Thursday, December 11, 2014

Life starts to suck the day you become independent

When I made this statement, a friend said that I should stop sounding like a 40 year old. No I don't blame them. When you start working even before you are out of teenage, you would definitely sound 40 in your 30s. My first job started as soon as I was done with my 12th standard exam. After that I paid for every small or big things in life - from college fees to mobile bill to shopping - everything. And that was a good life. I did take my parents' permission for every small thing I bought, but they rarely objected. I knew the value of money even before I had learnt to spend it. 

This was probably why I studied so much. I chose subjects I usually failed in. And excelled in them. As much as I valued money, I learnt the importance of having fun in life as well. I learnt how important it is to do things you like, how important it is to meet people - old and new - from time to time, how important it is to travel. Travel with different people. Travel alone. Sit in a strange city and do nothing. Roam around from morning to evening till you are dead tired. 

All these things became much much easier after I became independent. But this small advantage had many disadvantages. I remember school days. I wasn't worried about how am I going to be able to afford something. I was never a spender. I had limited number of clothes and shoes, I bought books as required, I was too fond of stationery but never spent crazily after it, I was allergic to cocoa thus my chocolate expenditure was as good as nil. But it was a good life. I never felt burdened by anything. I didn't really understand the concept of earning that much then. 

But you don't live the same life. Things changed drastically for us. From an extremely comfortable life, I was thrown into a normal routine life of most. I didn't really have to struggle to make my ends meet, but I had a very plain and simple life. Any additional shopping had to be planned well in advance. That's when I decided to start working. Because I wanted a comfortable life. Not for only me, but even for my family. And it wasn't that difficult. I had a much better life now. And a happy one.

My jobs never took away the pleasure of free life. My jobs were usually flexible. I had the usual amount of fun one usually has in college. But I lost the luxury of being carefree about things. I no longer exercised the option of calling dad and demanding something. I earned, saved and bought what I wanted. I had to wait for some time before I could get what I wanted. It wasn't the wait that bothered me, it was the burden that did. I hated this entire - I can take care of myself - phase. I still do. I would want to have a tension free life where I am not working to earn. I love to work, but I would want to work because I want to and not because I have to.

I think I am going through this phase because I haven't really been free. There was a phase when I wasn't working for two years. But at that time I was in law school and I had other responsibilities that didn't allow me to have a job alongside. Thus I was never out of job. 

Thus I am tired. I hate this entire setup of being independent. I don't want a new life just so that I can get rid of this phase either. It's not earning money part that I am tired of. It's the responsibility and taking care of one's own self part that I hate. And I want to get rid of it asap. Yes, life really starts to suck once you become independent.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Why I write

We take inspiration from so many things. This post is inspired by A book by Manto with the same title. It talks about his journey as a writer. How he started writing, how he became a popular short story writer. The book has such essays. They are simple. Just like a blog post. Written in simple words. It's almost like talking to him in person. He talks to you through his essays. And that's what I would want to read rather than reading something that gives me the title of elite reader.

Coming back to the header - this is one thing I have thought about so many times. Why do I write? Me, or you or anyone else? What is going on in my mind when I pen down a particular word? Or a sentence? My posts are usually outcomes of the emotions I am feeling on a particular day. This is why when I start writing, I complete it in one go. I cannot carry it forward to the next day. New day, new emotion. Thus the old post cannot be continued. That's how it works with me.

Probably that is precisely why all my posts sound the same to me in my head as I write when I am feeling one particular kind of emotion. That emotion is difficult to explain in words. But when I read them, they are all different. It's amazing how I can write about different things even when I am feeling the same emotionally while writing those. 

I don't think I can write for an audience. I do write, but they do not reflect me. I don't see myself in those writings. They are just there. For people. Not for me. And that kind of kills the entire purpose of writing for me. But I still write for an audience because of reasons known to me.

It's simple. Writing comes naturally to me. I can write a post in 20 minutes to half an hour. Writing one thousand words is not a big deal for me at all. But rarely does that happen that I like something written by me. There have been times when I wanted my writing to reach to the masses. Not because I wanted to be popular. But because they conveyed message I thought was important for others to know. But most get ignored. I feel bad for a while. And then move on. 

Writing is food for soul. It's an exercise mind needs. It's a validation of my sanity. And existence. It makes me feel alive. And for that I don't ever want to stop writing. I will continue penning down my thoughts even if that happens once a year. But I will continue doing so. I am scared that the day I stop writing, I will feel dead from within. It's almost like accepting defeat from one's self. And I cannot do that. It's somehow important to me. And I am glad it is like that. There is something I know I will always enjoy doing. It keeps me going. And I will always have something to look forward to at any point in life.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bombay food

I haven't written anything about Bombay in a while. Not that I am left with regular readers for this blog would would know that I used to write about Bombay every now and then. Bombay or Mumbai - to me both are the same. Bombay is just a habit as I have known that city by that name for years. It's that weird habit and attachment you have with old names. Maharashtrians have this tradition of changing the name of the girl after marriage. Your name, your identity that you held for years suddenly changes overnight. But her family will always relate to and call her by the old name. Same is the case with this city. Some people act like its khadus sasural wala and force everyone to call it Mumbai. Stupid analogy, yeah. But you do get the drift right?

Anyway. There is this very typical thing about Bombay. Like if someone goes to Haridwar, you ask them to get you a bottle of gangajal, when I travel to other cities, people ask me to get vada pav for them. Yes we do get vada paavs here at every corner, and they are tasty almost everywhere; but getting them at 5 am is expecting too much even from Bombay. And if you are a gujju, then the list includes thepla dhokla too. 

Yes. Vada paav. The best ones I have had so far is at Ashok's vada paav near Kirti college. If you are from Bombay and haven't had vada paav there, what are you even doing in this city bro? Then you get this awesome vada paav outside mithibai college. I guess their butter layer in it is thicker than the paav.then you have datta vada paav across Bombay and express way, dattaguru at panvel, Joshi vada paav in Pune. But yes, all these can be missed, but not Ashok Vada Paav. Go and eat that right away.

Misal. Another maharashtra specialty. Again, you can hardly go wrong with this dish. It's mostly spicy and has gujju farsan in it. It's so spicy that you can't make out any other taste. And it tastes the best with paav. Probably the best misal place in Bombay is mamledar misal in thane. (I know thane is not Bombay, but for food we can adjust this much.)

Then you have thaali pith and kothambir vadi. Thaali pith is maharashtrian version of thepla. And kothambir vadi is another dish with coriander and besan. You either steam and serve it or shallow/deep fry it. It tastes superb either way. Some people ruin it by adding shengdana to it. This state people add shengdana and vataana to every damn thing. Anyway, coming back to these two dishes, again you cannot go wrong with any. And you get amazing ones at any maharashtrian food joint. Datta again being the best place to have it. And Sapre.

Sabudana vada. And Piyush. Place to go is Prakash in Dadar. Sabudana vada - I am sure most of you know. Piyush is liquid Shrikhand. If you are not a fan of sweets, it will kill you. It is extra sweet. And then you have jhunka bhakhar. Again a dish made of besan and bhakri - roti of different/mix grains. Earlier you had Jhunka bhakhar kendras across bombay. It was a kind of food chain. Now you see fewer of them around, but they are still there. The best one I knew was at nariman point. It was a sea facing joint behind NCPA. College time regular joint. They served the tastiest parathas and sandwiches I have ever had anywhere. It shut down. Again something you really really missed if you lived in Bombay a decade ago and never been to. Then there is puranpoli too - sweet roti. I hate it so I can't tell you where you get the good ones.

I must have missed out on quite a few dishes and places. Food everywhere is unlimited. You have plenty of varieties at almost all the places and in all the states. Almost all of us can write/talk about it all the time. All of us have favourite places to eat out at - restaurants and street food joints. Bombay has so many khau gallis. Most of them are in gujju areas. Bombay is full of gujjus anyway. But you still can't miss out on Maharashtrian food. If you visit Bombay, read this post. You don't have to meet me now. Hah.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Weeding out

It's probably the best exercise for your mind. We are almost always surrounded by negative people, things, energies. We are stuck in the wrong job, wrong relationship, wrong arrangements. At times that being a comfort zone is our way of fooling our mind as we cannot bear the pain our heart will go through due to their absence or disappearance. For that we put up with them. But does that really help us? No it doesn't. And we also know who wins in the battle of heart vs mind.

When you have to repeat this exercise frequently and you end up removing too many people, or at least one person who you considered very close to you or gave that special place to - be it a friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend, you need to really introspect about your life, the way you have been living and the kind of people you are choosing. 

Not that difficult. Most of the things in our life work as per a pattern. We almost attract same kind of people/assholes in our life, we make same/similar kind of mistakes and the final result is almost the same too. Every time we come out of it damaged. The trick is to identify the pattern. And make sure you don't go for any such thing or people that fall within that pattern. They are the most tempting options for you. You are almost always attracted to that pattern. And they always hurt you, destroy you little by little every time.

Trick is to go for boring, simple and unexciting. Wild and interesting will always attract us more than dull and boring. Predictable is so meh. Yes you will agree. But it's actually the best arrangement you can get if you are looking at stability or long term relationships. It's all right to not hear adventurous stories every night after he comes back home, it's okay to live with someone who has a normal routine life. You don't want to feel lucky as he still has the ability to patao girls easily and at the end of the day he comes back to you. These things sound good but don't last. The dream breaks. The pieces pierce your soul. 

At the end of the day, all of us want to be accepted, respected and loved. We want to feel happy and we want to be happy. Only then we will be able to keep others happy. Only then the life will be content. Weed out wrong ones from life. Make place for the right things. Time is always right, it's upto you to choose the right people and things.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Anger

We claim to be a strong person in front of the world, but it's difficult to lie to oneself. We act foolish when we like someone more than we should. I am not talking about love. When you are in love, you forgive everything and continue living in the hurt. But when you step out of the bubble once, and see how you are being treated, you decide to stand by yourself. Yes, there is hurt in this too, for your love is at stake. You may end up losing the person you love forever. But it's worth the effort. If someone doesn't appreciate you, it's time to step aside. And move on.

I always believed that love was more than enough in life to survive. Survival of emotions was solely dependent on that. Is it really a sensible thing to do? Yes, if you are with the right person. Again, the hitch here is that right differs for everyone. What is right for me may not be the same for you. That's where the problem starts. 

Most of the relationships don't survive as both of you intend different things from the relationship. Put it this way. We expect different things. We have different expectations from each other. Rather, different expectations screw it up all. If you say that a relationship is unconditional, there are no expectations involved then you should stop kidding yourself. Expectations are a part of any arrangement. They increase or change with time. Sooner you accept and acknowledge this, the better.

It's easy to be a shoulder when someone is sad. Difficult part is to make a room for happiness for that person. If you can't fulfill the latter, don't even attempt the former. You always end up hurting someone in the process. People develop hopes when you promise them things just to cheer them up in their shit time. Do them a favour. Don't. 

For the past one week, I have felt many emotions. Most of the time it has been anger. I am angry at myself. No, there is no room for regret in my life. I haven't regretted anything I have done so far. I take the full responsibility of my actions. And what makes me angry is when people forget the fact that you are human. And you can be sensitive. You may get offended by the smallest of the thing and would expect the other person to understand your anger. Anger comes where there is love. Most people overlook the fact. They become defensive. And that kills the love. 

Life teaches you lessons in a harsh way. We think that our shit is the shittiest of all. We don't really know what's happening in others' lives. Here I am writing about my stupid emotions and cursing my life, in some part of the world someone would be praying for a dear one's life, someone would be waiting for help after meeting a horrible accident, someone would be celebrating a child birth, someone would be happy as the girl he loves just said yes, someone must have lost a huge assignment, someone must be struggling to get sleep, someone would be struggling to wake up.

When the worst shit chooses to be in your life, you wake up every morning miserable, and want to yell - why me. There is no answer. You chose it. Or it chose you. Either way, you are in shit. Now what? What else. Survive. Fight with your own self. Keep telling and convincing yourself that you will have good days too. Until then, try to look for the you that's gone missing. You might get lucky and find that. If you do, let me know too where to look.