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.

Definitely US riding that one 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 for the night….

There is something so beautiful about the night,
That an early bird might never understand..
The night is silent, the night is peaceful,
The night is often like a dream and seldom a fright.

Night is like a beautiful silhouette,
When dreams unfold,
And come to life…
When your true creativity comes to light.

When all is quiet and peaceful,
And you have all the the time to think and ponder,
Free from all the daily stress,
The night time is indeed beautiful.

When all are asleep,
And you have all the time to yourself,
To do what you want,
To let your creativity leap.

Night time is indeed the best time of the day,
When others are fast asleep and you’re fully awake,
To enjoy the silence and tranquility,
And to keep all the stress away.

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’•

BFF…Best friends (NOT) forever..

I thought I will start 2021 with a positive blog like a new year resolution list (don’t we all love listing out things none of which we will perhaps accomplish)…. but I guess that wasn’t meant to be… something happened or rather ‘someone’ happened that made me feel like I need to write about it, and vent out in the process…

In school, we were known as the 3 musketeers, always together and absolutely inseparable. Shared lunches, all our secrets, were witnesses to our first crushes, boyfriends, graduation. I knew in my heart that I had 2 lifetime friends in them and no matter time, distance or anything else, nothing could separate us.

But then….life happened…our education and later work lives took us to different places..we promised to keep in touch and made it a point to meet when in town and spend as much time as possible. But gradually such meetups reduced, lies, complexities and insecurities increased,issues and misunderstandings piled up. Two of us found some common ground and stayed best friends like before, while the third leg of the tripod slowly started giving away..growing more distant and almost became someone that I felt like I barely knew. And after a point, I just stopped trying to figure out what was going wrong. And gradually but surely enough, we drifted apart. And now, it’s been so long since we last met or spoke that we are as good as strangers. Isn’t that just sad. But alas that’s the way it is.

And over time, I made my peace with it. After all we were besties when we were young, immature and life was much less complicated. And now we have become such different people with such different lives. We have nothing in common anymore. We are as good as strangers.

However, things took an interesting turn at the start of the year. This erstwhile bestie suddenly raises hell and declares a comeback. Incessant calls, messages on every social media I use. It was like I was being stalked 24/7.

I ignored for a while. But then contemplated talking out things with her. If not for anything, but just to honour the friendship we once had. And maybe she had realised things and had changed as a person. So I did start replying to some of her messages. To start a conversation and see where it goes. But pretty early on in the conversation, especially when she said things like ‘i don’t even know why you’re pissed’, I realized she was oblivious to all that she had done, all the times she truly hurt me, all the times she lied to me, broke my trust, helped my ex cheat on me, the countless times she said things behind my back…even after all these years, she was oblivious to her wrong doings and never admitted to any of those things.

It didn’t take me long to realise that we really couldn’t go back to being what we were, because the very foundation of any good relationship is Trust. And if I can’t trust her completely, what’s even the point of being friends? So with a heavy heart and a clear conscience, I wished her well and requested her to let things be. But She wouldn’t listen to any of it. It was like she was on a mission to mend things. Maybe it was one of her new year resolutions that I was just not letting her tick off.

I remained firm in my decision. Her non stop messages and calls have since subsided. I wonder if I did the right thing. But God knows, I have enough shit on my plate to be able to handle her drama. Maybe at another time, at another juncture in life, I would have been more patient and forgiving. But At this point in time, I just don’t have the energy or the patience to deal with this once-best friend-now attention seeking stranger. But I sincerely do wish her well and hope she can check off the remaining items from her new year resolutions list. 😐😐

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” – Ally Condie

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

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’