Posted in m@dness

Girlcations Can Wait!

“We need to go on a girlcation“. I had just sent this to Ms.A this morning as I came across one of our old pics together. Lately, my facebook wall seems to be flooded with ladies going on trips with their girlfriends and the only trip I can think of now, is a trip to the bathroom. Alone. But, I totally envy the girl gang who have actually gone on girlcations. More power to you! And please, this post isn’t an after effect of watching the trailer of Veere di Wedding. Oh I have a gang of girls or I can think of at least 4 people who I’d love to go on a trip with and vice versa. These are people who I want to get together with, talk over vodka, catch up on our lives, non existent careers and post pregnancy bodies!.

In my twenties, I believed that I needed the validation of having a lot of people around me. I needed more friends. More people in my contact list. More connections for things to do. More people to comment on my Facebook posts. And boy I did have a lot of friends.  Today, I look back and know the need to put off that perception of being “liked” in order to feel good about myself.It didn’t take me long after having my first baby to realize how empty that need was. In the first few days or weeks post my delivery, when my heart was full of fear, doubt and exhaustion in its new journey, there really weren’t many of them I felt could call. While I had a lot of “virtual” friends, I could barely call them for a good heart-to-heart chat. I had the validation of feeling liked, but I yearned for the friendships that made me feel alive.

With the coming of my second one, I am convinced that although my “social network” shows that I have 2000+ connections, those are not my forever friends. Since the past few months, my life in general has gone through a storm; I dont mean my little girl, but a series of events from losing loved ones to my dad getting sick to fallouts with family and so today, not only have I learned to value myself, I have also understood the value of real, raw, back-and-forth friendships.

These days, juggling work from home, studying, managing 2 girls, tango and the man, the only time I get to spend being social and friendly with my loved ones are limited to whatsapp chats that I reply to days after I have read it or likes on fb posts or if am very lucky, two minutes of phone calls with kids shrieking in the background. But, I am happy for that, about that. Because, it’s like saying to each other that, we are still a part of each other, we will  talk when we can, we will soak up the times we get together n we will still be with each other when we are allowed a social life years  decades later.

These friends of mine are people I know will wait for me to reply but know exactly when to pick up the phone and call. They know our relation had to take a back seat not because they weren’t important at any point but because they know that we are good enough friends and neither time nor distance can create a scratch, leave alone a scar. People  say that it’s dumb to keep friendships that you can’t devote time and effort to, but I believe it is those relations that are lowest maintenance that are forever and for real. The ones worth keeping. Till the very end.

To my friends who I don’t always get to spend time with, we will do what we can for now and that will be enough. And otherwise, we will do those things and go on girlcations in just a bit. Maybe, 10 years later?

Related image

Advertisements
Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood- 32

I have always opined that a low phase in life is something we humans must get used to. The age old adage about the ups and downs in life is certainly true but there is something very eerie about getting used to hardships. The state of mind, where you consciously stop counting what it takes to survive – to evolve and to keep standing. Its is when you understand that you are not just the seed, but also the air, water, and light.  This is where the real human potential starts to unfold – The state of absolute accountability and survival. It is blissful.

However, to reach there, you need your wings clipped and chopped, your back broken and bruised, your ego ruined and shattered. And to soar again, you need your faith to be undaunting, your hopes undiminished, and your values un-compromised.  When you have all the above, you will emerge unbreakable.

After working or rather slogging  away in the corporate jungle, I realised that when you are a woman (read: just because you are a woman), you need a couple of things more – a smiling face, a kind heart, never say die and most definitely the art to say “Buzz off” to everything that does not matter anymore.

 

 

That my dears is an art that I just mastered. Oh and Happy Independence Day!

Posted in m@dness

All in a day’s work

I have always been proud of the fact that I am very good at adapting to situations. I still am, I mean. Like when 2011 happened or 2015 or that time when I was jobless and sitting at home looking up at the ceiling or now when I am balancing a full time job and parenthood. I have adapted quite well!  SO while at home, I’d hate it if someone bugged me from work or ate into my home time. At work, I like being a workaholic! Staying immersed in it and completing task after task gives me a strange sense of achievement and peace. Not that I love every tiny bit of it, but I feel good that I am delivering value. I don’t know what people really mean when they say that one should love the work one does, because there is nothing that one can consistently love or hate. I love some parts of the work I do, I hate  some others. What motivates me is the hope that the value I am adding at my end would create a difference in the chain ahead. After all, at the end of the day, I must feel worthy of what I earn; and in the instances I feel that, I think I love my work, too.

It is the same thing while doing stuff at home. I have to put in my heart and soul into what I am doing. Be it cooking, cleaning or any of those home errands. Oh and these days I have a puppy and my baby and then the husband too. Its like managing 3 offices in different locations while constantly keeping track of what each other is doing! This is one area where I know I am contributing directly to the lives of 2 humans and a dog! What bliss!I earn the love of each of these beings in return and we all know, love is what makes the world go around.

On puritan grounds there is nothing like complete job satisfaction. The satisfaction comes, when we are able to do justice with the skill set we possess or think that we possess. I love writing, but then I do not want to do arbitrary writing on topics I like. I want to do things more powerful than just expressing my thoughts, I want people to find value in what I write, be it personal or technical.  With time I have realised that writing is not the thing my soul really longs for (Thats not the excuse for not blogging often. I am lazy!), it is about using the words to get people’s attention and focus. And the moment I bring this perspective into my work, I find my work very significant; and automatically my focus and dedication towards it increases. I so hope the boss isn’t reading because he is going to question the work I submit to him!

I remember a quote about contentment that said that contentment is about enjoying what you have right now. It has actually very less to do what you want in future. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all understandings and accepting your value is the key. Of course, accepting yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It is very important to know yourself and be comfortable in your skin to really be better. Pretense helps no one, neither does believing that we are better or worse than other people. But whom am I teaching? As the age old adage, charity begins from home.

working-mom

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood- 31

 

imageI am the loneliness of the crowd

I am the silence of the talk

I am the dryness of the rain

I am the oneness of the many

I am the softness of the hard

I am the wetness of the dry

I am the happiness of the sad

I am the oneness of the many

I am the solitude of the open

I am the darkness of the light

I am the shallowness of the depth

I am the oneness of many

Coz’ I have been the one among many and many within the one

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Girlfriends- The Real SoulMates

For oft when on my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

-William Wordsworth

Quite unlike a normal day, I have a few minutes to spare and I was in the mood for some introspection. Happened to overhear a conversation between 2 college going girls and it bought a rush of memories. The girls were discussing about what to wear to work and what hairdo to adorn to college the next day! I remembered making calls to my bestie asking her what I should wear to the parties, to a function or just to go out. Oh the hours those phone calls used to last! While in school, a minimum of 5 calls after school was a must. The joy and satisfaction was priceless. Conversations would range from normal Wassup to philosophy and life!

Unlike men who never let anything come in between their manfriends and man -time, we women tend to get tied down to a lot of things. Especially after marriage. My bestie and I have been friends for decades. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. She knows my story. The ups and downs, the good, bad, ugly. She is my “Remember when” girl.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy. I pick up the phone to call her but something comes up. Despite all this, in some strange way we are connected. There are times when I have received a call just when I needed to speak to her. In my weakest moments  I have noticed that while faith keeps you standing, more than family, friends hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal, continue checking on you and show love in a million heartfelt ways. And now listening to those girls having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff. And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own. Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them.

Here are the unspoken rules. I want my girl to know..SO…

  1. True girlfriends will tell you the good and the bad stuff. They will also find a way to make you feel OK about both.
  2. Your best friend may have other friends too. Accept it.
  3. We are imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they as
  4. A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just excitement when you finally do connect.
  5. Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often
  6. Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
  7. Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
  8. There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
  9. And lastly, no matter what it takes, catch up once in awhile. It will be worth it!

I hope this acts as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing together again , there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

Call your girlfriend. Now.

Image result for girls looking out

 

Posted in m@dness

Arrogant Display of Insensitivity

I cannot change the world and its ways. I have accepted that. But I sure can speak my mind and hope that someone who reads this post will change the way they think and act. So. I lost my mother at a young age. Very very young age. To this day, I remember one of my family members screaming and wailing in front of the body as to how she would have been alive if she hadn’t given birth to me! Yes I remember the person, the wails and it all. It haunts me everytime I see or hear about young children who lose one or both their parents while they are young. So imagine my frustration when I hear and see that a person I used to know died giving birth. I had to fight back the tears and nostalgia. I still am.

Our society in particular are very cruel to the survivors. By survivors I mean the family who is left behind by a dead person. Not only do they not give support, they tend to pick and dig into the matter in a sort of schadenfreude pleasure. To overcome the grief takes time, years, sometimes forever. Nobody understands the effect such events have on children. I don’t need to imagine that because I know.

We, the human race is supposed to be a very advance species. However I am beginning to think that the more advance we get, the less emotional and empathetic we are becoming. Selfies are the best example I can think of. An occasional selfie when you are wearing a brand new, great looking outfit is fine. Hanging out with friends, post a selfie. had a fan moment, be my guest. Date night with the love of your life, go on, take a selfie by all means. However, lately I have been  noticing the line disappearing. The line that clearly defines when the selfie must stop. On Fb, the other day, a friend posted a picture of his grandmother’s funeral. A selfie of him and the grandmother’s body in a coffin. Just when I thought I had seen it all, this morning another friend posted a picture of a newborn with her dead mother! For me, personally, I lost it. The real me wanted to scream at the friend and shake her and bring her to her senses but the socially responsible-well behaved lady in me just asked her politely as to why she would post a heartbreaking picture on a social platform. That’s that.

Why would or why have people turned to be so insensitive? This definitely psychopathic behavior leads me to believe that maybe the experts are right after all.Selfies tend to attract a type of person already more likely to push the boundaries of normal behavior,the so-called Dark Triad of personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – are likely to pursue selfie glory regardless of who or what gets hurt in the process. While in the earlier days,photography was just to keep  old memories alive,today photography has grown far more than that. In the last 190 years, which is when the first photo was take , photography has grown to a  level where most people use it to prove something!

It all comes down to one main thing: self-indulgence. One becomes self-centred once they get habituated to taking pictures of just about everything, that they start ignoring the conditions around them, and even the feelings of the people in the vicinity.There is nothing wrong with taking pictures of yourself or of things, but lets not forget that it doesn’t have to be a part of our daily routine. It is more important to live in the moment than to worry about your looks and lighting. A confident person doesn’t rely on the popularity of a picture but rather the popularity of their personality. It is not only insensitive, but also kind of stupid to take pictures while people around you are in trouble or are grieving. You would be looked upon as a selfish person despite your good intentions. So next time you pick up your phone or camera for to take a picture, look around to make sure you are not offending anyone.fb_img_1433099907089-724420

Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood-30

Diwali is just around the corner. I had never celebrated Diwali till 2 years ago. And when I did celebrate, it really was with a bang. Ami was born on a Diwali, 2 years ago. So indeed it was with a bang. Nope, the post isn’t about Diwali. Go google if you need to know about the festival. As a ritual, the ladies clean the house, from top to bottom, in and out. It is tiring. As I moved things around here n there, I slowed down. Couldn’t it be possible, that by cleaning, our ancestors actually meant our heart and soul? That, what if they meant was to throw away the negative thoughts in our heads and leave space for the good stuff to enter. Make way for goodness! Couldn’t it be? And dumb us keep cleaning the exteriors, the material things.

I did. I sat down, this weekend. I thought of the good stuff, I couldn’t think of too many bad things that I had done, but I could think of a lot of things that people had done to me that really did leave scars. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Cause when the bad things come, they come out of nowhere. The bad things come suddenly, with no warning. But we forget that sometimes that’s how the good things come too. So I sat down and thought of all those experiences and cried. I cried for the last time. I decided I will not cry over all of it ever again. I will not keep a revenge and I will not curse. I let go. I forgave.

It felt good! Why however, does it feel so good to get rid of things? To unload? To let go? Maybe because when we see how little we actually need to survive, it makes us realize how powerful we actually are. To strip down to only what we need. To hang on to only what we can’t do without. Not just to survive, but to thrive. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate. Happy Diwali.

images