#FakeNews

‘You look so beautiful.’ ‘ I am soooooo busy. ‘ ‘My marriage is perfect.’ ‘Of course I eat… yes… real food silly!’ ‘ The holiday was amazing!’ ‘My kids are awesome!’ – every lie we ever tell each other now becomes firmly stuck in the forever world of the internet. With filters and instagrammable hashtags it’s like we’re all living the perfect life…except we’re not! The picture perfect fairytale that we all seem so keen to show off is often anything but…

You don’t realise this till you get off the screen and actually meet your ‘friends.’ You don’t realise they’ve been up all night not partying but because their kids are sick. You don’t realise they are having lunch with you and not doing a double date because they want to talk about their marriage. You don’t realise they don’t eat because they are being fat shamed at the gym… You don’t realise a lot of things.

And yet you stay ‘friends.’

So what I have done is started meeting people offline… meeting and connecting and realising that everything may not be perfect- not for me and not for them and that’s ok. That’s what differentiates us. We can all have photographs with the same filters but life doesn’t come with filters and every photograph may not be perfect but it’s our experience and our lives and like my grand father used to say if life doesn’t have ups and downs how would you know you’re alive…

The meetings have been amazing. They have been real. They have been flawed. They have been perfect. And I gotta say I’m hooked! I’m more social than I have been… I’m making more real friends, having better conversations, caring more and feeling more and I’m actually connecting… not the Fb connect… but actually connecting and now the photographs we have at parties and get togethers don’t need the filters – cos they have memories attached … and that’s the coolest filter of them all.

P.s.(Palat says) #FriYay #NightWithFriends #ConnectInRealLife

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And stoop and build em up…

And the week went by uneventfully for most but for me it was a re-learning of sorts.

After weeks of walking like the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’ , I finally started walking straight and balanced again and then proceeded to show this basic skill to anyone and every one who’d watch me, often much to their amusement or annoyance (depending on whom I was showing it to)! Walking straight should come naturally to most , but for me it was an achievement that I was proud of.

And that’s when I realised how many of us take so much for granted till we lose the ability to do it. We often fail to celebrate the people we love and the things we can do and instead find fault with both. And then when we lose the ability to do something or lose someone in our life ; we then and only then understand the importance.

And in the spirit of things that I have learnt, I learnt lots from this Multiple Sclerosis Attack.

  • Value your body. It’s the only one you have and whatever you can do with it (even the bare minimum) is pretty darn amazing.
  • Connect with your family and friends. Say ‘I love you’ lots and give lots. Eventually all you have in life is for the relationships – so give them your all.
  • Don’t take your health lightly.Listen to your body. It’ll always be truthful to you.
  • Stop blaming yourself. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and any trial is just a lesson in disguise.
  • Smile, watch a comedy and refresh. Smiling is a lot healthier than stress is!
  • Party. When the world is turning upside down, get out and party. Don’t sit and mope. Get outside. Have a ball. The world is amazing! And tomorrow will always be a better day!

And we’re on to another weekend and the new week holds so much excitement with new hires, new jobs and new opportunities.

And yup, that’s another excuse to party!

P.s. (Palat says)-: Life is a celebration…or it should be. If it’s not, take a minute and remember – you are alive, you are amazing and you deserve awesomeness!

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I was never good at making friends. As gregarious and out going that I seem, most of it is a facade and those who know me know I am actually quite conscious of how I am viewed, worried about being judged by you and fiercely private about my thoughts and fears. Trust doesn’t come easily to me.

I started working at 16 and then became even more wary of ‘friends.’ They became transactional relationships. FRIENDS was a great concept on TV but for me that was it- fictional and a comedy- something that could not truly exist..

And then I changed.

Over the last few years I have started seeing people as different versions of me- each flawed, insecure, with their own set of fears, but just trying like I am to make the best of each day. And as I started seeing people for more than their Facebook profile/ status – I learnt that people could become more than humans who wandered in an out of your life- they could in fact become friends.

Now I’d love to give myself full credit for this realisation but in the spirit of honesty I must credit the husband , ever so little, for looking at my many flaws and loving them. When he peeled the many onion layers I had protecting me, and showed me that flaws aren’t all bad… I realised I could do the same for others.

Of course every so often you get a rotten , smelly onion- but I guess that’s the risk you take when you try to connect.

And in a world where we have more Facebook and Insta connections than real friends, I think you owe it to yourself to look for actual connections. Hate someone, love someone- but have some emotion for them!

P.s.. (Palat says)-: Connect. Offline.

alone

alone: being without anyone else, solitary

It’s hard to feel alone in a world where we’re so connected. Gone are the days where you waited for a letter from someone you loved, or worried when someone you cared about came home late. A quick email with more emoticons than words can connect people across the globe in milliseconds and a mobile phone call ensures we always know where the people we care about are.

And yet we’re alone.

The 4 page letter on perfumed stationary has become a 2 line email and those long weekend phone conversations with family across the world has now become more of a chore than a delight , with phone conversations often lasting no more than a minute- after all they’re ‘just a phone call away.’

And so despite the connections,we never actually connect. It’s like each of us have these long powerful networks of wires but to actually connect with someone else’s wires might cause an electricity spark and shut us down. We’re so scared about connecting, so scared to feel and if in case we are one of those ‘sensitive ones’ who actually have feelings, then we’re petrified about sharing them.

And why is that? Because in this new, technologically advanced world of ours, appearance is everything and each of us live every day realising the power of marketing that appearance. Boys are taught not to cry. Girls mustn’t cry either, especially if they want to make it in the Corporate world. And so each of us market the best possible side of ourselves to all that we meet and never ever actually connect and never ever ever share!

They used to say that a race horse with a broken leg had to be shot and in truth most of us are like wounded race horses still running , smiling, walking and even jumping despite some incredible pain.

To hold the pain inside is not brave. To share it is.

The last weeks suicides shocked several and made me sad. But this is something that’s been happening for years, just the prevalence is now at an all time high. As per police stats in Mumbai the number of lives lost every day to suicide is THREE! Those are 3 people who were scared to be judged by you, 3 people scared of not being ‘perfect’ and 3 people who just couldn’t smile anymore.

So maybe the next time you see a smile that doesn’t quite reach the eyes, ask what’s wrong and maybe the next time you feel like crying , you reach out to someone (friend, family, counselor) and just have a good, good cry.

I know it’s difficult but often what’s on the surface is very different to what’s inside and though we may quote ‘never judge a book by it’s cover,’ we never actually practice it! So before you tear someone down based on appearance or just based on ‘how they seem,’ take a moment. Just like I’m sure deep inside you’d like to be loved and respected for who you actually are and how you really feel- maybe they deserve the same as well!

Take the time today and try and actually connecting. Start getting to know someone and let someone new start getting to know you.

You may not be so alone then.

 

Living to LIVE! (my life can’t fit in 140 characters!)

So the Blackberry’s attached and you’re completely hooked up…there’s a wifi zone almost everywhere and wherever the .pdf’s are too small or difficult to read on your phone there’s the iPad or the laptop to keep you company. You know more now than you ever did about the world, peoples lives and even their bedrooms -you are TOTALLY IN THE LOOP and IN TOUCH but completely unconnected with the real world still!

Ironic! We spend more time responding to emails and more time updating statuses than picking up the phone and asking how someone is. Lives change over night but unless you put yours in a status update precious few even care!

Emails have to be answered immediately with no thought being given to personal lives or personal time! We’re completely in sync with everyone else’s lives but we’ve forgotten to live our own!

This realization hit me when a friend asked how I’d been….now this last few weeks have been un-fun(I know that’s not a word, but what the heck). Hospital visits, blood tests and doctors have dominated a lot of my life and unless you read in between the lines of my ‘oh-far-too positive for no apparent reason’ bb updates or status updates you would never know. I quickly updated her and she said…” hey! why didn’t you call?’ and then I realised I could have, should have, would have but in the mass of work emails and work commitments because well you gotta do all that crap NOW cos what are you connected for!?, I’d forgotten to connect with a real person…I’d forgotten to talk, to share my fears, to feel , to cry!

I realised I want to be more than just a ¬†Facebook friend…I wanna have friends I actually see! i don’t want to not recognise you cos you look so different in your FB Photo-I want to know how you really look…I want to know more than a 140 character twitter update cos your life is more important and so is mine…

In this mad rush of trying to live at the top of the rat race , I’d become just that – a rat! Only I’m sure since their not forced to remain connected all the time- they actually sleep, eat and maybe go out for a nibble of cheese or garbage to ‘JUST TALK!’