Indian Woman's Musings · Life

Pay Your Dues, But Don’t Serve The Sentence.

It takes a long time to figure out what you want to be. It takes even longer to figure out how you want people to treat you. When you’re a child, you have to be content with people treating you a certain way, primarily because you’re dependent on others for your health and well-being. But, once you grow up, is it a bad thing to expect basic things such as sensitivity and respect from others?

I find it hard to communicate with my family on many occasions. Have you also been there? My parents are good people, but not sensitive. That has led me to the state where I no longer want to tell them about my problems, because they will never turn around and ask me how I am, rather they will start giving me anecdotes about what I can and should do correctly.

At 26, I no longer want to be told what to do, or who to be. I know that already. I just want someone to give me a hug when I want it, give me a shoulder to cry on when I need it, so that I can pick myself up and deal with my problems myself. But somehow, I feel very alone. And now I think I will be for the rest of my life.

The thing you’re never taught while growing up is how lonely life is. If we tell our children to be prepared for a life alone, perhaps it will make it easier for them to deal with depression and anxiety issues. Or, maybe not. I crave a lot for some company that can give me a hug and tell me it’s all going to be okay. But I have reached that stage of life that even a hug makes me untrustworthy or unnerved, because I know that it’s temporary. Everything in life is temporary, except your existence.

Many people ask me why I love the songs of Queen. Because Queen’s songs hit the recesses of your soul. Queen is a band for the marginalized, for those who feel different, feel left out. I am definitely paying my dues, and also serving an undeserved sentence. Is it my fault that people around me have failed to love me or have I failed in garnering their love? Such thoughts consume me as I contemplate the next step of my life.

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I don’t talk about these things in fear that people will presume that I find it difficult to stay happy. In fact, I am always happy, externally, but with a swirling wind inside that is destroying everything and making me hollow. I don’t know if I can define this as sadness. It’s not sadness, actually. It’s the actualization of a new emotion where you accept your circumstances and your fate.

I know that I am growing distant from my family. I have never fit into their definition of a perfect child.  I have my complaints too. But I can’t tell them because they will feel that I am always complaining and being inconsiderate. ‘Inconsiderate’, ‘selfish’, ‘angry’, ‘self-centered’ – these words are used freely by all of us without considering the amount of damage it is wrecking in the person in front of us. I sometimes wonder if I would want children. I know that I will also probably be this cold when my child comes to me with their problem. I am used to being told to not talk about problems. Probably I will be the same with my child, and that thought scares me. It’s tough to feel bad and not be able to tell your mother, because you know that she won’t respond with a cursory, ‘are you alright, dear’. You know that the response will be standard procedure. I am busy, I have work, or focus on your work and everything will be okay, stop making an issue about little things, etcetera.

Sometimes, you do need help. And it’s okay. It’s okay to love someone and give them a bit of compassionate love. It’s okay to tell them, ‘you will be fine, I am there for you.’ I feel that in this materialistic world, we have forgotten to love. We believe in nothing but self-gain, self-respect and self-appreciation. As I switch off my phone, I wonder whether I should even turn it on. I wonder what’s the point of communicating with people who don’t even want to make the effort to connect with you. But a hope remains that one day I will surround myself with people who are considerate and affectionate. Yes, I am emotional and yes, I like having emotional people around me, because without emotions, this world will be a desert and our emotions will be a sand dune, being bashed around by those who don’t believe in loving or living.

I turn on the radio and a Queen song is playing. I smile and agree with Freddie Mercury. “I consider it a challenge before the whole human race and I ain’t gonna lose. We are the champions, my friend. And we’ll keep on fighting till the end.” I am tired of being starved of love. Time to switch off from those who don’t understand you, even if they are family. If they love you, they will eventually come around and try to understand you. If they don’t, then don’t try. You can never mould people into the shapes you want them in. Just accept that you’re different, and move on.

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

Is it okay to do something you’re not good at?

I struggle to keep pace with my peers. It feels like school all over again. I feel like someone’s laughing at the back of the class when I ask a stupid question.

It’s hard to be average and ambitious. You want to do many things with your life, but one thing always stops you – your incapability.

I always thought my strength lay in writing. Turns out that’s the case for many people out there. I am not the only one with creativity stuck to the nerves of her brain.

What do I do now?Where do I go? My life didn’t pan out the way it should have. I now have an insane goal in mind, steely determination for it, but my lack of expertise is frustrating me.

Has anyone ever told you that frustration is the key to losing your mind? It’s good to want more from your life, to want to better your situation. But how does one do it?

I walk in and out of job interviews, my mind boggled at the kind of expertise expected from me; my current role helping me in no way for the new one.

I look at myself in the mirror and feel disgusted at my incapability. I have officially failed to love myself. I don’t know what positivity is anymore. I don’t know whether I should smile at my life or my destruction.

Why did I end up here? I wasn’t meant to end up like this. I was the brightest in my class in college, the top performer in my graduate school. Then why am I at my lowest now? Is it because I have chosen to do something I am not trained in?

What do I do to better my situation? There is no person out there to help me. My parents are of little help either.

Sometimes, I wonder if happiness lies in being average and content. But contentment has always been so so hard for me. I try very hard to be happy with what I have, but a voice inside my head keeps telling me – you can do better.

To be honest, I wasn’t this confused when I was in a relationship. Back then, things were quite clear – I wanted to stick to one job, take things as and when they came and probably settle into a zone from where I could pursue my passion of writing full-time.

But then life hits you. Hard. You get lost in time and space, stretching your arm out for support, but touching thin air. The opportunities you actually have in your hand seem inadequate. Happiness becomes a chore. Smiling seems like harassment you inflict on yourself. You don’t feel like taking holidays anymore. Even going to eat out seems like a waste of time.

Sometimes, I feel I am not focused enough. I feel I lack the right skills or attitude to be successful. And then I see some people for whom it’s so easy. I wonder – where did I go wrong?

These are probably solitary thoughts – they will one day go away. But I wish I could understand how to become better at something I am not good at. I don’t know how much harder I should work. Is giving up easier than trying?

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

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.

history · Indian education · Indian Woman's Musings · Opinionated

History Never Teaches Us The Monstrosity Of War…

Many conflicting emotions have been playing in my head since I saw Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. For a history student, watching one of the greatest director’s alive make a war movie was nothing short of a spectacular experience. But, something died in me the moment I finished watching the film. And I have been trying to pen it down since then.

History is taught to us as a boring, drab subject in school. In college, one can love the discipline because there are so many ways to interpret the ways of men (and women). But what is never taught to us is how monstrous war is. How it never fetches anyone any happiness, it creates only misery.

The worst invention of humankind is war – for it discriminates between no one when it sets out to destroy.

Those men in Dunkirk – they weren’t out there for patriotism. They just wanted to go home. The larger-than-life pictures which we are fed of celebrating soldiers, their love for the motherland, patriotism – honestly, it’s all just a bunch of lies.

No emotion is greater than one’s love to live and I am glad Nolan made that point loud and clear in Dunkirk.

No one wants to die – especially on the battlefield. It’s a brutal life these people, the youth of the 1940’s lived, so that we can see our future today.

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Realising that I am walking on the dead bodies of so many young people, whose sacrifice made me who I am today, made me feel grateful for my life. And sad. No one deserves war, no one deserves a youth where the biggest concern is finding a way to live before you get bombed. Yet, we still are on the verge of going to war today. We still are ungrateful for what we have, for the sacrifices unwillingly made by so people.

Look at the sky. Imagine seeing a plane and being scared. Imagine the sea gulping you down because humans decided to use it as a weapon against you by building torpedoes. We have misused nature to gain, and unfortunately, we still continue to blame and maim nature. After watching Dunkirk, I don’t get it why selling arms is a ‘lucrative’ trade. Honestly, those arms will one day land in the hands of an unwilling 16-year-old who has to fight a war he/she has no intention of fighting.

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War divides, creates crevices. War kills. I don’t care if Dunkirk wasn’t giving me the sci-fi Kodak feel of Interstellar. Dunkirk is real, it’s brutal and it’s a reality. The Second World War was less a war against the Nazis and the Axis powers, it was more a war against our principles and the sanity of mankind. People were tested in myriad ways and mostly, we failed as a species.

What I learned from the film was that history shouldn’t be taken flimsily. The monstrosity of war should be taught to students, the bad images of war should be flashed in front of them every single day. The hunger, destruction and poverty war brings should be shown to us, so that no one even dreams of war or glorifies it ever again.

I want more directors like Nolan to reflect this side of war in their movies. Pearl Harbor wasn’t an amazing love story, War Machine isn’t a cool movie. War is not fun. Ask those who went through it. Or just look at Syria or the Philippines right now. Death can be avoided for those who want it, but only if we learn from history, unfortunately.

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.