Can you?

Things I can’t say out loud.. Can you?

Can you miss what you don’t have?

Can you drown in water if your head is still above?

Can you mourn what you haven’t lost?

Can you walk away from what you value the most?

Can you imagine what can never be?

Can you touch what you can’t see?

Can you hear the laughter and chuckle that isn’t there?

Can you feel the presence of the non existent everywhere?

Can you smell the fragrance that will not pervade your life?

Can you deal with the ever growing internal strife?

Can you envision the life ahead that will never be your reality?

Can you ever really accept your life and all its inherent abnormality?

Can you?



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 😊✌️

Love thy Neighbour..or at least know them!!

The pandemic has affected different people in different ways.. but for most of us, I can say with some confidence , that it has made us homebodies. We have realized there’s a certain joy in working from home dressed in our old, worn out tee and PJs and we ain’t getting out of them any time soon…move over Gucci, Versace…the new fashion trend is here to S-L-A-Y πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

There was a time when home was where we returned to at night, after a hectic day at work, to sleep at night. Or the place where we spent our lazy weekends, just resting, rejuvenating. Charging up our batteries for the crazy work week ahead. The time when Monday blues was indeed a real thing..a real feeling. Thanks to Covid, the home is now our safety net. Our fortress that ensures the enemy stays outdoors (mostly). Initially, like many of you, I struggled to cope with this huge change in my life and daily routine. Always staying indoors. Getting used to living 24/7 in this confined space took a while. But now, a year later, there’s no place I’d rather be. ❀️🏠

These days, the very thought of going out, getting out of my PJs and looking at the wardrobe trying to remember all the clothing (heaps of it) I own itself is tiring. I do enjoy the walks in the terrace and the occasional grocery shopping (rest is all ordered online), but for the most parts, I have kind of found solace in this forced isolation. I have learnt new things, developed new hobbies, rekindled old passion with the paint brush (not the exπŸ€ͺ) . Long story short, I find ways to keep myself as engaged and occupied as possible.

This transition has been somewhat bearable due to the technology at our disposal primarily Internet, smartphones, social media…thanks to them, we can still be connected to our friends and family, get work done (lots of it) and have some semblance of normalcy in this unprecedented time in the history of the world..

But once a while, I too am stuck with pangs of loneliness. Wanting to actually sit and chat with someone. Get to know them. Share a cup of coffee. Chat. Have a hearty laugh. Those times I crib endlessly to my husband, who looks at me with disbelief, that I still feel the need to talk more, in addition to the endless chitchat I forcefully engage him in dailyπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

The other day, while on a quick grocery shopping spree, I bumped into my new neighbor. I had an important work call to get to, so the interaction was very brief, and I did not even pay much attention to what she said as I had to run back home to make it to the call. So I just said ‘nice to meet you, do drop by sometime’ and went my own way without much thought into it. And frankly, I just said it as a courtesy and did not expect to meet her unless we bumped into each other in the elevator once again some other time.

But it was a pleasant surprise when she came by to say ‘Hi’ with a box of cupcakes (how could I not invite her in with a big smile after that πŸ˜›)…and we started talking…turns out we are from the same city, about the same age, speak the same language, have similar crazy hectic work lives, both struggling to manage work and household chores…just so much to relate to. And this time I was so engrossed in the conversation that time just flew by and when she said she had to leave, I realized we were chatting for almost an hour!!

This sudden visit from my new neighbor left me with several realizations. Thing is, I had heard they moved in into a flat on the same floor a few weeks back. But never bothered to go meet them, introduce ourselves, you know.. be the good neighbors.Yeah that’s how busy, preoccupied and self serving we millennials are. πŸ™„πŸ™„ Even when I was cribbing about feeling lonely and craving company, I never thought of reaching out. I should have. Especially now more than ever, when going out to meet friends and cousins may not be wisest thing to do. But am glad she did. Before leaving, she asked me to visit her sometime. I said ‘Yes, definitely. I’d love to’. This time I meant it and fully intend to follow through.

I was looking for a friend and it was waiting right next door!! How wierd yet how wonderful. Here’s looking forward to a new friendship πŸ₯‚πŸ˜Š

Cloudy.

It’s a cloudy day today,
And so is my mood.
Some things don’t feel right,
While others still feel good.

It’s just one of those days when I sulk and brood,
If you rub me the wrong way I can even be rude,
I feel like hiding under my hood,
Today, just today, just stop messing with me dude.

Reflecting on the things I have to do and the things I should,
Realize nothing much of that will happen, if to meetings and deadlines I remain glued,
If only the fretting and overthinking stopped, if only it could,
I know that would help a great deal in getting me out of the woods.

I need a generous dose of happiness,
To feel better, to uplift my grumpy mood,
Can chocolate do the magic? Hell it sure could.
Suddenly I hear it…a faint thunder roll in the distance…and a few precious raindrops on the window pane,
And I know for sure..God has rewarded me with an instant feel good. πŸ™‚πŸŒ§οΈβ›ˆοΈ

Long distance Friendship…

Let me start by saying that this is NOT a review of ‘Firefly Lane’, the latest drama series from Netflix, but rather about my experience while watching it- the many flashbacks, the many reflections and contemplations…in short this post is about my personal experience with the series.. however there might be some spoilers so if you haven’t seen it and want to see it, then perhaps you should come back after watching and that way I am sure you will be able to relate to it much more.

So this is a story about a chance encounter between 2 teenaged girls. Two people Who couldn’t be more different. While one is the school hottie, the other is a total nerd (loved her oversized glasses πŸ€“) and how gradually they become best friends for life. The series unfolds in 3 timeframes starting from their teenage years, to their 20s all the way upto their 40s..giving us a peak into their lives and personalities and how they grow and evolve with time.

Note: To all of you who are 70’s and 80’s kids…man I envy you….that was such a cool time to be a young adult… rebellious and free and ready to take on the world 😎😎

The story delves into several sensitive issues such as homosexuality and the social stigma around it which is still prevalent today, drug abuse, difficult pregnancies, infidelity,mid life crisis, office politics, exploitation at workplace, sibling rivalry, generation gap between parents and children especially teenagers, loss of a loved one, grief and how different people cope with it differently. All of these issues are woven seamlessly into the story and dealt with maturely and sensitively. Yet at the heart of it, it’s a story about friendship and how truly important it is in our lives.

The series made me reflect on my friendship with my best friend. Just like the 2 protagonists, we couldn’t be more different. She is fiercely independent and ambitious, determined to achieve great things, while I am more easy going, laid-back. My talent for procastrination is legendary. She can vouch for that πŸ˜‚. Watching the series took me back in time, remembering the first time I met my bestie in 6th grade. Never thought we would be friends, let alone be best friends even after all these years. It reminded me of all the crazy things we would do like bunking classes and secretly chilling at the bottom of the stairs. Oblivious to the world and the teacher’s wrath. It reminded me of the dire need to discuss each and every miniscule thing with her. Praying for her to approve and get along with the boyfriend in college. Discussing and dissecting every fight, every heart break, every family gossip. Just pouring my heart out to her. Coz, as different as we were and still are, she gets me. She understands me like no other.

However, as I binge watched the whole series over the weekend, there was one thing I envied about their friendship. One thing they didn’t have and we do. Distance. Coz we have spent majority of the 2 decades of friendship living in different countries. Although that hasn’t stopped us from being there for each other during the good times and the bad. No. Never. We have always been an integral part of each others’ lives. Breakups, college, marriage, sickness, jobs..we have been with each other during all such milestone moments. But it’s the little things that we miss out on. Like if one of us had a shitty day at work, we can’t meet up, vent and then forget the blues while watching a chick flick together. If I am feeling low, I can pick up the phone and talk to her but I won’t get to hug her and feel the world is not so bad after all. If she had a bad day, I can only say ‘it will be okay’, but I can’t give her a surprise visit with her favourite food to cheer her up….I realized that we indeed do miss out on these little, precious moments ☹️☹️

Firefly lane may have its flaws but one thing it does get right..is the portrayal of friendship…it will make your heart crave for a friendship as strong as theirs. And if you are fortunate enough to have such a friend, it will make you love and value them even more. And if they are far away, it will make you reach out for your phone to call them and talk to them and tell them how much you love them. πŸ’•πŸ’•

Here’s one of my favourite quotes on friendship from the film Bride wars…which I also quoted on my bff’s wedding day 😊

Introvert or Extrovert?? πŸ€”

Unless you’re living under a rock, am sure you all must be well acquainted with Facebook and the many varied quizzes that come up in your feed…what’s your spirit animal, which character of game of thrones are you, are you a hills or beach person, which character from Friends sitcom do you resemble the most, how good is your grammar, which celebrity will be your ideal partner (please let it be Ryan Gosling😍)… etc etc…I have done and enough and more of such stupid quizzes in the past for some time pass and these days I am done with them and skip right through them…after all they are just frivolous and hardly make sense. However last night, I came across a quiz ‘Are you an introvert or Extrovert?’ that piqued my interest and I decided to give it a go.

But this time I was in for a surprise. Each question was on the lines of ‘would you rather do this or that’, ‘do you prefer this over that’. And the options given were such that I just couldn’t make up my mind. And that’s wierd right..coz you are either this or that…you are either a very bubbly, talkative person who is a delightful social presence or just the idea of meeting so many people makes you feel sick in the stomach and you would rather just curl up in a blanket with a good book and a steaming cuppa coffee. But when I looked at the given options, I was like ‘damn I wanna do all those things, which one do I select??’ πŸ€”πŸ€”

It might sound funny, but for a few minutes, these questions baffled me so much and made me scratch my head and almost gave me an existential crisis…that if I couldn’t answer such a basic question about myself, of whether I am an introvert or Extrovert, then how do I answer the more serious questions like Who am I? What Am I? πŸ˜–πŸ˜£πŸ˜³πŸ˜¨

Because the thing is, that as an outsider, if you meet me you will definitely consider me an extrovert. And rightly so. I love talking. And like to engage in conversation. Which is why it sometimes infuriates me when 100 words out of me just invokes a ‘hmm’ or an ‘OK’ from my husband 🀬😣. It just kills my vibe and makes me scowl and fume. Anyways, coming back to the topic, whether it borders on office gossip or some family scandal or just any random discussion on politics, weather, life in general, I am always ready to chip in with my words of wisdom πŸ˜‡. And it really doesn’t matter if I know you from kindergarten or we just met 2 minutes ago…I am equally at ease (unless you’re some hottie trying to hit on my husband…then you get my scowl rather than my dazzling smile πŸ™„πŸ€¨πŸ˜•). I so look forward to the occasional nightouts with us pub hopping, dancing away till the wee hours (I am talking about pre covid times here). Now all these things are textbook definition of an extrovert, and that’s what I always considered myself to be.

However, there is also a less publicised side of me, that’s quieter, loves the solitude, spending time with just myself without talking to anyone, having important conversations in my head about the significant as well as the trivial. Soaking up the quietness, the peace and tranquility. Ideally, that’s what early mornings feel like (so am told, I have no idea πŸ˜›), but for me it’s the silence of the night when it’s past everyone’s bedtime. That’s my time to thrive. To read, to blog, to make imaginary travel plans, to think about life, career, family, Friends, myself. To reflect on the past, think of the present and contemplate the future. Sometimes, even during the day, I might be in such a mood where I would happily pass off an offer to check out the latest pub or cafe as I don’t feel like bantering away. And prefer a day out just with myself. Lazing around. Listening to my favourite songs. Just enjoying my own company to recharge and rejuvenate. Now isn’t that textbook definition of an introvert? πŸ€”πŸ€”

Hence, you can get an idea of the confusion in my mind when I had to pick between options like would you rather go on a vacation with friends (oh! Yes please) or spend a few days lazing around at home doing whatever the hell you want (this one sounds tempting too)…both choices I would pick happily but which one to select?

So my question is this? Are we strictly either an extrovert or an extrovert? Is a middle ground possible in this case? That one day I am an extrovert and an introvert on the other depending on my current mood? Isn’t branding myself to be one be an insult to the other , which is also as much a part of my personality?

So I resort to everyone’s favourite agony aunt- Google of course!! And I came to know this very reassuring fact.

So seems am not a wierdo and THERE IS a term that aptly describes my personality type…AMBIVERT.

Yayyyyyy πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ.

But Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these stupid quizzes weren’t so stupid and actually gave us a clearer picture like you are x% extrovert and y% introvert and avoided such confusion that makes me scratch my head at 3 AM? Is that too much to ask from a mere algorithm that’s basically just interested in footfall to count how many people opt to take the quiz, nevermind the authenticity of the results? Well, enough thought, enough said, enough done. I am not going to spend my precious time being caught up in this dilemma any longer. To these quizzes I say, ‘first you be more thorough in your analysis, be more accurate in your results, then you can expect me to take part in your quiz’. Until then, I will refrain from branding myself as either. Rather I will embrace both sides with equal joy. πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ’•

Blame it on 2020…

Imagine, in a family of four, where the parents are overachievers and the older bro is a monumental failure of epic proportions, who is considered by parents to be an useless worthless imbecile, capable of no good and you’re the little brother. The one on whom the entire family’s expectations lie. The one who is their last or rather only hope of fulfilling all their dreams, aspirations and making their lives enriched and better in every aspect.

I cannot, for the life of me imagine to be in the shoes of the younger brother. If I were, I’d run as fast as I could and hide where I can’t be found, rather than be in the spotlight where I will be upon constant scrutiny, where my every move will be watched with waited breath by the family, with all their hopes of a better future pinned on my fragile shoulders. Every step taken would be assessed if it’s in the right direction. Every little setback, every little failure will be blown out of proportion as though it’s the beginning of doomsday alright. Living under the tremendous pressure of such huge expectations, with the constant fear of disappointing the family, of not living upto expectations, of not being everything they hoped for, Of being a failure just like the elder brother, if not worse. It would be just too much to bear. Well thankfully I am not and will never be in that sitation (bless my folks, am an only child, so I have no competition. I set my own benchmarks of failures and keep surpassing it year after yearπŸ˜›πŸ˜›), but seems like poor 2021 aint so lucky and seems to be that little brother in the scenario.

Since today is the last day of the worst year in recent memory, social media is flooded with all kinds of memes, hashtags that wishes good riddance and a final goodbye at last to 2020 and how eagerly everyone awaits the start of 2021. It clearly shows how people are just done with this year 2020 and the shitload of troubles it brought with it. And considering all that we have witnessed this year, it’s hardly any surprise that we have developed this animosity towards the year. So much so, that whatever bad happens, we are always quick to blame it on the year. Not considering the fact, that on some level, we have only ourselves to blame. But no, why take responsibility for our own actions when we can conveniently blame it on the year. Whether it’s the covid-19 pandemic, bushfires in Australia, floods in Indonesia, an earthquake in Turkey, or anything unfortunate in any part of the world, all the blame has been pinned on 2020, declaring it to be the Satan’s year, even though most of these calamities have had human greed and interference to be blamed as the root cause. But why take the onus on ourselves and make amends for the damage done when we can conveniently pass the blame..and so ever since the year started to take a turn for the worse, the year 2020 has been dissed and slammed like no other..I even saw a video where a guy talks about being dumped by his girlfriend. She blames it on his infidelity. He blames it on 2020. 🀣🀣

2020 Are you done?

But what’s really amusing is to see how people are so convinced that the moment the clock strikes midnight, 2020 will disappear for good and on its way out,it will also take with it all the problems that came with it (or rather the ones we have accused it of bringing but was actually our own doing). As if by magic, all our troubles will go away. Corona will disappear as mysteriously as it appeared, bushfires will stop on their own. Locusts will retreat. flood water will drain out. Hurricane struck uprooted trees will get back to their former glory. Homeless will get back their homes. Jobless will get back their jobs. Sick will regain their health. How wonderful to imagine and hope that all this will happen by a mere change in date. If only life worked like that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ€¨πŸ™„

Hope 2021

But I guess a little hope never did any harm. And honestly we don’t have much else to go on with at this point. So here’s hoping that 2021 ain’t such a badass, lives upto expectations and treats us well. Happy new year y’allπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Happy new year from me and mine to you and yours ❀️❀️

Christmas..A Season Of Celebration and Gratitude.

Whether we like it or not, we are running a rat race with super busy and hectic lives. Thankfully, Christmas is that time of the year to connect and reconnect with friends and family. This gives us an opportunity to catch up with those who we may not get an opportunity to talk to as frequently as we would like. And trust me, it’s really wonderful, reminiscing the good ol’ days or just making all kinds of plans to meet soon. Whether or not that materialises is a different matter altogether. But no harm in planning exotic vacations or a much needed reunion. And sometimes during such conversations, some things come up that really force you to think long and hard about things.

One such thing happened when last night I had a long chat with my cousin sister. She lives in San Jose, California. During the hour long call she gave me updates about how their skiing trip was cancelled due to the lockdown enforced in light of the second wave of the pandemic. How for the first time in a really long time, they are celebrating Christmas at home all by themselves. How my niece who was so excited about experiencing college life is now forced to do online classes and is so bored at home that she is picking up new hobbies everyday. How my little nephew is inventing new games to play all by himself. She also mentioned that every year they raise money and buy all kinds of supplies like groceries and blankets and take them personally to the nearby shelters for the poor and less fortunate ones. Over the years, it’s become like a Christmas tradition for them and they make sure their kids help out and in the process know and appreciate how blessed they are. But this year, she mentioned how things were so different.

This year there were far more people queueing up outside the shelter…some had walked for miles to reach the venue, some had been living on the streets for days as they couldn’t find beds in any of the nearby shelters. This time she saw far more homeless families than usual. And upon talking to them, they came to know that most of them were in such dire straits due to loss of employment as many shops/factories/businesses had shut down due to the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed thereafter. Their limited savings were spent, now they were unable to pay their bills, house rent, school fees and were thus on the streets. Homeless. At their wit’s end trying to figure out their next meal. The plight of these families was so overwhelming for my sister that she decided to cut down on their own Christmas budget and extend some more help to these families. Even while narrating the incident, I could hear her choke up.

As for me, well for one, I couldn’t be more proud of her, as her little act of generosity surely would have gone a long way in helping someone in need. But it also got me thinking, if things are as bad as this in the world’s largest economy, then the situation is bound to be much much worse elsewhere. I just couldn’t get the thought out of my mind, of all these families who are jobless, homeless, penniless, with nowhere to go, nobody to turn to. How helpless they must feel. How hopeless the world must seem.

It really made my problems seem silly and inconspicuous in comparison. Made me realize how, so very often, we take things for granted. How ungrateful we are for the things we have. How much we complain and crib about not getting things that we don’t even need.

Yes, this year has been different. It’s been a year like no other. Life has been hectic, chaotic. Life has been mundane, unpleasant. The world out there is unsafe. We are in the grips of an unknown, invisible enemy. We are all living in fear, uncertainty, anxiety. In short, in the past year, life has been difficult and not much has happened to be thankful for.

But we must remind ourselves, that if we have a roof over our head, food on our plate, a warm bed to sleep in, enough money to pay our bills and the love of our near and dear ones, then that’s enough and more reason to be grateful and thankful this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all πŸŽ…β˜ƒοΈπŸŽπŸŽ„β€οΈπŸ˜€

Christmas is forever,
Not for just one day.
For loving, sharing, giving,
Are not to put away.
Like bells and lights and tinsel,
in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others,
Is good you do yourself.

Norman W. Brooks

Life in the times of Corona…

Gone are the days when we could be happy and free,

Now home quarantined is all we can be,

Applying sanitizer, wearing face mask,

This is now the most important task.

Life was once so busy, commuting to work, all the traffic,

Now they seem like sweet memories, which once felt truly horrific.

Weekends were for socializing, to go out to wine and dine,

Now all days feel the same, sitting in front of the laptop pretending to be Miss sunshine.

But am not complaining,

Probably just reminiscing,

How different our lives used to be,

And how much it has changed, for our safety I agree.

But we must still be grateful,

For being healthy than sick is far more beautiful.

Thankful that we still have family and friends,

Whom we shall soon meet, once this pandemic ends.

Here’s hoping that day comes soon,

When we remember this time as a boon.

Until then, hang in there with some patience,

With the belief that our old normal will soon commence.

β€œI don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank

Rebirth…

The other day I got some beautiful marigolds for decorating the house…once the celebrations were done and the flowers had served their purpose (guess I’d like to believe that, rather than it actually being true)..the idea dawned upon me…rather than throwing it away in the garbage, why don’t I put it back where it came from…the soil…so I put these flowers in the mud inside a small glass pot and began my daily routine of watering and careful monitoring of the progress if any (as I honestly wasn’t too optimistic about my gardening skills)..

For the next few days, I was a keen observer…carefully assessing if there is any development. Any signs of change in the soil or the sight of a slender, young green shoot popping its way out of the soil. No luck. When this continued for almost a week or so, honestly I was quite disheartened. My first attempt at gardening (or rather creating a new plant from old flowers) seemed to be a very obvious failure. Searches on YouTube showed how things had to be done with some technicalities in mind, which obviously I didn’t do..so I guess my optimism was running out.

However, I kept watering the soil..just in case…And imagine my surprise, when suddenly, probably after 2 weeks or so after starting off on this experiment, I see tiny young stems making their way out of the soil…talk about little things giving immense joy…that never felt more true…I had not only become an ace gardener (ok, yes I know am really exaggerating, but what the heck..pat on my back nevertheless πŸ˜›πŸ˜›), but i also felt exhilarated that those dried up withered flowers (which I probably would have thrown away) were now going to blossom into beautiful flowers yet again…isn’t that what we call Rebirth…the miracle of nature?? 😊😊

This simple feat (yes I insist on calling it that) left me with several profound realisations… first being ‘Not to give up’..if I had stopped watering them midway seeing no progress, these little shoots would have literally never seen the light of day. That reamphasized the virtue of Patience (I tend to run out of it from time to time). It also reaffirmed my belief that its not always about being technically correct. Listening to your heart can also be equally fruitful. And most importantly, it gave me new sense of respect for the Cycle of life itself…we too are just like these flowers….we grow, we blossom, we thrive, we perish into the ground..only to be reborn again….just like these flowers, we too are eternal.

  • β€œSometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” …

Now am just going to continue to shower my love and care (and of course other basics such as water and sunlight) to make sure these tiny leaves and shoots can grow stronger roots and eventually fill the pot with beautiful flowers. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’

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.Β 
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. ❀️❀️