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Confessions of a 20 Something Slightly Above Average Indian Girl

I am just another slightly above average Indian girl who might be called as the girl next door. On most days, I feel that there is nothing special about me while I have grown up listening to the fact that “I am special” from all my teachers and parents. Everyone seems to just consider me as an extraordinary person who can do anything she wants to do but here I am full of doubts about myself, the number of efforts I am putting into achieving my goals, the number of people I make happy because once I was told that no matter what you do in life, on your death bed, you should have only two thoughts- How happily you lived your life and for how many humans you are leaving happy memories.

While I am happy in my life and I know I do make people around me happy, if not all, at least some of them I do manage to keep happy and that is the only thing that should matter right? But that is not the case because I care about a whole lot of many other things which should not be of significance ideally but they are to me. Over a period of time, I have realized that I might not be addicted to drugs or anything that can potentially harm my physical well being but I am addicted to seeking approval and validation from my loved ones about anything I do. My decisions might be completely my own but they are often guided by how my loved ones feel about me taking a particular decision. While I own my decisions and take up responsibilities for my mistakes, I still let my loved ones have a say in my life thinking that they might know what is better for me rather than my own self.

I often feel that my heart is too courageous while my brain is such a risk-averse scared jerk with several trust issues and insecurities that it actually hinders the adventure in my life. It’s not like I am not happy with my life, I genuinely am extremely content where I am today but at the same time, there must be more than this provincial life as said by Belle in The Beauty and The Beast. I know I am dreamy, I know what I imagine life to be with my dreamy bollywood disney fairy tale glasses, it is not that way but I have seen some of my dreams come true, I have had my share of bollywood romantic moments, I have had my disney princess days, I have had my fairy tale fantasies turn into real things and I have seen myself in a power position in my career, all of that  for a brief moment of time. I have seen great highs and lowest of lows and now I am in a stable life pattern which actually makes me feel like an average but I do like to call myself a little above average to keep the hope of my dreams alive where if you think you are above average you might end up doing above average things.

But the more I grow up, the more I realize that there is beautiful simplicity in the monotony of life and instead of letting my heart go crazy, all I should be concerned with is how to enjoy this monotony of routine and climb the ladder in this limiting domain of adulthood because that is what is safe. As Indians, we are concerned with being safe and secure with our future. And if you are a girl, no matter what you do, you are always asked to be safe and make sure that whatever career you take up, it leaves you enough time to balance the family responsibilities because at the end of the day, everyone settles down and has kids and that’s how life works.

How about I want to get married to someone who loves adventure as much as I do, who really do not feel content with the monotony of routine, all he wants is to wake up in a new place every single day of his life with the love of his life (that would be me for sure in this fantasy), how about we both are at the top of our careers and travel to new places, explore every corner of the world and have amazing mindblowing sex with no kids on the cards and keep falling in love with each other without a fear, without a doubt, without any god damn social construct guiding our life and decisions. For once, I want to be free. Free of my own self. Free of my god damn risk averse brain. Free of my addiction to seeking validation and approval. Free of the monotonous routine where every day feels new and full of fire and adventure and spunk and what not.

Or just get me a real-life Bunny from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.

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Write what hurts, till you get over it.

You come to me in phases of your loneliness and I hold you tight in my arms, numbing your system with a blanket of love and putting you to sleep.

You smile, live, laugh and breathe the next morning and thank me and then vanish to a place where you completely shut me out.

I don’t bother much because I am happy that you are happy.

I come to you in weak moments and you are too busy and I leave a note and leave, you read that note, crumple it into a ball and toss into a dustbin before your  girlfriend sees that note saying “Call me whenever you get free” , you never call back and pretend that nothing happened when we happen to bump into each other in the metro while going to our respective offices.

You abandoned me when I needed you the most and said “I can count on you” when I say that sometimes I wish I could talk to someone about how I really feel over a cup of coffee we shared. I have been lost and distraught but stood up and I have managed to do the same for myself what I do for you, held myself tight, numbed my systems and asked my tired soul to sleep.

You make me feel guilty for doing that and not really loving you because if I loved you enough, I would come to you in my weak moments and I have no defense to your statements because I don’t want to be rude.

Our bond now is precarious one and I leave this time, I don’t stay anymore while I remember asking you to stay on one of the nights when both of us were drunk and chatting way past 2AM and I thought I cannot live without you but I don’t want to stay anymore because I know you have faces and I cannot keep on dealing with your masks  no matter how much I love you.

It has been years now, we don’t talk anymore.

But you still come to me in your dark days, I still hold you numbing your fears and demons with love, holding you in my arms and putting you to sleep. You get upset with me that now I don’t talk anymore with you, now I don’t tell you about my days, I don’t tell you how my heart aches when you leave me the way you do even today and how I cannot seem to hate you even when I really want to. I sometimes wonder what is it that we share? I sometimes wonder why you had to leave me when it is you who still haven’t learned to live without me while I managed just fine without you, I missed you and I still do but I no longer need you in my life. I wonder who am I to you because friends don’t do what you did to me and the way you assert your right on me is like that a lover does but darling we were never lovers. You don’t hurt the people you love, not intentionally at least.

And I still have that question why you had to crumple the note I left you because I remember setting you up with your girlfriend and I remember all three of us being a happy trio which is now a Bermuda triangle where all three of us are empty in different spaces.

I was told to write what hurts because that’s how you get over it., stumbling upon your old letters and facebook memories don’t make me cry anymore but there is this strange sadness but I am not hurting anymore, and I hope you’re happy because I am happy and I really hope you learn to live without me someday.  I cannot be there anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore. You gotta say the final goodbye because goodbyes are not my forte.

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Chand ke Saath Guftagu

Disclaimer: Following is a Hindi poem featuring a conversation with the moon, typed in English script because I was too lazy to change the script and check for spellings.

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Image courtesy: Dr. Shiv Mishra (He is a brilliant photographer, follow his work  on Instagram He was kind enough to let me use his photograph for the poem because it fit well)

Aaj chand thoda naraaz hai,
Aasmaan Mei to hai, baadal k bas pass hai,
Yun to vo mujhse roz baatein karta hai, aaj khafa ho baadal k peeche ja baitha hai.

Kehta hai tumhe ishq nhi.
Mai kehti hu k tum hi to mere ishq ho,
Chand meri iss baat pr hasta h,
Vo kehta hai k Mai jhoothi hu,
Pyaar ki talash mei chand k chehre Mei roz uss shaks ka chehra khojti hu jo kabhi kahaniyon mei padha tha k sabke liye ek hai.

Chand ki baat sun, meri kahaniyan mujhse khafa hain,
Vo kehti hain k mai apni kahani likhne ki jagah bas wahi puraane kisso mei vo khushi dhund rhi hu Jo waha hai hi nhi.

Tum, na jaane kaha ho aur kon ho, jo apne na hone pr bhi meri zindagi mei itna kolahal machaye hue ho,

Suno door chale jaao kyunki na hokar bhi hona behad behuda harkat hai.

Aaj mujhe chaand se baatein karni hai, ek kahani padhni hai, aur thodi si meethi neend jo sab sapne sach karde.

Maine tumhara sapna dekh Kar bhi undekha kar, kaid kar dia hai waha jaha neend na pahunche.

Chand ko khafa karna mera shaunk nhi.

-neha

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How I want to die- My death story

We all plan out our lives, what we want to achieve, where we want to be, how we want to live, we have our self set goals and targets with each age, the kind of career we want, the kind of home we want to build, the kind of partner we want in life, the kind of kids we want to give birth to, the kind of people we want around, the kind of places we want to visit, the kind of love we want to experience, the kind of stuff we want to try and do by certain age, how we want to grow old, what we want to learn but nobody really plans out death. Death is something which isn’t talked about much. It is not something that we are comfortable talking about, while it is the ultimate truth of life that we are here to die after a point. Today I want to talk about death.
I have always had several days both sad and happy when I just want to die. In my happiest moments I have wished to die because I felt that this is the perfect moment to leave the world, so content and so happy. And there are days when everything around me feels crumbling and I wanted to die to escape the problems of life but that made me realize that I am being weak in those moments. So I fight. I fight off those weak moments and there are days when I am in so much physical pain that the idea of death seems better. But then I am reminded of so many things and experiences I am yet to have so I hold on and move ahead. And live life a little bit better after that thought.

I want to die in my happiest moments and that is something I have realized lately. I want to leave this world filled with echo of my non stop laughter. I want my death to be a celebration. I have celebrated my birthday with so much enthusiasm over the years that I want my death to be a grand festival of love, laughter and hugs. I want people to dress up as bright as they can for my funeral and put on my favorite songs and dance like it’s the best day and most importantly laugh their hearts out.

I want my loved ones to not grieve my death but rather remember me in their daily routine while making their coffee or missing their metro station or listening to a song or just watching a comedy movie and whenever they read the word love in daily moments, they are reminded of how much I love and adore them. Maybe look at a painting and imagine something weird I said or maybe just seeing someone act like a princess and think of me being like one.

I want my loved ones to not grieve me but remember me when they are cleaning their closet and find a huge bunch of letters I wrote them and how long those letters were and wonder- oh boy! She did write way too much and smile to themselves reading that.

I want my loved ones to remember me with the books I leave them, with the songs I leave them with, with the filmy dialogues, with my crazy obsession of srk and with all things cute around them.

I want to spread happiness and love even when I am gone. That is really how I want to die.

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Panic of Romance

Do you ever feel conflicted within yourself?

Like you really want something to happen but when it is actually happening you have a hundred questions, two hundred thoughts and one thousand trust issues with the fact whether something is actually happening or not for which you have wondered quite a long while with all the movies and books that you have read?

I became a writer when I first fell in love and I wanted to express myself but I also didn’t want to express directly so I would use poems and metaphors to convey how I feel and the one for whom I would write never really got that so I stopped bothering with the effort and became a blogger instead of a poet/writer. I don’t like to call myself a poet because I don’t write poetry per se. I write stories, and I narrate my life stories because narrating my own stories helps me get a better sense of my own life and it helps me understand my own self and my actions and reactions in a better way because if you really change your life, you gotta change yourself and you can only change and work on yourself if you understand yourself better. Unless you don’t know who you are and why you behave the way you do and why you think and feel the way you do, you won’t be able to change. I write poems when my heart gets involved. Either it is touched or happy or hurt, I’ll end up coming up with a poem but not when I really sit and think about it, I just can’t write a poem.

And for three years I have written plenty of poems, a lot of them reside here on this blog and these poems are all romantic ones, with imagery like the one you can imagine and feel good and they are all poems of an unfulfilled romance and they end with a hope of finding the perfect time and person. All of that dreamy stuff. But come back to real life, I belong to a millennial generation where dating is mostly about hooking up and not developing a connection, people are easily replaceable, if you are pretty, you get way too much attention but ask deep enough questions and people freak out and call you a hard nut to crack. I legit make all the potential dating possibilities run away through the way I direct the conversations. It’s not like I don’t want to have such a relationship but I want the right person to stay. I don’t want someone to stay just because of how I look.

And sometimes when I trust someone enough to try being romantic with me, I panic. There is this strange panic associated with the reality of potential romance. As much as I want to go on a date, my actions are completely in the opposite direction. I just make way too many efforts for the guy to cancel up because it’s easier that way. And all the songs, books, music and movies look better in fiction and I freak out a lot. I once remember jumping in surprise on my first date back in 2013 when the guy tried to put his hand on my waist and I gave him this scary and surprised look like “What do you think you are doing?” and well that was that. He never got a second date.

On one of the dates a couple of years ago, I remember this guy trying to hold my hand while crossing the road and I was like- “You think I can’t do that on my own, leave my hand. I cross roads alone in one of the busiest traffic areas without red lights and traffic police and you think you are helping me cross the road” and I crossed the road while he took some time to cross after the scolding he got from me. He did not get a second date either. (There is a happy crossing the road story too but that is for another day and time because that guy got a second date. Surprised? I was too, okay stop laughing and smirking, read ahead. :P)

Well, I can possibly go on about such stories but the point is I panic when someone tries to get close to me in a romantic fashion like I will definitely like the attention but I find that it is too time-consuming and all of the charades gets over in maximum a week. I could be in love with someone but then if we are not getting work done in our respective lives and just sharing sweet nothings, boy you gotta go, I gotta go, find someone who has time to do that.

I mean I will definitely enjoy all of the conversations shared in the middle of the day and in the middle of the night but if I don’t get enough sleep and my work and daily routine gets affected, I see a red signal and things just end.

Maybe I am too closed as a person, maybe I don’t open doors, I just open a window and then when the weather gets a bit uncomfortable, I close that window too. Call it running away or panic of romance, it’s like that until someone really makes me stay and drives this streak away.

Till then, it’s gonna be just first dates once in a while in the middle of running towards things that make my heart stay.

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The Achievement Addict

 

So yesterday, I stumbled upon this Ted Talk called Stop Trying So Har. Achieve More by Doing Less by Bethany Butzer. Technically, I did not stumble upon it, my mother made me watch it. My mother keeps sending me motivational videos and Ted talks to keep my life on track because I get derailed easily and often too and it takes me 2-3 incidents to turn into a crazy ass rebellious teenager at the age of 23. (Side note- My mother was married by this time and she was being a successful adult so there is quite a pressure there, not externally but self-created)

Okay so, this woman in her Ted talk talked about being an Achievement Addict and I could relate so well to her. As a kid, my mother had put me into various classes so that I can learn the following skills- Painting, Dance, Singing, Kathak, Crafts, Piano Lessons, Theatre lessons etc etc because if you have watched the stand-up comedy of Kanan Gill, your first child is THE PROJECT. You want that child to be the best child in the world. And so my mother tried and me being me, didn’t stick long enough to get an expert at anything. The only thing I ended up being excellent as was to study and top my class. Imagine being a topper since LKG and continuing the tradition even in college. I had become an achievement addict. And as I grew up, I did all the things my mother tried for me to do and I have been pretty good at it even if not an expert. I became the most famous and most loved student in school by the time I was in 10th and my name is still remembered by all the teachers and quite a huge number of students from different batches. And so is the case with my college years, everyone basically knows who am I except myself.

At my age, it is very difficult to have a CV of more than one page but here I am with a CV of 3 pages which I need to shorten often whenever I apply to places.

And I always put in too much effort everywhere because I have become addicted to all the love, approval and appreciation coming my way. And it sometimes gets overwhelming because my friends end up telling me that I don’t know how to be relaxed or be chill enough. I stress too much, I work too much, I slog too much and I do have a hard time dealing with criticism. There is a compulsive need to be liked by people I like and not everyone will like me, but I have a hard time dealing with that. Either I am always in this zone where I feel that I am not good enough or I am in the narcissistic zone where I feel like I am the best person and nobody deserves the best I have to offer but that’s just a temporary zone because there are times when I do feel like not giving a flying fuck but I do care a lot so it gets conflicting.

All in all, I forgot to live life in a simple way because whenever I will be having an ordinary day I will get bored, I will feel I am not accomplishing anything and I will go out of the way to do something that would make me feel accomplished and good enough about myself.

But now that I have realized these things, I have been in the realization zone for quite a long while I must say. So I am making certain lifestyle changes, I am trying to be good, to be better and to enjoy the ordinary. And to just exist and trust me it’s not that bad.

Yes, my inner achievement addict is still very much active and it still wants to do so much but I am training that addict of mine to not seek approval, to not go overboard and to not become extra. And it’ll take time.

Point of writing this blog post?

I am still figuring it out, I just had to write it to keep this realization alive. I write mostly for myself because I have a lot to say and writing things out helps me get clarity to my own head. You’re reading it just by chance and it might interest you and make you explore your inner addicts maybe?

 

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Tripping with Miss Guide You

“Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho … to poori kainath use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”

Coming from a conservative middle-class family and having overprotective parents, I have been mostly an obedient kid who studied well and spent most of her time with books and had several crushes on fictional characters. I rebelled too but in limits, as much my parents would put up with.
My parents are risk averse individuals who are always content with simple things in life. They really don’t need anything in life to make them happy. They are happy saint-like souls satisfied with all the situations of life. I, on the other hand, a 23-year-old girl who is super active on social media and sees all her friends do traveling and exploring the places and meeting new people, have always dreamt of a trip alone and given the safety situation for girls and women in the country, it looked like a distant dream.

But the universe has its ways.

I happen to come across with this one human being whom I would like to call Farishta, who had turned the course of my life in a happy direction in the past so many months. Some people come to you in times when you begin to lose hope in people, in love, in friendship and in life in general. I like to call him a Farishta because even though I had every best thing in my life, I wasn’t really living. He helped me to gain a positive outlook. Anyhow, it was through him, I got to know about “Miss Guide You”, a group which organizes regular trips. My dream was finally turning into a reality. Perks of being friends with Adulter Adults is that they convince your parents to let you go on a trip like this so that’s how my parents agreed to let me take this trip. The added bonus here was I was being accompanied by Mrs. Farishta.

Now, I am mostly socially awkward at first and then depending on the people around me, I take the minimum an hour or the maximum a day to get comfortable or I do not get comfortable at all. And once I am comfortable, you’re going to get the entertainment for your life because I am going to get super Bollywood and sing songs and talk like I have known you forever. I take up space and make a homely feeling and laugh out loud like anything. I don’t know how to be girly, I only know how to be me. Clumsy, messed up, happy, and lazy too.

I could go on mentioning the details of the trip, day by day, night by night and how much fun it was. And making a beautiful story for you to read, but honestly, I don’t feel like doing that right now.

A. Because I haven’t had my morning coffee

B. I feel lazy

C. Ainvayyyyyyiiiiii (karan johar fan, had to do this drama)

Overall, the trip was a happy experience. it made me meet new people, listen to new stories and gain new experiences and having Mrs. Farishta by my side helped. Initially, this trip was to spend some quality time with her but due to certain health issues that didn’t happen and I floated around happily like a kid here and there while she slept.

“Traveling changes you.” I was told. I don’t know about the change, but all I know about is that traveling made me more chirpy and it made me feel free. And I guess that’s what really matters.

Oh btw I did not tell you, where did I go? Hahahah, see how distracted I am?

Well, I went to Jibhi and Jalori Pass, the same place where I went for my first official capacity building tour and wrote an elaborated blog post- The Himachal Trail- https://euphoricbeing.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/the-himachal-trail/

So, without really making a point or crafting a beautiful conclusion to this post, I would just like to appreciate the group called Miss Guide You, My Mr. and Mrs. Farishta Friends because of whom this trip happened and all the lovely human beings who were a part of this trip, who made it such a happy experience and to the new bigshot friends I have made in BMW, Yamaha, and international bloggers, content writers, and website developer people and all the digital marketing people etc etc. Kaafi Swag wale Log. And my parents who let me go and have this experience.

Side Note– Sit on the road in the hills under the moonlight and listen to the sound of the silence whenever you go there next. Or maybe just sing Chanda Re Chanda Re while staring at the moon on a cold night. Kaafi happy feeling.

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Aapse Milkar Accha Laga!