Does Empathy make you a better friend?? πŸ€”

The other day, I came across a short video on YouTube about empathy. It basically said that those who have suffered in life, experienced loss, pain, grief etc undergo changes in their feelings and attitude towards others, all of which makes them more compassionate, more understanding, better listeners and in turn better friends, especially towards people who have had their share of ups and downs, challenges and ordeals. Basically, empaths turn out to be a godsent friend to someone whose lives have been less than rosy and far from perfect.

Among the hundreds of meaningless reels, vidoes we see everyday and swipe on to the next, there are very few that actually make an impact and stay on with you. This one did. And it made me reflect on the most important relationships I have (not too many unfortunately). Whether these people are empathetic or sympathetic and how has that changed our equation over the course of time.

Case 1-

Let me go back about a decade back, when I started my first job (damn, that makes me feel so old), I met this guy, a year junior to me. He was like an answer to all my dreams. Not romantic dreams!! But dreams to have a sibling. One with whom I can share all my joys and sorrows. Let’s call him Lil bro. We bonded instantly and were inseparable during those 3 years we spent working in the same team. We used to share everything about our personal lives, the mess that was our love lives back then, the heartbreaks we had endured and bitching about the idiots we dated then and before. We had formed a bond of a lifetime. He became the brother I never had and always wanted. He had a roommate who was also like a brother to me and we too bonded well.

Over the course of the next few years, Lil bro settled abroad, earned in dollars, married the girl who fulfilled all the criteria in his checklist (good looks, good looks and good looks), lived the American dream life. His flight of life had taken off and soaring high, while mine was on the runway briefly, but ultimately grounded for repair work and maintenance. (whoa, gotta admit, that was a good metaphor, wasn’t it?πŸ˜†). Either ways, we got busy with our lives and eventually the frequency of calls and meet ups reduced.

Meanwhile, his roommate settled for a less lucrative job in his hometown. His father fell sick around the same time as I did. He came to meet me in the hospital several times. We kept in touch. I used to keep asking about his father’s health and he followed up on mine. His father passed away 2 years later. He was devastated. I used to message him daily to check up on him. He always asked me how I was feeling, how i was dealing with my changed circumstances. Whenever I go back home, we make it a point to meet, and whine, bitch, crib and also laugh at our miserable lives over delicious food and wine. Our trysts with sickness, ill health and the long drawn repurcussions of it made us both empathetic towards each other. We bonded over discussions based on hard, painful, uncomfortable topics.

As of today, I am in touch with both of them. But conversations with Lil bro (few and far apart) are usually about the good old days, all the fun parts. Nothing unpleasant. Nothing awkward, nothing heartfelt. Coz I somewhere feel that he won’t get it. By god’s grace, he hasn’t experienced anything so painful or suffered through any real tragedies. And while I am extremely happy for him, I do find it hard to relate to him these days. Whereas, i have grown much closer to his roommate. He has truly become a younger brother, a confidant, a supporter and a friend to whom I can rant about the unfairness of life as well as laugh over the silly things. Our brush with suffering, grief, pain, sickness and loss has helped us bond and cemented a friendship based on the unpleasantness of life. πŸ’–πŸ’–

Case 2-

My cousin sister and I are of the same age and ever since we were little, we were inseparable. We were soul sisters even before we had heard or the word or knew what it meant. If she had a secret, i was the first to know. And vice versa. And it continued to be so till about college. Then work, marriage took us to different cities. Our lives took us on different paths. She got busy with work, husband, kid. I got busy with my shitshow of a life. We did keep in touch. But when I really needed a friend, a sister, she never reached out. Probably, her lack of similar experience or suffering, made it difficult for her to become an empath and reach out and offer support. As of today, we do talk on and off, but safe to say, that if she has a secret now, i am not going to be the first to know. Infact, i probably won’t know it at all. And same for me. 🀷

Case 3-

This is about yours truly. The past few years have been very challenging for me. Sickness, grief, loss, fear, anxiety have never left my side. I was always emotional and sensitive. But my life experiences have now made me over emotional and over sensitive. So the other day, my husband’s friend and his wife came over for dinner. I have met her 3-4 times in total. She’s cool and I like her. That night our general chitchat veered off to unchartered territory and she ended up sharing a lot about all the troubles in her married life. I guess my own life experiences have made me an empath as well, as I just sat there, listening to her, letting her vent, letting her ramble on. And Seeing her cry and narrate her ordeals just broke my heart. I advised her based on what I thought was right. And I do genuinely hope she can sort things out. πŸ’”πŸ’”

Well these are just 3 instances i could think of, where the presence of empathy or the lack of it changed some of the relationships in my life. Where empathy created new bonds, formed new unexpected friendships, the lack of it depleted the closeness and the emotional attachment in existing relations. So yes, based on my personal experiences, i do think that empathy makes you a better friend. It makes you more sensitive to other people’s pain, their suffering. Because, you too have experienced the grief, suffering at some point, maybe of a different kind, maybe of a different intensity. But you do know what it feels like, when you’re down and out. Whether it’s failure or sickness or loss or just silent suffering, once you have experienced it, it’s easier for you to understand what the other person might be feeling. It makes you feel empathy and that empathy often makes you reach out and offer a shoulder to cry on or atleast lend an ear to listen to them rant, ramble, vent and sometimes, this act of reaching out and showing care and concern paves the way for a forever kind of friendship. πŸ’–πŸ’–

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think empaths make better friends? Do let me know in the comments. Will look forward to reading them. Happy weekend friends 😊😊

Every one has a story to tell πŸ“’

Everyone has a story to tell,

Of the hardships they faced and the obstacles they overcame,

Of the times they triumphed and the times they failed.

Of the times they were misunderstood and took on the blame and the shame.


Everyone has a story to tell,

Experiences that have changed them in some ways.

Either pushed them in their cocoons or made them a rebel.

But who are you to judge, who are you to say?


Everyone has a story to tell,

Of the trials and tribulations that made them who they are,

Each have embarked on their own journeys of discovering what’s their heaven and hell.

They maybe different than you, but doesn’t give you the right to call them bizzare.


Everyone has a story to tell,

Of the person they once were and the one they are now,

Bid your age old notions and pre conceived judgements farewell,

Instead try to appreciate all they have endured and how.


If you really want to know,

Get to know their stories, get to know who they really are,

Don’t demean, don’t discriminate, don’t judge and stoop so low.

Be kind, be understanding, be their hero, be their superstar!!


We are often so quick to judge. Whenever we come across anyone a bit different than us, immediately, and probably subconsciously, we form an opinion about them. It could be hatred, dislike, or even pity. Frankly, none of that is acceptable. All we have to do is get to know them as people, listen to their stories, learn from their life lessons, get inspired by their journey and their resilience towards all challenges, learn to empathise and not sympathize and finally to wholeheartedly accept people as they are. We just have to train our mind to be less judgemental and to be more open, more thoughtful, more compassionate. It’s not that difficult. Do let me know your thoughts on this. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–πŸ’–

In The Race Of Life, which medal do you want? πŸ₯‡πŸ₯ˆπŸ₯‰

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). 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’. πŸ₯ˆπŸ˜©πŸ˜–πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜‘😭

Examples of Sad Silver Face

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. πŸ₯‰πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜„πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰

Happy faces of the Bronze winners

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.

Look at the dazzling smiles on the Gold and Bronze winners and the disappointed look of the Silver medal winner.

So, in this race called LIFE, which medal winner do you wanna be? Do tell in the comments. πŸ’–πŸ’–

Are you Drifting or are you Driven??

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!! πŸ˜΅πŸ˜–

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 thatπŸ˜›)? Does he have a valid point?πŸ€” 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. ❀️❀️

Little things πŸ’πŸŒ§οΈβ˜˜οΈπŸ°πŸ–οΈπŸ’—

To know you’re alive by feeling the blood flow through the vein,

To dance in the rain,

To help irrespective of loss or gain,

To smile through the pain

Life is indeed about the little things.

Magical rains🌧️πŸ₯°

To have little, yet be happy to share,

To sing without a care,

To have sand at my feet and wind in my hair,

To breathe the cool, fresh, brisk air,

Life is indeed about the little things.

Soak up the vitamin-sea β€οΈπŸ–οΈ

To see a flower bloom,

To smell the fragrance of my favourite perfume,

To connect with friends via zoom,

To wear my mother’s earrings which is my favourite heirloom,

Life is indeed about the little things.

Appreciate, Enjoy, Smile

To gaze at the clear blue sky,

To enjoy guilt free all the fudge and pie,

To watch a sad film and cry,

To enjoy the banter and goofing around with my guy,

Life is indeed about the little things.

Happiness indeed..nom nomπŸ˜‹

To spend time gardening,

To feel at peace while moon gazing,

To know about the world through reading,

To pour my heart out through writing,

Life is indeed about the little things.

Be silly….with family 😁

To spending quality time with family,

To laugh wholeheartedly,

To always offer help readily,

To be content with little and live happily,

Life is indeed about the little things.

Overthinking doesn’t yield results,just a decoy,

To take away peace of mind and let the bigger worries of the unpredictable future burden and annoy,

Coz ultimately, it’s the little things that bring the greatest joy.

So, sit back, breathe easy, savour these little things and learn to enjoy. 😊πŸ₯°

Let’s buck up and heal the worldπŸŒ³πŸŒπŸ’šπŸŒ±

For decades, Man has caused massive destruction of nature,

Too ignorant to realize this will lead to his own doom, he is so darn immature.

Cut trees, destroyed forests, replaced them with concrete jungles.

Disregarded Nature’s disapprovals, begs, pleas and grumbles.

Man poached endangered animal species, selling to the rich who pay,

Only to put them up as trophies for shameful display.

Man set up factories emitting toxic gases, polluting the air.

Making the birds breathless and innocent fellow humans sick beyond repair.

Sometimes I wonder where the quarrel of sparrows went,

Are they living far away in the woods or are they dead?

When we set out for advancements in communication and technology, did we really assess what it meant,

For the plants, the animals, the diverse ecosystems and the environment?

For years, Mother nature has been tolerating Man’s idiocracy and greed.

Time to wake up and pay heed,

Let’s pull up our socks and get to action.

And help heal mother nature without any distraction.

Let’s plant more trees, burn less fossil fuel and pollute the air and seas less.

And hopefully we can survive few more centuries with god’s grace.


This poem was written to commemorate World Environment Day, which is the biggest awareness campaign launched by the United Nations in the early 70s which is celebrated across the world on June 5 every year to cherish the nature that’s around us. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’ This year will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Would you like a DO-OVER?πŸ€”πŸ’­

Umm….I think I need both πŸ˜‚

Last night I was watching the new Netflix film ‘The woman in the window’, and while the movie was not that great (Amy Adams totally brilliant though), there was one scene that kind of stayed on with me….ok don’t wanna give out too much details in case you haven’t watched it and want to, but there is this one scene, where she records her thoughts on video..and she keeps saying that she wants to go back in time and do over things.

Got me thinking, don’t we all wish that we could go back in time and UNDO a few things…a few mistakes, a few bad decisions, few twists of fate. Wouldn’t it actually be wonderful to revisit these key moments in life and have a chance to RE-DO the same, but this time differently and see how that pans out.

As I started thinking about it, my mind was already making a list, and I sort of indulged it to live vicariously through this list. So these are the top things that made it to my make believe DO OVER list (in no particular order):

* I wish I could redo my childhood and had forced my parents for a sibling, so that they would have someone else to worry about and someone else to worry for them. πŸ˜…

* I wish I could undo the many months of pining over my first heartbreak…now in retrospect, it seems like such an epic waste of precious time crying over a guy and a relationship that really didn’t deserve so much fanfare from me…I could have used that time constructively to do so much more…like working on myself, learning new technology to enhance my career or maybe even casually dating some hot guys 😜

* I wish I could undo the terrible decision of leaving my first job. Had I stayed on even for a few months, I would have been settled abroad like the rest of my teammates. Talk about bad timing. πŸ™„

* I wish I got a chance to undo the twists of fate that ended up setting me off to a hospital so many times.

* I wish my body was not this unruly little pest doing whatever the hell it feels like, and that it behaved and stayed in its permissible limits and not cause so much drama. 😏

* I wish (and this I wish on behalf of everyone) that I could undo this scary pandemic that has taken over our lives and brought life to a standstill. Wish I could send it back to wherever the hell it came from and that we could have our old lives back. When I could go out, meet friends, travel, chill rather than staying at home, scared and paranoid. 😣

I know some of the above mentioned do-overs aren’t really in my control like the health issues, pandemic etc, but then so is the list…I can’t actually undo any of them. So why not list out the unpleasant events in my life and indulge in some wishful overthinking and fantasizing about the what ifs. πŸ’­πŸ’­

Now one might say that everything that happens in our lives, good or bad, makes us the person we are right now. True. But then, who’s to say this current version of me is the best version possible? Honestly, I think I would be much better off without some of these things happening. I could be happier, I could be more content, more successful, my life could be more fulfilling.

The only consolation- Maybe things are not as great as they could have been, but then, they could have been much much worse. And for that, I am grateful. πŸ™‚

All images from Google

What are some of the items in your DO-OVER List? Do mention it in the comments. Would love to read them all πŸ’•πŸ’•

Is there a secret formula to a happy marriage?? πŸ€”πŸ€”

The other day the husband got a Call from his bud…asking to meet for drinks and that he needed ‘to talk’. Upon his return (and some nudging), I came to know that their marriage has hit a rough patch and catching up for drinks was just an excuse to find a friendly ear to vent out the pent up frustrations and discuss the hell that his married life has turned into.

And this is not the first friend with marital woes… recently reconnected with one of my college buddies and he too complained of trouble in paradise…surprised me because he is one of the nicest, coolest person I know. Plus, he is married for less than a year….and here I was, assuming he is too busy enjoying his honeymoon period to bother about old friends…

Trouble in paradise

Tales of such marital discord definitely stays on longer in a woman’s mind than a man’s. I say this with some certainty seeing the nonchalance on my husband’s part and quite the opposite on mine πŸ˜›.

When you hear so much about trouble in other people’s married lives, you are bound to take a good, hard look at your own…wonder if all is indeed well…if you are really, truly happy or it’s a just a superficial facade while it’s rotting underneath?….is the pandemic to be blamed for this? Are people unraveling under the pressures of being stuck at home with each other 24/7 and that is causing all the pent up issues to come to the surface? I mean, before covid walked in, we all had busy lives, going to work, commuting, socializing with friends, colleagues..and barely had enough time to spend with our spouses….now we spend every waking moment seeing them around..

Now, neither am I any expert nor my marriage is perfect, but my husband and I have been together for almost 9 years now…dated for 5 and married for 4..and in these 9 years we have gone through stuff that most people face in their entire lifetime..sickness, loss, grief, financial struggles, and of course a pandemic (who can forget that)….the ride has often been extremely difficult, tempestuous and at times turbulent…more so for the circumstances than anything else. Like 2 people stranded on a little boat caught in a storm in the middle of the sea (remember Life of Pi people?), braving the weather and the adversities that come with it…in short, we have been sailing our way through some serious shit. Anyways, that’s a tale for another day and another post.

That’s definitely US riding that one πŸ™„πŸ™

My point is, I always thought, that marriage or any romantic relationship for that matter, stands on 3 pillars , much like a tripod stand on its 3 legs, namely
LOVE, LUST and FRIENDSHIP.
Of course, that’s oversimplifying a very complex dynamics but this was just how I categorised it as per my understanding when I was young, naive and perhaps stupid.

But, over the years, I have realized that perhaps this formula isn’t foolproof. Lets be honest, lust decreases after a point. After years together with the same person, the passion and intensity dwindles, some amount of monotony sets in (if that’s not the case with you…damn you make me jealous😜😜).
For love, I’d say it kinda plateaus out, meaning it reaches the peak and then flattens out, which is a good thing as it means it’s consistent (OK, have to admit this idea is borrowed. The husband said it one day and it just stuck with me🀫🀫). You don’t get butterflies in your stomach every time he walks in, or you don’t blush at every compliment and compliments themselves are few and far between πŸ™„πŸ€¨. But it’s the third leg that actually keeps the ball rolling – friendship.

Think about it, it is friendship that makes us comfortable with each other. If you’re better friends, chances are you’ll talk more, share more, communicate more, maybe even fight more and get things out of your system. You will enjoy each others’ company more and understand where each one stands on certain matters. And it will definitely make these stuck-at-home-pandemic-days more bearable. Of course there are many other factors such as trust, respect, loyalty etc at play. But broadly speaking, sustaining a happy , healthy relationship definitely lies in becoming better friends. That is assuming the other 2 factors remain constant. Coz a friendly-but-cheating partner does no good to this formula πŸ™„πŸ˜•πŸ˜ŽπŸ€¬πŸ˜‘

That’s just my opinion of things as I see it right now…do let me know if you agree or disagree. Peace 😊✌️