happiness with others but never my sadness? Share the little joys but never the sorrow? After all, that too is as much a part of me and who I am. And it’s not that people haven’t reached out to me, offering to listen with genuine intent. But the moment that happens, I freeze. Unable to speak, unable to communicate. Unable to share. Unable to open up. What am I so afraid of? Being judged? Being perceived differently? Being labeled a crybaby? I pondered over this question for quite a while. And even now, I don’t have a 100% clear answer to that. But I think I figured out a few possible reasons for that.
Maybe I don’t share my sorrows because I don’t want to look weak, or maybe because I don’t want anybody’s sympathy. God, I know I hate that when people say ‘oh poor you’, ‘don’t worry everything will be fine’ and other such well meaning stuff which are probably said out of genuine concern, BUT no, I don’t want it. I don’t want to be the sad, hopelessly depressed soul who people start ignoring and avoiding after a while, coz ‘oh she’s such a drama’ or ‘oh she’s such an epic bore’, or ‘poor thing, she’s been through so much, no wonder she’s so sad’. No, certainly not what I want.
Because you see, I really believe that some fights are personal. Some battles are best fought alone. Just like the good and evil are always at war inside us, so is the happy and sad. And just like good triumphs over evil, on the days or moments, when that happiness triumphs over the sadness…..well that’s a battle well fought and won. And each such moment, when I choose to keep aside the sadness and decide to BE happy (not fake it), it’s definitely worth celebrating. To pat and tell myself ‘Girl, you did well!!’. It’s like a party thrown by me…For Me!! After all, who can understand you better than yourself? Who can really push you and be your biggest motivator? YOU!! 😀😎
So for the outside world, I’d rather be the gal with the cherubic smile. The one who’s fun to be around. The one with no worries. And maybe eventually, I will BE that person. FULLY.
We’ll see how that goes. Here’s hoping. 😀😀
Ps. All images are from Google.
Edit: seeing the comments, I should clarify..my mom in law understands my need to do this myself and we are totally cool. We immediately patched up and are back to chit-chatting, including some family gossips 😜😛😂
Ok now let’s admit it…just like comfort food, we all have a favourite show that we keep going back to again and again. As as the title suggests very clearly, for me that’s always been this one.
Well for those of you who don’t know about it (is there anyone who doesn’t 🤔🤔), Friends is an American television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons. You can refer to the wiki link for more info
So what’s so special about this series that infact ended 16 years ago. Why is it that of all the shows on all the OTT platforms, I chose to write only about this one?
Truth be told I myself started watching this series much later,infact even after all 10 seasons ended. But till this day,it’s my go-to show.
So what’s so great about the show and why is it that I write about a show that was first aired more than 25 years ago? Well for me, it’s always been about all 6 protagonist characters. Each unique with their own distinctive characteristics and yet how well they mesh to form a lifelong friendship. A kind of friendship that sets an example and a benchmark even today. Let me elaborate a little about each of them to better explain my point.
Let’s start with Monica Geller. She was an obese adolescent with a set of very biased parents who clearly favoured her brother over her. Always. Yet she always had a clear vision about what she wanted in life. Whether it was about the perfect guy to give her ‘flower’ to (nobody called it that even 26 years ago😂😂), or what profession she wanted to pursue or how EVERYTHING in sight had to be spotless and in perfect arrangement and symmetry. An obsessive, compulsive person with a stickler for cleanliness. Yet, No matter how much her friends picked on her for this, she never bothered and did everything with great passion and fervour.
Since we started with Monica, we have to talk next of the love of her life..her best friend, partner in crime, boyfriend and then husband…Chandler Bing. The one who was known for mastering the art of using sarcasm and humor as a defence mechanism and was shown to be extremely Commitment phobic for a long time. Yet when things get serious between the two, chandler almost metamorphises into the most loving, loyal and adoring husband. Infact Mondler (Monica+ chandler) became couple goals and remains so till this day in my opinion. Could I BEE any more right??!!
Next up is Ross Geller, brother of Monica, best friend of chandler and ex husband of Carol, Emily and Rachel (yes poor fellow had 3 marriages and 3 consecutive divorces for various reasons in a span of 10 seasons!!!). He is a paleontologist with a love for all things dinosaurs And related to evolution. A typical nerd some might say. Yet 3 marriages. Thoughtful, sensitive, loyal and a genuinely sweet simple guy. A medical marvel right from birth. And of course, his eternal feelings for Rachel ❤️❤️. That was and still is #lovegoals.
We have to talk of Rachel now. That’s Rachel Green. The hottie of the group. The school friend of Monica who joins the group after running away from the altar on her wedding day. Through the seasons we saw her evolve from a rich entitled daddy’s girl to a self sufficient, self reliant woman who carves out her own identity. Of course she makes errors in judgement along the way, shown to be a terrible cook, nightmare roommate for Monica, but never afraid to fight for what she wants and who she wants. Some would call her a pushover but that never detered her. And of course I have to add…she was Ross’s lobster 💗💗.
The 5th friend in the group was Phoebe Buffay. She’s the most hilarious even without trying and always has the most unexpected response to all things. Inspite of a very unusual childhood, she is shown to be an extremely positive person with a zest for life. Unlike her mean twin Ursula, Phoebe was kind, loyal,sweet and had a childlike enthusiasm for the simplest things. Not to mention her odd guitar playing skills and her bizarre song lyrics. Remember Smelly cat?? Iconic!!😆😆
And last but certainly not the least, my absolute favourite character…. Joey Tribbiani. A mostly out of work terrible actor with a strong liking for all things pretty and pizza!!! Joey is a secret keeper of all his friends, fiercely loyal and never thought twice about standing up for his friends, even ditching girlfriends if they did not like his friends. With an IQ of a 5 year old he was undoubtedly the most funny guy out there. And for me Joey will always be #bestfriendgoals
All 6 of them have their own unique personalities, their own flaws and yet together they form a formidable group of friends who stick by each other through thick and thin. Who point out each others’ mistakes and support each other every step of the way. They have a bond so strong and so special that it strikes a chord and resonates with the viewers even today. It makes you yearn for friends as them and also teaches a thing or two about the kind of friend each of us should strive to be. Whether it is Joey’s loyalty, Chandler’s humor, Ross’s sensitivity, Monica’s passion, Rachel’s kindness or Phoebe’s craziness….there’s something to love, learn and enjoy about each of them.
Needless to say, I am an ardent fan of the show and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t watched it before. You can thank me later .😀😀
At the very onset, let me clarify this is NOT a blog about mathematics but rather a sudden realization that’s growing stronger over time as we spend more and more time quarantined at home due to the ongoing pandemic that’s taken over every aspect of our lives and the world at large.
So what’s so special about us 90’s kids that made me put it in the title of my blog? Well to begin with, we are probably the last generation that can speak of a gadget free childhood. When kids were not addicted to video games but rather looked forward to going outside and playing every evening with our friends, returning home with dirty clothes due to playing in the mud. When hide and seek or cricket or football used to be our favourite thing to do. When watching cartoons like Tom and Jerry or Popeye the sailor brought unlimited joy. When using fountain pens at school gave us a sense of ‘growing up’. When school term beginning meant the very important process of covering our books with brown paper and of course when we actually carried all these books in our heavy square bags. When classroom meant sitting on benches playing tic tac toe or hangman with friends in notebooks and lunchtime meant sharing our food with friends. When we used to wait for special occasions like festivals to get new clothes. When Sundays meant a specially cooked meal by mom. When summer and winter holidays were spent playing indoor games like cards, carrom, ludo, snakes and ladders or scrabble with the entire family. It was all about spending quality time with the family. When hot ginger tea was the best beverage and partying meant attending a wedding or Birthday party. It was all so simple and yet so much fun. For those of us who very proudly refer to ourselves as the 90’s kids..am sure these memories will ring true with each one of you. Surely the best of times- those good ol’ days.
As we entered into the new century, technology gradually started making an entry into our lives. I remember my first desktop with a huge big screen and an even bulkier CPU. Oh the adrenaline rush of playing Road Rash or Pacman for the first time. And then there was THE INTERNET. Which till today I firmly believe to be the best invention in the last 100 years!!! And the joy of Google search. Everything I ever wanted to know about the world was now just a click away. Much before Facebook came knocking, we had Orkut. Where it was the moral obligation of my friends to write a testimonial for me. As a testament to our friendship. Longer the testimonial, the better friends we were. Amen.
With each passing day, more and more technology made its way into our lives. First we had those big bulky Nokia mobiles with antennae that looked like satellite phones used by spies in movies, soooo heavy that if thrown it could crack a skull or two (just saying, never tried though😛). I remember my first phone. It had a coloured screen. And was primarily used for incessant messaging with friends the night before semester exams. And then came the next best invention of this millennium…..THE SMARTPHONE!!!❤️❤️ And that pretty much changed EVERYTHING we have known this far.
Coz you see..the smartphone became more than just a phone. It became our whole life … on the move. No more visiting banks, putting ads in paper for prospective spouse search, job hunting, reading books, standing in long queues to pay bills or buying groceries. all this was now done with the touch of a button. And of course, most importantly, it took over our social lives. The world became smaller and accessible. It connected us with friends who stayed a few continents away. It gave us easy access to just about any information.. practically anything and everything was now at our fingertips. Time pass became an unhealthy obsession of putting every bit of our lives, our habits out on social media. To voice our opinion on just about everything….coz all we had to was just rant and type. Without us even realizing…the smartphone just literally took over every aspect of Our lives. It truly was the Harbinger of a new era…the Digital era. And man do we love it.
Life was now on the fast track. Forgot to pay your bills? Just make an online payment. Wanna skip work, just drop a mail. Feeling bored at home? Just book tickets online and off you are on a vacation. Wanna eat ice-cream at midnight? Just order it online. Wanna spend a lazy weekend at home? Just binge watch on Netflix. Wanna make your friends jealous of your amazing life? Just upload pics on Instagram. Wanna ramble on about your thoughts? Just post on Facebook. Wanna voice your opinion on ANY matter? Just tweet it. Wanna go to party on a weekend? Just call an Uber. Miss your family ? Just do a video call. Wanna chat with all your friends? Just do a zoom call. You see I was serious when I said that the smartphone has literally taken over our lives. Made it easier and also perhaps lazier. Well of course there are many many cons of this Digital boom but let’s keep that for another blog 😛😛
Well have you been driving at over 100kmph and suddenly spot an animal crossing the road and have to push the brakes with all your might? You are feeling The rush of adrenaline, the wind in you hair at one moment. And utter panic and shock at the very moment you have to push the brakes and stop. Well 2020 had something just like that in store for us. Well it wasn’t a cow crossing the road. But rather a tiny microscopic deadly being that just forced us to apply the brakes. Enterthe CORONAVIRUS.
And just like that, in a flash, our fast paced lives came to an abrupt halt. The world came to a standstill. The roads were empty. Planes were grounded. Shops were shut. Malls were closed. Thousands were stranded, unemployed. And millions were locked up at home indefinitely in fear of the deadly virus out on a killing spree. It took over our cities and the world at large.
I remember the first few weeks were tough. In this day and age always staying indoors is something none of us are habituated to. It’s like you take a lion used to roaming in the wild jungle and put him in a box. That’s exactly how I felt. And am sure I wasn’t alone. No more going out to party with friends, dining out with family on the weekend. No more mall hopping or going to the movies or even a drive. Travelling to far off places in your bucket list was suddenly an impossibility. It’s like we were grounded for life!!
We couldn’t go to office, so the office came to us. Most of us with jobs got laptops, desktops delivered to our doorsteps coz work must go on. You see, I want that salary slip at the end of the month so I gladly accepted it. Life became all about unlimited conference calls, screen sharing, video meetings and incessant phone calls (still not complaining). At the same time, house helps were off limits so had to do all household chores as well. How long is this gonna last I thought many times. How long do I have to keep doing this? The pandemic and the growing rate of infected patients gave me my answer. As long as we need to.
Humans have an incredible way of adapting and this I experienced first hand due to this pandemic. Just like we had very easily adapted to our jet set fast paced lives once upon a time, eventually in this lockdown we learnt to slow down as well. And not just that, I think it helped us (me definitely) be thankful for the little and smaller things in life. It made me thankful that I was getting to spend quality time at home with my aging parents, my husband. Cooking hot meals for my family and them going gaga about it made my day. We went back to playing boardgames. I had forgotten how much fun this used to be. And for the first time in years, I had some free time to indulge myself. So I picked up my old habit of reading. Of course now it was on kindle. Going out for parties now replaced by enjoying a glass of wine with the husband. Watching movies in the theatre now made way for all night Netflix marathons. Running behind cabs and buses made way for daily walks in the terrace. The hustle bustle of city life gave way to nature healing itself and the city becoming more cleaner and greener than I have ever seen before. The pollution decreasing and The air becoming more pure. And the one thing which we all loved before we were hit by this virus scare….going out…that’s become a nightmare really. Wear your mask, cover your face, cover your head, apply litres of sanitizer (not literally). Come back, change clothes, wash off, apply some more sanitizer. I’d rather stay indoors these days. Seriously.
This drastic change in our lifestyle has been hard to adjust to for most of us. But at the same time it has brought back glimpses of the simplicity of our childhood days..the good old 90s era. I had forgotten how much we enjoyed those days at home with loved ones. Now, although forcefully, we seem to have been transported to that time. But this time we have the internet with us. So it’s like the best of both worlds. We have the simplicity of the 90s coupled with the benefits of the digital age. Maybe that’s the optimistic in me thinking like that, to make these days count and be grateful for.
I know that Once the threat decreases with the availability of vaccines and medicines (and I sure do hope they come out soon coz so many people are suffering and dying)…we will again go back to our fast paced race of a life. But I hope we can remember the lessons learnt in these hard times and still retain a part of this experience as we go forward into the future.
Are you one of them…or rather one like me..who loves to stand in the balcony and gaze at the moon for hours gazing at the moon…just mesmerized by its sheer beauty? Well Google tells me that there’s actually a word for people like us…it’s called Selenophile
Well, ever since I was a little girl, I would wait for the moon to grow bigger (yeah that’s what I actually thought of full moons 😂😂), so that I can go to the balcony and gaze at its sheer beauty. And even today this habit has stayed on. Of course, now I do know it doesn’t get bigger or anything but still evokes the same child like joy and amazement.
Through the years the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions I feel while moon gazing have come to vary. But the one true constant feeling has been awe…admiration at the sheer beauty of this object..that’s actually so far far away and yet seems to be so close.
When I was younger it used to baffle my science studying mind. How far is it really? Can I touch it if I take out my hand from an aeroplane (talk about wild imagination 😛), can people on the other side of the world also see it in the same way as I do, are there any people who live there, do they really float around while living there (how cool would that be), wierd, out of the box thoughts of a curious young mind. In my teens and tweens, the curious mind made way for the budding romantic in me. I have stared at the moon at the onset of love and even at the end of it. When in love, I remember gazing at the moon with lovestruck, hopeful eyes, thinking of my crush, romantic songs and lines of poetry coming to mind and filling my heart with so much love. The kind that makes you feel giddy and all kinds of mushy. However, when the same crush turned out to be a total douche and broke my heart into a zillion pieces, turns out, then too I turned to the moon for solace. I would stare at it for hours and let the tears stream down, hoping it would take away the sadness, the pain and the nudging heartache. And for those precious moments, staring at the beaming, radiant glow of the moon, I did feel soothed and comforted. Like I was not alone. I had somebody or something to share this grief with.
Over the years, I have stared at the moon and whole heartedly appreciated its divine presence no matter what the circumstances were. I have blissfully moon gazed when happy and certainly when I was sad. I have stared at the moon when I was lonely and sad and needed the presence of a familiar companion, one who would listen to all my sob stories without ever scolding or judging or getting bored or tired or just plain fed up. You might find it wierd rambling on to an ‘inanimate object’ but sometimes it’s just about venting and sharing and unburdening and strangely it works wonders. It is quite therapeutic (at least for me). I have even stared at the moon when I was happy, satisfied and at peace with my life- Just gazing, feeling blessed, humbled, thankful for all I have been given and all that I have accomplished.
Through all of life’s ups and many many downs, I have always considered this glowing, luminescent object to be a steadfast friend, companion and supporter. An unwavering, unflinching friend unknown to the mad busy world. My own personal confidante. My one constant partner through the years.
So if anyone out there ever feels lonely and desperately seeks a friend but finds none, I suggest you take a short walk to the balcony and say a HI to this beauty. Trust me, you will find a true friend for life. 🤩🤩🌙🌌
Sharing some pictures of this friend of mine. Hope it conveys the essence of this blog.
Whether it’s jumping off a cliff or jumping out of a helicopter or jumping into an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented, life changing, mind boggling life event..they are all essentially the same things and involve the same flurry of emotions. Like what are the emotions one would associate with jumping? Anxiety, angst, panic, fear? I think it’s predominantly fear…fear of that precise moment of taking the plunge, fear of the fall, fear of the outcome and fear of the side effects if things go wrong. But unless we jump we don’t really know what’s waiting for us. Or how we will feel about it after it’s done. For me, the most daunting thought would be…’what if’….what if I liked it..what if it showed me new side of life? What if it gave new meaning to my life? what if it was an exhilarating experience that couldn’t be experienced in any other way? What if it changed my perspective of life or gave it a new direction? Or simply what if it gives me a sneak peek into my true potential or calling?…the what ifs are what makes the jumping worth every other emotions we may feel.
Let me recount an experience that can probably help me convey my point.
So last year before Corona took over our lives and made us homebodies, I was in Thailand on a much needed getaway. I was sitting on the beach drinking a beer, soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the blue waters, pristine white sand with the backdrop of the setting sun and the chilly wind. Picturesque. Suddenly I noticed some people were parasailing. Now I am NOT the adventurous junkie alway ready to try every bizarre adventure one can chance upon. I am someone always scared, always timid, riddled with health issues and quite an overweight person. The kind who roll their eyes while watching others pull off daring but totally unnecessary stunts all in the name of adventure and adrenaline rush (is that even a real thing I wonder).
But that day watching the parachute sailing against the sunset made me wonder. Should I try it? Almost immediately I was flooded with a whole barrage of what ifs…what if I lose my grip..what if the I fall right down into the middle of the ocean? What if the life jacket doesn’t work and I drown..like the Titanic (because I can’t swim to save my life.. literally)…on and on came all these thoughts that just made me oppose the idea as soon as I got it. But as if almost instinctively, there were another set of what ifs circling in my head. What if this is actually fun. What if the view from top is mind blowing? What if this is actually something memorable that I can look back at years from now and say..man I did it and it was truly awesome. What if by doing this I can actually prove to myself that I am not that averse to the idea of adventure and that adrenaline rush is a real thing.
My mind was at war it seems. To jump into it or not. I was torn. After all both sets of what ifs had equal merit and were worthy of being thought through. So unable to take a quick decision (like in most life situations I am faced with) , I just sat there staring into the sky..with my gaze fixed at the parachute flying high against the setting sun.
I guess the deciding ‘what if’ was…’what if I never get this opportunity ever again..I mean this has been in my bucket list for the longest time and here I was sitting. Closest chance of actually fulfilling this crazy wish… wouldn’t I look back at this very moment And wonder what It would have felt like’…so this thought or maybe the beer I gutted down…made me decide. I was gonna do it. I was gonna go for the jump.
My husband was zapped and literally speechless at this sudden burst of bravery and adventure that I was engulfed with. But I had decided, good or bad I was going in for it.
Got my harness in place, got my set of instructions of things to do and not to do. And within 15 minutes I was ready. Since I didn’t know swimming, they sent one of their guys up with me who would take care of the manoeuvring. All I had to do was run till a point until we start flying and then hold on to the rope to maintain position.
Simple enough. Right? Well not so much. Coming to that in a bit. I did run as asked and even before I realized I was high up in the sky…with the blue ocean down beneath me and the sun almost at eye level. The initial fright was something I cannot describe in words. It was gut wrenching, heart pounding excruciating fear. For a moment I couldn’t believe I actually went through with this crazy idea and put myself in this situation. I was almost paralyzed with fear. I thought I will never set foot on the beach again or see my husband or parents again. With My eyes closed shut, I was praying for some sort of a miracle (like maybe waking up to realize I was only dreaming) to undo this horrible thing I had done to myself. Stupid stupid girl.
But after some time, the parachute reached a certain height and became stable. That’s when I opened my eyes. Slowly. One at a time. And trust me, I will never forget what I saw. The panoramic view of the city, the lush greenery, the blue ocean down below, the many hues of the setting sun…all in a single frame. Oh so so beautiful. So mesmerising. The beauty of what I saw that day will remain etched in my heart forever. In that moment, I felt fearless, I felt invincible. I felt alive. Not for long though.
While I was gliding through the air soaking it all in, Down below , the motor boat to which the parachute is attached took a U-turn to head back towards the beach. It took me by surprise and due to the jolt, I lost my grip of the rope to which I was tied. Fear, paranoia all these things that just a few seconds ago I thought I had overcome, came right back as I lost my balance. But thankfully the trainer guy grabbed me by the waist. Gradually I regained balance and gripped the rope for dear life. And a few moments later I splashed into the water.
The joy of feeling the sand beneath me. It meant that I was back on land. The ride was over. And I was back to safety. I remember sitting in the water for a long time. Thinking about the experience I just had. The beauty I had seen. The many emotions I felt while pulling off the most heroic and adventurous thing I had ever attempted to do.
Yes I felt fear. Mind numbing, heart beat stopping fear. And yet there i was. Having done it. Actually going through with it. Taking the plunge. Ticking off at least one item from my bucket list. Giving myself one experience of a lifetime. For that I thanked myself. Gave myself a pat on the back. But most importantly, this whole experience left me with one profound realization: unless you overcome the fear holding you back and take that leap of faith, there’s no way of knowing the outcome. No way of knowing what you are going to experience. and how much more enriched you are going to be when come out of it.
So next time, whether its a bungee jump (another one in the bucket list) or another crucial life altering juncture of life, I will not be afraid to take that leap of faith.
Ps. For motivation I always look at this picture of myself up in the air.