I chose to forgive

Disclaimer- People will think I am an arrogant b*$#h when they read this, but you should know that I saw that old but famous Avenger Ad and this post has kinda sprung from there :). Now you may read in peace without being too judgmental.

I forgive my well-wishers who in the process of making me feel nice, seems to be doing just the opposite.

I forgive my teachers. For thinking I was “wrong”, because I wasn’t what they wanted me to be.

I forgive the institutions( school. colleges). For the loss of time I didn’t deserve.

I forgive my family. For not listening to me when I wanted them to.

I forgive those who hurt me. For the tears I cried and for the pain they made me go through.

I forgive the once friends. For not sticking around long enough.

I forgive the forgotten crush infatuation love period. For teaching me about life.

I forgive my past. Only because my present is looking good.

I forgive them all. Because … I am God.

Ofcourse I am not god! Not even Bruce Almighty! But I am me:) Sooo great news. I have arrived, finally. Or I seem to have finally realised that I have arrived! I just got a call from a really great company- they offered me a profile I think would have  let me have a lot of fun, but Yes, I chose to not take it. I chose to just spend time with family for the next two months.  I CHOSE to stick with learning psychology inspite of knowing that I would not be honoured among the gang of doctors and engineers. I CHOSE to give up an cushiony  MNC  job to do something I didnt want to. I CHOSE to not do my MBA in a lame B school because I had had enough mediocrity in my life. And I CHOSE to give up yet another cushiony job to get married and be with my husband. I CHOSE to be jobless iwhen the world was full of opportunities. I CHOSE  to live my dreams. I CHOSE to hope. I CHOSE not to have maverick plans and follow them. I chose to not have a concept of a career, but just fun jobs that pay me well. I made the choices. I have made more mistakes than not, cried and gotten angry. I have never regretted decisions. I have forgiven and forgotten.   I chose this life. And I am proud.

This is me. :)

Khwabon ki dehleezein, kadmo ko aab mere, hai chumati Aahhhaaaaaa
Pehle tha mein peeche Yeh duniya aab peeche hai ghumathi Aaahhhaaaaa
Main kya hoon Main kya yeh batlau
Main woh hun Jo chahun woh pau
Main khud se hi vaade nibhaun
Main woh hun Jo chahun woh pau-

                      Main Kya Hoon, Artiste – KK, Album – Love Aaj Kal

Ramblings-3

Some people say they will be there with you no matter what happens, some others will walk away from your life for reasons that dont make any sense at all and then there is the third category of people who will not just say that they will be there for you at all times, but will also hold your hand and walk with you through the happiest and worst of times. Thank god for them.

Am off for a week. No phones, no internet, nobody. I took a stand. And am glad I did. People who know me well, know that I am doing nothing wrong. And they are with me in the decisions I make. I am sick and tired of living life according to other people’s rules and so starting now, I am going to live life the way I chose to live it, the way I want.

Before I go, here’s a little something for you to ponder on; Do not ever comment on someone else’s life or the mistakes they make when you have done the same thing in the past. Someone forgave you and held you close inspite of all the mistakes you commited. Then why not give someone another chance? Why lose people to petty egos and misconceptions? Life is too damn short to waste it on hating and losing friends. And for once in your  life, just one damn time, be happy for someone else. The moment you start seeing happiness in other people,you will see your own miseries slipping away.

Oh and lastly, dont let anyone and I mean anyone take away what makes you happy. Its just not worth the hassle.

As for me, I am off to a place to meet someone whose mere presence makes me the happiest :)

Have a great week ahead :)

“Aint no mountain high enough

Aint no valley low enough

Aint no river wide enough

that keeps me from getting to you”

Reality Check

Its a nice, cool morning, but its Monday and so I am moaning. As usual. There are some days that just knock u off your feet. Some days when u just wake up with a smile on our face, not really knowing that it will be the only one on your face the entire day. Some days when everything just seems to go wrong, as though the whole universe just conspired to make you feel utterly miserable.

Ever get this feeling that you’re watching your own life happen from outside? No, I don’t mean to ask if u have suffered a mild case of dissassociative disorder. Just that at times, u just feel that things happening to you, are not really happening to u. they are not really real. Well, this feeling that I get once in a while, often gets me thinking. What the hell is reality anyways. Who decides what is real n what is science fiction? I mean, matrix could be real. So could Twilight. Its convenient right? We have made categories for everyone to fit in. Even for those who don’t want to- they are the miss-fits. The radicals. If someone says or believes in something that doesn’t fit into the system, they are immediately cast away as schizophrenics, maniacs. The Not-normals. Come on, how many times have you done things that isnt normal in the eyes of the society and people around you? Does that make you a not normal person or a not nice person? Then how can you judge someone else and push someone away because they are doing something different?! Talk about double standards!

Alright I digress. This brings us back to my original question. Who decides what is normal? Whose reality are we living anyways? I remember one day in college, my friends and I had a HUGE debate over this. Well, mostly it was speed n me, with div trying to placate me, while supporting speed’s view. Speed claimed that reality was quite simply what she could see, feel, touch n hear. I countered that so does a schizophrenic( I am a psychologist too, remember), so why is that called hallucination? She counter-countered that, well what a schizo’s reality is something that only he/she can see. But her reality is something that all of us can…she, me,div, the guy sitting in the adjacent bench trying to evesdrop, all of us. So well, I asked, then that simply means that your reality is dependant on the corroboration of others. Which when simply put can just mean that whatever the majority thinks, believes, and says, becomes the reality. It may be wrong, but then u gotta live with it.

This brings us to another favourite theory of mine. That this big, beautiful world of ours, runs on a few sets of parameters. And on the assumption that every man, woman, n child, accept n believe in those parameters. These parameters may not always make sense, but they are essential building blocks of our world. If they crumble, we crumble. So when some enlightened soul stands up to question them, it becomes necessary for us to label them as crazy, so that we don’t have to grope in the darkness for answers. Because we are quite happy to live with the answers that we already have. So well, if we believe that matrix is a reality, it kinda burdens us with a need to take a stand. Do we, go on as we did even after knowing the truth? Or do we, like Neo, fight for freedom? Choice…it’s not just our greatest gift, it is also our biggest burden. We chose our reality. We chose what we want to believe. And we chose to be who we are. Reality, my friend, is a myth.

It’s all in your head…zombie.

I, Me, Myself

Good Afternoon people! It is a Wednesday afternoon and I think most people I can see from where I sit are in a cranky mood! Soo I was away with family for some family bonding giving  each other solace n all that and I am going to be on and off in writing till the new year. Not that I have lots of things to do but I need to get some time to myself and do some me time before the new year begins and so I will be on a wavy mood(high and low) !

It irks me. The being pulled out of the comfy zone I mean.It’s like being pulled out of a cocoon. It always feels terrible to get out of one’s comfort zone. But as everyone knows, you can’t achieve anything unless you get out of it. Change of phases always bring me a great discomfort. Eventually, I do end up liking them though.

When I was in school, I was damn sure I will never like college. First of all, I had to go to Tamil Nadu and talk to my classmates in Tamil. It’s not that I don’t know the language at all n all that but if you speak to me in “Senthamil” I would look as if I was just given a time bomb. I would never get to lead that super cool life like in school were  I was just so carefree, enthusiastic and in love with life. I would never get to travel in my school bus, hang around the local shop with my friends etc. And on top of that, I  knew I would get a culture shock at CBE. If I sound like a rude mallu, I must admit that I was one! The me taking a liking to CBE was a gradual process. I slowly started liking the place. I started liking the “chilli parotta” which was the only reason I didnt die of hunger in my first year. But then like I said I would have found some reason or the other to like the phase anyway. I met Div and Deeps there and formed a bond for lifetime. By the end of my third year, I was completely in love with the new phase.

By the time I reached my final semester, I knew I had to figure out what to do so I decided to study further. I came back to my hometown to do my masters. I wasnt too glad and all that but yes the fact that it was my hometown kinda gave me a high. By the third semester, I was damn sure I wouldn’t like going to work. Too much responsibilities. Too much headache. And you can’t sleep during work hours. When I started to work… it didn’t turn out so bad. The money earning part I just loveeeee :D The financial independence is just awesome. I have been working for about 3.6 years now and have loved it till now( though I still crib about the lack of sleep and not being to sit at home and idle n all tht)

Now its almost time for my next transition(the nost major one by far) and I feel the same discomfort. Maybe all this uneasiness is for the good, as proved in the past. Though I think this transition phase is a lil harder than the other ones I went through because there is a lot more pressure, a lot more of disappointments.. and you are just looking desperately for that little iota of hope and happiness.

Sometimes, I just wish I could go back to my childhood days and start things all over again…

But then…this is what life is all about.

Mistakes are meant to be made

Here’s the thing about mistakes. Sometimes, even when you know something’s a mistake, you gotta make it anyway.

Sometimes you have to touch that hot plate even though you know it will burn your hand(this is from experience, not a plate, a silencer… :P). Sometimes you have to get a hair color or a hair cut we know will look awful, but you get it. Sometimes you have to taste the disgusting food to make it better the next time you cook. Sometimes you have to forget your purse in a restaurant so you can learn to be less forgetful the next time. Sometimes you have fall for the wrong person in order to find the right person for yourself.

Sometimes you have to make the mistake in order to avoid making it the next time around. A mistake is simply another way of doing things.

Someone gave a very good analogy: What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, don’t you? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!

You know, there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to know that it really is a mistake is to make that mistake and go, “Yup, that was a mistake”. So really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake because then you’ll go about your whole life not knowing whether it was a mistake or not. Got it?

Make mistakes and enjoy learning from it. It really makes life simple…

Life as I see

Every time you leave someone behind or they decide to quit on you, things don’t remain the same. There’s always a change – sometimes a major change or sometimes just a minor one which you brush off. Whether you miss these people from your life or not, they change you in a certain way and then they come back to you in pieces, years after they are gone. Some come in dreams, others come in places, a few in thoughts here and there, and many on occasions and festivals.

However, the worse mistake we make is leave something good in hopes that there is something better out there for us. And sadly, we make this mistake too often. The truth is, there is always something – someone – better out there for us. Someone who is more compatible, someone who is more beautiful, someone who would fit more into our lives. You can use all the logic in the world and calculate all the compatibilities, and you will see your perfect mate. But would that perfect mate love you? Would that perfect mate be near you? Or would that perfect mate even be available? The answer is… ‘Perhaps,’ but are you really willing to bet on that? Are you willing to set your small loving home on fire in hopes for a big mansion tomorrow which may or may not exist?

And I wish I could tell you to not make this mistakes, to learn from what I have seen. Because I know all too well that once you take that step there is no way of undoing it. But I won’t tell you because I get it – I get it that we are selfish, we want it all and the most dangerous thing we want is “More”. So I won’t tell you not to make this mistake because it is something you know in your heart or you don’t.

All I can tell you is that you will make this mistake and you will regret it.

And the most interesting thing about life is that it kicks you down, in fact it kicks you while you are down. It brutally bashes you and breaks your bones – one at a time – so that you do not miss out on the pain. Life is not a disaster, it is a slow torture. But just when you think that you cannot go on any longer, and life is convinced that you have given up, it brings you flowers and tend to your wounds and helps you get up on your feet only to knock you down some other time.

At the end of it all, it is such a humbling experience.

Moment to Listen

It’s all in the moments, don’t you think? Those vulnerable moments when consciously or unconsciously we decide to open ourselves up. We decide to show how insane we are, how sensitive we can get and what wild desires we carefully burry in our hearts.

That moment is without doubt a very critical moment in any relationship…when tears emerge, wounds are cut open, and hands tremble (not to mention that lump in the throat!). Most of us are wise enough to not show the scars to everyone. N then comes along one special person to whom we hide nothing n we feel comfortable opening up ourselves to them.

“We choose you because we think you are special. We choose you because we think you will kiss the pain away. We choose you because we think you are capable of hiding our sins and appreciate us for who we truly are.”

I have been on both ends of the spectrum—being the quiet listener and the one with the lump in the throat.

The road parts in two opposite directions once the lump is subsided. You either destroy the little of a relationship you had with the talker or you make it stronger. I suppose it all comes down to listening. If a person listens he cares, if he cares he will definitely stick around. If someone can’t listen to you, no matter what he claims he could do, chances are it’s not worth it, don’t you think?

I want to listen. I try to listen. I have learned that there are times when I need to shut up and just listen—listen and not interrupt. Believe me, you won’t be able to connect with someone (even if you spend day and night with them) the way you do in that one moment of confession, one moment with trembling hands and wet eyes—in that one moment of trust.

And it is almost always about that ONE moment… if it passes, it would not come back. If you are distracted, you wouldn’t hear it again. Sometimes, just missing that one moment keeps us at a distance from the person we love for the rest of our lives.

Are you listening?

P.S- I sometimes really believe that god surely gave us two ears and one mouth so that we listen more and talk less. what do u think?

All over again

It’s starting all over again

.

I am afraid that it is starting all over again.
You know, the stupid silly Hi’s… the good nights and the good mornings…
The un-ending, time-flying conversations…
The caring and sharing…
I am afraid it is starting all over again.

Ya ya i know what u must be thinking, it’s another affair to remember. No! Friends..we all begin our friendship this way. Some turn into love n some others stay as super friends till the end. I have had a lot of friends and while I have been blessed with a few, some have turned out to be real baaad. Bad ones have left me wounded and scarred.

Usually, life gives us choices. I firmly believe that one almost always have a choice. Sometimes it is a limited choice, still we have a choice. Mostly, we make these choices consciously, sometimes unconsciously but we do make them—almost every day. Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we have a choice. It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.

I am trying to make a choice—make it consciously. I wonder how to resist. I wonder if I should resist. Should we resist when life presents us an opportunity which could turn out either good or bad? I have never been afraid of risks. But at the same time I am not very comfortable with putting others at risk with me.

But, what do you do? What do you do when someone so adorable wants to hold your finger and walk a mile with you? What do you do when they trust you to be there with them ? What do you do when they look up to you? Respect you for who you are?

There are cute people in your life that would stick with you for the rest of time if you let them. You take it a step further and they will love you for they think you are awesome. But the question is: Do you want to do that? Would you not feel selfish?

Do you want to show them the dark hole of your personality? Are you ready to expose the scars you have been carefully hiding for ages and ages now? Is it time yet? Is it time to trust?

My scars, the scars I carry are still fresh. Healing process is a slow one I suppose. I am afraid that the wounds will open. When is it time to trust someone with our scars? When the scars are totally healed or when they are healing?

I am afraid I will be happy again. I am afraid to feel the pain. Please don’t touch my scars, I say.

I am afraid I am falling for the sweet surrender.
I am afraid it is starting all over again.

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
Shakespeare

When I hear this I often wonder if Shakespeare actually knew what he was talking about…. If you are wondering what am I exactly ranting about then you have to know this story, my story.

When I was born, my mother wanted my name to be unique. She also had other specifications regarding my name. My brother was named Manu, so she wanted my name to be similar to his. She wanted my name to have only 2 letters when written in Malayalam. They tried and tested multiple names and spellings on me. Tried calling me to see if I responded,not that I had a say in all this anyway but till this point in time I am ok with everything…. Now I wonder why exactly she gave this name to me…. I mean did I do something when I was in the cradle prompting her to give me this name????At some bizzare moment, probably I was hungry or irritated or whatever, when my mother called out the name “Madri”, Iwould have responded with an “huh”. So that’s how I was named.

Did it occur to her what her repercussions are. But before that my first question goes to parents all over. How do they decide on the name of their child??? I mean if the child smiled in the cradle, they will name him Santosh. Or if the child was born in the morning then he is Suraj? I am perplexed. Gods name are given to children. But what is the intention?? Is it that the names will help the child turn as virtuous as Gods???? But who am I to question laws of society and nature…. So coming back to my name…. as I said before…. I am not cribbing about this…. I was the only MADRI in my school, college and my workplace. Having a unique name has its perks in the world where there are hajar Priyas, arjuns, Sudhas. I mean if you find say a book with Madri written on it, u would know immediately it is mine. There won’t be a need to research and know which MADRI this book belongs to, coz it only me in the game. But this unique name (I refrain from calling it unusual) also had a flip side as well….

Now whenever I go and introduce myself, the people are amused. This is evident by the broad smile on their face when they hear my name. Some even go to the extent of saying “oh, like the capital of spain?”. now I am stumped. How am I supposed to react to this. “Yes Madrid minus the d” or just give that silly grin and let him/her decide. People have even asked me y my parents didn’t name me madhuri or madhavi, why MADRI?? LIke I had a choice of choosing my name!! Going to college was particularly dreadful for me coz I always thought I would be ragged courtesy my ‘UNIQUE’ name…. How many seniors would get a chance like this. I mean my name actually gives them ragging material on the platter….

But that’s not all…. I went to Barista the other day…. Now at this coffee joint I have to order, then tell my name, pay of course and finally wait for my turn till the guy calls off my name from the list…. So I go to the guy and say ill have a choco frappe and a grilled sandwich…. So he takes the order and asks my name…. I say, “Madri” he says, “excuse me madam…. Could u repeat that…. I heard the name as MADri….” I said, “yes, that’s correct… that’s my name….” you should ve seen the grin on his face when I confirmed my name…. worse comes next…. When my order was done he goes, “MAAAAAAADriiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”…. Now I would like to believe that was because he had to get through to me despite the din around…. There are many such instances…. All through these years I have seen people grin, smile, laugh when I tell my name…. the positive way of looking at it is that I have made people laugh and then I get content with it…. if you meet me and u would come to know that the MADri aspect of my character is not exactly just limited only to my name :)

Probably my name is unique, undoubtedly manipulated several times and hard to get the first time. I may even sound mad or act mad at times. People often ask me, if you don’t like your name why u don’t change it…. But then comes my immediate reply, “What’s in a name? That which we call Madri by any other word would mean the same sweet person” wont it????

For those of you who are wondering what exactly my name means, here goes.

In the Mahabharata epic, Madri (Sanskrit: माद्री Mādrī) was a princess of the Madra kingdom and the second wife of Pandu.

On his way to Hastinapur, King Pandu encountered the army of Shalya, King of Madra. Very soon, Pandu and Shalya became friends and Shalya gave his only sister, Madri to Pandu, as a gift of their friendship. Looking at her beauty, Pandu accepted the lady willingly and took her to Hastinapur.She, alongside Kunti, faithfully accompanied Pandu in his hermetical retreat following his abdication as the king of Hastinapura. One day while hunting in the forest, Pandu accidentally shot an arrow killing a hermit. He cursed Pandu saying that he would die alongside the person he lay with. Both Kunti and Madri were directly affected by the curse on Pandu because they were denied the opportunity to lay with Pandu and thus Pandu’s children. However, a boon was given to Kunti which enabled her to call upon any God to bear her a child. She had used this boon once before with the Sun God and thus gave birth to Karna, a child which no one was aware of. After Pandu learns of this boon he begs her to call upon Gods to bear her with children. She call upon Dharma, Vayu, and Indira and she bears YudishtiraBhima, and Arjuna respectively. Pandu asks Kunti to use this boon for Madri, who then bore twins from the twin Gods Ashvins named Nakula and Sahadeva.

One fateful day, Pandu desired Madri and the memory of the curse briefly eluded him. Death struck Pandu immediately. Madri, filled with remorse, self immolated on Pandu’s funeral pyre.

Choices

Life is about choices! People have always argued with me about the lines on one’s hands and head playing an important role. However,the destiny argument has been of little use to me, for I believe that even if it is true, we will never know its role in our lives. Every time we are at a crossroad, we have to make a choice and that path takes us to another crossroad, thus deciding our journey and therefore the destination. I see making a choice as the power to respond to a given situation.

Of course, championing free will in the context of fate is one thing, but to see the ability to choose as an absolute, is another. Recently, at a relatives’ place, the post-dinner chat turned into a heated discussion about choices. My uncle vehemently argued that everybody has a choice at all times. No matter how difficult that choice is, it does exist for each one of us. He went on to illustrate his point by saying that, even the woman who suffers an abusive marriage, is choosing it over her freedom, for things that are more important to her. Undoubtedly, her circumstances like having small children, economic dependency, fear of shame, lack of support from her own parents, etc, make the choice difficult. He was emphatic, that even though the choice may be between a rock and a hard place, it is still a choice.

While it sounded logical, it seemed to undermine the circumstances within which people actually end up making those choices. It may seem I am contradicting my own mantra that life is about choices, but speaking for the disadvantaged, I often find myself saying things like, “…but she didn’t have a choice”, as I don’t want to judge others through my own prism. Isn’t the ability to make a choice a privilege that we take for granted? Conceptually, everybody has a choice. Even if you are committing suicide, you are exercising a choice, but in practice, how can one overlook the circumstances that push a person to take that option?

My first field placement while doing my bachelors in Psychology was with mentally challenged children, and I used to wonder, what choice do they have? Or for that matter even their family? In fact, the more vulnerable a population, more limited is their choice.

Having said that, in human rights’ work, one of the main things one does is to make people aware of the choices that exist for them. And when one teaches, more than anything else, one learns. When I feel helpless, I remind myself that I do have a choice, but the challenge is to make the right one. But to say that everybody has a choice could perhaps be conceived as a way of shifting collective responsibility to individual responsibility, a bit unfair in a world of huge inequalities. Sure, as a human race we have choices, especially in the way we use or distribute our resources, but as individuals, for many it is akin to choicelessness. While theoretically there is no question that every situation presents a choice, the fact is that most people are neither aware of all the available choices, nor do they have the ability to follow up on the choices, even if they make them.

The debate that night did disturb me much beyond that post-dinner conversation. I was conflicted between what sounded right and what felt right. Anyhow my take-away was that, while it may not be true for everyone, surely those of us who are privileged can make choices that are more responsible. Then there will be less room for excuses and blame-games.Perhaps it all sounds confusing, but to explore the gray, we will have to resist the temptation of simplistic black and whites. There are times when I find clarity in the exploration of ambiguity.