Turning back

She found his sister-in-law walking down the street opposite to her house. It had been 8 years since she had seen any of his family members. Debating whether to avoid or not, she found her approaching. In her heart, she missed the friendship she had shared with his sister. It was an easy-going friendship, one that was without judgement. She called her ‘didi’, and not ‘bhabhi’. She did not want to bring the ‘weight’ of a bhabhi-wala relation into the simple sisterly friendship.

As didi approached, she hugged her, reminiscing the days gone by. Didi took her to her house, where there were a lot of people buzzing around, maybe for a wedding that was planned in the house. She felt amiss. Didi took her to a room and asked her to wait. On the other side of the room, she felt a presence. Ma. She jumped in surprise, went ahead and hugged ma too. Touched feet. Ma was distanced and detached. She handed me a letter. A handwritten letter.

She just took and just gave it a listless glance. No expression. When she went to her room, she found him there. She had forgiven him and had no weight in her heart. So, she greeted him politely.  Apparently, they all wanted him and her to get back together. She thought in her heart, that it was a foolish wishful want. She debated whether to cut this conversation short or see what he had to say. Curiosity took over and she took a seat 5 feet away from him. They spoke about inconsequential things. Then his intention was to move on to personal chat, but she sensed it and cut him short. She wanted to leave, but he got angry. All she said was, “You are still the same. Lower your temper.”

And she went to her parents to tell them to go and ask that family to move on. What did she achieve from that conversation? Not sure, maybe she had the satisfaction of knowing that it was the right thing to do, to walk out. Rather, to accept that he walked out. That a piece of paper with two signatures mean nothing when someone does not want to nurture a relationship. And of course, vice versa.

She thought of the man she now had in her life. Dynamic, mature and extremely loving. She thanked her stars. A small smile escaped her lips.

Track 2:

In her words:

The wedding atmosphere suddenly turned into tension filled melee. She was puzzled. Then people came running and shouting that the groom has halted the wedding celebrations because he wanted 10 lakhs immediately. The bride’s parents tried to ask our parents to arrange for the money. And fools that they are, they way they chose that man for me, they scrambled around, arranging for it.

I asked them to stop the madness. Just. Stop. It.

How dare that girl not stop this by taking a stand?? This for God’s sake is the 21st century. Educated people do NOT blackmail the bride’s family for money on the altar of marriage. What stops her from walking out? Is it okay to see her parents begging others for money? Is it okay to see the elderly couple scrambling around, and losing their wits on something as inconsequential as “buying a groom for their daughter”????

Track 3:

She wakes up with a jolt, angry and upset. Why after so many years, did she see this dream? Perhaps somewhere in her psyche, she expected him to come and apologize to her. And perhaps, somewhere in her psyche, she wants all those girls to stand up for their parents, who feel they are a victim of the society’s demands for sending a daughter with loads of materialistic things, with or without demand.

Track 4:

She thought of her parents who had the strength that ONLY true love could give, to support and in fact, help her in the brave decision she took so many years ago. She smiled as she saw the way her father’s head held high, when she told him of the salary hike she recently got. He is one proud father – he has seen her move from being a meek domestic girl to a confident corporate lady.

She immediately picked up her phone, and dialled Papa.

Smiling Female Business Leader With Arms Crossed

When nothing inspires

Some days are just like dampness.

You don’t like it and wait for it to dry out completely.

We tend to have such days and during those days, nothing seems to inspire us.

What do I do on such days?

  1. Meditate: I like to listen to guided meditation, especially those that allow for paced breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
  2. Read: Although my reading has stopped for quite some while, I have days when reading soothes me. I can not read more than 20-30 pages at a time.
  3. Cook: Cooking is a big destressor for me. I forget everything when I cook.
  4. Mobile Game: Some times, you just want to kill time without taxing your brain – without making it “think”. A simple mobile game does the trick!!
  5. Sleeeeeeeeeeep: Nothing beats sleep and I am sure each one of you (except insomniacs) will agree with me.
  6. Watch videos: Funny, inspirational, TED Talks, How To’s, you choose what works for you. How To’s work for me.

What works for you?

Introvertish Peeves

  • No, thank you. I don’t need company.
  • Reply to any question: A—X–Z. I am done. In my mind, it goes “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ”
  • Have to call someone – I will have a 101 reasons not to call ‘right now’. If I don’t, my clever mind will create 101 reasons. Note, ‘right now’ comes always.
  • Anti-social or pro-solitude
  • Socializing escape reasons: Too cold, too hot, unwell, have to cook, headache, well sometimes, just not interested, thanks. 😛
  • Best excuse: Oh, I don’t want to intrude. *Coy Smile.*
  • Bugging beliefs: Everyone’s around me is perfect, I am not. No one understands me.
  • We love helping out. Except, send us an email. Verbal doesn’t work. Ever.
  • Most of us need TIME to register conversations, and SPACE to privately express emotions over those conversations. Yes, we do have emotions.
  • Proud to be me. But sometimes, do invite me out.
  • There are just too many conversations running in my head to even consider a remote possibility of talking. Yep, we talk inside our heads. And no, we are not crazy.
  • No one can comprehend the joy of coming home!! It’s a Yay moment. And I am always always in a hurry to reach home, so that I can paint/cook/scrub the home/just do nothing.
  • My most hated statement, “Come out of your shell.”
  • When phone calls go beyond 15 minutes, (except of course a select few), I start losing attention and start wanting the conversation to end asap. I am not guilty about it. Sorry.
  • Shopping or window shopping by myself. I like. I like.
  • I always have a lot to say, but can almost never put it into words. If I try, I describe A as Z. God be with people close to me.
  • Arguments cause me great deal of distress because I can find no words to defend myself. All the words are stored in the Mind’s Cloud and come forth after the argument is over. Bleh!

Tears equal helplessness

Why do you cry so much? She asked

I don’t know.

But there must be a reason, right? She persisted.

Do you cry when you are sad?

Yes

Do you cry when you are hurt?

Yes

Do you cry when you are angry?

Yes, i think yes.

OK. Crying is a sign of helplessness. Are you helpless?

No answer

Are you helpless?

No.

Do you think you are so helpless that you can not take action? What could you have done differently, instead of crying?

I have no idea. I just felt so hurt, so dejected that the tears flowed. It was so unfair. It just wasn’t how things are done.

OK. So you felt hurt. But were you helpless? You could have addressed it head on. Right? Maybe you were scared that there would be a confrontation. Maybe you thought you would be blamed of something. Maybe… and there are a hundreds of maybes that I can give you.

End of the day, were you helpless? No. Could you have chosen another way? Yes.

So, next time, before you allow those tears to encroach upon your cheeks, ask yourself, “Am I helpless?” And if the answer is no, just act upon the reason of “No”. 

Female support

Truly Befikre

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‘Befikre’ is a Hindi word meaning ‘Carefree’.

When I watched this movie, I was really impressed by the story line and the way the romance bloomed between the key protagonists despite all resistance to love.

An absolutely fresh movie, the story revolves under a couple in a live-in relationship who decide to break up. After their break up, they become thick friends. However, both share the ideology that love does not exist. As the lady decided to marry a supposedly “tall, fair, handsome rich” guy after discussing with the lead, both of them realize that they are in love. Everything else ensues, but I did not like the ending, which was turned into a humorous confusion ending with the lead couple just running away from the chaotic scene. The movie also touches hearts with its absolutely fresh and melodious songs with liberal use of French. I didn’t know French is such a beautiful language until I saw this movie. (Maybe I will learn French some day). My personal favorite songs are Je T’aime, Labon ka Karobar and You and Me.

I decided to write about this movie because some moments in the movie touched my heart. There is one scene where the lead heroine is upset with the hero and turns and walks away from him. That is an amazingly acted out scene, as the way she walks away, her head high, her steps confident, is outstanding. It’s a rarity, especially in the Indian society, where that kind of self-assuredness and headstrong attitude is seen as a negative trait, and women are mostly expected to be submissive and meek.

For me, a confident lady is the epitome of the ‘perfect’ woman.

She may belong to any walk of life, but she is to be celebrated for the sheer determination that she displays in leading a respectful life.

She is the successful lady that sits in the cabin and runs her business.

She is the lady in the white suit inside the VP Cabin, devising a strategy for her company.

She is the lady who sits in the cubicle, churning out thousands of lines of code to complete a client project.

She is the lady with dignity who is the pioneer of the small weaving industry in her village.

She is the lady who topped her IAS examination and is now making a huge difference in others’ lives.

She is the lady who plays the roles of a police officer, a sexy siren and a dumb babe with the same degree of poise.

She is the lady who chooses to stay with her partner without worrying about society rules – how does a marriage certificate stop a couple from tearing the relationship apart, and how does the absence of a marriage certificate stop a couple from leading a life of together forever?

She is the lady who expertly counsels individuals and couples with no inhibitions on any issue, and no judgments whatsoever.

She is the lady who decides to walk out of a relationship that’s marred by abuse.

She is the lady who says no to emotional manipulation.

She is the lady who starts life afresh after being ‘abandoned’ by her husband.

She is the lady who paints her heart out and wins accolades in her first art exhibition.

She is the lady that left a high paying job abroad to help poor and abandoned children lead a respectful life by training them on vocational courses.

She is the lady who….  need I say more?

These women are truly ‘befikre’ and I salute them. Do you?

Who is your She?