Happiness v/s Sadness..who wins??

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 πŸ˜›πŸ˜›. 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!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜Ž

Happiness is a decision~ Michael J Fox.

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. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜œπŸ˜›πŸ˜‚

Break Free…

As children we all used to be
So happy and gay,
Innocent, chirpy and all kinds of naughty
Our future troubles seemed to be so far far away…

As we started growing up,
Life got more and more complicated..
As troubles arrived, we had to buckle up,
Innocence gone and simplicity hated…

Life became all about appearance,
Capturing perfect pictures rather than making memories that last…
Likes,comments,shares and all such millenial nuisance,
It was all about being popular and how fast…

Took a while to realize what’s wrong,
Life is about making yourself happy…
Dancing in the rain, singing your favourite song,
To pause, take a long breath and just BE…

So let the world’s opinion of you blur in the background,
Make yourself your first priority…
Those who love you will always stick around,
So take off the worldly shackles and just BREAK FREE…

Pics from Free Photo library

Quarantine Learnings

Year 2020 will go down in history for a lot many things…but most significantly for the pandemic that has brought the entire world to a standstill and crippled us all with fear and anxiety. It has heralded a new way of life, which unfortunately, seems to be here to stay. But everything, good or bad, teaches us something new, something valuable. And this Corona situation is no different.

Firstly, it has added many words to my vocabulary..some new, some old, some seldomly used: to begin with the name of the nightmare itself- THE Corona virus/COVID-19, followed by other words which have come to be a part of our lingo these days, such as epidemic, pandemic (honestly I had never bothered to know the difference between the two words before..big mistake!!), lockdown, isolation, home quarantine, self quarantine, containment, isolation, PPE, co-morbidity, herd immunity, fatality rate, sanitization, community spread, symptomatic, asymptomatic, immunocompromised (which I amπŸ˜”)…and of course the word of the year perhaps… SOCIAL DISTANCING.

In addition to all these, there are several fun, new words doing the rounds on social media such as coronials or quaranteens (babies created during Corona times), quarantrends, quarantees, quarantech, quarantrolls….and my favourite so far…the COVIDIOTS (I often mumble this under my mask when I see ignorant blokes on the roads without masks).

The past six months have also taught me a whole lot of other things. Like I can bear to spend 24/7 for 6 months straight without killing my husband (and vice versa)…inspite of serious temptation on some occasions πŸ˜›πŸ˜›. On a serious note, it has increased my awareness and sense of responsibility. Even if I want, I cannot throw caution to the wind and take off without my mask and sanitizer coz I know it can be dangerous for my old ailing parents staying with me. So in a way it has reaffirmed the importance of loving my family, caring for their well being and being a support system to them. And I have to admit, these circumstances have actually given us the gift of time..to spend it with loved ones.

This lockdown phase has made me firmly believe that each of us are masters at multitasking. From working long hours in front of laptops to cooking, cleaning, spending time with family and also making time for ourselves…if we want, we can really do it all. Infact, I look at it as a blessing because it keeps me busy, my mind occupied and helps to keep up some semblance of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time and world. And it finally forced me to do something that I always wanted but never quite got to doing… Blogging. And thus here I amπŸ€—.

Tune in to any TV channel or any social media platforms  and one can see the alarming situation in almost every country. People are dying, losing jobs, employment, livelihoods are at a risk. The healthcare systems are beginning to crumble due to the astounding number of patients and casualties. The economy plummeting to all time lows. It’s the same in almost every country. It’s all pretty disturbing and upsetting. And it really makes one wonder about how shallow we are that we worry about miniscule things when there is so much suffering and pain all around. Reminds me of the need to be grateful for what I have rather than crib about what I don’t. This whole pandemic situation has been humbling, to say the least.

If nothing else, quarantined life has definitely taught me the virtues of resilience, patience and hope. Resilience to stay put until this storm passes. To see the end of it(hopefully soon). Patience to endure these difficult times, to stay in the  safety of my home without yielding to the allure of the outside world which beckons to my outdoor-loving heart. With the hope that one day we will conquer this evil and world will be a safe place again. And when that happens, I hope I can step out into the new world as a better version of myself, thanks to all that I learnt during these past few months of quarantined life. Here’s wishing that day comes soon. πŸ™β˜ΊοΈ

In the pursuit of SELF LOVE!!

A few weeks back I was watching Sex And The City…and saw the scene where Samantha breaks up with her hot bf saying this:

I love you but I love me more. ~ Samantha Jones, Sex and the city.

So I have seen this before (yes coz am one of those who keeps watching things again and again) but suddenly this time it hit home. And it really got me thinking…We all love a lot of things or a lot of people….we love our parents, siblings,friends, Boyfriends, girlfriends,we love our homes,plants and on and on….but we often forget to love the most important person in our lives….ourselves.

If something in life doesn’t go as planned, we are always the first to blame ourselves. Why did I do this? What’s wrong with me? Why does this always happen to me? It must have been my fault. You get the thought process right? But when something goes right, we tend to give credit to everyone and everything but ourselves. We say things like ‘oh I just got lucky’ or ‘oh that other person really made it happen’…but we hardly ever say..even to ourselves…yes man you did it. You worked at it and you got it going..well done you. Am I right or wrong? But why is that?

Is it a personal trait or is it a more generalized thing that can be attributed to our society, our parents, childhood and our upbringing in general? What makes it such a common phenomena to easily loathe ourselves but hardly ever appreciate ourselves? Honestly I think it’s an amalgamation of all these things in varying proportions in each of our lives.

Whatever be the cause, the effect is this: we are conditioned to be self critical. Particularly for girls. We are always so critical of our looks, our appearance, our social standing,what our husbands and boyfriends think of us, what our friends think of us…. and these days we have an additional worry of our social media image (as if life wasn’t tough as it is). Always being vigilant to click pictures in angles that work best to hide our physical flaws. Why? What are we so afraid of? Body shaming? Bullying? Criticism? But we already do all that to ourselves anyways πŸ™„ . Then why is it so important what others think of us?

It’s perhaps because we are so conditioned to seeking others’ approval for self worth. And isn’t that the most bizarre thing? That we need to depend on someone else’s opinion of us to make us realize what we are. Who we are. And what’s our worth really. The more I thought about the twisted logic in this…the more I realized what a dumbass idea it really is. And what a big idiot I have been all this while. Well, I guess in that moment, the feisty spirit of Samantha took over me and I was determined to put an end to this. To stop craving any and evryone’s approval and seek my own. To be confident in my own skin and to take the reigns of my
Self worth in my own hands(ok that sounds dramatic πŸ˜›πŸ˜›) but I think you get the idea.

And well the good news is that this feeling,this attitude..it is reversible. It won’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up one fine day and stop seeking validation from others and be all mushy in self love.No. That’s not gonna happen (wish it did, though). It’s going to be hardwork, especially at the beginning, because it isn’t easy to suddenly change your attitude,your outlook and your approach to life that you’ve had for several years, perhaps decades. 
Some pointers that I found to be useful in this new found pursuit of self love that
I found to be particularly useful:

* Stop seeking validation from anyone.
* Be your ONLY and best judge.
* Spend time to asses yourself-your strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement.
* Appreciate your strengths. Things that make you unique and loveable. And hold on to it no matter what.
* Identify weaknesses. Don’t be too harsh but am sure everyone has some flaws, some shortcomings. Identify them before giving a chance for someone else to point them out to you.
* make a list of areas of improvement. Some skills you might wanna learn or brush up or inculcate.
* be kind to yourself.
* Prepare a mantra that you can keep repeating to yourself to keep up the morale to keep going.
* And the most difficult but absolutely essential thing…learn to love yourself. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (remember Bridget jones’ diaryπŸ˜›πŸ˜œ)

So next time you feel the blues and feel like you’re swimming in a sea of self pity and worthlessness… remember this ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup…take care of yourself first’.

Coz the ultimate truth is this….We are all one of a kind. Unique, Fabulous and Effing Awesome. ❀️❀️


My ode to F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Well for those of you who don’t know about it (is there anyone who doesn’t πŸ€”πŸ€”), 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

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends

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 agoπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), 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.

Monica

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??!!

Chandler

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.

Ross Geller

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 πŸ’—πŸ’—.

Rachel

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!!πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

Phoebe Buffay

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

Joey

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 .πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

90’s + Internet = Quarantine Life in 2020

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.

Pic courtesy: The economic times

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.Β  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.Β 

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 thoughπŸ˜›). 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 πŸ˜›πŸ˜›

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.

Moon gazing…..through the eyes of a Selenophile

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), 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 πŸ˜›), 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. πŸ€©πŸ€©πŸŒ™πŸŒŒ

Sharing some pictures of this friend of mine. Hope it conveys the essence of this blog.

A midsummer night’s dream

Are you afraid to jump?

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.