Posts Tagged With: Family

Is marriage an achievement?

A friend forwarded this image to me on Whatsapp. Not sure I agree entirely. A wedding is not an achievement. A good, balanced marriage certainly is, calling for years of work on the part of both parties.

Thankfully marriage was never ever a topic in our household. Education and career was. I was never told not to do this, not to say this, etc because I had to get married one day. During studies when other girls used to fantasize about marriage I on the other hand thought about polishing my skill, volunteering and even started working. And when I was earning, girls my age were getting married and I on the other hand was learning new skills and thinking about how to get a house on my name! My family never ever got worried about our marriage and when the right time came I married on my terms and by my choice and still living how I wanted to. 

Individual religious beliefs also have a high impact on this uneven happiness or otherwise in the marriage. 

Making a marriage, or any relationship, work takes effort. Being happy in a marriage, or other relationship, is an achievement that should be celebrated. 

Getting married in and of itself is not an achievement. Getting married is not a goal. It is just a thing that can happen or not in the middle of all your achievements. And when it happens make sure you get married on your own terms. 🙂

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Should we trust our “Cloud Nine” feelings??

Mr K and I started talking to each other in Oct 2015, and we had that instant recognition, mutually. Within 6 months – BOOM! we were married. Distance separates Mr K and I by thousand of miles and it will remain the same for few more (urghh…tedious visa process). Therefore, I chose to fly down to Mr K to be with him for a week (a romantic person – well, I am!!). Anyways, I just wanted to be beside him, next to him… It felt completely natural and normal to suddenly find the person I want to be with, to have a life and family with. Love and romance can blind us to all kinds of information. So glad I didn’t marry everyone I loved. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I didn’t want anyone else.

Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics.
It just comes — none knows whence —
and cannot explain itself.

~ Mark Twain Eve’s Diary

 I have known people who moved very fast and stayed happily committed for many years. I have known others who took it more slowly, where it seemed they were really getting to now each other, and still were not successful in the long run. We took a crucial decision of spending our life together ‘for better or for worse’ but as my wise man says that he knows he made the right choice (ah, I am on cloud nine! *blush*).

Some couples have only one person head-over-heels up-front, with the other person much more mildly or slowly growing interested. In our relationship, we are one or another in different situations. I love how we can balance each other despite that mild cultural difference. I know: It’s not romantic, but we seem to be in LOVE!love is

When two people feel the same level of love attraction to one another, a relationship can be rewarding and unstressed. But sometimes, one person or the other feels much stronger attraction than the other does. And that can be uncomfortable to even painful for both individuals, eventually. And then we pick on petty stupid stuff on which we laugh later.

Sounds to me as if it’s the way it’s “supposed to” work, as long as we stipulate that there is no such thing as how it’s “supposed to” work. A lifetime isn’t made up of just this week or the past few weeks — and a future life will need plenty of time to unfurl its petals so you can see it. There’s no guarantee that we will know each other completely in a year or in many years or not at all, but when chemicals and hormones will wear off, we will have a better ability to see things as they are.

Dear Mr. K, it won’t always be easy and we will occasionally question our judgment but as we will get along together, we will see more and more aspects of each other, and I am sure we will fall in love more. Why do I know so? 10 years back we spoke for a bit –  so you see we had won the “lottery” a long, long time ago, but instead of checking our numbers, we just kept buying more tickets. (You know what I mean ;-))

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Its probably all they had…

This picture says it all. We thank God for everything we have but we should always thank our parents for every step that we took!!
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Who writes letters these days?

As I was struggling to fill up a bank deposit slip for my nana, he pointed out to my sloppy writing. “Who writes these days?” I sheepishly defended myself. “Well, you should as you did earlier in your beautiful cursive handwriting”, said my nana softly. When we returned home, he opened a wooden box which had neatly stacked papers. He took out a brown envelope and scooped out few pages. I froze. They were my letters written to him. We sat together, read the letters and recollected those special memories. He read me his favorite parts from few letters- embarrassing school incidents, stupid complaints of my mother, pranks at school and ofcourse my class grades. Really?? I wrote all that to him?? I am glad that I did, because now I experienced each incident in my life twice: once when it actually happened, and once again when we read them.

Back then, when internet was not heard of, one of the most cheapest way of communication was letters. I remember writing letters to my family and friends, and kissing the envelopes before I put them in the mailbox hoping that they are not lost in transit.

Letters are like timeless little snowflakes of love being send to the people we love. Words are wrapped with love for whoever reads it and it builds a special bond which could be treasured forever and indeed are our conversations with the future. They are like journals, which tell stories of our lives to our beloved ones. When I returned to Mumbai, I brought my old box with me. It had some of the most cherished letters from a time when I didn’t really appreciate them but was glad I kept anyway. Reading old letters is like treasure hunting. Somewhere in those faded paper, there is a story that was packed away for years.

A handwritten letter is risky too. Unlike emails, handwritten letters can’t be re-read as soon as they are put in the mailbox, and couldn’t be un-send too. Once sent, it is gone. It is an object that no longer belongs to you but to the one whom it is sent. I often remembered the feeling of what I could have said more than the words which I wrote. More so, it is a one-sided conversation where I can’t see the reaction of the person I have written to, so there’s a great unknown feeling that requires a leap of faith. I have to choose the right words to express in sentences, and then, once the envelope is sealed, I have sent my thoughts to someone else, trusting that the feelings will be understood and intent correctly interpreted.

I suppose, there is a power in the act of handwriting. Have you noticed that the handwriting changes with emotions? They Talk. They Emote. They have life to them. They are thoughtful, honest and original. How childish to think that could be easy.

Well, in digital life of quick phone calls, emails, whatsapp, and snapchat, it’s so easy to never to find the time to write letters. I was so sandwichbusy zip-zapping through my life and looking for ways of connecting with everyone around the world – on my side and the other, that I somehow forgot about my special ‘sandwiched’ generation who are struggling to pace up with us. To be able to write beautiful words to the ones you love is a lost art gone with texting and cell phones. That’s a great pity -for me. I am starting to feel that with every breakthrough (or breakdown) in communication technology, our social connections, although admittedly more frequent, are becoming less visceral.

When was the last time I wrote? By hand. Today evening, I wrote a letter to my nana. I feared that my handwriting letter won’t be legible to anyone but me. And this autocorrect and keyboard shortcuts has made me a lazy speller too. Initially I observed that I was much more reluctant to express my actual thoughts and emotions but soon it was not difficult to  out to pour my feelings, but quite a bit in writing them down. I hadn’t hand-written an entire page since long. I am glad that I did. I can imagine the happiness he would feel when he will tear the envelope to read my handwritten words. Handwriting is a disappearing art!!

Food for Thought: History would have been a mystery if our ancestors did not write them for us. We read those letters to get a better understanding of life, cultures and people way back 100 years. Will my blog be read to understand me? Will my emails to my friends and family be read in the same as I intended it to be? May be photographs and videos would come close, but the handwritten stuff is always close to heart. I feel that the memories can be best retained in the form of letters.

“And that my soul embraces you this hour, and we affect each other without ever seeing each other, and never perhaps to see each other, is every bit as wonderful.” – Who Learns My Lesson Complete? by Walt Whitman

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Happy Birthday Mom!!!

I believe there are very few people in the world for whom expressing in words no matter how much you want to, is always difficult. My mother ranks on top of it all. As she nears a step closer to 6o. here is reminding her that I still feel the same as I said earlier:

Years and years before internet, my mom was my one-woman information for tips on shopping, exercise, savings, etiquette, organizing, driving, studies and relationships. Now, I beg mom for advice and then snap at her for giving her opinion. I call mom from miles away to ask her what to do and then reject her suggestion. I turn to mom for every crisis and then get annoyed at her for butting in on my life. The only thing more annoying than receiving the advice is the fact that in every case, with few exceptions, Mom is mostly right😉

Click here to read more about my mother.

Happiness is surely everything about you and this picture awwww-ishly puts it perfectly…

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Picture Credit: @ilovewording on Instagram

Happy Birthday, Mummy!!

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I read: “Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life”

One Sunday afternoon while I was in Crossword (an Indian bookstore, like Borders or Barnes & Noble), I happen to sit on this book left on the couch, yes…in literal sense!! I picked it up to put it back on the shelf but its title got me curious, and I flipped the pages. I read the following article which was first published in Chicago Tribune as a column “Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young” written by author Mary Schmich. This article was an international sensation, even so much that it became famous as Wear Sunscreen.

Here is the famous inspiring article which was forwarded from everyone to everyone all across the globe. Or if you wan to watch its video which apparently was a huge hit too.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”

The other articles in this book were good to read but nothing out of the ordinary. For me, this is a coffee table book which can be read one article at a time, at one’s own leisure.

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Valentines-less-ness??

Urban dictionary defines Valentines-less-ness (High-five!!, if you are hearing this word for the first time too.) as:

A term used to describe not having a valentine on Valentine’s Day. Often leads to depression and sleep deprivation. Many people are subject to Valentines-less-ness because they are the “Just friends” kind of person.

Well, if valentine is not subjective to a boyfriend and girlfriend only, I still feel its valentine:

  • When my mom kisses me and says “You are one in a million”
  • When my father asks me “Oh, you worked so late today? You must be tired.”
  • When my brother tells me “Don’t worry, party all night. Call me when it’s over and I will come to pick you up.”
  • When my cousin tells me “I have fixed a blind date with my co-worker who I feel is right for you.”
  • When I am moodless, and my friend quickly says “Lets go and have a drink!”
  • When my best friend hugs me and says “It’s not fun without you.”
  • When my four-legged miracle greeted me excitedly when I returned home and licked my face.
  • When I see people around me in love, which lets me know that love still exists!!
  • When the shop owner gives me a free warm cookie along with my chai.
  • When a stranger makes your day by handing you a loving note. Not in a creepy way! Brooklyn-based freelancer Erika Anderson, like last year, invited about 50 people to her house for a valentine-making party, where the group made over 1000 love-notes using handmade paper. If you happen to be in New York, you might get lucky to get a Valentine note of your own! Erika will ride the A, C, and F trains through Crown Heights and the Lower East Side. Hopefully you’ll see her or another member of the #ArmyOfLovers. Her friend in San Francisco is extending the movement to the West Coast.

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A letter to her future self…

A letter written by a 12 year-old pretty girl to none other than her future self, to be opened in 2023 by herself only – her dreams, her plans and little things which made her happy. But, life happens when one is busy making plans. She wouldn’t have imagined that her parents would find her letter while sorting her things after she passes away last week due to pneumonia.

Wonder why God wrote her story so short when He gave her the power to dream and plan. As Taylor wrote to herself, “That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it.”

My heart reaches out to Taylor’s parents who have lost a piece of their heart. RIP, little angel!! ):

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enhanced-buzz-5846-1389366018-4Read the full story here.

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…thats how we are friends!

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”

‘ You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 

~ E.B. White

If you are on LinkedIn, you would have noticed your LinkedIn network i.e. directly and indirectly connections. We are sort-of aware of people in our direct connection but do you ever wonder the huge network of people we are indirectly connected? Better still, do we wonder how did we become friends with the ones on our direct connections. We can categorize many of them as class-mates or colleagues or family/relatives but what about the rest?

Let me count the ways (few atleast)…

‘Huggies’ buddy

Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. You can continue to be stupid with them and have the privilege to talk nonsense. These are the ones in which you are bound to one another with hoops of steel.

Silent pal

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness. One who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. They can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute.

Intergenerational Friends

They can be younger or older than you, not by few months, but by years…but you still want to spend time with them because they provide the fusion of both the worlds. While the younger ones fill you with information of the ever-changing world, the older generation provides you worldly advice on how to cope with it. You enjoy the broader perspective of the world from the younger ones with the narrowed vision of needs-versus-wants. Younger ones crack you up with their funny/witty jokes while Older ones make you laugh with their stories (which always have a moral).

Pet-friendly

You meet them at pet-clubs or parks or pet-friendly beaches. Conversations range from diets to tantrums (of pets, ofcourse!) and you end up setting up a play-date. A visit to the pet-salon is synced up to let the pets enjoy while the parents have a latte-time together.

Remind-me-how friends

You don’t remember how you happen to be friends – probably bumped in a party, or bus, or train, or car-pool or simply happens to be your-Friend’s-Cousin’s-Neighbor’s-Friend’s-Friend but are connected on Facebook.. You enjoy the updates, give a thumbs-up on their pics, respond on stupid wall posts wondering each time ‘how did we become friends?’.

Soul Cruiser

You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby.

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What’s a mom worth?

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sahminfo_2013

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