What I’ve learnt so far…(love, relationships,women and men!)

So I was listening to the Sunscreen Song…a fave of mine whenever I’m down! And before you ask why….I am overtired and overworked and sometimes an instant pep up is in order…! The song got me thinking….I love relationships, love and dispensing advice ;-)…so maybe i should list out some of the things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Love has got to make you smile…if there are more tears than cheers…you are in the wrong relationship!
  2. Women cry when they get hurt…men may not…that doesn’t mean what you say doesn’t hurt them!
  3. Dates are important…never let the woo-ing period ever end….even when the honeymoon does!
  4. Life is hard- cut yourself a break sometimes!
  5. Smile- even if you have nothing to smile about…just smile…it’s better than a caffeine pick up (and with my love for coffee if I’m saying that-it must be!)
  6. Whenever you’re going thru a bad day…there’s probably someone who’s going thru worse…so still count ur blessings!
  7. We’re all equally scared and doing things for the first time- women and men- it’s not that either sex is less scared; it’s just that certain people hide their worries a little better!
  8. Travel. See the world. Learn how amazing it is. The magnificence and largeness of the world makes you understand how you are just a small part of something incredible.
  9. You don’t know what someone else is going through… so give them a break if they seem unreasonable sometimes. You probably seem unreasonable to some people too!
  10.  Celebrate everything- the wins, the losses and everything in between.
  11. Care for at least one person more than you care for yourself. And don’t expect that back. Just care – cos you do!
  12. It’s never too late to start over.It’s never too late to change career path, life, relationships, anything. Follow your heart.
  13. Believe. Even when it seems impossible- believe.
  14. You are younger today, than you will ever be- enjoy it.
  15. Find friends. Make friends. Be a friend.
  16. Say ‘I love you’ to those you love for absolutely no reason at all. It makes you both feel good.
  17. Any conversation you have could be the last you have with that person… so be careful with your words.
  18. Write your angry emails and then save them to drafts. Go back to them later, read them to somebody- and only then send them.
  19. Show up or don’t be there…. Don’t just turn up. Give something your full focus else don’t be there…
  20. You are much more beautiful / handsome than you think you are!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I am trying to focus on a few of these this week… will let you know how it goes. And yuppp I did tone down the angry email before I sent it !

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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.

You don’t define me

How do we stop others from defining who we are? In a large part, what we think of ourselves comes from what others think of us. This starts when we’re much younger. “Oh you’re so clever,” a teacher might say. Or “she’s so pretty,” a mother might say. And these adjectives then become in a large part who we think we are. It’s like these opinions are our mirror and we see ourselves through other people’s eyes.

What happens then when a boss says “he/ she is more driven than you” Or a friend says “you’re not built to do xyz.” There are 2 ways to deal- 1. Roll over and let whoever that is , with their limited vision define you. Or, 2. Go ahead and do whatever you believe you can achieve. Sure, 2 sounds amazing in theory- but it’s hard and there will be millions of moments where you’ll let yourself down, where you’ll start believing the nay-sayers, where you will doubt all that you believe in… but if you push through you can break their distorted mirror of you and make a cleaner more perfect one for yourself.

No one knows this more than I do. I went into hospital on Friday 2005,May something or the other. Between Friday and Monday- I remember nothing. I do believe I had a few MRI’s and I do remember people trying to keep me awake and then there is just darkness.

When I awoke on Monday, I was on a bed in Breach Candy hospital with a strange man looking over me. “I am sorry,” he said ,”you came in too late. Your brain has been compromised and you are left side paralysed and will not be able to move again. There’s nothing more we can do.” When I stared at this man disbelievingly, he challenged me – “Don’t believe me- try and make a fist with your left hand… go on now… try!” And as he goaded me I tried to earnestly to make a fist, to prove him wrong. He was right. I couldn’t and so my right hand held my left hand and closed it into a fist. He nodded as if to say I told you so. And then he left.

We can let others decide who we will be or we can get up and live the life we think we deserve to live. It won’t be easy and it may take years to get to where some people take minutes to go. But who is to define our lives except for us? We get one life. Why should we allow other to get their own lives and ours? Shouldn’t we take ownership of that ourself?

P.s. (Palat says)-: Our personal mirrors may not be rose tinted or even clean, but we can create our being in the way we’d like to see ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for defining us and let’s define ourself.

The Imperfect Fit

I was never part of any clique (group)- popular or unpopular – I just didn’t belong.

I’ve never been the perfect fit anywhere I think. I’ve always been the one who is a bit too loud, a bit too ambitious, a bit ott romantic. I produced theatre for 18 years but was never arty enough. I won awards globally but then I was far too artsy. I topped school but wasn’t nerdy enough. I did ads but was never a model, acted in films but was never a film actor, never a girly girl or a tomboy. I just didn’t fit in.

And on most days, I’ve been okay about standing out… even proclaimed (bravely) that I relished being a loner… but this was one of the days where I just felt like a school girl who nobody wanted to sit with. It wasn’t even a major deal but in the company of my husband – a popular kid and a former head boy and just a person who fits perfectly everywhere and my puppy- another absolutely stellar creature who makes friends in seconds and is an absolute must at any social event 🙂 I felt like the broken training wheel of a perfect bicycle.

And so sadly I went up to my (much) better half (yes, I was in one of those self sacrificing, sad moods) and asked him how we worked; he seemed bewildered by the question. In his eyes, I am the ‘don’t care a damn’ fighter chick, who’ll take on any person/challenge head on and win! I’m the person who loves with all my heart, will fight with all my soul and will never shy away from any thing or any one. In his eyes, where everyone works so hard at trying to fit in, to be loved , to be heard– he loved that I was an honest perfect fit. “With you,” he said “everyone knows who they’ve got! There’s no pretence just truth” He also , and I say this knowing he’ll read my blog and go the perfect shade of tomato; said, he wanted to be more like me sometimes!

That got me thinking, were we all worried we didn’t fit in perfectly, and was fit that important? I mean just because we didn’t fit within our own idea of what the perfect fit was… did that really make a difference? I mean in my oddball, weird way, I seem to fit perfectly with my more popular family members. In fact I was more often than not the head of this enviable clique! And wasn’t that the point of cliques anyway- to find a place for you to belong? And if I do belong with my peeps… did I really need more cliques?

Satisfied that I was indeed with the best group created ever, I looked around. We’re all trying to fit in and find place for ourselves in this crazy, mad, over filled world. But if we just stop for a moment and ensure that who we are fits perfectly with how we feel and what we believe and then find people who like us for our honest selves- then we’ve actually beat the system and we’ve actually found our perfect ‘fits.’

P.s. (Palat says)-: Look for the work or friend groups that let you be exactly who you are ;that way you’ll never be out of fit or out of style!

Breaking News

They converted our feelings into ‘Breaking news.’

With Wing Commander Abhinandan’s bloodied nose, blindfolded interview and subsequent calmer interview- news channels and twitter was on overdrive this last week.

And that’s the thing- it happened during 26/11 as well. News channels did whatever it took to get TRPs even if it involved giving out sensitive information.

It happened again.

And it will keep happening.

We can keep criticising. But in a world driven by ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ and ‘re-tweets’ what news channels are doing is only what each selfie obsessed individual is- trying to get the most eyeballs!

It is times like these I miss the joy of knowing a secret, of having a meal that didn’t need to be photographed , of knowing that my exact whereabouts wasn’t traceable every minute of the day!

Today nothing is a secret. Everything and every one can be found. The world is smaller but also infinitely less interesting.

I enjoy going to countries where my photograph of my new favourite place is my photograph and not one that a few thousand people have already shared with filters, stickers and the likes.

I miss the days where wars were not front page news, but creating a new record was; where suicides were not relegated to small print and back pages- these pages had columns and opinions and interesting thoughts and debate starters.

I think we need to start being more mindful of what we share that will hurt or upset or even destroy people. I am definitely not a fan of censorship of speech but I think we need to have a certain amount of self censorship and responsibility towards the larger picture. In our joy of being liked, retweeted and shared- shouldn’t we be mindful of what we represent ?Shouldn’t we also support, share and like and retweet restraint, sensibility and applaud the responsible?

Wing Commander Abhinandan must come home today. The world is waiting and watching. But I’m hoping that his family gets to feel the joy of his return before we make it national news.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Today each of us has a voice. Let’s use our voice to help create the world we want to live in.

Life’s not fair

Life’s not fair- a complaint that plagues even the most optimistic of us. And you’re right. It’s the friend who you thought would pick up the phone when you needed them or the pitch that was stolen by the lazy incompetent colleague who pretended the idea was his or just being surrounded by sloth, carelessness and general apathy when you give all that you have for a person , an idea or a moment.

I have realised that you can’t control others and their attitude. All you can control is how you choose to deal with them. I have often been heartbroken when I care about someone- (friend or colleague) deeply and they let me down by not caring the same amount or believing in us the way I do. And now over the years I slowly am getting over it.

I have always been the one giving 100% to relationships – work or personal that I care about. But that too is my choice. Much like waves, some of the water stays and some it goes back- people often come in to our life for a reason. When the reason is fulfilled , most will go away. Those that you are left with are those that have more to give you and more to learn from you and those that leave have served their purpose and you theirs.

You can’t stop caring, turning up or giving your cent percent to life because every so often you will get the opportunity you’ve been dreaming of, meet the person you were destined to meet and live the life you absolutely deserve. The bumps on the way only make you realise how good the goods are and appreciate those moments so much more.

My grandfather always said life was full of ups and downs – how boring life would be if it were one straight line. Compare that to a heart monitor and you realise that he’s right… the ups and downs make the journey. Without that, using the same example, we’re quite literally dead !

P.s. (Palat says)-: Pitching season is the longest, toughest, hardest and most exhilarating season! On one hand Mondays are the best and most exciting – on the other TGIF!

Will you Be My Valentine?

I love love. I love being loved. I love the whole feeling of love and I love to love! If there’s one day that means the world to me – it’s Valentines Day!

Over the years I have heard the cynics say ‘well love can happen on any day.’ And here’s the thing I agree. But if it can happen on any day the why can’t it happen on Valentines Day too!

By that notion- each of us could celebrate the new year on any day and several religions do and yet December 31st is celebrated as the New Year’s Eve and we wish each other and party and enjoy the happiness that envelops us as the new year approaches!

So on Valentines , it’s cupcakes in the office and a few more for those I love. It’s flowers and more everywhere I look and I always try to have a few surprises for my embarrassed better (?) half. This year I had a serenader serenade the husband in the middle of the office, as he blushed a shot shade of pink! The serenader sang well. The pink looked perfect for the occasion !

And I get that one day isn’t enough to show you care or that this may be a Hallmark holiday but I think if I can make a lil more effort on one day it’s better than not making any effort at all or just sliding along by saying that we don’t need to show we care.

Life has to be full of moments and days like these allow you to think those moments through a little more.

In a world of hate, and I say this having read about the horrific , cowardly attack in Kashmir; is it so bad to try and fill others’ lives with love?

In a world of anger, stress, hunger and sadness- even if you don’t have your lobster-can’t you spread love to a person around you? A friend, a relative, a loved one, a colleague or just someone you feel needs it?

And if there’s one day that can glorify a powerful positive feeling like love- shouldn’t we all enjoy it!

If I were given my way- there’d be a Valentines Day every month!

P.s. (Palat says)-: A long week of pitching some incredible characters in beautiful stories …On wards to next week and let’s make Magic!