Friday, June 29, 2012

People. Just people.

Sometimes I think people forget that other people are just like them. Human. People. With stories and hearts and hurts and reasons. 

All of us. We're just people. 

I wonder if we'd relate to each other better if we remembered that. Instead of looking at each other as walking agendas, or time bombs, or obstacles. 

Recently I read Bob Goff's beautiful book, Love Does. It's one of those books that I might never lend out. Not because I wouldn't recommend it, but because I want to keep it within eye site at all times because it reminds me that people are people. And that there is good. And love, well, it does. 

In one of my favorite chapters, Goff tells the story of how his children wrote to world leaders and asked for a chat. A visit. It was post 9/11 and he had asked his three kids "...what would you ask them [the world leaders] to help make sense of life, faith, hope, and the events that are unfolding around them?" and his children responded 1. invite them over 2. ask what they were hoping for 3. if they wouldn't come for a visit, could we meet with them and do an interview to capture answers from question #2. 

So they wrote letters to all the world leaders, sent them off, and then started getting responses. And they went to visit world leaders. Bob Goff and his wife and three kids. A world road trip of sorts.

As people. 

{this story is much better told in Love Does. I'm summarizing, and can't help but share the story, but it is really worth the read. As is the rest of his book!! I bought the book myself... no one told me to write these words...}

Goff writes:

"Now, if the leaders were talking to grown-ups like me, they would talk about boring things like having more jobs, gross domestic product, better schools, and more roads. You know, the kind of stuff crafted for public consumption. But they weren't talking to me they were talking to our kids. Sweet Maria and I were just roadies carrying the cameras.
What would happen more often than not is that the kids would begin in an official reception room and have an official meeting with the leader. But then the leaders would realize these were just kids who had no agenda other than to be friends and they would invite us back to their private offices where they could just talk as friends. The kids would ask questions about the leaders' families, how they got into public service, and what their hopes were for the future. The Leaders would talk about their children and grandchildren, what they were doing when they were our kids' ages, and their dreams of friendship between people from our two countries."

People. Talking. Listening. 

I wish we could all keep that child like naivete that understands that there are important things to discuss, but that the most important things in life, like family, our hopes and dreams, are what bind us all together. And ask about those things. Not just the stuffy political stuff that - yes - matters... but we speak with compassion when we understand and remember that we each have hearts. We're just people. 

My favorite quote from the chapter, maybe even the whole book is,  "I want to live in a new normal where I can reach out to people who are different from me and just be friends."

Yes. Let's make that the new norm. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Child Brides of India.

It is May 2012.

The heat reflects off the untarred roads creating simmering images of the infamous Indian summers.

42 degrees. 43 degrees. 44 degrees.

You can have a safe bet on the temperature unlike the rupee, unlike the country's economy, unlike the country's GDP. It will never fail you.

In this heat, a cooler buzzes in a one-room house in the Shakurpur Basti. Occasionally, a goods train passes by while passengers wait for their locals. In this basti, I meet three women- all the faces of a common woman of India. Dressed in sarees as is still the tradition, their foreheads beautifully decorated with the symbolic bindi, they are mothers to little children, they are the wives to the men who remain out of their homes working, bringing whatever they can. There is another thread that ties these women together, I realize as I step out of one house and enter the other.

There were all child brides.

No fathers were punished. No grooms were punished. Nothing was reported.

No history comes out to haunt you even when you have committed a crime. No enquiries called for even when the brides shyly tell you that they were married off when they were 15 or 16 or 17. No one is accounted for.

Except for the bride.

Of course, some are happily married, as they say.

But, some of them, they have a little voice that hesitates when they talk about their marriage. It could be anything… and yet.

And, this is Delhi, the country’s capital that I am talking about.

I wonder what happens when a child is married off- what circumstances surround her, what people tell her about marriage. I fall in the "lucky women" category and for the most part of the rest of my life, I will fall in that category as will my daughters.

India will celebrate its 65 years of independence from Britishers. 15th of August will be another day when the schools will be off, offices will be closed, another speech by our Prime Minister, and another day come and gone. God knows, we still have lots to be freed from. Freedom from Britishers, comparatively, looks easy.

Yes! Our forefathers, the creators of independent India thought about us- their progeny. They thought about how we will live in an independent country, and they thought about what we will have to our discourse. They raided the constitutions of the developed worlds to write a Constitution of our own- a remarkable achievement, a symbol of pride, a heritage.

India, though, still continues to struggle with child marriages.

India- A country where more than one-thirds of all the world’s child brides live. 

India- A country where marriage is celebrated for what it is- an occasion to rejoice, a union of two souls into one, even if the bride is 16 and the groom 18. Even if the bride is 12 and the groom is 14. Even if the bride is 13 and the groom 18. Even if the bride is 17 and the groom is 30.

India- A developing country.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cozy Weekend Wishes.


Tonight, I plan on having such an awesome night, Morgan Freeman should narrate it. -Unknown

What are you guys doing on your weekend?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Letter to My Future Daughter- YOLO & Other Things

Hi baby,

The past couple of days have been plain tired. 

But, I feel so much better tonight. I am starting with my 18th book for this year. I just had my cup of green tea. It is helping me to cope better. I have a calmer head today. I went to the library. I meditated. They helped me, these things. 

I guess, my life is composed of such moments. 

Such as having an ice cream at the least expected hour. 

Singing without hesitations. 

Sending wishes to people. 

And, just being. 


I like this moment, when I have epiphanies hitting me like the first falling snow. It is like the little droplets of rain, which brush against your skin without hurting you, without offending you, just letting you know of their presence. 

It is like reading a good book- where you cry when your heroine cries, or laugh your heart out when something funny happens. It is like getting lost in a few words and reading them over and over and memorizing them because you know that those few words have changed your world already. 

Now, as this night ends and I know that I have knowingly shut myself from everyone, I feel like I am at peace. I am out of expectations, out of wants, and out of wanting to impress upon anyone. I am just me tonight. 

It is alright that I have tied my hair in a bun, crossing my legs, and writing everything that comes to my mind.  It is alright that I don't have to put on makeup, or my best clothes. I wear my most comfortable dresses, a pair of shorts, and my glasses. It is so much easy like this.  

I wish we brought ourselves to this kind of a moment whenever we wanted it. 

As we grow up, we lose so much. Trust me. It is a treasure if you can muster your courage to be silly even when you are twenty. I wish you never ever lose your inner kid. I hope that you can still enjoy jumping into a puddle when you see one. I hope you still like ice lollies when you are eighteen. I hope you still love to sing at the top of your voice even if they say you don't have a singing voice. I hope you can still snuggle in your bed in your pajamas, tousled hair, and yet enjoy yourself in every single moment you create. 

In the end, it is your life... your only chance to claim it, live it fully, love it fully...... (YOLO- as they call it these days)

Just be yourself.

Just that. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Advice Column: Tina L. Hook

Guest Advice Column is the place where we will bring people who are an inspiration to us and who have something to share with our crowd. This is the place where they offer tips, advices, and ways to let us keep swimming towards our dreams. 

And, today we bring to you our very first guest Tina L. Hook in our Guest Advice Column. (Boy! are we excited!!!)

Picture Used with Permission from Tina L. Hook
-Image Courtesy of Tina L. Hook

Tina is a generous writer, a great support, and a perfect blogger friend. She has got her first book published- Enchanted by Starlight. If that title doesn't make it alluring, we don't know what does! We asked Tina to share with us her experience as an author- how she managed to stay sane during those grueling months of writing and then later on publishing. 

Tina is one of those people who write with a sense of alacrity, rendering her readers with a vivid and live experience of her characters. We still remember her Disappearing Girl- a piece, which we go back to whenever we are struggling with words.   

We leave you with this amazing person and author. 

And, don't forget...

Enchanted by Starlight is now available on Amazon. In stores in July.

She also writes at (Fl) Girl with a New Life.

She is also available on Twitter and Facebook.
Writer for Life. My Best Advice. 

When Rathi asked me to write this post I was thrilled, and not because I deem myself to be anyone of great importance, because I don’t. Rather, I was thrilled because Rathi is an important part of my online writing community. I care about her words, and about the vulnerable soul she manages to express through them. I look forward to her comments on my blog each month, and savor the moments when she is inspired by what I have to offer. Rathi is part of the tribe that cheers me on and motivates me to keep writing, and that is something every writer needs.

"Solitude, competitiveness and grief are the unavoidable lot of a writer only when there is no organization or network to which she can turn."—Toni Morrison

When I think about the engine that powers me through my writing I often come back to this quote from Toni Morrison. While it is true that writing is a solitary act, it can be difficult to impossible to navigate it alone for the long haul. If you want to turn your writing into a life long pursuit, this is my greatest advice to you. Build a community.

Whether your writing tribe is an online community of many or an in-person group of two, writers benefit from the support of other writers. We hold each other accountable. We inspire one another to keep going.  When our own passions dim with self doubt, which they will, we can lean on the enthusiasm of our tribe to buoy us up again. And when the day comes when your work goes out live to the world, your writing community will be the first to devour it, celebrate it, and pass it along to their friends.

I should add here that building a writerly community is not a piece of cake. Creative people are sensitive creatures, and we don’t always react well to critique, even when it’s constructive. Add to that, we don’t always know how to deliver critiques in the way that they need to be heard—with gentle consideration. At times, unfortunately, we measure the success of another as a measure of our own inadequacy. For these reasons the members of your tribe will come and go. Some will come back and others never will. Don’t allow this to discourage you. Wish them well and continue your work.

Being as that we humans are insecure, we sometimes flock to groups where our work will be more easily praised instead of challenged, and wilt from writers we presume to be better than us. I say do the opposite. Embrace as many great writers as possible; they will become your mentors. Support the dreams of the fellow writers in your tribe, and they will return the favor.

Picture Used with Permission from Tina L. Hook
-Image Courtesy of Tina L. Hook

An excerpt from Enchanted by Starlight.


My name is Grace.  Tomorrow is my wedding day.

Staring across the dark waters of the Gulf, I am uncertain.  I am exhausted and hopeful.  I am both completely in love and irreparably heartbroken.

After these long months attending to the minutia, the black and white stationery, the elegant table settings, the tropical flowers, the chocolate dessert course—I suddenly find myself detached from it completely and, now, with the night sky rising up around me, I have surrendered myself to the deeper implications.  I am standing in the moment that has defined my life.  I am finally here and yet so much has been lost.

It was a delicious ache that lured me from my bed tonight, drawing me out beneath the cobweb of stars.  Liam’s memory teases me, calling from the water’s edge as if he might materialize there, simply by my wanting him to.  I thought for sure I had pushed him so far back into my mind that I had forced him away for good.  Still, as much as he has denied me, as much as I have refused my heart, it seems he is determined to make an impression on this day.  Agonizing really, how enduring love can be.  Even after you have packed it up and put it away, it is still there—always there, yellowing around the edges and begging you to turn its pages again.

Ask Tina your questions in our comments section. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

De-cluttering & Treasures

At least, once in our lifetime, we all have de-cluttered our bookshelves, our closets, our rooms, that garage that has more space for rows of boxes than for our car, the entire house, or maybe our life in general.

De-cluttering, like we all know, is throwing away things that you do not want to hold on to or that no longer matter — a photograph of an ex-boyfriend who didn’t treat you well, discount coupons that have way passed their ‘valid upto’ dates, and business cards of people you have no chances of needing them again whatsoever.

In my case, it was a file folder of newspaper cuttings and a bag of countless newspapers from last year. I thought back to the time when reading the morning newspaper was as important and pious to me as reading the Bible or the Quran would be for some people. Newspapers were my ‘holy book’. There were newspaper cuttings on politics, foreign policies, anti-corruption bills, nuclear energy, environment, and academics. Opinion articles comprised an altogether different set of the clutter. Those articles and stories had once informed me and inspired me to form an opinion and speak my mind.

Among the bundles of newspapers, I found an old bracelet. Embedded on it were tiny green beads of glass. It was a gift from a friend in the seventh grade. I remember her vividly. Her tall physique, fair skin, and lustrous brown hair had made her look like an Anglo-Indian though she was not one.  She was the one close friend I had in the sixth and the seventh grades. She transferred schools after the seventh grade and we lost touch. I also found two long lost journals wherein I had endlessly rhymed away. Those journals brought back memories of the time when I would get up from my bed in the middle of the night because a possible-Grammy-Award-winning-song had just popped into my head.

I got rid of the newspaper cuttings on politics and other stuff even if reading about them had once been my passion. Somehow, articles on environment and academics still found a place in my now-cleaned bookshelf.

De-cluttering makes you strong because you throw away things (often without a second thought) that once seemed to matter the most. At first, it might feel like you have fewer things now or fewer choices because the place is no longer crowded. But, suddenly that one problem you had been running away from seems to untangle on its own. 

Suddenly your writer's block flies away. Suddenly you know how to tell your boss that you want to resign. Suddenly you realize that gardening is your hobby. Suddenly you are willing to open your heart to a new love and to love fearlessly. Somehow, a cleaner bookshelf or closet makes life seem simple.

We all have the capability of de-cluttering our bookshelf, our closets, or our lives. We just need to be in the right mood. Until we are in the right mood, we will continue to dig for our favourite pair of trousers in that heap of clothes. But, the good news is if you have de-cluttered before, you will de-clutter again. If you haven’t ever, you will someday be in the right mood. The ‘right mood’ could be — running away from problems; having nothing to do; being unemployed; or going through quarter-life crisis.

Most of the time we believe what we collect is treasure. We, therefore, lock it up and bury it somewhere deep only to discover it later after some digging. Not all treasures bring cherishment when discovered; not all treasures are precious just like not all that glitters is gold.

De-cluttering teaches us that we can still survive if something is taken out of our lives, that what we think of as our oxygen is merely a fog that needs to be lifted for us to see ourselves clearly. De-cluttering also teaches us that there is sure to be at least one thing that we will choose to keep for good.

I kept the bracelet. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

No Negativity

There's a farmer's market down the road from our house every Saturday morning. It's held at a small church, in a picturesque setting of old town New England... across from a river, nestled among houses with historic date plaques. 

Last weekend my daughter and I walked over to find some strawberries and lettuce. She wasn't impressed with the selection (because at nearly four she's a produce guru...) and she ended up walking over to a tent that was empty of bodies but held a vast display of tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts, bumper stickers, patches... all with the word "negativity" held within a big red circle and a line crossed through. No Negativity. 

There was an entire booth at our farmer's market dedicated to being positive. 

The guy manning the booth eventually made his way back from wherever he was, and started in on his spiel. I know it well. Each moment is a gift, and we have a choice to make. We can think positive, or think negative. And no good can come of negative thoughts. Think positive. 

I nodded my head and made a comment that each second is a choice, second by second. The sun rises every day without our help. Without our negative thoughts. But with our positive thoughts it becomes an event, a breathtaking moment that we can embrace. 

And then he nodded, saying he'd never heard anyone put it like that. 

We bought a sticker, and a pin. Paige wanted a hat, but they didn't have any in her size. And we walked away, thankful for the reminder. But a little sad that we need a booth at a farmer's market to remind us to choose positive thinking. 

In any case, I'll happily spread the sentiment. 

Personally I think, and know, it makes a difference. 

Your Family.

Weekend flies. 

That is about as much I would like to write about weekends. They are fast, they are usually late, and they are always gone by the time I realize what just happened. 

Monday mornings are not usually my best time of the week. I am more disheveled than I am on any other day of the week- except maybe Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. 

I had an entrance test this Monday. I was petrified, disgusted, and "disheveled". I sat in my room, trying to breathe, deeply in, deeply out, as the numerous yoga lessons have taught me to. That is when I heard my dad speaking English with someone on the phone. 

It was remnants of the language- broken, out of tense, and "disheveled".

It could have been any other emotion that could have set off the tears but, I think it is the emotion of extreme proud that brought them down. 

All that weekend, I was trying to get my autobiographical statement ready for my application form. I had to write about the 24 years I had lived, studied, failed, won, laughed, cried. I had to write about what social and economic background I had come from. I had to write about my family background. 

Everything that I had to write in my application happened in front of me... on a Monday morning. 


My parents are not the alumni of the best schools or best colleges. They do not belong the "hip" crowd. They speak broken English and they are the regular "middle class" people. 

But, they are the ones who sent their children to the best schools and then to the best colleges so their children don't lose out on belonging to the "hip" crowd.

They are the ones who have sacrificed their little happiness to get us what we "wanted" the most. 

They are the ones who spend without qualms on our clothes, books, hobbies... they will never have anything for themselves. 

They are the ones who work the same job for twenty-six years because they have to provide for a family.

They are the ones who scold, yell, and then display an act of compassion beyond comprehension. 

They are the ones who sit through the nights, taking turns while their children have the poxes, jaundice, and mumps. 

They are the ones who get hurt easily.

They are the ones who continue to work hard even when they hit their fifties. 

They are the ones who will speak broken second language, who will wear pants with the wrong shirts, who will laugh like children at the stupidest of jokes, and who will probably never know how darn proud their children are of them. 

Every family has their story- a set of parents who are wild, weird, trying, tumbling, then rising again. A set of parents who worry about the hike in the vegetable prices, laugh about their children's adventures. A set of parents who never spoke about their "big dream". 

And, I realized that all of this, everything that you have known about your parents, everything you have learned from them, all of that will only remain a part of you. It will probably get reflected in our parenting- when we tell our children not to worry about their sudden excursion from the school, or when we ask them to sit through the dinner, chewing exactly 32 times. 

All this cannot be written in a hundred words, or in six lines, or even in one page. 

But, it will always be written in us... 

Tell us what you love about your family.

Friday, June 15, 2012



Bring back the  flip flops, the lawn sprinklers, the green leaves, and the fiery blossoms. 

Bring back the scents of the sea, the little whispers of the summer breeze, and the long evenings. 

There is the sudden change in the weather, the sudden drizzles, the welcoming evenings, and the endless sunlight. I think I like summers. 

My soul sets out seeking freedom in the summers. I can see more than just my fingers and feet... I can drink more water, spend more time in the shower, more of everything that winters had prohibited me to do. Cotton shirts and shorts. Hair tied up. Water melon juice trickling greedily from your mouth. Romanticism of the upcoming monsoons. 

I love freedom from the layers of warm clothes. I love the remnants of the deodorant that escapes into the air when you raise your arms. I love the luke warm water that needs no heating, the trees in full bloom, the bliss of the power coming back, and the sweet, melodious, whirring of the ceiling fan. I love the ringing melody of the ice cream truck. And, i love how everyone around knows in their heart that the first topic they will discuss is the heat. 

Then, there is the sea- mocking in its distance, alluring like a beautiful woman, challenging with all its might. Sun. Sand. Sea.

Summers are probably like your best friends. Giggling at the littlest of jokes that no one else understands, pretending to be cool when everyone else is running along the same lines, working hard to let your dreams live.  

You want it more because it brings more. 

What do you love about summers?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I have them. You betcha. And I'll share.

When Rathi asked me to contribute here, I kind of jumped for joy. You see... I write a lot. But mostly in my head. And to actually sit down and pour thoughts out onto a page when there is no deadline or subject matter, well, it doesn't happen much these days!

So I will come here and spill some Oh! Dear Giggles with you all, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to do so. Because, I have plenty of Oh! Dear Giggles in my days...

I have them when I walk my beloved Atlantic coast with my babies... dipping our toes into the breath stealing cold of the ocean.

I have them when my husband comes home from work at the end of the day, when my five year old hides in the coat closet with a hand made mask and jumps out when his daddy comes in the door shouting "BOO!" and actually scares the living daylights out of his old man!

I have them when it's quiet, and there's no one to stop me from feeling the joy of alone. Of peace. Of silence.

Image Copyrighted

And I most certainly have Oh! Dear Giggles moments when a stranger compliments and asks about my single wave tattoo that wraps around my right wrist.

My Oh! Dear Giggles moments happen on a daily basis. When I can silently help someone, or see someone else helping another in a quiet way. A door held. A bit of litter picked up. A painted rock left for someone who needs to find a treasure.

And that is what this place right here is. A treasure. Thank you ladies for making this site, for bringing these moments, these feelings, these life lessons and treasures out in the open for us all to enjoy. Thank you for having me here!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Graduation Goggles.

Graduation goggles. The relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even if the time was completely miserable.

The tiny, irritating, pervert boss now looks like a caring brother.

The 'dashing rival' who had always wanted to be one step ahead of you, finally breaks down, and shies away from a hug.

The 'stalker-much' says the most kind words and when it is all said and done, you give him a hug and that leaves him blushing red.

The 'next-cubicle' friend tears up; hides herself in the bathroom when it is time for her to say a few words.

The mister 'know-it-all' smiles coyly, winks, and says bye in an affectionate gesture.

And, you stand there amazed at how the events have turned out. It was but a month ago when you had submitted your resignation, feeling a feeling of absolute freedom rising in your guts, signaling the beginning of a fresh start. There you were, singing tunes you thought you had long fogotten. You were feeling the turn of events, how things were in the beginning and how they have eventually turned out to be.

In the present moment, you don't want to remember the backbiting, you don't want to think about the moments when you were made to feel like an outsider, you don't want to remind them the ascent of this team, and you don't even want to talk about the party that you still need to throw.

All of that is set far back- like in a time machine, to be touched only when this day, this moment is over.

Because, today it is about the people who made you laugh till you were hurting in your belly; it is about the inseperable moments which line up one after the other; it is about the witty comments that fly in the air like saucers in a family fight. Mostly, it is about the feeling of losing something that can’t come back until after another resignation.

When the graduation goggles are back in full force.

Share your graduation goggles moments with us in the comments section. 

Have a great day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why They Love to Hate a 'Fat' Aishwarya

The latest target of body fascists is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan— Former Miss World and an actor in the Indian Film Industry.


A video of postnatal Aishwarya on Youtube has gone viral. The unique selling point of the video is pictures of a ‘fat’ Aishwarya with elephant sounds in the background. The narrator in the video says: “Instead of losing some flabs after the baby’s delievery, she put on some weight.”

Because Aishwarya is being talked about a lot everywhere, let us talk about body fascists here.

Who are body fascists?

Body fascists are people who treat, speak, and think of others with condescension. They have an eye for every flaw, every blemish, every pound you gain, every tone you move up or down the shade scale, and every stretch mark. They look at you as if you were a taboo. They are the biggest cheerleaders of your low self-esteem and your insecurities about your body.

What do body fascists do?

Body fascists make their arguments and comments in such a way to make you end up believing those to be as natural and as real as sunrise. After all, why did Aishwarya put on weight instead of losing some flabs? With every remark, they expect a response, a reaction, or a fan following. They are the mirror you would not like to look into. Because no matter what you do, you will always be a little fat, a little anorexic, a little short, a little tall every time you look in that mirror.

Where do you find them?

My first encounter with body fascists was while I was in my sixth grade. I was a dark-skinned kid, shorter than most kids in my class. I vividly remember how the kids in class made fun of me because I was not fair enough like they were. Some nights I would howl myself to sleep because hurtful remarks by kids can be among the meanest things in the world. I could never figure out why they would be so mean to me. They were the people I would help with their class work and home assignments. Then why would they be so mean to a friendly, ever-helpful classmate like me?

My encounter with such people grew all through middle school and high school years. I had a “frenemy” who did not miss any chance to make me feel that I was ugly and that I could never have a boyfriend.

Body fascists are ubiquitous. You will find them in the guise of classmates you have known since your primary school; or the high school frenemies you have lost touch with or are still in touch with; random people on streets with just the perfect amount of body fascism in them; ex-boyfriends who kept you in the hiding because they were too embarrrassed to introduce you to their friends and family or to be seen with you in public. You will find them as part of the social messages you are receiving everyday through advertisements.

You will find them out in the open because body fascists are not ashamed of themselves.

Why body fascists hate you?

A few years ago that “frenemy” from high school saw a few of my pictures on a social networking site and said –‘You have grown so thin.’ Her tone was clear. She did not mean slim-thin. She meant sick-thin. I never understood why she thought I was sick-thin until I saw her pictures. She had gained a few more kilos since school ended. That was when I understood why she ‘hated’ me. She ‘hated’ my body to cover up her flabby arms and thighs and her double chin.

People make fun of others so that they could take their mind off their own bodies, their flaws, their messed up lives, their mean bosses, their uncaring lovers, their unambitous career choices, their lack of true friends and their loneliness.

People make fun of others so that they could feel good about themselves. Moreover, the easiest way to make fun of other people is to make fun of how they look.

What you can do?

You can make a decision. You either go with the wind or swim against the tide.

Going with the wind means being another mean person. If somebody makes you feel bad about yourself, you will immediately want to feel good about yourself. The easiest way to do that is to put somebody else down. She hates my dark skin; I will hate your long nose. It is a vicious cycle.

Swimming against the tide means:

“This is reality, this is who I am, I am a mother, this can happen, and it happened with me and it is fine. That’s life you know, I have never been the one who endorsed size zero anyways.” – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

“Oh! It wasn’t that they simply retouched my image — they completely stretched it so I looked like I was 6 feet tall and a size 2. I’m a size 6 or 8 these days.” – Kate Winslet.

“The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.” – Ashley Judd.

In other words, swimming against the tide means standing up for your bones and your skin, for your hair and your eyes, for the extra flabs under your arms and for the freckles on your face.

Swimming against the tide means sending out a message to all the haters out there -- This is MY body. If you hate something that is not yours, it only means that you are not spending enough time loving what is yours.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Courage. Tomorrow.

Your muse has been missing or something like that.

It is just like one of those rough days when your brain is too clogged to keep your thoughts in order. Having the attention span of squirrel is not easy. Trust Me.

It just takes minutes of self assessment, constant scratching your head and just a few packets of potato chips to realise; you never actually had a brain.

A big blow that it is, you actually know life is over for you, that you are just another loser, without a valid college degree, without love and let’s just forget about that job.

And then, you just wish, at that very moment, if only you had a Darcy in your life. Or even a Edward Cullen would do just fine.   

And thousands of tears swarm from your eyes, wetting your pillow, in the silence of the midnight. You do hear the mild howls from a distance and so, you shut your eyes, tight, and tighter because, let’s face it, in real world, there are no vampires and there certainly is no Edward Cullen coming to your rescue.

In that gut wrenching midnight, there is not a soul knowing you exist, knowing that you are scared and probably for the first time in your life, you would love to have a hug more than a pizza.   

When you wake up the next morning, you realise you had been drooling the whole night, and the saliva has left some of its remnants on your already contoured face. Your tired puffy eyes, your messy, rough hair, your faded jammies, and your potato chips shaped butt are no heart warmers.

You get ready, always ready, like yesterday and probably like tomorrow, rush out the door, running behind the stupid bus, and you break your heel without breaking your fall.

With bruised knees and scratched palms, you sit on the sidewalk, teary eyed, watching the other people rush through you, just like you are invisible. At that moment, everyone in the world looks happy, looks their best- the best dress, the best heels, the best i- phones, just the best.

At work, your boss yells at you, you lose your day’s pay, you start to work feeling cold stares and grins on your back. In the lunch break, they just run out of everything you can eat. With the anger and hunger, both dominating equally, you curse in your head.

You curse your life, the sexy girl who got the promotion you deserved, you curse the transportation in your country, you curse your hair because it just can’t set right, you curse yourself for being such a loser, you curse that boy who broke your heart, you curse the jerk who left you standing all alone in the street, you curse God, you curse the government, you curse the backlog files, you curse what you see, hear and smell.

Back home, you sit all by yourself, watching an episode of Glee- life is a musical for the moment, and you feel like you can still pull it through, you can suck it up, just tomorrow. Tomorrow.


Because even when you wake up with a pounding heart and you feel like quitting, you get ready, once again, like yesterday and probably like tomorrow. Because, courage isn’t only seen in a war. It is present as much when you are saying NO to the evil chocolate over oatmeal, when you are getting up every morning to work, when you are sitting all alone when everyone else is with their friends, when you wake up to pee at one in the night even with that mild howling, and when lying on your bed, you take a deep breath and say, ‘Everything’s gonna be fine tomorrow.’

Courage. Tomorrow.
And you realise, your muse isn’t lost after all. 

I had originally written this post for my other blog but i thought, what the heck!!!

ODG Beliefs #1

Lesson learned today: Don't delve on the judgments of others.

We are all different and in that we are all the same. I have been having this very weird feeling that sometimes I let others influence me more than they should. 
How this lesson was learned-

I had been seeing someone from my work. 

Now, this someone has been with this organisation for a very long time. Long time here means eight freaking years. (I know!)

We often ended up discussing about our work and how things are so crazy and why we still worked here when nothing was the same as before. We would talk about the employees, how they had been skipping benches when the management changed hands, how people are no longer ethical anymore. At first, it seemed like these were regular discussions- discussions which helped you understand the reason why things are changing so rapidly. We all want someone to understand us. (Boy! how wrong I was.)

In my defense, there was reason to trust this person- to think that maybe he was right after all. Eight years in an organisation teaches you certain things... you start knowing about your co-workers as you know your family.   

Once the call is done with and when I would prepare for the night, I would think about all that has been said and done. I would go to work the next day knowing all the dirty secrets and then people will no longer be normal people anymore. They will have an imaginary tag hung around their necks with their little secrets written over it. And, I would sulk every time I had to talk to a colleague who was the topic of our discussion the night before. I could no longer have a regular conversation, no longer maintain that I am just here to learn about my work, no longer maintain that my work was completely professional.

One day, you are hearing things from someone and the next day, you are the one talking about the very same things. Consciously or unconsciously. It doesn't matter because once the secrets come out, they are out. It didn't make me feel any better about myself. Did it?

Besides, I didn't want to sit through a meeting with my seniors already decided upon their character or their efficiency. I wanted to do that once I had talked with them, once I had decided how they have behaved with me. I wanted to respect my seniors and I could have done that only when I had made my own assessments. 

There has to be someone whom we look up to at our work, someone whom we can admire, someone whom we can appreciate. After all, when you are 24, you need a role model everywhere you go. 

There is another lesson learned here- not to date people from work. But, that is completely another story. 

I am no longer seeing that person and I am feeling good about it. This couldn't have gone any longer because it was not right. I am not going to delve on the judgments of others because I can make my own judgments. (Thank you!) 

Have a great day. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

this weekend.

saturday night. 

cup of green tea. 


shades of gray. by carolyn reeder.

my idea of a perfect weekend night. 

yes! i would like to see how a bar looks like. i would like to have beer on tap and dance till my feet hurt. until i would have to remove my shoes and sit down for a moment to catch my breath. but, the thing is i have never been to a discotheque let alone a bar. 

and, the only beer i have ever tasted is a canned non-alcoholic beer. 

but, i love weekends where i could be all alone. sitting by the apartment window where i could see the city moving constantly. it does not slow. and, yet it does not stop. 

i am reading shades of gray. a book on american civil war. 

i sip through cups and cups of green tea. my clear drink. it clears my head, makes me see the present, and all the abundance in it. and, as the sun enters my apartment, slow and golden, it reflects on every wall. 

my own landscape. in the middle of the city. 

this coming week is going to be full of events.

1. this 13th will be my last day at work.
2. i will be taking an entrance exam on 12th.
3. i need to go to the library.
4. i have to submit my application form.
5. i have to start with my yoga routine.
6. need to go for morning walks. 
7. write a review for 'the rope walk'.
8. study. study. study.

so, all i have is this weekend. 

to breathe. to rest. to live. 

next week, all this peace will be forgotten. there won't be any time to imagine and for dreaming. 

so here's to this weekend. 

have a great day everyone.