life · scribbles · story

Adult Relationships

As a girl in her early twenties, I see my Instagram and Facebook be full of posts of my friends having their own tribe, their own people, who have been constants, which have been in their lives for a long period of time. Everyone just seems to have a best friend, a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a bunch of people who are always there.

People have people to hang out with, to call, to go celebrating with, to cry with. They have their groups from school, from college, from office, from tuitions. Everybody just seems to be having someone to hug, having someone to cry with, having a decade old best friend or something like that. But this is what I see on social media, I don’t have much clue about their real life in depth. And for a very long time, it used to make me feel lonely for the lack of a best friend or a boyfriend in life. I have always feared that everyone I will love oh so dearly will leave my life because they have always left in the past. I never had a strong-knit group in the school, in college or in post graduation. I only had individual friendships and connections which have been so fulfilling but I always yearned for something I didn’t have. It’s human nature to look at what is not there rather than be grateful for the abundance that we already have.

But this year had been life-changing in terms of how I perceive my own life. It has taught me to trust, to depend, to let my guard down, to open up and to love. It has taught me to be more receptive to learning, to break my prejudices, to understand the other person and most importantly understand myself.

Adult relationships and friendships can be complicated if you have been a closed person in the past who has a hard time accepting changes in life and changes in the equation with the people around. It is always said that we are a what we are because of the people that surround us. Surround yourself with good people, your life will change automatically, for good.

My fears of having my loved ones leave, never let me get involved into a friendship or a relationship completely because I was lacking faith and trust in the fact that when people leave, I won’t be able to manage. As much as I enjoyed solitude, I was lonely deep down because of my fears of being lonely, being left alone so before anyone could hurt me or come close enough to me that I can cry in front of them or reach out to them when I am sitting at the bathroom floor weeping about something, I would push that person away. I have only talked about my traumas or bad days when I have actually overcome them but never when I am having those moments because I didn’t trust anyone enough to take care of me or to be put it more honestly I never felt worthy enough to let someone waste their precious time listening to me cry. But this year all of this changed, I got too much involved with all my heart and I could not be more glad about it because..well you’ll know at the end of this post. 

This year has taught me to value myself and to be kind to myself first. I would always go out of the way for the people I love but I would never do that for myself. I will always be so hard on myself and will be a person who gets sad often because I wanted more out of myself. But this year I feel that I have improved each day because of the people around me. I have been so blessed to have found a best friend in my mother and to have been able to let my guard down with one or two people this year. This year I learned to depend and then to become independent too when there were changes. Mostly, whenever I happen to experience a change in my relationship or in my life in general which I do not like because it takes away the comfort zone, I would get bitter and close myself but this time I saw these changes as an evolutionary change, as a new experience, as an opportunity to be a better human than I was a day ago and in some cases, a couple of hours ago.

I am human and I have feelings. There are times when I feel disappointed, hurt, sad too but I have learned to heal myself. And I am learning to love with an open heart and I cannot describe how happy it makes me feel. Adult relationships and friendships don’t seem too complicated or hard now. The people in my life and my mother have helped me changed my perspective on myself, on my life and on the changes and the challenges life has to offer and my dear one, life begins to change only when you do. So, anyone who is reading this post, I wish you love, luck, and inner strength because when you are surrounded by these things, the world around you changes.

Now I don’t feel sad or lonely by seeing people celebrate or post pictures with their best friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends because every individual is different and we all have different kinds of personalities and relationships. I have learned to make peace with my solitude and love the people who make my life so much happier without getting the feeling of pseudo loneliness because I always have my loved ones around when I need them the most. And even when I don’t have them, I have myself. I am learning to accept my vulnerabilities and strengths in a way I never identified them before. And I am thankful to the universe for helping me see the things the way I am seeing them now. And in adulthood, we all need to learn this one important fact- you need not have a constant presence of someone around you to know that they love you or care for you or you love them or care for them. We are adults who have different lives. There will be a phase when you will be completely involved in someone else’s life and you will let them come close to you but when it’s time to be an adult, be one.  A healthy relationship is the one where two independent people help each other grow and bring out the best in one another and help each other make the best out of their lives.

Dushmani toh muft hai
Bas dosti ki fees hai
Dosti ki fees hai…

Oh bhai re…
Dil hai ki gehri khai re

Apparently dosti ki fees nhi hai.

Pyaar dosti hai

Aur zindagi bas pyaar hai

Aur khud se dosti karlo to duniya dost hai, zindagi khush hai aur khushi ek aisi cheez hai jo hamare haath mei hai.

It does not mean that when you are having a bad day or feel hurt, by just thinking to be happy you will be happy. No you will feel the pain but you will also see a ray of light in the darkness that life is putting you through and it will be enough for you to sustain and then shine like a star when the darkness slowly fades.

We live in a dual world, without sadness, there cannot be happiness and without tragedies, there would be no comedy. Just keep playing along and love my friend. Love for your own self and life around you and peace within are the most important things in life at any point. So just keep loving. Don’t seek love, become love aur zindagi gulzar hai.

I have made the mistake of seeking love and I keep repeating this mistake too but when I am able to just love without seeking anything in return that just makes me so much happier. And I am grateful for those days when I feel love myself and don’t seek it and it automatically comes to me making me feel fuller. ❤

 

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scribbles · story

Exam Halls are Meditation Centers

Well, this year has been quite eventful and uneventful at the same time.

Usually, when I go for an exam, I am so well prepared that if I reach early, I revise the entire syllabus in the waiting time in my head but this time I was unprepared for an exam and I reached the exam hall an hour early. I went inside and I had nothing to do, there was absolute silence, we were not supposed to talk to the stranger sitting next to us, we neither had a pen or a paper to doodle or phones or anything. I just had to sit in one place doing nothing at all.

I stared at all the people around me, I looked at people’s clothes, I counted the number of lights and fans in the room, I basically observed every single thing around me and I watched my mind having all sorts of thoughts. There was a constant conversation between me and my mind where I was asking my mind to stop thinking about all the rubbish shit it was thinking and cooking up random scenarios, all of them had to stop and I came back to the present moment and then there was this conversation- exactly why I should stop thinking and be in the present moment because darling, there is officially nothing to do in the present moment except to stare at the clock and time pass by like that before the exam begins.

And that is when it hit me that exam halls are pseudo meditation centers.

I was constantly aware of my thoughts, my surroundings, my mind, and my breath too and when the question paper was in front of me, I was not thinking about how I am hungry or how someone had hurt me or anything like that. I was completely there, writing my exam and I did not even for once think that if I had studied, I would be writing a better exam, no. I had all these thoughts and reflections after the exam was over and I was riding back in the metro.

Now I finally understand that why life is called an exam, life in itself is a very big and giant exam and we all are constantly living that exam except that we are not aware that we are writing an exam and hence we often fail because we don’t live in the present moment, we are always living in a world created in the past or in future but not where we are exactly.

Let’s change that. Should we?

 

 

 

life · story

The Question of Maturity

2018 is not over yet.

In my last post where I talked about how this year had been and how we all have 40 days left to make the most of the last chapter of 2018, I had been right.

There is so much more to learn and each day is different.

The person I was at the beginning of this year and the person I am and the person I am becoming are totally different and I am being really hopeful about the change here.

My tolerance levels for drama have gone to under zero. I don’t want any sort of drama because this year was filled with it and I have had my share of the drama.

This year was a year of realizations and relationships. Life is nothing but a relationship.

Life-

  1. Relationship with our own self
  2. Relationship with our family
  3. Relationship with our teachers, co-workers
  4. Relationship with our friends
  5. Relationship with our health
  6. Relationship with our work
  7. Relationship with our peace
  8. And the list of relationships goes on and on….

This year was full of ups and downs, there were big highs and big lows and the process is still on!

There were great successes achieved and there have been failures and I know of an upcoming failure as well and that is a result of my “Karma” or the lack of “Karma” for my exam tomorrow.

The highlight of this year was travels and the trips I happened to take. I have rebelled like anything and I have gone insane with that and have managed to come back to my sanity. So, all in all, a circle was completed.

This year I got close to 2 people- one a 20-year-old and the other a 30-year-old and somehow in between I felt myself changing.

In one scenario, I let a 20-year-old to depend on me completely and invade in my space and in the other scenario, I opened up as a person and started to depend on the 30-year-old, I basically lost all my barriers and walls in both the scenarios. I did not set any boundaries in either situation and if you look at it, the circle is again complete- I can think both as a dependent on someone and as a dependable person on whom the other person depended on. And oh boy, it’s tough to be decisive when you know how to think from both ends.

And the entire question is of “space”

Each individual is entitled to his/her own space. 

No one owes anyone anything. 

Each individual is on his/her own. 

Boundaries matter. No matter how anyone says that there are no boundaries in a friendship, there are. There are boundaries at home too and we outgrow our homes at times, outgrowing ourselves and the relationships around us is natural and sometimes necessary. The only permanent thing in life is the change and change is good because it keeps on giving you a reminder to not take anything or anyone for granted. We often tend to take our mothers for granted, we must not do that. Whenever I behave in a fashion that my mother feels that I am taking her for granted, she calls it out to me and I try my best but habits like these take time to change because my mother allowed me to take her for granted so many times on so many occasions. 

Coming back to the scenarios I was discussing up here, I now cannot stand to listen to my 20-year-old, I need to mentally prepare myself to spend time with her because spending time with her is mentally exhausting. And it does not mean I do not love her, I love her a lot but at the same time, I love my mental peace. Setting up boundaries in this scenario was hurtful initially because I did not want to hurt but I was hurting her by asking her to not depend on me or invade in my space unless it’s a “genuine” crisis situation.

In the second scenario, there is less drama, there is more love and regard but there is some tension which keeps cropping up due to my constant presence in my friend’s daily routine and it causes guilt. I am not getting any blame or negativity from anyone else but the guilt which crops up within me because I happen to disrupt the peace in his personal life.

Now why this post is titled “The Question of Maturity”

Here is why.

I felt that somewhere between 20-year-old and a 30-year-old, the 23-year-old me grew up. I felt like a mature person which I did not for a long time. (Are you also fascinated by the play of the number 2 and 3 in the above sentence, because I am.)

But there is a long way to maturity. I did not mature but I started my journey and I guess that is good enough for now.

We are all brought up as kids, everything was ordered and we were expected to obey. First, we are conditioned by our parents, then we are conditioned by our teachers and then at some point we are conditioned by our friends and we end up losing our own personal voice.

Whenever I am about to do something, there is a thought about what would my mother say or what would so and so person say because there is a compulsive need to be liked and be accepted by the people I live with. I always think about not disappointing anyone I love but I do end up disappointing people around me in some form or the other.

Note to self: You cannot make people happy. You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness or sadness. You are only responsible for your own happiness and peace. The Moment you attach your happiness with a person, an achievement or an event or a milestone or anything, as a matter of fact, you are on your road to be an unhappy person. 

Maturity means the understanding to decide for oneself, the understanding to be decisive on your own. To stand on your own feet — that’s what maturity is. And I am on my way. I have miles to walk to become mature in the real sense. When someone attains full maturity, one becomes a dangerous human being. Because he goes on doing his own thing — he does not bother what people say, what their opinion is. He does not hanker for respectability, for prestige; he does not bother for honour. He lives his own life — he lives it at any cost. He is ready to sacrifice everything, but he is never ready to sacrifice his freedom.

And we restrict our own freedom, I restrict my freedom with my thoughts, with my desire to please the people around me and I restrict my own freedom because of my personal fears. I am not yet a danger to the society around me but I would like to be at some point.

And I guess I have found the theoretical answer to the question of maturity, but I am also aware that this answer will change its meaning with time and with experiences of life.

And what all I have written above will not resonate with a lot of people, each individual has his own ideas, thoughts, and opinions on the basis of which he lives his life.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may each day be a new one and may each one of my readers, become a better person than they were yesterday because it is through personal growth we all make the world around us a better place.

 

life · scribbles · Travel Diary

Artisans of Bikaner and The Kalbelias

Hello Dear Readers,

In my last post, I talked about how this year has been. How much I have learned and how this year has been a year of traveling and how I intend to make the most out of the last chapter of 2018.

So here I am, sharing another experience which I think might be worth your time.

I happened to take another tour with Miss Guide You and this time it was to Bikaner.

Bikaner is a city in Rajasthan where people don’t really go for the traveling experience because it is not hyped much for whatever reasons. Tourist companies focus mainly on Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaipur. It is mostly the foreigners who are exploring the cities of Rajasthan, come to Bikaner or film-makers who know about the place. There have been documentaries made by National Geographic and other foreigners and international organizations about the city of Bikaner.

Among Indians, Bikaner is famous for Bhujia and Sweets and that is about it.

So, this tour was one of its kind. It was not a regular tourism package by anyone, it was a carefully curated craft tour which was personalized and planned in an advanced fashion. There was a lot of research done by the people planning this tour- Kriti Bisht and Ashish Godara, the people who run the organization called Miss Guide You and you could see that a lot of research work has been done to get the kind of experience you were getting on the tour.

On the first day of our tour, we visited the famous Karni Mata Temple. I remember seeing a documentary on this when I was in school and I was so scared to enter to a temple which housed more than 15000 Rats but I did and I don’t remember praying there, I went inside and was just looking around me and taking care of my feet. Visiting this temple was a personal achievement and I am still scared of rats.

Here is a 5 minute documentary by National Geographic Channel: Welcome to the Rat Temple

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This one is a very awkward picture of me with Kriti, standing far away from rats, smiling only because of the camera. It was very difficult to smile in that situation when I was fearing rats.

Post this experience, we had our first workshop – Learning the art of Pugal embroidery from a Pugal artisan.

Who are Pugal Artisans?

Pugal artisans are women who were displaced from Pakistan in 1971, and settled in Thar Desert and used their skills of embroidery to earn a living with dignity. But over time, with privatization and onset of FDI and MNCs, these crafts of Rajasthan are dying and Mr. Ashok Bishnoi, founder of The Charkha is trying to support these artists. Miss Guide You partnered with him and organized the entire tour.

The Embroidery Workshop was one of its kind, we actually practiced the art and not just see it or gain a theoretical knowledge, it was a hands-down experience and we were very happy after our “Tedhi Medhi” Creations.

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My mother after her creation of Criss-Cross Pattern and you can see the happiness of creating something on your own. Art is therapeutic and this workshop gave just the feeling.

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Here we are with our teacher, taking lessons in embroidery.

The end of the first day was marked by a candlelight dinner in our Hotel- Harasar Haveli. Pure aesthetic experience it was.

Day 2

The start of the second day was quite touristy- we went to the Bikaner Fort, hired a guide and learned about the history of Bikaner, the fort and all the kings who ruled Bikaner and which King contributed what etc. We got a lot of pictures clicked and it was one fun experience.

After this, we headed to Raisar Village where we met the people who do handloom weaving. We met the weavers, learned how to use the handloom, even worked with the Charkha and talked to the people there, got to know about the entire process of Shawl Making from step one. We met the families, played with the kids and petted Camel.

There are very few people who are left in Bikaner that actually work with the Handloom and the people who know the art of handloom weaving are not teaching their next generation because of how the world is changing. As we are moving toward a globalized economy, these little weavers and craftsmen are bearing the brunt of it. The crafts which are native to Rajasthan, India are not being appreciated by our own people because we live in urbanized cities and work in corporate offices where blending with the western culture has become the norm. But looking at it from the environmental perspective, the clothes that are made from handloom have minimum carbon footprints while the jeans and the regular clothes that we all wear in the daily routine contribute to the environmental pollution and loss of natural resources and not many people are aware to think like that. Through such trips and this post, I hope we are able to bring attention to this issue and do whatever we can as individuals to help these artisans, their livelihoods and our environment on the whole.

After having an enlightening session with the weavers, we spent the night in the middle of nowhere in the Thar Desert where we did open-air camping, made our own food and slept on Camel Carts. The evening was marked by Kalbelia Performances and Stargazing. I don’t remember seeing millions of stars all at once in so long, that was one exquisite experience for which I really don’t have words. So, I’d rather talk about the Kalbelias.

The Kalbelias

The Kalbelias are a nomadic tribe of Rajasthan. They roam around and form clusters, their main form of survival is through Dance Performances. They are the original Snake Charmers. In Namaste London Movie, it was said that India is a country of Snake Charmers and then Akshay Kumar talked about how India has achieved so much and still people think that we are a nation of Snake Charmers, with that reference, they are the ones who are actually the snake charmers and with the recent Wildlife Act, they earn a living through Dance. It was wonderful to note that their dress and dance movements resemble the typical movement of the snakes. The women who perform the Kalbelia Dance are dressed in Black with beautiful work on their dresses and these women design their own dresses while the men provide the music. Kalbelia dance form is not so much famous in India as such, however, it is the foreigners who identified the beauty and the grace of this dance form and made several documentaries on them.

We even met the kalbelia people there and went to one of their clusters where we saw thw work of the women and talked to the kids there and saw the snakes and how comfortable they all were while I was a bit scared. The Kalbelias were very much aware of the politics of the country and were dressed up in stylish dresses. They may not have a a lot of money with them but their swag was unmatched.

Below, you’ll get the glimpse of our Day 2

Group Picture at the Bikaner Fort

With the Kids from the Weaver Families

Trying to get hold of the Female Snake in the Kalbelia Cluster

Understanding the process of Weaving

 

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Waking up in the Camel Carts after a night of Stargazing and Kalbelia Performances

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The beautiful Kalbelia Woman performing the Kalbelia Dance in the traditional Kalbelia dress made at home.

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Here is me trying my hand at working with the Charkha

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The Extremely Stylish Kalbelia Kids

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So much swag in one photograph-The Kalbelias

Day 3

On the third day of the tour, we went to the Old Bikaner City to learn the art of Tie and Dye. We all were given plain white cloth and all of us got a hands-on experience of making our own stoles.

Usually, we just go to the store and ask for a stole and bargain for the price and our shopping is done. We don’t realize how much time and effort goes into the making of a simple tie and dye scarf. It took all of us and seven artisans to make one stole. I really want to describe each and every process and aspect of it, however, I feel that will take away from the experience that it was. So for this one, I am gonna leave out details and would urge you all to go and experience this on your own. This day was exhilarating and we were all laughs at the end of the workshop. The ones who taught us were so much patient and loving that it was worth it.

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The trip ended with a food walk where we all had the best Ghewar of our lives. “Once you die and go to heaven, that was probably the first meal you will get” these are the words of our tour organizer- Ashish Godara.

With this, I end this post.

When this tour was being planned, I really thought it was a little bit expensive for three days, however, at the end of it, it was more than worth it. Spending money on things sure gives us happiness, however, investing money on experiences is a little bit better, this one experience is something which I will cherish forever because it was more than “little bit better”

Images Courtesy: Ashish Godara