Sunday, January 1, 2017

Resolution 2017

Does anyone still do these? In any case, let me put down mine for this year.

It is, to be the center of the universe.

Yes! 2017 will be the year when I will be the center of the universe. For me.

I will invest more in me.

I will give more to my happiness.

I will do more of what I want.

I will show me more love.

I will let me be.

I will go easy on me.

I will go tough on me.

Love what i love.

Hate what i hate.

Be me.

Be unapologetic.

Just love, Me.

Moment of clarity

This post was written just a couple of months ago, and i guess it deserves to see the light of the day.

How many articles filed under the 'Life Lessons' tag do you have to go through before you see enlightenment? The answer of course, is not an absolute, it conveniently comes within the category of "depends". “Depends” on the writer, obviously; because she's the one who ought to have something wise to say, a novel way of saying it, to build a convincing foreword that necessitates dishing out the life lessons in bullet points, establish credibility, make it interesting enough to hold interest, and other such concerns. On the reader as well, because well, more than anything I've got to be in the right frame of mind to receive the enlightenment. But something more is needed; a connect, a matching wavelength, a common experience maybe, probably familiarity. Sometimes I read a whole lengthy article; (and they all are long, like really really long) and come out of it drained, because I got nothing off it. Just didn't connect. But then I get drawn into reading another of the same category quite easily. I love having conversations with myself, and/or anyone willing; about why we do/be/feel the way we do, about the hows and whys of a feeling. These conversations when not directed inwards, are best had with people who affirm to your thoughts, but it’s not every day that you can meet your soul mate of a friend for a leisurely coffee and talk for hours and soak in their aura, feel the euphoria of being understood. So, I read these articles, I get sucked into it without much allure, just a hint of a promise. Only sometimes do I come across one that clears the cloud off my mind and makes me see reason for the things that I do. Things that I did just because they felt right, unknowing of anything more beneath that feeling. Like, I’ve often stood at the balcony of my house, looking at the community bustling with activity, and wondered about what I see. What I see more than anything else, is parents having a great time with their kids, doing exactly what the kids enjoy, not what they themselves would choose to do on any day if they had to choose. But they all seem happy doing this. Either they're actually happy and enjoy this, or they're pretending to. Maybe it's a conditioning of the brain, they've trained themselves to believe that this is fun. What makes it such an enticing option, to have kids? Why do we all go down this same path, a lot of us, more than once? And let’s leave out the huge subset of people who never had the option of saying no, or to even imagine that NOT having kids is a possibility too. Let’s talk about those of us who were in the privileged position of having the option to choose for ourselves. Yet we did, hordes of us, a great percentage of us made a conscious decision to go down this path. Even if, what tilted the decision in favor, was a mere feeling. Why do we feel what we feel? What is it about parenting that draws people to it? What lies at the core of that parental satisfaction that’s talked about? And there it was in one such listicle, a simple truth experienced by one person, that seemed to put to rest, so many of my questions. One of the points in that article was that in the process of raising someone, the raiser often grows more than the raisee. Now isn't that such an amazingly simple truth! A smooth sea never made a great mariner; so we go seeking.


This post was lying in my drafts since more than a year, and i can exactly remember how i felt then. I think it's time i let it go out into the world!

You know what i want to write about? How would you, when i don’t either. When i can’t think even one thought to completion. When i spent a few happy hours yesterday, for the sole reason, that in that moment of clarity i actually found one convincing argument for the way i’m feeling. It only lasted a couple of hours, until i was removed from the bubble that i spend my time in at work. Can you believe it, that this achingly depressing place is where i feel relaxed. Well, as relaxed as i allow myself to get. I don’t know anybody here, yea a couple of people to a small extent maybe. But that only means that i know them to the extent of reasoning out why i don’t like them. The others, i talk to them, i smile, i walk around the floor giving some instructions here and there, asking some questions sometimes, i’m relaxed all the while i’m doing this. I’m also relaxed while i’m reading the book that i’m reading. I miss the previous book that i was reading, it was my sanctuary! It felt like a huge void when i turned the last page on that one. Anyway, i’ve moved on to the next one, which is equally gripping and sleep-inducing in parts. But coming to the bigger point here, of what i want to talk about. How do i snap out of this state. I can understand that there are days when one would feel all down and out, but this is happening all too often. And the stretches seem to be getting longer and longer. You know how many things are missing in my life? No, i don’t want to list them. Because i’m afraid that the list would turn out so long that it would send me down another spiral. Am i avoiding the problem? Let me tackle it one by one, the first item that comes to mind, fix that. When that is fixed, or atleast on the way to mending, then think of the next problem. You think that works? I’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked till now, because the first problem that comes to mind is invariably one that is considerably large. And if it is a large problem, it needs a proportionately large number of days to be fixed. And while it starts off well, along comes another of those bad spells. There goes the effort down to the dumps, and adding another reason to be right where i am. What i need to do is come up with a small problem and fix that. Yea, that’s what i need to do. Find a small problem. But you know the truth is that all my problems are rather small! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

To the special one!

Thomas, McQueen, Mater, Superman, Hulk, Spiderman, Olaf, Simba are your favourite friends. If there’s one thing that you ask for, more than anything else, it’s a muffin. But i have a sneaking suspicion, that more than the muffin, you love the distraction that it can produce. I hardly ever say no to your demand for a muffin, and that gives you the out that you’re looking for, from whatever it is that we’re doing. And talking of distractions, oh the distractions that you can come up with!! Just a few instances.. the road forks on the way to your school, while one takes you to the school, the other one leads to the airport. Now obviously you want to go to the airport as soon as you see that fork in the road!! You even preferred to go to the hospital rather than the school yesterday. When we’re going to the new school, you want to go to the old school (day care), and vice versa!! Today morning you wanted to go to Mamu’s house, with packing a suitcase (tusase) topmost on your agenda :) When that did not work, you wanted to go to a mountain!! That’s right, a mountain, because Lance Armstrong goes to a mountain on his bike!! There’s no dearth of distractions that you can come up with :)
How old was i when i first recommended a song to someone, well you are only 3 and you came home and recommended that i listen to Super Machi.Yes a full on dhinchak number, and then telling me how to do the signature step :D You do love music, and we love the times when we sing along the cd in the car. Anytime you are trying to play the guitar or drums at home, you ask either Addy or me to sing Muskurane ki wajah, it sure is a beautiful song, and it's almost 'our song' now.
There are a few things that stand out to me about having a child. One is the complete roller coaster of all these emotions that i go through each and every single day. It’s exhausting, but it’s also extremely fulfilling to drop down and cry or laugh. Then there’s the ease with which i can express love to you, it’s so effortless. Somehow it does take much more effort in expressing love to a grown up person. It makes the heart lighter, just expressing love to anyone. But sadly we don’t do it often enough, i know i don’t at all, to anyone but you. I’m not sure if anybody else feels this way, but I’ve very rarely felt a sense of belonging, to any place, school, college, offices that i worked in, cities that i lived in, people that i am with. I feel like i’m there but i don’t belong there, it’s all transitory. With you i feel the permanence, and that’s an amazing feeling for me. And then what stands out the most is those moments which melt the heart into a puddle. There’s just absolute mush, and i literally don’t want to ever let you go from a hug! Happy 3rd birthday!! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Change

For the better or for the worse, change is inevitable. This list that i got from Bride's blog some time back was very inviting, because i thought i scored fairly well on it. So here goes my analysis on the 20 things to let go of in your 20's.

1. The phone numbers of people you should never have the option to contact again if and when temptation strikes, social media connections with people you feel you have to constantly prove yourself to, and the general presence of those who you’ve simply outgrown.
There is one person who fits the bill of ‘never have the option to contact again if and when temptation strikes” and I did delete the phone number, emails, messages and anything else that I could find directly connected. I had the number on the tip of my tongue once, but I was happy to note one fine day that I could no longer recollect it.
I never felt the need to prove myself to anyone, actually I consider myself to be in the 93rd to 94th percentile in whatever it is that I do. Don’t ask me how I came to the number, but all that it means to me is that I do anything to the level that i’m happy with the result and I’m still enjoying what I do, not beating myself up to be the best. So none in the category of people I have to prove myself to.
‘Presence of people that I’ve outgrown’, not fared very well on this. There are some that I’ve clearly outgrown but just can’t seem to let go, for the sole reason that I don’t want to let go of my connection to that period of life that they belong to. Also, some that I did manage to delete, but couldn’t say no twice when they sent a reminder for the friend request nor could i leave two messages in a row unanswered. Don’t want to be rude.

2. The timelines you crafted for yourself in the past. There’s no right time for anything, and what’s most painful is being attached to what’s “supposed-to-be” as opposed to whatever is.
I wasn’t exactly what you would call a dreamy person ever, but I never had any timelines for myself either. I just always had a general sense of security that I would make the right decisions to suit the time. Don’t think i’ve done flawlessly on this decision making through every step, but fared quite well.

3. Speaking ill of people for leisure. Making commodity of someone’s life over drinks or at a party is not only something you shouldn’t have done in high school, but should have left back there if you did.
Don’t think I ever did any amount of bitching for leisure. Sure I have dissected another person’s life or decisions, and may have spoken something that I couldn't say to their face; but mostly only as a rant when it gets beyond me or a clean-hearted discussion with a close friend. Don’t think I can ever be comfortable doing a bitching session.

4. Waiting for a relationship to save you, because doing so is a dangerously unstable foundation on which you’ll end up building the rest of your life.
No, never did I think in my 20s that a relationship would save me. I was in fact scared of them to some extent. Although now I’ve regressed a bit on that, as I feel extremely dependent on my husband for a lot of things including emotional strength.

5. The old stuff on your résumé, like the service work you did in high school or the club you belonged to for a week your freshman year of college. Nobody cares about it professionally, and probably not personally either.
I was cutting down my resume to fit into a single page, and cut out all the old stuff from it.

6. Remnants of former loves that you keep around because you’re still holding onto a part of them. You can say they’re sentimental things you’ll want to have in the future, but the reality is that if they only serve to remind you of something that’s missing in your life, you can do without them.
I think i only kept the memories alive, there are no physical remnants that i keep around; of former loves or anything that i've let go of from my life.

7. Feeling as though you are obligated to be the person someone else sees you as. It doesn’t matter if it’s your parents, your former self or someone you love, you can respect all of those authorities and still realize that you are not required to be anybody but who you choose to be in the present moment.
I feel exactly as though i am obligated to be the person that my parents see me as! Big Fail!!

8. The need to always have the last word and win every argument.
I surely have learnt to let someone else have the last word, and I eventually do come to making peace with it. But I still cannot let go of the devil’s advocate in me.

9. Abusing your body with crash diets, dangerously excessive alcohol consumption, disregard for what nourishment means, etc. It doesn’t prove that you’re cool because you’re “reckless but in control”– it just shows that you aren’t being responsible or realistic about your body or health.
Yes off the excessive alcohol, respect my health and all.

10. Financial dependency, because there’s a difference between receiving help when you genuinely need it and using someone under the guise of it.
Just can’t do without complete financial independence!

11. Deciding who you are based on upward and downward comparisons to people, or worse – believing that you are the projection of what you assume other people think of you.
I've suffered from minor self-esteem issues, which mostly stemmed from how accomplished or not, i was feeling in that period of time. It helped that i always had positive reinforcement from people around. As i am writing this, i realise that without giving much thought, i always did a few things to overcome this issue. I would involve myself in varied activities and i would take a lot of exams. These things made me feel accomplished because the different activities gave shades to my personality and scoring well on those exams boosted my confidence in myself. I'm not sure how much of this issue was because of comparisons to people. It seems to me that it was mostly internal, but either way i got a lot more secure in myself over time.

12. What success means. Not being able to pursue a passion in the same way you support yourself is not a mark of failure. But not being able to incorporate those passions into your life outside of work usually is.
My passions have taken a backseat since my baby came along, but I was quite happy with not pursuing my passion professionally and keeping it personal for just the enjoyment they brought to me.

13. Excessive consumption, and spending as a means of validating self worth. You are not what you have nor are you what you can convince other people you are.
Nope, am not a materialistic person. But I do enjoy spending on nice restaurants and luxurious holidays.

14. The idea that you’re “above” any kind of work. Entitlement regarding what kind of job you should have is a real thing. In my book, doing whatever it takes to provide for yourself is a 
success in that it’s a display of one’s resiliency and character.
If I were to lose my current job and not find anything that befits my resume, then I do have a couple of backup professions in my mind. Would I do whatever it takes to provide for myself? Given my patience I would think ‘yes’.

15. Being too passive about things that very much matter to you and then getting upset when they go ignored by the people to whom you should have voiced your opinion.
Husband’s nagging about this trait of mine is showing some positive effects, and I’m now either a little less passive or a little less upset.

16. Anxiety over the way your body fills out– or doesn’t– as you enter adulthood. Fat is not a thing you are, it’s a thing you have, and having too much or too little does not make you any less capable of the things that genuinely matter. The body is just a vessel.
Nope, never had any body image issues.

17. The illusion of control. You can work hard, be devoted, care infinitely, and things could still crumble. Nothing hurts worse than spending your life desperately grasping at having a kind of control that is only viable by delusion.
The only illusion of control that I have is this idea of detachment from everything / everyone. But I do have my doubts about it sometimes that I’m not so much in control of myself as I think I am.

18. The desire to settle because you’d rather not be alone. You will pay for it eventually.
I still do think of myself as someone who can comfortably live alone.

19. Insulting people’s life choices out of your own resentment and bitterness. People who get married young, or work at jobs that pay well but aren’t fulfilling are easy targets, but are ultimately neither inherently sad nor wrong, though neither is doing the opposite. But the need to insult them is almost always a reflection of yourself (and p.s. I’m guilty of it).
Not insulting, but I have this tendency to offer what i think are better options, to any troublesome situation people might describe to me. They don’t always need my solutions, and some might find it offending too. Have made conscious efforts, to not offer a solution unless asked for.

20. Acting on the idea that any other person is beneath you, especially for what they think, feel or believe. There’s a lot to be said about a person who can discuss an issue with someone who inherently disagrees, and a lot more to be said about a person who can’t.

I take my time forming a judgment on someone, but once I’ve made up my mind it’s quite strong and does make me think of them as beneath me sometimes. There have been instances when I’ve drastically changed my opinion of someone but I surely do judge people negatively if they give me enough reason to. Out of all these 20 points I think I never did ponder on this last one, and although I don’t think I can stop making judgments (after sufficient reasoning of course), but I surely must let go of the slotting people.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Baby

My baby, whom i've not yet formally introduced on this blog. To cover up the last 21 months in a post is not going to be possible. But when i say 21 months now, it doesn't really feel like it's only close to two years, to me it seems like he has been there in our life since ever. With every passing day, i see him coming into his own a little more, building a personality. We've been christened by him, Addie and Ammie instead of Dada and Mama. We get hugs on demand. We get page 3 cheek rubs instead of kisses, the kisses are reserved for his stuffed toy Buddy. Buddy, who has to accompany him everywhere. He's got the dancing gene that his parents had somehow missed out on. He's got a great ear for music. Loves buses, dogs, birds. Loves his vegetables and fruits too!! But nothing better than curd. Is a complete foodie. Of all the words, his first word was 'Jeans'!!\e

Will leave a few pics to do the rest of the talking..

I wonder....

Enjoying the weather in Bangalore.

As you can see i'm a big rasgulla :)

In a pensive mood on a long drive.

Happy with the haircut mama gave me :)

My favorite reads!

My football buddies watch as i sleep.

Watch out for the injection in my hand.

Do not disturb me now!

The dermatitis can't pin me down!

I want to drive it!!!!

That's my favorite Buddy!

I love me :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anger management

Scream into a pillow! No, it doesn't seem healthy, but what can i say, it works!!

Deep breath! Deep breath! Deep breath! a few more times if you wish! It works, it really does. If you believe in it and do it just right. Concentrate on your breathing in and out, then get back to thinking about your problem. Repeat a few more times.

If it's more severe than that, recite the table of 17 in your mind. If you've already recited it enough number of times to say it backwards, go to 19, 23, 34, 49, 56. Pick a number and start with it. Whoever is at the receiving end of your anger, might also benefit from it if you want to say it loudly!

If you're Shakuntala Devi herself and have figured out tricks to do the previous mental exercise with relative ease, we'll need some better mental exercises. Retrospect / write / read / draw.

Go for a jog or swim if you have the time, or play your happy song and dance. If you don't know how to dance, kickbox in the air!

Make your anger constructive by coming up with a rule for yourself. Something like 'everytime you're angry, you're going to take one task you've been procrastinating on and complete it right then'.

Get some physical exercise regularly, apart from keeping you fit, it'll keep you happier.

Weed out everyday annoyances, tell yourself to take it easy and not get annoyed at the same things again and again. There's no point, right!

But why am i writing about anger management? Ref. point no. 4 above :)
I tickled my baby and he laughed and poof went my anger this morning, but there's more to my anger management than what i've listed above. Those points are just curing the symptoms to some extent. What i don't practice enough, is dealing with the emotion head on. There are a few things that i internalised too well from the lessons in school. One of them was; 'words once spoken cannot be recalled'. I'm extra careful with my words when i'm angry, i'm so cautious that i let it all bottle up instead of getting it out of my system, all for the fear of saying something hurtful. I have the ability to forgive and forget and let it go, so it works out just fine. But it's not a healthy way of dealing with the emotion. Discuss it and get it to a closure, that's the healthy way.

The other problem i have is that i don't always articulate why i am angry. This is a bigger problem for those close to me, than it is for me. What happens as a result of not attributing a reason to it is that the anger from one situation gets transferred to another and someone else has to bear the brunt of the collective anger. Putting it off for later is the worst thing to do!

I'm a fairly happy person, and i have a great amount of control over my emotions, including anger. But i need to deal with my anger in a slightly more matured way. Let go of the control to some extent. Getting angry is a natural reaction to situations. It might be considered a negative emotion, but it's an essential one and cannot be ignored. Being carefree comes naturally to me, i'm not able to deal with an angry me. If i imagine my complete personality, i picture a happy me, playing a sport, working at my desk, looking on with a content smile at my happy baby, being busy, out and about, partying, sleeping, a bored me, a super active me, a lazy me, and a lot of other 'me's; i cannot conjure up a picture of an angry me. Believe it or not, most times i feel guilty about feeling angry! But i do get angry, a healthy amount of times. I cannot ignore one emotion completely from my personality, it's there and it needs to be dealt with healthily.

So let this be the start, and the mantra is going to be 'Just say it'. In conclusion, i would like to say to my ex-boss 'You're lucky to have escaped to another team by now, or this trial could have created quite a stir in our peaceful interactions!' I'm serious, most times i was talking to him, in my head there was a motion picture of me smashing his head into the table in front of us. *Breathe in, breathe out*