An Indian Woman's Ramblings · Indian Woman's Musings

Why Adulting Is Fun

A few weeks ago, I came across a tweet: “The less you respond to drama, the more peaceful your life becomes”. I can not stress more on the absolute truth of these 100 words. And that’s something I have learnt through the process of ‘adulting’.

I know, not many people love being an adult, right? There’s too much drama, too many problems. It’s easy to say many things, but difficult to implement them for real, because now there are too many people with a stake in your life.

Love for adulting just doesn’t seem to fit into a socially accepted standard of something “fun” to say. After all, there are no paper boats to float, no tiffins to share and definitely no PT classes. But I somehow enjoy adulting and the process of blooming into an adult has fascinated me to the core. Now, I talk more to you all through my blog than in person, and for a change, it feels good! I feel lighter in my adulthood more than I ever did in my childhood.

I guess that’s because I had a complicated childhood and found it difficult to make friends while growing up. So when adulting happened, it didn’t come easy, but I have finally learnt to accept many things about myself, which I couldn’t as a teenager. And I honestly feel great.

It feels good to keep some emotions to yourself, to make yourself your confidante. It’s an amazing feeling when you head to work in the morning knowing it’s the least stressful thing you will do. And above everything, it feels great to know that you’re in a good place and can share this with someone when the right time comes. I have been an adult for less than 2 years, and I honestly feel more empowered than ever before. I know some people (particularly Indians) dread the life of a flat – where you take care of your own laundry, your food, menial house jobs. But I like my daily routine of waking up in my own place, dressing up well and heading to an office just 10 minutes away from my place. I used to bare out my emotions to the world once, but as an adult, I have chosen to showcase them to myself – for no one understands me better than I do. These are things I have learnt in the past few months, and this change has made me a stronger and more meditative person – some of the best things I am getting from adulthood.

Trust me, adulting isn’t that bad. Yes, you change as a person, you lose some friends along the way and you don’t like the spaghetti you enjoyed six months ago. But hey, life’s beautiful and you’re leading it with confidence and love. You’re surrounded by people who love you, friends who care about you and above all, family that you can always bank upon. Plus, you get your space (mostly).

Whenever life goes too fast, slow down. Breathe. Clear your head. And think about how much fun it is being on your own, fending for yourself. It will prepare you for a life ahead where you will never be dependent on anybody. It feels good to be an adult, and if you’re one, I hope you feel good about ‘adulting’ too!

Much love,

the happy writer of this blog

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Indian Woman's Musings · Life

If you feel you suffer from a mental health issue, then read this

For the last 2 years, I have been an out-and-out supporter of mental health issues. I have been open to talking about my depression and more than eager to embrace happiness. Mental health is sometimes more important than physical health, because what you’re thinking is capable of controlling how you feel physically too. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are common terms I have come across in my generation. Many of them are related to our upbringing, and many of them are related to the circumstances we face.

I always looked at myself as a strong person, but certain struggles, which I felt were unnecessary, changed my outlook on life. An existential crisis enveloped me and I started being untrustworthy of people and situations. Over the last two months, I decided to take stock of my life and understand why depression is what it is and how I can get rid of it.

And to be honest, I have realised that it’s extremely easy to get rid of this big black dog which we carry around.

Nowadays, before I kick-start my mornings, the first thing I do is show gratitude. I thank God for giving me another day to live, and I look at myself in the mirror and say – You’re going to have an amazing day. And guess what, the first half passes in utmost happiness!

Another thing I have realised is that honing our concentration also helps get rid of depression. For example, when I feel low or upset about something during the course of the day, I listen to some videos of Abraham Hicks (check her out- she’s amazing). I let her thoughts envelop me, and then I implement them by thinking about the good things of life. In fact, whenever I feel upset about a particular person, I take out a notepad and write down 10 qualities I appreciate about them. It makes the anger vanish instantly.

People who are depressed are wonderful people, for they are capable of showering love on everyone. But, we need to realise that we have to compartmentalise our love.

Only those people who matter to us should be capable of taking our mindspace.

Try a simple exercise which I do nowadays – Whenever you get a ping from someone, check who has sent it. If it’s someone who matters to you, reply instantly. If not, they can wait. This trick has made me single out my happy people and give them space and time. It keeps me surrounded by those who love and adore me, and it’s okay to be selfish sometimes!

Another thing I have learnt to do in these two months is stop seeking validation from everyone. Trying to keep everyone happy is simply a recipe for disaster. You don’t have to keep everyone happy – You just need to love yourself and you will automatically attract people who love and adore you. If you don’t like the company of a particular person, don’t hang out with them. If you’re alone, you can always ping your best friend – they are your ‘best’ friend because they chose to be the closest to you. So cherish their presence and forget all those who don’t matter to you.

As a last thought, all I would like to say is – erase all bad memories from your head. They are part and matter of the past and it’s unnecessary to let those thoughts stay in your head and continue to hurt you. You deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. Start today by closing your eyes and relaxing. Don’t be scared to tell people you are depressed – if someone judges you, they don’t deserve your mind-space because they can never put themselves in your shoes and feel what you have felt. And that’s OK.

You don’t have to run in a rat race, you don’t have to earn insane amounts of money to stay happy – you just need to be at peace with yourself, and you will see that everything is slowly falling into place and that big black dog of depression has left you forever.

Indian Woman's Musings · Life

You’re Never With The ‘Right’ Person. You Just Become Right For Each Other

Some questions I frequently see my friends ask, are – Am I with the right person? Is he perfect for me? Are we made for each other?

Honestly, while the questions may be perfect, the answers never are. I am no pro at relationships, but from what I have understood about life is – you are never in a “perfect” situation. You just have to think you are. Eventually, you become ‘perfect’ for each other.

We are all on our respective journey of self-discovery, and it takes time to learn things and become sensible. If you have followed my blog previously, you will see that I have gone from depressed to angry, to disillusioned to meditative. That’s part and parcel of being human. And that’s partly the answer to this question about who’s perfect for you – honestly, no one is. No one can insert a square peg into a round hole. Especially when you’re changing as a person every single day.

Relationships
Image source: Huffington Post

As I said before, I am no pro at relationships. But there are some fundamental things I have learnt which I would like to share, so that you can stop asking yourself questions and start living the answers 🙂

  1. Understand your partner

We all are rational and we do every thing with a thought attached to it. No one does anything ‘stupid’, there’s always a reason to it. If your partner ever leaves you, it’s not because he wants to leave you. It’s because he has a reason for it. Try and understand your partner. He/She will eventually understand you. There’s no perfect law for a balanced relationship, but a calm mind which understands before taking action always wins.

Don’t hate your partner, in fact, try and see small signs of love which will calm your mind. Slowly, but steadily, you will learn to appreciate your partner for all their good qualities, understand them better, and in turn, help them understand you.

If you are ever angry at your partner, try and understand their action. Until and unless they are harming you, it’s never a bad idea to understand and let go, isn’t it? Take time off, breathe, think. You will understand your partner better and appreciate them for who they are, instead of chiding them for not being who you want them to be.

2. Let opinions thrive

It’s always a good thing if your partner has opinions. It’s even better when they stand by them. That way, you know you’re dating someone sensible, and not a rock. Have discussions with your partner on their opinions, but don’t fight. Always remember that it’s good that your partner has a thought process. Try to imagine dating someone without one. How would you feel if that partner always said ‘Yes Sir’ or ‘Yes Ma’am’ to everything? Not that exciting, right?

3. Learn to let go

We all make mistakes in a relationship. Multiple mistakes make us feel that the person is not ‘right’ for us. The easiest thing is to let go. It’s also the toughest thing, especially if you feel that your partner has wronged you. But, always retrospect and think – if my partner is that bad, why am I with them? If the answer isn’t something concrete, then let go of the mistakes.

Another mistake we generally tend to make is letting other people and their opinions create dark clouds in the relationship. Learn to completely trust your partner and let go of what others say. This way, the only people in the relationship will be you two, and your habit of letting go will just make the relationship simpler for you.

4. You can face problems if you are together

A common mistake we make in relationships is to think that our partner won’t stand up for us, or won’t take care of us. Don’t place the onus of your happiness completely on someone. Remember, problems will arise but you can only fight them if things between you two are on good terms. Fight with your partner, and you will just fight even more when problems arise – and it will make fighting against problems harder!

5. Always be open to things

While it is necessary to be particular about your choices, always be open to possibilities. If your partner has an idea for something, don’t shut it down because it doesn’t fit with your mindset. Let those ideas and thoughts thrive. You need to always remember that those who genuinely love their partners would always want to see them happy. Then why fight over a small idea? The future is not written – we write it. And you can only write your future with your partner if he/she is happy in your company.

This doesn’t mean the onus to make a relationship work is completely on you. Your partner too needs to realise your worth to make your relationship work. However, if implemented, these thought processes will benefit you, not harm you or make you any weaker. Every one of us out there is looking for a loved one, and it’s nice to make some room for them without standing all by yourself, isn’t it?

P.S – These are not gold standards. These are just things I have learnt from my experience. If you have any other thoughts, please do share. It’s always lovely to have others add to the beauty we have in life and share their learnings! 🙂

feminism · Feminist Musings · Indian Woman's Musings · Opinionated · Opinionated

Why A Woman’s Reproductive Right Will Never Be Her Own (And It’s Annoying TBH)

US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood has brought out an important topic to the forum, AGAIN – Is a woman’s reproductive right her own? Who owns a woman’s womb? Rather, who should run it?

Motherhood is for sure a beautiful feeling, but for centuries, this debate has been propping up again and again – as to whether a woman has a right to kill the foetus developing inside her. Some countries, with their religious clout, have managed to kill women, who couldn’t be saved because of a pregnancy gone bad.

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Which brings me to a very important question.

Dear men, who owns your dick?

No one, right? We worship it, we are excited when our family is blessed with one. If a man has absolute right over his body, why should a woman be denied a very basic right?

[I am not getting into the debate about women supporting “pro-life” arguments – because the social conditioning is such that some women believe religion can have absolute primacy over their body and their rights.]

Motherhood slows down women, it made them “homemakers” since the time of the stone age because babies began to be born with smaller brains and needed more care. Women were seen as the caretakers, instead of the men, since they took immense pain to give birth to the babies in the first place. All pain, no gain?

Women are told numerous things – giving birth to a baby is a great feeling, you aren’t complete unless you become a mother. Women who can’t give birth are shunned by society, pitied; women who refuse to give birth are considered worse.

Why aren’t young women taught that they are complete even if they don’t give birth? A woman is born complete, her womb is just another organ, what’s the need to always make a hue and cry of it?

Let me bring the stark reality to you, about abortions and about childbirth.

  1. If a woman can decide to take birth, she can decide to not give birth. Even if the foetus has a “potential for life”, its her bloody problem, her womb, not YOUR matter.
  2. Stop making women feel that abortions are a ‘cardinal sin’ – many women don’t give birth because they don’t want to deprive a child a life where the mother won’t be able to give much time to the child as much as she wants to. And sometimes, the man doesn’t want to take responsibility for the kid either.
  3. A maternity leave is costly for an ambitious woman – as much as a mother loves her child, many times she can’t even her suckle her child as she has to head to work, or loses out on projects and promotions because she decided to give birth

As a child, I always considered women incredible. A woman juggles the responsibility of work and home, loves her job and child equally. But the society expects her to always smile through all her problems, take care of the child all by herself and at a convenient time, leave her job – because if she has a husband to pay the bills, why should she work?

I am scared for those thousands of young women across the world who are regular victims of moral policing on basic things such as their reproductive right.

It’s time this goddam discussion stops propping up. And those idiots with a stick up their arses need to understand that someone’s bedroom business isn’t theirs to pick.

 

feminism · Indian Woman's Musings · Opinionated

The Curious Case Of “Sexual Harassment At The Workplace” – Featuring Arunabh Kumar

Don’t be baffled by the title. I agree it’s going to be another feminist rant about how men make women feel like they don’t belong in the workplace. But you know what?

IT’S TRUE.

Turns out it’s the 21st century and women still don’t feel safe at the workplace. A little birdie spread a rumour about sexual harassment at Uber’s office recently and that seems to have sparked off a series of news about this damning thing. I mean, how can literate men, fathers of little children, or even those in the corporate world for a sane number of years think of women as commodities who have to be cherry-picked for their preference at the workplace?

Turns out, it’s very much a thing of the present.

Before you get into a rant about how women are misusing their “privilege” to make innocent men fall into their trap, framing wrong allegations against them, let me get one point straight. Sexual harassment at the workplace – even if it’s a false allegation – has to be taken seriously. You can’t let a wrong-doer – male or female – pass by without giving justice to the one who has been affected.

Which brings me back to the topic again.

I wasn’t very horrified to read a particular Uber employee’s experience with her boss. He told her during a meeting when she disagreed with him – you’re here not because of your brains, but your looks. So shut up.

I don’t fail to understand anymore how a woman who looks pretty can even be considered worthwhile enough to work in an office space.

I mean, if she walks into the office in sneakers, you tell her to wear heels to accentuate her ass, right? She’s your property, isn’t she?

For the longest time, I have gone on feminist rants, talking about how women don’t deserve things, for it is their right as they are equal to men. But turns out I am just another feminist who’s banging her head against the wall. Writing blogs about topics instead of doing anything about it on ground.

Ahh, well. If chastising me gets your chauvinistic ass some peace, then so let be.

Lets talk about the day for a change. Today, I woke up like it was no other day. Accepting the fact that I was living in a patriarchal society. I opened the newspaper, hoping to read something decent about international politics to brighten up my day. Turns out, I, like many other privileged, literate, empowered women had to turn the pages of the newspaper only to read about TVF founder Arunabh Kumar’s attempt to sexually harass a female colleague.

Ahh, well. Another one bites the dust.

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Source: Indian Express

I am not saying he’s guilty, hell no. I don’t know what transpired between Arunabh and that particular lady in question (Indian Fowler, was she?). I was intrigued to see The Viral Fever’s response to the allegation. Take a look:

This is an official response from TVF on the anonymous article published on Medium by the Indian Fowler. The article is completely ludicrous and defamatory against TVF and its team.
 
All the allegations made against TVF and its team in the article are categorically false, baseless and unverified. We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men.
 
We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.
 
It is our humble request that you do not to share an unsubstantiated, unverified and anonymous article such as this. We would like to thank all our fans and friends for their continued support.

Umm. Umm. WHAT?

I understand TVF is angry, but issue an open threat? How much desperate are you to save your founder rather than the brand?

As I understand, in the event of a sexual harassment allegation, the concerned company needs to immediately call a Vishakha committee to investigate the allegation. In fact, the company needs to have a sexual harassment redressal cell within the company so that these issues don’t come into the public forum and get resolved within the workplace.

Turns out that doesn’t happen and Indians still live in that archaic world where they believe that women have to sit at home, cook food for their husbands and be the prey of petty men who just feel entitled to prey on women. Because. It’s just so fucking normal. If women do come to work, they need to be stalked, harassed and asked for sexual favours for no woman should be doing a “man’s job”, I guess.

Again, I am digressing. Let us take a look at the allegations heaped on Arunabh –

He got drunk and tried to fall on the woman

Made ‘lewd’ advances

Told her he bought her from a red-light district

Even if these allegations are false, what we need to understand is that these things happen. Many women leave their jobs because of such people. They are forced to face these things on a daily basis on many occasions just because they want to earn their living. If they get too friendly with a man at the workplace or have a boyfriend, they are viewed as promiscuous. For which woman who has a brain and an opinion will not be “sleeping around” with everyone in sight?

If Arunabh is innocent, then the case of false sexual harassment will come to the surface. If he isn’t, then the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace needs to be tackled.

Indian companies like TVF are young, vibrant and attractive for young people. But today, if one company doesn’t take a stand, tomorrow thousands of women and men will stop/fear coming to the workplace for fear of injustice being meted out to them.

And like any other day, I have gone on a feminist rant, for my disillusion with the world around me has gone to the next level.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Indian Woman's Musings · Life

Yes, all we’re looking for is love from someone else

It’s Valentine’s day, that we all know. A day to celebrate love, get angry at the concept of love or just let life flow without any thought about the “significance” of the day. I, like many others, have decided to spend this day at home. Randomly musing after many-a-fortnight, I decided to pen my thoughts on love.

Love is a difficult emotion. For the longest time, I thought it was something selfless, a feeling where you can lose your heart (and maybe soul) to one person, who comes to mean the whole world to you. Gradually, I understood it was more my maternal instinct speaking than really “love”. Mothers unconditionally “love” their children. That can be called “love”. But, what is this “other” love that the world just seems to be so obsessed about?

Going through social media feed is a pain, for seeing photos of couples either with engagement rings or marriage certificates with the hashtag #love or #loveyouforever doesn’t make any sense to me. How can a personal emotion be so easily quantifiable? I tried to understand my dilemma through films. Maybe popular culture could quantify love for me in some way.

So, I went to watch La La Land. This year’s most iconic movie, tied with Titanic for the maximum number of oscars (14) and apparently the best musical ever made (contentious). Having seen it the first time with a Marvel-lover engineer friend, the experience didn’t quite leave an impact on me. So this time, I went with my PhD in Sociology friend. Hopefully her deep insights into human society could help.

la la land.jpg

Halfway through the movie, I felt nothing. I understood why Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were attracted to each other, but I couldn’t bring the word “love” to my lips. Maybe I am just a noob who needs time to understand – but I really want to – how does one know that they are in love?

Love and relationships seem to be antithetical to each other. Love wants to be selfless, relationships are meant to be selfish. Why would we want to be with someone unless they always make us happy? Selflessness might bring misery, for no one’s perfect. Then, by that logic, the “love” in a relationship isn’t selfless, right?

Society defines love as a gust of wind that blows you off your feet, sends you into a parallel universe where everything is perfect and nothing can harm you. Then why are relationships facing boring questions like who’s paying the rent this time around, and why the hell should I cook for you?

Love has always been a utopia for people, and artists have just taken this insecurity as an opportunity to gain traction for their creativity. Films like La La Land or Titanic get made because we want to believe that there is that someone out there with whom we will have an epic relationship, something that came like a blast and stuck like a glue.

Titanic-L.jpg

Romance in the modern day world faces tougher questions than ever before. Now, relationships don’t embody compromise, adjustment. We have big dreams and many-a-times relationships don’t fit into them. I have woken up many mornings when I have wondered whether my ambition will keep me lonely for the rest of my life. For I am ready to move to any place for a good job, but will my love move with me everywhere?

Modern-day relationships are more about finding yourself, rather than finding ourselves. Between 20 to 25, I have seen myself change every year, change my taste every year. My struggles defined me, but they also made me change my mood, my way of thinking. Imagine a movie on this. How will such a girl find “love”? Her dilemmas are enough to drive people away. But that is reality. When critics scream for “realistic” cinema, do they realise that if their demand is fulfilled, a morbid cinema might just make them flinch and change their profession altogether?

On a lighter note, lets not trash love altogether. Lets stop defining it for a change. If you’re in love, love it. But try understanding it first. For you may not realize it, sometimes, all you are looking for is love from someone else, but it first has to come from you.

On a happier note: Happy Valentine’s day folks. Those who took out time to read this story, here’s a gift for you:

Indian Woman's Musings · Life in India · Opinionated

Liberation v/s Security

Ever since the telecast of the ‘Vogue Empower’ video of Deepika Padukone, women’s “liberation” has become a strong point of argument, analysis and debate. There are those who hated the video, others who loved it. There were some who found the video ‘liberating’, others who considered the video encapsulating – a wormhole into which women are pigeonholed and classified as beautiful creatures who should be bound to certain traditions.

But more than the whole controversy around the video, especially the lyrics- what is more baffling is the concept of liberation. What is freedom? Does freedom mean liberation? Can/Should an actress like Deepika Padukone define liberation for an Indian woman?

I once went to India Gate in Delhi at night with a friend. We were in the car, planning to get out, when a group of guys entered the car beside ours, and all of them kept their eyes glued on me.They kept looking at me, as if they had never seen a woman before in their life. While heading to India Gate, I felt “liberated” and happy that I could exercise my choice of travelling at night with a man in a car in a city like Delhi. But once I reached there, my liberation paved its way to insecurity. Even though those men were in the car beside mine, I still wanted to leave and go to a ‘secure’ location. My decision to feel free actually made me feel scared. I exercised my choice, but my choice made me repent.

This whole contradictory stance of society, especially Indian society, where women’s rights are an issue, but women’s security isn’t – is costing us dearly. While we have protests on the road, magazines writing about women’s rights, laws being enacted over molestation and laws being deliberated on marital rape- who can guarantee cent percent ‘security’ for every woman in the country?

While a Deepika Padukone teams up with Kapil Sibal and Homi Adjania to make a video on women’s empowerment & women’s right to exercise their “choices” – how far can we go with simple idealism? After all, there are some women out there who do get an opportunity to exercise their rights, but regret it because their rights have exposed them to the dirty side of society that prides itself in subjugating women to subordination.

I am not saying that Deepika Padukone is mistaken in making such a video. She is an actress, she needs publicity, she wants to stand up for a cause in her own way. I don’t blame her. We all are here on this planet, following our dreams, trying to set examples.

But this whole problem of security still bothers me. For a woman, security doesn’t mean having a man around like a bodyguard. Security has multiple levels – one can feel secure alone, secure in a crowd, secure without a crowd. But this feeling of security is lacking everywhere. I, as a woman, feel scared to walk into Chandni Chowk wearing a skirt. I can exercise my “choice” of wearing a skirt and entering Chandni Chowk, but can I feel liberated when I do that?  I can’t, because liberation doesn’t mean a guarantee of security.

I don’t want to sound like a “meek woman” craving for security. After all, there is the police on the road, there are  feminist men out there who want to protect women from the bad elements of society. When I complain too much, there are people present to tell me, “stop complaining and learn martial arts”, “carry pepper sprays”, “punch the guy in his balls”. I am aware that sitting and crying for something won’t change anything for me. But I want to understand how the whole argument of liberation will guarantee me security in India. How will it? I don’t have the answer, I am simply asking a question. Maybe some day someone will be able to provide me a constructive answer that can lead to the bridging of this gap.

Till then, Deepika Padukone can keep making her videos and Bollywood can keep churning out its item numbers – Bollywood actresses never really have to worry about walking on the streets on a daily basis anyways. And those who haven’t seen the Vogue empower video- take a look at it.