The need to pack everything into a day…

My average day goes like this:

I wake up around 6:00, do yoga till 8:00, come home and get breakfast & lunch prepared, go to work, return around 7:00 in the evening depending on the work schedule, relax for probably an hour, prepare dinner, eat, watch television or read something (depending on whatever catches my fancy) and hit the bed by 11:00.

My average weekends go like this:

Wake up late on a Saturday (by late, I mean 9:30), read newspaper, have some tea, prepare breakfast/lunch or brunch (whatever works), catch up on sleep, wake up, go out and meet people (if there’s sthg planned) or watch a movie (if sthg interesting is running in a local multiplex), go out for dinner and head back home. Sunday is a replica of Saturday. 

I don’t do the party scene anymore. When I say I don’t do it, I mean, I don’t voluntarily plan to hit the club on a weekend. My partying is more on a weekday when after a long or lousy day of work, I want to unwind then I hit a club. 

Now, this has been my lifestyle over the last 7 years now. Dictated by my office hours. I have no choice but to follow it. Would I want it any other way? Yes! Probably more time in the evenings! Probably more time to unwind and have a life beyond this routine. We are so dictated by the lifestyle choices bestowed on us that we have forgotten to live a life. The minute I am free for an hour extra than the usual I begin to wonder what to do next. I begin to think I have nothing to do in my life. Why are we so worried about being busy? Remember the time in childhood and in college when we had practically loads and loads of free time and we were told to enjoy it since we wouldn’t get it when we grew up? Why? Is it because once you are an adult you are not supposed to have free time? Will you become a social outcast if you have free time? To compliment this wonderful phenomena we have lifestyle blogs, magazines, newspapers and hoardings shouting at us every minute to do what needs to be done. If you are not doing something that’s the “in thing” you are missing out on a whole lot. Does adhering to the lifestyle dictated by the society make me richer? Nope! Then why the need to chase a certain lifestyle? There are so many like me in the corporate world slogging everyday and wondering what they are achieving out of leading these busy lives. There’s money in the bank, there are friends to party, there’s a certain discipline in life but it is leading to a wonderful burnout. 

It’s making me want to set myself free. Go away from the hustle bustle.  Live without a plan. I’ve expressed this to my dad and he said I won’t be able to do it for more than a month. After a month of nothingness I will long for my old life back.

I want to go back to that childhood where the only rule was to come home on time (preferably early), not talk back to elders, eat right and sleep on time! 

I am not bored! I have such busy days that. I don’t know what it is to be bored anymore! Oh maybe I need to be bored for a bit. 

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Mother’s Day…

As Mother’s Day is approaching, I’m reminded of extremely warm memories of my mother. Everytime I visit my father, I feel my mothers presence. I can still visualise her cooking. Having lost my mother when I was 25, and not having spent much of my adult life with her, my fondest memories of her have been food prepared by her.  I miss the food prepared by her. There are stories centred around food, the kitchen, her kitchen, the way she would admonish me, the way she would make me run around to bring things for her, tasting sessions, she would make me taste the most delicious dish first hand before anyone else was served. 

Mother, how she would explain the importance of eating fruits, the importance of not eating anything toxic. It’s all coming back to me after a decade of her death. Today I slept in my fathers house and dreamt that my mother was in the kitchen cooking! I woke up, walked into the kitchen, had a glass of water and felt my eyes welling up with tears. 

I look at my father and see how much he misses her. I see the regret in his eyes of not having spent quality time with her. I can feel her loneliness. Of those years she spent waiting for my father to spend time with her, yet understanding that he needed to work. That he didn’t have time for her. He misses her. We all miss her.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

To all the women out there…

Slacker me!

Oh wow! It’s been 9 months since my last post? I knew I had been slacking off in the writing department, but 9 months is not acceptable!

By no means am I a writer so I have to really think hard before I put words on paper or in this case, on my iPad 🙂

I’ve read a lot, started practicing Yoga and started applying abroad, to venture out of my comfort zone. These things kept me busy. And there is a huge probability that ever since I’ve started practicing Yoga, I’ve become so calm that I don’t feel negative nor do I feel the need to vent out any kind of anger and frustration. Yoga is amazing. It’s magic. It’s therapy. It’s changed my life in ways that I can’t even begin to put in words. I’ve not found that inner peace yet but I’ve become extremely calm and composed. It’s like I’ve re-discovered that time in my childhood when I didn’t know how to feel negative/dejected/ lost/confused. It’s like there is a filter in my brain which automatically filters out any kind of negative thinking and allows only neutral thoughts to pass through it.

Thoughts are strange. One minute they are controlling you and the other minute, you are controlling them. It is fantastic as long as you are controlling your thoughts. Only when the thoughts spiral out of your control, is the time you need to be worried about. Feel bad, feel sad, feel terrible, feel dejected, feel like a loser, as long as you know what you are feeling. Be conscious of your emotions. As long as you are conscious, you will also know how to turn those negative emotions into positive emotions. It’s humanly impossible to be positive all the time. It is stupid to be positive all the time. Life doesn’t give us an option to smile through death, calamity, ill health or a heartbreak. But it gives us the opportunity to turn our thought process around.

The only way we begin to feel positive is, by first moving into a state of neutrality. By feeling calm. Calmness is that sense of neutrality. Neither positive nor negative. A state of mind giving us an option to either go up or down, positive or negative, fly high or dive deep. It gives us a chance to choose. Choose the direction that we wish to take.

This is the effect of 6 months of yoga practice. I’ve had my colleagues walk up to me and say that I’ve really calmed down and I don’t lose it anymore. Funny! I just give them that “I’m too cool to react to anything around me” vibe. And they roll their eyes and walk off. I give myself a high-five and smile.

Oh by the way I hope, it’s not the calm before a storm though 😉

 

 

 

Future Diaries

I am writing it all so that I read it after 10 years and feel like it’s been a decade well lived.

Life is in a state of transition as I write. How do I know? Well, I can feel it. I no longer waste time meeting people who don’t make a difference to my life. I am calm and collected. I’ve picked up reading once again. Mostly contemporary literature and fiction. I spend time doing meaningful things.

I can feel movement. Change of place. It’s intuitive. It’s always intuitive.

In the near future, I want to be able to travel abroad all by myself. I want to be alone. And I wish to take another trip with family. Just my family.

It’s been 6 years since I’ve traveled alone. I just want to get lost in narrow streets filled with pubs and coffee shops. I want to have lazy lunches and watch people. I want to watch artists perform on the streets. I want to do it all for a week at least.

I want to stay in a beach facing villa by the south of France along with my family. I want to wake up with sunlight on my face, breakfast in bed, long lunches with wine, cook local cuisine and just while away my time. I want to do it all for a week at least.

I want to make plenty of money. I want to accumulate wealth. In the next ten years I want to be able to lead a lifestyle that I had only dream’t of.

I am documenting this so that when I’m 45 years of age, I can look back and tell myself that I always knew what I wanted to do. And I’ve never shied away from achieving it all!11700646_10155825195645383_2248074584326628888_o

My life path…the way I see it.

People around me

The last one week, in many discussions that I was a part of, I kept hearing a gentleman saying “why should it be a problem? It’s just common sense”. Magically he seemed to have had the answer to most of the problems that people encounter on a day to day basis. He prided himself to be a very logical guy. He thinks there wouldn’t be problems if we approached them logically. I admired the way he broke down every scenario and came up with an answer. Now this gentleman was somebody I have known for few years. I knew how he was back in the day when he made mistakes by taking the wrong decisions and how he has become “logical” now. Apparently years of experience have only made him wiser. I would call him successful because he weathered the storms, he managed to stay put in the position that he was given while many have failed. I think he has become “logical” now. But how successful is he? 

Me

I have been trying to break down the meaning of success too much because the word success has different meanings to different people. Everyone says that it’s relative. Some say it’s subjective. A normal average person like me might be confused by the theory of relativity and the theory of subjectivity in success.  I am an average person, purely by the societal standards of classification. I possess a slightly better IQ than most people around me. I was never interested in “excelling” academically. I was happy as long as I was considered to be above average. I made some extremely wrong career choices in the formative years. That led to me struggling to actually make a mark in the field that I have been destined to be in. I possess the personality flaw of being forthright. Therefore that rules out the easy way to being successful in the corporate world. So I struggle on a day to day basis. I have my good days, I have my bad days and most of the days are bad. I have been crawling on my way to top. Top? No, I have been crawling, be it to the top or to somewhere in middle.

So what gets me going? Confidence. I am way more confident than an average person. My confidence comes from observing people around me who are totally full of s***. My confidence comes from my ability to bounce back after every fall. I am confident despite getting a raw deal multiple times. By now I have lost the count of number of times I have failed. I have lost the count of number of times I have been side-lined, the number of times I have been overlooked for a promotion or the number of times people thought I wasn’t good enough. But that didn’t deter my confidence. I am just confident that I will eventually get what I want. That’s what keeps me going. I believe that I deserve the best that my life has to offer.

By societal standards, I am not only an average person but I am also a successful person. I make good enough money, I work for a reputed company, I look good, fairly popular, getting richer, lead a healthy lifestyle, can afford a fancy vacation once a year. So what’s missing? Happiness. Is that asking for too much? I know for a fact that my struggle ends the day I become happy with what I am doing. Only after that will I start “excelling” in what I am doing.

The standards that I have set for myself are very high. I might be an average person, but I don’t want an average life. My belief is that if I make my life extraordinary, then I might become extraordinary in return.

Gift giving – trying to understand the unromantic perspective

Anniversary has come and anniversary has gone. Husband was extremely stressed out! My husband always says it’s very stressful because he can’t think of things to gift. He never said it to me in as many words but I understand what he goes through every time, every year.

I am a romantic at heart. I WANT those flowers, I want those gifts and I want to be pampered. Why not? I am a woman right? Somehow every birthday and every anniversary, I have the perfect gift for my husband. There hasn’t been a single year when he was unhappy with my gift. Not that I’ve ever been unhappy with his. But I never understood why it is so difficult to think of a gift? The way I look at it, gift someone something that they badly want. When we go shopping or when we are at home, I hear him lusting for few things! I heard him talk about some speakers at least 5 times in the last 6 months. And I knew what I would gift him for the anniversary! Isn’t it that simple?

Now when it was his turn to think of what to give me, he walked up to me and asked me to make it easy for him! (a perfect laugh out loud moment) He said “give me 5 clues on what you want and I’ll get the best for you”. Considering the fact that I’m more vocal about the things that I want, I was surprised that he doesn’t know what I wanted!

I have heard women saying that their husbands surprised them on their birthdays and made elaborate plans! And I admit that I feel jealous when I hear of such things.

So if there are men who can surprise their women, if there are men who can make elaborate plans, if there are men who can send flowers every now and then, this whole gift giving process cannot be gender specific right? It has to be more about being a romantic and being unromantic!

Of late I’ve begun to understand when my husband says “the way you express and the way I do are totally different”. There have been times when he said “I don’t have to spell out everything, few things are better left unsaid”.

Anniversaries have come and anniversaries have gone, I think I have matured a bit and maybe I do understand the “unromantic perspective”.

Ok, now don’t judge me as some hopeless romantic who doesn’t use common sense when it comes to love!

Indian Music – the other side

If one hasn’t heard Karsh Kale, then it’s probably time to do so. A few years back on Indian television there was a show called The Dewarists which brought together various artists with different styles of music for collaboration and came up with some extremely soulful music.

At that point of time, I was more into pop, R&B, hip-hop all put together and had absolutely no idea about these hidden gems. Online exploration led to a few kickass artists like Karsh Kale, Nitin Sawhney and Anoushka Shankar. I know it’s a shame to be saying I didn’t know Anoushka Shankar prior to that but then as I said it was just an evolution. A very haunting track sung by Reena Bharadwaj called Nadia and composed by Nitin Sawhney hooked me onto this genre.

Milan is another beautiful composition by Karsh Kale. One for the morning, I can sit and listen to this on loop with my cup of tea for hours together (almost meditative). While there are multiple compositions, one song that completely caught my fancy very recently is Cinema. I heard this song on the highway and my ears perked up. While I am all for progressive modern music, what I love and respect about these artists is that they stick to the traditional Indian music and add an element of modernity to it.

One lady I would love to listen to, but unfortunately don’t is Shubha Mudgal. What a voice! Powerful! The last I heard was in The Dewarists. I hope she comes up with more collaborations.