Birthday stresses (and no it’s not about just getting old!)

So the birthday rolled around and this one was unlike any other! I’m the quintessential Gemini about birthdays even though I’m a Taurus-Gemini cusp! I plan for the next birthday the evening of the previous one- so I’m that kinda psycho birthday maniac,

But this birthday I was a bit more introspective and stressed out- had this year counted for anything? Had anything changed ? Did my life thus far mean anything to anyone? Yup I was being a bit more fatalistic than usual. What had I acheived?

And so this time I stressed out before the birthday! And started (like the OCD maniac I am) listing down any positive learnings I have had or impacts I had made. Here’s what I found!

  1. I have become closer to family now than I ever was and that’s a win!
  2. I have more friends now and they accept me -flaws and all! I’ve reconnected with a few who knew me and they seem prouder of who I am today -so there must be growth and that’s awesome!
  3. More importantly I accept me- flaws and all and now can be honest with who I am , especially to me!
  4. I have taught people and they remember that fondly and I continue to teach the people who work with me and that’s amazing.
  5. I have started learning all over again! Online learning allows me to find knowledge in areas that I’ve always wanted to discover and that’s hugely positive for me.
  6. I’ve traveled and I’ve seen and learned more about cultures and places and put into perspective how magnificent the world is and how much more we can do and then gone ahead and tried to imbibe all that I have seen into making a positive impact.
  7. I have cared for animals and loved and looked after so many and got so much love in return.
  8. I have become kinder, more compassionate and learned to love more! I have become more grateful to the God, the Universe and to people.
  9. I have learned that the more positive you are , the more positivity comes your way!

And the list went on and I realised that not only had the years rolled on, the learnings had added up to and just the fact that I had so many blessings in my life, was definitely worth candles on the cake – even if there were more candles now, than cake !

P.s. (Palat says)-: Whenever you are down, look around you and make a list- when you see how much you have and how many love you; you’ll realise that the stress just disappears! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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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 !

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!

#MoreThanALabel

Since I did my first professional play at 15, I got used to (well not used to…but got a taste of) criticism and labelling… Theatre was my salvation. It allowed me the freedom to be all that I wanted to be but come Monday morning, I had to return to reality and school and the label of being a #nerd #boring #bookish (all of which were said derogatorily , which I still don’t understand) and #ugly ! But those were simpler times. In school you are often labeled or bullied and that helps create strength of character, build your confidence and give you the strength to face the world… and so I did.

Shooting a reality show recently #SketchtoStore …I found everyone dreaming of becoming a label and thats when it struck me- today is a world of labels. Most of those labels are created with silly hashtags and are tweeted, instagrammed and facebooked…. and most of them are not positive… they are downright mean! In a world of labels does being a label mean so much when we can now make any word/ set of words a label with just a simple hashtag. Also, wasn’t I lucky I grew up at a time when calling me a name, didn’t allow you to tweet it or post it on my wall.

In the public eye there is never a day where I can please everyone… I am #DragonPalat (yup this was tweeted), #fat to others #sick to some (because of the MS) a #celebrity (said in a negative way) to a third. To the trolls I answered, to the ready-to-be-converted I tried my best to convert you to be my friend… But in a world of #labels , I found my self terrified…I am unapproachable to most, terrifying to some… but to those who get to know me or just even say hello… I’m actually funny, interesting, silly, smart and fiercely loyal.

Unfortunately the polite words never make for good hashtags :)! So the next time you’d like to #label someone… meet them instead. I have found that people are so much more than their labels… and it’s always a fabulous revelation!

 

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Love- is that really the crime?

In a world of hate, we could do with a little bit of love…

Life has changed so very much… Where our parents got married in they’re early twenties, we choose to spend our twenties working or traveling or if we’re lucky- doing both! We spend our lives on social networking sites and learn to market ourselves like a product- coldly and calmly and avoid getting overly attached incase we have to rework brand strategy based on what our ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ feel! This being said we have a million acquaintances but very few friends; every sees the mask we hide behind and we make every effort to make that mask perfect, flawless and beautiful hiding true emotions and feelings because that can only make us look ‘ugly’ right? Being single is now not taboo…infact it’s more of the norm than ever. Who has the time for love? And in this world, how can you let your defences down and even try to love? So we remain more rigid, more cold and even more alone.

And then those that seem to fall in ‘love’ seem to fall out immediately… Divorce happens. In this fast paced world of ours we have quick weddings and even quicker divorces and this makes us question love even more.

We’re not the same world any more. We’re not as safe. Among the 4 letter words that come to mind- angry words, hateful words come first- they easily trump ‘love.’

And that’s our excuse… we don’t have time for love… We may not even believe in it.

But in a world of hate can we be so selfish and self centred to not allow love among anyone else either? When 2 people love each other can we actually punish them for it- criminalise them for it? Why? Because we don’t understand it? Because it goes against our beliefs and fundamentals? Because it’s against ‘religion?’

Every religion preaches love and in a world slowly losing its humanity and love, when 2 people love each other regardless of whether they’re man-woman, man-man or woman-woman… should be allowed to love.

In a world where rapists go free, where fraudsters make millions and stay out on bail, where terrorists are never tracked; in a world where anger, rage and hate dominate our newspapers and senses every single day- would it be so terrible  to allow two consenting adults to fall in love? Is that really a crime?

Or are we hiding behind our own masks of self- righteousness and selfishness because if we can’t find love- noone else should? Now that’s the real crime.

 

Everybody needs a friend

 

When we’re young friendship is easy….it’s who you share lunch with, who you share a seat with, who gave you a chocolate or their treats… it’s simple! We make friends easily and adapt easily. Our likes and dislikes are still being formed… we’re still learning who we are. And then we become teenagers and we seem to be more cliquish… we have more hates than likes but we still manage to find our own! Lost in a crowd of young adults all filled with angst, passion and hormones…we still manage to find people similar to us.

And then we grow up.

And making friends isn’t that easy anymore. People are hard and judgmental and focused on themselves and all they seem to do is disappoint.

And when you become a couple…that’s when it’s even harder. You must like them but then so must he… and isn’t it better to have couple friends? And what happens to those who were just your friends or just his… what’s the equation now?

What I’ve realised is… just don’t grow up… Keep your friends. Keep his friends and don’t be afraid to go up to someone new and say “Hi… I’m_______” From being a person who had a friend or maybe 2… I’ve learnt that just like a child in a play ground or a lost geek (which I was) in college – every one around is still trying to form relationships and friendships…we’re all looking for a connection. They don’t have to be your best friends overnight or become your closest confidantes but they can be people who you can just hang out with, grab a bite with or go to a movie with! Because just like in school when best friends changed as we grew older, some times the people you think will stay with you all along may drop off on the way and you might find you need to find another friend…so instead of trying to fill that gap when there’d be no one there-cultivate your friendships, let them breathe and grow and maybe you can have a best friend and then a best, best friend ! :)!

A Little Respect!

We’re pushed around. We’re passed over. We change who we are, change what we want to be. And we blame everyone around us for the situations we are in. Bad marriages, bad jobs, bad family lives…

Take a second. Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied? When people disrespect us or our time or our wants, why do we gloss over it? Why do we pretend it doesn’t matter? Why do we make excuses for them? ‘They meant to be here,’ or ‘ You know so and so… he’s always late’… or ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s not a big deal!’

How is respect not a big deal? How is self respect NOT a big deal!

You DON’T NEED to be pushed around. You DON’T NEED to CHANGE if YOU DON’T WANT TO. And you DON’T NEED to be STOOD UP.

Take a stance. People won’t like you less if you tell them that you won’t be pushed around/ won’t wait around for them incessantly / won’t allow to be glossed over for a promotion again- IN FACT they’ll respect you more! And more importantly you’ll respect you more

I’m not saying you shouldn’t change for the person you love or allow yourself to be pushed around by your kids or your friends– but the call should be YOURS and you should NEVER be in ANY RELATIONSHIP where there is NO RESPECT.

Respect is the founding stone for any good, solid and strong relationship. Be with a woman/ man you respect and who respects you back. Don’t be pushed around/ bullied / made to feel inferior. Don’t pretend it doesn’t matter. Don’t be bullied. And don’t make excuses.

And as you walk away from the people who don’t respect you… watch how you automatically attract those that will 🙂