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


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.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Just like that

At times you just feel like writing. About nothing. About everything. I can write hundred things about one topic, and nothing about hundred topics. It's all about the mood. And mind. And how interesting the post turns out in my head. It mostly sucks, and it is mostly liked by others. Thus I have stopped thinking about how anything turns out to be.

People expect unconditional love from others, and they receive unwarranted hatred at times even from strangers. That's life. That's how it works. You think you're unimportant but there are people who talk about you and you are not even aware about it. They talk about how unimportant you are, and end up proving their theory wrong. That's how stupid they are. Or that's how fucked up you are.

And I was told just now that there is no connection between what I started with when I started this post and how I completely digressed in the second para. I think the moment I change the paragraph, my thinking process changes. I shirt the tracks drastically. And how. But that's how I can write. Thus I don't attempt to write for an audience. I sound too artificial to me when I do. There is no sense of satisfaction when I do.

Have you ever noticed how people define good or bad? Good things are usually the ones that benefit you and fear inducing things become bad. It's dussera today and people burn Ravana. They kill the bad. The good guy won, and the bad one had to die. Death is probably the worst punishment we can think of. But there are worse things than dying. And if people know that, they won't fear death. And we can't deal with too many bad men alive. We are scared of them. To protect our neck, they have to die.

It will never be about good or bad. It will always be about convenience and fear. And weak vs strong. You live, fall down, get up, rot and die.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Let's judge everyone. It's free.

It's so easy to offend people these days. All you need to do is post something online on any social networking site. They call it sly post in fancy language. Some anonymous person is hiding behind his 10k phone, judging you for the acts you have done. He is neither paid for it nor does it change his life in any manner. But they say that attention is priceless. And you can get it without doing much.

I feel sick. I see everyone passing judgement about every damn thing that happens around. Oh she eloped and got married? Such a characterless girl. He left his parents and moved out? He will realise how it feels when his child does the same to him. She got divorced? She must be at fault. Her husband seemed like a nice guy. Oh look at that poor man, posting emotional statuses. His wife is such a bitch. Left him for no reason. He loves her so much.

The list goes on and on. The victim suffers. Because of certain narrow minded assholes. The society consists of them. They are everywhere. Nothing ever helps to reform them. Some of them are more educated than the victim. Victim is actually a wrong word. But that's the only word most understand. Have you ever wondered why so many people are victimised and most still don't prefer to raise their voice? Because they are scared that the society won't accept them if they go against the rules made by the society.

And it's true. Being a lawyer, I have come across so many people who have suffered because the society was unfair to them. Some were brave enough to take a stand, to raise their voice. But I see them struggle today. Post divorce, women simply become an easy target for men, or a taboo. Yes it very much exists in today's world. Parents want to get them remarried asap. Men don't have a better life either. They are constantly judged. And taunted. But they don't live in a state where they have to hide their marital status as they are scared of being vulnerable and easy target.

I must be sounding like someone who still lives in a medieval age, but if you step out of your bubble of a perfect world, you'll see its darker side. It's exposed to those unlucky few. The world is full of abusers. They abuse you physically, mentally and emotionally. They abuse you financially. They abuse your individuality, your reputation, your life, your heart and mind. These abusers live in your house, in your neighbourhood, at your workplace, they travel with you in public transport, they are reading your updates on social networking sites.

How are you going to run away? How will you get rid of them? Will they ever leave you alone? I guess not but I hope for it. People judge. They will never understand why you did something, why you're what you're today. To understand you, they will have to be you, go through what you did, but you'll pray that they don't have to lead the life you did. Nobody should experience with that side of life. But this side of life is not hidden. Put in efforts to see it. It's right in front of you. Accept it, improve it. Don't make a face when you see it. Make this world a better place for the ones who deserve to lead a respectable life too, just like you do.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Body hair? Ugh eww

No, that's not my reaction. That's how most men (and women) react to body hair on women's body. I never thought it was a huge deal for them, but recently someone posted about body hair on a woman's body and most men said that they liked their women waxed/shaved all the time. Coming from hairy creatures that most Indian men are, it was kinda surprising. 

Mostly, women don't have hard/pricking hair. They have a soft hair growth in most of the parts of their body. But if she doesn't wax or shave regularly, she has been looked down upon. Mostly by other women. We are always so very judgmental about girls with unwaxed arms/legs/underarms. A light growth pricks us more than the dark curly thick growth men get. 

Not complaining here, nor do I want to sound like a feminist and demand equality where I'd want men to wax like we do. Personally I don't really care about body hair. But I don't like the hypocrite attitude of people in this regards. Men joke about women with undone upper lips. In most cases you can't even see the hair out there unless she is so close to you that her nose touches yours (most of you will get this lucky only after you are married, don't worry). It's amusing when they say that the girl has a mustache. Dude you won't even feel it when you kiss her then why complain? Just once, try threading your mustache instead of shaving it and you will realise why we avoid doing it.

Our life is indeed difficult. Hair on arms, legs, underarms, back, stomach, cleavage, bikini line, facial hair, eyebrows - and removing/maintaining all these things, going to salon once a month, scream when that chick pours hot wax and pulls out all these hair - dude! I wish it was completely acceptable to keep those hair and still called sexy. Yet, we do it - to look good, for hygiene purpose or just to feel clean - we do it. Out of habit. Also because we don't want to be looked down upon. We don't want our men to say that he feels embarrassed to go our with us as our hairy legs show in that dress and it looks quite gross. 

Yet, we accept you with hair all over your body. At times we feel like telling you to keep your tee on while hugging us, as your body hair gives us itchy feeling and it's not really a turn on. It's weird not to see any part of your skin when you are topless. No, it's not sexy always. It's not even a sign of manhood after a point, for we know that already. But we accept you with all your natural flaws. 

Do a favour to your women - don't make a face if you happen to spot her unwaxed arms when she is out on a date with you. She can be lazy and busy, there are ten other things on her mind than making sure that she looks perfect for you all the time. It's all right to hold her hairy hand, be fine with it. Don't worry, you will RARELY get to see her that way. She will make sure she is clean enough when she meets you, just how you like. And if she is not, then look at yourself, look at your body, her hair growth won't bother you that much then.

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.

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.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Some thoughts here and there

Things haven't been so good recently. They haven't been so bad either that I have to sit in a corner and cry my heart out. No things are never that bad. If you can control them. It feels weird when there is no motivation to write. I travelled for more than a month to some place or the other, there are so many stories to be told, but there is no motivation to pen them down. Or a theme. Or a background music.

You realise how fortunate you have been when you meet people less fortunate than you. Some realisations hit you so hard that at some point, you are ready to share your luck, trade it, or even part with it completely. One of such realisations is loneliness. I'm yet to meet someone who is totally and completely happy in their loneliness. I don't think I will even meet them as they wouldn't want to meet anyone. They have found their happy space. And they are living there.

Travelling helps you understand yourself. It makes you aware about the various personalities living within you. These personalities complete you. At the same time they leave you incomplete. They leave you in a void. This emptiness screeches inside you. It echoes your fears. You are scared. You try to run away. But it remains with you, as it's a part of you.

Yes travel. Yes I digress. Because mind is not at peace. It has to empty the content that's bothering it. But it's not easy to keep quiet and yet talk. I have been trying to master the art of being brave. I have succeeded too, to an extent. But I still keep failing. And falling. And getting up again. To fail again. To fall again. It's a battle to survive. It's a battle with your own mind. And self. You have got to save your heart. And soul.

Goal is peace. Goal is happiness. Goal is to feel content. Goal is to save confidence, real self, vulnerability, words. Goal is to save you by destroying you. Goal is you.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Life like that

I always wonder - what people do in their free time? I'm not talking about a holiday or a vacation. I'm talking about the time when you suddenly become jobless. Or bedridden. Yes I sound so positive early morning. That's my superpower. But yes, I keep thinking about this. What if you suddenly realise that you don't have to do anything anymore. Rather, you are unable to anything anymore. What will you do then? 

We end up cribbing about so many situation without even once realising what will happen if we don't have that situation, and anything related to that. A bad situation is a flip side of a situation you were expecting to happen. Things just turned out otherwise. But imagine your life without that situation. Doesn't it seem empty? Almost pointless? 

We often neglect what we have and concentrate on what we don't or ought to have. Yes, this has been said before. A lot of times. By some really learned and intelligent people. But life experiences make you pen these things down yet again. Especially when you have reached really early for your flight and don't really have anything to do apart from thinking. And writing. One such incident made me think about the value of the things we have, yet don't appreciate as much. 

Since I was travelling today, I thought to take a break from class to finish the pending work. Due to some technical fault, there was a power failure. Since Bombay power failures don't last longer than 10 minutes, we weren't worried. I called up the power suppliers and realised it would take a few hours for power restoration. I had to arrange for some permits and reports, did running around till 11 pm and got it restored.

I had become so dependent on this convenient life. I was brought up in a small town. To me, power failure was as normal as eating food. We faced it for a few hours everyday. Things changed there. From everyday, they started having one entire day of power failure and remaining days there was a continuous power supply. From there, I came to Bombay where power failure was as rare as an earthquake. Rarely ever we faced it. Yesterday was one such day. I realised how snappy I was. How rude I was to the customer care executives who couldn't have done anything anyway. But I still kept blaming them and yelling at them for not considering our case a priority. My major concern was my niece, but I should have known that yelling wouldn't have helped me either. 

After the power was restored, I couldn't do any work. I was too tired. I woke up early to catch a morning fight. Newspaper headlines was about a building catching fire due to the same technical failure. Ours was the only case, their entire building faced this. And there was a death too. Of a senior citizen. Of my father's age. And it hit me. We were really fortunate yesterday to not have suffered such damages. Or loss. 

Yes life is mostly nice to us. And not as unfair as we think it is. There are worse problems and graver issues. We are yet to fully appreciate what we have. It could have been worse, but it is not. We should be thankful about that. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I would probably be one of those rare persons who keeps getting realisation moments every now and then. Especially when I'm travelling. Which is a bit frequent if you ask me. Roads are my drugs. The moment I smell fresh air, I want to go on and on and never to stop. If only that was life. If only I earned money just by doing that and reinvest the earned money again doing the same.

I thought about being travel blogger too, but when I read about the kind of posts they have to write, the way they have to endorse brands, companies, review hotels and food, and services, I realised I could never do that for living. Yes I happen to be a good lawyer. Yes I'm doing well in my career. But what next? Is this the end? Or the beginning? I don't know.

I am happy doing what I'm doing. But if I'm still thinking about changing my career, am I really happy? I'm sure something is lacking. I don't know what it is. But something is amiss. I get that sense of satisfaction when I travel. When I travel alone. But I might be feeling that because I travel just for a few days. I don't know how I will feel if I am doing it day in and day out?

It's amusing to see words playing games in my mind. Really amusing. How easily I get motivated to go to new places. How quickly I want to plan my next travel. How smoothly I even end up planning it.

Last night watched the movie highway. Just two days after my vacation got over. The memories of the road trip were fresh in my mind. This movie activated those cravings of being on the road yet again. Explore less visited places. Just hit the road and go wherever it takes you. I was lost in the visuals. I was reminded of all the trips I had had so far. And how!

Yes some things touch you, you cannot explain how. But they leave a lasting impact on your heart. And mind. And soul. They might be a trivial thing like a movie, or a huge thing like a heartbreak. But they become a part of you. And they are there to stay. To change you. To make you a better person. Or a worse one. But they keep you going. And at the end of everything, that's the only thing that matters. 

PS: Ignore typos. I'm sitting in a cafe, writing this on my phone. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Fear, faith and foolishness

I have been running. Running away from the past, from the future, from people, from fears, from tears, from peers, from love and hatred, form just and unjust - name it and I would want to duck it. Or be oblivious to it. Like an ostrich. I want to hide my face in the sand and believe that the fear doesn't exist as I cannot see it. 

But is it really the fear that I'm scared of? Hmm, not really. It's actually the opposite. I'm scared because I don't have the fear of fear. Does it make sense to you? Of course it does, and thus you're reading me even now. Most have given up on me. Some are still tolerating me because love is blind and shit. 

How many times have you been told that you have changed? And you're not the same person anymore? I get that all the time. Even from my mother. At times she feels I'm very cold towards her and everyone else and at times she finds my caring suffocating. She even tells me that she hates the fact that I can live without her, or anyone else. I don't really need people. 

It's cute when people make assumptions on your behalf and decide themselves how we would have behaved or what we wanted. It's almost like they live in the world with us that they have created and think that we wanted them to create it that way. They don't even ask us once as to what we would have preferred. Now you're stuck in the world neither you like nor they do. And you're responsible for its creation. 

I can scream, just to make you realise that I do not think the way you assume about it. My Thoughts are too fucked up mostly. I react to different situations differently each time. Thus it's impossible for you to guess the right reaction. Don't even attempt it. I love you enough to live the way you want me to live. But don't assume my limits and my actions/reactions. 

Things are changing rapidly. The ant has finally managed to hold her balance on that steep wall. She is moving on. And she is moving on to a destination. It's the future or the past, only she knows. It's wise not to assume that even before she has reached there. Her journey just indicates that she is moving. Leave her alone. Don't make her doubt her moves. She is happy right now. And moving towards that. As that is going to keep her happy. That's what she has decided to live for - her happiness. 

Have you ever seen birds immediately after they were caged? I have. They had a tough time adjusting to their new found jail, but they eventually did get adjusted. We assume that they want to fly. They want to be free. Sky is where they belong. But what if they choose comfort over freedom? Like most of us humans? What if they are happy in the cage? But that doesn't mean they would never want to be free. At some point they would realize where they belong and they would want that life back. Give them what they want. Care about their happiness more than your profit, and you'll see freedom ready to soar.

Friday, January 31, 2014


I can name at least 10 people right now who hate the city they live in. They hate the pace, lifestyle, people, weather, culture, infrastructure, job opportunities or any other reason - they are living there as they don't have any other option as of now. The moment they find the right kind of opportunity and favourable circumstances, they would move there. But how many of them get really lucky?

There are so many stories around us of lost dreams, of those who do not live in their dream place because they want to earn. It's about people who go to a different city, to chase their dreams, or to find new ones. To survive, or to hide. To remain in their comfort zone or to move away from it. Most of us are stuck in a monotonous working life we hate but cannot do without. Imagine just staying there all your life. This idea may sound absurd to us, but a generation before us lived for this. Rather, most of them.

Imagine being in such a profession or job for years, earning enough every day to survive for the next. Save some money for contingency, take a loan when there is an emergency and you don't have enough money. Recently I met such a man. He is an auto driver. I was travelling from office and we were stuck in a traffic jam which is nothing new if you live in Bombay. There was some wedding going on near Kokilaben hospital. We started talking about it whether it was legally allowed to play band baaja right next to the hospital.

Now, I have this habit of conversing with auto waalas and cab waalas. Their stories always amuse me. And this guy asked me a very valid and smart question which you do not usually expect from them. (How judgmental of me!) From that we started talking about how Bombay was before and how it is now. How the lonely areas are full of buildings, how a useless site has one of the first and largest malls on it today, how civilisation development depends on malls around that area these days and such. I have been living in this city for 16 years now and he has been riding for last 24 years. 24! He knew about Bombay roads more than any autowala I have interacted with. I had to go to a cafe that was located on the Oshiwara back road. I just gave him the name and he told me what was around the cafe, in that area, which other cafes, restaurants, salons and banks were there in and around that area. Yes I was amazed. He was a Bombay map.

Since the ride was short, I couldn't talk to him much, but it was an experience worth mentioning, sharing and writing about. And completely opposite to the one I had a few hours ago, same day.

Republic day was a working day for me. I taught for five hours on that day. While going to the class, the cabwaala suddenly asks me - what is there today? Did we become independent today as well? He was an old man, must have been in his 60s. His question shocked me. And shook me. That realisation of how ignorant one is today - maybe because of lack of knowledge or opportunity - one doesn't even know the difference between independence day and republic day. I explained to him about the importance of that day. This journey was of ten minutes, which I spent in the explanation. There was no time or opportunity to ask this man about anything else. I asked him twice if he had heard the words like - Ganatantra divas, Sanvidhan, Prastavna, Dr. Ambedkar etc. He did know some things, didn't know some. I told him that our constitution that gives us voting right came into effect on that day. "Hum toh Panje ko (Congress) vote dete hai. Saalo se dekhte aaye hai unhe." - he replied when I asked him if he ever voted.

I love to interact with these people. But not always that you find decent men. Many of them give you dirty stares when you are sitting in the auto/cab. They keep staring at you through rear view mirror. But some of them are really helpful too. They won't say anything if you don't have sufficient change to pay them, or you make them wait, or roam around streets while looking for an address. Some behave as if they are doing a huge favour on you by dropping you at your destination. But most of them so far have been nice. There have been plenty of conversations with them. Their stories have always been amusing, and inspiring. Most of them have been honest. And helpful.

This city is one of the best cities to live in because of them.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Advice should be chargeable

They always said that no matter how hard you try, your past comes back haunting you. You can try to hide it, amend it, delete the traces, destroy the evidences - that doesn't kill it. That just makes it dormant. It comes back to life the moment it gets the sunlight called opportunity. Or people. 

I have rarely felt guilty about my acts. No matter how big or small the mistake is, I have always accepted it, amended it and moved on. Guilt is one emotion I would never want to feel. Nor would you. For, it kills you from within. But these things are not always in our hands. We are yet to be heartless enough not to feel anything. We are yet to be nice enough to never do anything wrong to anyone. It's normal and natural to feel guilty about certain acts. But the key is not to let it rule you. Your life. Your people. And most importantly, your decisions. 

How easy it is to talk when you're not talking about your life. Some well learned person (read yours truly) once said "दुनिया का सबसे आसान काम है ज्ञान बांटना|" We are natural at giving unwarranted advice. Even to strangers. If you see someone crying at the beach, or in the train or a park, you walk up to that person, ask him or her as to what happened, try to console her even if she asks you to leave her alone, give her unsolicited advice even if she shares just a small part of her problem just so that you stop disturbing her. How we fail at minding our own business. 

Some look at it as a good deed. They think that it's good to help those who are sad. And some are even willing to accept the help. Maybe because they have nobody to talk to, or nobody understands them, but the probability of that happening is pretty low. Most of the times people who are crying in Public places wouldn't care about what you think about them, thus they wouldn't care about what you have got to say either. 

Writing a blog post on phone is a pain. Especially when you're not able to sleep because you have a lot of things on your mind. You do not know what or how do you feel at this moment. But you need to vent out. Thus you take the pain and risk of typos and write a post. But the worst part is, deciding the header. After writing the entire post, I haven't yet decided on the header. Sigh. 

Ps: Found the header. It maybe totally irrelevant, but what the heck! 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Piece of mind

How we live in phases. Little things make us happy when the time is right and biggest things don't even affect us then. Why do we do things for others? To see a smile on their face? Or because that smile makes us feel good. At the end of the day, we look for our comfort zone, and while doing that, we end up making others happy. Or sad. Depending upon the kind of phase they are in at that time.

I feel as if I think in some alien language these days. Yes I have noticed changes in me. And they have been drastic. I can sense that I have become more confident now. I was always a very confident person, but I have stepped a level above now. And it's a dangerous position. It almost makes you arrogant. It definitely makes you more narcissist. It surely increases the number of your haters. But it also makes you less vulnerable, smarter and cold. You are so cautious about everything that you may prefer losing them than harming your confidence, or emotions - whatever sounds good to your ears. 

Human nature is to exaggerate. We exaggerate almost everything. From our position to power, knowledge to foolishness, stupidity to virginity - everything. The most abused area when it comes to exaggeration is our emotions. We blackmailed our parents when we were kids, we faked tears, threw tantrums, faked smiles to look strong, faked love to not lose something or someone special, faked work pressure and illness - exaggeration kind of became a habit. Many of us are compulsive exaggerators - if such a term exists. At times it helps, at times it backfires. 

I think it's a habit now to talk about vague things on this blog. Way too many things clutter your mind without any reason. And after a point, you feel nothing about anything. It's like being emotionally dead. It maybe a temporary phase or a permanent state. But somehow these things have to be brought out of your system. It depends on you how you prefer to do it. I need to talk. I talk with people, close friends, strangers - whoever I can connect with. And I blog. 

In other news, just like last year, this year too looks good as far as travelling part is concerned. And like always, I won't be writing the travelogue. I find them boring to read. Those who know me or are connected with me on other channels know/will know about my plans. If you know me and I don't want to meet you, then you'll never find out about my whereabouts. 

And yes, happy new year. People are posting pictures of all the things that make them happy under some project where they will have to stay happy and click pictures for 100 days. What have you done with your life? I blog. Like it makes all the difference.