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?

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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.

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Posted in close to heart

Always daddy’s little girl

I was going to post this on December 15th , when my Das turned 70. Ahem, mind you, he is just 70 by age. He is as fit as 40 and as young as 30 in his mind. Daddy dearest, this one is for you. I want you to know that, you are my number one and will always be my number one.

Humble and soft-spoken.With the mannerisms of a gentleman, jet black eyes, thinning hair, grey beard and moustache and a smiling face, he’s a statuesque man exuberating charm, grace and humility. A man of principles, a man who walks with his head held high and walks in a manner that commands respect. A man with a big warm heart and an open mind, who isn’t bound by shackles of tradition or social norms. A man who’d miss a cricket tournament to sith and watch a re re re run of F.R.I.E.N.D.S with his daughter. A man who compromised his whole life to make hers better and brighter.A man who made sure there would be no fingers raised to question his daughter’s upbringing. A man who made sure she attended every singing competetion in the state and a man who during her innumerable performances clapped the loudest. A man who made silly faces when presented  cards with  scrawny handwriting that said “To the bestest, daddy dearest”. A man who’d see the child wrap presents for Father’s Day and still act surprised when she gives him the gift next day.The man who’d carry the school bag till the busstop and wait till she gets on the bus. A man adamant on not buying a new shoe however obsolete and frayed the old one became. A man who never said no to a new dress or accessory no matter how extravagant and unnecessary. A man who’d ignore his urge to buy new clothes or shoes so that his princess can get that gadget she was craving for. A man who’ll perform random deeds of kindness and laugh his way through bad times. Who’ll smother her with a bear hug after she has confessed to a petty crime. The dad who will keep the door to his room open after they’ve watched a horror movie so that she can walk in anytime.

The dad, my dad, my brother’s first super hero and my first love.  He’s the life of every group. The man in the center of a crowd. Entertaining everyone with witty jokes. Loved by kids and adults alike. Agony Uncle to God father to Secret Santa to Amazing human being to cool granduncle to doting dad to sincerest husband.

I’m truly and utterly thankful for every time that he forgave me, for every word of advice, for every smile that touched my eyes,for every sacrifice. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for making me believe without a doubt that unconditional love does exist. My Das is the Bestest Dad in the whole world!

I LOVE YOU THIIIIIIISS MUCH DAS ! 

Posted in close to heart

Ramblings-7

I am not a very “virtual reunion” person, everyone doesn’t evoke the same kind of nostalgia in me. Surprisingly, most school folks do, most college folks don’t. I can’t talk nineteen to the dozen with everyone. With a lot of people I can, with most I can’t. And I can’t have prolonged conversations about in laws. Or about the dorks whose names I no longer remember. And I can’t answer the same questions worded differently for 10 excruciating minutes… Or more!

Especially on Gtalk and Skype.

Especially on a weekend!

Is that a problem?

So stop complaining.

P.S- Happy Weekend

Posted in Gelf News

Old Girl in a New City

I have never felt old when I ran around for hours with my niece n nephew. Not when I climbed and trekked and ran. Not even when people started calling me old. Not even my hair started greying! I always thought you could learn/unlearn things if you were young! I have moved cities before, started living from scratch, made new friends and discovered places and cities and loved every bit of it. Dubai, a land that I thought would be the most easiest to mix into seems to make me feel old in just a few days!

Here’s the bad part:

…Vehicles and roads and all that follow Right hand drive and for 26 years I have been used to left hand drive. No, not that I drive. But even walking and crossing and all that is a pain.

…I was an expert in crossing roads. Now, I have to look ten times to the left and right and just when I am about to cross, there is a car speeding my way at 140kmph. Repeat!

…I thought this was supposed to be a neat place! My ass! Cochin with all the mosquitoes is sooooo much better. There is garbage everywhere. Not to mention the flies and cockroaches all over my home :(. Trust me, I have never been more neater in my life!

…Its hot. They say its waaay better now. But its like make me want to strip kind of hot.

… You need curtains on all the time. Dont be surprised if you dont have curtains aand you find that for some strange reason, people in the next building are smiling at you!

…Everything is a process here. A system.And everything takes time.(hehe everything except my visa ofcourse). The gas, the internet, the plumber, servicing, everything.

…People(except next building strange looking men) do not smile! No good morning, no greeting. They sulk all the time. And me, I still smile at everybody. However, i am losing the ability, slowly.

…My hair is falling!  A never before problem has now started! Thanks to the water, I think!

…Last, do not keep Lulu and Al  something and all as landmarks. If you do, you will, like me, go around in circles and get lost eventually. And dont trust mallus here. They’ll screw you big time! Oh and carry a pepper spray.

Now you know why I told you I was getting old.

And now the good part:

… You get everything here. I mean, you dont miss home for the things you get there. You name it, they have it.

…Food quality is super awesome. Hygenic and yummy.

…I seem to be actually losing some kilos. Thanks to walking being a way of life. Because, taxis are expensive.

…I talk much less these days. Sometimes I wonder how I can be so silent. Thats good no?

…I have started saving and controlling expenses and all that. Talk about being responsible!

…I am realising the value of friends. Old and new.

I am guessing thats it. Ill keep you posted about the old girl in the new city! Till then, smile more 🙂

 

Posted in m@dness

Ramblings-5

Mental peace is all about being able to maintain a balance between the extremes that we are soooo used to in life. A balance between work and pleasure, between being a complete workaholic to being able to take it easy. A fine balance between family responsibilities and social life. This balance doesn’t necessarily come into the picture when you talk about the bigger things in life. Of late I have noticed that it’s the smaller, seemingly unessential, inconsequential things that really make a difference. Like finding the right balance between wild, crazy weekends and ones spent at home doing nothing in particular, giving your body the rest it unconsciously seeks after 5 stressed days at work. The balance between downright madness and laughter and uninhibited fun and those moments of quiet solitude, doing all the planning and thinking one needs to do, something that we cannot do without, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we can.

As we grow older, our circumference of acquaintances expands every minute and the core of those true, real, 2 am friends, decreases. The superficiality of relationships increases. But then again, more often than not, it’s these superficial acquaintances that eventually help you network, something that is fast becoming indispensable in our world, especially as far as career moves are concerned. So again, the balance between networking with acquaintances and spending quality, “no hang ups” time with close, “real” friends.

Emotional attachments, yet another thing that screams attention when it comes to balancing. One of the most difficult things according to me is being able to find the right balance between being emotionally independent and letting your guards down and opening yourself up to hurt and despair. After all, you win some, you lose some. Acceptance doesn’t come easy, especially in our world when we condition ourselves to hold up these guards. But to find happiness, a lot of times these guards have to come down. Easier said than done, but that’s the way it is.

And then comes the balance between holding on and letting go.Something I don’t want to detail on, for reasons known best to me.

Somewhere between planning and dreaming about my future and getting nostalgic about my past, I was beginning to forget that I have a present that’s completely mine. Probably the only thing in my life that I have complete control on. And I knew I had to balance it out… Again! It might sound funny coming from someone who had always been at extremes with everything and someone who never believed in shades of grey and always saw life only in black and white until a few years ago, but I seem to have found my balance. Not the perfect one, but a balance nevertheless. The balance between being wise. And otherwise. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Posted in m@dness

Change is inevitable

Aankhon Mein Jisaki Koyi Toh Khaab Hai
Khush Hai Wahi Jo Thoda Betaab Hai
Jindagi Mein Koyi Aarju Kijiye, Phir Dekhiye
Honto Pe Jisake Koyi Toh Geet Hai
Woh Haare Bhi Toh Usaki Hi Jeet Hai
Dil Mein Jo Geet Hai Gunguna Lijiye, Phir Dekhiye

Phir Dekhiye (Rock On)

People who knew me during my school and college days will find it difficult to believe what I have become now. How MUCH I want from my life? How desperate I am to create a niche for myself and not get lost in the crowd of mediocrity. And how desperately I want to do it on my own terms. I don’t understand complacence. I probably just refuse to. At the cost of losing my peace of my mind ever so often.

This morning as I woke up, I suddenly felt all my apprehensions go up in the air. I think all it might take to get that grip back would be to stand up, shake myself and just start doing what needs to be done. I may have to work harder, fight it out, constanly, proactively look for options because all what I seem to want looks out of reach. And then when I go to sleep at night, I can look back and feel like I have done something worthwhile. 

I may seem like an extremist (and from what I know of myself, I am really not that). But that’s me. I have given up things that i love, compromised on things that I’d wanted and sacrificed things for people i love. I have absolutely no complaints because I knew what I was doing all those times. All the experiences, the people and the situations have made me change. I change but not at the speed of lightening and not when I want to. When I am driven to a point where I have to give in to the change, I embrace it. Yes it hurts, sometimes it feels like its easier to die but then again change is inevitable and so I give in. Again.

I am ecstatic this time though. Because yet again, living life on my own terms has paid of quite well!Maybe change is good. 

P.S- Till next time if you want a change, just get a pair of new shoes!Don’t believe me? Remember Cinderella whose life changed because of a shoe;)?!