Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Attachment theory

I think I should change my blog name to Neha's philosophies. That's the only thing I am good at writing. Or so I believe. Today I was talking about attachment with a friend. And I realised that I don't get emotionally attached to people anymore. There was a time when I was an emotional fool. Strange thing was that not many were aware about this side of me. I always protected myself from being emotionally exploited. Vulnerability was something I wanted to believe/show that never existed within me.

Teenage days, I was not sure about what kind of guy I wanted. Yes, you do look for someone good looking always, but I was clueless about other aspects about him. I was a very ugly teenager. I never really had many choices anyway. But I was smart. People liked to interact with me. I could talk to anyone about any topic. From sports to politics to writing to reading to studies to people. Now when I think about that time, I realise how dumb I was. And others, dumber. 

I was emotionally at different level in each relationship. This attachment only increased with time. To an extent that it was no longer a big deal to keep my ego aside and agree to whatever my guy said. I was no longer in touch with my friends, his group was my group, my choices were secondary. Yes, I was doomed. It was a stupid thing to do, forgetting who you are and agreeing to everything your guy says/does.

I learnt from my mistakes. I decided not to forget my individuality for anyone. And I didn't. But this time, another extreme trait became the reason for making me the way I am today. I always loved unconditionally. In all my relationships. I never had any expectations from people. I never asked any questions, never expected any answers. That's how I was. And there were times when it was important to ask questions and demand explanations, but I didn't. It was almost as if I was chasing my own destruction.

I thought it was perfectly all right to do these things for love, to keep the one you love happy. But you cannot really be happy if you are killing your happiness for someone. Yes, change a bit, adjustments are never wrong, but they have to be made in moderation. When you are the only one making the adjustments and the other person does nothing, in all probabilities the relationship will not last. 

I thought relationship was the only thing that I was losing by being this way. But I was wrong. I was losing myself. I realised it much later and the damage was done. I started becoming emotionally detached. I no longer felt the way I would usually feel about someone - be it family or friends. I still care for them. I still go out of my way to do things for them, to keep them happy. But there are no emotions involved. I am not attached to them as much as I used to be. It's a good state. People don't think you are changed as you still do things for them the way you used to do. But there is something lacking in your touch and in your tone. It's a scary state.

Now it's too mechanical for me. For others, I cry because I am expected to, I smile just to avoid questions. But I am happy. I cry and smile for me. I don't believe in display of emotions all the time, but I still display them. I rarely have low days. I am mostly normal. The day I am low, I become quiet. I disconnect from everything and everyone. And I am fine in no time. I don't like to receive texts and messages and e-mails asking me how I am. I think it's useless. I like people who agree with me regarding this. 

About attachment, it might come back, it may never come back. I am fine so far as I am happy. And that's the only thing that matters. Yes, I love you. Hah.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Moving on

Life is normal again. I have a set routine, boring one. I know what I am going to do at what time. In my mind I always thought I was different from everyone else. I chose a career path people are scared to choose at a young age and without any support from anyone. The kind of risks I took at the beginning of my career at that age, if I think about it now, I don't think I would take the same decisions now. Or maybe I would. 

Life is different from what it used to be then. With age, complications increase. We study hard, get a job to have a comfortable life, get married to have a support system, have kids to prepare for the future support, mostly we are unlucky as the spouse or the child/ren trouble us all the time, parents/in laws too in case of Indians. Why did we study hard for a comfortable life then? Is this life really comfortable? Is your spouse really providing you with the kind of support you wanted from him/her? 

In some cases, people get tired and get divorced, in some cases they cheat on their partners, in some cases they continue living in misery. People who swore never to get married are changing nappies of their kids, those who wanted to get married at the first given opportunity have a very successful career. And there are some like me who write about these people.

What do we really want from life? And if it keeps changing, then why do we still continue living in the same old life that's not giving us any happiness? Yes easier said than done, I know. But why do we struggle so much through our life? From the time we are born, in school, college, career, family - everywhere we are made to compromise. Every time we are told that happiness lies in the next stage of life. And like everything else, that next never comes. You keep moving from one stage to another. You keep looking for that happiness. And you don't find it.

Funny how we realise that we were happy in the stage we left behind and not the one we are moving towards. Funny how we are not happy in the stage that looked so in the future and will look so again when it becomes the past. Is this the reason that the moment we think we have found the happiness in something in the present, we do not want to let go of it even though it starts causing us sadness and trouble after some time? Is this why people do not want to move on?

It's like, we have this in mind that if we let go of what made us happy at one point, we will never find another one? Maybe we have been brought up with the mindset that letting go is a sign of cowardice. Brave man fights his battle. We don't stop and see the consequences of our actions. We live with the same old values, some are good, while some are harmful. Some principles made sense when they came into existence. With time even they need to change. Being selfish is the key? Maybe. I was always told that you can be selfish so far as you are not being harmful to anyone. But how many times you have been the victim because others were selfish? If everyone behaves the same way then it's not really harming anyone and still being selfish. And happy. Right? 

If only people read me instead of Osho.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Stuck on the same page

I am back. Writing after two months. And it kinda felt nice when a few people told me that they missed my posts. Aww moment. I was away for a few days. Entire April and May first half were crazy so far as work was concerned. After that I went for a vacation. A much needed break. It didn't help me though. I feel as if I have gone back in time by four years. Things are again back to the place where I started. As if I never moved on. And this phase is not a good one. But I know I will be fine. Back to my real self and kicking. Like everything else, even this will be over.

In other news, I travelled for good 12 days. Two trips, one was beyond awesomeness, another to my hometown. I will be writing about the first one on travel blog I have decided to start. Let's hope I will be able to write more frequently there. And here as well. At least one two posts a month maybe. Don't think I can write more than that anymore. No I don't lack topics. I have plenty of them to write about. It's just that I have been busy. On a super busy day I am working for 18 hours and on a free day I am doing absolutely nothing. Or maybe take a book and read the whole day. Earlier I did blog too on free days, but now a days there is no motivation. And that's not good. This be the best vent out zone for me. 

Some phases in your life are too good to be true, while some are so bad that all you want to do is to press the fast forward button. All of us live in phases. A normal life is a phase, so is a bad one. Money, poor state, travelling, working - everything. It's not possible to live in the routine. Even if you are doing the same thing every day, some or the other factor will change its course some day. And life goes on. At times keeping you happy, at times depressed, at times lost. You forget the number of crossroads you come across through life. You remember the significant ones for certain time, then the new ones replace them. Priorities change. Choices change. Preferences change.

But worst are the phases that make you feel that you have gone back in the past. Or have not moved on at all. You are stuck at the same place. On the same page. Your mental state is the same. You are lost. And disappointed in yourself. You don't want to do anything at all. Nothing makes any sense. The strong you, the one who motivates everyone, who is always smiling suddenly feels depressed.

This situation is good too. It gives you time to stop, breathe, evaluate. It lets you know who your friends are and who would stand by you. It's nice to see them trying hard to cheer you up in all possible ways. You realise you are after all not that strong. You are normal. Like everyone else. And this realisation is required. That pause is required. It keeps you grounded. And that's needed. Yes.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Making a difference

Recently I was reading an article about some social awareness topic (I don't remember the topic though), but yeah it was written well. It almost inspired me to write about something to make a difference to the society. The idea was shelved for the same old "too busy to write" reason. Now when I decided to write about something useful/worthwhile - whatever shit you want to call it, I realised that I didn't remember a word from that article. Did it make any difference to my life? Not really.

No, I am not trying to ridicule people who write social awareness posts or try to spread good messages through blogs. They are doing a good deed of course. But there exist useless people like me who don't remember anything after a week of reading. And I belong to the majority. Then again, I belong to that minority group as well who wants to make a difference to the society by whatever means. Mind you, these means are limited. Call it my mental block. But yes, I would want to do my bit.

Thus I discussed this with a friend who is almost as sensible as me. He was of the opinion that we were not as famous and influential enough to make a difference by blogging. Sigh. Here I was looking for some motivation to use the only medium where I have two readers who read me regularly. At least they would have gotten inspired by my posts. But he shattered the dream. And he was kind of right. I have written about legal topics in the past. I have a post on almost all the major issues and concerns of the society. I might as well promote those links.

The mind doesn't really agree. Stale posts - it calls them. But mind is one lazy idiot. Probably lazier than me. It doesn't want to do something that unfruitful too just for the sake of doing. Thus it comes up with a solution. It tells me that writing here about what I feel helps me. I might be a very small part of the society, but I am one and making difference to my life is a good enough deed too. I am convinced. I write about whatever is going on in my mind. Call it intellectual (I love to use this word for me) and brilliant shit. And I feel quite peaceful. And happy. And content.

In other news, after writing about how I won't be making any other trips before may totally turned out to be wrong. I did travel again. To tarkarli. It's a small town located in Sindhdurg near Maharashtra border. I visited some virgin beaches with white sand and clear water. I have a fear of water, but I successfully did scuba. It was a commercial dive as I do not know swimming, but yes, it did help me overcome my fear of water that exists in 90% of us (ah I am tired of falling in this majority group all the time). And thus I have decided to learn swimming now. Which I will, soon. 

How I always end up discussing travel. I did that with a friend I spoke with in the morning as well. We were discussing about how a holiday is supposed to be. It's amazing to find people who think like you. It was almost like I was talking to myself. Not just travel, but about other things too, the opinions matched. And I was saved too from making a stupid decision today. Not that I would have regretted it, but I wouldn't have liked it had it not turned out as favourable as I was expecting it to be. 

Elections are here. I am voting. I think whoever feels that NOTA is a good option is an idiot. File a complaint against the wrongdoer the moment candidates' list is announced. NOTA is as good as not voting. Rather, it's worse. You are taking the pain of voting and yet not voting. Please vote. And vote sensibly. Find out about your candidates. Check their experience and record. A fresher can also be as good as an experienced guy. And if he/she is a fresher and is contesting elections, he/she must have done some work in the past. Don't go by the face value. Just because he is handsome or she is pretty. Just because you have seen them on tv before doesn't prove their credibility. Please don't lose out on this opportunity of voting for the betterment of your country. Vote for the candidate and not the party.

Now I see what good deed means. I can do it, even after ranting here. My good, your good. Sab khush.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Travelling Solo

Recently I read an article on a popular blog Thought Catalog about travelling solo. The article's header was - you should travel solo at least once in your lifetime. Yes, I did agree with it, but not really the post. Yes it was nice, and the author did manage to come up with five reasons as to why you should be travelling solo. Whatever the reason might be, I felt that the post was incomplete, the experiences lacked realisations, or maybe the author had her limitations - somehow I couldn't relate with that post.

So far, I have travelled solo thrice. Different locations, different modes of transport, different seasons. One thing remained constant though: the feeling of achievement and satisfaction. It's a different kind of high. I don't think I can ever express how it exactly feels. To experience that, you need to backpack and hit the road.

I do not call myself a traveller as yet. It's been little over a year since I started travelling. Yes I make a point to travel to a new place (or the one already visited) once a month.When I see the world map, I realise that I will never ever be able to call myself a traveller either. There is so much to see and explore in every corner of the world. India itself is so huge. With limited days and travel budget, there is always only one part of the state that you can cover and many things are still left out. Yes, I will never be called a traveller. But whatever travelling I have done so far, each one of them has been a different experience. And you have to be really really fortunate to get a chance to travel solo. If you say that you don't enjoy travelling alone, then you have surely done it the wrong way. I will share my experiences of travelling solo in this post:

1. First solo trip. I was nervous. I did all the bookings and checkings very carefully. Read each and every detail about the places. I had my backup plan, backup people to my rescue if I was ever in trouble. What if I happen to be in no network zone? What will I do then? I thought about all these aspects, planned my itinerary in such a way that I could come back in the hotel every evening latest by 6 pm. I booked all good hotels. First trip was for 9 days, 5 destinations. I still remember each and every moment of that trip.

2. Second trip. I was more confident this time. And this time around, I didn't want to stick to just cabs. I wanted to experience local transport too. I checked for the safety. Everything was in place. Deadline was set to 7 pm instead. Backup people were still there. Backup plan was still in place. I travelled to beautiful towns in cab. I travelled from one city to another by state transport. 4 days trip. Better experience than the last one. Confidence does work and does wonders.

3. 3rd trip. Best of the lot. For 2 days. Best because of the kind of places I visited. Best solo trip and not the best destination I have been to. That would be very difficult to pick among the list. Coming back to this trip, I interacted the most with locals on this trip, smoked a bidi with a 70 year old lady. She rolled it in front of me. We smoked it in the market, where she narrated various stories about people. Yes, it's difficult to pen down these stories. Meet me for a cup of tea or a drink and we shall talk about the stories, provided I like you. 

Each of these trips had something different to offer, observe and teach. Each trip was different. People were different. The definition of luxury was different. Food was different. Yet I can mention certain common factors that made these trips memorable. 

1. My drivers: I cannot thank my stars enough for this. On my each trip, whenever I hired a car, I happened to get good drivers. They were friendly. They knew about the places they were taking me to. Well yes, it's their job to know about the places, but taking you to places you would like after interacting with you for 10 minutes requires experience. And I was glad that I found gems. We interacted, they told me about various cultures and customs of the places we were passing by and visited, they patiently waited at some random place I asked them to stop suddenly. I used to sit at some random place for minutes, hours. They waited patiently, without making any faces. They kept asking me if I wanted my pictures clicked anywhere. All of them were simply amazing.

2. Food: Street food. Of different types. I don't remember halting at a fancy restaurant for any of my meals during these trips. I had thaali at roadside dhaabas too. I got to have weird combinations like vada with salad, samosa with kadhi, puri and papaya chutni, sutarfeni with milk and so on. I had different kinds of poha. I had different kinds of tea. Every single thing made you realise that you are in a different zone. 

3. People and Conversations: I met people of different age groups, cultures and mindsets. They were friendly, rude, ignorant, cool and classy. I interacted with people from different countries, people from different regions within India, shopkeepers, babas and sadhus, kids, students, labourers, guides, security guards - everyone I could talk to. I had plenty of time. Their stories always amused me. They were interested in talking too. You just spot a loner, sit next to him or her and start talking - about how did you find the place to how amusing the way people walk and talk there. Talking about weather interests you too at that time. You forget who you are. You forget that you are sitting on a pavement or on a road. So far as you are not blocking the way for others. 

4. Hospitality: At each of the places, there was at least one person who gave me free food. No, not the meal, it would be something like a cup of tea, or a piece of cookie, or a paan, or a samosa - they fed me with whatever they could afford without taking any money from me. Experiencing the same thing at three different locations is something that's yet to sink in. But that's India for you. And Indians. Strangely I didn't face safety issues anywhere. All the places were quite safe. Must use fair and lovely more often.

5. Local transport: Intercity transport didn't disappoint me a bit. It was cheap, safe and fast. The moment people got to know that you were alone, they would make sure you were comfortable. I used this just once, for experience. I somehow feel safer in my own car. I don't have to hunt for vehicles all the time. But well, if you travel in India and don't take an ST then the trip is incomplete.

Can you ever do these things with a group of people? 

PS: Long post. Don't curse. You must have found it interesting thus you are reading this post script. No need to crib now. It's too late.