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130: Girlfriend Time

10 May

There’s no denying the balms that are mom-time and girlfriend-time. I’m a sucker for both, and a hardcore fan of both, too. It was yesterday while tinkering around the laptop waiting for A to come back home from a super late work-day, that P from the states buzzed me. It’d been a while and given that she’s a new mommy trumps everything else. But she calls whenever she can, and we speak. The last time that happened, she asked me if all was well and said that I needn’t let the world or its stresses affect me, almost automatically once we said hello to each other. Yesterday, she needed to hear the things that I was telling her, or that’s what she told me as I went on yapping away like I always do. I even FaceTimed with her baby daughter, who looks just like her father, which P and I almost telepathically grimaced about for a fleeting second. It’s one of those we carry you for nine months (and a lifetime) and you still turned out like your dad harmless and non-regretful funda that gets a lot of us women, you know?

Today has also been an off which I spent a lot of propped up on my elbows texting my girlfriends, who are, by the laws of nature, in different parts of the world. But you take that and suck it, universe, because we still can be with each other whenever we like. Random small talk and rants spiralled into full-blown ventilation sessions and conversations that did naturally revolve around life, the men in our life, the domesticities in our life, the work-life imbalance in our life, and of course, the necessity to stand strong in life. It’s funny how different perspectives in the same conversation take shape and make you see various mirrors that you probably never show yourself, or know exist. My mother and my girlfriends are those mirrors. Not to be sexist, because my brothers and my husband are my main mirrors too, but I’m sticking to title specifications right now.

Anyway the conversations made me think about my life and my journey and assess where I stand in all of it. It’s all easier said than done, because each of us has our own contributory factors that make our experiences our own. It’s as simple and point-blank as this forward that my aunt sent us the other day – if we were all to sit at a table and present our problems for someone else to take, we’d all leave the table taking along with us our own problems and no one else’s. It sort of made absolute sense irrespective of just how much one might crib or feel troubled.

But having said that, there’s no better mirror to look into than a good, hearty, honest conversation with your support system, whoever they may be. Mine are my family and my friends; all with different curvatures for the view they need to show me whenever I turn to them.

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117: Short Notes

27 Apr

In continuation of yesterday’s post and sick tease, we woke up to some serious stormy conditions – no visible sunrise on time, no colour-changing sky, deep black pregnant clouds, no flirty breeze, no dust storm and no wind storm. It was dark when I woke up, which was both comforting and weird (530am feels like 7am these days). We opened our balcony doors to the fantastic outdoors while sipping our respective cuppas. I didn’t soak clothes to be washed later – typical Bangalore mentality, especially when you wake up to conditions like I did today. An umbrella found its place in my rucksack, and off we dispersed to our offices. All of us – kids (big and small), teachers, guards – looked at the sky as we crossed our sports field en-route the main building. Kids exclaimed in glee dekho aaj to sky bhi nahin dikha, bas badal hi badal (look! we didn’t get to see the sky today, just clouds and more clouds). And then when I checked the quadrangle an hour later, the sky was right there in its blueness with all those promising clouds GONE.

If you haven’t gathered so far, I can’t handle this tease. It’s a cruel joke to play. :(

****

I’m beginning to get attached to my students, both seniors and juniors. I am a loyal and possessive person by default, so it goes without saying that this was bound to happen. A delusional me never imagined connecting or even getting attached to students here. We’re now clear why I called myself delusional here. I’ve picked my favourites – and most of them are the naughty kinds. The teacher in me cannot and will not be partial to anyone, but how can I not have expected my heart to soften towards kids who are in this like you and me were once upon a time. Damn it!

****

A came home early and when I opened the door expecting our AC to be delivered, it was him instead – :) . He brought flowers for me today – lilies – and I happened to bake the best ever banana cake I’ve ever baked, which I fed him with. There’s gratitude in this serendipitous synchronicity that was today. :)

****

75: Small Things

16 Mar

I’m a collector of small things in the guise of (what most normal people would consider) trash or scraps (to be kinder), and memories, of course. I’ll leave the former out for now, because you really don’t want to know about the tissues and leaves and sand and other random stuff I collect for “memory’s” sake. However, here are some of the smaller things I’ve completely fallen head over heels in love with, only because they’re more precious to me than anything else.

Going all the way to the railway station with A even if that means studying enroute to prepare for my class the next day only because I love going on drives with him the most.

Falling asleep on his lap by chance (I passed out at an odd 8pm last evening, which I hope is the last and final after effect of the stuff we had on Holi).

Sitting with each other every morning; him poring over the newspaper, and me asking him to share news updates with me as he reads, while we sip our tea.

Couch-potato-ing as we watch tv series together.

Chatting with each other till we fall asleep. Wait, I’m the one who chatters away, and he, I think, secretly sleeps in between. :|

My favourite has to be waking up to a cup of tea made by him. Of course it’s another thing that it isn’t delivered with love in bed, but that I’ve to drag my ass to the table to get it. :P

51: Not Alone

20 Feb

Back in 2008 when I began my Masters programme, I didn’t think beyond what I had joined college back again for; which was to get on with my studies and move on. It’s been seven years since I completed my MSc., which in itself is astounding for me to write down over here…seven years. That’s three short of completing your tenth board exams, which is 75% of your school life if I’ve got my math right. During that time, I studied in a very culturally varied class. We were an all girls and one male class; most of us residents of places outside Bangalore. Needless to say, those two years passed in a jiffy, and here we are today, each doing our own thing, and walking along our paths as we’ve made it. Class reunions generally happen during weddings, and that was the case with this class too. Except, a lot of the girls in my class got married shortly after one another. Therefore opportunities for our reunions also ran dry eventually.

However, today was a different day after seven long years. A few of us finally made the time to meet each other, and here we were, some with babies, some not, back again, with everything so changed, and yet unchanged. It was during this exchange of stories that I came to realise just how similar our tales are, despite our differences; how together we are, no matter how alone we may feel; how comforting it is, despite how overwhelming it might all feel.

The one thing that stood out to me, above all, was just how important meeting each other really is. If there’s anything that’s therapeutic, it’s the ability to put your feet up, laugh while you drink your coffee, and the reassurance that you’re doing just fine. :)

49: Of Over Ten Years

18 Feb

The thing with girlfriends is this:

we take forever to make plans

we’re almost always caught up in our own shit, a lot of which is known to each other

we’ll take time out from our respective shittiness to meet up and generally forget about the world while we meet

we’ll laugh like we’re sitting in our own homes and most often even speak as if we’re the only ones around

we have no problems talking about anything and everything

we talk about everything and tend to expertly discuss all topics that cross our minds and lives and paths in general

we eat together

we eat some more, together

we counsel each other and find wisdom for ourselves from our conversations

we laugh at each other and with each other

we bitch if we have to

we cry when we really feel like it

we bicker, even

we reminisce, we dream, we talk, we wander, we listen, we hug, we have mini conversations within a big conversation, we sing sometimes, we go crazy all the time.

Today R, R, R and I met after what felt like an unending planning session. We each had our things going on – one was knee deep in work around the time our meeting started, one hadn’t slept much, one had to go shopping after, while I had to finish a few chores after. Lots of food, an ample supply of iced tea, and a river of conversation later, we ended our meeting having forgotten about everything else that was on our agenda even before we’d met. R had downed a couple of coffees and spoke about life with her boy, R forgot about her shopping altogether, R seemed to have eased up from her busy work and home life, and I felt like time played a fast one on us. I guess that’s what happens when you meet your girls, no? Over raucous laughter, snickers, jokes, and inside details, we managed to feel like it was just yesterday all over again.

47: Small Things

16 Feb

The one place where a woman gets to be a girl all over again is at her mother’s place. It’s not about breakfasts in bed or exclusive luxuries which never were a part of our routines before (we never got to eat breakfast in bed unless we were ill). It’s about realising the little things that get left behind when you move on and put your own home together. The ease to sit down,

the gentleness of her stroking my hair,

our endless bickering over the smallest of things,

her powdery fragrance lulling me to sleep,

the touch of her hands,

that filled jug of water that only I drink from,

welcome post-it notes,

pink lilies blooming at my arrival,

my fluffed up quilt,

and the best of them all…

sound sleep without the care of responsibilities.

It’s all in the smallest of things. Always.

28: When I Fell Into The Pit Of Overthinking, Again!

28 Jan

Disclaimer: This is me talking to myself, yet again, after tripping into the trap of overthinking, again! :)

Whenever I’m caught in a situation that demands diplomacy, a certain amount of restraint which is considered and associated as being graceful, and one that requires me to not freely speak my mind; it doesn’t take long for all my faculties to fall apart and for me to fail a 100% in seeing that situation through. To simply put it, I cannot handle social circumstances without massive amounts of awkwardness, loathing, and without failing at them. I tend to wear my feelings on my face, especially when they’re at their extremes. You will not see me laughing when I’m angry, and you will not see me stonefaced when I’m joyous. I lack that skill, and sometimes I’m thankful that I do. Of course my honesty has never made me the popular choice, and neither does it make me socially approachable at all. It’s a win-lose situation depending upon my luck and my ability to be poker-faced.

Today when I was brooding over something that has long overstayed its welcome in my mind, a makeshift eureka moment chanced upon me. It is quite simple, to be honest. But most obvious things are frightfully and brutally simple; it’s a wonder how I end up missing their point. And it was precisely this:

if you are at the receiving end of a certain kind of treatment, whether expected or unexpected, pleasant or unpleasant, warranted or unwarranted; take a moment to step on to the other side, take cognizance of said response/treatment, acknowledge it, and move on. 

See, I told you it was so obviously simple and something you probably already knew all along anyway.

Every single peace-loving part of me cannot fathom conflict, dissent or ill-treatment, especially when the concept of accountability is paramount to me. I obsess over not stepping on others’ toes, wherever I may choose to tread, and so it beats me when I do not get the treatment I imagine deserving. Normal people would take this with a pinch of salt, and proceed walking on without looking back. I? I rue. I overthink. I obsess. I question myself a thousand times; just so maybe an answer can emerge; sometimes like a false confession, to make things feel normal again.

However, this luminescent thought today made me realise that it’s okay to proceed. That not everyone is normal, lol! That it’s absolutely, perfectly fine to not be loved, liked, or even be acknowledged by all and sundry. That the ideals you grew up watching, may not be that idealistic anymore after all. That people will be people, and when did people have a spotless track record anyway? That maybe I’m not going to be everyone’s favourite; not everyone is mine. That, most importantly, my life does not begin and end with/at this.

It’s easier said than done, especially when you’re someone who is your worst critic. But the thing that’s becoming evidently clear is that not everyone’s going to love you, like you, respond to you, understand you, or even just know you; even if they’re family. It’s a hard line to draw, but sometimes boundaries do have their purpose and benefits. Knowing when to make them, is essential. I guess this is how society runs. You put on that smile and show up even if that’s the last place you’d rather be, right? Oh well, sometimes. :)

Note to self: see the rubbish that thinking and overthinking can lead to – such a waste of time, energy, and brain traffic. The best things lie in moving on. Haha!

And with that, let’s all have a lovely weekend filled with zero thinking and a 100% living! Cheers!

6: Forward

6 Jan

I’ve never experienced a bigger black hole than overthinking. I’m an expert at it, by virtue, and because I have so much time at hand. One of the main reasons I left my very lucrative job as a counsellor was because it mandated me to think not just for myself but for the other party too. I loved it, and I still do; counselling i.e. It came naturally to me, academically and practically, until I came head on with this mountain which I couldn’t conquer. How could I possibly help someone else if I didn’t know the art and skill of disconnection? My family urges me to take counselling on again, because it’s such a lucrative business to have. But I know it goes beyond just that at so, so many levels. Maybe someday, once I’ve figured how to summit this one out, if at all, to be realistic.

I find myself falling into this excruciating trap of thinking and overthinking more often than not. As much as I once proudly considered myself to have intellectual tendencies, I firmly steer clear of them and that thought today…because there’s nothing more degenerative to a moment than breaking it down till it stops making sense anymore. Nothing. I refrain from meeting or speaking with people who intellectualize. And very actively so. It has led to a drastic metamorphosis of many a relationship, but one’s got to look out for themselves, as selfish as that sounds. This world does have too much negativity, armchairism, and labelling to go around amply.

I’m a believer in reason, action, hard work, and learning. I’m a believer in things happening for a reason. I think love, laughter, and hugs have indescribable powers. I believe in magic wholeheartedly, I seek it and incorporate it in my worldviews. I think kisses are pathways for so much of the unsaid to be transferred and shared. Hard work is compulsory, in my understanding of things. I also have a very skewed understanding of the hard work relationships require to exist, forget thrive. And I think I live in an ideal world hugely inspired by movies, and everything unreal. I’ll let you imagine what the consequences of that perspective do to me on a regular basis. It isn’t pleasant or exciting, to say the least. The disappointment is most hard-hitting and painful, when it strikes.

But I’m learning, I’m clasping on to any rope of help and support that keeping overthinking at bay throws my way. I’m mostly underwater and breathing in painful amounts of chaos. But I haven’t drowned yet. I think I’ve learnt to stay afloat a little better from where I was last year. And that’s all I need, to move forward. That’s all I need.

Being Married

2 Dec

We turned a grand total of one, last week.
(I hope we turn many more years older, together)

With these months in my kitty, it feels like I can write a book about marriage, and on being married. Maybe I will, some day. But today isn’t that some day. Today I’m doing a little bit of what a lot of my year has been like…

That of complete surrender even when I desperately tried clinging on to the me I knew of all my life.

That of finding a newer version of the same old me.

That of learning to love beyond the cliches.

That of witnessing intensely powerful emotions even when all I wanted was to maybe just have an ice cream or do something simpler.

That of watching love, anger, hate, fear, sadness, and a lot of the unknown, collide, mix and interact.

That of understanding what leaving home really, really meant.

That of figuring out what those tears that I cried during my wedding, meant…much later.

That of  understanding compromise and killing subduing one’s ego.

That of accepting oneself and each other at the our best, average, worst, and ugliest versions, respectively.

That of communication, trust, and freedom.

That of allowing oneself and each other to be vulnerable all over again…love cannot embed or germinate in hardened hearts.

That of finding oneself in this merger of selves.

That of automatically loving the other even when white sheets of anger rained.

That of patience and the magic of time.

That of physical touch.

That of expressing and responding to desires.

That of eye contact.

That of sharing; almost everything (and I don’t mean email passwords).

That of comfort even with bushy eyebrows and forests freely grow on one’s limbs.

That of being co-dependent, not dependent or independent.

That of being alone in each other’s company.

That of picking which battles to fight.

That of understanding each other’s personal space.

That of silence.

That of responsibility, oh of responsibility.

That of not giving up no matter how hard it might get sometimes.

The list is endless, all that I’ve learnt, even more so. It’s been a crazy journey of running, walking, trying to catch up, going out of breath, getting ahead, staying in tune. Sometimes I run out of words to describe the experience, and sometimes my emotions get the better of me. I have learnt more about myself in the past few months than any book or words could have taught me. But I know I wouldn’t have come to where I am today without the help of those I turn to on a very regular basis. Knowing you aren’t alone is the biggest booster.

Marriage is a lot of hard work, I was told many a times. And truer words haven’t been spoken.

But it’s quite the ride if you and your heart are game for it. It’s a heart game; all heart. And it’s beautiful, even when you’ve forgotten to wear waterproof makeup. :)

14 September

14 Sep

I’m still somersaulting in the rainbow of ma’s words. She knows me more than I know myself, but you and I both knew that anyway. There’s no way our parents don’t know the real us, and there’s really no hiding from them spelling the minutest of those details out to us; especially the unpleasant ones. Haha!

R and I honoured our plan to meet each other and she stopped by for a quick but very welcome break, yesterday. With her did she bring not only lots of newness amidst the familiarity, but also an opportunity for the two of us to just be ourselves like old times. Sipping over cups of tea and munching through tales of our every day lives and reflections, we clocked time like I haven’t done in a long while. So many memories were shared, so many new facets of our lives exchanged. The camera and taking photographs were completely forgotten about; or maybe we just don’t really do that sort of thing anyway. It is always hard to say bye, but it’s beginning to dawn upon me that these byes are born more out of gratitude and happiness, than from sadness. The small gifts that come along our way in the form of conversations, chuckles and laughter, a lingering eye contact that speaks of untold yet familiar stories…they’re all for keeps and cannot be filed alongside sadness. R arrived with a gift of sorts for me too, and it has been a delightful sight ever since I laid my eyes on it.


I’m not very versed in cuisines as such, but the possibility of owing a book makes me feel like I have already travelled to the place of its origin. This one is filled with stories, chapters, pictures, and of course, the magical delight of food.


I love South East Asian food for there’s a sense of comfort and fulfilment that always overflows so generously from the steaming bowls and plates they come in. My very limited travails have taken me through streets of food and discoveries that have always been a must do on my list; there’s always so much to learn and grasp.


This book seems to have it all and more. Besides, those pictures. And that fish; oh my.


What a perfect buy.

The thing that really calls out to me are the numerous similarities in the ingredients and methods of cooking Indonesian and Indian food comprise. I cannot wait to discover the treasures in this book; equipping me sufficiently for whenever a travel stop does happen to this famed island. Happies.


S called me ever so randomly yesterday – she has moved countries – and our conversation was rife with peals of laughter and curses, memories and time standing still. I miss her dearly. The last time I went back home to Bangalore was to say bye to her and it was just like how we would’ve said bye anyway – complete with conversations, lots of dancing, food, music, laughter and jokes. Marriage changes things not just for the couple but for their friends as well. But everyone is on their respective journeys and we’ve to learn to incorporate whatever we can into these newfound routes. Mad times. I hope they don’t ever change.

Here’s a song S introduced me to which she played during her wedding, and which I love to bits. Also, it fits because it’s Onam. Onamashamsagal (happy Onam), my dear friends.


*afk, dancing*