life · story · Travel Diary

My First Solo Trip-Kedarkantha Trek

For more than a year now, I had this dream of going on a solo trip and December 2019 was the time I could do it. In India, it is super difficult to convince your parents for the solo trip but somehow I managed to break the barriers and go and it was surreal. This trip was much much needed for me in order to end this year on a good note and find myself and my identity. This year had been a rough one to say. I had been depressed and given up on life in general and was in therapy so doing this was so important for me to regain my self confidence and faith and belief in myself, in life and in all things beautiful.

So, I booked a trek to Kedarkantha with Bikat Adventures and off I went. Why Bikat Adventures? It’s because I have heard so much good about them and the fact that they take extremely good care of their participants so I had full faith that I’ll be in safe hands and I was.

I had taken a Volvo Bus from Delhi to Dehradun from where the journey was supposed to start. On my first day, I met my trek leaders Lalit Yadav from Noida and Yitso Waka from Nagaland along with a group of 10 people-The Marwadi Family with whom I was clubbed to travel and it was a pleasant ride from Dehradun to Sankri. This was the first day and it was a day of introductions, we all just got to know each other and I was getting quite surprised reactions so as to how come I am travelling solo, little did the people knew why being solo was important for me. As we were approaching Sankri, I was informed that there will be no network for five days and when I told this to my parents, they freaked out a little and so did I but eventually I was comfortable because I had finally time to myself and there was an opportunity for digital detox.

In Sankri, we stayed in a homestay with the warmest of the blankets.

On the second day we started off with our trek from Sankri to Juda ka Taal. The climb on this day was steep and tough and I was the slowest person from day one but I managed to reach up there safely and then we camped in Hargaon. As we were approaching Juda ka Taal, we saw traces of snow and our camp at Hargaon was in the Snow. I kept my speed slower than usual because I wanted to be safe, I really didn’t want to be clumsy and fall on the first day and injure myself so I took baby steps and was lagging behind from everyone. And wherever the climb would get tough that I thought I cannot make it, my trek leader Lalit, aka Lalli Bhai was so kind that he held my hand and helped me climb at each step. From day one he was motivating me and keeping me going and didn’t lose patience when I was slow. When we reached Juda ka Taal, we saw that the lake was frozen and another local guide Jaychand Bhai who was with us even glided on the frozen lake and clicked jumping shots for everyone. We reached Hargaon campsite by evening and as soon as we reached there, there was a stretching session to keep us fit for the rest of the trip and later on we were served snacks and tea. The family I was travelling with carried so much of food with themselves that it was amazing, I had the opportunity to taste different kinds of Puri, Theplas, Papad Churi, Butter Cookies etc while being with them. At night, we had bonfire where gossip sessions took place. One of the girls from the group worked as a Make Up Artist with Bollywood Celebrities and she narrated some juicy bollywood gossip over bonfire and we all shared a good laugh. Along with this gossip, we had a learning module too on medical conditions in high altitudes and how we can equip ourselves better while being in the mountains. If you’re a first time trekker, make sure you go with Bikat Adventures because their learning modules in between the fun sessions will make you aware about things you don’t know otherwise and will stay with you for a lifetime.

Anyhow, we enjoyed the night and then when we went back to our tents to sleep, we were given sleeping bags but it was so cold, I couldn’t sleep at all throughout the night and kept on shivering. I had worn every piece of woolen clothing I got and still I was shivering, the temperature was somewhere between -2 degrees to -5 degrees at night and there was chilly winds, what kept me sane was the beautiful moonlight and the stars and the golden hour. What’s the golden hour? Golden hour is the time of the sunset when all the snow mountains turn pink and they change hues to orange and it’s a magnificent sight to watch the sky at that time.

Next morning, after breakfast, we started off our trek to Kedarkantha Base Camp. Before the start of this trek, we were given gaiters so that the snow does not enter our shoes. It was a short trek this time, we reached the base camp in two hours. On this day, we were also celebrating the birthday of one of the group members. When we reached the base camp, there was again stretching and we learned how to pitch a tent. The sun on this day was bright so we enjoyed a lot in the sun and chilled and relaxed, there were gossips and we had lunch then in the evening we all had music, songs and fun games and a cake made of Sooji Halwa. After a super fun session, we were briefed about the next day which was the Summit Day, the day we were supposed to climb the Kedarkantha Peak. We were supposed to wake up at 2AM and get ready. We all went to sleep early that night.

Now, my mood and experience till the base camp was up and about and I had zero self doubt and everything went on smoothly but the day it was summit day, I started having severe anxiety and doubts and almost gave up, I told everyone that I am having second thoughts and I don’t want to go to the Summit and I started developing backache, gastroenteritis, stomach ache and everything. I was super scared, I wanted to stay back at the base camp and not go further to the peak but then everyone motivated me and gave me a pep talk and I decided to go ahead and I am super glad that I didn’t give up because the trek to the summit was the best trek experience. I had such amazing meditative moments during this trek- there was a state of pure awareness and thoughtlessness that I cannot describe how amazing it felt, I was just one with the nature. It was a feeling where I was aware of my single breath and there is only one way of life- “Bas Saans Lete Raho” just like Hrithik said in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, it was that moment for me. I also saw the moon rise and moon set and sun rise and sun set on this same day. These are such special memories, how moon and sun change colors while rising and setting. I reached to the summit in six hours and it was all worth the effort. I am so glad that I did not give up because had I given up, I would have not experienced such divine nature the way I did. It was stupendo-fantanbulously-fantastic. And while coming down, I had the opportunity to slide on the ice and it was like I am in heaven, I felt like a kid so free being able to slide in the snow, I was at my happiest.

On the same day, we climbed down to Sankri, we walked continuously for 16 hours, it got a little hectic and I developed blisters on my feet but they’re reward marks and if given a chance, I would go on a solo trip again. It helped me find myself and love myself and find the strength that I had lost this year while battling through depression. This trip made me feel alive and I cannot be more thankful to god, to my parents, to Bikat Adventures, to my trek leader Lalit because of whom I could complete the trek, to the Marwadi Family who were a constant support throughout the journey and to my friends who have managed to stick with me through thick and thin.

life · scribbles · story

What My Depression and Therapy Sessions Made Me Realize

It’s no news that I have been depressed. I have been pretty open about my mental illness and have reached out for help and have been lucky enough to get help at the right time as well. From being perpetually suicidal to being normal functional human being who manages to now take bath everyday even in winters, manages to concentrate and study, manages to eat her meals on time and have a sound sleep, I still end up sleeping a lot than a normal human being but I guess that’s acceptable when you’re recovering and I don’t have to beat myself up for sleeping. But I have had tremendous realizations when I went through this turmoil of depression and a series of therapy sessions. Before proceeding further, I’d like to share a happy news that I am out of the clinical depression phase but I still have to take care of my triggers because it’s a precarious stage where I can go both ways. I am at a point where I can either come out of it or go into a super dark place if triggered and then it would be super difficult to come out of it. So far my graph is upwards instead of spiraling downwards like it was for months that I hit my rock bottom and all I could wonder about was how to kill myself but now I have hopes, laughter, smiles, goals, now I wake up in the morning and have something to look forward to.

Anyway I was talking about the realizations I have had. I realized that I am 24 years old and I am about turn 25 in two months and twenty nine days and I have not lived my life for myself at all. I have lived a life which was ALWAYS approved of by my parents. I have let others make choices for myself and my life and have not lived an individual life and occasionally I have rebelled in order to establish my authority over my life but that rebellion was also validated and it was not complete rebellion. I have lived whole of my life in fear and I have always wanted to be accepted by the social standards, always being the conventional “good girl” and not making any mistakes and whenever I was about make a mistake I have always been taken care of by my parents and teachers because they have been the closest to me and whenever it came to friends and friendships I have always tried to make my friends happy by doing what suited them and what they liked instead of actually saying or demanding what I like in a friendship and whenever I have done so, I have lost people and so keep the people close to me I have put myself behind and put others first and I have been terribly alone but at the same time I have realized that the right people and the right friends do stick around no matter what. When I was going through a rough period, I thought I had nobody but I had so much support and so much unexpected support that I cannot fathom and I am extremely grateful for that.

Depression took away my identity for me. If I were to define myself, it would be, A Happy Go Lucky Girl who loved to read, write, talk and meet new people and go out and have fun.. the girl who would laugh uncontrollably at almost anything and spread smiles around. Things that I have been really proud of as a person is how I would laugh with complete abandon. I have ample number of pictures of me just laughing, laughing, laughing and laughing. I’m someone who has laughed in a sensual situation and made it comedy and turned the guy off but I really don’t regret it you know. Because I was just plain happy. Depression took away my uncontrollable laughter, it took away what I loved the most-my habit of reading and writing, I just could not concentrate to read and writing stopped coming to me naturally. All I wanted was to stay at home, in bed and cry and do nothing, like life became absolutely meaningless for me. I started hating myself, my life, my surroundings and everything about it. I constantly had this need to be around someone, to have a friend to talk to, but at the same time I felt like a constant burden on everyone I loved and everyone who loved me. I stopped being comfortable with the idea of being alone, being alone sent me into complete loneliness and would make me feel suicidal. Depression took away who I was as a human being. And therefore, therapy came to rescue.

Now, with therapy I realized all that was missing from my life was self love and taking a stand for myself and living the life on my own terms. I have always let others decide for myself, sometimes it has been my parents, sometimes it has been my teachers, sometimes it has been my friends but I haven’t really made my own choices and whenever I tried to make my own choices, I have been afraid and fear has kept me from living my own life on my own and I have ended up conforming to the social norms because it was safe. And safety has led me to depression. Not making enough mistakes has led me to depression. Always playing it by the rules of the society has led me to depression. And now that I am coming out of it, there is a lot of confusion that is going on in my head, there is a lot of bravery and courage I need to actually start living my own life and I know it will make me lose out on a lot of friendships, I will be disappointing my parents, I will be making mistakes but “here’s the thing about mistakes. Sometimes, even when you know something’s a mistake, you gotta make it anyway.” Said the famous Ted Mosby. I am learning to be alone again and this time it is peaceful. I have the right people in my life and I hope to make through this journey.

Honestly I would always be confused what I wanted to talk about with my therapist but this time after writing out this entire blog post I now know what to talk in the next session. Wish me luck if you can and I wish you all the best for your personal battles in life. I hope you make it too.

Much Love.

 

 

story

It’s a Bright Sunny Day

It’s was a bright sunny day today and I was having a regular family sort of Sunday with mum making amazing breakfast, Kapil Sharma Show in the morning with family and then studies, work, and cleaning. And by the time it was like 3pm, I was so tired and just wanted to hit the bed and sleep like a sloth.

However, there was this Delhi travelers meet which was happening and I had almost decided to cancel but then I was having the following mental conversation in my head which was like, woman don’t be lazy, just take a bath, put on a new dress which you have been dying to wear since you bought it and doll up a little, because you haven’t dressed up in ages, it’ll be a good change and you might meet new hot guys at the event, well that was a motivating factor because I haven’t had a crush in ages and I went outside to hunt a new crush, purely for entertainment. I was interested in the event but I was more interested in the possibility of finding a new hot bearded guy, a kind of intellectual hippie and that was enough for me to leave my bed, Netflix and comfort food. So, when I went there, it was a really small gathering and all my mental images of how the event would be shattered but I was not disappointed, I was just too happy because I had completed my target for work and studies before leaving home so I was relaxed and I had this thought that if I get bored in the next 30 minutes, I am heading to my favorite place in Khan Market for a glass of wine and I was carrying my favorite book with me to spend my Sunday just in case but then when we got talking, it was a laugh riot. I was so engrossed in the event that I did not even realize the time and as I write this, I have a broad smile on my face because I made new friends and new memories to cherish!

Life has so much to offer if we just keep ourselves open to possibilities and I realized one thing that no story is less significant, we all have our different stories and each of those stories are unique. Who are we, if not a bunch of stories? I am not here to write stories that I heard today because those stories belong to the people who told them, what I am here for is how one decision to step out of the comfort zone and laziness can turn the day around. If I had stayed at home and listened to my lazy heart, I would have binge-watched Netflix, ate too much junk and probably would be having backache right now because of the wrong posture but simply choosing to step out gave me amazing memories and new friends to hang out with and it’s in situations like these, one actually manages to have amazing ideas. Imagine a meet up of creative people, it’s gonna be a happy productive one no matter what.

And the best part was I learned a lot about myself. It has been a while since I have been to random events like this, I used to go to a lot of these and often organize a hell lot of them as well during my college days but then I grew up and started to get caught up in the monotony of life and I somewhere felt my creativity dying but when I went today, I felt so free, it was liberating, I was myself and just had pure fun and at the risk of sounding ostentatious, I felt appreciated too which really boosted my self-esteem because who doesn’t need a boost. As an individual, who wants to do a lot in life, I am often very hard on myself and don’t really appreciate myself when it is needed, this kind of event helped me appreciate myself, people around me, the environment I live in and re-ignited my love for creativity and art and thirst to travel.

All in all, it was one hell of a bright day, even though we met in the evening, the event felt like a Sunshine on a Winter Morning with a cup of tea and a hearty conversation!

People in the Picture:

The one with the multicolored earrings is me, your very own EuphoricBeing who has started a new blog on Instagram about Delhi and will be very happy if you follow her at this link: The Girl Who Loves Delhi

Next person in the photograph is the human being who actually had the courage to quit his job and follow his passion for life and is also the main organizer for this meet up- Antarik Anwesan.  You can and you should follow this guy on youtube: Antarik Anwesan

The one with all the food in front of him is an ex-colleague of mine and though we never really talked much in the office, it was super fun with him today and he is an environmentalist, a traveler, and blogger and a good friend-Ashish Bhardwaj, you can follow him here on Instagram: Whispering Trail

And last but not the least is one hell of an amazing woman, who might look very sorted but has actually quite a few amazing stand-up worthy stories to share about adulthood- Shweta Gaur and she lives peacefully because she is nowhere to be found on social media and is actually very happy like that!

So this was all for today, have an amazing work week ahead.

Toodles!

P.S. The hunt for a new crush is still on!

Analysis · life · scribbles · story

Getting Shit Together

Hello Dear Readers,

Here I am again, with my laptop in front of me, about to begin writing all my random confused thoughts, leave if you want to leave right now because as my earlier posts, I am not going to make a lot of sense, probably throw in stories and metaphors here and there and make you laugh a bit with passive aggression and sarcasm and stupidest of the thoughts and one-liner, read on if that interests you.

Writing helps a lot, not because it provides a solution but because when I start writing, I empty myself for a while at least.  It feels light and nice to take the weight off my chest and off my overthinking brain. I am aware that I overthink but I fail to improve upon this habit no matter how much I try. I could be writing all of this in a diary and keep it to myself, however sometimes knowing that someone else is also reading this and connecting to it at some level by liking this blog post makes me feel less alone. We live in a world where every single individual is going through his or her personal issues and honestly, I feel my generation is all a big big mess and we all strong too. We may not have the issues our parents or grandparents had to face in their lives, but we do have our issues which are advanced and often at the mental level. I feel that we as a generation are not too strong mentally and need help with that. And the reason we are not really strong is that we have mostly got what we wanted, we have mostly had our way throughout childhood and we would behave irrationally and our parents would give in to our demands, I feel that we are a bunch of spoiled kids in the bodies of adults, and that is why adulthood is difficult for all of us because we never really faced hardships. I am sure our parents also went through the crisis we are going through right now but at least they knew that they don’t have a choice and life works like that only so they made it. We live in the “INSTANT” generation. We don’t want to spend time on our careers, we want immediate results and immediate money, we don’t want to spend time building strong friendships and bonds, we want immediate acceptance and gratification. We are that generation which does not have a lot of patience within us. We behave irrationally, have unrealistic expectations and are always broke because we reward ourselves more than the efforts we put in. Self-love is important, mental health is important, but it must be understood that success is not a cake walk, there are sleepless nights, there are bad days, there are rough days, there are days which will make you want to give up. It takes a lot of effort, courage, strength and focus to achieve the dreams. We are not extraordinary, yes we are all unique in our own ways and have special talents but we must understand our limitations as well and must have the will to work on our limitations. I had a dream of being a professor in college and I failed my entrances twice, I wanted to go for a PhD immediately after my masters, and I failed. But I am someone who always kept three or more backup plans in case my first plan failed, and it helped me buy more time to work towards the goal I have been aiming for.  I learned a lot when I changed my track and it made me realize where I belong and I am still working towards the goal I felt like giving up. The idea is to not get stuck. I have been happy more or less with the career that I have right now, but there is a long road ahead and I somehow know that I am unable to give my best right now because there are externalities affecting my efforts towards my dreams. However, there are other life skills that I am learning which I would not have there not been externalities. We keep planning our lives and life is like Malinga who gives fastball, bouncer, twister which you can’t predict, either you hit the ball like Dhoni or you play safe like Dravid or you duck and change the rules in Galli Cricket. But the point is, you plan goes like a catch out when life becomes the bowler. So just keep playing, and as far as getting the shit together is concerned, well, I’ll talk about that in the next post because I am tired now of writing and giving all these cricket references which I don’t really understand.

I honestly started off to write something else and ended up writing this, so I guess that’s what life is. Keep playing.

 

story

In Seven Circles

You come to me in circles, in circles of life, in circles of days and nights and in between. You are a constant thought coming to me even in my thoughtlessness. You’re my fantasy of being. I work all day and tire myself out to come to you when I open the door of our home, I see scented candles for which I have a thing for in my long luxurious baths on Sundays, I see candles of all colors, shapes, and sizes adoring our tiny little home, it’s you and me dancing in circles. I see you have put up a giant painting of night sky full of stars and a moon which shines bright, you know how much I love the moon and the stars and how I can never really choose whenever you ask me the question of Moon or Stars. I love both of them and they have been my constant companions on several nights before you came along with those brown hazel eyes of yours, that smooth symmetrical nose which is a bit cuter than mine and that jawline for which I would die for and I am sure so many other women too but darling, I am aware that I captivated you as much as you captivated me with that bright look of yours, I know I am pretty and not modest because I learned with several heartbreaks. I remember our first meeting on a boat in the middle of the giant lake where we both were being touristy and I heard you playing flute to the songs I was humming to myself, when our eyes were locked and I kept singing and you kept on playing the flute, we never exchanged any words and just floated away with time just like the boat floats on the lake or river or the sea, I don’t even remember anymore. All I know is the look in your eyes not leaving mine and here I am standing in front of you in our home after years of being together with the same look as on our first meeting. My heart is taking leaps like never before, my breath is short with your hands slowly holding my waist and pulling me closer with your eyes not leaving mine, I have my arms wrapped around your neck and I smell apple pies instead of smelling your cologne and I light up with joy, my smile becomes laughter and I leave you standing in the drawing room with scented candles as I rush to the kitchen to get the apple pies and you laugh, you laugh louder than I do on most days and just keep on laughing while I smell the apple pies and grab myself a slice and begin eating in the kitchen while you just watch me standing on the kitchen door from a corner and say “I love you” in your most sexy voice which I know you are modulating and I say “God damn, I love this pie and I love you too” and you can’t help but laugh at my love for food because you now have come to accept that I will always love food and SRK more than I will love you and I am glad because I am done fighting  with you over this little issue. Now that I am well fed after a shitty Monday in office, I ask you how was your day because running a startup isn’t as easy as it looks but it’s cool, I like you being your own boss because I don’t get to be a boss until I am home, stop chuckling, you know who runs the house, you might be the head as the patriarchy says but I am the neck and a Vetaal hanging around your neck at the same time so you are not going to win ever and you know that the moment you try to win, I leave. I love you but I have made you realize that I won’t take a minute to leave in case you plan on playing schemes with me or to hurt me and what scares you is that I am capable of being alone. I want you around but not need you because my past lovers broke me enough to never need a man and I know I break your heart every single time because I can’t risk you breaking mine while unintentionally you do break my heart every now and then and sometimes I love it because it is not love but guilt that makes you decorate the room with scented candles and paintings and pie and your “I love you” and that laughter is overflowing with guilt of you cheating on me with my sister, you are abandoning me exactly two days after tonight, I saw your flight tickets that night while setting our bed. Flight tickets booked in the name of you and my sister on the day of my birthday, thank you, dear husband, for such a beautiful birthday gift.

I should have known for those brown hazel eyes can never be trusted, but I play along with your game of candles and pies, we should have had the most amazing sex that night, the mood was right but you did hurt my pride. Your fingers trace my figure, knowing every single sensitive spot, making me shiver and shudder. I suggest role play in the middle of the foreplay and blindfolds, and handcuffs, and wine. I tie you to the bedpost, put blindfolds leaving you fully dressed. I pack my bags and head to the airport for my solo trip to Hawai and my sister is on her way to rescue you, I texted her. Keep the home, the candles and what not. I am never coming back cause I got myself something which you will never know and have while you were busy setting up candles.

Enjoy your new life

Never yours,

-Unfortunately your wife.

Darling, NEVER HURT MY PRIDE.

 

scribbles · SRK · story

An Open Letter to Shah Rukh Khan

Dearest Shah Rukh Sir,

Over the past so many years, I have written several letters to you in my diary and it has taken a lot of thought and courage to begin writing this open letter, a letter which I am not sure if you are ever going to read but nonetheless here I am finally pouring my heart out on this blog of mine which is more or less my space of speaking my ideas whenever I feel that people around me don’t understand me.

I remember I was in school, during my early teenage years when I first watched DDLJ and fell in love with it and fell in love with you. And since then I have been a big fan of yours. I remember watching DDLJ over and over again. And seeing my love for you and the movie, my father gifted me a CD of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai when he returned from one of his business trips, usually, he would get me chocolates but this one time he got this and I was so so so happy. My family doesn’t own a TV Set, we used to have it but then we sold it off but we have had a computer and we would watch Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, again and again, every day for days at dinner. And I and my mom both would fall in love with you every day.

And Kal Ho Na Ho is one movie which is our movie to watch whenever life gets into a crisis. It could be a big crisis or a small one and we would just watch KHNH for days and sort our issues in life. It is just that one movie which sets our mood right to deal with our issues head-on. That movie plays the role of Aman that you played in our real lives, making things sorted for everyone.

Dear Sir, I am a nerd. I read more than I watch movies, and if I have watched 10 movies so far, 8 of them are yours. Your body of work is so large that I haven’t managed to watch all of it but I have watched most of your movies and I have watched them again and again and again for years. I turn 24 years next month and I have watched DDLJ, DTPH, KHNH, KANK, Dil Se, K3G, Chak De India at least more than 100 times each of them. While others I might have watched once or twice. I have so much love for you that there are occasions when I could be just listening to your songs or watching you on the screen that I blush. Maybe that’s because of my habit of reading that I get completely immersed in the book as well as the movie. When Dear Zindagi came, I felt like Alia’s character at one point in time in my life during my years of college and that movie made me cry and love my life and your look in that movie is your best look so far, I fell in love with you all over again.

Sir, you have so many fans all across the world and whenever I come across one of them and tell them I love you and your work, they get really mad at me when they get to know that I have missed watching a few of your movies but sir, I might have missed a few movies here and there but my love for you is infinite. I absolutely adore the person that you are. I love your award shows, your interviews, your Ted talks, your Instagram profile, the thoughts that you share, the kind of doting father, husband and a person that you are.

I saw a podcast of yours on YouTube and there in the video a small portion of your library was visible and I just felt too elated that my collection also has the same books which were visible. It just made me feel more connected to you to know that you and I are reading the same books.

Sir, I am almost 24 and I haven’t really dated anyone till now because I live in a dreamy world of books, fiction and the romantic movies of yours. Romance for me is synonymous with you and I am sure that it is same for everyone in any generation, not just mine who has watched your movies and loved them. I watch your movies and dream of a fantasy love story of mine even though I have watched each of the above movies so many times that their dialogues are imprinted in my mind. If I revised my syllabus to the extent I revise your movies, I would have topped the university instead of being in top 10 students.

My experience in the department of love has been quite disappointing and then I remember one of the famous lines you quoted in the Anupam Kher Show- “Kabhi kisi ko muqamal jahaan nahi milta, kahi zameen to kahi aasman nhi milta”

To be honest, I am extremely blessed in all other aspects of life and I have so much gratitude for the life and the people I have. I have been in love once and I have loved hard. And the reason I became friends with the guy I loved was that he was one of the biggest SRK fans. That one person who obsessed over you more than I did and we would flirt using all the different dialogues from your movies. We would create a happy bubble and then it would burst because we all get real too.

Not a week goes by when I don’t obsess over you and your songs and your movies. I am sure you have all kinds of crazy fans across the globe and I am just one of them but somehow I hope that you read this letter. I have written several fan mails, sent appreciation msgs on Instagram and have been wishing you a happy birthday every year on all my social media accounts in the hope that someday you will read and get to know about the existence of this crazy fan too.

Dear sir,

You bring so much hope, love and light to my life on all kinds of days- good days, bad days, disappointed in men days, rough days, tough days and what not. You make me believe in dreams and all things beautiful. Your characters are not perfect but they are full of love and that’s what really matters on some days. Thank you for existing and for doing the kind of work you have done over the years and still continue to do.

-A letter from a girl who loves you and loves to live in a dream and hopes that you will read this.

“Agar kisi cheez ko Dil se chaho to poori qaynaat tumhe uss se milaane ki saazish Mei lag jaati hai”

Mai bas chahti hu k aap ye letter padh lo. Bas itna hi.

life · story

Let go of the Middle

It’s about letting go of the middle.

I am on a journey, a journey of making changes in my daily life. And I try to rationalize everything that happens on the outside and how I react on the inside and thereby creating my own reality.

In the past 72 hours, I have understood that it is extremely important to have a good start to the day as well as a happy end to the day because if either of these is not good, it affects the entire ball game of life that happens in the middle of the day.

A negative episode took place day before yesterday, i.e. Monday.  My start was great, yes there were ups and downs throughout the day but since I had an amazing start, my reactions to the downs of the day were subtle and mature rather than getting too affected. Around evening, something happened that I had to be harsh and negative towards one person who was an acquaintance. I dealt with the situation in the best possible way but I felt bad for being negative but it was necessary to protect my mental peace in the long run. And negativity hampers my physical well being. I am an emotional creature. I could be in extreme physical pain but if I have my heart in the right place, the pain fades away purely with emotional strength and mental strength, however if I am doing absolutely fine physically but if I get hurt or I am getting affected by the negativity around, I will develop aches and fever which will only go after I have my heart clear.

A negative end to a day, or sleeping over the thing that hurts does not make things better, the next day gets affected too. I woke up fine the next morning of the episode and on a very normal everyday conversation at the breakfast table, I snapped at my brother and mother at the same time and then ended up with a nervous breakdown in like 3 minutes and rushed to the office without really resolving my issues. And then the weather was not kind too. Winter rains are beautiful if you don’t have to travel a lot to your workplace, otherwise, they are just irritating and biting cold giving you a sneeze attack which lasts for hours.  And with such a start to the day, things went downhill. Things kept on happening throughout the day and it was really hard to hold back all the tears. And the first thing I did when I entered the home after such a day, I hugged my mother and just cried. I said nothing, just cried and then headed for working out and burning some calories. And I am so glad that I have started working out because it does releases happy hormones, not totally, but my mood improved by 5% and then I ate my mother’s mind with everything that was bothering me after coming back from the workout. Resolved all the issues in my own head, cleared my heart and my headspace and then had a beautiful end to the day and woke up in gratitude. In gratitude for the life I have and for the people, I have in my life.

If the start and end are good, we can deal with the middle. Anything can happen in the middle of the day and it will happen because it is life and we don’t have control over most of the things in our life. What we have control over is how we react in our inner world, how we respond to the situations and people. And it is from personal experience and understanding that if the start and the end are good, we can deal with the worst possible things in the middle with ease and if either of the start or the end is not that good, if we go to sleep with issues or wake up with issues we can’t really enjoy our day and make the most of our time. And while this has been my experience, you can have a different take and opinion on the same and it is okay because we are all learning here. We are all different people, dealing with different issues in life differently. But sometimes, stories and realizations like these can help for you to reflect upon your own story.

If you can, take control of the start and the end of your day consciously and just let go of the middle because if you have your anchors in place, let the storms come, you will sail through.

Much love. Have a beautiful day.

scribbles · story

International Hugs Day

Well, we live in the 21st century and we have so many different new days coming up in our calendars, World Book Day, Hug Day, Poetry Day etc.  Honestly, I don’t have a point to make in this blog post at all. However, I do have a happy story to share.

I am a person who has grown up in a very lovely home. We laugh and hug a lot. There are good morning hugs, there is goodbye to work hugs, there are random hugs in the middle of the day, there are hugs when either of us is tired and we need the energy to carry on with the work and there are just absolute random hugs whenever we make each other happy. So if my mother made a delicious meal, I’ll just hug her and if my dad something which made me laugh like a retarded seal for a while, I’ll just go and hug him. And whenever either of us is leaving town, we have more than 5 minute long hugs, we don’t just let the other person leave unless they say “Bas, ab late ho rha hai” and during that hug we’ll have an entire conversation too. And there are days when I have had a bad headache and mood in college or office and I would come home and just hug my mother or father for a good number of minutes, we talk, we laugh and suddenly all is well. We laugh about the bad day and mood and deal with our issues head-on.

So honestly international hug day is celebrated in full swing 24*7 at my home. Then why am I writing about it today?

Because I want to appreciate the hugs outside of my home.

I don’t remember being comfortable with physical contact with people outside of the family back in 2013 when I was just out of school. Be it a girl or a guy, I would never go beyond a handshake. And if anyone tried to give a hug or even a side hug, I’ll make it awkward. Then I came to be in a girls college and I changed. I began to love the hugs. My first hug person was Shivani Satija, she is one woman I have spent all three years of my graduation life. She was one friend who stood by me from semester one to semester six. Many people came and went during three years of college as friends but she was one woman who was with me throughout and whenever she would meet, she would give the best overenthusiastic hugs, I would often lose my balance if I was caught unaware. And she had so much energy, her energy is like that of Ranveer Singh. Always up and about for anything and everything. She always talked a lot and used to get tensed and hyper a lot and whenever I felt that she is losing it, I would just hug her in the middle of the conversation and she would suddenly calm down. She was my first person who taught me the meaning of Jadoo Ki Jhappi. Now she is in Australia pursuing her dream, I haven’t met her in a long long while but she is one human being I have so many happy memories with. I don’t recall a single negative episode with her, yeah we would fight a lot but we always got back to normal in a day or so. And we also shared a different Punjabi connection. She was my Punjabi kudi and together we created so many happy memories. And I know for sure that today we all are busy in our lives and living in different countries and continents but there will be a time we will meet again and share the best of our stories and hugs all over again.

And over the years, I have developed friendships where hugs have strengthened the friendships and love I have for my friends. Having strong platonic friendships is so much more important than having romantic ones because the hugs shared in a platonic friendship are simply full of love, they do not have the awkwardness of physical intimacy.

The hugs I have shared with my women in college during graduation are so much special to me. With the process of growing up and moving in different directions of life, I may have lost touch with a lot of people but thanks to technology and social media, I can always reach them and tell them I miss them and just direct some of the love in their direction and it might just bring a smile to their faces on a Monday morning.

Satkriti is one friend of mine whom I meet once a year and we hug long, we hug for several minutes and don’t just start talking. We begin with our talk once we have had our hug and it is so calming and beautiful, the conversations just flow, love just flows and we create a world of our own. That world is a bubble for a few hours and then in that bubble, nothing matters. We open our hearts, we laugh, we cry too, we live and we leave each other with so much love and memories to fall back upon our bad days. We understand what the other person does not even say and we help each other become better in that one meet up once a year. Our cities are different, our careers are different but our hearts beat the same when we hug.

In my post-graduation years, days were tough and I would often have a nervous breakdown and there was one person whom I would go to whenever I would have such a day. Our classrooms were opposite to each other and we would hardly have a 5-minute break in between lectures, I would text my friend to come out of the class in the break. We would just hug and go back to the class. This friend of mine is Sarthak. He is two years younger to me and on most of the days, I would be his guide for all the assignments, research papers, and presentations but on my bad days, he would be there standing by me and giving me the strength to carry on whenever I would feel burned out and tired.  While I would support him in mental capacities, he would support me in emotional capacities and I remember the last day of college, I cried. I cried tears of gratitude sitting beside him with my head on his shoulder and shared one of the best hugs ever.

And when office life started, I felt the dearth of love and hugs around me. I was losing friends, everyone was going to different places and directions. And I would wait to go home for my mother’s hug. But there was a time when things were a bit off at home, I was being a rebel and losing the right track of life and I would not want to go home because I felt lost in my head, in my heart and universe sent me a friend and guardian in the form of Shiv. He became my friend when I was in a complete mess and was creating so much more mess in my life knowingly and unknowingly. He was this one person who called me out for my shit. He was the first friend who would scold me and I would actually listen, which is a rare thing given my temperament. I am not too good at taking criticism, to be honest. I get defensive and close myself. And I remember having a bad day and I really needed to vent that day, I needed a hug and he gave me one of the best hugs that day. Over a period of time, this human has helped me come back to who I was, the laughing bubbly motivated happy kid instead of a pessimist negative rebel I was when he found me, he helped me get back to my home by creating a feeling of home.

So this International Hugs Day, I want to thank all my rock solid platonic friendships that help me get ahead in life. There are other people too with whom I have had great memories of hugs- Paridhi, Sonal, Tauseef bhaiya, and Prapti. Prapti is one woman who helped me run a Happiness booth in our college. It was the final year of college and everyone around us looked so stressed, so we decided to run a happiness booth for 2 days. We set up a booth, a large placard and after our morning lectures, we would just sit in the sun holding a placard saying- Stressed? Stop by for Free Hugs. You will make it. And we remember giving out hugs to so many students and teachers those two days. Those two days hold a very special memory. Dear Prapti, if you happen to read this blog, just know that I miss you and I wish you the best wherever you are and in whatever you do.

So, all in all, my dearest readers, Hugs are important. If you haven’t hugged anyone in a long time, do it today. Be it your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your friend, your colleague. Just go and hug someone today. You might make their day. And the hug is something you don’t just give, you cannot give a hug without getting one back. Someone out there might need it and they might also make a memory out of that hug and write about it later like me and bring a smile to your face when you read the memory again.

Hugs ❤

life · scribbles · story

Side Dish

Don’t allow yourself to be a side dish in somebody’s life, always insist on being the main course.

-Ranran

This post is about friendships. My circle of friends has always been really small, people come and they go. Hardly there are people who end up staying for years. I have like five people in my life who have been really important to me and who make feel important too. But sometimes your heart gets broken even in friendships and your friends are not even at fault but you just get hurt and at the same time you don’t want to feel the way you do but you do because you’re only human.

I am at a point in my life where every single person around me, from school, from college and from all different walks of life are committed and I feel like I am the only single one around and I often feel abandoned in my friendships and honestly, that sucks. It’s like you’re happy for your friends but at the same time, they make you feel that you are no longer wanted neither your presence is needed and you’re basically an outsider. And it does not matter if you’re friends for 8 years, 5 years or any god damn period, you are not the main person anymore. They don’t need you anymore to tell their stories to you, they have “their” person now and you’re just encroaching upon the other person’s time which was once yours.

And well it takes time to accept and get okay with this scenario because you love your friends despite this fact and you also know where you stand so you take a step back.

And then “The Break Up” happens and suddenly you become the main person because you’ve always been there even when they were not there and you love, you love because you love. It’s that simple and you tell your friend that you felt like a side dish at one point when they got into a relationship and they apologize and tell you how much you matter to them and then they tell you that you are special and important and everything goes back to normal and then they again find “their” person and you meet “The Couple”, feel like a family and then again the whole cycle repeats and you’re just hurt. You’re not even mad and you just feel like disappearing because you are so easily replaceable. You’re made to feel like just a side dish which no one really gives a fuck about. And you don’t even feel like being mad at your friends because they look so happy and so much in love. You don’t want to break their happy bubble by bringing in how they are making you feel.

I have lost three people who were my so-called “best friends” just because they fell in love and I left their lives and they didn’t even bother to notice. And if they didn’t even notice, how will they ever ask me to stay or stop. So, I don’t call anyone my best friend now because I really don’t have one. But I do have my people whom I know that they understand me and they are there for me and are going to be there for me. But that’s the thing, whenever I get hurt, I close down. That’s the time when I need someone but then I will keep lying to myself that I don’t need anyone and I’ll be fine and I do get fine but I also end up pushing away the people who actually care about me and my existence. And I don’t want to make the same mistake again. This post is dedicated to them, thank you. Thank you for being there and making me feel like I matter to you.

Someone recently told me that “You feel too much, You’re an overwhelming person and people are not comfortable being with people who feel the way you do”

This one is dedicated to the ones who actually put up with the girl who feels too much and goes overboard sometimes. I love you. Thank you for asking me “How are you doing?” occasionally, thank you for telling me that “you are there”, thank you for telling me that “you love me” even when I am not so lovable on some of the days.

Thank you for treating me like the main course on some days, instead of just a side dish.

scribbles · story

Is independence a complete concept?

Disclaimer: This article is written from a girl’s point of view living in Indian society. It does not intend to take a jibe at any of the existing concepts. Please read this with an open mind and don’t take things personally. I, as an author of this article, am open to your views and ideas on the issue. This article has manifested as a result of several conversations with my friends and various people around me, observations of events and daily incidences that have been taking place around me for more than 5 years. All the stories that I narrate here are real with no fictional element attached to them. Thank you.

I know what you’re thinking. Why have I added this disclaimer? It’s because whenever I try to raise any perspective regarding sensitive issues in society, before actually understanding the thought behind it, people get offended for no reason. My readers must understand that I am a student and I am learning. This blog is my space of expressing my thoughts and ideas and I am open to new perspectives too. I do not intend to get involved in unnecessary online debates, if you have something to say regarding what I think, please feel free to say that and allow me time to think from your point of view. We are all different people with different stories and we all perceive things differently, so without being mean to each other, let’s respect one another thoughts and have a constructive discussion rather than social media trolling or banter.

Now coming to the actual content, the question of Independence is a tricky one. Please note that Independence here is being talked about with reference to Indian women because, in India, men are the more privileged ones by the virtue of their gender in a patriarchal society.

As a kid, we were always taught about equality, human rights, basic fundamental independence to make a choice but as I grew up I realized how flawed our understanding is. Men and women are definitely not equal in any of the aspects. While feminism talks about equality and making the world a better place because we all should just treat each other as humans first. We need to understand that men and women are different with regard to their physicality, their psychology, their emotional quotient, their intelligence quotient, and these differences exist within the same gender too. No two individual human being can ever be exactly the same. But when we have to talk in general terms, men and women are wired differently and a lot of their behaviors depend on their upbringing, the kind of environment they have lived in, what they read and the kind of exposure they have of the world.

Independence does not come naturally to Indian women. I am the elder sister and still, there are occasions when I have to go to the local market after 8PM, my mother asks me to take my younger brother along, which does not make sense because

  1. He does not want to leave his work
  2. It is my own area, my own locality, so what it is late?

Safety is the issue. I get that. I get their valid concerns and it hurts because I am helpless. I cannot convince my parents that I am safe in Delhi after 8PM because I know I am not. I have to keep my eyes and ears open at all times even during the daytime. Live locations and informing my parents whether I have reached my destination safely or not has been a daily practice. But we are talking about independence here, not the safety issue.

Girls and women in India need to pick their battles for independence. Independence to make a decision, make a choice, travel, be themselves basically. Independence to wear clothes, to date, to eat what they want to eat,  to develop sexual relations with someone, to travel solo, to get ahead in a career, to study, to make a choice regarding their life and so many other trivial things which are basically daily routine things.

What I feel is that independence is, first of all, a state of mind and then it is defined by the people and situations around you.

Now I’ll tell you where I got the motivation to write this post. It was during one of the conversations with a friend of mine. So, I had to deliver a package to another friend who used to be my batchmate in college and she sent her boyfriend to collect it and just like that, I was talking about my day to that friend and she just said- “you know you are too independent for your own good. Men appreciate it when you seek help from them. They don’t like women who are too independent because independent women like you challenge the male authority. Any alpha male will not like an alpha female and that’s exactly why you’ve remained single throughout. You don’t share your work or burden with the men in your life, try doing that, someone might date you.”

Okay, so first of all, with no offense to that friend, I truly believe that she is deeply conditioned by the patriarchal society and has accepted the ideas that she has been fed with. Secondly, I believe that the minds of the Indian women are not independent. They have started to believe that they are the weaker sex while they are not. A woman is definitely not as physically strong as a man but the kind of emotional and mental strength that women have been gifted with is commendable and if any individual, be it a man or a woman conquer the limitations of their minds is unstoppable.

I also feel that women under the pretext of lack of independence tend to exploit the men in their lives. Because while there are struggles of being a woman in Indian society, there are different kinds of struggles of being a man too. And if a man happens to be sensitive enough, girls do play their card of being a girl. I have seen quite a lot of emotionally unavailable men in my life, a lot of them have been my friends and for some reason, I have seen the guys who have been labeled as “emotionally unavailable” cry in front of me and I could not be more glad about it because they have helped me understand the psychology of a normal average guy and their pressures. Now, as a girl, I have always felt that men have more independence as compared to women and while that’s true, but it helped me realize that independence is not a complete concept in itself. You can not be completely independent, whether you are a man or a woman. Independence in terms of getting things done on a daily basis, emotional quotient, mental quotient are all different aspects and while you can be independent in one aspect, you may not be independent in another aspect and it is okay. Independence while it is a personal choice, it is also affected by several other circumstances around you.

I don’t know if I have successfully made a point here in this post or raised a question here because I am still pretty much confused with the concept of independence, so please share your ideas and experiences.

Thank you for reading!