Dear 2015 :)

You were as kind to me as you could have been!

I grew a year older and learnt hell lot of things with every day of your book. Lot of things I have about you to gossip, trust me ūüėČ I celebrated my 7th Valentine’s day, 30th birthday and 3rd wedding Anniversary, all of them remarkable.

Husband has been as kind and loving as he always had been. Life is just becoming prettier with him. So that way you have been nothing less than 2012, 2013, 2014. My parents and Sister were the next leading contestants of the year in my life, as always. I thank God for the moments I spent with family. The neighbours were generous.

You showed me how it feels to move in a foreign land. It was the height of mixed feelings. There was excitement and happiness of experiencing another part of the earth but there was also a stabbing pain to leave the people I love. Got a bunch of friends here. Things are better now, they had to be , because you never stopped. You kept rolling.

I have seen highs in the form of starting a blog, moving to the US, losing a little fat, learning Zumba.

The lows also followed closely with 2 endoscopies and a lesson that not everyone will love you and treasure you the way you keep them at the top in life.

The Moral of every story was the same, “Be kind, there are battles to be fought and all need not necessarily be at the battlefield”

But dear 2015, ¬†You made me a very strong person! This is something I will always be thankful to you for. You taught me that it is ok to move on and let certain people go. Not because you don’t care but because they don’t.¬†You gave me the happy realization that thinking good about people can sometimes give you a bad name. And you also made sure I learn that some people never change! If someone has decided to destroy themselves they will. You don’t have to feel guilty about everyone’s suffering.

Passing through¬†all these testing times¬†and I am alive!¬†So that is something to celebrate. The world will name me ” greedier¬†than the owner of the hen who laid golden eggs” if I ask more.

We as a country grew leaps and bounds in your time. Modi made sure India is recognized internationally, the army, navy and Air force made sure she is looked upon as a well guarded and strong Nation and we made sure we treat her well.

So, here is a short farewell to the kind 2015 that you are. I hope you update 2016 with how you have handled me. Hope you leave your blessings and lessons forever with me because I would pick the old calendar every now and then to relive you ūüôā

Bye Bye 2015 ūüôā

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Secret Santa :)

Christmas always meant celebration, cookies and cakes. And Playing Secret Santa to someone brought a superhero kind of a feeling. I always made sure I played a good Santa. Always got the best suitable gift for the name in my chit. And was always equally lucky in receiving.

But as years passed by, realization hit me, hit me really hard. You don’t have to wait for Christmas to spread happiness, you need not wear red and white to fulfil wishes.

Sometimes, we just lose the battle with self centered us and think about nothing but us. My family should get the best seat in the bus, My Pet owns the entire park, My mobile needs that charging point more than the one with just 1% battery left, My house needs luxury renovation every year doesn’t matter others have a shelter or not, My car needs the shade parking so what if I never planted a tree.

I remember being told a tale where the lady says ” why do we need to fight for people who aren’t present here!” I hope someone told the lady that she too wouldn’t be cared about once she leaves the clan.

People do not fancy fighting for someone who is not related to them or their purpose. That is not my business is the obvious attitude.

And then I read things like “Help others” “Be Kind” on their social networking sites!

Are we addicted to acting good? Are we addicted to shedding tears for someone whose hunger stricken picture is posted online and hurting people who are around us? We are so good in defending Amir Khan, Questioning the Indian Law on Salman’s release , Organising Candle Marches. But we are too busy to defend a guy downstairs who is bullied by a group of Autorickshaw drivers over not paying anything more than the meter.

The day we start caring about someone beside us, there won’t be heart wrenching stories of the poor or miserable¬†for us to forward. I have nothing against online sympathy , But don’t you think helping someone directly instead of waiting to read his story of suffering online would be less consuming?

You have ample of scope to be a secret Santa everyday. And if we do that bit, maybe next year Santa Claus would have less tasks to finish ūüôā

Resolution Revolution :)

With all the preparation for Christmas Secret Santa Party and New year party later on, “take it easy” is a distant dream. After the secret Santa mystery is solved, I am sure the next big thing would be New year resolution.

A friend of mine called me the other day, and while talking he said “why are you shrinking day by day” and I had to tell me that it is intentional. From my weight we moved on to his weight. “But your beer belly doesn’t seem to stop expanding. You got to do something about it”.

“Yes, I have to But alcohol doesn’t seem to leave me.”

Friendly pressure, Party pressure, etc , the list of excuses was long. He finally declared “We have the election result pending. If our party wins, I will drink one last time to celebrate, and if otherwise I will have a couple of bottles to mourn. ”

I was amused and astonished and did not take a second to tell him ” Cigarette smoking is injurious to health¬†and alcohol consumption kills”¬† The discussion finally concluded by he making a new year resolution. No Alcohol from 1st January 2016.

This is just an incident but there are many similar conversations going on right now when I am writing this. As the end of year approaches, we start consoling ourselves. Whatever happened has happened, New year would be new me. We cover ourselves in the blanket of Resolution, which most of us throw away on the 2nd of January or by the end of January.¬†You get nothing to guess¬†that resolutions alone are momentary comfort. Fulfilling them is a journey to Mars. I always wanted to start a healthy eating for the family. And started doing it from December. A month before New year. So that by January, I would already be going smooth with it. And it really worked for me. Start your resolution before the 1st of the year and it is definitely going to stay. That is my experience. My blog writing too didn’t wait for ” New¬† Year New Beginning” song.

So, you may want to¬†smash that Cigarette¬†in the Ash tray, drop that burger and pick your fruit, empty all the ” Royal Chivas”¬† in the sink,¬†get your 45 minutes daily workout started., start being nice to people before the New Year.

 

 

Under 18 darkness!

My morning is India’s evening. And they look like calling family in India, watching¬†Indian news headlines¬†and heading to the gym.

Last night before retiring, an¬†article on my social media newsfeed reconfirmed that the Juvenile convict¬†in Nirbhaya Gangrape¬† case would be set free. I still went to sleep peacefully. You must be already measuring the height of(¬†insensitive and mean ) emotions in my confession. But let me tell you the peace was not out of my ignorance towards society but immense belief in miracles.¬†In practical terms , I was somewhere in my heart assured that the Indian judiciary system would find a solution overnight¬†to not let this happen. And I will wake up to ” Stay on the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya gang rape case”

But Miracles don’t always turn to reality and bad things do happen to good people. What made me more restless was the confession of the police officer dealing with the juvenile. “He was not sorry for what he did in 2012 and neither is he guilty of his acts today”.

I respect the Indian judicial system. But how I wish I had a law degree so that I can comfort my aching heart with the clauses that give freedom to a criminal just because his body is not as old as atleast 18 years on this earth. Does this mean that you can go around on a crime rampage until you are not 18? Sorry if that sounds a silly question but I have few more for the people up there!

Does that mean we can teach the kids that act like a bloddthirsty witch till you turn 18 and then suddenly turn into hansel and Gretel?

Does that signal us to be scared of kids who haven’t turned 18 than the adults roaming around.

Instead of just waiting for the answers, I might as well tap on the last door.

Knock knock, the award Wapsi gang, are you alive?
The juvenile convict’s release had how many award returns can someone tell me?
Otherwise intolerant people have a big heart to accept a rapist who is not even remotely remorse back in the society!
People who had nothing but beef ban and “we are not terrorist ” in their social media wall have gone in self indused coma.
This proves that some just want things to crib about. No real problem to face, No real intention to better the surroundings they are living in. There are fights bigger than religion and Cow. I hope we all come together for them and leave the cows alone!

Lets fight for¬†A better system in place so that a criminal doesn’t walk free on the basis of his bone age!

Such are the times you need to work harder on social platforms and do your every possible bit.

Intolerance!

We have been constantly discussing about how intolerant India has become ( or should I say Indians have become). How, democracy has been fed to dogs, how choice of food is no more a matter of personal affair, how the way one dresses has become a decision of everybody but the person. You can add your observations of intolerance to the list.

Don’t you think its high time, we discuss things on a cellular level. Talking about the intolerance in the country without treating inner intolerance¬†is a sheer wastage of your ability to judge and talk.

I think the shortest route to waving goodbye to intolerance from our country is by being tolerant. If each one of us get¬†our patience clock serviced and back to working, I am sure the country would be more open to changes(Don’t you think so?).

Its easy to mass criticize Amir khan on his intolerance statement or for that matter it is easy to curse the government for beef ban. We are nowadays well trained in protesting, blaming, and maligning. But we forget that its we who choose the ruler and it is also we who form rallies for protesting or supporting  western wear, beef eating, love marriages, reservations etc.

Anything new introduced and we turn our crib buttons on. What did the past government do and what can the present government do is all thanks to us, the people. Its easy to design memes, complain, whine on odd even car days rule incorporated by the government. But do you have a better solution to increasing pollution?

Modi introduced cleanliness drive, and many of us I guess thought, Modi is going to clean every house, every lane, every river. We forget more than often how powerful we are together. And if we decide to be tolerant it is going to be “Hail tolerance” everywhere.

So, next time, you see a girl little beyond your definition of modern, take it easy. If you find someone eating that chicken biryani on a Saturday do not try to explain the significance of not eating Non veg on a Saturday. Listen to that music for some time before banging your neighbour’s door to turn it off. It Is okay if your daughter in law wakes up late and it is perfectly fine if she prefers a pair of¬†Jeans over Saaree.

The day we become pro in accepting changes, our country would be more awesome than it is ūüôā

So lets stop giving this word “intolerance” unwanted attention!

 

Are you ok?

On my way back from the gym, I look around, gazing at people, surprised by ultimate silence inspite of so many cars speeding around. You would rarely hear a driver honk. That is something I love about the USA. “There is absolutely no need to honk your horn” is the rule which has finally turned into attitude.

On one such days , I spotted a guy dropping a bottle at a doorstep. You can really look at a person and make out that he is not having a good day. (If you have the time¬†to observe). As he walked across me, we shared a glance and greeted one another. And the conversation began with how busy we get , trying to make the ends meet. While talking I felt that he doesn’t want to talk about the job, the struggle, kids, bringing them up. But something more eminent , more important is bothering him deep within. And out of nowhere I popped up ” Are you okay?”

This one question took all the burden off his chest. And it flowed through his eyes in a matter of seconds. I didn’t know what to do. How to console a stranger. What to say that can comfort him. So, I did what I would have expected someone else to do in my moment of distress. I let him cry. There was a minute of silence on a busy crosswalk, the only thing noisy were his tears.

And then he told how his girlfriend and now wife of 35 years was cheating on him. All he could do was stand in front of the house that they once shared, and wait for her to come out. Height of helplessness is nothing but this. He cried and cried and from emotional he turned into vengeful. He came with a determination to end the other guy’s life.

I reacted in the most unexpected way. I asked him to go ahead and do it. But added ” Lets discuss the consequences”

Will you get your wife back?

Will life come back to the old bright way?

He went into a long thoughtful silence.

I continued, ” You should actually thank the guy and wish him luck”

And MOVE ON.

The last thing I uttered with utmost care and expression.

He handed the knife to me and was like ” Yes, I have to let go off this”

I offered him food and water and gave him my number, incase he needed a second dose of empathy.

He called me after a couple of hours to thank me for saving his life.

I don’t think I had to work hard on it. None of us has to. It just takes an eye of concern and a moment to spare and listen. We are all so busy in our ambitions and anxiety that we often overlook each other.

My encounter with the man on crosswalk made me realize that comforting each other is the biggest accomplishment. Realization that you can make a difference in someone’s life can help you to understand what you are really capable of doing.

Next time you see a usually chirpy friend silent, do check. Understand the battle and if possible help them get over it. “Are you ok?” is all you have to walk upto.

 

Endless Emotions

Sometimes, when I am with myself, on my own, I wonder, am I really alone? Is there nothing attached to my soul?

     That is when a realization hits me hard right in the centre of my heart. I am never alone, none of us are. We are all the time, surrounded, gripped, ruled, tamed, directed by an overwhelm of emotions. Sad, happy, anger, love, worry. Those are just a few.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Emotion is the biggest gift bestowed on mankind. But as they say excess of anything is not good and a tie goes well with a collar not a sleeve. That is what holds true with the hormone signals sent to our brain. Too much of love is taken for granted, too much of anger is ignored, too much of care is¬†looked upon¬†as a burden and too much of worry is not good for the liver. Similarly, loving a person who isn’t even aware of your existence is no good. Hating someone who doesn’t deserve to be looked¬† down upon is time and health gone in vain. Worrying tirelessly for people who love to be left¬†alone in their journey¬†is going to increase just the number of antidepressants you take.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When I take a close look at people around, clad in Gucci, Versace, Kenneth cole, Victoria’s Secret¬† from top to bottom, I notice their heart is as empty as a poor man’s bowl on a night of hunger. They are not happy. There is amiss. The music is not playing right. And what I discover is something as small as misplaced emotion. Loving the wrong person, criticizing an innocent, being jealous of a humble harry and competing with a friend is the disease everyone is caught by. How I wish there was an over the counter pill available for this discomfort.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I cannot advise, but I can definitely tell you what have I done to make sure my emotions flow in the appropriate direction most of the time. I have stopped. I have ceased. I have let go. I have accepted. Stopped going behind shadows, ceased overthinking, let go of the people who just don’t want to dance with me, and accepted that this is how it works.

Things work a certain way and that is how they will work forever. You plucking every hair strand from your head would not make it work any other way. So, breathe deep and learn to let go.

¬†¬† We cannot do much about unresponded feelings but what we can definitely do is never let anyone’s emotions go unacknowledged. That can make a change maybe ūüôā

An encounter…

I was at the farmer’s market looking for brown sugar. Got a pack that said ideal for baking.

So, I¬† Reached the lady at the check out counter and asked her if I can use it in milk too. She was flabbergasted¬†and reconfirmed what¬†am I¬†going to use that sugar in. when I repeated myself she said ” Why would you use sugar in milk, it already has sugar in it!” With this she turned to the lady at the next counter and told her that I am going to use that sugar in milk. Both of them surprised and kind of EWWW looked at me. I felt as if I asked for Marijuana in a family store. Embarrased for no reason ūüôā

While returning from the store, I realized that the lady had a lean figure and the moral of the story for me was “If you avoid using sugar in milk you can remain fit” :p

Oh, I bought the sugar by the way. But every time I try adding it to the milk, the lady’s questioning face appears before me and I keep the sugar aside. Its been a while since hubby and I are having milk without sugar.

There’s no harm trying health tips that sound obviously healthy ūüôā

That’s how we learn ūüôā

 

 

Say yes to “No”

The only not very pleasant memories of relationships I have is hurting while trying not to hurt. ¬†Everyone of us, at some point, has faced the confusion named ” how to say no”.

Read a news today. Girlfriend murders live in boyfriend of 6 years because he wasn’t earning well and she couldn’t confront him and say “No”. The risk of going to jail was¬†easier than having to directly tell him to move on. Is saying no so difficult?

After years of pleasing people and in the process, doing what they like, I realized its not worth it! If they are your friend, they will accept you the way you are. You don’t have to eat eggs if you don’t like eggs and you don’t have to play monopoly if you prefer scrabble. Giving in to friendly demands once in a while is fine and feels good but don’t let it become a routine. Don’t live a life designed by someone else.

I love reading books, writing my blog, going for a long run, watching horror movies with husband, cooking healthy for the family. And I am proud to say that this is exactly what I do. It takes just a moment of assertiveness to set yourself free from the cage of people pleasing. Once you come out of it you will feel your breath a little lighter and your days lot more brighter.

I can guarantee you will lose a few FRIENDS in the process. But trust me, it feels amazing to drive your life and not just sulk in the backseat.

Life is Unpredictable.

“I love my family a lot!”

This can be said by most of us without hesitation. Like everyone, I too am very fond of my family. My day starts with thoughts about them and end on similar notes.

There are times when I get disappointed¬†with my family, I feel like yelling at them or simply not talking to them for a day. But I avoid that, trust me. I always avoid that. You might also want to consider doing that. ¬†And what helps me¬†keep the love intact¬†is a single thought “Life is unpredictable”.

We never know which would be the last hello or goodbye to our loved ones. I have no idea when will the music stop and I or someone I love will be out of this musical chair.¬†Hence I make sure to¬†love my loved ones as much as I can as long as I can. I never want to face the¬†“I wish” feeling. In my opinion,¬†the best way to avoid guilt and regrets is being nice and loving, giving all you can.