Tag Archives: Reflections

12: Thursday Thinking

12 Jan

For starters, I’m unable to check any of the notifications that pop up on my dashboard – I’ve no idea why. Ever since I’ve disabled the likes option, I get to see a list of likes, but am unable to check who these lovely likers are. That said, I’m trying not to let this itchy “secrecy” frustrate me. :P

Secondly, I haven’t watched Obama’s swan song even though it obviously went viral even before I got out of bed yesterday (BBC pinged me to say his speech was commencing just when I was walking towards the exit door from my land of dreams). It goes without saying that I do, indeed, want to dive into that tearjerker, and will eventually get myself to do so, but maybe when I’m more ready for it. However, even before all that, this guy has given me some serious, and I mean very serious, expectation issues from men, and husband to be specific. There does lie this eternal hope to maybe one day get this same, if not similar gratitude from my man in front of all and sundry. Hahaha! Well, we’re all allowed to dream, aren’t we? But seriously, that couple has given me, and most of the world I’m sure, some solid relationship goals. SOLID.

But here’s the nuance that I have to look into and consider wholeheartedly before I can even begin to harbour such dreams and expectations – and that is this one very crucial line he mentioned in his thanksgiving to his wife and family – “you took on a role you didn’t ask for, and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour.” Here’s that crux, that commitment, that compromise if you will, that’s sort of really made all the difference, no? And it makes the latent feminist in me keep quiet, and be still.

It was sometime back when my aunt very matter-of-factly and breezily called me a feminist. I don’t like that term, and neither do I like to associate my self with extremities in thought or action. It took me a little by surprise, and I won’t deny feeling a little proud of myself. Something that was sent my way as less of a compliment and as more of a fact to give me insight, did make my heart swell, to be honest. But that’s the thing I have with this thinking or terminology – I find it incomparably rigid, suffocating, and very binding; no matter how that jibe did indeed make me feel.

When I look at Michelle Obama, whom I do consider such a role model on many a front, there isn’t an ounce on her person or thought which speaks against standing up for oneself, or doing the things they believe in. However, she seems to have in her, the grace, strength, courage, and resilience to accept her circumstances and pave her path with all that she has. And that’s a remarkable quality I only wish I could have. It doesn’t involve screaming from rooftops about name changes post marriage, childbirth or bearing, or even something as overwhelming as stepping aside (a little or a lot) to find a new way forward. Generations of women have done exactly this, and I find it debilitating and often rude to label their silence or their choices as weak and spineless.

Of course there’s a difference between most, if not all Indian men, and Barrack Obama. And there’s a huge difference in all that we see, and all that really happens. But then again, I really wonder if a global mic to say thank you, is what drives or validates the beautiful strength, that is Michelle Obama’s personality and character. These are path-altering considerations for me to reflect on and pave my own journey with. Perhaps this is what, I think, real role models do, and I’m so thankful to have examples like these all around me.


Cliffs, Parachutes and the Sea

15 Jan

Have you already begun getting a sense of what this year could feel like? Perhaps small hints or even drifts of what it may feel like? Because while half of January is already over, I find myself feeling caught in a weird time warp of sorts…you know when it feels like time is going fast and slow together? It’s weird but I swear I’ve seen myself feeling it throughout the week.

It was at almost the very beginning of last year when I figured what 2014 could look like and while it was certainly too early to be sure of what an entire year would thematically feel like, the feeling came along anyway. And it stayed. Whether it was because I chose to automatically sense and see the year by the way I had already defined it or whether its events unfolded such, is like the chicken and egg story. Almost. But it went along at the breakneck speed that it did and when I look back, it was most definitely as bittersweet as the day I realized that 2014 could potentially be bittersweet, thematically.

It was the year of the most significant and profound discoveries I had had the chance of experiencing; personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally and physically. Do you know that feeling, or that phantom feeling of standing at a cliff and taking that dive into nothing certain yet so certain as falling from a cliff into the sea? That was it. And it was bittersweet because the feeling of letting go (by force or by choice; with resentment or with contentment and happiness) is like jumping off that formidable cliff. You can scream and you will. But you’ll also leave behind the concrete world of certainty to enter the fluid world of possibility. There are no promises and there certainly weren’t any. But the need to jump off cliffs countless presented itself more than I had ever prepared myself for. Because who ever prepares for that plunge until and unless they’re standing face to face with it? What if you wake up one day and find it in your face? At that moment it’s hard to figure whether it’s bitter or sweet or just plain annoying. But you just have to do it, because you.just.have.to.

In the midst of it all, I lost the ability to write like I could before. It was anxiety-provoking. But then when you’re free-falling from a cliff, I figured that gathering your thoughts into coherent, expressible structures wasn’t exactly top priority; forget writing. At some point you need to stop fighting. I guess it all goes hand-in-hand with the concept of letting go? You take a leap and you snap all the strings you hold on to with the control-freak mania that you held on to them in the first place. They just snap. A lot snapped last year. And it was okay. It’s okay to deep-dive into the deafening silence of that sea of possibilities and shut your eyes till you can see again.

And when you’re the crazy control freak you know you are, it’s not always sweet. It’s not easy to let go. It’s not effortless to suddenly switch lanes and destinations altogether. It’s grueling to shut your eyes in the depths of an unfamiliar darkness and find your feet to float again; to let go and just trust that the universe has indeed got you; that you also do have a place here and that maybe things are happening for a weird, crazy reason after all.

From the cliffs I had to jump and chose to jump off, many involved the understanding of relationships, people, and of course, the many jagged edges of my self. A lot was taken away and a lot came my way in return. There’s a magical cause-effect, Newtonian law spin to almost everything, if you look at it. Maybe you already knew that and I hopped onto the bandwagon late, as usual. But like I said at the beginning, the discoveries were most significant and profound.

– Letting go. Because really, try it. We’re geared with more parachutes than we ever thought we had.
– Trust. Because there’s just no other way to be stronger than to trust; to begin with.
– Our Mind. Telling our mind that the best place to go rest it, resides in our heart. And that we’re not taking over its freaky need to control every single thing; that we’re just giving its worn-out egoistic feet some hearty wings to fly.
– Emotions. Understanding the rawness of emotions and their potency to take over if we don’t give them their required space in the spotlight or the faith that they really also are important.
– People. That they’ll come and go. Some will take your breath away in a way that has never made you feel more alive. That they’re there to take away your so called oxygen so you fight to breathe the really magical stuff to feel alive again. And that you should let them.
– Cliffs. They exist. Especially when all you think you see around is land and the convenience of comfort.
– Asking. Because you must. Even when you think you know.
– Love. Because it’s made up of all of the above; that you’re bound to experience it one way or another. And it.is.bittersweet. Really.

Like I said before, maybe you already knew all this and you’ve mastered the art of it all. But I’m just about floating now, in this weird, fluid time warp. :) So. Has what 2015 could feel like, made itself felt or clear to you yet? While it’s just the beginning of the year, I’m sticking to this one I found somewhere in Bangkok last week. And I’ll take it as a sign. :)


– Signs. Because they exist in the guise of floaters and parachutes just when the unfamiliarity of it all seems overwhelming enough to drown or fall or succumb.