I’m weird!

I’m a little weird and I know that most of you who know me will think that this is a glaring understatement. But I think , in the most part, so are each of you!

This week was a mixture of emotions. With the looming doctor visit today, the week had a sense of foreboding and horror. The start of the week though seemed promising- we had the premiere of ‘The Joker’ to watch. An unbelievable performance shone light on a character’s incredible personal turmoil and struggle and desire to be accepted. In all his strangeness , eventually he desired to be seen and , if possible, loved. And isn’t that in a way, each one of us, don’t we mask our imperfections with a mask/ filter. We colour of thoughts with politically correct words thinking it will make us more liked and accepted.

Aren’t we all in one way or another wearing a disguise?

And then I realised that the one thing I have learnt over the years is to allow myself to feel, to be vulnerable, to yell and to shout and to cry. And this who know my weirdness also know my many, many flaws. Sure , it may be better to hide them; but really what is the point?

I’ve realised no matter how much you change or try- some people won’t like you and no matter how hard you become the person you think they want you to be nothing changes.

But if you look hard enough, you’ll find your people. They will be weird , in different ways, but they will accept you. And when you do find them, learn and allow them to be who they are, so you each can grow, learn, accept and be stronger.

With ‘The Joker’ I looked inside of me. And with the rest of the week that followed, I learnt that I can’t be everything to everyone. I can just be me and that’s ok too!

P.s. (Palat says)-:The week has been a roller coaster… I’m hoping tonight’s doc visit ends on a win… But nonetheless I’m out partying tonight! What am I celebrating…? I’m celebrating making it thru another week! And that’s awesome!

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Sour Puss & Kotak Mahindra Bank

So off to the bank we went. Adulting is hard even when you are older. It seems everyone and here, by everyone you really mean your parents,- can do stuff way better than you! How they got so good at fixing everything is beyond me… but I decided let’s give it a try and handle some bank work on my own!

It seemed simple enough… we were paying money back to a bank- an absolutely unheard concept for most but since the amounts weren’t sufficient for us to do a Mallya or Modi and buy a new citizenship, rant about the fact that we ‘wanted to pay a debt back’ on twitter and afford a mansion in Europe- I figured let’s get out of debt. So off we were to Kotak Mahindra Bank, and sitting in front a sullen woman , who seemed unhappy that work was being given to her on a day she’d rather eat lays and glower. My chirpy (yes that happens occasionally) attitude annoyed her and she moved us away from her line of vision and then recommended (and I use the word kindly) that we leave. But we want to pay back a debt , we informed her. Well, the paper work was going to be an issue- i.e. she hadn’t printed them out yet , so may be we could take our selves out and come back later. While we changed schedules around to accommodate her, a gentleman who looked worn and tired brought paper work to her. “That’s it , right Ma’am, I’m done? Loan free?” Sour puss (my name for her) glared at him as if he’d broken the system by doing his own printouts and then grudgingly said yes. We congratulated him but the poor man was almost in tears– ” it’s been so hard…. just to give them the money and close the loan ,” he said.

And that’s when I realised. Every day we have a choice- a choice on how we are viewed. This man had probably taken a loan for his dream home. Today should have been the happiest day of his life- now that his home was finally his and yet she chose to make it hard on him. Instead of being his supporter, his cheerleader and his helper- she chose to vilify herself.

We get a choice every single day to make an impact on someone’s life- to make a difference. That difference can be either negative or positive- but the choice is solely ours.

Your life impacts others. Your choices impact them. Your behaviour impacts them. We can’t live selfishly unless we’re in a box. When you converse with someone don’t just turn up- actually show up. Be present and be aware of your impact.

So what happened to my interaction with Sour Puss? Well she pushed us out of the branch and we returned (more because of that gentleman’s warning). She remained sullen and upset when we now had done the hard job of print outs for her. She made us sign all the wrong sheets for her own record and had to then spend the next day coming to our office and correcting all her mistakes.

She made an impression on me but like the gentleman earlier- she made a terrible one. But she also inspired me to start being present during my interactions with people because I want all those that I meet to feel that I am present and that I want to be there. In a terribly negative situation, I learnt something…though more often than not I wish you could just learn life lessons from fortune cookies… not miserable encounters 🙂

P.s. (Palat says)-: Be grateful for the people you meet. Learn from them- not just what to do but what never to do.

26/11- Moving forward

I had written another post for today and was about to post it when I felt i should write about something that’s been so important to me for the last 4 years.

4 years ago today our city was besieged by terror attacks and for the first time in my life-I was scared, unsure of tomorrow and afraid to step outside. I didn’t sleep for days and when I did, I dreamt of blood, gore, screaming and fear. With the help of my friend Mr. Sivanandan and my encouraging husband – I set about to interview survivors and their families. I needed to find something positive from all the death,destruction and sorrow of that mindless massacre.

And every year , we’ve been going to different continents and telling people about our stories, our survivors, our heroes-names you’ve never heard of, people you’d pass by on the street but people who showed exemplary courage in the face of senseless rage and irrational hate and survived those 48 hours. Every year I’ve re-interviewed a few, re-assessed where they are and asked them how they feel and kept in touch. And telling the stories made a difference- not just to those we told it to…but to each one of us and giving the proceeds away made us feel that we were in some way, able to help contribute to a change.

Men and women died that night protecting one another. People survived using skills they didn’t know they had, calling on bravery they didn’t know they possessed. And we went on. We should have learnt from them. We can still learn.

Instead of inculcating fear, we must learn to live- not to just survive and go but to understand and to appreciate the value of life- yours and the people around you. We must focus on the moment and have faith in ourselves and in others because help can come from the most unexpected sources and it’s never hard to just do good and be nice.

We were all chosen to survive because of those who gave up their lives instead. But life is about making positive changes and trying to make your life count and the only way we can do that is making every moment of our lives make a difference – to ourselves, to those around us.

It’s 26/11 again now…and it’s four years later. Ask yourself- Have you made a change? If you haven’t… it’s not too late…! Next year- same time- I’ll check in!

26/11- Never Forget!

ps-: i love you ADITYA!

i still remember this day 5 years ago. i was crying incessantly after a sleepless night and the makeup just wouldn’t stick with the tears. ravi, the makeup dada kept trying to pacify me saying ” he’s a good guy…don’t worry!” and yet the tears kept flowing…

i have no idea why i kept weeping but the idea in indian society of the girl leaving her home is so prevalent and my love for soapy hindi love stories so incredible; that it just seemed the right thing to do and the only way weddings were started! my eyes didn’t dry till much later that evening where after 2 weddings and lots of kibbe from souk at the taj i collapsed in an exhausted heap in to bed!

i didn’t want to be married. i was still commitment phobic and it still took me almost 8-9 months to introduce you as my husband….i just said …and “that’s my…..–aditya”- when being asked to introduce you!

cut to 5 years earlier where you first asked me to date you…my only question was if that would be exclusive? if it were to be exclusive , i would have to only go out with you…would that really even work???

i was a commitment-phobe and you were my best friend. i had loads of boys after me…but very few who were as important to me as you were…did i really want to risk that?? i was bad at relationships but a really good friend…i was scared!

cut to 5 years prior to that. i had never laid eyes on you but heard about you as mr. sydenham and a hottie. you were competition in a theatre festival during malhar. you walked up to me in the middle of the quad and said ” hi,i’m aditya. and you have beautiful eyes!”

i remember glowering at you for trying to get my defences down. i remember scurrying away shielding myself from random women glaring angrily at me wanting to scream out- ” i don’t know him…he’s competition… p.s.- i may even hate him!”

it’s been 15 years and you’ve stuck it out with me through my madness ( which there is a lot), my commitment phobia (which doesn’t seem to bother you) and my bluntness (which i seem to be proud of cos i never seem to change)—and these are my positive qualities!

so today on our 5th anniversary i must say…i didn’t wake up crying. i’m very much exclusive and  i’m proud that you are my husband. we’ve been through many downs together and we’ve made highs of some awful lows. i never thought it’s be wise to date my best friend , forget marry him… but you seemed to know what we were doing and i’m glad i trusted one person ( YOU!) with my life!

you make me a better person…you make me smile more…you make me laugh more… you made me learn how to love!

and i…..

well i…keep your life interesting 😉

here’s to the next 100!

and ps-: i love you!

what no one ever told you about love (and what you might as well learn!)

so it’s moo- day again! ( moo- cos it’s the monday morning blues!— the MOO’S!)

so yup the mush-pot in me writes yet another blog post about love….but here’s the thing i’m writing about some of my life or no…LOVE lessons! 2o-some things u can learn from me… and my mistakes/ adventures! 😉

Lessons you learn about love! (sorry aditya …again, for using our life as fodder for my blog!)

  1. guys like the chase…they may say the don’t….but they do….! another fact- most girls like to be chased as well!
  2. the chase mustn’t stop once you get with the guy/ girl…keep the chase going…the journey becomes more interesting!
  3. men and women sleep at different times! to sleep at the same time…you have to re-program yourself and most times you still end up staring at the ceiling!
  4. you can never go too big when it comes to expressing your love. you can go too small….
  5. saying ‘i love you’ is often more of a big deal for men than it is for women
  6. the first year of marriage is hard…it involves long nights yelling, plate throwing and tons of temper tantrums…once you get thru year 1…you’re too tired and too broke to continue the madness! 😉
  7. find stuff that you can both do together… it’s important to share common interests!
  8. laugh…. it’s important to not take every criticism seriously or every comment to heart!
  9. go on dates…you don’t’ have to stop woo-ing once you get the girl… keep the woo-ing alive!
  10. you may not love the people he/she loves …but you gotta hate the ones they hate!!! that makes them know that you’re on the same side!
  11. fight! fight’s are good! they help you retain your individuality ….at the same time de-stress you!
  12. play. play a game , a sport, a board game… something… but play together!
  13. dress up nice…not just to go out for a party but to impress your partner…even if you’ve been with him/ her forever!
  14. make your partner your best friend…it’s tough and it involves spilling lots of ‘blackmailable’ secrets and him/ her laughing at you quite a bit…but it’s worth it to make a new best friend and one that will stick with you forever!
  15. a little call saying ‘i love you’ in the middle of the day can brighten up a rough day….so pick up that phone!
  16. it’s nice having someone you can do nothing with!
  17. marriage is a great option when you think of rising petrol prices… no more dropping your date home 😉
  18. not all women love kids and not all men hate them!
  19. men cry
  20. creating comfortable living rooms often make the threat of ‘ur sleeping on the couch’ pretty useless!!!!
  21. don’t change for anyone… and never give up on anything that makes you feel you’ve ‘compromised’ …else you’ll always dream of the person you were and always regret the things you gave up….so don’t…
  22. love must make you feel good about yourself…else there’s no point in being in love!
  23. the day he raises his voice, get help….the day he raises his hand- GET OUT!