Travel Diary

Slowness Himalayas

It’s that time of the year when you hit the mountains to find relief from the scorching heat of the Delhi Sun. Life has been pretty monotonous lately given I have been on work from home for good two months and also studying and apparently a social butterfly like me has not had many social interactions lately so I was feeling a little bit drained. I needed adventure and a change of routine so I first booked an impulsive snow trek which I canceled because I got scared given my talent of being clumsy and somehow I lost confidence in myself that I will be able to do a snow trek even though I had shopped well and prepared myself well. Anyhow, so, if you have been a regular reader of my blog posts you know that I have been out on two trips with this organization called  Miss Guide You 

So this organization is run by two of my friends, Kriti and Ashish and they are doing a great job, you must check out their page and all. Anyhow, so they are building this home called Slowness Himalayas in a small village near Almora and I asked them if I could visit and chill with them for a while because I keep seeing their Instagram stories and they are so tempting that one really wants to be there with all the views and fruity pictures. So that’s how the trip to Slowness happened.

Now, honestly, if you’re looking for excitement and adventure like that happens in Bir or Rishikesh where there is river rafting or paragliding this is not the place, however, you want to really experience the simple joys of life and peace and simply spend time with nature and yourself, this is just the place for you. The day starts pretty early here, you won’t believe it but as someone who finds it really hard to wake up in the morning in Delhi, I would wake up everyday around 5AM just to see the sunrise and that too without alarm, it just happened, I didn’t try for it or made an effort and the day would go by very slowly, like I would have a bath, get ready, read my book, engage in conversations with the people of the house I was living with and when I would check the time it would still be 10AM or so.

The place has got magnificent views to wake up to and beautiful birds to spend time with, you are all alone with nature and its sounds and the sound of your own thoughts.

The place is untouched by humans and is pretty clean and plastic free so far, whatever plastic we brought with ourselves, we got it back. The houses are pretty far from each other and it’s all-mountain forest area. The activities that you can do here could be to interact with the locals and listen to their stories, take several walks in the fruit farms and pick fruits to eat when you’re hungry, it’s fun, plant trees, get your hands dirty in the mud and feel the earth.

Moreover, if you have got your own vehicle, you can also go to other places like Kasar Devi, Mukteshwar etc. We borrowed Ashish’s bike and went upto Kasar Devi Temple and the journey was beautiful. There is also a waterfall nearby which is maintained by the locals and one can actually take bath there and chill in the water. It’s extremely beautiful.

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(Image borrowed from Google, it rained on the day I was supposed to go to the waterfall so I didn’t)

This trip was not like other conventional treks or trips, it was a leisurely relaxed one where I would read my book, enjoy a movie in the mountain rains, play with the house kids, have chit chats with my friends and laugh and maybe sleep in during the day too. Life gets pretty weird, it is breaks like these that bring us closer to ourselves. Even though I had my friends there, I had a lot of alone time which gave me enough time to reflect on my life and be grateful and sort out the mess and the hurricane in my head which runs too fast.

The best part of the trip was that I made friends with a local kid who was probably five years old- Maanvi and she and I had some really great times together. Mostly kids don’t come to me but she was an exception and showered me with so much love that I feel blessed.

Overall, this trip was beautiful and you should also go to slowness if you really want to pause and reflect on your life and have simple joys light up your days.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

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We could see snow peaks right outside the home we lived in.
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Caught in flight
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Almora
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Peaches
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We spotted a magnificent double rainbow after the beautiful mountain rains
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Sawan Barse Tarse Dil, Kyu Na Nikle Ghar Se Dil
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Kasar Devi Temple

 

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Our Stay

All the images here have been clicked by my friend Shiv. He was kind enough to let me use his pictures for this blog post. You should definitely check out his Instagram account here:

Bunch of Hobbies

and he also has a specific blog for bird photography called Beaks Feathers Nikon

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आज मदहोश हुआ
जाए रे जाए रे जाए रे
आज मदहोश हुआ जाए रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
बिना ही बात मुस्कुराये रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
आज मदहोश हुआ जाए रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
ओ री कली, सजा तू डोली
ओ री लहर, पहना तू पायल
ओ री नदी, दिखा तू दर्पण
ओ री किरण, ओढ़ा तू आँचल
इक जोगन है बनी आज दुल्हन
आओ उड़ जाएँ कहीं बन के पवन
आज मदहोश हुआ जाए रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
शरारत करने को ललचाये रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
यहाँ हमें, ज़माना देखे
तो? आओ चलो कहीं छुप जाएँ, अच्छा!
यहाँ हमें, ज़माना देखे
आओ चलो कहीं छुप जाएँ
भीगा-भीगा नशीला दिन है
कैसे कहो, प्यासे रहपाएँ
तू मेरी मैं हूँ तेरा, तेरी कसम
मैं तेरी तू है मेरा, मेरी कसम
आज मदहोश हुआ जाए रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
शरारत करने को ललचाये रे
मेरा मन, मेरा मन, मेरा मन
Signing off with this photograph and this song! Thank you people for reading ❤
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.

 

life

Women in My Life

This one is basically for the women in my life.

I have a couple of super strong women around me. The one woman who comes on the top is my mother. She is actually a superwoman, who gets up before the sun rises and runs the house like a boss. The entire family depends on her for every tiny thing. She takes care of her job, of herself and of everyone and everything in the house. She is the powerhouse of love, scoldings, care, and discipline. She motivates me to be better. Yes, she is my friend and sometimes, I fight with her for unreasonable stuff. I am not proud of it, I feel guilty for a long time after having a fight with her. Even when things have sorted, I still feel bad and not good enough as a daughter for losing my temper with her over something really stupid. We tend to take our mothers for granted and I do that too sometimes, not a healthy thing to do but I still do. But the best part is my mother gives me chances to improve and we both grow as individuals in the process. Now, enough of the fangirling over my mother, I can do that for ages and still do a fuck up and upset my mom over something where she is right.

Anyway, I am here to appreciate the women in my life and the womanly bonds. Being in girls’ college has been in the biggest blessing in my life because it taught me to be “Me” and move away from being the conscious, insecure individual who felt she was too fat, not good enough for herself, it helped me overcome my loneliness. I learned to turn the feeling of loneliness into peaceful solitude. It also taught me to be a supportive woman as well as helped me build my own support system. You find all kinds of girls and women in an all-girls set up and you find women you admire, women you love and you also find women who are irritating to the core and when you spend three years in a place like that you understand how irritating you get as a woman for the people in your life and how to change your behavior so that everyone around is moving towards their goals, there is peace, there is understanding even in conflicting thoughts and opinions and less drama. You also identify where there is actually a need for the drama. So, all in all, being in girls college has helped me become better as a woman and as a human being too.

We often tend to blame the patriarchy and the men for the societal pressures, judgments, and taboos, what I have come to realize is that women are also a part of the problem. Women in India are quite insecure in general and it could be with regard to anything. Some are insecure with regard to their bodies, some are insecure with regard to their friendships and relationships, some are insecure with regard to career and some tend to have multiple forms of insecurities and these insecurities are not with respect to men. We have majorly accepted patriarchy as a form of social structure, women are insecure of other women and hence they tend to display cold and passive aggressive and sometimes bitchy behavior to the women around. Women are mostly insecure of each other rather than anybody else. This is my personal observation and I could be majorly wrong here as well but this is what I have observed in my experience with several women, women who are young to me and who are elder to me, the age does not matter, to be honest. I know women at 20 years of age who are more mature than me and I know women who are 10 years elder to me and are still immature with regard to their general behavior so age does not guarantee maturity in a person. It is quite hard to find the kind of bonding men share among themselves when we study women friendships and bonding. There is bound to be some form of an issue at one point or the other in strong women bondings and friendships.

But I have had such strong healthy relationships with certain women that I cannot help but say that if all the women in this whole wide world just start supporting each other, trust me that this world will be much better in all forms. I want to dedicate this post to Paridhi, Kameshwari, Ekansha Di, Adritanaya, Trishala, Sonal, Monal, Eshita and a couple of other women in my life who simply support. I don’t talk to either of them on a daily or a regular basis. I have occasional conversations with them and the conversations and meet-ups may be small or long but whenever it takes place, the talks and the energies and the vibes are so empowering that both the people involved feel so charged up and happy. It’s like the motivational and inspirational powerhouse that each of us goes about doing our own business feeling better about ourselves, our lives and we strengthen each other’s inner strength. These women can be found even in your professional setting, these women can be your friends and these women can be merely acquaintances but having women around who help each other grow is such a blessing. It’s not that we are not insecure. Each one of us is insecure with regard to different things in our lives but the difference here is that we are not insecure of each other. We want each other to do well, yes, it is human to not feel good if someone is doing better than you and especially when that someone is your friend, there is bound to be some sort of pain in that reality, however, why I am writing this post is that the women that I mentioned above are either elder to me or younger to me or have been my classmates but each one of them understands that each individual is on their own journey and will achieve things that they are meant to achieve in their own time. I have never seen these women put other people down or be cold to someone. They are so secure in their lives and trust themselves enough that they will get through their insecurities that I cannot help but admire each one of them in their own ways. And no, these women are not perfect, they do have their bad days and breakdowns and heartbreaks and feel vulnerable too but that really doesn’t mean that they are not strong. These women are the strongest warriors because they embrace their vulnerabilities and move past them.

I have no ulterior motive of writing this post, I have written this post purely to appreciate these women. And also, to let the other women make aware of the fact that its high time that we start changing ourselves and let go of being insecure of each other and unite as a unit because if we just do that, we help each other become better as humans. Most of my friends talk about office politics, but I have been blessed in the sense that I don’t experience that. I happen to have such a healthy work environment and my colleagues, all of them are supportive. However, two people-Himanshi and Parisha do deserve a special mention here because, in the professional setting, we often say that it is hard to find friends, which is true because there is so much competition, we as Indians have learned the concept and idea of competition since the beginning of our school and we take that attitude of competition even in the official setting, however, in my office, I have experienced collective growth. These two women have helped me in so many ways over the past couple of months that I am really grateful to them and it’s not like we have not had our issues, being human you are bound to make mistakes and have issues, however, learning from mistakes and moving ahead together counts for maturity and respect for each other. It’s about believing in yourself and believing in the people around you.

And it is also about giving. You can’t grow if you only want to be at the receiving end. You only get what you give, it’s about mutual regard, mutual respect, and admiration for each other. You can only give to another woman (or human, as a matter of fact), if you feel secure within yourself and you have something to give, it could be knowledge, it could be love, it could be time, it could be anything, and this form of giving doesn’t take anything away from you. It rather helps you become richer as a human being. So the key is that first give to yourself, accept yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself and then give yourself to the people around, radiate love, respect, knowledge, regard. Appreciate people when you feel like appreciating them. Tell them what you like about them, you never know but you might make someone’s day if they are feeling low. And most importantly, be honest while appreciating. If you admire someone and you don’t like a particular thing that they did or are doing, there is a nice way to convey the truth out to them, it is important to call out for the mistakes too, be honest and be open. I have had friends and colleagues come up to me and call me out for my mistakes- these mistakes could be unintentional or intentional, and sure, it does really feel bad when you receive criticism but do check if it is constructive criticism and if it is, do make the necessary changes in your behavior, try to correct the situation if you can and accept and acknowledge your mistake. Also, be grateful to the people for being honest with you because by doing that you are strengthening your bond. Acknowledging other person’s feelings and understanding them actually works for better for both of you. Do that in your personal and professional world and you will see tremendous improvements.

We as women are really powerful, each one of us, and we all just realize our powers and potentials, we can actually brighten up this world in a beautiful way.

So here it is for the women in my life who continue to do good and inspire me in different ways.

Also, note that towards the end, this post is less about womanly bonds, it is becoming general because, at the end of the day, it is about being human. One day you can feel like a man, the other day you may feel like a woman and some days you feel like both and somedays you feel like you don’t want to be a man and you don’t want to be a woman, what you really want to be is just a sloth sleeping all day in bed, it’s okay. It’s okay as long as you know the language of love for life, you can be anything.

scribbles

The much talked about concept of “The Valentine”

The Valentine

The Valentine is a concept originated in England which is now widely celebrated and extremely commercialized. A local celebration in a particular culture has been cashed upon by the stalwarts of capitalism and people are earning huge amounts of money because of this one local culture gone global.

While in the era of globalization, almost each of the local festival and celebration is widely hyped all across the globe. It is providing means of business to so many people, which is a great thing from an economics point of view but it has its downsides as well as a society.

Now, in India, we are still not as open-minded with regard to the concept of romance and public display of affection as it is in the West. There are judgments and taboos attached. Even friendships between a man and a woman are questioned if they are not dating and well, they are anyway questioned if they are dating and not married and if a couple is above 50 years of age and still express love and do PDA at times, which could be simply holding hands while taking a walk, they are also looked with a smirk. So all in all, expressing love in an Indian society is often looked with a smirk, you could be having a purely platonic love equation with your friends, you could be dating, you could be married, you could be just existing simply, you will be looked upon with a smirk if you love too much.

“I love you” is a phrase which is either overused or not said at all. I belong to the millennial culture and generation where Tinder is the new cool and having hookups are normal. Honestly, I feel too confused because I have had a conservative upbringing with an open mind. I believe in old school romance and often feel like a misfit. On one hand, there is this much talked about “conservative society and culture” and while on the other hand there is this millennial culture of hookups and casual relationships and friends with benefits etc. People around me seem too confused between love and lust and sometimes I get confused too when I have a crush on someone in the real world. But lately my crushes on people are ending within hours so it is that shortlived. I have basically trained my mind to shoo away the butterflies which take birth sometimes in a very short period of time. In short, I am simply closing down with regard to romantic possibilities and relationships because of so much drama and confusion it brings.

“Love” on the other hand has brought so much clarity in my life. Love is not blind, infatuation is. When you love someone, you know their faults and imperfections too and still choose to love a person. In a family, you are aware of shortcomings of each of the family member and still love them because you love them. There is no reasoning or rationalizing for the love you have for someone. Yes, you might have reasons for first falling in love with someone, but you don’t have reasons for that feeling of love staying. Maybe that is one reason we never forget our first loves, we move on and get on with our lives, we love new people and spend our lives with them but we always remember the people we love or have loved because of that feeling which has stayed, which made the motor of your heart running in a particular rhythm. And love you have for different people makes the motor of your heart run in different rhythms. Not all love is the same and it should not be. The rhythms could be similar but it is not the same thing.

And in my strong opinion, love is a very personal thing and that’s why one-sided love stories exist. In any relationship with family, your romantic partner or a friendship of two people, very rarely both people love the same way and with the same intensity. There will be days when one person loves more than the other and there will be days when there will be lots and lots of fights and arguments but love will still be there and one goes back to the happy equilibrium of a loving friendship or relationship or it dies out and even when friendships and relationships die out, the love still stays for some and for some it does not and it is okay.

Now, why am I talking about all of this, when I started to talk about the much-talked concept of “The Valentine”, it’s because we have given “love”, a particular day and a particular week and a particular month for its celebration and it does not make much sense to me. And that is not because I am single or anything, it’s just because I feel that a feeling like “Love” should be celebrated every day of one’s life.

First of all, we need to understand that a valentine is not just a romantic partner and people need to stop getting under this pressure of being lonely on a particular day. Our psychology is so much affected by these concepts around us that we have failed to look within and appreciate the love that exists around us in many forms. I may be single but I have quite a couple of valentines in my life, people who are my family and my friends, my teachers, people whom I deeply love and adore are my valentines and none of my valentines are perfect. They are all flawed and human and I am my own valentine and love is something that must be celebrated each day because love binds us all. You can get lonely on any day and not just valentines’ and you find your way too so stop asking out every tom, dick and harry for a date and just live, laugh, love and turn yourself into a romantic comedy with life.

 

Happy Valentines’ Life to you! ❤

 

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!